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Magister Lajciak

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Everything posted by Magister Lajciak

  1. A definite yes from me - I have wanted a Pathfinder CRPG almost from its inception as a PnP game.
  2. Will it be possible to have pets or mules or mounts or similar types of companions in Dungeon Siege III? I like using these types.
  3. I don't know if the information is yet available, but I have several questions about Dungeon Siege III: 1) How long/large is the game expected to be? A comparison to Dungeon Siege II would be appreciated rather than the more abstract 'hours' figure. 2) What are the level/skill limits for characters? 3) Can I play my own character - i.e. a character I create/customize (class, name, appearance, etcetera.) at the beginning like in Dungeon Siege II? (I caught some hints that we are going to be playing with pre-created, pre-named characters - hopefully I am just misinterpreting it.) 4) Can I choose my own race? 5) Presumably, there are classes. If so, how many are there and what are they? 6) Does multiclassing exist in the game and if so, how does it work? 7) Are we going to be able to play on LAN in the same way as in Dungeon Siege II? (I heard some negative rumors that it may be impossible to 'own' one's own multiplayer character and one would be forced to use existing companions - again, hopefully, this is just a vicious rumor that has now been disproven.) Thanks!
  4. No problem about thread necromancy. Is a downloadable version available yet by any chance?
  5. That would be truly epic. Really enjoyed the first two Although I did like the Icewind Dale series, if the new game were to use 4E rules that would go a long way towards killing my interest in it and since 4E is currently the officially supported version of D&D, it will probably have to be just that.
  6. This. It leaves your access to the software at the mercy of a company even after you have already purchased the software. The company can go bankrupt or simply change its business policy or cease to maintain its activation servers or do a whole host of other things. This can leave you without access to the software you had purchased - especially if one looks many years down the road. Of course, the pirates will be pretty much unaffected by this, as they will simply play a cracked version of the game. Anyway, as has been pointed out, there are many types of DRM. As far as I am personally concerned, I don't buy games with online DRM for reasons stated above (no exceptions - I even didn't buy games I had highly anticipated because of it, such as Starcraft 2 or Civilization V) and try to avoid buying such software altogether when I can do so (and with games I can always do so, as they are merely entertainment and thus far from essential). I have no problem with some other forms of DRM, such as disc checks. There are people, however, who prefer online DRM, since they don't care much about the above-mentioned issues and enjoy not having to have a disc in the drive to play the game. I am happy for them, but I still wish non-online DRM were still available for me.
  7. That's too bad. I suspect you are right, but I will continue following the game until the DRM system is announced just in case they do release it without online-based DRM.
  8. Oh well, in that case the waiting game will continue for now.
  9. Since online-based DRM systems became common, asking about DRM of each new release I am interested in buying has become a necessity for me. So here comes the obligatory question: What type of DRM will be used with Dungeon Siege III? I am particularly interested in whether it will be a disc check or if it will require some sort of online activity (activation, installation, phoning in, whatever else). I suspect it will be the latter, which will inevitably cause me to pass on the game, but I am hoping for the former, as the game looks like great fun.
  10. Can't answer the first question, but as for the second one... developers have no say in DRM, that's purely a publisher's decision. So you'd have to go ask Square (or look at Square's other titles to get an idea of their stance on DRM.) Well, thanks for trying anyway. I am sure the information will be made available as the release date comes closer.
  11. The initial information looks good! Two questions: 1) What is the expected size/length of the game? (Say in comparison to Diablo II) 2) Will this game use an online DRM system?
  12. But as you can clearly see (since the UK is FPTP, and so is Canada), this issue has nothing to do with prop rep in particular. Proportional representation does not make decisive victories impossible, but it definitely makes them much less likely than the FPTP system. Yes, this time no party gained enough seats to govern alone, but if you look at states with PR, that kind of situation is more often the rule than the exception there. From your statements on this issue it is clear that you hate FPTP with a passion and many of the criticisms are legitimate, but apart from its disadvantages, it also does have advantages over PR and this is one of them. Don't pretend that these advantages do not exist.
