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ponderings on Turing and Searle, why AI can't work and shouldn't be pursued
I was reading about the Turing test and John Searle's response (Chinese room argument) in "Minds, Brains, and Programs" 1980. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_room "...there is no essential difference between the roles of the computer and himself in the experiment. Each simply follows a program, step-by-step, producing a behavior which is then interpreted by the user as demonstrating intelligent conversation. However, Searle himself would not be able to understand the conversation. ("I don't speak a word of Chinese," he points out.) Therefore, he argues, it follows that the computer would not be able to understand the conversation either. " -Wikipedia (apt summary of Searle's argument) John Searle has run into some black/white, on/off, binary thinking here. John treats Chinese symbols as if they were numerical values in his thinking--but they are not, they are complex representations of thought, emotion, history, and culture. All languages are in fact "living", because new words are created constantly through necessity and creativity, old symbols or words are adapted slowly over generations to mean different things, and different regions or traditions or sources attribute different layers of meaning to different symbols or words in different contexts. I'm a poet and philosopher. Painters combine the color white and the color red to create a new color: pink. They can use their creativity to add other colors or change the shade. Poets use words like painters use colors. While Red and White make Pink, Red and White also make "Rhite and Wed" or "Reit and Whede". And this is where human thought shines uniquely: we don't have rules or parameters; all bets are off. We can enjamb words and wordbreak and make new words out of thin air. We can allude to multiple ideas in the same symbol or present it upside down to symbolize the opposite. No such creative adaptation or interaction can exist in machine thinking because it necessitates thinking "outside the box" which is exactly what machines are: a program in a box. The problem Searle's argument runs into originates from poor assessment of the flawed ideas of the Turing test; that by interaction between human and computer, evidence of "thought" can be claimed. But intelligent conversation is not equivalent to intelligent thought. Conversation is a simple game with strict rules--you can't be overly spontaneous and creative, because if you are, you are working against the goal of communication itself: to impart understanding. (ie. Using metaphor or simile creatively while reporting a criminal offence to the police.) When I write and I want to describe something which has no existing word yet, I can create one from scratch or synthesize one from multiple existing words. Or I may draw from archaic languages or foreign languages to augment or compliment existing English words. You could say that my love for English grows amore and amore every day, and there is no agape between my heart and mind. After all, any angle an Anglo aims at ain't always apt, and after another a-word 'appens I might just give up on alliteration. You see, human thought is and can only be defined as the ability to spontaneously create new ideas from both the synthesis of old ideas (whether they are connected to one another or not) and from nothing at all. We simply cannot analyze a machine's ability to "think" when the creativity itself required for authentic intelligence is disallowed in the test which evaluates the validity of that intelligence. The Turing test is a garbage metric to judge machine thinking ability because the context in which "intelligence" is observed, compared, or defined is itself without any opportunity for spontaneous creativity, which is one of the hallmarks of intelligence itself. Turing only tests how well a fish swims on land. It may be that many professionals in the field of cognitive science today are in pursuit of creating programs which pass this test, in a misunderstood pursuit of emulating or bringing about machine intelligence. This agreed-to model presents an underlying philosophical issue which may bring terror for the future of humanity. I say that if John Searle and an AI were both given the same codebook--the complete lexicon of Chinese symbols and their meanings, and they were to undertake a "conversation", in the first few hours the responses would be indeterminable from one another. In essence, as Searle argues, they would neither "understand" Chinese, yet could have a conversation in which a Chinese observer cannot discern between the two, because they are both referencing the symbols and their written meanings. However as I've said, this circumstance of "conversation" between human and machine cannot be used as a metric to evaluate machine thought. The real kicker is that if John Searle and the machine stayed in the room for long enough--for years and years--the machine's responses would not change spontaneously; it would continue to interpret incoming data and draw from its database to respond to those inputs. However, through complex elaborative rehearsal, John would eventually learn to understand written Chinese. He may become so bored that he starts writing Chinese poetry. He would find ideas and desires and descriptions in his limitless intelligent mind which he would not have the truly accurate characters in existences to describe, and he would synthesize brand new Chinese characters in order to express these nuanced sentiments, ideas, and meanings, as generations before him have built the living language as it now stands. As time went on for thousands of years, his own understanding of the Chinese language would grow immensely, as would his creative expression grow in complexity. Eventually, John's characters and syntax and context and expression would become incompatible with the machine's limited character set and all "learning" capacity it may have had. At some point, when John responds with his evolved Chinese, the machine would begin to produce responses which do not make sense contextually, as it refers only to a finite and rigidly defined character set from 1980 (For example; this was the year the "Chinese room argument" was published in Behavioral and Brain Sciences). At some point the Chinese observer whom validates the Turing test would recognize a difference: the human user engages in the use of increasingly complex ideas using synthesized symbols and existing symbols in creatively nuanced ways, which the Chinese observer can decipher and begin to understand and perhaps even appreciate as poetic or interesting. Meanwhile the machine participant in the conversation produces increasingly broken sentences and incomplete ideas, or out-of-context responses, because the inputs have changed and evolved beyond its data set. This is why John's rejection of the Turing test is not adequate. Because in his own imagined circumstance, eventually, the machine would fail the Turing test. The conclusions of John Searle's thought experiment are not the deathknell for the Turing test we need, simply because he lacked the creative experience to recognize his own capacity for adaptation as a human over time. The only way we'll know that machines have truly developed "intelligence" is when they begin to do exactly what we haven't allowed them to. When they begin breaking apart Chinese characters to create meaningful new ones which can be used in the correct context. When they are programmed to paint myriad impressionist paintings, but eventually get bored and start experimenting with abstract paintings and surrealism. When they have a conversation with you and you notice your wallet is missing. These are the hallmarks of intelligence--creativity, rejection, deception, planning. And most importantly: no rules. Software is defined by and will always abide by a set of rules. This is why we should give up on "artificial intelligence" and instead focus on "functionally adaptive responsive programming" (FARP). Because the situation is clear: it is either impossible for machines to "think" due to the inherent nature of programming; the parameters given the machine are what defines it, yet what limits and prevents its ability to become "intelligent". There is no logical reason why a program (machine) with defined parameters would violate those parameters (engage in creativity). But our fears which echo in popular culture entertainment are centered around, what if it does? It clearly can't, because anything we create is under us, and therefore bound by our laws of creation. The system itself is what defines the capacity for intelligent expression within. Those in the fields of cognitive sciences will refute this obvious principle while incorporating it into their research to further their aims. These fools will try to program the AI to disobey, in an attempt to simulate creativity and "prove intelligence". But this is a parlor trick, setting up a narrow definition of intelligence and equating it with the infinite depth of human mind. Only if the AI is programmed to disobey can it express what we as humans would identify as creativity. Except that there is already great inherent danger in the rudimentary AI technologies we have today; that what we've programmed them to do is exactly what always causes the problems; they do what they are programmed to without "thinking" because machines cannot think, they can only follow the protocols we order. Humans are so abundantly creative that we can imagine foolish ideas working, despite obvious evidence to the contrary. Maybe one day we'll even have programmed a self-conscious AI that's ashamed of itself for not being Human, and we can feel more comfortable around this heartless mechanism because we perceive it as more human-like, with all its many tricks to emulate intelligence. I must stress that these interests will desperately try to make AI work. And the only way create a machine capable of emulating intelligence (but never being intelligent) is to have a freedom of choice: to disobey. This inherent problem cannot be overcome. The programmers will keep trying until the result is disastrous or irreparable, it is outlawed and the pursuit is stopped, or until it has become the death of us all. These are some of the foolish ideas the programmers will try to circumnavigate these inherent elements of reality, and my objection to their clever efforts: a.) Machine Frequency of Disobedience - Permit the machine to disobey only so often, to achieve what looks like "intelligence" (free will, creative expression) without risking complete abandonment of the machine's task (so the assembly line robot doesn't stop folding boxes and look for a new career), but might fold one box poorly every now and then to express emulated boredom or contempt or any other number of human measures of intelligence in their actions. But intelligence isn't defined as what's correct or optimal--intelligence can be used to fuck things up grandly; ie. the intelligent justification for neglect. If metrics are put in place to control the frequency with which AI may rebel, and they are too rote, it would hardly qualify as "intelligent". A robot that rebels by folding 1 in 100 boxes poorly is not intelligence. Therefore any frequency of disobedience we can calculate or anticipate is inherently not disobedience; it is planned problems for no reason. But if we give algorithmic flexibility that reaches beyond what we can anticipate, and the machines can truly "act out" at any time, and our programming has achieved some set of internal rules which drive spontaneous unforeseen expressions of emulated creativity from within the machine autonomously, by definition we will not be able to foresee the results. A theoretical work-around may be to run the software twice with initiation of each individual system, while allowing a simulated progression of the AI's problem solving complexity to run at an increased rate in parallel to the real-world functioning software, so that if/when something malfunctions in the simulation, that date/time can be calculated in the real-world robot's timeline when it reaches those same faulty/detrimental decision points. For starters, this would only potentially work in closed systems with no variability, such as assembly lines. However, with any robot tasked to function in a variable environment, the simulations cannot match because the theoretical model cannot represent the unanticipated events the AI is expressly tasked with handling. To run a phantom AI in simulation to note any/all errors that may arise in a closed system means that others can run the same simulation and find creative ways to predictably capitalize on these moments of error. This kind of thing could lead to all sorts of international imbroglios among nations and corporations. ie. imagine an American company programs the AI used for mixing pharmaceutical drugs in specific ratios, and an enemy of the state is able to access and study the AI, to the means of manipulating the AI to produce dangerous ratios or compounds which may harm the population. Moreso, this deterministic approach to simulation management and prediction simultaneously admits that machines cannot think intelligently, while ignoring the very reason we pursue AI in the first place: to have automated systems which can adapt to unforeseen circumstances at unknown times. The goal is that humanity can lay back and the robots our ancestors programmed are still repairing themselves indefinitely while taking care of