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Option to Respec

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I would argue that the primary problem is a philosophical one. The initial design goal for the gameplay systems was that you could make any character, any class, with any stat/ability spread you desired and take that character through the game from beginning to end. They wouldn't be optimal, and they wouldn't be best suited to every challenge, but you could play and complete the game on normal difficulty with your oddball build, even if you might struggle a little more at some points because of it.

Adding in a respec option almost seems like an admission of failure regarding that goal. Respecs are often a way to back out of trap choices and this game has a design philosophy that argues there shouldn't be any trap choices.

As far as mechanics go, I expect getting stats working as advertised is top priority and don't think we'll see bugs like the dex or interrupt bugs come launch. Cleaning stuff like that up was the whole point of delaying the launch to March in the first place.

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Well to be honest Obsidian did everything to turn this into a single player mmo so respec is not that far fetched.

 

MMO? What are you smoking...

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Well to be honest Obsidian did everything to turn this into a single player mmo so respec is not that far fetched.

 

MMO? What are you smoking...

 

Requesting a Huge Shoulderpads option to go with Big Head mode, tia.

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I've been advocating against this in the past, but I still recall advocating for it in a "One Single Time" type of Quest/Narrative/Thematic way and that it'd either:

1-Turn your character into a Level 1 Character (Goodbye all levels and experience) with all the new attributes/skills/talents/class/culture/background or whatever you choose, basically make a new character.

It could be explained as follows:

You, the Player, chooses to use the "Machine" that sucks your soul out and place it into a new vessel, a soulless character or a mold of a character, a golem that perhaps could take the shape of whatever Race. This would let you respec and would make most sense in the world to "respec". A narrative-driven respec. It comes at a great price of course, because you're starting all over on those levels.

2-You get to respec once, but only the Class-type (and nothing else). The "Respec" Machine lets you sacrifice your "warrior" soul or whatever, your lifepath/class soul and inject the soul of another warrior/lifepath/class soul. Thus keeping all the levels you had, and obviously losing all Class abilities you had.

Example:
You are a Level 6 Fighter, and when you use the Machine to become a Rogue, you become a Level 1 Rogue with 5 level ups. Still with the same attributes, but no longer any of the talents/class abilities and so on. Partial memory swipe/amnesia or similar, taking a bit of the soul and replacing it with something else.

I'd think a Narrative Respec could be awesome, and a Mechanical Respec (Go to Respec Dude, pay tons of gold, respec) is appaling.

Footnote: I'm not in favor of Respec options, but if it were to be done I'd hope it would strive to be thematic, and hopefully limited and not flat and soulless like in an MMO.

Edited by Osvir

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Whats wrong with a 1 time respec, maybe halfway through the game in case you want change things?


Calibrating...

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 poe has a complex New rule system and when it is first released, it is gonna be broken.

This is an argument for leaving the console commands open - being able to deal with (some) bugs on the fly. (Even BG2, with fix-packs years later, benefits from that).

No need to put it in the game as an option (which would take more programming and bug-testing).

There can be a simple command: 'Give XP -10,000' (maybe 'Delevel' if necessary) then 'Give XP +10,000'

 

Personally wouldn't use a respec option so above opinion should be taken as coming from that camp.


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It's highly probable. I don't care for VIP resets, but 'other' developers have been protecting gamers from themselves far too much these days. It's highly patronising and also symbolic of the shallow RPGs we have been attuned to lately. For example, ditching deep, strategic combat in place of the ability to have sex with a transexual because 'feminism' isn't how to create a good RPG.

 

 

I don't think being able to respec has much to do with this stuff.

 

I'm pretty sure I will end up re-playing parts of the game because I'll choose things that sound good on paper, then find out they suck or don't suit my build in practice, and end up replaying parts of the game I don't want to replay - or at least not shortly after just finishing them.

 

It has nothing to do with depth or strategy, or handholding, or anything like that for me. It's a convenience that saves me from having to start over, save scum, or whatever if I realize I've ruined a character.

 

I would argue that the primary problem is a philosophical one. The initial design goal for the gameplay systems was that you could make any character, any class, with any stat/ability spread you desired and take that character through the game from beginning to end. They wouldn't be optimal, and they wouldn't be best suited to every challenge, but you could play and complete the game on normal difficulty with your oddball build, even if you might struggle a little more at some points because of it.