  13. Me too, I think it's a brilliant scheme, which I heartily approve of. I also approve of the current BioWare way. The DLC does require online authentication, but it does no break my no-online DRM rule, as I simply don't purchase/download the DLC. Dragon Age is a good enough game on its own - the DLC might enhance it further, but I can do without. Now if the DLC were something essential to the game or deliberately taken out of the game to turn it into DLC that would be a different matter, but BioWare games are high quality even on their own, so that concern doesn't apply there at the moment.
  14. People dislike DRM for different reasons and they are willing to put up with different forms of DRM depending on what's important to them. I dislike all internet-based DRM, because it transitions games from being a product to being a service that can be taken away by the company shutting down its servers. As a result, any game that requires the internet for play/installation/activation/... is automatically placed on my no-buy list. By contrast, DRM based on disc-checks, serial keys, words from the manual, degradation of gameplay for pirated copies and so on is fine by me and I may even tolerate if it blacklists some potentially pirate-used software and installs itself into ring 0, though here I am more ambivalent. Once it needs the internet and thus creates artificial ongoing dependency on the company's servers, however, that is where I draw the line.
  15. Well we do accept that it is a consequence of peace and prosperity, but it is leading to major public health issues, so attempting to change the trend might be a good idea. I don't know, I mean they are kids and not yet fully developed, so it is difficult to judge whether it should be tough for them or not based on our adult experience. For an adult, it should not be hard to do a mile in 10 minutes. On the other hand, they have also had less time to grow as lazy and fat as the rest of us, so maybe they should be even better at it on average. It is really difficult to tell. You probably could do it and are just underestimating yourself. Although if you haven't been doing any running at all, you might underpreform by failing to pace yourself properly and starting out too fast and becoming too tired before finishing thus having to slow down disproportionately, or starting too slow and realizing it too late and not having enough time to catch up. Still, running a 10 minute mile should probably not be a major problem for somebody who is not overweight (let's say by the BMI definition at the 25 cut-off point). Indeed, I speak from experience on this one. I decided to test myself in terms of how fast I can run certain distances after many years of not doing any sports (and even many years before I wasn't into sports - I tended to be pretty sedentary). For 1 mile, I got about 6 minutes 40 seconds during my first attempt and I did have the pacing problem I described above. Anyway, I am not really fat, but I am not exactly lean either. I have a beer belly (though I don't drink beer) and am at approximately BMI 24, which is not that far from the 25-limit after which one is considered overweight. Given that, I can see how people who are actually obese might have problems with the 10-minute mile, but I think people who are not even overweight would be able to run it without major problems even if they were pretty much completely inactive for an extensive period of time (years) beforehand and were never really active to begin with. That is pitiful. I can run 5K(3.1 miles) in 19:33. He, he, but they are kids! Maybe they have not yet fully developed... Your time for a 5K is nice, but I assume you either run regularly or at least do other sports on a regular basis that keep up your cardio-vascular fitness. Most people are sedentary these days. On the other hand, I suppose that's the point - people are unfit because they are sedentary, so this is what we ought to be trying to change... I mostly agree that modern armies do not require large amounts of personnel with much physical fitness. After all, the majority of troops these days do things like supply, logistics, planning, operating remotely-operated machines (e.g. UAVs), cyber-warfare, electronic warfare, analysis of intelligence and so on and so on - all crucially important functions to modern warfare, but not really dependent on physical fitness. That said, light infantry forces, special forces and other a bunch of other military outfits still need physically fit individuals with an emphasis on endurance and there fatness does not help at all. However, it really should not be a problem for the military to find sufficient numbers of fit people for those positions. Yes, they probably will, but they do not do so now (well, they are used, but cannot fully replace live soldiers yet) and we cannot be sure when or if they will. It is also possible that PDAs will (fully effectively) translate languages, does that mean we should stop all linguistic instruction? Maybe we will even have superbly intelligent machines that will displace scientists - should we stop all science education? I think you see where I am taking this - there is some (different) likelihood that these things will come to pass, but they are not fully here yet and the technology is not at the stage where we can say with a sufficient degree of certitude that they will actually come. Let's not exaggerate with the "olympic level physical condition". There are Marines who will reach that, but those that join in relatively poor physical condition will not even remotely approach it. Plenty of Marines will greatly exceed the standards, but the actual requirements are not that demanding: http://usmilitary.about.com/od/marines/l/blfitmale.htm This is a good thing - there is little point in excluding people who are sufficiently fit just because they are not Olympians - the Marines would needlessly deprive themselves of a large pool of otherwise talented people.