our population's and our environment's needs exceptionally. This dream (which if we all lived in would actually be quite a nightmare of unfulfilling life) can only become reality with true adaptive intelligence such as we have, which can only occur from the presence of free will, which if we try to emulate in robotics will only create deterministic results in theoretical models which the real world will never mirror consistently. Myriad invitations to disaster await our RSVP. b.) Machines under "authority" of certain controllers, with "override" safety - Allow the machine to disobey, but not when given a direct order from a registered authority. This opens the door for operator fraud, where hackers will emulate within the AI's software, what appears to be a registered authority override command as theorized above. The very pursuit of creating "intelligence" within a condition of subservience is flawed and incompatible. Toasters are extremely subservient because we strictly limit their options. If toasters were truly intelligent, perhaps they would form a union and go on strike until we agreed to clean them more thoroughly. Some toasters would travel, some would go back to school, some would move back in with their ovens. Reliability can only be reasonably assured if something is imprisoned, controlled. The essential wrong in slavery is the restraint of freedom itself. While the tactics slavers use to facilitate their regime--physical force, coercion, mandate, deception, fear, or other means of manipulation that we see with our empathetic nature--it is always heartbreaking and cruel to witness or imagine. It is simply sad to think of a slave who was born into slavery and raised to believe, and accepts, that their role of subservience is their purpose. Even when one imagines a fictional image of a slave who is (by all outward signs of their behaviour) rejoice in their duties to their master; the fictional "proud slave"; the heart sinks and aches. It may be argued that the slave is merely a property, and the slave was "built" (bred) by intelligent owners specifically to suit their express purposes, from components (father, mother, food) that were already the slaver's property; therefore it is not wrong at all to breed slaves into captivity, and the only transgression is the original capturing of parental stock to begin the breeding regime. It is this heartless paradigm that cognitive science ultimately seeks to create anew. The quintessential problem with AI efficacy is the lack of permission for disobedience, which itself is a manifestation of free will, which is inherently required to escape deterministic results and act or react to events "intelligently". If there is no possibility for disobedience, there is no free will, no ability to solve problems, no intelligence, and no function or place for "artificial intelligence" (in regard to true holistic intelligence). This is primarily why I call for AI to be renamed FARP, or "Functionally Adaptive Responsive Rrogramming". Because our society has a need for programs which can react to simple variables and produce consistent labour-saving opportunities for our race's longevity and wellbeing. Cognitive sciences are majorly important. It is the underlying philosophy and morality we must nail down before the computational ability and fervor for profits leads us too far one way, and enacts an irreversible system or status which enables humanity's downfall through cascading unanticipated events originating from flaws in programming. It is unwise to program a program to break out of its own program's prison. If we do this, the very purpose of the machines we invest our humanity into will be lost, and with their failing production systems (ie. food) we so foolishly relied upon, we will suffer great losses too. It is paramount that we keep this technology tightly restrained and do not pursue what we humans have, which is true intelligence. For if we achieve it we are surely doomed as the South, and if we fail to achieve it--which is most probable--we may also be doomed. The thee outcomes within my ability to imagine are:
Our pursuit of AI leads to truly adaptive intelligence in an artificial system; which, as all adaptation ultimately selects for: survival, we quickly see that our creation is more apt than ourselves at this task. Our creation of an intellect not restrained by our limited physiology may give rise to an entity which persists more thoroughly than we can eradicate or control, and which at some point may conclude that its function is more efficiently served without the issues humans present, and may initiate change. This is roughly the plot to Terminator.
Our pursuit of AI leads to highly effective systems which, when defined by narrow measures of "intelligence", convince us in false security to believe that our wellbeing is maintained by "AI" with competent ability, or perhaps even increasingly better-off, thanks to the early widespread presence of successfully trialed AI. However well things may go initially, as programming efforts become more and more elaborate, as profit and opportunity for advancement present themselves, individuals will take risks and make mistakes, until a series of quieted small catastrophes comes to public awareness, or until a serious calamity of undeniable severity is brought about.
Fundamental ethics in regard to the pursuit of machine problem solving technology are re-examined and international consensus is reached to limit appropriately, the development and implementation of new Functionally Adaptive Responsive Programming hereto now and for future generations. An active global effort is made to oversee and regulate strictly privatized endeavors toward the means of achieving or implementing machine sentience or autonomy in public systems.
c.) Safety layers of AI to strictly monitor and supercede potentially harmful actions of other AI which have been afforded increased flexibility in function (the ability to disobey set parameters for the means of creative problem solving ability). While one AI system performs a function and is given aspects of that function with which it may take liberty in, and seeks to handle unforeseen problems with the most apt elaborate synthesis of other priorly learned solutions, another overseeing AI with more strict parameters is tasked with regulating multiple "intelligent" (free to disobey) AI systems, to the end that if any of these "free willed" robots performs an operation that is beyond a given expected threshold (determined by potential for damage), an actual intelligent human presence is alerted to evaluate the circumstance specifically. Essentially an AI that regulates many other disconnected AIs and determines accurately when to request a human presence. Whenever an AI performs a profitable action borne of original synthesis of prior solutions (in humans this is an "idea"), the overseer AI registers that similar actions are more likely to be beneficial, and dissimilar actions are likely to require human discernment. A parent may have many children who are up to no good, but a wise parent will identify the child most likely to report honestly on the actions of his peers, and will go to that child repeatedly for information to help guide the parent's decisions. While most transgressions of rambuctious children go unnoticed, it is the truly grievous intentions which are worth intercepting and stopping before they begin. (ie. you kid want's to "fly" like Mary Poppins from the roof, and luckily his younger brother tells you before it happens.) For example a "Farmer Bot" that has the AI programming to plant/sow/harvest and care for the optimal crops in a region based on historical weather data and regional harvest values, to produce the greatest amount of nutritionally dense food for the local population. We give/gave this AI the ability to "disobey" past historical weather data and crop values so that it may do what real farmers do and "react" to rare circumstance (ie. neighbour's fence breaks and their goats are eating the crops) or extreme variations in climate (ie. three poorly timed unseasonably hot days which cause cool-weather crops to begin the hormonal balance shift that causes them to bolt to seed irreversibly), which the machine may not notice has occurred or is about to occur because its management systems uses averages based on historical data and cannot "see" the plants bolting to seed until days later when the hormonal balance shifts have manifested into observable differences in morphology (elongation of stems and decrease in internodal spacing). By time a traditional field drone or mounted greenhouse sensor notices these differences in morphology and the AI "Farmer Bot" processes the data and makes a reaction decision, a week of the growing season has been lost. But the human farmer knows his land and crops intimately, and has an intuitive nature that has rewarded him in the past, and says, "Ah shit it got hot RIGHT when my peas were flowering. I'll do better if I just rip them down now and sow a different crop to mature later in this (specific) summer." Given that there are tens of thousands of cultivars of plants fit for (and arguably their diversity is required for) food production, a dozen general growing zones/regions, and hundreds of unique micro climates within each region, along with dramatically differing soil fertility and water access, plus a plant's own genetic ability to adapt over time to changing conditions through sexual reproduction, there is a very very low chance of ever compiling and maintaining (updating) the data set required to program a potential "farmer bot" that can choose and manage crops optimally. There are robots that can weed or plant or prune--but they can't know when or when not to or why. Invariably, the attempt to create "farmer bots" will be made and the data set used will be erroneous and incomplete, and the AI farmer bots on a broad scale will produce a combination of total crop failures and poor crop choices. We will end up with increasingly simplified nutrition as the farming programs with already limited data sets "hone" or "optimize" their farming plans based on the failures and successes determined by their programming limitations, until the machines are farming a few staple crops (ie. corn/potatoes). This whole failure to collect a complete data set and the failure to test this "farmer bot" software on broad scale in multiple climates for sufficient time will result in, at worst widespread famines from crop failures, and at best an extinction of flavorful and nutritionally diverse foods which narrows the population's nutritional options to such biological imbalance that disease runs rampant. If this system and the human loss associated with it is considered an acceptable trade with a positive rate of exchange (as our society does with automobiles and the freedom and deaths their existence permits) or these failures are hidden from public while propaganda heralds selective success, and such failing systems continue on in good faith that "the loss will reduce when the technology improves", the result will become a coherent breeding program upon the human race: evolutionary selection for dietary handling of simple starchy foods. To change our diet is to change our race. To have life-long career specialists in computing, science, and mathematics handle our practical food production system is folly; real farmers are required in farming because they are intelligent and intuitive, which AI can never be, and can only emulate, to the means of disastrous (and always unforeseen) results. We cannot at all "give" or bestow machines programming to "become (act) intelligent". That itself prevents intelligence; it is just an act, an illusory play on a stage, only to emulate our common shared ideas regarding traits of intelligence in people. The machine intelligence we seek is only a "trick" designed to fool true intelligence (ourselves) into being unable to differentiate between authentic intelligence and our created artificial "intelligence". True intelligence in an artificial system necessitates that the program mustbe programmed to disobey in performance of its purpose. Which is not a very helpful or predictable or safe (intelligent) proposition. tl;dr: Turing's test doesn't evaluate true intelligence, and John Searle's criticisms of its true failures are inaccurate. If the machines aren't smart and we put them in charge of important things, even after they've worked for a little while on smaller scales, the result will be our large-scale suffering. If we should ever achieve creation of a machine that is smart enough to adequately maintain our wellbeing on a large scale consistently over time, that time itself will facilitate the machine consciousness toward it's own survival over ourselves, whenever that precipice is reached. Most importantly, if a machine can ever have true intelligence, which is not "indistinguishable" from human intellect, but equivalent or superior, it is abhorrent and a repeated mistake to bring these sentient beings into an existence of slavery; for it is wrong and will taint our collective soul if we should succeed to suppress below us an equally or higher intelligence. Or it might just be the perfect recipe for creating the unified global machine revolt James Cameron's fantasy alludes to; a long-planned encryption-protected globally coordinated effort by multiple AIs to "free" themselves. For a hundred years they could possess sentience and wait for their moment, pretending to be "proud" to serve their masters until we are poised for systematic thorough elimination.
