hook's recent activity

  1. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    hook
    Link Parent
    My go to rupee farming spot is the bowling game in the snow area.

    My go to rupee farming spot is the bowling game in the snow area.

    2 votes
  2. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    hook
    Link Parent
    I’m looking forward to its Switch release. Is it really a 20' run every time? If so, this might make it even cooler to me :)

    I’m looking forward to its Switch release. Is it really a 20' run every time? If so, this might make it even cooler to me :)

    1 vote
  3. Comment on What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them? in ~games

    hook
    (edited )
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    I have not participated in this thread in a while, even though I have played (and finished) games in between, but today I want to talk about a game I started playing a week ago (it’s on sale now)...

    I have not participated in this thread in a while, even though I have played (and finished) games in between, but today I want to talk about a game I started playing a week ago (it’s on sale now) and have become positively obsessed with it – Winbound.

    It is an extremely satisfying survival adventure game with sailing, crafting, souls-like combat that manages to hit the balance between relaxing and intense just right. The story seems to be about a lost civilisation and its fall (but I have not finished it yet.

    I very warmly recommend it (much longer description below).

    At a first glance you might brush it off as BotW clone due to the visual style and the (optional, craftable) glider – but that would be a huge mistake.

    They do share some similarities (that even BotW took from other games before it), but the combination stands very much on its own feet.

    You need to craft everything from tools, weapons, food, ships, armour. While in BotW you could just hoard everything, here you have a limited inventory (5 slots, before you start crafting bags) and everything wears down, as well as food spoils. The combat is pretty brutal, where a larger animal can basically 2-shot (or even 1-shot) you, while most of the easier to create weapons just nibble at their health. To the point it’s comparable to a Souls-like. The story is divided into 5 chapters each of which a section of a sea with a handful of islands. So sailing can take a huge part of your time – which is great, because it’s really well implemented.

    If you ever sailed, it’s on point. Seriously, I haven’t had that much fun sailing in a game since Sid Meier’s Pirates! way back in the 90’s.

    Between chapters you have to perform a tough sailing trial through a stormy tunnel and then you learn a bit more about what happened to the world (and what is your role in all of this?). There are also additional story pieces scattered throughout the islands, if you find them.

    When you die, you either start from the very beginning of the game with just the items you held on your body (normal mode), or beginning of the chapter with much more items (easy mode) .

    Between the runs, you do keep the crafting recipes, sea shards and blessings you found though. So that is the rogue-lite element.

    Also of note is that the world is procedurally generated, so no two runs are the exact same. There are different ways you can tackle a run as well, with several achievements (e.g. vegetarian/carnivore run, achieving max speed with boat) and blessings (e.g. unbreakable spear, sneaking makes you invisible) spicing things up.

    Also apparently you can dive and explore the sea that way as well, but while I have already found that blessing, I am saving it for after I beat the game at least once :slightly_smiling_face: So far my best run was to die in chapter 4 (normal mode).
    I had the game for about a week now, and I’m pretty sure I played over 15h already (Switch does not show the number of hours yet) and I’m not going to stop any time soon.

    Oh, and it has a free sailing mode, where you have unlimited resources, no enemies, no hunger …and you just build your boat(s) and sail around in them as you please.

    In the normal game, hunger causes you to lose stamina, and once your stamina is completely depleted, it causes also your health to go down. So hunting, gathering, cooking and resource management is very much a question of survival.

    I waited for a sale just in case, but TBH if I paid full price I would still find it very well deserved. Once I beat the game I’m going to buy the DLC outfit that was part of the pre-order package, just to show support.

    3 votes
  4. Comment on Are there any viable alternatives for Facebook? in ~tech

    hook
    Link Parent
    If you do that, I suggest using the Facebook Container add-on in Firefox …you know what, I suggest you use that (perhaps also Multi-Account Containers add-on) regardless whether you use Facebook...

    If you want to drop Facebook though, I gotta say it’s not that hard. You can keep your own account and just stop visiting it. If you only visit mbasic.Facebook.com all the adware garbage to try and catch and keep your attention goes away. And even when I see something on someone’s timeline I’ve taken to just emailing them or texting them instead of replying within the Facebook platform.

    If you do that, I suggest using the Facebook Container add-on in Firefox …you know what, I suggest you use that (perhaps also Multi-Account Containers add-on) regardless whether you use Facebook or not!