 

Adding in a respec option almost seems like an admission of failure regarding that goal. Respecs are often a way to back out of trap choices and this game has a design philosophy that argues there shouldn't be any trap choices.

 

As far as mechanics go, I expect getting stats working as advertised is top priority and don't think we'll see bugs like the dex or interrupt bugs come launch. Cleaning stuff like that up was the whole point of delaying the launch to March in the first place.

 

Taking this post into account I'd add -

 

Perhaps I could still play through the game with that character I made a poor talent choice with or whatever and feel I've ruined. I'm sure I could in most cases, really. But I know myself, and I know I won't want to.

 

It could be present as a console command and players could consider it cheating if they wanted. I'd use it to spare myself from the inevitable restarts because I won't accept/enjoy a suboptimal build choice - it will nag at me because I'm a perfectionist when it comes to character building in games. Maybe that makes me a "power gamer" but it has nothing to do with being overpowered for me, it's just an OCD thing.

Edited by Odd Hermit
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Respeccing doesn't have anything to do with the "choices must have consequences" game design philosophy. The latter refers to narrative consequences, which isn't affected by the mechanical choices of character build (aside from maybe skill points, but that's all). Taking a talent that lets you engage one additional enemy at a time instead of a talent that lets you do extra damage helps flesh out your character build and says something about the character (i.e. that he is more focused on protecting his allies than being a butcher on the battlefield), but it doesn't have any narrative consequence in the game world beyond that. Narratively, you're not making any immutable, long-term decisions that impact the game world and the characters and factions that populate it. If you anger one in-game faction or character, that has interesting consequences later on. If you make a poor choice in choosing talents or spells that you will never use later or don't understand how they work, the only long-term consequence is that the game will be less fun because your character is crappier than it should be at that level. Mechanical choices are not part of the narrative; they are the meta-game.

 

No one is asking for an option to go back and undo a dialogue decision to help one in-game faction at the expense of another--that's the kind of choice that should have a long-term consequence on the narrative. Instead, people want to have the ability to respec so that they can play the type of character they want to play throughout the entire game, even if 1) their preferred gameplay style changes over time (e.g. wanting to play a heavy damage dealer instead of a tank), or 2) they realize that a certain mechanical choice freely given at level-up wasn't designed well or just doesn't work like they thought it did (not just from poor design, but also just because they player doesn't perfectly understand the system and is now stuck with a talent that might actually be useless for their purposes). Just because a character chooses to specialize in rapiers at level 3, why can't they decide at level 10 that rapiers are for sissies and that they should specialize in spears instead? There's no narrative reason, and in terms of gameplay it just makes sense to let people modify their mechanical choices if something with their character build isn't working like they had hoped.

 

4th edition D&D even has core rules built in for retraining at level up: you can drop one choice made at a previous level (either an ability, feat, or skill training) and instead choose a different one of that same level. It has restrictions in place to prevent you from rebuilding your character from scratch whenever you want, but it gives you the opportunity to try out interesting choices instead of either only picking the "obvious" choices or taking a risky option that ends up crippling your character for the entire time you play in the campaign. Even without such rules built in, you'd have to be a pretty stubborn, viking hat-style DM to not make concessions for a player who says, "Dude, we're level 10 and I've never used that talent I picked at level 1. Can I just replace it with something else?" I've even had DMs who would let players change their character's class in the middle of a campaign because they wanted to play something else. In a computer RPG, the only option is to let people respec or force them to start over from the very beginning of these epic 60-hour role-playing bonanzas any time they aren't satisfied with a mechanical choice they made tens of hours ago.

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This "switch out one talent for another" might be reasonable, if it is not overdone, but full respec is something that I feel makes sense in MMO-RPGs, but would be displaced in a single-player game like PoE.

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Absolutely not! 

 

As a chronic restarter (with no desire to change) the part of the game that appeals to me the most is the point at which I come up with yet another brilliant idea for a character/party concept and am able to abandon my current game and return to my favorite place - the character creation screen and begin anew - new PC new party new player options it's a whole new world - the last thing I need is a way to change my character on the fly and miss out on the best part of the game - the restart & do-over!

