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Messages - broodwars

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Easy win for the Jazz tonight to finally claim the #1 Seed for the Playoffs, after going down by 12 early on against the Kings.

It'd be nice if we got the Grizzlies in the first round, but I don't think they're going to get past the Warriors or Lakers. As like is not, we're going to get stuck with the Warriors, hopefully with a fully recovered Donovan Mitchell. The Jazz are still being incredibly secretive about what his current health status is. It's not a good sign that they didn't let him come back and play limited minutes towards the end of the season, especially since they DID do that with Conley.

Movies & TV / Re: Rate the last TV show you've seen
« on: Yesterday at 09:52:19 PM »
My friend and I also watched the first 2 episodes of Star Wars: The Bad Batch. Overall, I liked the 75 minute pilot episode, but the 2nd episode shows that this is at best another Rebels. It teases that dark tone, and then flips right around to being Yet Another Disney Star Wars story about someone parenting a kid. What, was Rebels & The Mandalorian not enough at this point?

On a side note, all the Bad Batch members are defined by particular genetic "defects" that are "enhanced". One is genetically stronger than the standard clones, one's a better sharp-shooter, one's Rambo, another's Donatello, and Omega has the genetic abnormality of "girl". She's clearly supposed to be a female clone of Jango Fett, as she has the Australian accent & shows combat skills without ever being trained.

On a more amusing side note, I see that Disney's gotten so arrogant these days that they thought they could rip off a motif from a Halo 3 theme with the Bad Batch and no one would notice.

Halo 3: Beyond a Pale Horse

The Bad Batch Theme: Omega's Theme


I don't even LIKE Halo, and I picked up on it.

Movies & TV / Re: Rate the last TV show you've seen
« on: Yesterday at 09:11:50 PM »
I also watched the entirety of Castlevania Season 4 today with my best friend and...well...I'm not sure "disappointing" is the right word, as I thought Season 3 was godawful, but it wasn't the huge improvement over that season I hoped for in any conceivable way.

Probably the most disappointing thing about this season was the animation, as I thought it was pretty bad throughout with characters constantly going off-model during fight scenes; characters losing detail; and the animation being pretty damn choppy most of the time in general. I didn't think it was above "passable" until Episode 9, which is apparently what all the money was saved for. I particularly question their decision to use a lot of 3D CG backgrounds this season, as they look incredibly unconvincing against the cheap animation. Your mileage may vary, though. We were watching these episodes on a 4K TV.

Something that really bugged me this season about the fights, though, was something that also really bugged me about Season 3: it's very clear that not a lot of effort went into storyboarding these fights from the start of Season 3 all the way to the start of Season 4 episode 9. Why? Rewatch the Bloody Tears sequence sometime. Look at all the inventive ways that the respective characters use their abilities, in particular Sypha with her magic. There is nothing on the level of that choreography until the big battle of Season 4 episode 9. In general, I find fights in this series post-Bloody Tears Season 2 to be incredibly dull and generic.

The pacing this season was weird. It's a 10 episode season, and I can say with great confidence that absolutely nothing of consequence happened in the first 5 or so episodes. Then EVERYTHING happens in the following 4. It leads to one half that's dragging and padding just as badly as Season 3, followed by a second half that's incredibly rushed. Characters just seem randomly incompetent or seem to flip their motivations on a dime completely off-screen. The show completely ditched any world-building. I get the feeling the writers didn't know this was their final season until late in development.

I also could have done without the big fight at the very end and the extreme cop-out it led to in the epilogue, too.

So what was good? Well, aside from the one cop-out, I quite like the epilogue episode. It feels like it could have come immediately at the end of Season 2, which is a damning indictment of the overall pointlessness of Seasons 3 & 4 in general. The big fight of Episode 9 was a great return-to-form, both for the animation quality and the storyboarding behind it. Malcolm McDowell is a treat as ever, and led to more than a few Milk Money jokes from the 2 of us when he was on-screen.  :P

And yes, what was with the lack of Castlevania music this entire series outside the use of Bloody Tears back in Season 2?

