SunSpotter's recent activity

  1. Comment on Do Americans understand how badly they’re doing? in ~health.coronavirus

    SunSpotter
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    My parents aren't full blown COVID skeptics, but have found their own way to politicize it anyways. They're convinced the US death rate is only high because counties are reporting whatever deaths...

    My parents aren't full blown COVID skeptics, but have found their own way to politicize it anyways. They're convinced the US death rate is only high because counties are reporting whatever deaths they feel like as being COVID related. Something to do with counties getting more federal aid if they have higher related death rates.

    I recently pointed out that the number of US deaths for any reason shot up by an additional 122k, basically a 1/6th increase during the quarantine. A number higher than the reported number dead from COVID in the US to begin with. Without skipping a beat they just moved the goalposts and said "Oh well, I heard around 50k people have died in hospice care due to COVID, and that's close to half of what you're saying. So that means it must not really be that bad, it's just the old people dying".

    I honestly don't understand them. They're worried about getting it on a personal level, always wondering if I'm at risk of exposing myself (and therefore them). But seem to think the national response (which is already a disaster) is somehow overblown? Maybe if a Democrat were in office, they'd feel differently because then they could get whipped up about how poorly the president were handling things. But like yourself, I really don't know what it will take to reach these people as the situation stands currently.

    5 votes
  2. Comment on Reddit releases their new content policy along with banning hundreds of subreddits, including /r/The_Donald and /r/ChapoTrapHouse in ~tech

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    I haven't seen anyone mention this, but I feel like people really misunderstand the action taken against /r/the_donald I have a strong guess that this was their end game the whole time. The sub...

    I haven't seen anyone mention this, but I feel like people really misunderstand the action taken against /r/the_donald

    I have a strong guess that this was their end game the whole time. The sub was dead because they created a set of demands for new mods that simply couldn't be met, and locked the sub until a new mod team was set up. But I think they just wanted to cool things off before banning the sub, because they were worried about the backlash.

    Probably figured if they let it die off first people wouldn't care as much, which seems to mostly be true seeing as how many people regard this move as late and ineffectual. Not really sure I can fault them either, given how unhinged some people are these days.

    9 votes
  3. Comment on Spider-Man: Miles Morales is the latest example of black people being relegated to side stories in games in ~games

    SunSpotter
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    Aside from myself, the only friend I know who reads comics is Black, so I don't think it's just you. There's definitely some kind of correlation there.

    Aside from myself, the only friend I know who reads comics is Black, so I don't think it's just you. There's definitely some kind of correlation there.

    1 vote
  4. Comment on Spider-Man: Miles Morales is the latest example of black people being relegated to side stories in games in ~games

    SunSpotter
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    This is an interesting subject, and I couldn't really find any hard statistics, so I'm just gonna wing it by speaking rationally and anecdotally. Overall, I strongly suspect OP is wrong though....

    This is an interesting subject, and I couldn't really find any hard statistics, so I'm just gonna wing it by speaking rationally and anecdotally. Overall, I strongly suspect OP is wrong though.

    While it was probably true that most gamers were white in 90's and before, it's not likely true anymore. Plenty of POC grew up playing a diverse variety of games, and I know that from my own friends and peers. The author also seems to go into detail on that and basically confirms my thoughts as far as that goes. I don't know any gen z gamers so I can't speak personally about them, but honestly I'd surprised if the trend reversed. There was a big push not too long ago to make 'gamer' and 'nerd' culture cool, and as far as I know that hasn't really changed, so if anything I'd guess the trend has accelerated. Computers and consoles are also incredibly cheap now days (comparatively speaking) so there should be more POC in the gaming crowd than ever before.

    Certainly white people represent a large portion of the market, but I'm very skeptical of the idea that it's such an overwhelmingly large portion that developers can just choose to ignore every other minority in today's day and age. Who knows, maybe these companies have data on market demographics that would prove me wrong, it's certainly a possibility. But I really expect this is more to do with questionable managerial decisions, similar to what the author suggests by saying these companies are playing it safe.

    6 votes
  5. Comment on Dwarf Fortress Steam version - First look gameplay and dev commentary in ~games

    SunSpotter
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    I've heard similar opinions given by the developers before in regards to "there is always something to do", but that was several years ago now. I'd thought perhaps this was a sign things had...

    I've heard similar opinions given by the developers before in regards to "there is always something to do", but that was several years ago now. I'd thought perhaps this was a sign things had changed, but it seems I was mistaken.

    It's really interesting to see how passionate they are about this project, and I'm continually impressed with how many years they're willing to put into it.