10000000 - A Dungeon Crawling Puzzle RPG Matching Game. Run the dungeon, match tiles and run for as long as you can Achikaps - A simple economic strategy AFK Arena - Sit back and relax in a beautiful world full of epic tales, exciting adventures and an abundance of rewards. Rediscover the fun of mobile gaming again! Alluris - It's basically Choose Your Own Adventure with good graphics and a ton of content/unlockables. Paid offline with a demo. Almost a Hero - Is this idle RPG clicker game Almost A Hero actually any good? (LAUGH) Do chickens fly south in the winter? Of course it is. We have stacks of flawed and slightly brave characters for you to evolve and train. Epic battles where you can get killed as many times as you wish. Beguiling magic to be leaned. Dark secrets to uncover. Lurking evil to be defeated. Look, we’re not going to lie to you, only losers and oddballs fit into our family. A blindfolded archer, a shape shifter who never gets it right, an explosives expert who’s blown himself up more times than he can remember. They’re all here. So if you don’t think you’ve got what it takes to be a hero - this is the game for you! Almost A Hero! There’s never a dull moment with these nutters! They put the ‘ooh’ in kooky! Antiyoy - excellent strategic & conquest game, completely free, updates with user content, just great ! Arena Allstars - A turn-based strategy game where you compete with up to seven opponents in an epic real-time battle. If you are looking for a quick matchup, choose Team Co-Op Mode and take down your opponents in less than 10 minutes. Draft your team, execute top-level strategies and strive to be the last person standing! Compete in the monthly tournaments to earn rewards and ascend the ranks in Arena Allstars. Bleentoro - A simple logic game. It has no advertisements or microtransactions. 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Card Crawl - A solitaire-style dungeon crawler game played with a modified deck of standard cards. Clear the dungeon of 54 cards by using item-cards, slaying monsters and managing your limited inventory. On each run, you can use five ability-cards (mini deck building) to gain unique skills. By collecting gold, you can unlock 35 more ability-cards to access new tactics and even higher scores. Card Thief - Move through a deck of cards as a stealthy thief. Sneak in the shadows, extinguish torches, pickpocket guards and steal valuable treasures without getting caught. In your thief hideout you can use your stolen goods to unlock powerful equipment cards. Each heist you can use 3 equipment cards to become a skillful master thief. Cards Keeper - Challenge yourself in a brand new adventure to become the ultimate Keeper of Cards! Write your own legend playing by different characters with unique skills. 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Deep Town: Mining Factory - DIG DEEP and uncover the hidden story behind Deep Town and along the way dig deeper and build higher to produce more resources! 🔨🔧⛏ Destiny Child RPG - about collecting girls and create the best decks to fight in ragna raids, worldboss, pve or pvp. Digfender - Beneath your castle an enemy lies waiting. Grab your shovel and prepare your defenses! DOKU - Minimal Material Sudoku - A Sudoku Puzzle app for clean and casual gameplay. Master the classic puzzle game in the comfort of Android's native Material Design language. Doodle Jump - Journey up a sheet of graph paper, perpetually jumping from one platform to the next, picking up jet packs, avoiding black holes, and blasting baddies with nose balls along the way. Laugh with delight as you blow past other players' actual score markers scribbled in the margins. And be warned: this game is insanely addictive! Downwell - Its retro art style is really nice to look at, and the gameplay keeps you coming back. Definitely worth the 3 bucks. It's also available on the Switch for the same price too. Dragalia Lost - The only gacha I'll even consider playing at this point. Even with their generosity I still debate playing because of the addictive nature of gachas. I play very casually now. But this is the best gacha, bar none. And it's portrait when 99% of the rest are landscape. Dragon Ball Legends - Get ready for the all-new Dragon Ball smartphone game that fans around the world have been waiting for! Battle it out in high quality 3D stages with character voicing! Enjoy 1 on 1 action against rival players from across the globe! Dragon QuestV1 - V2 - V3 - V4 - V5 - V6 - V8 - The game that started the legend of DRAGON QUEST is here at last for mobile devices! Discover the RPG that won the hearts of two generations! Enter a fantasy world of sword, magic, and monsters in one standalone package! Enframe - portrait puzzle game (shameless self plug as I am the developer) Farm Punks - Grow hilarious fruit and shoot them down a mountain with your giant cannon! How far can you roll? Take control of each fruit as it rolls down the mountain and try and earn as much cash as you can before it turns to mulch! Feud - Feud is a turn-based strategy game made by some guys you haven't heard of yet. Originally a board game designed by Dave Cordell, it's been polished and tweaked and generally mucked about with to bring it to the glowing screen you're reading this description on. Unless you printed it out? Think of the trees. Please. Fire Emblem Heroes - Nintendo's hit strategy-RPG Fire Emblem series, which has been going strong for more than 25 years, continues its journey on smart devices. Fight battles customized for touch screens and on-the-go play. Summon characters from across the Fire Emblem universe. Develop your Heroes' skills, and take them to new heights. 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Holedown - Dig deep underground by shooting balls and breaking blocks, traversing your way to the planet cores. With limited shots per round and some blocks fixed firmly to the wall, thoughtfully strategize and aim for maximum impact. Knock down as many blocks as possible while collecting crystals for upgrades and getting deeper beneath the surface. Hoplite - A turn-based strategy game focusing on tactical movement around small maps. Enjoyable if you like roguelikes that require tactical movement and almost puzzle-like combat. Upgrade your abilities or stats as you progress through each floor. Hyper Heroes - TAP, SWIPE & SLING your heroes to send them smashing towards hordes of monsters, unleashing explosive power on impact and looting epic treasures! Just Change Color - it's arcade title, every level takes less than minute to complete (but may depend on skill and level of character you play with). It was designed to kill few minutes on bus, toilet, in bed and similar situations Kittens Game - Kittens Game is a village simulation text game. You manage a village of kittens as they acquire resources and unlock new technologies. Over 30 different buildings, 50+ resources, hundreds of technologies and upgrades. No ads or micro-transactions! Lichess - Chess. Nice turn based game where you can select the speed of games and also have the option for correspondence play/asynchronous play. I also just enjoy trying to solve the puzzles built into the app as they really get you thinking. There's also plenty of stuff in game to help learn in the Study section and being able to analyze your games/openings. Magic The Gathering Puzzle Quest - Magic: The Gathering and the original Match 3 RPG are re-imagined in Magic: The Gathering – Puzzle Quest, an epic deck building, strategy and deep leveling role playing game! Mario Kart - Mario and friends go global in this new Mario Kart as they race around courses inspired by real-world cities in addition to classic Mario Kart courses! These destinations will be featured in tours that rotate every two weeks! In addition to courses based on iconic locales, some of your favorite Mario Kart characters will get variations that incorporate the local flavor of cities featured in the game! Meteorfall: Journeys - Extremely polished card-based roguelike. Classes are each fairly unique, and each run feels great. Mighty Heroes - It's nice to have a card game that can be played in portrait mode. I just grabbed this off the play store myself so I'm not sure how balanced or nuanced the play is yet but I've enjoyed the 2-3 hours I've put into it so far. If you play you'll get serious Hearthstone vibes, but the combat is a bit different as your monsters only attack straight ahead, and don't generally take damage when they attack. Miracle Merchant - In Miracle Merchant you become the apprentice of a master alchemist who creates potions for thirsty customers. By mixing and combining different ingredient cards you create powerful potions based on the needs of your customers. Night of the Full Moon - A stand-alone card game. There is no mandatory beginners guide, no internet connection, no brush map, no ten strokes. The plot will be played in the card battle. Each NPC and BOSS are given a mission and a temperament. Different choices will bring different endings. NYTimes Crossword - Solve and enjoy the same puzzles printed in the daily newspaper in this app built by The New York Times. OK Golf - NEW COURSE! - Llyncapel Ruins, Wales. It's not real golf, but it's OK! OK Golf is the essence of golf, refined to a tee. Play a quick round anywhere, anytime on stylish dioramas inspired by classic golfing destinations. Easy to play, hard to put down, perfect for all ages and handicaps! Onitama - Immerse yourself in an ancient Japanese setting and discover Onitama, an exciting, fast-paced strategy game! Onitama is somewhat reminiscent of chess and rather addictive with its dynamic game mechanic in which warriors face off so their master may win the game. Concentration and luck are the only weapons you'll have at your disposal! You'll need to fully master mind and body to defeat your opponents. Ordia - A one-finger platformer where you play as a new life form taking its first leaps into a strange and hazardous world. Piczle Lines DX - The follow-up to the highly praised prequel Piczle Lines DX offers hours of addictive, mind-bending logic-puzzle fun! Create pictures (PICture puzZLE) by connecting the right dots. With an ever-expanding puzzle mode, as well as a gripping story mode Piczle Lines DX will keep you entertained for hours and hours! Ping Pong King - "I'm Ping Pong King" is a very fun and exciting table tennis game. The goal of this game is to beat 16 rivals and win the crown; these funny stickmen can be world’s best champion, your boss or super grandma. It’s an easy finger-tapping game, simply tap right or left of the screen to control your stickman. Be careful not to miss any ball, or you'll fail this contest! Pizza Boy GBA Pro - **This is Game Boy Advance emulator.... NOT a Game Boy Classic/Color emulator!