Not terribly concerned about last night's loss. If we'd had Mitchell and Conley, we'd have won. Trent Forrest was playing major minutes last night. I wasn't expecting us to win. What I am concerned about is that we wasted 30 minutes of Gobert and Royce (who is playing injured) in a losing effort. The Jazz should have rested them for the next game against the Blazers.

I'm mixed on the whole play-in tournament system, myself. It feels like it's only there to appease the Western Conference teams, which are the only ones good enough every year where Seeds 9 & 10 could potentially belong in the playoffs and still be worthy opponents for the 1 & 2 seeds.
That's a good point. For discussion's sake, what would you suggest?

I came up with a couple then talked myself out of each one. For example, only have play in games for the final spot under certain circumstances.
  • If 9 is within one game of 8 and/or won the season series, have a play in series. I think 8 should still get something. Maybe 8 has to win one game and 9 has to win two in a row so not really a tournament.
  • If 8 to 10 are within one game (and/or each lower seed won the season series against the seed above it), 8 plays the winner of 9 and 10.

What you suggested sounds decent enough. I just feel like the Play-in Tournament is a bandaid on the overall problem that only 4-6 teams in the East max deserve to be in the playoffs, whereas 8-10 in the West routinely have the records to deserve inclusion. We've already addressed that the Eastern Conference will never agree to a Top 16 team Playoff format, so I suppose this is the best compromise we can get.

One thing I'd like to address with the Playoffs is the overall bracketing. I've never been a fan of the 1-8, 2-7, 3-6, 4-5 first round bracketing. It's designed to allow the Top Seed to basically coast its way through the playoffs. They get to beat up on the worst team in the playoffs 1st, and then AT WORST they face the #4 seed in the 2nd round. They don't potentially run into a team that's on their level until the Conference Finals, at which point their opponent has already been worn down by play against the 2nd & 3rd seeds. This is particularly true for the Eastern Conference, where the playoffs are routinely a joke every year as 1-2 teams just steamroll everyone else.

What I would prefer is this sort of bracketing in the 1st round: 1-5, 2-6, 3-7, 4-8. Then the winner of 1-5 faces the winner of 3-7, and the winner of 2-6 faces the winner of 4-8, and so on. This would allow for much more exciting matches in the 1st round, as you'd have teams facing off that are much more comparable to each other, rather than just have the top seeds steamrolling the weaklings every year. Granted, it does remove the parity of the existing 2nd round, where the 2nd & 3rd seeds beat each other up for the amusement of the 1 Seed they'll face in the Conference Finals.

I'd also go back to the 1st round being 5 games rather than 7. Especially with how injury-prone players are these days, 7 games in the easiest round is excessive. It also means teams have more energy for the 2nd and 3rd rounds, particularly in the West.  That will never happen, of course, because the League likes money.

I'm mixed on the whole play-in tournament system, myself. It feels like it's only there to appease the Western Conference teams, which are the only ones good enough every year where Seeds 9 & 10 could potentially belong in the playoffs and still be worthy opponents for the 1 & 2 seeds. Having a Play-in Tourney in the Eastern Conference just creates an even more one-sided Round 1 for the 1st & 2nd Seeds, since their opponents will have already expended energy on an extra 1-2 games.

I dunno...having the 7th and 8th Seeds up for grabs feels both excessive and yet not excessive enough, but I get what the League is trying to do in deterring tanking with this additional tourney.

*looks at the current Suns-Knicks score*

Ah well...never count on an Eastern Conference scrub to do a real team's job.

Well, that was an absolutely wild game tonight with the Nuggets taking on the Jazz in Utah. I don't think any reasonable Jazz fan saw us winning tonight without Conley & Mitchell, but Bogdanovic has just been a force of nature since the T-Wolves losses. He put in 46 points tonight as the Jazz defeated the Nuggets 127-120. Clarkson also, for once, didn't vanish during a big game and put in 21 points, himself.

What's particularly hilarious is that the game was won on the defensive end in the same way the Jazz lost that last game against the T-Wolves. The Nuggets tried to play the Foul Game in the last 30 seconds, and the Jazz stole the ball on both Nuggets possessions.