 

NO! NO I SAY!  :w00t:

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Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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Absolutely not! 

 

As a chronic restarter (with no desire to change) the part of the game that appeals to me the most is the point at which I come up with yet another brilliant idea for a character/party concept and am able to abandon my current game and return to my favorite place - the character creation screen and begin anew - new PC new party new player options it's a whole new world - the last thing I need is a way to change my character on the fly and miss out on the best part of the game - the restart & do-over!

 

NO! NO I SAY!  :w00t:

I just love this post. It captures the essence of how I feel about this. :)

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*** "The words of someone who feels ever more the ent among saplings when playing CRPGs" ***

 

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+10 on being able to respec. Who wants to get stuck with some crap build 5 hours in and have to restart and replay all that? If I get to a point where I cant progress then I just quit the game and never go back. :shrugz:

 

Power to the people!

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image,Gfted1,black,red.png

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@Gfted1: This was never a problem in any of the IE games (in my experience). If I came across a difficult area I made a mental note and then got better gear/explored other areas, leveled up, familiarized myself with the party I had, then returned and kicked the snot out of the previously difficult encounters.

Pillars of Eternity has tons of this as well. If you can't deal with the Lions? Escape and do some other stuff. The spider cave? I think on one Beta playthrough I went into the Spider cave at 3 different times feeling it out and slowly progressing further.

If you have built your character oddly, or your party, chances are that when you get that 1 level (or a good weapon) it makes all the difference.

This to me is better than respecing, because it allows the Player to react & think & use their brains to and against the environment rather than use a fairly brainless (no ill intended) method of some in-game meta-gaming "I built a bad build. Click button". It overrides that challenge, and those 5 hours you spent with a bad build is suddenly given up on and thrown away, but just around the corner there was a weapon or some XP that'd change your entire view of the way you were building your character.

Why respec when you can... create a new Adventurer's Hall companion? ;) Isn't that a form of respeccing too?

I mean, if you have a poorly built Cipher with really bad choices... why not make a new Cipher in the AH? (I understand this thread is more of a discussion towards the Main Character, but thought this is important to consider as well)

Edited by Osvir
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I wonder if "grinding" levels is even possible. Many posters seem to get all red in the face over it and PoE only offers xp via quest reward anyway, to prevent grinding, so... 

 

Maybe if you backtrack to lower level areas and do quests you may have skipped, then you can grind up?


image,Gfted1,black,red.png

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You can appearantly get to the Dyrford at Level 3, and that's pretty difficult. But at Level 6-7 or even 8 it is a breeze. As it is optional content, you can turn back and explore the rest of the world (all the way up to Level 11-12) before doing the Dyrford.

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Absolutely not! 

 

As a chronic restarter (with no desire to change) the part of the game that appeals to me the most is the point at which I come up with yet another brilliant idea for a character/party concept and am able to abandon my current game and return to my favorite place - the character creation screen and begin anew - new PC new party new player options it's a whole new world - the last thing I need is a way to change my character on the fly and miss out on the best part of the game - the restart & do-over!

 

NO! NO I SAY!  :w00t:

am attempting to see how adding a respec option into poe would prevent you from being able to restart & do-over.

 

respec possibly would prevent you from wanting to restart, which kinda undercuts your suggest that restarting is the best part o' the game.  if, when given an option that would diminish the investment o' time and effort o' replaying 1/4, 1/3 or even 1/2 o' the game to correct some perceived error in your character build, you chose to take such an option, that would seem to be, as the kids say, on you.  you weigh and measure consequences o' replay and respec and find tedious replay wanting?  

 

...

 

you do realize you is NOT making an argument in favor o' replay, yes?

 

regardless, even with respec, we suspect there will be many reasons for a chronic restarter to restart.  you chose wrong skills or attributes for a substantial portion o' the game?  you realize after only many hours that your low perception and low resolve character missed dozens o' potential dialogue options and attribute checks?  and woe is wanderon 'cause he did not have enough lore skill.  option to respec won't fix perception o' the chronic restarter that he borked the first dozen or more hours o' gameplay.  all respec does is give the player the Option to prevent future suffering from potentially unavoidable and unknowable character creation errors.