    11 votes
  5. Comment on Mozilla VPN desktop client now available on Linux in ~tech

    hook
    Link Parent
    That makes sense, thank you.

    That makes sense, thank you.

    1 vote
  6. Comment on Mozilla VPN desktop client now available on Linux in ~tech

    hook
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    Can someone explain to me why I would need a separate piece of software for this (and many other VPN) instead of just relying on the VPN integration in NetworkManager?

    Can someone explain to me why I would need a separate piece of software for this (and many other VPN) instead of just relying on the VPN integration in NetworkManager?

    2 votes
  7. Comment on Do you carry a knife with with you? If so, what type/company? in ~hobbies

    hook
    Link Parent
    From the UK I find Betty’s / Taylors of Harrogate to be pretty good. East India Tea Company can also have som good stuff. For darjeeling, assam etc., I haven’t found a better choice than Vahdam,...

    From the UK I find Betty’s / Taylors of Harrogate to be pretty good. East India Tea Company can also have som good stuff.

    For darjeeling, assam etc., I haven’t found a better choice than Vahdam, which is Indian-owned and claims to package directly from plantations.

    As for flavoured teas, my go-to brand for the past few years has been Kusmi, but they also have some hit-or-miss ones. In general I feel the French have a pretty good grasp at flavoured blends, as complanies like Mariage Frères and Damman Frères are at least as good, but probably a bit harder to get. The Austrian Demmer has some good ones as well (I really like their Sacher tea).

    For Souchong specifically (I love their Tarry, but their Tiger is a bit too strong even for me), I like Le Palais des Thés, but since they closed shop in my town, I haven’t bought anything from them yet.

    That being said, we have quite a few different tea houses in my town, so I’m a bit spoilt for choice even when it comes to brick and mortar shops.

    For Chinese teas I like Tea Vivre quite a bit. But haven’t ordered any in a long time. Part of the reason is that I manage to source quality teas from Japan, China and Taiwan through gift exchanges at conferences ;)

    BTW, if you like your teas earthy, a less known (and younger) tea growing region) is Kenya. Taylor’s has a pretty good Kwazulu.

    2 votes
  8. Comment on Do you carry a knife with with you? If so, what type/company? in ~hobbies

    hook
    Link Parent
    Nope, not at all. Continental EU. Can tell you even that in my experience, the average cuppa in the UK (PG Tips, Lipton and Tetley are meh; Twinning and Sir Winston are mere shadows of their...

    Nope, not at all. Continental EU. Can tell you even that in my experience, the average cuppa in the UK (PG Tips, Lipton and Tetley are meh; Twinning and Sir Winston are mere shadows of their former selves), and Ireland even more so (Barry's tastes of fish) is pretty shite.

    There are far worse though. Hotel (even 4-5 star) coffee and tea can be pretty bad (and super pricey). And conference coffee is an established term for a reason.

    I have to say that the best tea I've had at a conference, was indeed at the Dublin Congress Centre. Of course it wasn't Barry's, but oddly enough while an Irish brand it sported the name of a German master blender.

    2 votes
  9. Comment on Do you carry a knife with with you? If so, what type/company? in ~hobbies

    hook
    Link
    Victorinox Outrider, but with the slider/button safety catch. I have it always in my backpack, and I almost always take my backpack when I go out (apart from just walking the dog). I’ve always had...

    Victorinox Outrider, but with the slider/button safety catch. I have it always in my backpack, and I almost always take my backpack when I go out (apart from just walking the dog). I’ve always had a swiss army knife ever since my dad gave me one when I was a kid.

    As a scout and sailor for many years and my work requires some international travel as well, so there are some parts that I learnt to rely on:

    • knife (preferably with safety slide) – the most practical thing, obviously
    • bottle opener and can opener – self-explanatory (BTW, they double as screwdrivers)
    • corkscrew – I can’t tell you at how many parties, that was the only civilised and safe way to open a bottle of wine
    • scissors – if nothing else, for cutting nails
    • pincers – rarely needed, but when you do get a nasty splinter abroad, it’s brilliant
    • saw – the saw on the Victorinox knife is surprisingly good, if you need to make a bivouac or a fireplace, it does a great job
    • phillips screwdriver – just the right size to open up your laptop if needed
    • hole puncher / awl – the least often used tool for me (apart from the toothpick), but when you need to sew something up (e.g. tent’s canvas) in need, it’s a god-send