Assuming that the Knicks-Suns game continues as it has so far (knock on wood), this very likely sewed up the #1 seed for the Jazz. Hard to believe this is the same team that got swept by the T-Wolves.

LOL. These f-ing clown shoes lost another season series to a bottom feeding lottery team. They really want to be in the play in tournament. **** around and find out, guys.

Hey, if they're lucky, they'll run into the Jazz in the 1st round and sweep them. Clown shoes for all.  :rolleyes:

Yeah, my basic issue with Season 3 is that all the characters basically end where they started, with the exception of Isaac. Even Hector basically ends the season where he began, and his wasn't the only unearned (and frankly inexplicable) sex scene that season. There is just so much padding in Season 3, especially in Sypha and Trevor's story. They basically spend the whole season going "Huh. That's weird. Should we DO something?" When they DO finally do something, it's awesome but why did it take the entire season for them to get involved?

As for Curse of Darkness, you would know more than I. I haven't played it, either, mostly because it was never ported to the PS3 as a PS2 Classic (only Lament of Innocence was). Since the anime likes to reference characters from the game, any time there's a notable one I like to pull up the Wiki and see what they were in the games. It certainly helped me explain to my best friend why the show was spending so much time with Hector and Isaac in Season 2. I'm aware of the game's reputation, though.

That was quite a good trailer for Castlevania Season 4. Unfortunately, I just watched the slow-moving, pointless dumpster fire that was Season 3, so they have a lot of ground to make up after the fantastic Season 2. I don't know why they decided to only kinda, sorta adapt Curse of Darkness, a Castlevania game so few people played that Konami set fire to the entire franchise after it and rebooted it all with Lords of Shadow. I further don't know why they decided to kinda, sorta adapt it and then not really DO anything with it.

Supposedly, the show is going to be rebooted after this season because Netflix thinks people will only watch shows with small season counts to focus on a new cast. Kinda feel like they should have done that after Season 2 if they were going to do that.

I think 11-3 or 10-4 is not an unrealistic outcome of those remaining Warrior games, considering the schedule you have there. I think the Warriors lose those games against the Jazz; Suns; and possibly one of the Nuggets and Pelicans games. It's difficult to beat any team in the NBA practically 3 times in a row.

On the flipside, it's also rather ridiculous to expect Curry to bail out the rest of the team 10-11 more times the rest of the season, so who knows.

Is it faking injuries if teams are admitting it's rest/load management? Also, it's weird that you called out the Nets considering the Jazz literally load managed yesterday which absolutely cost them the game. And it was a road game so they absolutely should be fined per the rules.

1. To answer your question, no. It isn't faking injuries if the teams admit it's resting/load management.

2. It's weird that you think calling me out on the Jazz using it is a gotcha. I don't remember ever saying I approved of players not showing up to do their jobs, and you and I have bickered about the use of load management for years. I've been very consistent about not liking it.

3. However, since you seem to want me to defend the Jazz using it lately, I will:

- Favors isn't faking an injury. He really does have a bad back as a result of an injury he suffered last year with the Pelicans that had him out most of the season. His back has never been the same since.

- Conley also isn't faking an injury. He injured his hamstring earlier this season just like he did last season. Management, as a result, is very wary about re-aggravating that hamstring again since he's already proven twice vulnerable to it.

- I'm not sure if Gobert is just a rest case or not, since it's unclear when he got his "right knee contusion" they cited for the Lakers game. From everything I've been able to gather, it sounds legit since Gobert has actually been remarkably consistent in playing this year.

4. Even with the Jazz using "injury recovery"/ "load management" this season, they've only used it for the occasional player a handful of times this season, and there's been a recent injury to back that up. That's nothing compared to the other teams in the league, in particular the Nets. I don't think the Clippers have even used it as much as the Nets have with Irving and Harden since acquiring them. I don't for a moment believe that Harden's actually injured, especially with the way he closed out his tenure in Houston.

5. Yes, fine everyone if that's the rule. If we're going to have a rule against load management, it should be applied equally to everyone. Otherwise, that just lends credence to conspiracy theories that the League plays favorites, which it absolutely does and always has.

