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KoboldCoterie

@KoboldCoterie@pawb.social

Kobolds with a keyboard.

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KoboldCoterie ,
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I'd take that 100% of the time over many of the other things our tax dollars pay for. Plus, it's just a website with resources for fathers in general, not a whole site dedicated to dad jokes.

KoboldCoterie ,
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Wouldn't things like torrenting records and "movie piracy websites" used fall under fifth amendment protections? They're being asked to provide a record of the piracy they've committed.

I'm a US citizen, people in other countries, what do you think when you read stories like these about the US health care system? (www.vox.com)

I'd like to know other non-US citizen's opinions on your health care system are when you read a story like this. I know there are worse places in the world to receive health care, and better. What runs through your heads when you have a medical emergency?...

KoboldCoterie ,
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How can an US doctor charge like 10 times the prices on our side of the pond ?

There's an unspoken assumption that when doctors quote a price, the insurance companies will widdle that down to a fraction of that amount when they pay out, so if a procedure actually costs $X.00, doctors will bill the insurance for $X * Y, so insurance actually ends up paying what it actually costs.

The side effect is that we pay co-pays or deductibles or non-100% coverage amounts based on what insurance was billed, not what the procedure actually cost. It's actually cheaper in some cases (especially with regards to medications) to not use insurance because then, we'll get billed what it actually cost, not the grossly inflated amount, and if our coverage is only, say, 50% for a given procedure, or if we have a co-pay on medication, we end up paying less. Meanwhile we're still paying the insurance companies for the coverage we're not taking advantage of. The whole system is fucked beyond belief. We know it, we just can't do anything about it.

"Vote for the politicians who want to fix it!" only works if they actually do want to fix it, and will follow through if elected.

KoboldCoterie ,
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The power is in the hands of the voters.

That's a really hot take. Tell me, who should I vote for to bring about these magical changes I have the power to effect?

KoboldCoterie ,
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Incidentally, ranked choice voting was on the ballot where I live in 2020. I actually did spend some time trying to spread the word and drum up support. It didn't pass, so we're right back where we started, and I live in one of the most liberal states in the country.

Our state senators, representatives and local government are actually pretty alright, as American government goes, but the fact of the matter is that the country is being held back by a tyranny of the minority and those of us who don't live in the handful of battleground states that define elections don't really have much power to influence that.

Getting any sort of federal-level change into effect is basically an impossibility, because (it is my view that) corruption is so rampant. We'd have to oust the majority of the House and Senate and replace them with reasonable people to have any chance of getting the votes for something like that. At this point all we can really do is hope to hold off the fascist wave that's building.

KoboldCoterie ,
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The amount of propaganda we're subject to here is just astounding. News programs, print media, billboards, web articles, everywhere. Just looking at the way a given issue is framed completely differently in different states or cities or from different news sources is pretty eye opening. That, combined with rampant gerrymandering, makes it really hard to blame voters for voting against their self-interest; we're just being bombarded with media designed to make us think, act and vote a certain way. I'm completely sure my own views are influenced by it, too, to be clear - I'm not claiming to be some pillar of purity.

It's not that Americans are 'bad people' any more than the people in any other country are. It's just that a relatively few voices are given very large platforms and basically dictate the discourse.

KoboldCoterie ,
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you’ve gotta go left so hard that the current dems would split into right and left.

That's great in theory, but if we do that, we're giving the government to the GOP in the interim, and they've made it quite clear that if they get power, they don't intend to give it up again. Not to mention, the effects of this would extend well beyond our borders. I've advocated very strongly for exactly this sort of action in the past, but now is simply not the time.

KoboldCoterie ,
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You certainly broke through the propaganda.

But I also constantly hear from Americans that it’s impossible to turn it around, that candidates who support these common sense moves are unelectable and that there is nothing they could ever do about it.

Have we broken through the propaganda, though? Shit, just look at the pushback around Obamacare (which while certainly not ideal was the best public option health care we've had available in my lifetime) - there was so much negative press that people just didn't have any idea how it was actually benefitting them. There's an old Facebook thread that gets posted from time to time with someone railing against Obamacare while not even realizing they were using it to get coverage.