    1 vote
  6. Comment on Dwarf Fortress Steam version - First look gameplay and dev commentary in ~games

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    The most surprising thing to me here really is the fact that there's actual graphics now. When I saw the steam version my first thought was that they got bought out and spun off. Like many others,...

    The most surprising thing to me here really is the fact that there's actual graphics now. When I saw the steam version my first thought was that they got bought out and spun off.

    Like many others, this was (one of several admittedly) a large barrier to entry before. Perhaps now I'll pick it up again in earnest and give it a shot. I do wonder though if this means that they're nearing the end of development for the game, either because they're happy with where it's at or they're tired of it.

    3 votes
  7. Comment on After ten years in tech isolation, I’m now outsider to things I once had mastered in ~tech

    SunSpotter
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    You know what, I'd do time in McMurdo as some kind of weird banishment sentence. As much as I'm sure I'd grow to hate it, it would beat never seeing the outside of a cell for 10 years.

    You know what, I'd do time in McMurdo as some kind of weird banishment sentence. As much as I'm sure I'd grow to hate it, it would beat never seeing the outside of a cell for 10 years.

    2 votes
  8. Comment on Has your local climate gotten noticeably warmer in your lifetime? in ~enviro

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    Maybe not my lifetime, at least not that I can remember reliably. In terms of just general climate change though things certainly have changed in my dads lifetime. He has lots of stories of really...

    Maybe not my lifetime, at least not that I can remember reliably. In terms of just general climate change though things certainly have changed in my dads lifetime. He has lots of stories of really wet winters that flooded surrounding areas.

    And I've talked to a few people that own vineyards in the area, and they've said that it's becoming consistently warm enough that they're not sure how much longer they can grow certain varietals of wine. They'll have to switch to things purely meant for warm climates to stay in business basically, otherwise they just lose too much product.

    3 votes
  9. Comment on Overclocking and water cooling a TI-84 graphing calculator (to play DOOM on it) in ~tech

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    Apparently Zilog made Z80 CPU's (the CPU of the calculator here) up to 50Mhz according to Wikipedia. I'd like to see someone manage to swap in one of those bad boys, and then overclock it like...

    Apparently Zilog made Z80 CPU's (the CPU of the calculator here) up to 50Mhz according to Wikipedia. I'd like to see someone manage to swap in one of those bad boys, and then overclock it like Linus did. If you could squeeze another 10 Mhz out of it, you'd be playing Doom close to its native clock rate of 66Mhz. It'd be stupid and impractical, but worth a laugh for sure.

    7 votes
  10. Comment on Steam has added a "Play Next" shelf to the Library, using machine-learning to try to suggest which games you own that you should try next in ~games

    SunSpotter
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    That's a funny little oversight. I feel like there needs to be some user interaction to really bring out the full power of this play next feature. Being able to turn off re-releases of games...

    That's a funny little oversight. I feel like there needs to be some user interaction to really bring out the full power of this play next feature. Being able to turn off re-releases of games you've put a lot of hours in already seems like it shouldn't be that hard to program.

    Personally, I'd like to turn off suggestions for all the free to play games I will never install, let alone actually play.

    1 vote
  11. Comment on A first look at Unreal Engine 5, including a real-time demo running on PS5 in ~games

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    You're the first person I've noticed talk about the water and character detail. I don't want to be a debbie downer in light of the frankly amazing environmental graphics, but the fluid simulation...

    You're the first person I've noticed talk about the water and character detail. I don't want to be a debbie downer in light of the frankly amazing environmental graphics, but the fluid simulation really didn't look like much of an improvement over current gen, and the character looks...oddly cartoonish? At least compared to such photo realistic terrain.

    4 votes
  12. Comment on Do you think there is anything from the past we should bring back? in ~talk

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    Zeppelins as a form of travel, even if it's only luxury travel. They were pretty luxurious and spacious even for the 30's and 40's when they were popular. Sure, you're probably not going to be...

    Zeppelins as a form of travel, even if it's only luxury travel. They were pretty luxurious and spacious even for the 30's and 40's when they were popular. Sure, you're probably not going to be water sliding on one or have the same interior space as a cruise ship, so I understand why it probably can't compete.

    But the idea of a sky cruise as a form of travel sounds amazing to me regardless. Just being up there, enjoying the view and passing the time would make for one heck of an experience.

    10 votes
  13. Comment on How to start a DnD campaign with your friends? in ~games.tabletop

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    Ok, so this ended up being way longer than I meant it to be. So TLDR; Use an adventure guide book. Plan for multiple days even if you intend to do a one shot. Try to start with a smaller group and...

