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TM Paladin

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About TM Paladin

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    The Demon of Good Taste
  • Birthday December 25

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  1. "'I don't invent,' Sherry reminded him. Her voice was no less steady than his, but her expression--when I got hold of my senses enough to see it--was grave. 'I only recount.' -- John Barth, Chimera Or perhaps I ought to quote Hume here. I'm not offering an interpretation, I'm challenging yours. I don't think there's any dispute about what does and doesn't happen in the games. I'm not suggesting it means something, I'm suggesting that there are more than a few leaps and bounds between what's in the games and what you are arguing. Did you mean to say "absorbed" above? The discussion was about recreating an existing mind, complete with all the cognitive pathways and memories and so on that it gained through experience and which were not shaped into being. I don't know how in the world you think I was arguing this. This is a ridiculous statement. Of course you can compare mechanisms that are different! What I argued was that you cannot declare two different processes indistinguishable simply because the outputs are indistinguishable. In this case you're arguing about something nobody else is. The entire disagreement is exactly as alhoon put it: do we think a shaper can create an identical copy of an existing brain? Nobody has argued "it's physically impossible to clone an individual brain" (as opposed to producing a new brain according to the same species blueprint) -- a brain is a physical object, that would be ridiculous, and you won't find that argument here. We've argued that there is nothing in Geneforge to suggest that shapers can even come close to doing that. As I wrote originally: "Maybe it's plausible that it could be done, and I certainly have no problem imagining that happening with a sequence of player creations for RP purposes... but that's very different from suggesting it is regularly possible in the game world itself." This is a comment on plausibility within the established Geneforge lore about shaping, not anything about the laws of nature. But is that what you've been arguing? You wrote a few posts back: "The aim of my argument is simply to try and demonstrate that a Vinlie-style approach to the game – thinking of creations as evolving when they are absorbed and recreated as a new creature type – is possible within the confines of the game lore." Where is the part about physical laws of the universe? There is no real game lore about those, but there's plenty of game lore about what shaping can and can't do... Yes, and I can propose a new function B that isn't linear but maintains the same single IO pairing. Anything you decide is a "fundamental similarity", I can propose a new function B that maintains the single IO pairing and lacks that "similarity." Because there is in fact no requirement for two functions to share one IO pairing beyond the fact that they are both functions (b/c defined in the proposition) and both have that IO pairing. Your argument here reduces to "Functions can have things in common." That is not meaningful. Ess, you're a very attractive Slith, and if I were single and you were less infuriating, I'd be happy to fork with our spears.
  2. That is unfortunately unclear, as those hit formulas are hard to look into. But based on the way damage works, it probably doesn't -- most likely, it can affect duration (as with "blessings"), but not the chance of success. IIRC, this was a change made between the G/A4-6 engine and the Ava/AR engine.
  3. The penalty for Dual Wielding is never -40%. In A:EFTP, it's -20%. The -20% to-hit is really only meaningful at very low levels, after that you'll cap to-hit with a good build anyway. The -20% to damage sounds bad, but it's really -0.2 to the damage multiplier, and there are eventually a lot of things that add to that -- various skills, traits, spell effects, and item attributes. Even ignoring those, you're getting two 80% hits instead of one 100% hit. In A2:CS and A3:RW, it goes up to -35%. This sounds like a lot, but dual wielding still outclasses single wielding more than handily. This is, however, one more thing that adds to the dominance of spell damage in A2:CS. Spellcraft does not act like an extra level of mage or priest spells. It adds to the spellcasting damage/healing/duration multiplier, just like Blademaster does for melee attacks.
  4. And this, Ess, I love you, and if I didn't know you better I'd seriously think you were trolling. "mathematically equivalent" basically just means "have equal numerical value", right? What makes them "mathetically equivalent" is the output of the function -- the function itself is irrelevant to that statement. So again, when you use this as a metaphor for a process in the round, this is where you say two things are "indistinguishable" and again it's the output that is indistinguishable. But you're jumping to your own conclusion here by using 4 and 4 in this metaphor. 4 and 4 are quite obviously not just similar or equivalent but in fact identical. The very thing we're debating is whether the outputs of these imaginary shaping processes would be identical. You've posited a scenario where they are visibly identical. (That's explicitly your assertion, that if the results are indistinguishable the same things are happening.) 4 and 4 are more strictly identical than that. This is subtle but misleading. And "Moreover, this indicates a more general level of similarity." You're saying here that if two processes have the same input and output, it "indicates" that they are similar. That is total baloney. You know very well that two entirely and completely different processes can overlap on one or more sets of IO pairs without that saying anything about generally applicable similarity. If function B were instead (6-x)+(y*0) you'd get the same result -- the suggestion that there is an "indication" here is nonsense.