Even in countries with the bare minimum of democratic guarantees and no money you would have the mother of all endless riots under these circumstances.

I think the biggest thing that a lot of folks from outside the US - especially those in Europe - don't understand is just how big this country is. We are around 96% as large as the whole of Europe, with about half the population. The BLM protests was the most widespread activism we've managed that I can remember, and that was squashed pretty easily. It's incredibly difficult to get a significant part of the US to coordinate on anything activism-related, and that's really what it would take to make a difference, I think.

KoboldCoterie ,
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I consistently get far more hours of playtime per dollar spent with indie games I buy for $5-$15 than $60 AAA games. (I say $60, not $70, because I haven't bought anything at $70, and don't intend to start.)

If they want to charge $70 for games, maybe release them in a complete state and don't include microtransactions and offer post-launch support for a decent period of time. Their 'Video games haven't changed price since the 90s! The price isn't keeping up with inflation!' argument is a crock of shit because in the 90s, you bought a game and that was that. There'd maybe be a $40 expansion a year later that roughly doubled the content in the game. There were no $60 games with $150+ of day 1 DLC.

KoboldCoterie ,
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I have a difficult time with this announcement from Capcom specifically, because the only AAA games I've consistently gotten 300-1000+ hours from have been Monster Hunter games, and I really don't want the enshitification to claim MHWilds. If it releases at $70 and without excessive microtransactions, I'll have a really hard time not buying it at that price. On the other hand, if they do have those microtransactions and a $70 price tag, I'll probably just ignore it, as much as I'll hate doing so.

KoboldCoterie ,
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Hours per dollar isn’t a great metric for all sorts of reasons

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, because I've been using that metric for many years to gauge how much I'll spend on a game. If I'm only going to spend 20 hours on it, I'll spend $20 or less. Part of that comes from the sort of games I play, but if I spent $60 on a game and finished it in 20 hours ('Finished' as in done playing the game, including whatever post-story content or multiplayer is engaging), I'd feel pretty bad about that purchase.

KoboldCoterie ,
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Part of it, I think, comes down to the sort of games I typically play... if I'm buying a AAA action game, it's something something like Sekiro, and I'll absolutely expect to get my hours : dollars value out of it. (Incidentally, I played Sekiro for 62 hours after buying it for ~$48, so that one worked out fine.)

And to be clear, I'm not here for useless padding, either. If I lose interest before reaching the end of a game, it doesn't matter if there was 60 hours of content there - I'll judge it against however much time I spent before getting bored and uninstalling it. I'm also not against short games... I often prefer short games, but I also won't pay $60 for them; I'll check the estimated playtime and wait for an appropriate sale. I'm absolutely not advocating for every game to be 60 hours long.

There've definitely been games that I didn't get my 1 hour / $1 from, and were still happy to have played... Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons comes to mind. I paid $15 IIRC and it's over in 3 hours, but that stuck with me for a really long time. That's my equivalent to going to see a movie (which I also do incredibly infrequently); it's a "waste" from a purely monetary perspective but sometimes that's okay, and I'm willing to splurge. I've seen 5 movies in a theater in >10 years, for the record. I would not consider it a good use of money, generally speaking.)

KoboldCoterie ,
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Halo is a great example, actually, because even though Halo 1 is a relatively short game (I guess normal by FPS standards but in general it does not take long to beat, even on a first playthrough), I got way more than 60 hours of playtime out of it. Easily hundreds. A game doesn't have to have a long storyline or whatever to offer a lot of play time. Sometimes having replayability, post-game achievements that are fun to work towards, or compelling multiplayer, for example, is all it takes.

KoboldCoterie ,
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I strongly suspect that we just prefer different sorts of games. I wouldn't expect 1 hour per $1 from a modern AAA FPS, but I also wouldn't buy them anyway for the most part, so that doesn't really affect my purchasing habits at all (nor would I factor into their cost analysis as a result). All of the FPS games I've bought lately have been $10-$15 "boomer shooters".

