Tried to play Republique, but I’ve lost a second save game from glitching. Too clunky to enjoy, anyway.

21 April 2014 - 5 hours ago

Discussion Summary: Pathfinder

I dunno, it’s basically too slow and I’m too tired of the setting to roleplay anything interesting (STR-based rogue because Weapon Finesse is for pansies).

I think Dungeons and Dragons just isn’t a very interesting game… the only aspect I like about it is character creation/levels from a purely systems-based standpoint — I don’t think it’s very conducive to storytelling, but this was a pretty limited experience. I was surprised at how encounter driven the game is — feels like it’s just a horrible version of reading/videogames.

I think spellcasting needs balancing. There’s not really any counterplay to it — missing a save incapacitates you to a point where you probably die. Strangely, I never felt this playing Neverwinter Nights, where you could even rest after every encounter. Maybe it’s the clunkiness of the spellcasting UI.

I’d be happy to play more storytelling-focussed RPGs, but I don’t think it’s something I’m particularly interested in seeking out anymore.

18 April 2014 - 3 days ago

The Banner Saga

The big problems with the caravan system, for me, are:

  • Clan size affects the ease of combat encounters, but the game actually rewards difficult combat with more kills/Reknown. Having a bigger clan consumes more supplies, making it costly to rest while offering no gameplay incentive in return.
  • The important consequences — mainly the ones affecting Heroes — are usually a direct result of the dialogue trees, and not a result of the simulation. I don’t think the occurrence or content of random events are affected either.
  • The resources are all closely linked and fairly momentum based (Reknown => Supplies <=> Morale/Injuries). One or two bad dialogue choices could leave you scraping through, while a couple of early successes in a chapter will make the rest feel quite easy.

I don’t know if there are additional layers (e.g. caravan upgrades, rationing policy, Fighter training, Reknown granularity) that could magically transform and balance this part of the game. I suspect there aren’t because the problem is more fundamental than that: ultimately, none of the choices in the caravan simulation matter (gameplay-wise).

I dunno… adding non-linearity using story branches, or more appropriate for The Banner System, allowing for game failure and not expecting the player to always reach the end? This introduces its own problems, and I think the deliberate slower pacing of the game couldn’t support this without becoming frustrating.

Alternatively, just add a high score to the end of the game.

18 April 2014 - 3 days ago

UML was described to me as a way to help communicate between developers and non-developers, but I don’t think a non-developer should be anywhere near the design of a complex system. At the moment, I feel like an informal block diagram usually do a better job for communicating structure/behaviours (and for anything important, I don’t think the use of diagrams alone is sufficient).

18 April 2014 - 3 days ago

Uniformed curriculum reforms (which don’t apply to free schools) are pretty bad, but selling school land is really disgusting.

7 April 2014 - 2 weeks ago

Content Summary: Free Schools

Most of these are e-facts — lazy to properly source.

Academies and free schools (essentially the same thing: schools not controlled by a local authority) have been successful, but not especially moreso than regular schools. In theory, they’re meant to receive equivalent amounts of funding as regular schools, but it seems they’re favoured to some degree (funding fast-tracking and tax breaks). Overall, I think it’s too early to tell if they’re successful — more autonomy sounds good, but things aren’t usually that straightforward.

Criticisms are that they’ll teach creationism (seems unfounded) and fragment communities by favouring middle-class families (well, we did vote Conservative), that they have no obligation to support special needs (pretty serious), and may outclass regular schools (which is the whole point — school closure happened a lot in the 80s/90s as a result of grant-maintained schools, a similar concept; they were considered successful, but only because they were already performing well).1

And obviously, this all comes with the opportunity cost of not improving teachers’ quality of life, repealing schemes like EMA, and just generally diverting resources from regular schools (or, in fact, gimping them with curriculum changes).

I want to say that it feels like brash policy because the bill was rushed, but I don’t think anyone would change their mind if the Academies Act had passed a year later. Is this kind of experimentation better than pumping money into old schools that are slowly failing? Stability seems like it would be a lot better for retaining teachers, and I think this is why most of the unions are upset.

I hate to label things as bad just because they’re change, but there must be some reason that Gove is universally criticised.


  1. No-one seems too upset with the lack of accountability. I’ve always had the impression that Ofsted/Ofqual didn’t do an adequate job as it was. 

7 April 2014 - 2 weeks ago

I don’t know if it counts as empathy if someone
has the same feelings as you anyway.

23 March 2014 - 4 weeks ago

Dead Poets Society. Gun in it.

22 March 2014 - 1 month ago

Mostly just being mean to people, though.

16 March 2014 - 1 month ago
Project: League Mastery Optimizer

So I came up with a way to passive-aggressively tell people their masteries are shit.

While I&#8217;m sure that Strength of Spirit/Runic Blessing are god-awful points, I feel that my personal preferences have probably slipped through in a lot of places (Executioner is really good, though!). It&#8217;s actually on the conservative side &#8212; I&#8217;d rather make a few solid suggestions than a bunch that could be ignored.

One could probably trying to infer the role/champion as well (e.g. taking Second Wind on champions without self-healing) and do some proper AI. I&#8217;m a bit more interested in natural language generation and suggesting where to place alternative points instead.

But I&#8217;ll probably just work on a basic rune optimizer, because that bugs me, too (AD quints, dammit!).

Project: League Mastery Optimizer

So I came up with a way to passive-aggressively tell people their masteries are shit.

While I’m sure that Strength of Spirit/Runic Blessing are god-awful points, I feel that my personal preferences have probably slipped through in a lot of places (Executioner is really good, though!). It’s actually on the conservative side — I’d rather make a few solid suggestions than a bunch that could be ignored.

One could probably trying to infer the role/champion as well (e.g. taking Second Wind on champions without self-healing) and do some proper AI. I’m a bit more interested in natural language generation and suggesting where to place alternative points instead.

But I’ll probably just work on a basic rune optimizer, because that bugs me, too (AD quints, dammit!).

10 March 2014 - 1 month ago   ♥ 4

Listen, I think you're super cool, and reply to any messages within a couple of days, because I value anyone that wants to reach out. If I don't, it's 100% because Tumblr lost a message in one direction. Do keep a copy of what you write! Twitter may be a better option for anything vaguely important.