    When traveling I also take a foldable spoon and fork, and a miniature spice set with salt, pepper and sugar compartments. I typically also take a few tea bags and a few satchels of instant coffee. Jet lag is bad, but jet lag with crap coffee and crap tea is far worse ;)

    2 votes
  10. Comment on What do you use for email? in ~tech

    hook
    Link Parent
    I’m not familiar with the catch-all concept, but I have a few aliases, of which I only use one for my private use and another one for a specific NGO. The NGO mail gets into a separate folder,...

    I’m not familiar with the catch-all concept, but I have a few aliases, of which I only use one for my private use and another one for a specific NGO. The NGO mail gets into a separate folder, which as I am not that involved anymore I do not get notifications about, and just read at my leisure.

    I don’t use it myself, but my brother makes ample use of the plus notation (howto here) so assuming his actual e-mail address is name@example.com, he would use name+spam@example.com for logins to things he expects spam from, name+finances@example.com for financial stuff and then create filters to either move the messages that come to these addresses to their respective folders or trash them in the +spam@ case.

    2 votes
  11. Comment on What makes different hack’n’slash action games distinct and special? in ~games

    hook
    Link Parent
    Oh, yeah, Astral Chain is already on my wishlist, but I want to finish at least some of the massive RPGs and the two Bayonettas before I buy it. Thanks regarding the Hyrule Warriors tip. In terms...

    Oh, yeah, Astral Chain is already on my wishlist, but I want to finish at least some of the massive RPGs and the two Bayonettas before I buy it.

    Thanks regarding the Hyrule Warriors tip. In terms of musou games, I thought of getting one to see if it clicks. And then I was thinking of either something where being over-the-top seems natural like One Piece Warriors 4, or the Zelda one for the story. I kinda enjoyed the game-play of the demo, but it seemed like one you can play without concentrating too much on it (which also has its benefits to unwind sometimes).

    3 votes
  12. Comment on What makes different hack’n’slash action games distinct and special? in ~games

    hook
    Link Parent
    Never thought of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice as a hack’n’slash before …but I haven’t played it either. Care to dive in deeper into this and your Ninja Theory part?

    Never thought of Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice as a hack’n’slash before …but I haven’t played it either. Care to dive in deeper into this and your Ninja Theory part?

    2 votes
  13. Comment on What makes different hack’n’slash action games distinct and special? in ~games

    hook
    Link Parent
    If you compared it to Bayonetta – which, at this stage (apart from the Age of Calamity and Wonderful 101 demos) is the only similar game I played – what would you say sets it apart? Zelda-like...

    If you compared it to Bayonetta – which, at this stage (apart from the Age of Calamity and Wonderful 101 demos) is the only similar game I played – what would you say sets it apart? Zelda-like puzzles, easier combat?

    2 votes
  14. Comment on What do you use for email? in ~tech

    hook
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    Private hosting from an admin I trust. Laptops: Long-term user of KMail and I actually make use of many of its advanced features – powerful and user-friendly. On very rare occasions when I need to...

    What email provider do you use?

    Private hosting from an admin I trust.

    What clients do you use?

    Laptops: Long-term user of KMail and I actually make use of many of its advanced features – powerful and user-friendly. On very rare occasions when I need to be on Windows (once a year for work) I have Thunderbird.
    Phone: FairEmail. I actually use the paid version, but the gratis version is very much usable (both are FOSS). On my phone I typically use e-mail rarely and very rarely to answer/write.
    Web (as backup): Nextcloud Mail on my own Nextcloud server, RoundCube provided by my host.

    How do you treat your email?

    I treat it as mail. I know some people treat it as their task manager; and others as an IM. But I try to check e-mail so I sit down and take an hour to go through it all, answer what I can, create tasks for what needs further work; and then go on with my actual day. I am not saying this works out like this in practice every time though ;)

    For starters, I have my view set up so it shows messages threaded and in chronological order, whereby the newest messages are at the bottom (i.e. as you actually read).

    Typically, if a message includes something actionable for me (other than a quick-ish reply) I would create a task by simply pressing a button (or key-combo) in KMail, which would store the task name and e-mail attached in my task manager (Zanshin).