NBA fines San Antonio Spurs $25,000 for violating resting rules

This is silly on a few counts.
  • In a season where everyone and their mother is getting injured, maybe there should be some leeway when it comes to resting players.
  • DeRozan is on a contract year. If he gets a catastrophic injury, no way he gets the amount of money he’s looking to get paid, and this probably his last chance at a decent contract.
  • The Spurs still beat the Suns, the team with the second best record, by 26 points.
Letter of the law, fine. However, the league is also not consistent when applying this rule. I always disagreed with the resting rules. Lose a player for a game/a few games, or lose him for half a season/an entire season/even his career. Take your pick.

No team rests players because they want to lose games. They rest players because they want to win more games later.

In other news, Kevin Durant left the game against the Heat today in the first quarter with a thigh contusion.

So...if the NBA wants to start fining teams for faking injuries to rest their players, how about fining the Nets for the stunts they've been pulling with Irving and Harden?

It seems we were very, very lucky this time with Donovan. He's only going to be out a few games, as the MRI found no structural damage. It's just a simple right ankle sprain.

On a side note, it looks like the Jazz chose well in picking up Ersan İlyasova in free agency. He's doing an admirable job subbing in for Gobert today against the Lakers.

I’m curious why there’s even a basketball game in the middle of the afternoon on a Friday. Is that normal in Utah?
Maybe, just maybe this will finally convince this team to stop relying on last minute heroics from Mitchell to bail them out of sloppy games.

I'm pretty sure this is a makeup game from earlier in the year, just like the Washington game we just played. It's not usual, so just chock that up to the arbitrary needs of this bizarre season.

Well, while we're waiting to find out just how thoroughly the Jazz are fucked, Dwyane Wade bought part ownership of the team. I'm really not sure how to feel about this considering the main reason Gail Miller sold her share of the team to the current (now-part owner) owner of the team was that he would guarantee that the Jazz would stay in Utah. With Wade as part of ownership, I'm not so sure how guaranteed that is. Of course, he could have just 1% ownership for all we know. It wasn't stated how big his purchase was.


If this ends as badly as it sounds...And so ends yet another season where we were supposed to be championship contenders, all due to injury.

Maybe, just maybe this will finally convince this team to stop relying on last minute heroics from Mitchell to bail them out of sloppy games.

Guess we're going to see what Matt Thomas can do now.  :rolleyes:

Speaking of injury curses, it seems that's finally caught up with us, as we're on our way to getting blown out by the Utah...largely due to missing both Mike Conley & Jordan Clarkson to injuries or injury "management" (in the case of Conley). *sigh*

General Gaming / Re: What are you playing?
« on: April 11, 2021, 05:38:56 PM »
So at this point you've played most PS5 exclusives right? Anything you're currently looking forward to on the platform?
If I had one I'd probably be excited most for Returnal, I wish HouseMarque were still a multi-platform developer but they seem pretty firmly in Sony's camp at this point. Not sure what else is out soon though, Ratchet and Clank in June and then DeathLoop in September?

Yeah, I haven't play Miles yet because I'm really not in the mood for that sort of game, but I suppose that's not really a PS5 "exclusive" anyway.

I am hesitantly looking forward to Returnal. Housemarq is a studio that's never really made games that clicked with me long-term (there tends to be one correct way to play their games, and you don't succeed otherwise), but I liked their short-term gameplay loops. I'm using the last of my credit from my PS4 trade to bring that $70 price tag down to basically free, but I am one of those people that doesn't think Roguelikes should be $70. If you have a game that largely demands on repetition of content and assets like Indie games do, you aren't justifying the full price IMO.

I don't know what to make of Deathloop at this point. I like Arkane, but it's not only another Roguelike, but one you have to play while either another player or an AI griefs you. That's assuming the damn game even gets out the door. Given the timing of this latest delay, I strongly suspect that game failed Sony's Certification process BADLY.

