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Everything posted by tajerio

  1. Gonna pick this up given the massive support on the boards here. Word of mouth's still alive and well as a marketing tool.
  2. I'm hoping that they're just waiting for the backer beta to show off CC and gameplay mechanics, so that they can show us the explanation as much as tell us.
  3. It would be incredibly intellectually dishonest to compare the Soviet Union in its supposed "glory days" to your standard modern Western liberal democracy. At its time of greatest successes it was attempting rapid industrialisation, undergoing and recovering from a famine, prepping for a war with a major fascist state, fighting a world war with a fascist state and then recovering and re-industrialising after said war (in which it bore most of the damage). It'd be tough to live through that no matter what the political system. So, er, what then? Do we just give Soviet-style communism a free pass, even though its leaders purposefully and openly invited the comparison you say is intellectually dishonest? Or do we just look at what it actually achieved in a vacuum? Well, in the latter case it still looks terrible--millions of people deliberately killed by the machinations of their leaders, thousands (at any rate) sent to gulags for their views, and meaningful growth in the standard of living drastically hampered at best. There are reasons why the Soviet Union was a terrible state, but one of them is Marxism-Leninism-whatever the hell "ism" it became.
  4. Can we stop pretending that Western liberal democracy isn't objectively superior to the dictatorship of the proletariat or any other political system practiced in the USSR? Not that liberal democracy is by any means perfect, but at least it isn't by its very nature inimical to personal, political, and economic choice. And "early twenties" ain't no excuse. I'm 24 and I know better than this tripe.
  5. The track record for their games where memorable and deep interactions with NPCs were actually a goal of the produxtion is, if I had to guess, the one in question.
  6. To make the Tremendous Troll, mix one part BioWare with two parts romance and one part social justice issues. Add a garnish of racism at your discretion. Serve disgustingly warm and frothy.
  7. Cute but it’s not like you can simply just walk into an academic setting and have them all unanimously agree that feudalism = “socio-political system that grew out of historical contingency” with anything else being discredited pinko lies. What is the more accurate description is that the word feudalism itself is a reductionist label that tries to explain a system that spanned centuries and a continent. Naturally people are going to disagree on the intricacies but this doesn’t detract from its usefulness as a broad label. For what it’s worth I’m far more comfortable in issues of history rather than social-theory. Unfortunately its only in the latter field that you are more likely to investigate the roles and experiences of women in these societies. Nonetheless, your response had some decent content for a rebuttal but was rooted in a flawed reading of my point that seemed to think because I highlighted that women were oppressed and exploited this means they played no active role in the family economy. "Feudalism" is in fact a fairly useless label, because it carries so much baggage, vastly overgeneralizes, and doesn't describe a society as much as a portion of its mechanism for defining authority and obligation. I used the term in that broad sense only because all of your posts in this thread have done so and I didn't want to spend too too long on that particular debate. But if this isn't about the economic power and inclusion of women (and lack thereof), then what IS it about? You said yourself you're making a material leftist critique. But the vast majority of women weren't marginalized in the control of the factors of production any more than were the vast majority of men. And their labor was economically central and recognized as such in medieval European societies. AND women exercised control over the fruits of those labors in equality with the rest of the family, generally speaking, when the family had control of any of them. But we do find in medieval, non-aristocratic Europe that non-noble women were frequently and even systematically the victims of power imbalances in devotion, in cultural expression, and in customary and legal disputes that carried no or little economic association for the participants. So where's the materialist source of oppression? I don't see it, and I don't see it because materialism lets us off easy, by ascribing agency principally to the economic systems that are symptoms of defects in human nature (hoarding the means of production, for example), rather than to the defects themselves (greed, tendency to form narrow in groups based on fear of the unknown,etc.).