  16. Sorry but I disagree with these numbers: - The best salary you could hope for, after 20 years of work, was 1500 euros (not including taxes). At best, if you were a judge or a director, you could have hoped for 2000 euros. The average salary (whether you start working or are in the middle of your career) is between 900 and 1200 euros (not including taxes again). I made some research and the minimum wage was 750 euros just before the austerity measures. Now, reduce this by 20-50 % and you can see how low the wages are. Considering that the cost of life in Greece is similar (if not more expensive, because we import many of the goods we are consuming) to that of western European countries, it is irrelevant if the wages still remain higher than in Slovakia or any other central or eastern European country. I don't think anyone can live decently with 400 euros per month in Paris, London or Amsterdam... Eurostat does not reflect the real situation with its numbers. Why doesn't Eurostat reflect the real situation? The minimum wage was directly from Eurostat statistics for the first half of 2010 (that is now, of course) and the (average) mean wage I had to calculate using some older Eurostat numbers (using Eurostat figures for the proportion of minimum to mean wage), as Eurostat did not have the latest figures, but figures from the Greek statistical office supposedly (as reported) show it to be even slightly higher at the moment: 2040 euros, which meshes pretty well with my calculation, considering I was using older figures. I think it is just a misperception of what mean wage is that is causing this doubt. It also happens in Slovakia - people would swear the mean wage is much lower than 745 euros that the statistics show it to be, because they rely on their subjective experiences and have a generally pessimistic view of their standard of living. What's more, many people assume that the mean wage is the 'typical' wage, which is not the case - a mean wage can be higher than the typical wage, because the mean wage can be skewed upwards by a few high earners. Thanks for the kind words but this is unfortunately not the case. No matter if you are educated or not, you get the same salary. Employers tend to exploit the fact that there is a high unemployment rate amongst young adults and give them the lowest salary they can. For example, even with 2 LLMs, all I can hope for is 1000 euros (not including taxes) at best. One of my friends for example, who studied at the same university as me, had more work experience than me and even has 3 LLMs, is currently paid 900 euros in a law firm. The problem with my country is that nothing is done to encourage people to study, like giving them some incentives such as a better salary. It is a proven fact that most people that study abroad never come back as there is simply no recognition for the know-how you have learned. As soon as I am done with my current project, I am seriously considering getting the hell out of here. I think you are being too pessimistic about your earnigs potential. It is understandable considering the economic situation at the moment, but you shouldn't fall into despair. Even in a crisis specialists in your field will still be needed. The thing is that the austerity measures would have been more easily accepted if everyone accepted to make some sacrifices. Yet, it's always the same people who pay for the politician's mistakes. I can tell you everyone is really pissed off at the moment and politicians don't dare go out in public anymore as they get insulted or get thrown things at them. Yes, I agree that in spite of the small contribution it would make to public finances, it would have been moral of the politicians to cut their own wages too, so as to make the cuts more palatable and create a feeling that everybody is sharing in the sacrifices. That said, the current wave of strikes has the potential to hurt Greece further if they are repeated regularly. The Greek economy derives substantial revenues from tourism and although Greece with its ancient civilization surely has a lot to offer in this regard, many tourists may decide not to risk coming if they feel that they might be left stranded by non-working transportation, etc. If this happens, Greek GDP will decline further and may well result in even deeper cuts. A lot is being said but nothing is being done. They only catch the small tax evaders while the really big ones still wander free. The small ones may have hidden a couple thousand euros while the big ones hide millions of euros. The worst thing is that everyone knows who they are as they have expensive cars, private jets, private boats, chalets in Switzerland, apartments in Paris and New York, luxurious villas here and there. One of my friends worked for a lawyer who earned 800 million euros per year and only declared 80 000 euros of income. The lawyer paid my friend only 600 euros per month and at some point even asked her to write in her tax declaration that her income was 3000 euros so that the guy could get a tax reduction, and she refused of course. He kept pressuring her so much that she had to resign in the end. I have heard similar stories about other famous lawyers and doctors. That's not very encouraging news. It really is necessary to step up tax collection if Greece is to have a chance of extricating itself from its current problems. An alternative for Greece might be declaring bankrupcy, though that scenario has its own set of problems and in the current climate, may spread the crisis to other countries in the Eurozone (and perhaps beyond) to the extent that it might kill the Euro and lead to a return of the national currencies.