  5. No. For that specific case, the result of A and the result of B are indistinguishable. This is not semantics. This makes a big difference, because process A and process B may well either (1) entail other differences during the process that matter then if they aren't distinguishable later; and/or (2) produce other results which are meaningfully different, but which we aren't able to distinguish, because we can't see or aren't looking at those differences. No. You have not demonstrated that this situation exists, you have asserted without evidence that it exists. Or if you prefer, you have spun speculative evidence out of thin air and are using it as proof. Creating a clone of a creature -- not just its "tiny scrolls" but its actual brain, cognitive patterns developed through living and all -- is not something that was ever done or discussed nor was anything even remotely similar to that technologically/magically ever discussed. So regardless of whether or not it's possible, we don't know that the results would be "indistinguishable."
  6. What. Ess, this makes no sense. Process A produces result X. Process B also produces result X. Therefore, according to you, we can't distinguish between process A and process B? Never mind that the results at issue here are extremely distinguishable -- even if they weren't, the processes remain 100% distinguishable.
  7. Directly shaping an existing creature, and moving a brain from one body to another, are two completely different things. It doesn't matter what species labels you want to give either case before or after the change -- the changes themselves are completely different in character.
  8. An all spellcasting party definitely isn't necessary, even on Torment. On Normal any sensible party will work fine. The Garzahd fight goes fine with an all-spellcaster party. Adrenaline Rush remains OP in A2:CS. Dual wielding, not so much -- it's OK, but it's truly outclassed by spellcasting.
  9. I think I agree with alhoon. It's not hard to imagine what Ess is describing. It's also technically not what the game mechanics or in-game descriptions say. Maybe it's plausible that it could be done, and I certainly have no problem imagining that happening with a sequence of player creations for RP purposes... but that's very different from suggesting it is regularly possible in the game world itself. There's nothing to indicate that.
  10. I just want to congratulate Ess on finding a way to bring up Thomas Riker in a thread about creation names. Impressed.
  11. If I were gonna rank all the games in this regard -- how much strategic choices end up gravitating towards a single party+PC setup as opposed to diverging into a variety of interesting choices -- I think it would look something like this: Nethergate: Resurrection G4 G5 A3: RW Ava1 QW Nethergate Avernum 1-3 Exile 1-3 A6 G1 (shaping) G2 (parry, tho also introduced daze and creation creep began) A:EFTP (rush to adrenaline-filled spellcasters, dual-wielders with two specific weapons) Ava2 (sarcastic tinkermages + megahaster) A5 (adrenaline-filled everything) Ava3 (double damage tinkermages + megahaster) G3 (vlish) A2:CS (adrenaline-filled direct damage spellcasters) A4 (divinely touched nephils that shoot bows for kicks) Not 100% set on this but after giving it a few quick thoughts, yeah.
  12. The Wikipedia entry oversimplifies. A4-6 use basically the same engine as Geneforge in terms of character stats and combat mechanics. The map is completely different -- Geneforge isn't visibly grid-based -- and A4-6 were larger on average than the Geneforges, certainly not small enough to fit in a single zone. Avadon and Geneforge don't use encounter maps, but they don't have world maps either -- or rather, there is no walkabout mode on the world map, just zones that you click on and immediately go to. I suggest you give the games a chance. Also, FWIW, if you buy directly from Spiderweb, they have a no-questions-asked refund policy that they are pretty generous about -- no specified time limit, just trust that people will use it in good faith. (This is, of course, in addition to giving money directly to an indie dev rather than to steam/gog/other middlemen.)
  13. Avadon doesn't use a unified map like A4-6. It has separate zones, like Geneforge. I definitely agree with your gripe about the lack of range indications.
  14. The answer differs for each game in the trilogy, but Adrenaline Rush is definitely one of the most impactful abilities. Hardiness especially is an incredibly strong skill for everyone, so there's no reason not to have mages and priests get Adrenaline Rush. How soon it's worth doing this depends on part on how easily available +weapon skill items and trainers are. In A:EFTP, there are several available very early, so you can easily dash to AR. In the others it's more of an investment. That said, the difference between AR and no AR is far more significant than the difference between early/mid AoE spells and mid/late AoE spells.
  15. Unfortunately this isn't always the ultimate outcome of even Jeff's games 😅 but on the level of individual weapons, definitely. There is a positive trend over time here, at least. A3:RW and Queen's Wish are both a lot more like this ("no one best answer") than A:EFTP and A2:CS were.
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