 

and as we already noted, many character creation errors will be technical or balance issues.  each patch has the possibility o' invalidating some vital aspect o' your carefully planned character concept.  a built-in respec option gives the player a user-friendly option for mitigating developer blunders.  crpgs is about making meaningful choices, yes?  well, if is developer error that subverts the meaning of player choices, we feels that respec is a harmless and painless way to mitigate the damage o' developer error.   

 

regardless, we do not see how availability o' respec can be used to prevent you from restart. at worst, respec would diminish your desire to want to restart.  am hopeful you recognize the problem you is creating for yourself by admitting that respec diminishes the want-to o' restarts.

 

HA! Good Fun!

Edited by Gromnir
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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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I see once again I forgot to add the sarcasm tags -my bad... indeed that's not the only thing that gets forgotten at my age!

 

Actually "bad build" is almost never going to be a reason for me to restart - I sometimes specialize in bad builds just because I can (not always tho) - no the reason I restart is almost always because I had another bright idea for a new and different party or character that I just can't wait to get started on and that I have come to appreciate the bonuses involved in being a chronic restarter when it comes to a games replay value.

 

For instance I played the hell out of BG2 (somewhere between 20-40 hours most weeks) but it was about a year and half after I started (at game release) that I finally completed the game the first time and at that point a good half of the game was entirely new to me (almost everything beyond rescuing Imoen) so while much of the early game I knew by heart there was still oodles (technical term) of content I had yet to see and every once in a while I still find something new after all these years. (I did however get tired enough of Chez Irenicus to eventually install Dungeon B Gone but that was just a few years ago.) 

 

Thus the respec option means little or nothing to me I see  it more as a function for people only really interested in doing one playthrough who can't be bothered to start over - frankly I'd rather see it as a mod myself (but I really don't care) - However it's bad enough keeping up with all my restarts without having PCs changing horses in mid-stream as well. :p

 

I normally wouldn't want to change a character I had just really begun to know into something different and even if I did I probably wouldn't want to start in the middle of the game with it I would want to start at the beginning (because my OCD likes things in order). As for the time I spent getting to where I am I would never consider that wasted it was play time enjoying the game.

 

You see for me just like life its all about the journey regardless of how far along the road I go - getting to the end is mostly unimportant to me - there's plenty of time for that somewhere down the road.  :grin:


Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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I'm not really into the respec thing, although in more action-oriented games it's certainly very convenient. But I tend towards choices should have consequences. Even games that have respec, I find I forget it exists/don't use it most of the time. :)

 

That said, in this modern age, having one respec per character (maybe some kind of opportunity at mid-game, make it a short quest say) wouldn't bother me, for those that want it. I don't think there should be endless EZ respecs, tho.

 

 

 

Thus the respec option means little or nothing to me I see  it more as a function for people only really interested in doing one playthrough who can't be bothered to start ove

Yeah, I tend to see it that way too.


“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts

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we is a reasonable guy.  we read your post.  we read indira's post responding to you.  you liked indira's response.  indira has not been shy about opposition to respec.

 

*shrug*

 

based on a four-corners reading o' the post, and your liking inidra's response, we took you serious.  perhaps that were a mistake, though am suspecting based on your most recent post that you were being somewhat sardonic about the notion that your previous post were meant sarcastic.  you does in fact show opposition to respec save as a mod o' some kind.   

 

HA! Good Fun!


"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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I'm an ex entertainer I always like it when someone likes my stuff...(it doesn't matter why)  8)

 

I am also a smart ass and should usually not be taken too seriously unless I really get my dander up (which doesn't happen as much since the hair started to wander off).

 

I am somewhat opposed to respec - I think it cheapens the RP nature of the game and for me it's not a necessity so I am not a supporter but it wouldn't be the end of civilization as we know it if it was snuck into the mix - but I probably wouldn't use it. 


Nomadic Wayfarer of the Obsidian Order


 

Not all those that wander are lost...

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About all I would request as far as "respec" goes is an option in the menu where I can toggle it so that all new characters join the party at level 1, with enough experience to match the Watcher's level. Let me level them up, please. Maybe I want to turn Eder into a dual wielding fighter, but if the default Eder has weapon and shield talent already picked, then he's pigeonholed into a tank role.

 

I don't mind letting them have their own ability scores that I can't change, but talents are used to define the character's role in the party, and I want control over that.

