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Topics - Mr. Wizard

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Everything Else / The Issues
« on: May 09, 2017, 09:33:33 pm »
This is the thread for discussing The Issues. The Issues are the underlying ideas, needs, and desires, and models for how we want our world to function. Here we discuss who should be taxed, not who is being taxed. How healthcare could work, not about how Obamacare is doing. We talk about the ideas, not the politicians. We don't talk about who we should kill, but why we should kill. Avoid all real world examples as much as can be expected.

I figured out why I find the modern politics thread and 2016 thread boring, because it is rarely about The Issues. When placed before The Issues, it really doesn't matter who wins elections, we cannot make decisions until we decide what elements of The Issues really matter. Hypothetical conjectures are welcome, academic support is appreciated but not required, and the drinks are on the house (Your house, where ever you live). Drop by any time you want to share a view of how something should work.

This is a meek request that I do not expect to be followed, but I must try to make the request. Do not get angry. Do not attack each other. Everyone is allowed to disagree with everyone else. The Issues are all that matter.

This thread is politics separated from the circus of real world events. As such, I expect it to be buried in short order. Feel free to resurrect it, future reader, and share with us how you believe glorbsnargles should be frimfram to all blikspans that can splorch a durdok.

Everything Else / 2024 Elections
« on: November 29, 2016, 11:23:42 am »
<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

Who will follow the greatest U.S. President in history?

PC Games / Children of a Dead Earth
« on: October 12, 2016, 01:18:50 pm »

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

Children of a Dead Earth is the newest game with a catchy title in the genre of space combat simulator, with an extra heavy emphasis on the "simulator" aspect of the genre. It was designed to incorporate all of our modern, proven technologies and explore how space combat might look if we were engaged in it today.

The gameplay has a campaign and a sandbox. The campaign consists of several challenges that progress a story. The sandbox is basically a free mode that allows you to create battles to test ships. The real meat and potatoes of the game is the ship and module designers. The ship designer allows  you to create and design ships from base modules, arranging components and weapons, and deciding on armor. The module designer is like a series of miniature simulators, which allow you to design ship components. Need a new engine? Design one, and see if you can get what you need. All of the values and numbers are pulled from equations actual engineers use when designing these components. All of this adds up to a simulation that is very strict but rewards lateral thinking and good designs.

If you are interested in the game, direct link is here:

If you like what you hear and want to see how the creator, Zane Mankowski, thinks about his project, see his blog:
If you are a huge nerd, his blog is fascinating.

PC Games / Master of Orion Remake
« on: February 26, 2016, 12:24:05 pm »
<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

 It exists

Movies / Independence Day: Resurgence
« on: December 13, 2015, 04:39:46 pm »
Yeah it's a thing.

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

And if you want to know what alternate earth has been up to for 20 years, here you go:

TV / Jessica Jones
« on: October 24, 2015, 05:50:51 am »
<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

Marvel's next Netflix series. Daredevil was neato, let us see if this is good.

It's the true life story of David Tenant  interacting with Doctor Who fans, who naturally do whatever he says. It follows Jessica Jones, a disillusioned Doctor Who fan who seeks to bring Tenant down.

TV / BattleBots 2015 - Flywheelbot Edition
« on: July 06, 2015, 12:22:21 pm »
So ABC has resurrected Battlebots and put it every sunday. They did not inject very much Reality TV into the formula. (Only a little)

*Link removed due to DMCA demons*

So far we have learned some things from the matches.

1. Advances in motors and batteries just mean spinning robots are even more destructive.

2. Girls just cant seem to make practical robot designs. (SEXISM.EXE ACTIVATED)

3. Flamethrowers are really useless.

4. Nightmare still cant beat Team Whyachi.

5. Horizontal Spinners are better than vertical spinners.

6. The Announcers are only there for flying bits of metal to scare them.

7. Bad Drivers are everywhere. VLAD THE IMPALER I MISS YOU SO.

8. Stinger is best bot.

Movies / Guardians of the Galaxy
« on: August 08, 2014, 11:10:13 am »
Best after credits scene ever.

Movies / BizarRobocop
« on: September 06, 2013, 03:05:05 am »
<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

PC Games / Space Station 13
« on: May 29, 2013, 06:09:24 am »

Space Station 13 is a science fiction roleplaying game where you are a crewmember on an advanced research space station where various disasters take place. It is a very detailed simulation where the various subsystems of the station can interact to produce fun situations. You start the game as one of dozens of of specific station crew, like engineer, miner, security officer, cook, and scientist. You attempt to perform your duty as various disasters afflict the station, such as meteor strikes, alien invasion, or rogue AI. Crew members can also start as traitors, who must use their station job to accomplish certain sabotage tasks and escape alive.

