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Messages - Cain

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Not yet, no.  But that's pretty much what I've heard.  Ubisoft's development cycles are way too fast, and overreliant on the same tired old mechanics of the same tired old engines.  Call of Assassins Creed Duty: Black Flag Ops is the perfect example, of course.

Skyrim could've been approached in a few different ways.  More focus on Akatosh, Tiber Septim, the Thalmor and Mehrunes Dagon would've helped quite a bit.  A lot of the interesting things about Skyrim have been deduced from previous Elder Scrolls games and why Hermaeus Mora pays such attention to the Dragonborn, what the Thalmor are up to (though Kirkbride's C0da and Landfall deal with that, to a degree), whether it's the Dragonborn or Alduin who is a Shezzarine (it's probably not Alduin), the "oversoul" ascension of the Dragonborn and so on.

Aneristic Illusions / Re: Random News Stories
« on: Today at 10:14:10 am »
No, I just mean the US State Department and CIA people will talk to our people, shades of Harold Wilson will occur, and the status quo will be maintained. 

Unless something has significantly changed in American policy, or America thinks it can more reliably use Poland, the UK is its best choice for exerting influence, expanding the EU territorially (which does benefit US interests) but stalling on integration (which does not serve US interests).  This is also one of the reasons why Germany and France will not exactly cry if the UK leaves.

So there will be talks between "concerned parties" and, if it does come down to a referendum, money will no doubt come from Atlantic sources to sway public opinion.  The USIC has assets in both parties, I'm sure of this, and while they're probably not enough to swing a vote on their own, they can be used to apply pressure, create debate and sabotage the process.

Labour have also been playing some games with the functions of Parliament while Cameron has been napping.  Despite Red Ed being a wet blanket and a wonk, he can most definitely throw a spanner in the works and make it exceedingly difficult for the Tories to proceed on the issue.  I can't remember the exact details of what it was, but it was something to do with the Committees and voting process, I think.  I'll have to check.

I will say this: though I've criticised Skyrim's plot before now, I've actually come around to the idea that it was the implementation and gameplay that are more at fault.  When you delve into the (deeply bizarre) lore, it actually makes the game at least 10 times as awesome.  The Thalmor come across as more evil and inept than they do in the game, too.

But yes.  Planescape: Torment is definitely one of a kind, which is not a good thing.  Fallout: New Vegas is meant to be quite good as well, also from Obsidian, but I've not played it myself, so I cannot comment.  There were also significant time and engine constraints with that game.  And I have a copy of Alpha Protocol downloaded, an "espionage RPG" from Obsidian, which sounds potentially interesting.  Yet to give it a try though.

Eh, the beta was OK.  I mean, there were balance and GUI issues which needed to be sorted out, I'm not gonna lie, but nothing major.

I think the main issue is the localization language one.  They're now offering support in Italian, which wasn't previously on the cards.  For such a language intensive game, that is going to take a while.

Edit: Doing some final tests on my Skyrim modlist today.  Hopefully, by the end of next week, I should be in a position to record and upload consistently.

Aneristic Illusions / Re: Random News Stories
« on: Today at 08:36:59 am »
There's definitely an element of this that the UK is dodgy as hell, has apparently thriving economy and has underpaid for years, and so should pay for more.

But the timing...this is also about France and Germany thumbing their noses at Britain.  Saying "leave then, see if we care".  The other EU states cannot be unaware of our own internal debate on Europe, or our current political uncertainty.  Hell, most French politicians speak better English than people born here, they definitely know what is going on.

Besides, I'm not convinced that the US will allow Britain to leave. 

There was also this from a while back

OK, so after spending a couple of weeks making sure my computer isn't going to shit itself and die on me, I'm fairly confident to start recording again.

Order of business:

1) Dishonored.  Save games were lost when the computer was repaired, but I can get back to where I was with no problem.  This will also give me a chance to pick up the runes I missed and pick abilities I've since found to be more useful.

2) Skyrim.  Azirok has still not released the patches, after 3 weeks of waiting.  I was going to ditch Civil War Overhaul anyway - while my impression is that it is more stable now, it is still not stable enough and in particular I've found the Siege of Windhelm to be buggy under certain conditions, through several playthroughs.  iNeed will be replacing Realistic Needs and Diseases, and because the Immersive Weapons Patch seems to be dropping daedric tier weapons where there shouldn't be any, I'm going to try Lore Weapon Expansion instead, which should not need patching.