KoboldCoterie ,
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Anything upcoming that you're particularly excited about?

KoboldCoterie ,
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That's great in theory but there's this thing called the collective action problem that pretty much explains why that can't / won't happen.

KoboldCoterie ,
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Jesus, it'd be easier to list the parts you don't have to remove.

KoboldCoterie ,
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This isn't a competitive game, so it's not pay-to-win

Yeah, that's not how that works. If you're paying for an advantage in performance over players who are not paying, it is pay to win. "Winning" is not a term exclusively reserved for PvP.

The article also doesn't address the presence of nProtect, which is still in place, and is one of the most cited reasons for negative reviews on Steam.

KoboldCoterie ,
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Yeah, I was super psyched about Helldivers 2 but those two items combined with the ridiculous number of crashes on release was enough to make it a hard pass.

KoboldCoterie ,
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I'd assume it's because you see yourself whenever you look in a mirror, and that image matches what a picture of you looks like. However when you talk, what you hear doesn't match what other people hear, so hearing a recording of the 'external' sound of your voice sounds more foreign, and that can lead to discomfort.

KoboldCoterie ,
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I had that job in high school. When I first started, someone who'd been doing it for years was showing me the ropes, and he pointed out that sometimes people who live nearby the store would just walk to the store, then walk home with the cart, and leave it at the apartment complex, so he would (and thereby I should) periodically walk down there to collect them.

I initially thought this was complete BS and I hated that I was being asked to do it. After the first week or so, I realized what was actually up: He was inviting me to take paid breaks every hour or two, during which I got to take a leisurely 20 minute walk down the street and back, and not have to deal with customers or managers or anyone else, and he'd managed to sell this to management as a benefit to the company. He was an awesome co worker.

KoboldCoterie ,
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Now I'm imagining UK having a National Acid Association that lobbies the government and promotes acid ownership.

KoboldCoterie ,
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I cancelled Prime late last year, and haven't really missed it, either.

Leaving Prime also meant the end of free Amazon Prime Video (you can still rent or buy many movies without it), but I’ve been able to bear it.

While I had Prime, I think there was 1, maybe 2 instances where I wanted to watch something and it was actually included with Prime. Every other time, Amazon Video had the movie, but they wanted an additional fee to watch it, so this was absolutely no loss.

One thing to note: Every time I check out on Amazon, now, they offer me a reduced price 1-week "trial" of Prime, to get the expedited shipping, for like... $5 or so? If you cancel yours, and also see this offer: You can take the offer, submit your order (and get the free 2 day shipping), then once you get the shipping confirmation, go in and cancel the Prime subscription. Since you've had it for only a few hours, Amazon actually refunds the price you paid. In effect, you get the shipping benefits for free. We'll see if they close this loophole, but for now, it works.

KoboldCoterie ,
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From what I've seen, the difference is that they either ship it same day, or wait a few days to ship it. It still arrives in the same amount of time from when it ships until I receive it, they just take their time (maybe artificially) in getting it out the door.

KoboldCoterie ,
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Palworld even goes a step further by making it pretty undeniably clear that you are in fact mind controlling them, given you can capture humans and make them work for you just like Pals do. They can be violently opposing you one moment, and turning their guns on their friends to defend you the next.

It's not like Pokemon is all perfume and roses, either, though. The game puts a nice veneer on it, and the player operates on the pretense that they're cooperating with pokemon and forming bonds with them (through mechanics like Pokemon Amie and the camp scenes and whatnot), but then you've got things like the historical war where humans used pokemon to fight actual life-and-death battles, and the whole thing with Slowpoke tails being delicacies, and some suspicious foods in a world where all of the animals are pokemon...

Really, I appreciate Palworld's approach a lot. If we're going to be committing acts of animal cruelty and functional slavery, I'd at least rather the whole thing isn't whitewashed, and at least the Pals in Palworld are fighting actual life-and-death fights, not the equivalent of a world-endorsed dog-fighting ring where we're making animals near kill each other on the regular just for entertainment and sport.