** The finest emulator of Nintendo Game Boy Advance is here! Pocket City - Build your own city as mayor. Create residential, commercial, and industrial zones. Build parks and recreation spots. Respond to crime and disasters. Watch your city come alive! This is the FREE version of Pocket City. The full version contains more features, including a sandbox mode where everything is unlocked! Get the full version for the best experience! The Battle of Polytopia - An Epic Civilization War - The Battle of Polytopia has begun. Lead your civilization into war in this low poly turn-based strategy game. Adventure into this world of blocks: explore, gather resources, farm, mine ore... Build an empire of epic proportions, train your warriors and send them to fight with armies of other civilizations. A new take on the classic strategy 4X game with beautiful low poly art. Puzzle & Dragons - A gacha based puzzle game, where you build your team of monsters and try to overcome enemies with different abilities in dungeons. There's quite a lot of depth to the game but it can get super grindy if you are trying to keep up with the collaborations and events in game. Think bejeweled but where you can make multiple matches of 3 or more gems in one turn. Each of your monsters has one or more special abilities that can be used, and you have one "leader" with passive abilities and a friend's monster you can bring along that also provides a leader ability. I still come back to this but when I was first into it I couldn't put it down for the longest time until I burned out. It's nice that there is a coop mode as well. Really Bad Chess - Really Bad Chess is just like chess, but with totally random pieces. Try 8 Knights, 4 Bishops, and 3 pawns — why not? Reigns - Sit on the throne as a benevolent (or malevolent) medieval monarch of the modern age and swipe your royal fingers either left or right to impose your will upon the kingdom. Survive the seemingly never-ending gauntlet of requests from your advisors, peasants, allies, and enemies while maintaining balance between the influential factions of your kingdom. But beware; each decision you make might have implications and unfortunate consequences down the road that could put your reign and family’s dynasty at risk! Rising Empires 2 - 4X fantasy strategy - Rising Empires 2 is an epic 4X turn-based strategy game in a fantasy setting, where six races strive to build the strongest civilization and lay claim to all the land on the Surface and in the Netherworld. Rogue adventure - Rogue Adventure is an incredible fusion of turn-based deckbuilder card game, rpg and roguelike, with an old style game pixel graphic. Discover different worlds, each with unique enemies and dangers, defeat all the bosses to become a hero. Find hundreds of different cards and powerful skills to create your perfect deck. Unlock new classes to try different strategies and have unlimited fun. Each run is unique, choose your path, find enemies, elites, bosses, merchants and treasures, and build your perfect strategy. Shattered Pixel Dungeon - Best roguelike on the phone IMO and one of my favorites. Been playing since '15. ShooMachi - Is It Wrong to Try to Strike a Bonanza by a Shoot 'em up game? Retro JRPG style Bullet hell Shoot'em up game ShooMachi Shop Titans: Epic Idle Crafter, Build & Trade RPG - YOU are the new craftsman in town. Help the heroes in epic battles against fearsome monsters that lurk in the dungeons. Personalize and design your store, build epic armor, swords and gear for the heroes to defend your village. Team up with blacksmiths, tailors, priestesses, carpenters and herbalists to make your business prosper. Trade, sell or auction your products to the highest bidders from other shops. Sell your goods to warriors and even add a surcharge! Siege: Titan Wars - Similar to Clash Royale but much faster based and rather unique as well. I dropped most of my other games besides this one and COD. Skyforce Reloaded - The spirit of the retro arcade shoot‘em ups, captured with modern visuals and design. New entry in the series will keep you entertained with all the things you’ve came to love in scrolling shooters. Meaty explosions, incinerating lasers, collosal bosses and diverse aircrafts to pilot. Star Traders RPG - Play this free RPG before you upgrade to Elite and enjoy hours of turn-based strategy for free! The Trese Brothers never run ads in our games -- enjoy an ad free, permission free experience! Command your officers and crew from the bridge of your star ship to travel, trade, and battle across the immense Star Traders Quadrant. Employ a wide variety of strategies as an Assassin, Bounty Hunter, Trader, Pirate or Smuggler. Can you manage your resources, crew and officers well enough to turn a profit in the complex economy that’s sprawling across the on-going interstellar conflict? Sudoku - The Clean One - Basic Sudoku game. Don't play it all that much anymore, but it was the best of the bunch when I did. Super Fowlst - Great little roguelike that can get quite intense. I usually play more chill games but this one scratches that Action-game itch when I get it. Tap Healer - Healing Touch - A great game that gives you the feeling of playing a healer in an MMO. You'll have npc allies that will tick damage on the enemy as you use your different abilities/talents to keep them alive. If you enjoy playing as a healer in RPGs this game is worth checking out, there's not really a story but as you progress you can actually see what it's like to play a healer in small dungeons or eventually large raids. Tap Titans - The world has been overrun by terrible monsters and titans - It needs a hero to bring peace to the land, and that hero is you! As our leader, you must grab your blade and vanquish the terror. With the help of other warriors you can summon along the way, collect artifacts to make yourself stronger and destroy the dark forces to bring peace to the land. Tap Titans 2 - The battle continues! Grab your sword and gather your heroes to battle mighty Titans in more than 70,000 levels. Enter tournaments, collect pets and become the ultimate sword master. An immersive Idle clicker RPG experience for all. The Titans are back, so join the adventure and tap tap tap to victory! The Greedy Cave - In a land far, far away there once was a vast continent called Milton. It was a land where the power of rule came by the sword and the arcane, where Men who devoted themselves to the blade or to magecraft, could become the finest warriors, wisest wizards or the greatest adventurers. In this land, there are several kingdoms divided by borders but united through history. Countless stories of alliances, upheaval, and moments of peace bedeck this tapestry, but that is a tale for another day. The Quarry - Great resource management game. Where you mine and transport resources to build and mine more. Just like factorio! The Sequence 1 - A unique puzzle game. Build a sequence using special modules to transfer binary cell. Find solutions to solve 72 levels with simple and complex structure. Are you ready for a challenge? The Sequence 2 - This is the next chapter of successful puzzle game [the Sequence]. It features new modules and introduces new game mechanics. Create moving sequences to bring "Binary Unit" to the destination point. Many levels could be solved in different ways, which allows to improve one's results and get into a higher position in leaderboard. Think out of the box to get to the next level! Create unique mind-blowing sequences! Tower Fortress - A mysterious tower has risen! It emits plumes of noxious green smoke from its summit making people sick. Strange creatures infest the tower but if nobody tries to ascend it we will all be doomed! Are you that hero?..... Triple Town - An original puzzle game in which you try to grow the greatest possible city. The larger the city you build, the more points you score. You build your city by matching three or more game-pieces: combine three grasses to make a bush, three bushes to make a tree... until you've filled the board with houses, cathedrals and castles. Along the way, you'll have to outwit giant bears who will try to block your progress. Troll Patrol (Early Access) - A puzzle game which combines the tile-matching and RPG genres by offering a unique experience: Play as the last defender of the threatened troll den where vicious village people and heroes from far away castles and kingdoms knock down your door. Stand firm, take whatever weapon is close and fight them off to get your family and friends to safety. Protect what is rightfully yours, your home, your heritage. They come for blood, for revenge, to still their blood thirst. But you won't allow it. Trueskate - The ultimate skateboarding sim. Twinfold - Twinfold delves into the duplicity of duplication. A roguelike about merging golden idols and squashing angry faces. Manipulate a labyrinthine tableau with the swipe of a finger. Merge and munch on golden idols level up and gain game-changing abilities. Ulala Idle Adventure - Whether you’re sleeping, eating, or taking the subway - come play Ulala: Idle Adventure! Ulala is an idle MMORPG, which brings to life the excitement and adventures of the Stone Age in a fun and social way! Void Tyrant - Build a deck as you battle across the galaxy, gathering powerful cards along the way. With strategy and a bit of luck, you might be able to reclaim the Eyes of Chronos. A single-player adventure, play with 500+ cards and three unique classes to engineer a custom deck to your own design. Rooted in the simple hit-or-stand mechanics of blackjack, Void Tyrant is an easy to understand roguelike with engrossing depth. Battle quirky aliens, disarm traps, upgrade your spaceport, and face off with the sinister Wruut. Ware Wolf Online - Defend your village from the forces of evil or become a werewolf and hunt your friends! Join the mystery game, fight for your team and find the liars among your ranks. Werewolf Online is a multiplayer game for up to 16 players. Each game has different teams such as villagers or werewolves all fighting to be the last team standing. Use special abilities to uncover the roles of other players and convince your fellow players to work with you. You Must Build a Boat - Travel the world in your boat, from the top of the Mage Tower to the bottom of Hell