  8. I’d have thought that seeing that every single existing feudal society has been deeply misogynist and patriarchal this would indicate that at the very least it is far more likely that there is an underlying structure that maintains and propagates this patriarchy rather then it simply all being one convenient coincidence. Nonetheless, sure, I’ll try and do my best and give a very brief/general explanation. Prior to the establishment of societies rooted in agriculture there’s your standard hunter/gatherer model. Now although there still exists a sexual division of labour these are relatively egalitarian as labour and resources are communally shared. However, although relatively egalitarian there are still the seeds for a hierarchal relationship as the males are the ones who are focused on hunting i.e. controlling the means of subsistence thereby owning the means of production in these affairs. As societies develop and are forced to settle down in the one area to feed a larger population via agriculture these sexual divisions grow (to varying degrees) with men’s prior privileges resulting in a monopoly on power wherein males are typically in possession of surpluses far above what is necessary for them to survive whereas women are forced into secondary positions primarily associated with reproductive labour. As societies develop and grow these unequal relationships will mold themselves to remain sustainable so long such “inequalities” are necessary. I.e. the very modern institutions of “bread-winner” and “nuclear family” wherein the male has a monopoly on paid work and the female is encouraged to work unpaid labour. Ehhh, I probably did a dodgy job there so rather than having my post being the “make or break” for the theory I’d advise actually reading up the various schools of patriarchy theory and family-economics yourself. I’m hardly some governing authority. That summary does indeed fit very well with a particular sort of theory, but not with the historical facts of medieval Europe, which I assume is our common ground when we're talking about feudal societies. First (and prior to medieval Europe) in those hunter gatherer societies, gathering was consistently the more nutritionally valuable and consistent activity. So men did not "control the subsistence" and thus have an economic basis for hierarchy by "owning the means of production." That's a really strange bastardization of Marx. Second, settled agriculture did not necessarily by itself lead to power discrepancies between the sexes. In medieval Europe, for the most part, even though this was thousands of years after the advent of sedentary agriculture, women were still crucially and centrally involved in the family economy in the vast majority of households. Third, your argument rests heavily on the experience of the noble classes in medieval Europe. Surpluses were very limited, but those were the people who enjoyed them, and they did by and large develop and maintain highly imbalanced power structures biased against women. However, it's important to remember that these people were only ever a small fragment of the population, that by virtue of their idleness they didn't have to participate in the close knit family economy, and that women played a much larger role in estate management and power brokerage than your average extremist feminist is willing to concede. Fourth, what you're talking about really only happened across European societies with the advent of the Industrial Revolution, and the attendant destruction of the family economy. And despite what Marx will try to tell you, feudalism wasn't an economic system, but a sociopolitical system that grew out of historical contingency. Moreover, that kind of economic sexism, in the Western world, didn't become broadly prevalent across all classes until at least the latter half of the nineteenth century. Tl;dr read history, not social theory.
  9. Fair enough if that's your point. But then that quotation from Josh you presented as evidence for that view isn't really relevant.
  10. Ms. Jordan's diction and accent remind me strongly of my great grandfather, who was born to poorly educated parents in east Texas. He consequently strove his entire life to enunciate precisely (he pronounced basically as "base-i-cal-ly," not "base-i-clee") and to reject his native accent and the stigma that attached thereto. He was about fifteen years older than Ms. Jordan, but I wouldn't be surprised if she spoke the way she did for similar reasons.
  11. Here's what Josh has said about a fighter's survivability in relation to the other front liners: I interpret this to basically mean... perfect balance. In the long run, having lower health + higher defense will end up being exactly equal, survival-wise, to having higher health and lower defense. And this is exactly the type of automatic, unbreakable 'balance-no-matter-what' design philosophy that I dislike in RPGs. But never mind me. Except that Josh explicitly says, in the very same statement you quoted above, that in a one-on-one situation, the fighter will almost always outlive the barbarian. So how are you getting from there to "perfect balance" in terms of survivability?
  12. Hm, her accent mostly just makes me turn on subtitles and hit the mute button. But to each his own I suppose.
  13. As I said and others have pointed out, Balance. Other classes won't get a specific class weapon, so the Paladin won't either. I didn't disagree with you there at all. I merely suggested that there might be more than one reason in the devs' minds.
  14. To be fair I think it's also about not slavishly cribbing from D&D. And hopefully the paladin won't need a Holy Avenger due to not being mechanically handicapped.
  15. Saying that feudalism inherently demanded misogyny and patriarchy is a strange mishmash of feminism with discredited Marxist essentialization. Most societies in all times and places have rested on those pillars. Saying there's something inherently misogynist about a sociopolitical system that is based on interlocking loyalties and landholding for governance, as opposed to something in human nature, is really quite silly.
  16. Seconded. I'd also love to hear about some talents, just to get an idea of how much character differentiation they afford.
  17. Very kind of you Indira. And Gromnir, I would have been really excited if stamina were an action resource as well as a form of hit point. But as Stun accurately points out, in PoE we've just got a double health bar, which is kinda weird.