 

Just as an example... the wiki has the stats listed for Aloth and Eder. So, when I am making my custom parties, I use their stats from the wiki. I know it's subject to change, but I want as close to a real feel as I can get.

Edited by Sock

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people like to throw "role-play" into these debates but am suspecting everybody gots a different notion o' what is role-play and what features would cheapen it.  for example, we believe that more important than a slavish devotion to Teh Rulez is role-play. a player o' poe who gots a character concept in mind when they start the game should have the chance to role-play that character. a single respec would, to our way o' thinking, promotes role-play in that it offers a chance to correct mistakes arising from the unavoidable obtuseness o' poe game mechanics and it would further allow a fix for the similarly ubiquitous developer errors that will inevitably ruin the role-play choices o' more than a few players. 

 

example:  we got a role-play concept for a hearth orlan (friendly gremlin) priest o' eothas who dual-wields flails.  is not a fantastic spell caster, but the priestly spell repertoire is definite useful as a secondary buffer/healer. we want our priest to be quick in melee combat and able to interrupt frequent enough to make up for his lack pure dps.  is not a powergame build by any stretch o' the imagination.

 

*sigh*

 

sadly, this concept is currently borked.  we made such a character contemporaneous with the release o' 435, but unfortunately, the 16 points of dexterity we invested is working opposite o' how we intended, opposite o' how we intended to role-play the character.  a high dexterity Decreases melee weapon attack speed in 435.  so, if this were actual game release instead of last beta build, perhaps we play this character for a week or so, avoiding the boards so as not to be spoiled.  we play long enough that we increasingly become aware that there is something wrong with our attack speed.  we get 10, 20 or even 30 hours into the game before we become convinced that our character concept is not matching character reality?  option is to wait for patch or restart?  flush 30 hours o' game down the drain or possibly wait a month or more for a patch?  but hey, at least we can take heart in the knowledge that our conundrum is a validation o' the role-play integrity o' the game, yes? 

 

to our way o' thinking, the technical snaffu that resulted in weapon attack speeds being generated incorrect, or any o' literally hundreds o' other current errors, is what cheapens the role-play nature o' the game. find out perhaps that lore skill is not being applied correct, or that the weapon focus talent you chose boosts the accuracy o' every weapon listed in the talent description save for the one you want your character to use?  is such stuff that cheapens the Role-Play choices we made far more than the knowledge that some player we never met might be using a single respec opportunity to possibly game the game... a single-player game.

 

there will be technical errors in the final release. numerous errors will invalidate otherwise valid role-play choices.  many folks who did not follow these boards daily for the past few years will also discover that the attributes, spells, talents, weapons and other features o' the game do not have actual in-game effects that they expected after reading the brief in-game descriptions; their role-play choices will be perverted by the obscurity o' a complex, mathematics based crpg rules mechanics. given the nature o' poe as a deep crpg, many role-play choices made by players will be cheapened, contravened and crushed; it is inevitable. respec allows for a correction o' what is otherwise a perversion o' the manifest importance o' the player's role-play choices.

 

see?  invoke role-play may not be get you quite as much juice per squeeze as you wish.

 

HA! Good Fun!

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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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Yeah, "ToB-style NPCs" is about all I would want here.

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choices should have consequences.

Bears reiterating. Emphasis mine.


"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"

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choices should have consequences.

Bears reiterating. Emphasis mine.

 

agreed.  which is exactly why respec is needed.  when developer error, obtuse mechanics, or ambiguities in descriptions o' talents or spells or whatever (examples o' some ambiguity: http://forums.obsidian.net/topic/69864-on-abilitiestalentsitems-description/) result in the subversion o' player choices, there should be a way to correct the resulting inequitable consequences. 

 

now, that being said, depending on just how reactive the poe story is to your initial character generation choices, Gromnir is recognizing that complete respec would nether be practical or desirable.  change sex, race, culture and background results in breaking story?  we can see that potential problem.  if developers were to disallow allow changes o' such stuff even if race or background bonuses is being applied incorrect in game, we would understand their reasoning for doing so. 

 

but yes, it does bear repeating that the PLAYER's choices should have consequences, which is exactly why respec is needed. thanks for reiterating.

 

HA! Good Fun!

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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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