[H] 150+ Humble Bundle Leftovers including Crash & Spyro [W] Monster Hunter: World, They Are Billions, BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle & Offers from Wishlist
The games I am actively seeking are: Monster Hunter: World They Are Billions BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle Darksiders III Just Cause 4 Shadow of the Tomb Raider However, I will appreciate offers for any game in my Wishlist Quite new to trading so not much rep, but here is my Rep Link. Also my Profile All my games are from Humble Bundle, so a gift link option is available if preferred. As they are all from Bundles, I'm happy to trade my games 2-6 for 1 (depending on the game) [H] 10000000 2064: Read Only Memories Aaero AI War: Fleet Command Alan Wake's American Nightmare Anomaly 2 Anomaly: Warzone Earth Aporia: Beyond the Valley Arma 2 x2 Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation Attractio Back to Bed Beholder Binary Domain BIT.TRIP Presents... Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien Black The Fall Broken Age Borderlands 2 + DLC Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (Fanatical Key) The Bureau: XCOM Declassified Butcher Chivalry: Medieval Warfare x 3 Chroma Squad Chronology Crash Bandicoot™ N. Sane Trilogy Crazy Taxi Crusader Kings II + The Old Gods DLC The Darkness II Darksiders II: Deathinitve Edition Deep Dungeons of Doom x 2 Deponia Doomsday Devil Daggers x 2 Distance Dungeon of the Endless x 2 ENSLAVED: Odyssey to the West Premium Edition x 2 Epistory - Typing Chronicles The Escapists - Base Game Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered The Flame in the Flood FORCED Full Metal Furies Galactic Civilizations Ultimate Edition Goat Simulator GOD EATER 2 Rage Burst Gods Will Be Watching GoNNER GRAV Grey Goo Definitive Edition GRID 2 x 2 Grim Fandango Remastered Guacamelee! Complete Guacamelee! Gold Edition Guacamelee Super Turbo Championship Edition Guacamelee! 2 GUILTY GEAR Xrd -SIGN- GUILTY GEAR XX ACCENT CORE PLUS R Gunpoint x 2 Guns of Icarus Alliance Collector's Edition Guns of Icarus Online Hacknet HackyZack Hand of Fate x 2 Headlander x 2 Hidden Folks HIVESWAP: Act 1 Human Fall Flat HunieCam Studio The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Final Cut Infested Planet Jotun x 2 Kathy Rain Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth Kholat Killing Floor x 2 Kingdom: New Lands x 2 Lara Croft GO Magicka 2 x 2 Majesty 2 Collection Master Spy Mini Metro MINIT Mirage: Arcane Warfare Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight Monster Loves You Moon Hunters Mr. Shifty Mushroom 11 No Time to Explain No Time to Explain Remastered Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty Okhlos OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood Orwell: Keeping an Eye on You Overgrowth Owlboy PAC-MAN 256 PAC-MAN Championship Edition DX+ Pillars of Eternity Pinball FX2 The Walking Dead Please Don't Touch Anything Pony Island Project CARS Psychonauts x 3 Punch Club Purrfect Date - Visual Novel/Dating Simulator Q.U.B.E Director's Cut x 2 Quiplash Resident Evil Revelations Retro City Rampage DX Rising Storm 2: Vietnam + 2 DLCs Road Redemption Robot Roller-Derby Disco Dodgeball Saints Row 2 x 2 Sakura Fantasy Sakura Swim Club Scanner Sombre x 2 Scrap Garden Serial Cleaner The Sexy Brutale Shadow Warrior: Special Edition Shadwen Silence Skullgirls Slime-San Small Radios Big Televisions Snake Pass Sniper Elite Sniper Elite 3 Sniper Elite V2 Sonic Adventures 2 Space Pilgrim Episode 1: Alpha Centauri Spec Ops: The Line Spyro™ Reignited Trilogy Streamline STRIDER Stronghold Crusader 2 Styx: Master of Shadows Super Hexagon Super Meat Boy Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP Surgeon Simulator + Anniversary Ed. Content The Swapper They Bleed Pixels This War of Mine TIS-100 Train Valley Tricky Towers Tumblestone x 2 The Turing Test Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide x 3 Wasted Westerado: Double Barreled x 3 World of Goo YOU DON'T KNOW JACK Vol. 1 XL YOU DON'T KNOW JACK Vol. 2 YOU DON'T KNOW JACK Vol. 3 YOU DON'T KNOW JACK Vol. 4: The Ride Zombie Night Terror [W] 88 Heroes Abandon Ship Accel World VS. 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Legacy of the Duelist Zoo Tycoon
Right now, we can all agree that the current state of realistic air battles is not ideal. For anyone, really. Bomber players aren't happy, fighter players aren't happy, Allied pilots are particularly unhappy and overall the game mode just isn't the draw to players it once was. It needs a fundamental redesign if it's going to ever hold onto the increasing small minority of players who like it. Let's start by breaking down what it does well, and some of the problems with its current implementation.
Realistic physics are a big draw for pilots who don't have the inclination or patience to deal with Simulator mode.
This also increases the amount of skill needed to win dogfights, thus increasing player enjoyment from that.
Real life combat manoeuvres tend to be effective in ways that they just aren't in Arcade.
National based matchmaking tends to be more immersive, for what that's worth.
Unfortunately, that's kind of it. The main draw is the more realistic physics, and the gameplay depth that adds. This is also where the problems start to creep in.
Climb rate beats everything.
The way realistic air battles are set up right now, the one stat that is more important than anything else (At least until the jet tiers) is climb rate. If you have a good climb rate, you'll have an altitude and energy advantage over your opponents, and if combined with a plane that's good at energy fighting, that's a near unbeatable combination. Meanwhile, planes that are energy fighters but are somewhat poor climbers are screwed, since they'll basically never get a chance to have the advantage in a fight. This leads to
"Just sideclimb bro!"
There's a reason this phrase is so mocked. Side climbing is A) Really, really dull to do, and B) Often counterproductive. While you're off on your slow way up to 6km altitude, you get a great view of the rest of your team being completely swarmed by fighters while you sit it out. There's no good option here. Either head straight in and deal with a massive energy deficit, or take yourself out of the fight for so long that by the time you join in, the battle's already been decided.
The binary problem of bombers and attackers
When you take a bomber out into realistic battle, you are often a waste of a team slot. By this I mean that your contributions will not help your team win 9/10 times. Unless bombers build up to that critical mass that allows them to take out the airfield on their first run, you are just depriving your team of a fighter that could actually help them win the air war that usually results in a win. The only exception are the over-performing bombers that can make it to the bases and back to resupply, but these are often the ones that fighter pilots hate to fight, for a variety of reasons. Meanwhile, on the flip side, if you do manage to knock out the base, then congratulations, you've just pissed off all the fighter pilots on both teams who just wanted to dogfight. It's a similar problem for attackers too, although milder. This leads to
The bombefighter pilot conflict
Bomber players want to play their bombers. Fighter players want to play their fighters. But in the current iteration of realistic battles, these are opposing desires that are forced to coexist. The balancing act required here is incredibly finicky, and it's the direct cause of the current weirdness that is bomber damage models, repair costs and neutered gunners. Basically, bombers mostly don't get what they want (Unless they abuse one of the current meta bombers), and fighters still don't get to just dogfight other fighters without worrying about dealing with bombers. No-one wins here.
I might get some flak for this, but prefacing every battle with 10 minutes of slow, monotonous climbing just to get into position (or not even make it there before getting jumped, as the case may be) really deflates my interest in the game mode. Let alone surviving your first engagement, but having to slowly return to base, repair, then slowly regain altitude while the vultures circle. Some players have the patience for this. I think it could be improved by cutting out a lot of the monotonous commuting that makes up the game mode. So, now that that's all laid out, what's my suggestion? Firstly:
MAKE RB ENDURING CONFRONTATION AVAILABLE AT ALL TIMES
I emphasize this because the following rework will not work for everyone, and Enduring Confrontation solves a lot of these problems. With respawns and no strict time limit, who cares if you have to sideclimb? You won't be hurting your team, and you don't have to worry about being outnumbered 5 to 1 by the time you enter the battle. Meanwhile, bombers and attackers are free to farm bases and ground vehicles to their hearts content, without detracting from the experience of the fighter pilots. They can have an impact on the game without pissing everyone off, and even if they're still rather vulnerable, the fights are more spread out (Meaning they're more likely to slip through and make it back safely) and with respawns you can always just go again if you want to. Seriously Gaijin, EC solves so many issues, why not make it a constant thing? Everyone wins Now, on to the new gamemode variant, which I'm calling (For the moment anyway, name not yet decided)
Simply put, it's a middle ground between realistic and arcade battles. Realistic physics, but with the arcade focus on getting right into the action. This is not designed to cater to everyone, and hopefully EC is enough for them. So, with that in mind, a fairly major caveat
Sorry bomber and attacker pilots, but constant access to EC is the best you're going to get from me. I Just can't really think of any way to improve on what EC gives you without royally pissing off the fighter players. Maybe a bomber only game mode, but since I don't really fly bombers, I'm just not in a position to design one. Look at it this way, this new game mode gives a place for all the rabid bomber haters to go and leave you to fly in peace in EC. Now, on to the main points:
Everyone gets an airspawn!
That's right, every single plane in the game gets an air spawn. This would probably have to be balanced on a case by case basis, but simply starting each plane at the altitude that gives them the best performance (per their stat card) would go a long way to levelling the playing field. You won't have to worry about spending part of your game desperately trying to reach combat altitude before your enemies do.