  18. Pros: 1. Obsidian's own IP, with a new world, story and NPCs. I like seeing these guys having their own playground. And I do love Josh's emphasis on verisimilitude. 2. Nine character classes that look pretty interesting to play. 3. A highly reactive world, and one that's reactive to more than just "are you good or are you bad?" 4. A new ruleset that still has familiar elements. 5. Reading-heavy. Cons: 1. I'm not sure about this whole health & stamina thing. It seems like it might be an unnecessarily complicating mechanic. 2. The priest and the fighter seem fairly bland. 3. The integration of animancy into the world as a whole, as I believe Gromnir mentioned earlier, seems to be somewhat rough. 4. Looks like there's only five skills. I would have preferred approximately twice as many. 5. The effects of the various attributes don't all sit well with me, and I'm not sure if that's for gamist or simulationist reasons, but they don't. Particularly Intelligence and AoE size.
  19. So basically he's made up his own mind and won't accept anything unless he feels it's better. So if anyone presents anything that's objective it bears no relevance. So it's okay for others to say no, that's not a pro like some people have said in this thread and others like yourself who join in and with your own subjectivity. But really, it's all in their own subjective mind. They won't accept anything that's presented objectively to counter their bias. No problem. Thanks for the heads up. The specific examples you gave of quests in IWD and BG2 are objective, certainly. But you're trying to prove a subjective point with them about the nature of benefits and drawbacks to a game, so it's no wonder your collocutors aren't agreeing. I mean, that's why everyone's pro and con lists aren't the same. Because this is a subjective exercise.
  20. C'mon, he looks cool. In sort of a shady porn actor-y way, but still. He does kinda look cool, but he would look a lot better if his mustache weren't drawn on with the same pencil he used for his eyeliner.
  21. Gotta love mustache boy's drawn-on mustache. Oh dear.
  22. What a deplorable and inaccurate generalization. Might be nice not to perpetuate an elitist stigma that harms the growth of human capital and personal welfare in the United States. if you say so. we personally think it perpetuates a social stigma that promotes human growth and capital. applauding a degree form cc is kinda like the awarding o' participation trophies that became o' so common for youth sports a decade or two ago. if folks feels a little shame that all they got is an associates degree and such embarrassment spurs them on to get a genuine useful degree, then so much the better. shame is an unappreciated teaching tool nowadays. A-F grade system is actual a holdover from a more enlightened and less touchy-feely time. post graduate is indeed more bound to traditionalist thinking which does carry with it much anachronistic and counter-productive notions. nevertheless, in spite o' fact that our primary and secondary education has fallen behind the rest o' the world, US grad and post grad school productivity is unparalleled, and such programs is more willing to embrace shame as a motivational tool. we challenge and threaten and scare the hell out o' law school, med school and grad school students, and that is the area in which we got an undeniable world edge. go figure. HA! Good Fun! I half agree with this point. But through absolutely no fault of their own, for a lot of people, an associate's degree is about their upper limit of academic achievement, and certainly can be much more targeted and useful than trying to force them into a four year liberal arts degree. Those people certainly don't deserve shaming. I'll concede happily that there are a lot of people as well who relentlessly underperform their potential, and it wouldn't hurt to give them a dash of shame. Your last point there is a little emblematic of broader American social problems: we are excellent at delivering the best services in the world to the people who have the money or the talent to make use of them, and piss-poor at delivering adequate services to those who don't.
  23. What a deplorable and inaccurate generalization. Might be nice not to perpetuate an elitist stigma that harms the growth of human capital and personal welfare in the United States.
  24. I'm havin a hard time following your logic here. If you kept her out of the party, how can you comment on the writer's achievements? Isabella occupied the Rogue position in party during the first act for several major quests. Every banter involved sex in some way and there was never any indication that there was more to her than being a slampig. Yeah, this confirms that you clearly didn't understand her character or didn't bother to read her dialogue options I read every single dialogue line Isabella spoke in act 1, and they were almost universally about sex. If Bioware wanted to showcase a character who was sexually liberated, then perhaps having them discuss more than sex would be a better move than creating a sex addict. The problem is that they gate everything interesting she has to say behind a) her approval mechanic and b) the passage of time. She doesn't have much that's more profound than "sex, sex, sex," before Act 2, and very reasonably a lot of people didn't have the patience or inclination to get to that point. It's my most consistent problem with BioWare games. The characters generally have a fair number of interesting things to say, but hearing it is often dependent on suffering through whatever key attribute of the character the writers have decided to bludgeon us with "to get to know them."
  25. I'll certainly be buying it. BioWare games have always given me my money's worth and then some. I think possibly this is because I try very hard to enjoy games on their own terms as the games themselves present them, instead of forcing them to stagger under the too vast orb of my own expectations or marketing hype.
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