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  1. Here's an interview with Lord Vogel. Read it.

    Well I wasn't really trying to conflate min-maxxing with that post nor really complain about min maxing right there, but show the kind of negative argument that I think can be offputting. You also keep attributing me as bashing obsessive min-maxxers. That's not really what I said; I said that you don't need to do it in order to complete the game (which, at the time, I was talking about Xulima). As far as the link I posted, it was the first negative review that came up in my search, so I used it. He was complaining about how the skill system is "broken" so I thought it close enough. Min Maxing was really a small part of the several long posts that I wrote, but... well nevermind. I started putting together a few links that were specifically people getting heated about optimizations, but I think I've been polite in this thread and I don't think I should need to get put on the defensive when all I was trying to do was contribute to the discussion about Jeff's interview. I'm done here.
  2. Here's an interview with Lord Vogel. Read it.

    While it may not be the case here, something I've noticed a lot of is that people have a hard time reviewing negative aspects or pointing out things that are not good, useful, etc, without going into major bash mode. It's fine to give critique or point out what isn't good, but at least in the Steam forums, there are a lot of bratty folks out there. And, at least that's what I imagined Edgwyn was talking about when I decided to agree. I don't mind simply reading about what doesn't work. On the other hand, stuff like this EFTP review is major offputting.
  3. Here's an interview with Lord Vogel. Read it.

    Yeah, I tend to speak a little hyperbolically sometimes, and I suppose that was a great many pronouns. I would have to agree with this. I hate to keep running back to Xulima as an example (but I just finished playing through it twice) but there, the mages can eventually learn a spell called "magical light" that has basically the same effect as a torch, and I read a few statements in the forums about how investing in that skill was just a total waste of resources because, hello, buy a torch. And that was more offputting than the posts that were saying "we can't stress enough how powerful speed is, it's a good idea to invest in speed every time you level." And the kicker: I actually enjoyed using the magical light, and I had to remind myself not to feel bad about investing in it. I guess the best lesson is just to not get worked up about advice you find on the internet. Unless someone is literally saying "play exactly like this or you're stupid" - which really doesn't happen very often.
  4. Here's an interview with Lord Vogel. Read it.

    Well I'm talking about the same thing that you referenced - - people act like they're being told what they have to exactly do with their skills, even though they're not being told that.
  5. Here's an interview with Lord Vogel. Read it.

    Yeah, I prefer the heavy weapons approach myself, but fighting groups even with a good bows skill or whatever, was tedious compared to the power of casting spells. For what it's worth I never get mad that someone is "telling me how to play" but it's the internet, and those kind of arguments tend to happen under even the most innocent of circumstances. And maybe that's part of what Jeff means: the internet can ruin anything. And it's not like Jeff personally came to the forum and said "Let me tell you, if you didn't put a point into lockpicking when you got to level 13, you're just the stupidest of stupids." (Well it's not like anyone said that. But sometimes people act like they did. You know what I mean.)
  6. Here's an interview with Lord Vogel. Read it.

    Well I guess it's always a two-edged sword. I will typically read hints and character guides before I start out on this sort of RPG because, why not? And I can appreciate the work that people have already usually done in figuring out the benefits of different stats for different characters. At the same time, at least for me, there's a certain amount of stress involved in making sure I've built my character properly... checking and rechecking guides. So I have nothing against people who like to min-max, but I don't personally worry as much about it (because when I do, I get stressed out!) and I prefer more general types of advice. If you don't follow any advice at all, you can wind up with a party that's useless by midgame and that's even worse than a game that's maybe a little too easy in spots. I recall the first time I played Exile III in... more years ago than I want to think about... I wanted to evenly distribute all my stats. Yeah, that'll show them monsters. Oops. Thinking over to Xulima's case, being adamant about adding speed is the same reason the game became too easy by the end. How do you address it? And is this why Jeff goes with skill caps in his games? I don't mean to keep comparing that game but it's my most recent experience so it's fresh: on my first playthrough I indeed followed the speed advice and when I got to the final boss, he got to launch a grand total of one attack while my party whooped on him. Maybe it's even why Jeff has level caps. I know it can be frustrating to get to 30 and realize that's it, no more sweet reward for finishing off more baddies/missions. But if he didn't have them, he would have other problems to deal with... either the game growing way too easy at the end, or people complaining about the way the enemy levels were scaling and they could never earn a leg up, or whatever. I suspect no matter what could be tried as a solution, would leave someone complaining and someone else figuring out character optimizations. So in the end I guess there's no use arguing about it; follow the min-max guides or don't. Oddly enough, on games like these my first playthrough is likely to be the most completionist one, where I visit every possible NPC, reveal every pixel of the map, do as many quests as possible, you know. Subsequent playthroughs when I know where I want to go and what I want out of my mission, that's probably when the optimizations would help the most since I'm not grabbing every last experience point. But my first playthrough is when I'm more likely to read about the optimizations. Funny little paradox.
  7. Here's an interview with Lord Vogel. Read it.