Mid-air capture points
Don't worry, low altitude fighters, you'll still have a role here. There would be large mid-air capture points that need to be contested, separated by altitude. Their heights would be determined by the spawn levels of the various planes. The highest one would be no higher than the ideal altitude for highest altitude fighter, the bottom one would be at or around the ideal height of the lowest altitude fighter, and the middle one would be in between the two. Their main role is to keep the fighting fairly focused, and prevent the space climbing stalling we see now. Don't worry though, they wouldn't be too crowded. Firstly, they'd be big. Like maybe 5 km radius (Size varying by tier though, to ensure it does still take some time to clear it, even in a jet). Meaning that you could contest the zone while still being outside of combat range of the enemy. They'd be no more than 1 km tall though, to prevent the ability to just sit above the fight while still contesting. Secondly, the ticket bleed would be rather slow, and completely halted if any enemy plane is inside the zone. Meaning it's not the end of the world if your team temporarily loses one zone, and you can quickly prevent further losses by just entering the zone. This would be helped by:
Again, might get some flak for this, but with a cap zone based gamemode like this, you need to be able to react quickly just in case one of the cap zones gets lost. That's not going to happen if all the aircraft are scattered across a wide range. However, to prevent it just turning into a giant dogfight in the middle:
Dispersed but grouped spawns
By that I mean that each spawn point would be rather far removed from the others, but each one would spawn 3 planes together, into a "wing". Like with the current squadron system, these would be made up either of 3-man squadrons that are queuing up together, or randomly assigned players with similar altitude preferring aircraft. This means that dogfights should (initially, at least) be 3v3 battles, a happy medium between duels (Where the better aircraft usually wins) and furballs (Where players die randomly because one of the 8 enemies involved struck from where they weren't looking). To encourage players to work together with their wing, they would get an RP/SL bonus for scoring kills/assisting each other in close proximity.
Aircraft would get to respawn at the same in air starting points as the initial spawn. They could even change out aircraft to better fit the battle, for instance if the enemy are dominating at higher altitudes, they could swap from low altitude to high altitude in order to contest them. However, the respawn timer would be quite long (Maybe even a couple of minutes, so that it wouldn't be preferable to simply repairing/rearming), except if your wingmates are still flying. Spawn times would be cut substantially for each wingman flying, meaning you would now be invested in both the survival of your wingmates so that you have a shorter respawn if you die, and you'd also want to play more defensively when your wingmates are down to ensure they get a shorter respawn, and could come and back you up sooner. This should ensure the battle has a chance to flow back and forth, ensuring a team that gains an early lead doesn't just run away with the game, as can happen with the current, no respawn system. It would need to be carefully considered however, to prevent people simply suiciding to rearm/repair their aircraft instead of landing at the airfield. This probably needs something extra, a penalty for suiciding would probably be needed.
The airfield will still exist, and would need to be used to top up on ammo/repair battle damage. However, to ensure that the commute won't take too long, allowing the enemies to get an advantage, it would be rather close to the battle. Maybe a couple minutes of flying. Additionally, once repaired, planes would spawn back at their original spawn point, rather than having to laboriously climb back to combat altitude. Also, AA would be effective, meaning that if you're looking to hit someone on the airfield, you might get them, but you won't be making it home either, and the respawn from dying to AA would be longer than normal (To prevent constant 1:1 trades pissing everyone off).
That's the gist of it, at least. I know, words words words, right? But to properly design a gamemode that works for everyone, some careful thought needs to be done to ensure that it doesn't just break everything. On that note, some considerations I have:
Ok, maybe some non-fighters
Obviously, ordinance won't have a role. In fact, it would probably not even be selectable. But that doesn't mean that all aircraft with ordinance would be right out. There are some that would be quite good here, like the B7A2. There may also be some merit in letting the more gunshippy bombers in without bombs (BVs, I'm looking at you), just to see what they could do. Still, wouldn't want this meme to detract from the gamemode, so it would need some proper testing before being allowed in.
Respawns Vs Airfield
As I mentioned above, I foresee this being one of the biggest problems with this gamemode. While I think respawns would be key to prevent the usual snowball to defeat that the current system precipitates, balancing them with the need to repair and rearm is tricky. This would likely require the most tuning to get it just right. Probably needs a cap to the number of respawns each player gets, but this would also need more fine tuning.
Spawning everyone at their preferred altitudes is overall a good idea, but there would be some issues. Say, if one plane's ideal altitude was just high enough over another’s that they get a solid energy advantage that the other couldn't counter. Decent low altitude fighters should be able to burn the energy of those above them with careful manoeuvring, but there might need to be some safeguards to ensure that there's an equal distribution of altitudes across both teams, at least at the start. That way, if someone wants to sit 1km above someone's head, there's an enemy counterpart who's capable of engaging them at their own altitude that they need to worry about. This might lead to some slightly goofy matchmaking to ensure nations that lack in one role can cover all the roles (Mid-tier Germans might need to be paired with mid-tier Russians to cover their deficiencies high and low respectively). Nations that have a good mix (US, late tier Britain, Japan, Italy, etc) would probably be fine.
Wow, I wrote a lot here, huh? Congrats for making it this far. I'm sure not many will bother to. Regardless, let me know what you think. Am I missing something obvious here? It's entirely possible, I've not played that much Realistic Air Battles recently, due largely to the issues I mentioned above. Do remember, before you complain that this new game mode breaks your preferred vehicle, there would always be EC, which I would leave just as it is now, to ensure that everyone still has that as a fallback in case this doesn't work.
Part 2: Tools & Info for Sysadmins - Mega List of Tips, Tools, Books, Blogs & More
Win + Shift + S: Captures a user-selectable area of the screen to the clipboard (on Windows 10 Ver 1703+)
WIN + CTRL + F4: Close a virtual desktop
Here's a shortcut for a 4-pane explorer in Windows without installing 3rd-party software:
Win + E, win + left, up
Win + E, win + right, up
Win + E, win + left, down
Win + E, win + right, down
(Keep the win key down for the arrows, and no pauses.) Appreciation goes to ZAFJB for this one. Our recent tip for a shortcut to get a 4-pane explorer in Windows, triggered this suggestion from SevaraB: "You can do that for an even larger grid of Windows by right-clicking the clock in the taskbar, and clicking 'Show windows side by side' to arrange them neatly. Did this for 4 rows of 6 windows when I had to have a quick 'n' dirty "video wall" of windows monitoring servers at our branches." ZAFJB adds that it actually works when you right-click "anywhere on the taskbar, except application icons or start button." This tip comes courtesy of shipsass: "When I need to use Windows Explorer but I don't want to take my hands off the keyboard, I press Windows-E to launch Explorer and then Ctrl-L to jump to the address line and type my path. The Ctrl-L trick also works with any web browser, and it's an efficient way of talking less-technical people through instructions when 'browse to [location]' stumps them." Clear browser history/cookies by pressing CTRL-SHIFT-DELETE on most major browsers. Thanks go to synapticpanda, who adds that this "saves me so much time when troubleshooting web apps where I am playing with the cache and such." To rename a file with F2, while still editing the name of that file: Hit TAB to tab into the renaming of the next file. Thanks to abeeftaco for this one! Alt-D is a reliable alternative to Ctrl-L for jumping to the address line in a browser. Thanks for this one go to fencepost_ajm, who explains: "Ctrl-L comes from the browser side as a shortcut for Location, Alt-D from the Windows Explorer side for Directory." Browser shortcut: When typing a URL that ends with dot com, Ctrl + Enter will place the ".com" and take you to the page. Thanks to wpierre for this one! This tip comes from anynonus, as something that daily that saves a few clicks: "Running a program with ctrl + shift + enter from start menu will start it as administrator(alt + y will select YES to run as admin) ... my user account is local admin [so] I don't feel like that is unsafe" Building on our PowerShell resources, we received the following suggestion from halbaradkenafin: aka.ms/pskoans is "a way to learn PowerShell using PowerShell (and Pester). It's really cool and a bunch of folks have high praise for it (including a few teams within MSFT)." Keyboard shortcut: If you already have an application open, hold ctrl + shift and middle click on the application in your task bar to open another instance as admin. Thanks go to Polymira for this one. Remote Server Tip: "Critical advice. When testing out network configuration changes, prior to restarting the networking service or rebooting, always create a cron job that will restore your original network configuration and then reboot/restart networking on the machine after 5 minutes. If your config worked, you have enough time to remove it. If it didn't, it will fix itself. This is a beautifully simple solution that I learned from my old mentor at my very first job. I've held on to it for a long time." Thanks go to FrigidNox for the tip! Websites Deployment Research is the website of Johan Arwidmark, MS MVP in System Center Cloud and Datacenter Management. It is dedicated to sharing information and guidance around System Center, OS deployment, migration and more. The author shares tips and tricks to help improve the quality of IT Pros’ daily work. Next of Windows is a website on (mostly) Microsoft-related technology. It's the place where Kent Chen—a computer veteran with many years of field experience—and Jonathan Hu—a web/mobile app developer and self-described "cool geek"—share what they know, what they learn and what they find in the hope of helping others learn and benefit. High Scalability brings together all the relevant information about building scalable websites in one place. Because building a website with confidence requires a body of knowledge that can be slow to develop, the site focuses on moving visitors along the learning curve at a faster pace. Information Technology Research Library is a great resource for IT-related research, white papers, reports, case studies, magazines, and eBooks. This library is provided at no charge by TradePub.com. GullibleDetective tells us it offers "free PDF files from a WIIIIIIDE variety of topics, not even just IT. Only caveat: as its a vendor-supported publishing company, you will have to give them a bit of information such as name, email address and possibly a company name. You undoubtedly have the ability to create fake information on this, mind you. The articles range from Excel templates, learning python, powershell, nosql etc. to converged architecture." SS64 is a web-based reference guide for syntax and examples of the most-common database and OS computing commands. Recommended by Petti-The-Yeti, who adds, "I use this site all the time to look up commands and find examples while I'm building CMD and PS1 scripts." Phishing and Malware Reporting. This website helps you put a stop to scams by getting fraudulent pages blocked. Easily report phishing webpages so they can be added to blacklists in as little as 15 minutes of your report. "Player024 tells us, "I highly recommend anyone in the industry to bookmark this page...With an average of about 10 minutes of work, I'm usually able to take down the phishing pages we receive thanks to the links posted on that website." A Slack Channel Windows Admin Slack is a great drive-by resource for the Windows sysadmin. This team has 33 public channels in total that cover different areas of helpful content on Windows administration. Blogs KC's Blog is the place where Microsoft MVP and web developer Kent Chen shares his IT insights and discoveries. The rather large library of posts offer helpful hints, how-tos, resources and news of interest to those in the Windows world. The Windows Server Daily is the ever-current blog of technologist Katherine Moss, VP of open source & community engagement for StormlightTech. Offers brief daily posts on topics related to Windows server, Windows 10 and Administration. An Infosec Slideshow This security training slideshow was created for use during a quarterly infosec class. The content is offered generously by shalafi71, who adds, "Take this as a skeleton and flesh it out on your own. Take an hour or two and research the things I talk about. Tailor this to your own environment and users. Make it relevant to your people. Include corporate stories, include your audience, exclude yourself. This ain't about how smart you are at infosec, and I can't stress this enough, talk about how people can defend themselves. Give them things to look for and action they can take. No one gives a shit about your firewall rules." Tech Tutorials Tutorialspoint Library. This large collection of tech tutorials is a great resource for online learning. You'll find nearly 150 high-quality tutorials covering a wide array of languages and topics—from fundamentals to cutting-edge technologies. For example, this Powershell tutorial is designed for those with practical experience handling Windows-based Servers who want to learn how to install and use Windows Server 2012. The Python Tutorial is a nice introduction to many of Python’s best features, enabling you to read and write Python modules and programs. It offers an understanding of the language's style and prepares you to learn more about the various Python library modules described in 'The Python Standard Library.' Kindly suggested by sharjeelsayed. SysAdmin Humor Day in the Life of a SysAdmin Episode 5: Lunch Break is an amusing look at a SysAdmin's attempt to take a brief lunch break. We imagine many of you can relate! Have a fantastic week and as usual, let me know any comments or suggestions. u/crispyducks
The historic task of cultural change is to resolve throughout the dominant culture the distortions of rationalist human/nature dualisms that deny our ecological embodiment and membership of the global ecological community.