KoboldCoterie ,
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Maybe the sweet spot would be somewhere in between. I think Palworld is a step in the direction I'd prefer, at least, but based on some of the internet discourse around this topic it's clear that that doesn't apply to everyone. I think if they actually spent some time giving us a bit more exposition about the whole situation it'd be a little more palatable. If they ever implement PvP (which is on their roadmap), it'd be neat to be able to align with or perhaps join the NPC factions, or apply their ethos to player-made guilds, and be able to play as the equivalent of the Free Pal Alliance or the Syndicate. Or, alternately, some alternative to Pal Spheres... imagine for instance if there was a real alternative to capturing Pals, and if someone wanted to take the moral high ground they could actually avoid the things they find objectionable, while still playing the game.

It'd be the Pokemon equivalent of being able to play a character who was opposed to the Pokemon League as a whole and aimed to dismantle the whole system, rather than participate in it, which I'd find compelling.

KoboldCoterie ,
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You either end up with amorphous meaningless blobs (see Mickey Mouse or Sonic, who have been in so many settings that they are practically meaningless today)

Or Mario, who goes from battling the giant turtle that kidnapped his crush to going go-carting or playing sports and board games with him on a title to title basis.

KoboldCoterie ,
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I loved Sonic SatAM. Totally had a crush on Sally Acorn when I was a kid, and almost nobody even remembers who she was, now. It had some surprisingly heavy themes for a kids' show.

I think the juxtaposition of the kids' show (or game) aesthetic against the more adult themes is fun; I wish more games would do that. Undertale did a great job with it, for example.

KoboldCoterie ,
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That's neat, I'll give it a look! Haven't read any printed Pokemon media.

KoboldCoterie ,
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What made it so neat, though, is that that twist isn't something that's directly shown to you, but rather a dawning realization that you experience at some point during the game, and which every player will have at a different time.

KoboldCoterie ,
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Elon should be first in line to demonstrate how safe and side effect free this technology is!

KoboldCoterie ,
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For what it's worth, if you customize the difficulty of your game (which you can do at any point, including after reaching the 40s), you can change most things, including resource drop rates and how much effort it takes to mine them, xp rates, Pal encounter rates, capture rates, etc.

I had a similar experience as you; by the time I hit 42 or so, I had the capture power maxed out, and most eggs were not giving me anything interesting, and I had the whole map revealed, so exploring had lost its luster and I was not enjoying the thought of grinding out another 6-8 levels to start being able to tackle some of the harder challenges in the game; I set the XP rate to x4, and doubled the resource rates, and it pretty much solved the problem for me.

Obviously if you're playing on a server this isn't an option, but if it's just your own single player game, consider trying it; you might find some settings that smooth it out for you.

KoboldCoterie ,
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There is a fairly nice base location near the center of the map that has ~6 coal and ~6 ore nodes, and is on a plateau making it functionally immune to NPC raids. I found it completely accidentally; there's the 3 wildlife sanctuaries around the outside of the map and they all face inward at different angles, so I was trying to triangulate where they were "pointing" to see if it was leading somewhere. Turns out it was leading to a sweet base location.

This is noteworthy because there's 4 resources (ore, coal, sulfur and quartz), so you need a base with access to 2 of them if you want to have all 4 generating passively.

How to get a private car

Hello internet users. Someone in my family is looking to buy a car and wanted some recommendations for a private one. They are looking to buy new, and need Android Auto and CarPlay. I know all new cars suck for privacy by default, but I was hoping someone here could offer some insight as to which cars can be made better and what...

KoboldCoterie ,
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See, you could have just said "Oh, silly me! Thanks!", and nobody would have thought less of you, but now, everyone thinks you're a prick.

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.

KoboldCoterie ,
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It also has a neat kind of crowd-sourced verification attached to it.