  17. Agreed in detail. DRM is getting worse and worse very fast and nefarious practices like online activation are now becoming standard. Ubisoft's DDRM is only the worst of the worst, as it requires a permanent internet connection, but I draw the DRM line at any external DRM rather than internal DRM. By external DRM, I mean DRM that relies on some sort of external connection/action to permit the playing/installation/activation/... of the game and creates a dependence of the product on the continued existence of the activation/validation/whatever service. As such, Civilization V will now have to mvoe off my radar. In fact, as things stand at the moment, the only games on my radar will probably be games from Blizzard (DRM not yet announced for Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3), games from BioWare and games from Obsidian and I strongly suspect that some of those will also drop off my radar as they move to server-based DRM systems. I am still interested in other games too, so this list may expand if some companies back off from these sorts of DDRM shenanigans - Ubisoft, for example, own the excellent Heroes of Might & Magic franchise that I would be interested in if they get rid of their DDRM before the next installment is released, but I am not holding my breath.
  18. Don't despair ramza! Greek people are still better off than in many of the new EU members. The average (mean) salary in Greece is approximately 1900 euros (~$2500) per month, which is not bad compared to Slovakia's approximately 750 euros (~$1000) (and yes, the costs of living in Slovakia are comparable these days). The minimum wage (which is probably what you meant by the basic wage) is 862.82 euros (~$1120) in Greece and 307.70 euros (~$400) in Slovakia. All of these figures (both for Greece and for Slovakia) are before the inclusion of taxes, social security contributions, health insurance contributions and so on, so net minimum wage in Greece might indeed be the 600 euros you mentioned and might decline to 380 euros as you describe. As I said, however, do not despair - there are other countries in the Eurozone that are much worse in terms of living standards even without a debt crisis (though we are heading there too unless we start cutting the deficit relatively soon) [i think Slovakia has the lowest wages in the Eurozone, but there are much poorer ones still in the EU as a whole]. Furthermore, the minimum wage, although its decline will impact the country socially, is irrelevant for you personally. As a smart, university-educated individual, you will surely get a much better wage than that - I would expect your starting wage to be similar to the mean wage (1900 euros per month), which is respectable. Of course, the current crisis might suppress that somewhat, the government cannot simply decrease it, as unlike the minimum wage it is not statutary. (Note: All figures in this post are from Eurostat, though sometimes some calculation was involved rendering them approximate.) I can sympathize with your frustration that the politicians are getting off scott-free and are not cutting their own wages. That is a moral issue, but it has no chance of solving Greece's problems, as their salaries as MPs/ministers make up such a tiny fraction of the overall spending. That said, of course, it would be moral to cut back on those too if the whole country has to cut back. From what I have read, the Greek government is attempting to fight tax evasion. Here is an interesting article on the matter: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/02/world/eu.../02evasion.html It is difficult to say how successful the tax collection efforts will be, as past attempts have not yielded much success, but this time the attempt seems to be more earnest and the crisis may also change things and focus attention on the problem. I guess we will see.