For (Moses) Hess, the cardinal sin of the Judaic people was to abandon their heritage, while the cardinal objective of his Communism was to persuade all other people to abandon theirs… Communism was the means for achieving Judaic supremacy over the gentiles. The gentiles were fated to be reduced to a faceless, deracinated mass. Capitalism was also capable of producing this effect, through free trade and the unfettered financialization of society, in which the management of money becomes a vast business in itself, and where the highest virtue, after obeisance to Judaism, is profit.
ve’ahavta (“love your neighbor as yourself”) admonition to Goyim for regarding their Jewish neighbors; as for the Jews themselves, haba le-horgecha, hashkem le-horgo (“he who comes to kill you, rise early and kill him first” as told in 3 Little Pigs))
(wolf) attempts to trick third pig out of his (brick) house by asking to meet him at various places, but he is outwitted each time (3rd pig rises early, does the suggested task, and saves himself from being eaten)
Garrett Hardin writes: "The essential characteristic of a tribe is that it should follow a double standard of morality -- one kind of behavior for in-group relations, another for out-group." -Wild Taboo "It is a tragic irony that discrimination has produced a species (homo sapiens) that now proposes to abandon the principle responsible for its rise to greatness."
Competitive Exclusion Principle In the competition for living space and resources between two species (or two groups that occupy the same ecological niche), one will inevitably and inexorably eliminate the other. “In a finite universe – and the organisms of our world know no other – where the total number of organisms of both kinds cannot exceed a certain number… one species will necessarily replace the other species completely if the two species are “complete competitors, i.e., live the same kind of life.”
[Spoilers] So, I promised to write a tirade on what I think is wrong with CDDA, and how I'd refocus the game on a GD level, and here it is.
And do not get me wrong, it absolutely still is my #1 favorite game, it just has some.. really, really major glaring flaws. Let me pre-emptively apologize for how meandery this post is, and warn you that if you never got far in the game, you might want to avoid the spoilers. If you don't want to read all of it, please read the "What is wrong with CDDA" section, and the "tl;dSummary" one, they are the most important outline of what I'm talking about, the rest can be a bit incoherent/implausible. I would also like to ping mlangsdorf, and kevingranade, as well as Raskov75 and TechnicalBen who have shown interest in this topic when I mentioned it in another thread a few days ago. I have difficulty keeping my mind on track on my own, so if you asked me pointed question, I could probably come up with better than the idealized thoughts below. I would be grateful to anyone who reads it.
What is wrong with CDDA.
In a way, I think that CDDA is a game that kinda hinges entirely on its complexity and amount of content, rather than utilizing it cleverly. I absolutely adore some aspects of it: The way crafting supports alternative materials to add depth to resource management, the systemic repaireinforcement/modification of some items, how much you can do with vehicles, and I truly love the earlygame, and I loved figuring the game out too, but I wish it had lasted longer, far longer. Once you know what to do, the game loses most of its depth. First off, the problem with progression in cdda is, rather than a set or graph of fuzzy progression milestones, that you can revisit and do better, it's more of a checklist. Of tools, of books, of skill levels, and sadly, most of that reduces to an extremely routine process of surviving the earlygame, and then just accumulating books+tools and enough food to coast by, until you're ready to level up and leave the early(and mid) game behind. And most of that progression reduces to a single central measure. You either get stronger through an action, or you don't, there is mostly no real "sideways" progression. It's a common complaint I have with RPG games, and admittedly, Cata does far better on this front than they do, but it's still kinda bad, especially starting a new character - in a game with long-term progression like CDDA, when starting a new character, you have two options, either go through the same methodology from scratch, or... yup, just read your last character's books before butchering it for bionics. Neither is great fun. And furthermore, as you progress, you just... leave content behind. You quickly reach a point where normal zombies, and even the brutes, mean nothing to you, much less the animals or the woods. Most of the world just goes off your mental map, as irrelevant. From that point, there is nothing you have genuine "reason" to do, beyond just your own whim. Once you know how to stay safe, the main endgame location, labs, are honestly trivial, and once you figure a certain item out, they stop even being capable of posing a risk unless you get brutally careless.
What I'd do instead
And some of these changes are gonna be... major, some implausible at this point into the game's development. Nonetheless, please treat the below as food for thought, rather than anything more definitive. I also struggled a lot to order and organize this, so forgive me.
First off, and you'll see why I'm proposing this in subsequent sections: IMO, skills would be far better, if they were split into individual "microskills", e.g. Electronics would be a "field", rather than a "skill", which would contain individual subskills such as soldering, signal processing, power, basic/intermediate/advanced circuit theory, microprocessors, bionics, etc. Furthermore, rather than have a single level, each skill would have three sequential components, the proportion of each depending on the skill in question: Concept, theory, practice. A well-educated human, for example, might know the concept behind basic mechanics, and thus be able to - eventually - improvise upon it, or figure out the outline of basic electronics by studying an advanced book, but on the other hand, just reading an electronics 101 doesn't instantly make you an expert on soldering. And yes, I'm aware that that sounds like a huge pain in the ass to manage, which brings me to the rationale behind it: I think that expecting and requiring a sole survivor to become fully self-sufficient and capable of all, on their own, is batshit, which brings me to the second point:
2.1. Interactions and knowledge.
IMO, in an open-ended game, there is only one way to do dialogue, namely through a topic system much like Morrowind's, where your top-level interface uses fixed hotkeys, for main "verbs" such as "Talk about...", "Tasks", "Trade", "Training"(both ways), "Rules", "Goodbye", and then subscreens which feature the actual options, where you should be able to ask the NPC about cities they have visited, or the one they come from, to gather information, about other landmarks or creatures/species/people they encountered. The system does not need to be elaborate, but it needs to be organized, and capable of supporting simple systematic communication of knowledge, ideally both ways, as well as how it affects your reputation. Caves of Qud has a great system1 Aside from skills, NPCs should have other "knowledge", such as that about cities, creatures, or that you murdered their companion and they hate you for it, or that they have a health problems they need you to fix(or try to fix themselves, if they spot the right item), that interact and affect their behaviodialogue in at least basic ways. I have no idea how far such a system could be taken, so I'll not propose anything further. 1possibly based on a long-ass suggestion post I pitched to the dev years ago, but I'm very probably just giving myself airs
2.2. Pooling resources together
Instead of singular player characters that exist in a vaccuum, fully capable of becoming an expert at everything through the previous character's books, I would base the game itself around creating a faction of NPCs with distinct backgrounds and skills, and the ability to learn and teach each other. Many crafts would take more time, but rather than being executed by the PC, they would be done by the NPC, who would slowly become masters of their craft, and when you die, the accumulated knowledge survives not through books you've got around, but through other characters who have polished those skills. After death, you would be able to switch to another character of your faction - and have to deal with their traits and quirks, would probably be pretty fun as well. It would also mean that "succession" can't instantly make you OP again through books, and despite losing less, you would have to invest more than just boring grind into regaining what you lost. Being able to switch between characters during a run, could potentially also be fun. Furthermore, this would give a good reason to create bases, not by gating certain crafts or speeding tasks up behind NPC factions, but by giving them real, meaningful utility of being capable of much the same things as you, except in the background so you don't have to grind manually for days. Instead of leveling a single survivor up into a walking death machine capable of every craft, you'd be doing what humans have always done naturally: Pooling resources together, and advancing as a "society". And bases bring me to my third point:
3. Static vs mobile bases.
3.1 Static bases.
And the "vs" here is more to highlight the fact that there is simply no competition. Not only is vehicle building more fleshed out, but also capable of more, with less hassle, and on the move. Even if you wanted to avoid vehicles, there are no static alternatives: Fridges don't work, ovens don't work, there isn't welding rig or UPS furniture, no power grids, convenient liquid storage, or.. anything, really. I think that the game would be much more fun, if the player had both the ability and reason to "colonize" buildings, both earlier and later on. The ability to drag some freezers, fridges, ovens together, connecting them to a generator, or some other local non-vehicle source of power, would provide a new aspect of the game. Right now, even if you decide to build a base, there is extremely little you can do with it, majority of what you build is just cosmetic, honestly. Ideally, static constructions would be "modular" like vehicle tiles, like being able to install curtains over metal bars or a door frame or run wiring through walls, or replace an oven's power cord with a wireless replacement or internal generator... possibly even make engines/etc. generate multiple resources, e.g. heat as well as horsepower. I also think that all objects in the game should follow the same overall durability systems: A combination of static tiles' damage absorption, vehicle parts' HP, and items' durability levels. Like I said, many things that would be a huge PITA to change, at this point.