    I was thinking about something else Jeff touched on in the interview - this quote here: I recently got through playing Lords of Xulima, and while the fighting is done via battle screen, final fantasy-esque type combat, and the story wasn't as richly fleshed out, it otherwise had some reminiscence to some Spiderweb games. I enjoyed the game, the exploration, etc, immensely, even if it did feel a little grindy in spots. Now, one of the odd things I'm seeing with that game, is on the forums people will talk about the best way to level up and allocate stats, and pumping up character speed without fail every single level is "the thing to do, the right way to play" -- and then those same people will complain about how the second half of the game is too easy. While you can't get away with spreading your characters way thin, it's also designed so that you don't have to be an obsessive min-maxxer to enjoy and complete the game. But of course, if you opt not to min-max or obsessively crank the speed, you're doing it wrong. I can get one more game in before school is back in session post labor day, and I've been considering replaying Nethergate, maybe as the Celts... both times I played it back in the day, I did the Romans. And I'm going to try my best to have a good time without obsessing too much over my point allocations.
  8. Here's an interview with Lord Vogel. Read it.

    I just spent the time reading Jeff's interview. I've been seeing a lot of websites with that general design style lately - design taking up the whole window in big blocks (for lack of better term) - it's not my favorite aesthetic, but I thought it wasn't too bad. Until I went to the main website. I can usually live with design choices that aren't my cuppa, but it was borderline hard to read. But, like Jeff, "I'm old." If they insist on their aesthetic, a directory to make their content a little more discoverable would be appreciated. But enough about that. It's fascinating the way video games have changed from the 80s and 90s to today. Maybe even just from a few years ago until today. I mean back in the day to make an indie game you had to either bank on one of several computer platforms, or find a way to get your game onto one of those ROM circuitboards in the fancy plastic shell that could plug into an Atari or Nintendo. The barrier to entry is a lot lower these days, especially since pixel is cool again. I have to wonder if part of the problem the past few years, as far as sorting through the mountain of shovelware to try and find good games, has been Steam's greenlight process. Now you may not agree with me here, but it used to be, that if a game was on Steam then it must be at least halfway decent. They really lowered the bar and opened the floodgates and, it can be pretty easy to slap something awful together and get it through the greenlight process by either offering "free key with greenlight vote" or by latching onto one meme or another. It's not to say that none of the stuff that pushes through there is worthwhile or creative, but there's such a mountain of crap to wade through that it's no wonder few people bother to do it. I know Jeff likes Humble Bundle, but I don't think sites like Indie Gala or Indie Royale (R.I.P.) really helped much either. I've even wound up with spare Spiderweb steam keys from Groupees before, and while I like that that site tries to feature artists, musicians, indie games, and the like, they're not innocent of facilitating the "free steam key if you vote for our game in Greenlight" either. People don't even care whether a game is any good, they just have this compulsion to have their library count go higher, and to "farm cards." Let's buy a game, not because we care about it, but because we can get three cents return on investment selling cards! (an aside... maybe Jeff's games should have them; those thousands of residual pennies will probably buy him lunch for years to come) I'm an administrator in a certain sports forum, and the clickbait thing is so true. We try not to play that game and our number of subscribers/participants drags behind as a result. New topics in a certain subforum are automatically broadcast to Twitter, and I can say that an honest-ish subject line will often get 40 clicks or so, while something sensational will get hundreds of viewers. It's not nice, but it's just the way it works, and people who run sites that need to generate clicks and money to survive pretty much have to do it. I feel like this is something Yahoo! is especially guilty of in their headlining. I guess the one thing that eludes me is why a site will advertise a list of 15 things, you go to it, and it's a slideshow where each thing has three slides, causing you to click many, many times, until you've read half the list and you're either sick of clicking or your browser crashes. You know people coming to your site are on adblock anyway... probably no use stretching things quite that thin. It's irritating too, because I'm a sucker for reading those kind of "You've been making eggs wrong forever!" articles - but I digress. All I'm going to say about the discussion that has dominated this thread thus far is that I'm a pretty big proponent of free speech, but making specific threats is where I'd draw the line. After reading the thread I'd probably most similarly agree with what Slartibus had to say. I would also probably agree with the idea that what Jeff was probably saying was "a lot of things, what can you do about it besides get a thicker skin?" - though, specific threats and attacks, which is undoubtedly what happened to Sarkeesian, no, you can't do that, it's criminal, and somebody needs to stop you. I guess I wouldn't extend that to "hate speech" - if you're not issuing threats, then ok, you can say it. The thing about free speech though, they maybe can't fine you or lock you up, but there's nothing stopping you from taking on the social consequences of what you say. Which maybe Jeff was getting at a little bit... "you have your thing, they have theirs, no need to seek to destroy." Well I think that's true in the context Jeff was talking about... what kind of things you like in games, what kind of charity a developer gave to... I guess what you have to admit though is that it's not a universal truth and you need to figure out where you draw the line. If a website posts or supports something that's deeply offensive to you or a community you're part of... maybe it's their free speech, but it's your free speech too if you want to tell everyone you can get in touch with to never use that website. It's true, some people will get offended by minutia and make a big stink about almost anything, but from my experience, rather than being ruinous to a company, that tends to backfire, and get a zillion people to say "pshaw, what a farce of a complaint, you have my support, here's 5x more business than I would have ever given you without this stuff." As far as the youtubers, I suppose they have their place. It can be surprising what games latch on as popular ones, and there are a few out there who are annoying, excessively rude, whatever... but there are enough people trying to do it that you can probably find a couple suiting of your tastes. I would rather read reviews than watch them, but I'm probably in the minority there. Another thing that makes it so hard to sort through games are all the phony and joke reviews on Steam, often the only source of reviews for little-known titles but unfortunately just as full of junk as the Greenlight queue. I guess the last thing I'll say that doesn't do gaming any favors relates to Jeff's comments on critics. While he didn't really say this, I will - I don't know why so many game reviewers are incapable of pointing out things they didn't like or that need improvement, without going into major bash mode. I don't even read a review if I see the word "flawed" - as though you could do better? No, you don't have to know how to make games to be able to critique them, but how about a useful critique? Tell me, what worked for you, what didn't work for you, what kind of people do you think may enjoy the game, what can you live with, what could use tightening up... don't just sit there and trash it for five minutes because the grass texture looked generic. Was it fun?
  9. What do the Avernites stuff their pillows with?