Ratchet is DEFINITELY the next PS5 exclusive I'm eagerly looking forward to. A Crack in Time is one of my Top 10 favorite PS3 games, and god only knows the next time we'll see a fun mascot platformer from Sony, given the edgelord "too big to fail" AAA game direction they're going. If only Sly Cooper was getting the same treatment... *sigh*

It's not a PS5 exclusive, but I'm also really looking forward to Kena & the Bridge of Spirits in August, as well as potentially Scarlet Nexus in June.

General Gaming / Re: What are you playing?
« on: April 10, 2021, 10:10:30 PM »
Sackboy: A Big Adventure (why isn't it just called "Sackboy's Big Adventure?")

or "Little Big Planet 4"?

No, there's a very good reason why this game doesn't use the LittleBigPlanet name: there is no level creation utility at all. The game is sole-ly based on playing content created by Sumo Digital.

General Gaming / Re: What are you playing?
« on: April 10, 2021, 03:47:30 PM »
Might as well chuck another opinion into the void since I forgot it earlier, but I did play roughly about half of Sackboy: A Big Adventure (why isn't it just called "Sackboy's Big Adventure?"), and I quite enjoy it but I had to stop play it after a while because my completionist side was starting to make the game a grind. I was trying to get all the collectibles and the "no death" awards in one run per stage, leading to frequent restarts.

From what I played, though, it's shamelessly a Mario 3D World clone (as well as a Rayman Legends clone somewhat, given the musical levels), but if you're going to steal you might as well steal from good games. I wish the cosmetic options were better and the music and gameplay had a bit more variety, but what I played was perfectly enjoyable. There's just a good, relaxing flow to the platforming. The game has 4 Player Co-Op if you care for that sort of thing.

General Gaming / Re: What are you playing?
« on: April 08, 2021, 09:08:48 PM »

Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville (PS4) - I adored Garden Warfare 2. I played it almost exclusively for over 6 months, and probably would STILL be playing it if I hadn't forced myself to stop checking in on the Daily Challenges. It's probably in my Top 10 best PS4 games.

Naturally, when this got announced for quasi-Early Access for a cheap $30 pre-order price, I jumped right in. However, having learned my lesson about Live Service games with GW2, I let it sit on my digital shelf until I had a good window to play it without it intruding on other yeah, basically now.

Garden Warfare 2 was heavily criticized by bloated, egotistical idiots like Jim Sterling for its microtransactions. However, had they actually played the game for more than an hour, they would have seen that the beauty of GW2 is that it SHOWERED you with coins for basically doing ANYTHING. The "sticker packs" you could buy with in-game currency were reasonably priced, you got a bunch of character unlock/cosmetic "stickers" in every pack, and you could pick different types of packs to get better odds for specific drops. Garden Warfare 2 is the embodiment of this sort of game done well. I never put a cent into that game's microtransactions, as I always had more than enough coins for whatever I wanted.

Likewise, Garden Warfare 2 had very basic, but extensive, SP content and a wide variety of settings for its maps and modes. There were also literally over a hundred characters, as each class had tons of variants like a Sunflower that could stealth health by damaging players or a Citron that that swapped out its orange ray for a freezing ray. There was so much customization and freedom of choice. Later updates also added the Gnome battles you could jump into to get Rainbow Stars you could spend on special unlocks.

Why do I bring all this up about Garden Warfare 2? Because Battle for Neighborville is everything the critics claimed Garden Warfare 2 WAS. There are NO character variants; the single-player is boring (outside of the boss fights) and lazily implemented; they absolutely BUTCHERED Garden Ops (my favorite mode in GW2) by halving the number of waves & removing both friendly bots AND player choice in where to plant their base; and Turf Takeover (my second favorite mode) has been neutered into this Overwatch-style "sieze the point/push the payload" mode.

In fact, it's widely suspected that one of the reasons EA took the hatchet to this game was to try to turn Garden Warfare INTO Overwatch, as all the characters are now grouped into "Attack/Defend/Support" classes and they removed all the variants that made this game fun.

On the microtransaction front, there are now a whole bunch of currencies (one of which pretty much requires paying real money and which is used for most of the best unlocks) and the sticker packs have been replaced with an expensive 1 item gatcha system.