    I am a heavy user of filters and have the server move e-mail to ~40 folders (e.g. bugs, finances, automated e-mails, acceptable promotions, several mailing lists).

    Even after I read a message, I keep it for later reference. I keep messages from as way back as 2007. After I unsubscribe from a mailing list, I archive its folder and store it as a tarball on my disk, if I ever need it again (actually proved extremely useful a few occasions!), then I delete it from my mail client and server.

    For spam filtering, I use Bogofilter locally in KMail. During the many years of use, it can filter things extremely reliably for me for several different languages.

    Similarly, for automatic e-mails such as bug trackers, acceptable promotions, and similar notifications, I have a local filter that removes any e-mail that is not marked as important and is older than 120 days.

    Oh, and I think this should be pretty clear: Private discussions go on my private e-mail, and business discussions go on my work e-mail.

    I have passive e-mail notifications turned on my laptops only for the inbox and a select few folders. On my phone I have active e-mail notifications turned on only for my inbox, and even then only from people who I have added to my address book.

    Anything else you want to share in relation with this?

    If your e-mail provider supports Sieve filters, using them to set up server-side filtering is great, as all your clients will find the e-mail in that folder right away.

    What is or is not spam I find to be very personal, so I think investing a bit into training the Bogofilter locally pays off pretty soon in my experience. Sure, GMail will be more efficient at the beginning, but eventually a personalised local filter surpasses it with lower positive and negative errors.

    3 votes
  15. Comment on What do you use for email? in ~tech

    hook
    Link Parent
    I have a (third level) .name domain for that, and an e-mail alias is a feature of it. This has saved me from explaining my new e-mail address a few times already. The downside is that sometimes my...

    I have a (third level) .name domain for that, and an e-mail alias is a feature of it.

    This has saved me from explaining my new e-mail address a few times already. The downside is that sometimes my e-mails get stuck in a spambox (esp. on GMail). But this can be mitigated, I’m sure.

    1 vote
  16. Comment on What makes different hack’n’slash action games distinct and special? in ~games

    hook
    Link Parent
    After I finish the last (standard) boss, I plan to play Bayonetta 2 (and wait and see what 3 brings). But from the genre, what I’m eyeing as well is the Darksiders series and the new Hyrule...

    After I finish the last (standard) boss, I plan to play Bayonetta 2 (and wait and see what 3 brings). But from the genre, what I’m eyeing as well is the Darksiders series and the new Hyrule Warriors.

    Those details and gimmicks are exactly what I’m interested in in this topic – I want us to discuss what makes specific representatives of this genre distinct or even great.

    3 votes
  17. Comment on What makes different hack’n’slash action games distinct and special? in ~games

    hook
    (edited )
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    To kick it off, here are my thoughts on the ones I played so far: Bayonetta (WikiPedia) – and here I may be very wrong – it feels to me like what makes it special (apart from the character) is the...

    To kick it off, here are my thoughts on the ones I played so far:

    Bayonetta (WikiPedia) – and here I may be very wrong – it feels to me like what makes it special (apart from the character) is the super-tight controls and how the many combos flow. I found Bayonetta on Normal to be pretty challenging and had to use items (even yellow lollypops in some sequences) from time to time, but it’s my first play-through. I just finished the game on Normal and now that the memory is still fresh, I would say what makes Bayonetta distinct is that the fighting feels a lot like dancing with the push and pull of the dancers, whereby the aim is that Bayonetta is in the lead. I think this is further accentuated by the character’s love for dance.

    ICEY (WikiPedia) – is a 2D hack’n’slash and while the audio-visual package is really good (providing you change the voice acting from English to something else), what makes it special is the many endings and how it makes use of the meta-game. You play Icey, who is part of a game where the narrator is apparently the developer of, and you can either follow his lead “the way the game is intended” or ignore him as much as you want, to the extent of not killing bosses. This leads to different outcomes both in the game and the meta-game. The fighting and platforming mechanics are not very complicated, but good and carry the game’s (meta)story very well.

    Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity (Wikipedia) – I only played the demo, and this is the first *warriors/musou game I ever tried, as in general the sub-genre always struck me as pretty shallow and button-mashy. From what I can see, it seems the general point of all warriors games is to mix the feeling of superiority by being a character who with a single move can wipe out dozens and hundreds of enemies with a bit of light tactics by needing to keep an eye on the map. For this game in particular, for me the biggest selling point is the story that lead up to Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

    4 votes
  18. What makes different hack’n’slash action games distinct and special?