For example, I could start as atmospherics technician, whose job it is to maintain a breathable atmosphere on the station. I turn out to be a traitor, whose job it is to kill the Head of Security. As atmospherics technician, I have access to the Security atmospherics station and all their maintenance tunnels. I could flood the security wing with anesthetics, knocking out all security personnel.  Then I could hack my way into security via a maintenance tunnel, while wearing a gas mask, find the head of security, and casually strip him throw him out an airlock. Since all of this would naturally implicate me as the traitor, I would be obliged to further wreck the station to force the call of the Emergency shuttle, in order to escape the station on the shuttle or on an escape pod, before security could get its act together and find me. If I successfully do all of this, I will be a successful traitor.

If all of this interests you, here is how you get into the game.

First, you need to sign up for and download BYOND, the engine the game uses. Link.

Then, you merely need to find a server that you can play on. BYOND has a server listing for Space Station 13 that you can select from, however they vary wildly in quality. You copy and paste the URL of the server into the BYOND client. All the game files are then automatically downloaded for you from the server.

/tg/station is a quality one, when it's working.

Here is a direct link to /tg/'s Temporary station. Which is in use while the other servers get fixed. This will be shut off by the end of the month.

Finally, you want to learn how to play the game. The wiki site has a lot of information about the game in general, however every server is slightly different, since they all maintain their own branch of code. That wiki is mainly for the /tg/station branch of the game. This goonwiki contains much of the same information, as well as specifics to the Goonstation branch of the code.

Before you enter a game, take a moment to customize your character and your job preferences. This lets you carefully explore the same role over multiple games, and lets you avoid some complicated roles that you may be inexperienced with for some time. Also, it allows you to turn on and off the possibility that you turn out to be a traitor or other disaster role. You may want to avoid those roles until you have enough experience with the roles to be an effective saboteur.

Have fun, and I'll see you around the station! :)

PC Games / Gunpoint: Stealth Gameplay Done Right
« on: November 14, 2012, 07:48:21 pm »

Gunpoint is a game made by a dude that likes stealth gameplay and noir settings and also writes for PC Gamer UK. The slick website he made for his own game contains pretty much everything you really want to know about the game. So I recommend going there.

Shorty version: It's a game about a dude that sneaks by other dudes to get the intelligence and then sneaks by those very same dudes to leave, sneakily.

Tom Francis is a pretty chill fellow and he writes entertaining articles on his blog and on PC Gamer UK, like the review of Hitman: Absolution giving it 62/100, which in modern review scaling is basically a 0/100. He is basically one of those people that is neat to follow and read, you know?

Gunpoint has some sweet music to go with all that sneaking.

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

So I think this game will be just super.

PC Games / Star Citizen:Squadron 42
« on: October 10, 2012, 10:08:20 am »
A New Game by Chris Roberts! (Who the **** is Chris Roberts?)

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

Official website

The Official website has a longer trailer, which has the game creator speak about it at length.


PC Games / Starforge
« on: May 31, 2012, 01:44:50 am »
A wild new game appears!

I'll let its creators introduce it themselves.
<a href="" target="_blank"></a>
Here is another video if you're not satiated.

Starforge looks good yo.

This is the website:
It is currently down because suddenly everyone is interested.

Apparently the creators like being poor and Irish because the game is free. Here are the downloads:
Direct download:
Official torrent:

Remember, it is very, very alpha. Expect crashes and bugs.

PC Games / Star Trek Online by Cryptic Studios
« on: March 22, 2012, 04:06:56 am »

I like Star Trek Online.