If things get too easy at level 30+, I will install OBIS, assuming it has been patched for by that point.  If it's still too easy, I will consider Revenge of the Enemies, which has been patched for.  That said, for my particular character, things should be plenty hard enough for at least the first 20 levels. Silver weapons have been nerfed somewhat, bandits are harder, crossbows require perks to take advantage of armour-piercing properties.

As a consequence of offensive Illusion getting something of a nerf (basically, bandits and other mid-tier enemies now have larger magicka pools, making them more resistant to such spells), what I am considering is starting off using Illusion as well, as it's a useful skill for a thief, and then after Trinity Restored occurs, branching into Conjuration magic.  Conjuration is fairly powerful (not as powerful as Destruction, but is anything?), furthermore I think it makes sense that the champion of a Daedric Prince would be interested in using the forces of the Oblivion Realms to give them an edge in battle.  No necromancy though, necromancers are sick fucks (see Arondil for more on that).  Just daedric summons and bound weapons.  Between Illusion and Conjuration, I should be able to lock down any truly dangerous foes while staying out of the firing range myself.  It's also more interesting than shooting a fireball out of the shadows and watching everything die, or just sneaking by every high level encounter.

Aneristic Illusions / Re: Shootings in Canada
« on: Today at 07:48:18 am »
"You call that a gun?"

Aneristic Illusions / Re: Shootings in Canada
« on: Today at 07:21:29 am »
Thanks.  His social media presence may exist in Arabic or on Arabic social media.

In other news:

- Canada has ruled out a direct link to ISIS.  Probably just as well.

- Stephen Harper hid in a cupboard for 15 minutes, apparently terrified terrorists would kill him (is anyone surprised? No).

- MPs took down flagpoles and turned them into spears, in case they needed to go hand-to-hand with any terrorists in the building (Canadian MPs confirmed as being tough enough to fight Putin one-on-one).

Incidentally, on the news today

The Metropolitan Police is to pay 425,000 to a woman whose child was fathered by a man who she did not know was an undercover police officer.

The unprecedented payment comes after a legal battle with women who say they were duped into relationships with officers who were spying on them.

Scotland Yard says it "unreservedly apologises for any pain and suffering".

The woman told BBC News she had received psychiatric care after learning the officer's real identity.

The SDS ran long-term undercover operations designed to infiltrate protest groups, including animal rights organisations.

One of its key officers, former Special Branch detective Bob Lambert, used the pseudonym Bob Robinson, and was tasked with infiltrating the Animal Liberation Front.

During that operation in the mid 1980s, he formed a relationship with a 22-year-old activist called Jacqui - even though he was already married with children. In 1985 she gave birth - but when the boy was two years old, the father vanished.

So, I think I can credibly claim to have the most interesting lecturer for my counter-terrorism course.

I didn't actually realise he was that Bob Lambert until I was doing some related reading last night.

Holy shit

Having a KID while you're undercover is... um, kinda fucked up.

Oh yeah, for sure.

The best part is, he's not the only one.  There seems to have been a whole procession of undercover officers from the Metropolitan police Special Branch whose careers revolved around infiltrating environmental movements and having sex with female activists.  That's why I didn't initially realise my professor was one of them - there have been a lot more recent cases of a very similar kind, with younger officers.

Its almost like the eco-terrorism beat exists almost purely for bored police officers to get laid while claiming to protect the country from dangerous criminals.

I dunno, I missed the first five minutes, due to someone password protecting the meeting (which has never happened before).

Edit: and now we're talking about whether there should be limits on "technologies of mass persuasion" and "perfect marketing".

Hah.  But seriously, this is the sketchiest lecture I've ever been in, and that includes the ones with MI5 present.

So, I'm currently discussing online censorship with a mysterious figure not using their own name with a light behind his face.

Well then.

Well, I can tell you from talking to him, he's a very amiable man, personable and thoughtful, and has an almost bumbling nature which I suspect are all most people ever see.  However, given the topic of discussion and the setting, I can tell you he's also extremely sharp and deeply intelligent.

I suspect all of these characteristics are true to him, and are what made him such an effective undercover officer.

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