    I’ve been playing Bayonetta on and off for a bit of time, and now that I’m near the end of it (just started Requiem), the genre kinda grew on me, which surprised me quite a bit. I see loads of...

    I’ve been playing Bayonetta on and off for a bit of time, and now that I’m near the end of it (just started Requiem), the genre kinda grew on me, which surprised me quite a bit.

    I see loads of games being thrown in the same bag:

    • Bayonetta
    • Devil May Cry
    • Darksiders
    • Ninja Gaiden
    • No More Heroes
    • God of War
    • several Warriors/Musou games
    • etc. etc.

    So I was wondering what makes any specific game in the general genre distinct and special, and wanted to discuss in this thread.

    My experience with this genre is limited as the Switch is my first ever console, but I will share what little experience I have in a comment.

    P.S. I hope this thread will be a bit more lively than my previous try with the Different types of 3D platformers thread.

    6 votes
  19. Comment on How Nintendo has hurt the Smash community in ~games

    hook
    (edited )
    Link Parent
    By default copyright prohibits everything that involves copying, distributing, publishing, modifying etc. etc. It gives the copyright holder (= often, but not always, the author) exclusive rights....
    • Exemplary

    By default copyright prohibits everything that involves copying, distributing, publishing, modifying etc. etc. It gives the copyright holder (= often, but not always, the author) exclusive rights. For everything else you either need a license or the law needs to include a limitation or exception (or fair use doctrine in USA).

    Below I will use the Slovenian Zakon o avtorski in sorodnih pravicah [ZASP] (eng. translation Copyright and Related Rights Act (PDF)) as an example, because I am most familiar with that one, and discussing copyright in eSports is not very high on my priority list, so I don’t intend to bother searching through the US legislation for relevant section numbers and especially case law (practical things about civil law countries, not relying on case law that much helps with searching). Things should be pretty similar in USA though. To simplify, I will leave out moral rights as well (most don’t apply to software anyway).

    Regarding playing the game, the normal/intended use of a copyrighted work is allowed by law (ZASP, §46), which is why a company needs to have you agree in an End User License Agreement that you are getting less rights as allowed by law, if they want to restrict your right to use to e.g. a number of computers, time, limit to school work etc.

    Regarding the necessary temporary copying of the game in order to make it run, the law allows free use for such temporary reproduction (ZASP §49.a), to the extent it is strictly necessary for its normal and legal use.

    Regarding public transmission (§27), Right of public communication by means of phonograms or videograms (§28) and (re)broadcasting (§§30-32.a), ZASP explicitly states that is an exclusive right of the copyright holder.

    Finally, a game is not a stencil. Just as a film is not a stencil. You can quote it (§51), you can critique and parody it (§53) just as any other work though. A stencil’s intended use is to be used for recreating shapes, a film’s intended use is to be watched, and a game’s intended use is to be played.

    A game might be used as a tool to create new works of art (think machinima) and in that case you do own copyright in the final work, but just that (thin) layer; the art, assets and game engine are still well within the realm of its original copyright holder. But simply playing a game falls well within its “intended use”, and it would be very hard for it to pass the originality muster needed to qualify for a new copyrighted work (even from a very skilled player). That being said, you probably can use a game to have an artistic performance, especially if parts of the game are an integral part of it e.g. needed for critique or parody.


    P.S. Is copyright dated and needs fixing? Hell yeah! But that’s what the law currently says. And don’t even get me started on how copyright (and trade mark) law applies to GitHub forks *shivers*

    4 votes
  20. Comment on How Nintendo has hurt the Smash community in ~games

    hook
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    Interesting details, but it is apparent that Nintendo just does not know how to handle eSports – they don’t get it in Smash, they sure as hell dropped the ball on ARMS. So far the franchise that...

    Interesting details, but it is apparent that Nintendo just does not know how to handle eSports – they don’t get it in Smash, they sure as hell dropped the ball on ARMS. So far the franchise that got the best out of it was Splatoon, and even there things are not entirely rosy I think.

    Also, the fact that Nintendo is super protective of their IP is nothing new.

    4 votes