  19. This is incorrect. States can and do create money through their central banks (& mints for the physical representation of money). Central banks are parts of the state and aren't private (the U.S. is a bit of an exception in this regard, where the Federal Reserve is semi-private). Greek case is different, though, see below. Well, the issue here is that Greece is part of the Eurozone. By joining the Euro, states agree to give up control over their monetary policy, including their right to create money and transfer this part of their sovereignty to the European Central Bank. As a result, individual states can no longer rely on creating money to finance their deficits/debts. If Greece had its own currency its debt problems would not be so severe, as it could create money to finance them and to inflate them away. As it stands, however, Greek membership in the Eurozone means that Greece does not have that option and has to borrow and cut spending instead. Thanks for clarifying some of my statements. I have no in-depth knowledge about economics so I had a hard time explaining these things. The main thing is that euro-zone countries have no control on the currency and cannot make any devaluation in order to get rid of excessive debts. No problem - glad to help. Yes, euro-zone countries indeed do not have options to devalue or create money. This may pose huge problems to countries that are deeply indebted. The debt crisis has hit Greece first, but other countries may suffer from this too - debt levels are high and rising throughout Europe. Cool! Which part of the European Commission did you work for? Note: Despite my avatar, I am actually supportive of the EU - the avatar merely depicts my dislike at the way the Lisbon Treaty was passed (vote and vote again until you get the 'right answer'). I like to be objective and can 'criticize my own' so to speak - just like I criticize the Slovak political parties I support if they use dubious processes to achieve their aims (e.g. shortened legislative hearings to pass laws, even if they are good laws).
  20. This is incorrect. States can and do create money through their central banks (& mints for the physical representation of money). Central banks are parts of the state and aren't private (the U.S. is a bit of an exception in this regard, where the Federal Reserve is semi-private). Greek case is different, though, see below. Well, the issue here is that Greece is part of the Eurozone. By joining the Euro, states agree to give up control over their monetary policy, including their right to create money and transfer this part of their sovereignty to the European Central Bank. As a result, individual states can no longer rely on creating money to finance their deficits/debts. If Greece had its own currency its debt problems would not be so severe, as it could create money to finance them and to inflate them away. As it stands, however, Greek membership in the Eurozone means that Greece does not have that option and has to borrow and cut spending instead.
  21. Stop making stuff up. I am specialized in EU matters and never heard or read anything of the sort. Why would Greece even do that in the first place? Those two countries do not even have any litigation between them... Yeah, I haven't heard of any Greek objections to Finland's membership (or Slovakia's membership for that matter) of the EU either. In any case, what is it that you do regarding your EU specialization?
  22. Well, yes, those responsibilities (tracking their own numbers) are generally delegated to the players, so if you are doing it for them I can see how it could be rather annoying. Since you don't have players you can trust with the numbers and you already have the books and PnP would likely be something you would enjoy were it not for the above, perhaps instead of being the DM, you ought to try being a player in a game. Don't get me wrong, I think DMing is awesome and I love being the DM, but many people prefer being players and there is nothing wrong with that, so it is an option you might want to consider.
  23. Hey guys, I don't believe 2E is legally available online, so you will probably have to resort to e-bay to get the books. For those who don't know, 2.5E was a colloquial reference to 2E with the Player's Option books. It wasn't an actual title of an edition or a revision. 2E was a fun system and served as the basis for the various games made with the Infinity Engine: BG series, IW series and Torment, as well as some older great D&D CRPGs, such Dark Sun: Shattered Lands (ah, the memories!). 3.5E D&D might be more accessible in terms of rules access, due to them being available online for free in the form of the SRD. Alternatively, the Pathfinder RPG (a development of 3.5E) also has rules available for free online (they are even hypertexted!) as PRD. Good luck and have fun!
  24. Syndicate was awesome! It is definitely one of the classics. I am somewhat sceptical that they will keep the style of gameplay in any revival, but on the other hand it is not completely implausible given that the gameplay was action-oriented anyway (and that seems to be most popular these days) and would carry over well to a 3-D environment.
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