I like it despite all of its numerous flaws and foibles.
I like it despite its developer demonstratively not having any clue as to what makes games compelling.
I like it partly because it is set in space and has spaceships.
I have a heavy bias which makes me like most things set in space regardless of actual quality.
I like it because it (seemingly accidentally) treats the player with some level of respect.
Finally, I like it because dirk0707 works for the company that now owns Cryptic Studios
and dirk0707 is my favorite forum member <3

So I want to invite other forum-mites to join me in Star Trek Online.
Now I know it is Free To Play, and I don't expect anyone to join in unless I can justify it, with science.
So here it goes:

The Good
Positive Aspects
  • In addition to your captain, you get a cadre of Bridge Officers, that man your battle stations and
    escort you in ground combat missions. They each are fully customizable, from their outfits and
    appearance to the set of skills they carry, 4 ground skills and 4 space skills.
  • You will gain ships for free as a matter of leveling. A max level captain will end up with 5 ships,
    out of a selection of 13. There is a definite power difference between ships, but the ships present
    at each tier make sense. You wouldn't expect a humble Nova Class to be equal to a Galaxy Class
  • Ships can be customized into one of three styles, and pieces of the ship can be switched
    between the styles. You can use the saucer from Style 1, the Nacelles from Style 2, and the hull
    from Style 3 if you want.
  • Any Captain can use any ship,, but captains in ships that favor their background will be able to
    use their abilities to its fullest.
  • The space combat is fast paced, with lots of interesting abilities. You can vent a cloud of plasma,
    unleash a pack of torpedoes, or create a mini blackhole!
  • Space Combat allows you to manage directional shields and power levels. Selecting a facing
    redirects all shield power to regenerate it, selecting a power level sets a percentage
    of maximum possible effectiveness
  • SPace combat is visually fun, with bright lasers lighting up your ships, shields lighting up as they
    get hit, and explosions scaling to the size of the vessel that created them.
  • Space combat:Positioning matters, but isn't too important. A ship shield facing may fall due to
    damage or sabotage, but the other 3 facings will be alive and well. It is advisable to keep moving
    and turn your ship often, else enemies will get hits dealing 100% damage straight to the hull.
  • Ground combat gives you 4 officers to play around with, each bringing their own customizable
  • Ground combat also has a wider variety of equipment than you may expect, given the setting.
    You have access to borg-like personal shields, energy miniguns, rifles, pistols, and shotgun-like
    weapons, and stylized armor.
  • Ground Combat: Captains can also equip kits, which provide them with the same sorts of skills
    Bridge Officers have
  • Free accounts will end with a maximum of 6 bridge officer slots, which is hardly a drawback at
    all. It means that you will need to be careful about picking officers and ships, but once you're at
    max level and have all 6 officers, they can be retrained in any ability.
The Bad
Negative Aspects
  • It is content poor. It has plenty of excuses to start fights, but it rarely takes you to interesting
    places or feature interesting stories. It has lots of art assets for places, but you will often see the
    set pieces reused and the same enemy confrontations replay. It will never need me other than
    to press big clearly marked buttons. It is a game with nothing to say and little to show.
  • There is no place to go. Sure, it may have hundreds of planets listed in a map, but they can
    only be explored in a mission. Most of them are the same "Alien Planet" copy and pasted.
  • What content there is is geared toward single players. I am alright with this, but it is an MMO,
    and playing with friends should be easy. It isnt, you will find lots of irritating UI and design
    choices that actively make it harder and less rewarding to play together. Not impossible, just
  • Tactical background Captains are boring. Most of their abilities are slight variations of "X% more
    Damage" If you join me, I recommend picking an Engineering or Science background. It isn't that
    they are mechanically better, but they are much more fun and enjoyable.
  • Traveling to mission areas is tedious. You must fly there the same way you fly during combat,
    just at a compressed scale. This means there are large chunks of the game where you are staring
    at your ship flying in a perfectly straight line toward your intended destination. You can't simply
    walk around your bridge, or otherwise be elsewhere. The only thing you can do is check duty
    officer assignments, a system that is a trading card game crossed with a facebook game.
The Ugly
Stupid Aspects
  • If you like PvP, it is very much pay to win. Players can purchase new ships with access to more
    battlestations in more configurations. These ships also tend to have "consoles" that give access to
    powerful and unique abilities.I should also fairly point out that the game allows you to mine
    dilithium, which can be used to purchase store credits on the public exchange and can allow you
    to eventually purchase anything in the store. Eventually. The cheapest item in the store,
    unlocking the NX Serial designation, costs 80 credits, which amounts to 15000 to 20000
    dilithium. You can earn at maximum 8000 dilithium a day. Ships cost thousands of credits.
  • The Mass Effect style armor is bad and Cryptic should feel bad. They realized that nobody liked it
    and introduced an option to disable visuals, but man, who thought it was a good idea in the first
  • It seems to me that Cryptic accidentally made Free To Play to barely have an impact on
    gameplay. With their last game, Champions Online, they gutted the entire game system so that
    free players were practically playing an entirely different game than subscribers. Not to mention
    that they are currently gutting the Champs Character editor, AFTER the game was already free
    to play. So I have no guarantee that the gameplay wont be limited in the future.
  • The editor allows players to edit everything about their character, from uniform to face to race.
    While a nice feature,It makes everything in Starfleet look terrible.
  • The Klingon faction has LESS content and exists primarily as a method to have structured war.
    However, structured war was never implemented, and all we get is a set of missions where
    players can fight each other.
  • The games content totally ignores the setting. It is a space game with a Star Trek theme.
And there you go, 12 positives and 11 negatives/stupids. Now, I wont argue that many of those negatives can outweigh any of the positives I listed above. However, I can only say that I have had fun while playing the game despite the loud criticisms my own experiences found.