There is fun to be had in Battle for Neighborville, but considering that EA halted development on that game's content a year after its initial release AND apparently closed the studio who MADE the game, I don't know why this game got ported to Switch recently. It's a shitty sequel to a fantastic game. It also crashes CONSTANTLY in my experience.

I thought I'd also talk about Panzer Paladin, but I have very mixed thoughts on that game and probably need to think about it for a while. I should also probably finish it, as I've been picking away at it for a few months.

General Gaming / Re: What are you playing?
« on: April 08, 2021, 08:51:45 PM »
Bugsnax - A neat little environmental puzzle game that's just oozing with charm. I don't think the developers fully thought out how the player's tools can interact with the environment (in particular, the spring board doesn't allow for much experimentation despite it opening up so many possibilities), but in general I had a good time and the game doesn't out-stay its welcome.

Demon's Souls (remake) - I got about halfway through this one before I hit a severe wall and just gave up on it for a while. In case you're interested, it's the Twin Maneater fight. The game has superb atmosphere, and I generally enjoy this sort of game, but I just feel like Demon's Souls is just way too restrictive and punishing, even for this sort of thing. Levels don't generally HAVE shortcuts and boss corpse runs are extremely long and cruel after the first real level. This game would have been so much better if Bluepoint hadn't made it so faithful to the original, as the Soul series in the intervening years has gotten so much better about things like checkpoints.

Also, world tendency can just **** off. What is the point of punishing struggling players by locking them out of side content IN ADDITION to also sending them back to the beginning of the stage; taking away their souls; and halving their health? It mandates that you beat the entire game at half health or miss out on content. This system sucks. It wasn't brought back ever again for a reason. It should have stayed dead.

General Gaming / Re: What are you playing?
« on: April 08, 2021, 08:44:09 PM »
Persona 5 Royal - Well, this one's been sitting on my shelf for a while. I'm not the biggest fan of the original Persona 5. Despite it being the best-PLAYING Persona game, I found its characters recycled and dull and its story repetitive; poorly-written; and really poorly-paced. Unfortunately, Royal doesn't do much to change that. It adds a bunch of quality of life improvements and minor tweaks at the start of the game that initially made me feel like they understood why Persona 5 kinda sucked. However, after clearing the 1st dungeon it became clear that all the big updates were front-loaded and back-loaded, with very little new or tweaked in-between outside of adding EVEN MORE generic mob fighting during the boss battles. The social links still suck, with Mementos used as an excuse to not have characters develop of their own free will.

The new villain introduced for the extra month at the end of the game is nice and their story is very well-integrated into the original story. However, the quality of the extra month is poor and feels like an utter anti-climax after the events of the original game's Christmas encounters. It's also severely pointless, as you will see when you finish it.

Overall, it's...fine, I guess. It is a better game than Persona 5 Vanilla, but it wasn't the huge leap in quality promised by Atlus.

General Gaming / Re: What are you playing?
« on: April 08, 2021, 08:35:57 PM »
Well, my TV's out of commission...seemingly now seems as good a time as ever to cover the stuff I've been playing for the last month or so on my new PS5 (+ 1 Switch game). Gonna break this thing up over several posts for easier reading:

Astro's Playroom - Already talked a bit about this game in the New Console thread, but this little game is just delightful. Yeah, it's a tech demo, but it's a good tech demo. To this date, it's the only game I've played on PS5 that actually makes full use of all its features, from the Haptic feedback of the Dualsense controller to the Activity Cards w/ built-in hint videos for the collectibles. It's a celebration of Sony's legacy at a time when Sony could not be working any harder to kill its legacy due to the incompetence of Jim Ryan.

The Pathless - This is actually the 1st PS5 game I bought, as I found it on 50% off sale before I even got a PS5. The people who made Journey (and left ThatGameCompany) and Abzu basically made their own Team Ico game, from the empty world filled with puzzles to the magical companion you bond with to the minimalist storytelling. I could have done without the repetitive auto-target shooting to maintain your Sonic-esque running speed, but in general I found this game quite relaxing and (at times) atmospheric. I do think $20-$30 is the right price for it, though.

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