    The fabrics are made of skribbane fiber. Skemp they call it. Also useful for oils and pain relievers.
  10. What do the Avernites stuff their pillows with?

    Cavewood sawdust. Waste not, want not.
  11. Ah, nostalgia...

    Voted for Exile. Nothing is ever quite like your first time. But, the new releases are vast improvements.
  12. Spiderweb Forums Recipe Hub

    I went to school for biochemistry and now I'm in a dietetics programme. Once I have my licensure I'll be working toward a med program in endocrinology. You can say I have a deep interest in a couple controversial topics - that is, a mother's prenatal food intake / nutrition and its consequence on hormone levels and foetal development, as well as nutrition of infants and very young children and its related consequences; as pertains to developmental disorders in particular. Paleo-like diets (not strict paleo "if caveman didn't have it you can't" - that's a bit nonsense) tend to hit on all the proper marks for the sort of... mmm.. bioavailability of essential nutrients, enzymes, hormones, conditions, etc, for healthy development, but without tonnes more research than is already present, I couldn't call it anything better than circumstantial. On a personal level, I had weight and depression issues for most of my life. In my teenage years and early 20s I contemplated suicide several times; at one point I weighed nearly 300 lbs. Going paleo made biological sense, so I gave it a shot and indeed... I've become a rather fit and good-spirited person. I'd stop well short of calling it a good solution for everyone though - nobody's digestive and endocrine systems are the same as another person's. If pressed I would boil it down to three particular things being poisonous to humans: fructose, phytic acid, and artificial sweeteners [especially aspartame]. Sugar is not sugar, despite what the HFCS industry wants us to hear: humans are designed/evolved/made (whatever your fancy) to use glucose; fructose has to be processed by the liver. But the bit of fructose surrounded by the oodles of fiber in your typical piece of fruit never really hurt anyone. A mega blast of concentrated fructose, like in HFCS however... phytic acid is a substance found in most grains, nuts, and legumes that binds to vitamins and prevents you absorbing them. Again, the little bit in sprouted whole grains and nuts (like people used to eat) never hurt anyone but the megatonnes of processed white flour in everything these days... and what artificial sweeteners do, even if they technically have no calories, is trick your pancreas into releasing lots of insulin -- so not only is every last carb you *do* eat going to get sent right to fat, but you're going to have elevated insulin and build insulin resistance in a rather bad way. Your diet cokes are not helping your diabeetus -- they're exacerbating it. (Aspartame gets bonus points for also being poison!) Notice I didn't attack gluten. Some people unfortunately have Celiac Disease and other conditions. For most, the gluten stuff is a fad. However, most gluten foods are also high phytic acid foods, hence the paleo in spite of my objection to that objection. But, different people have different bodies and different tolerances. For some people none of this is a problem at all. For others it's why when they get old they put on a few pounds. And for some it's why they get mega-diabeetus in their 20s. Everyone's different. But for me, it's appropriate.
  13. Spiderweb Forums Recipe Hub