If you want to give it a tray and join me playing it, you can pick it up and play for free from their official website or through downloading it through steam. I recommend either an Engineering or Sciences background for your captain. I am known as Mr_Wizard in game.

Storytelling and Roleplaying / Over the Edge - Mutants and Masterminds
« on: February 01, 2012, 11:49:15 am »
"Tonight, I am implementing Executive Order 1776, creating the Exempted branch of the San Serratia Police. These will be our finest officers, whose sole task is to bring justice to the vigilantes that plague our fair city. It is unfortunate that such a extreme measure must be taken to ensure the safety of the citizenry from egomaniacal self proclaimed heroes. Their actions have made this escalation necessary. Stopping a man who thinks himself above the law will require officers who may go beyond the law."
- Mayor Robert Washington Adams Jefferson Madison Monroe Thorn, Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) via public access

On the West coast of the America there is San Serratia, a bright idyllic city of the future under the light of the sun, and a wretched hive of corruption and decadence by the light of the moon. Recent Superheroics have stepped on the toes of the agencies charged with protecting the city. It's mayor, Rob Thorn, has rescinded all legal protection usually afforded to masked vigilantes. Now, super heroes are hunted in the streets by the Exempt, and only the darkest few remain. Can the Misty City find justice? Will the Exempted motto hold true?

San Serratia Needs No Heroes.

This is a new IRC Mutants and Masterminds game, with a playdate yet to be determined.

Players that are interested can post freely in this thread.

Public Identity:
Secret Identity:

Size: Medium

Power Level: 10
Power Points: 150
Max Attack: 10
Max Defense: 10
Max Save DC: 10
Max Toughness: 10

STR: 10 (+0)
DEX: 10 (+0)
CON: 10 (+0)
INT: 10 (+0)
WIS: 10 (+0)
CHA: 10 (+0)

Attack 0 (Melee 0, Ranged 0) [Unarmed +0 (Bruise)]
Defense 0 (0 flat-footed)
Initiative 0

Toughness 0 (0 flat-footed)
Fortitude 0
Reflex 0
Will 0


Code: [Select]
Skill Name Key Ability Skill Modifier Ability Modifier Ranks Misc. Modifier
Acrobatics Dex* 0 = +0 +0 +0
Bluff Cha 0 = +0 +0 +0
Computers Int 0 = +0 +0 +0
Climb Str* 0 = +0 +0 +0
Concentration Con 0 = +0 +0 +0
Craft(______) Int 0 = +0 +0 +0
Diplomacy Cha 0 = +0 +0 +0
Disable Device Int 0 = +0 +0 +0
Disguise Cha 0 = +0 +0 +0
Drive Dex 0 = +0 +0 +0
Escape Artist Dex* 0 = +0 +0 +0
Gather Information Cha 0 = +0 +0 +0
Handle Animal Cha 0 = +0 +0 +0
Intimidate Cha 0 = +0 +0 +0
Investigate Int 0 = +0 +0 +0
Know (______) Int 0 = +0 +0 +0
Language ___ 0 = +0 +0 +0
Medicine Wis 0 = +0 +0 +0
Notice Wis 0 = +0 +0 +0
Perform (______) Cha 0 = +0 +0 +0
Pilot Dex 0 = +0 +0 +0
Profession (______) Wis 0 = +0 +0 +0
Ride Dex 0 = +0 +0 +0
Search Wis 0 = +0 +0 +0
Sense Motive Wis 0 = +0 +0 +0
Sleight of Hand Wis 0 = +0 +0 +0
Stealth Dex 0 = +0 +0 +0
Survival Wis 0 = +0 +0 +0
Swim Str** 0 = +0 +0 +0  


Name:  ____________  Rank:  ___  Action:  ______  Range:  ___  Duration:  ______





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