    Ok, so this ended up being way longer than I meant it to be. So TLDR;
    Use an adventure guide book. Plan for multiple days even if you intend to do a one shot. Try to start with a smaller group and choose your friends wisely. Teaching rules should come up organically, but don't make concessions to the rules for their sake. Stay quick on your feet and make sure players understand things are on rails. Do the adventure players want, don't get blindsided by the story you want.

    As for an explanation of the above points...

    Do I just rip off the White Orchard level from Witcher 3 to start off or do I come up with some generic fantasy land?

    Honestly, I don't recommend making up something yourself for your first run. There are a lot of reasons, a big one is simply that you don't have a feel for the game or your players likes/dislikes and interests yet. And I don't just mean thematically, it's hard to explain but there's a lot of things that people will only realize after they've started playing. The main reason though, is simply that most people underestimate the process and it ends up being more stress than it's worth, even if you're a creative type. Making a little world and thinking you're done is a classic mistake, because what makes an adventure come alive has more to do with story and character interaction. If you don't have a lot of experience with that, hold off on it for now.

    If you're worried about spending money on an adventure book, I personally started off as a broke college student and played by printing out my own books from...less than official sources. You do what you feel is best, but you should be aware that it's an option. I would argue there's no shame in sailing the seven seas as long as this is either a one time trial run or you buy something once you're sure this is something you want to continue doing.

    I'd like to run a small adventure in one night

    No one has mentioned this yet, so maybe this is just something me and my friends have a problem with, but we always have problems with actually doing a one shot in one night lol. I'd say just tell your friends that you're planning to use some specific content, and that it could take up to 3 sessions to finish, or it could be over in a day. It will depend on how quickly people get a hang of the rules, and how immersed in RP the players get. This gives you some flexibility so no one has to stay up extra late, and you already have a plan for upcoming days to fall back on.

    For characters I think it would be easier for me to come up with 8-10 pre-generated ones for a group of 4-5

    Definitely a good idea. Letting players create their own characters has its benefits but tailoring characters for members of your group is probably a better idea. Make sure you go through the sheet with everyone so that they understand the significance of the stats on the page though.
    As far as the group size goes, try to start small, because I feel like 5 is kind of big for a starting group. I'd recommend you start with just 3 if possible, but if that would mean cutting out someone and that would make things uncomfortable, then just go with 4.

    While we're talking about the group though, you need to be aware that just because someone is a good friend, doesn't mean they'll be a good player. Problem players come in a lot of forms, and I don't want to sound all doom and gloomy, so I'll just cut things short by saying that you should be cautious of adding friends who have a history of being edgy or argumentative, or who may not have a genuine interest in playing. In regards to the last point, make sure everyone there is there for the game and not just to play on their phone between their turns while they hang out with friends.

    How do I gently introduce players to mechanics?

    Ideally, it should just happen organically. The most common rules you will use in the game relate to skill checks and making attacks. That said, while the training wheels are still on, make sure the players are aware of their options. Like "you could persuade the bandit, intimidate him, fight him etc...". And on that note, if a player doesn't know how to persuade the bandit, or how much damage they do based on their weapon and their roll, they only need to ask. I'd recommend you have some links to resources that explain basic rules like that at the ready so that no one has to spend time looking around or second guessing, because there will probably come times that you doubt yourself. For things like rules related to specific spells, make sure you attach spell sheets with explanations to any relevant character sheets (if any).

    On the topic of mechanics, make sure you stick to them yourself. It's a common mistake for new DM's to want to give out shiny weapons like candy, or make concessions to the rules to make things more interesting for the players. Honestly...it's just a bad idea because you can't really judge the repercussions that will have later as a new DM. Even for a simple one shot adventure, the possible repercussions could be unfulfilling fights that don't seem that challenging, or having to buff enemies so they don't die quickly and ending up in a boring slugging match.

    How do I deal with unpredictable situations?

    Honestly? Just try to stay sober and quick on your feet. At least for spontaneous in the moment things the only thing you can do is to fight creative fire with fire. For everything else, make sure you have an understanding with the players to be cooperative and mature before the adventure even starts. It should feel like a Disneyland ride. They can look all around them at the scenery and paths that they could take, but they need to understand that you're guiding them in one direction. It sounds lame, but it's honestly better to be on rails and break the immersion a little bit in this instance than to give players the impression they have complete freedom. If this were a campaign, I'd give you different advice, but for a one shot anything less is just going to be a mess. That said, there's nothing wrong with being a little flexible to meet the needs of your player characters and keep them satisfied as things progress.