If someone asks a question, and someone else gives an incorrect answer, chances are good that someone will see that and correct them. If, on the other hand, everyone goes and looks up the answer, some people might get an incorrect answer and have no one to correct it, further disseminating false information.

Obviously this isn't perfect, and requires that the information is fact-based in the first place, but it's interesting to think about any time you see someone correct someone else on the internet.

KoboldCoterie ,
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This one feels a lot riskier to me. Palworld works because so many people are fed up with Pokemon games having gotten progressively lazier for years. I don't think anyone's fed up with Hollow Knight, and Silksong is (theoretically) still coming at some point soon. If this doesn't play and feel every bit as good as Hollow Knight, it'll just be a bargain bin knockoff.

KoboldCoterie ,
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Palworld really didn’t do anything revolutionary.

What they did was, whether intentionally or accidentally, capitalize on dissatisfaction with the stagnation of a genre. If Pokemon Legends: Arceus had been the Pokemon + Breath of the Wild game a lot of folks hoped it would be, Game Freak could have capitalized on that instead, but it wasn't, they didn't, and here we are. Palworld also had the force of an internet meme marketing the game for them, which IMO was a huge factor in its success.

KoboldCoterie ,
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There's a lot of monster collecting RPG games out there, and I will say that recently there've been a few more original ideas, but by and large they've mostly just followed the Pokemon formula, because it was "safe".

Just a few that come to mind immediately, but there are lots. Not that they're all Pokemon clones, but go watch a few trailers and you'll see very Pokemon-style battle systems, monster capturing systems, and general presentation present in some degree each of them.

Palworld isn't really part of that genre, but it takes the key parts of it and does something which is original, even if the component parts are not, and that's really what the we've been asking for and not getting for quite some time.

KoboldCoterie ,
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As things stand, the ROG Ally is one of the best handheld gaming PCs, the Steam Deck aside, particularly if you are after a portable powerhouse that is rocking Windows 11

Literally no one is looking for that. Some people might think they are, but they are misinformed.

KoboldCoterie ,
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Yep, the functional sleep is the singular feature that makes the Steam Deck stand out, in my opinion. Not that it isn't a nice piece of hardware otherwise, don't get me wrong, but it's not unique in any other respect. The fact that you can use it like you would a Switch or something is the thing that sets it apart, and none of these upstart competitors seem to understand that.

KoboldCoterie ,
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The (perhaps misleading) headline makes it seem like thousands of Ukrainians are fleeing Ukraine to avoid dying for Ukraine’s sovereignty

That's exactly what it's about.

KoboldCoterie ,
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Palworld is basically what I wanted Pokemon Legends: Arceus to be (minus the guns, obviously). The game has issues, which I mostly chalk up to early access woes, but it's a great case study in how to do an open world creature collector game.

KoboldCoterie ,
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“We were in development hell for over a decade – Chex Quest actually started off as an English port of this little known Japanese Famicom game Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic, but the technology for sentient chex men just wasn’t there at the time so the license ended up going to Nintendo,” commented the developer.

Imagine if Super Mario Bros. 2 in the US had actually been released as a Chex-themed game. How history might have been changed.

KoboldCoterie ,
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I think the majority of Americans don't really see a dilemma there.

KoboldCoterie ,
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If you modify the thought experiment slightly, it becomes an interesting trolley problem.

Let's assume the spell you're using is all or nothing - either it cures everyone, or no one. What if some subset of people explicitly do not consent? How many people would it have to be, or what percentage, before you would consider not doing it? Obviously if only 1 person doesn't want it, who cares, greater good, but what if it was 99% of people? Where's the line?

KoboldCoterie ,
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I definitely never said they shouldn't use it, just that it'll be interesting to see how they address the problems with it. Like it or not, I think we're likely to see AI in a lot of games in the coming years, with some good and some hilariously bad implementations.

More than dialog, I'm interested to see how generative AI could be used in other facets of game design. Think for instance of a horror game that intelligently analyzes your reactions and uses that to zero in on the things that really scare you, then generates more of that.

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