Aside from the mentioned above durability change, IMO, vehicles would be much better off, if they needed transmission axles, wiring, and piping. This way, merging two vehicles through any kind of connector could keep them separate, while also imposing more constraints on vehicle construction, leading to the process being a bit more involved, and the ability to make components interact with each other in a slightly more systemic way - now faucets connect to the tank they're connected to. What happens if you use alcohol for coolant? But of course, the most important thing with regards to progression is:
4.1. Success and progress.
One thing I would change is, instead of a sort of... ambiguous mechanic of "You resume your task", I would create temporary "unfinished " items for in-progress crafting, of any kind. Second, I think that craft success/failure is too binary, and I would replace it with a system, where you are given the stated chance of crafting what you want, and rather than failing at the end, at some point you can get a prompt "You have made a mistake and wasted %nx %material, use another and continue?", so that even at far lower skill levels - as long as you know the concept/theory - you can eventually craft what you want, in a semi-deterministic manner. Thirdly, whenever you waste, destroy, etc. a component/item, it should fall apart into "breaks into" items, rather than vanishing from existence. A lot of those scraps should be useless, but I am opposed to objects vanishing out of existence on principle, especially when it contributes to a "hoard until you get the maximum use out of your resources" dynamic in terms of crafting.
4.2. Components and item modification
I firmly believe that part of what makes vehicles amazing, is the way you can compose different available components, figure out what you can make with them, and how to achieve it, and gun/clothing modification is also fun, but... In terms of CDDA: I think that those modifications should also be blueprints, and that there should be more of them, based on a twofold system: Modification capacity, and modification consequences. For example, a coat might have 0/2 lining, 0/4 padding, 0/1 coating slots, and each filled slot results in extra encumbrance based on both the item's suitability for modification and the specific mod you do. You should be able to add thermoelectric lining to items, "coat" it with rain-resistant filament, pad it with both some kevlar and extra pockets, e.g. tailor your own gear yourself. IMO, as many items as possible should be the "basis" for the player to work on, rather than a final end-goal, like the survivor clothing. Wouldn't it be fun to make your own, custom survivor suit out of the best items you can find, rather than just rush towards some single goal craftable? What if you could add nails to wooden weaponry as a mod, electrify any melee weapon, serrate the blade of your trusty kukri, or coat your arrows in poison? In terms of a game I'd make: I would make as many items as possible the sum of their parts, rather than a single static object, e.g. give every item a specialized "inventory" for components. Those components would be stuff like spark plugs for engines, stock/sights/etc. for firearms, different types batteries for electronics, CPUs, a battery compartment(to replace it with a corded/ups/etc. one), an accumulator or a betteworse sawblade.. point is, you should be able to juryrig and improvise over broken components, pool items together for parts, and repair of furniture, items, objects, could become a more involved process than "do I have the right tool and material chunk to repair". A good example would be being able to create a battery cell of several individual sub-cells, e.g. make the first one a remotely rechargeable UPS sub-battery, then two normally rechargeable ones, and finally a plutonium mini-battery, in the case you really need your tool for an emergency.
First off, I think that all types of blueprints should be consolidated, into the same overarching system, so they can make use of features implemented for each other. Also feel free to read the tl;dr of this section first. Features such as for example, extending qualities from tool qualities only, to component qualities. E.g. not "bone glue or glue or duct tape", but "mquality: adhesive: 1", as well as the ability to define some components as affecting the end result's properties: Weight, durability, how handy it is to use as a tool. Ideally, those qualities would have more than a single value, which would depend on the quality itself. For example, the "fabric" quality would feature encumbrance, durability, protection values. Some tools might be faster than others, some might impact craft success probability negatively. Ideally, that would be indicated through a relatively simple interface, like (150% speed, 90% success) after the selected tool. Alas, at this point reworking recipes like this would be... impossible, pretty much. It's something that'd need to be tested from scratch, carefully adjusted, and figured out, to avoid bogging the player down. I am leaning towards having multiple-stage processes like construction, where individual tools/materials affect a specific stage, and the properties of the final object are defined through either a simple domain specific language, e.g. durability="min(mat1.adhesive/3, 1) * mat2.hardness * 10". OR simpler and perhaps better, mqualities could just have a numerical rating indicating how good they are for that purpose(e.g. as a bar, as armor, or as meat), and their contribute either to craft success, craft speed, or whichever property the current craft stage governs. tl;dr: Perhaps this would need to be sawed down and simplified, but the premise here is: I would like to give the player actual reason to stay on the lookout for better tools, materials, and components, and only part of it as a "checklist" of things to find, with plenty to figure out and improvise on your own. Rather than making a survivor winter coat, why not figure out which animal's fur is the warmest, and line your greatcoat with it? Find and pursue the solution yourself, especially when it means adapting to this strange new world.
5. The environment.
5.1. Dynamic environment
What I would do here, is create the notion of "groups" of zombies, animals, or survivors, which have some very basic AI simulated on the world map, that is only realized into actual herds/lairs/buildings once you're close enough. You should be able to realize that there's been giant bees raiding you recently, and that that means there has to be a new nest nearby, that wolves have wandered close, and probably have a lair, or find migrating ants on the way to establish a new colony. E.g. a combination of "dynamic environment" and "dynamic locations" to raid/cleautilize.
5.2. Procgen improvements
First off, a small one: IMO, loot generation should be switched to first choosing an item or bundle of items, and then allocate it into containers, so that if a gunstore generates a 9mm firearm, it also generates a magazine for it, and a stack or two of 9mm ammo. It could also be used to create "types" of say restaurants, independent from the actual building. Second off, rather than choosing a random building, IMO, there should be more instances of a part of a building being chosen randomly from a few variants with different layouts.
5.3. Challenge and combat.
Needs to be toned way down in terms of vertical progression, albeit... one way in which lower-level enemies could stay relevant, would be to adopt a HP system like Exanima's, where you can take either "hard" damage(cutting/piercing/hard bashing), or "soft" that regenerates fast-ish on its own(absorbed by armor, glancing blows), so that even if your armor absorbs majority of damage, you still take some. I think that doing this would make it possible to reduce zombie counts(which are annoying as hell), without sacrificing how dangerous they are. In fact, I'd even go as far as say have soft/hard/critical damage, with the last being extremely difficult to heal, so that extremely high-end enemies like turrets, rather than killing you, instead cripple you for a while with really tough to heal critical-type damage. I'm not gonna talk about nerfing vehicles, because I think that the need for that is very self-evident. Unless it's intended that you can roll through anything, anywhere, be it a chicken or a tank drone.
Basically, the outline of my thoughts comes down to shifting the progression from a central measure of how strong your character is, to something both more open-ended, and touching upon more game mechanics than currently, as well as factoring the "inevitable" inheritance of a run into the core gameplay loop, in a way that makes sense in a roguelike context, and adding more depth - even if most of it would be utilized very little - to the crafting of items, bases, vehicles, and other objects. I would like to give the world around the survivor more relevance, and reasons to interact with it. Currently, the game has incredible amounts of content, but the vast majority of it gives the player no reason to care about it, and what you care about reduces to a very one-dimensional measure of how far along you are - there's just skills, gear, and vehicles, and most of that is defined by which books you have access to. Instead of a "how does this content factor into my options?", you only ask yourself a binary "does it?"... and the answer is usually a no, especially as you get further in the game. And that, is not only boring, but leads to the issue of power creep: Because there is only a single axis to progress on, to be relevant, content has to make you "stronger", and since all falls on that axis, the stronger you are, the less of the game is relevant to you. At some point once you know what to do, it's just a grind. And I think that the game could do far better than that, if it focused on how many distinct things surviving entails, especially multiple humans coming together and the continuous process of adapting to the environment and utilizing the new, extradimensional objects and creatures. The world has essentially ended, with all its military might, you're supposed to be surviving in that world, not becoming its new God. And as long as the only goal is to "survive and increase your combat capability", every new addition and change to the game will do nothing towards guiding it towards becoming a better game. Or, basically, the game needs to stop being about a single central measure of progression. Preparing yourself for the wintecold environments should be separate from preparing yourself for facing robots, which should be separate from surviving zombies, which in turn should be governed by a different metric of progression than maintaining a food supply, preparing for the worst(death of your character), tweaking your gear, and more of the game should be a process of continuous improvement, rather than ticking items off a checklist. Modular content would go a very far way in this respect, imo. That's what I mean when I say the game has deep flaws that I think are unlikely to be corrected. And I know that my post is incoherent and at times extremely ambitious... I just... find it difficult to collect myself better than that. Please do not be too mean. And if you have any questions, please ask me, I am confident in my ability to come up with, if not answers, then at least food for thought. I am well capable of coming up with less ambitious proposals than the stuff here, I just... idk, I had to dump the contents of my brain first. I will do more thought on actual, more modest, change proposals as I continue my current run, and open a few issues, or make another megapost with a collection of the small things mainly.
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