    My last piece of advice is to make sure you communicate with the players. Don't do the adventure you want to do because you think it would be fun as a DM. Talk to your players. See if you can get a gist for what themes they're interested in, and whether they want more action or more intrigue or something inbetween. Every group will be a little different.

    4 votes
  14. Comment on What old tech are you holding onto and why? in ~tech

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    Makes sense that he got it from working with IBM, seems to be that most people I've talked to who actually held onto IBM stuff worked there. Still though, I don't suppose you know if he kept...

    Makes sense that he got it from working with IBM, seems to be that most people I've talked to who actually held onto IBM stuff worked there.

    Still though, I don't suppose you know if he kept anything else? You could always restore an old PS/2 or whatever he has from that era if you're looking for retro/antique appeal. There's quite a few communities out there to support that hobby.

    3 votes
  15. Comment on What old tech are you holding onto and why? in ~tech

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    If he owned it back in the day, I'm assuming he owned an actual PS/2 at one point? Or were there really people who bought IBM keyboards to go with compatibles in the 90s? I've honestly always...

    If he owned it back in the day, I'm assuming he owned an actual PS/2 at one point? Or were there really people who bought IBM keyboards to go with compatibles in the 90s? I've honestly always wondered if that was a popular thing to do, or if it's more of a modern thing to cherish model M's because current keyboards aren't as good.

    3 votes
  16. Comment on What old tech are you holding onto and why? in ~tech

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    As someone else already said, it's not really holding onto if you bought it recently but I actually collect and restore old computers. I have about four IBM computers I've collected, but I have...

    As someone else already said, it's not really holding onto if you bought it recently but I actually collect and restore old computers. I have about four IBM computers I've collected, but I have more than just IBM systems. My oldest computer is an Apple II+ from 1979, and my newest is a Compaq server from 1998 for example.

    My real pride and joy though is my IBM 5170. It came to me in pretty poor condition to be honest, and it had a few immediate problems I had to fix. Ironically, it seems to be in good shape internally because its previous owner(s?) couldn't get it to work. Still, the appearance is kind of rough, and it's missing an actual IBM keyboard or monitor. I managed to scavenge era appropriate hardware for it, but my dream is to get it back to original IBM condition, with manuals printer and everything.

    On another note, it's funny to me that there's only a couple people talking about vintage PC stuff so far and they're both about IBM keyboards. In my experience it's near impossible to actually find them in the wild. I found an IBM PC-XT keyboard in the wild once but passed on buying it because I didn't have an XT or PC at the time. I've since come to regret that immensely lol.

    6 votes
  17. Comment on Are you having any (professional) "I told you so" moments? in ~tech

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    I don't know what level of education you work in, but that sounds somewhat similar to my experience as a college student. We went from "dunno" to campus closed in just over 2 days. Additionally, I...

    I don't know what level of education you work in, but that sounds somewhat similar to my experience as a college student.

    We went from "dunno" to campus closed in just over 2 days. Additionally, I had a lot of professors tell us this was all overblown and we shouldn't be afraid to go out and enjoy our new time off.

    The only thing different is that it seems college admin had been discussing the idea of moving online, so there was at least a dialogue on how things would transition. But I don't think anyone expected online instruction would need to last so long, and there was basically no plan for how labs would transition. Honestly I'm still waiting for the email telling me my lab is just cancelled because there's no real way to do it online with our level of preparedness.

    4 votes
  18. Comment on 3.3 million Americans file for unemployment claims, shattering records in ~health.coronavirus

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    The really staggering thing is that somehow his supporters have spun all of this as being the fault of the CDC, and that Trump has been doing everything that he can. I don't have a relevant...

    The really staggering thing is that somehow his supporters have spun all of this as being the fault of the CDC, and that Trump has been doing everything that he can.

    I don't have a relevant article at hand, but it's all my parents talk about, and it's what some rather conservative coworkers were saying last I saw them.

    6 votes
  19. Comment on Recommend classic games you feel everyone should play at least once in ~games

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    If we're going back to the 80's, I feel like Zork should definitely get a mention too! It's quite likely the original RPG, at least as far as PC gaming is concerned.

    If we're going back to the 80's, I feel like Zork should definitely get a mention too! It's quite likely the original RPG, at least as far as PC gaming is concerned.

    4 votes
  20. Comment on Super Tuesday: who did you end up voting for and why? in ~talk

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    I was expecting lots of Bernie, but not almost exclusively Bernie. Honestly I was hoping for a lone Biden vote. Tildes is obviously fairly politically homogeneous.

    I was expecting lots of Bernie, but not almost exclusively Bernie. Honestly I was hoping for a lone Biden vote.

    Tildes is obviously fairly politically homogeneous.

    2 votes