    I've been attempting to be Paleo for a handful of years now with varying success, and one of my biggest weaknesses has always been Chinese-American Takeout. A couple weeks ago I read a piece on IQS about Tamari (link: https://iquitsugar.c...i-or-soy-sauce/ ) and it got me thinking - can I conjure up an easy to make substitute for General Tso's that won't knock my diet off track? I did a little digging around online searching for "paleo General Tso" and other similar queries until I came across this recipe ( http://www.delicious...l-tsos-chicken/ ) upon which I loosely based this experiment. Behold, my easy/lazy paleo-ish "General Tso" recipe: First let's get the ingredients out of the way, enough of it to feed a family dinner: 3 lb. raw boneless skinless chicken thighs 1 12-oz bag of frozen broccoli 1 12-oz bag chopped white onion 4 oz. minced garlic cloves 1 6-oz. bag shredded or julienne carrots a pack of arrowroot flour some combination of lard, coconut oil, and unsalted butter light olive oil red pepper flakes, sea salt, black pepper, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder a bottle of tamari Start by cutting the chicken into bite-size pieces and cooking it. You could bake it or have it ready from a slow cooker already, but I used a skillet on medium and it worked just fine. http://s5.postimg.or...0_05_02_Pro.jpg Once the chicken's cooked, strain and set it aside, but save just a little bit of the drippings for later.In another bowl mix 1 cup arrowroot flour with a nice rounded teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Now drizzle two tablespoons tamari over the chicken and then roll the chicken into the mixture, turn it until it's nice and coated. You'll notice it gets a bit sticky. You want this, but it also means you'll have to be careful when you're frying the chicken. Now use half a cup of good cooking fat and melt it in a wok. I used 1/4 cup lard and 1/4 cup coconut oil in mine. You can experiment with different ratios of lard, butter, and coconut oil, but what I did worked pretty well for this. http://s5.postimg.or...0_52_57_Pro.jpg Once it's good and melted, put in the coated chicken and make sure it cooks and browns on all sides. I somehow neglected to get a picture of the chicken cooking, but there's probably a good reason: you can't just set it and forget it. Be sure to keep minding your chicken as it cooks or else it will turn into one stuck-together mass. Once the chicken's done, set it aside. Top off the cooking fat in the wok with a spoonful of lard and a splash of the saved drippings, then add the onions. Make sure you add the onions promptly. Having just a couple in there will get them burnt up or make smoke; you want to put them all in. Then add a splash of light olive oil and a pinch of sea salt; this will bring out the character in the onions. Sautee for a couple minutes and add the garlic (in my case the onion and garlic were together in a blend; I would recommend doing them separately if possible). This is a good time to add a splash of cooking wine if you want. Sautee for a couple more minutes, and stir in garlic powder to taste - I recommend about half a teaspoon. Then add the broccoli to the sautee along with two teaspoons red pepper flakes. http://s5.postimg.or...1_44_43_Pro.jpg Once the broccoli and red pepper flakes are in you'll want to sautee it for about eight minutes. You can use that time to get the carrots ready, and to prepare a tamari sauce. In a small bowl combine 2/3 cups tamari, 1/2 cup water, and 2 tbsp arrowroot flour and mix it well, and then keep it ready. You can also use this time to pull apart the clumps of chicken - they'll be cool enough to handle now. After the broccoli's eight minutes of fame are up, add the carrots. It might look like a crazy amount of carrots as you're adding it, but don't fear - it will all blend in well in the end. After the carrots are added sautee for five more minutes, and then add the sauce to the sautee; stir in the sauce and then finally add the chicken and one more splash of those drippings. Blend well and increase the heat to medium or medium-high to bring it all together and make sure the chicken's nice and hot. My wok wasn't quite big enough for the job. You'll need a big wok. Or to maybe not be a crazy person cooking 3 lbs of chicken. Pick out your side dishes and serve in your finest plastic dish. http://s5.postimg.org/qney3z5s7/WP_20150704_01_54_52_Pro.jpg
  14. Games to scratch the itch?

    Thanks - added Darkest Dungeon to the ol' wishlist! Too bad it hasn't a demo version but it's sure to get my money sooner or later.
  15. Games to scratch the itch?

    Yes, I did those in the 90s. Exile 3: Ruined World is what hooked me into Spiderweb all those years ago - I might even like the Avernum series better than the Geneforge series.