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Comment History144 in total

This shows all comments by the user Rating Orb hlbeta:
Poll: In general, do you prefer reading over your own po...  
hlbeta`s Avatar
Rating Orb hlbeta 22 United States CholericMelancholic 144C 131F
6 years ago | (7)
I prefer to read my own posts. Since I know that I am the best informed, most intelligent and a supremely eloquent poster I can best use my treasured reading time going through my own post history, since it is where all the forum's best posts are collected. You may even want to read through it yourself and bask in the semi-divine glory of my language. Hark honest plebe, for I grant unto thee a link to act as thy gate into this textual paradise, behold its glory! Contained therein are all of the forum's greatest moments. A veritable highlight reel of this community. Through this nigh-endless cavalcade of wonders you may witness the very evolution of our community and gain a window into the greatest mind of your generation. From my very first post's idle speculation about the significance of water rat, to the raw horror of that time I called out a new CtG on being sympathetic to terrorists and the soul-searing explanations of why I don't like gods before culminating in a burst of glory as I explain to various members of the forum why their posts are so much worse than mine.
Blog: Rating your own posts  
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Rating Orb hlbeta 22 United States CholericMelancholic 144C 131F
6 years ago | (4)
I just don't see self rating adding much to the site. It'd add an extra step to posting while tacking on some meaningless, unsubstantiated number to each and every post. It's kind of like having a little prompt pop up to ask you if your post is actually worth anybody's time. Problem users won't stop because of it and decent users may end up agonizing over the value of their post. It's silly and only serves to hamper the kind of user we want to encourage.

As for the temperaments, though they may be directly tied to a school of medical thought that took exsanguination for a cure-all, I'd rather see them remain in their current form. In order to ensure that they are used more appropriately, you may want to have the stat editing page explain each one a little better. Right now it's just a block of text explaining what a temperament is with a link to the temperament page and "[TEMPERAMENT] DESCRIPTION" tacked on at the end. Having it explain individual temperaments instead should help to increase understanding and thereby reduce misuses of the system. Besides, if they're changed than the temperament poles from M3 are going to make a whole lot less sense.
Blog: Rating System Ideas (EDIT 2)  
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Rating Orb hlbeta 22 United States CholericMelancholic 144C 131F
6 years ago | (1)
You may want to take another look at this thread: [LINK]
It's pretty text-heavy, but it's also some of the best discussion on possible ratings schemes and voting mechanics I've seen on the forums. I stand by my original proposal with the additional mechanisms for integrating it into the current orb system. The planned break from the current statistics should make implementing most of those proposals significantly easier. I'm greatly in favor of rebalancing the voting structure to minimize the damage an abusive or naive member can inflict and believe that those mechanics are the best way to address the problem.

As for ratings in general, I like the aesthetics of the current system. It's small, eye-catching and easily read. My only real complaint with the orbs is that they don't provide much information on users because so many are blue or brown and greens are effectively impossible to attain. Whatever comes next, I'd like to see a greater degree of granularity and have the whole thing balanced so that the full scale can be properly represented.

Lastly, you need to remove the ratings or vote potency of banned users. Letting their abusive ratings hang around and distort the system seems sloppy.
Blog: Weekly Update  
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Rating Orb hlbeta 22 United States CholericMelancholic 144C 131F
6 years ago | (0)
While I am certain that Pseudo means well, going through his email to individually assess impostor account reports is the exact kind of administrative drudgery he hates. If he were to simply have a one week period where account creation was automatically limited to IPs associated with the chosen username on the old site it should spare him that difficulty. With a little bit of set up he can guarantee this transfer runs smoothly instead gambling on abusive users not being abusive.

I think that even with the 40% green vote margin on personal ratings, Pseudo would get a green and nobody else I can find would. Even going as high as the 1.5+ average needed for a cyan is extremely rare at the moment. I'd like to see the system expanded and rebalanced so that we have fewer users stuck in the non-descriptive brown-blue range and actually make use of the full scale. Having an additional two or three ranks covering the positive range currently allotted to brown and blue would help to distinguish between borderline abusive, truly mediocre, passable and genuinely worthwhile classes of user.

This all assumes that Pseudo wants to stay fairly close to the current ratings model. If he's interested in a more through overhaul, then I recommend the aforementioned thread, found here (with broken formatting due to site changes): [LINK]
Blog: Weekly Update  
hlbeta`s Avatar
Rating Orb hlbeta 22 United States CholericMelancholic 144C 131F
6 years ago | (4)
I'd say it's critical that you set up a mechanism for letting users reserve their current usernames in the version transfer. Otherwise you'll be dealing with rampant abuse and confusion in the early stages of the switch.

I feel that the current ratings system does too little to distinguish between classes of user. With so many brown users and even the relative commonality of blues, those ratings lack much in the way of meaning. They communicate next to nothing about a user's performance, while the adjacent ratings clearly communicate the nature of a user. I'd happily keep the orbs, but I'd like to see more finely detailed overall ratings for users. It seems that negative range ratings function just fine at present but positive ratings need better calibration.

To that end, I'd like to see a few more positive-end ratings introduced that would only be used for user performance ratings. Jump from three to six positive ratings and re-weight their respective boundaries so the full scale is represented. At the moment, even an individual with your ratings cannot achieve a green, so I feel it would be better if the system were rebalanced so that green or whatever replaces it as the top-tier rating was actually attainable. You should be able to pull some rough stats and work out appropriate proportions. Having it dynamically adjust so a given proportion of the userbase held each rating at a given time would be nifty, but probably more work than it's worth. Maybe have it only recalculate every week or so and simply run the ratings off of last week's thresholds in the meantime. There'd need to be a means of informing users of the current thresholds, but I think it'd make the system informative instead of the largely cosmetic mess it is now.
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Rating Orb hlbeta 22 United States CholericMelancholic 144C 131F
6 years ago | (1)
Poll: Are there any words that you completely forbid you...  
hlbeta`s Avatar
Rating Orb hlbeta 22 United States CholericMelancholic 144C 131F
6 years ago | (2)
Outside of a certain key phrase and a few names/titles of various divinities my language is largely unrestricted by habitual blocks. So while I tend to swear casually in face-to-face conversations with people I trust, I would not refer to a deity by any title of supremacy if an alternative was known to me. Where possible, I refer to deities by their oldest names since it is generally the most accurate. So while I freely refer to the God of Abraham, Yhwh (latinized into Yahweh) I would not refer to that entity as Adonai, for I do not accept its claim to authority over my person. Similarly, I will not speak most prayers since they are effectively pacts between oneself and the deity in question. As I do not trust any deity enough to enter into such a contract I find it better to avoid making such offers, even where it would be non-compliant or socially awkward.

While I would not go do far as to confirm or deny the existence and potency of the realms divine or its various masters I feel it is best to avoid drawing their attention or bargaining with them. Thus I have a handful of self-enforced taboos regarding the handling of such matters, while mere profanity is issued freely were I know it would not be damaging.

I have said prayers at various social functions in my past, at fairly young ages. As I grew older and began to research the divinities in question I came to the conclusion that drawing their attention was not worth the associated costs and ceased. It is my hope to confront life and death on my own terms and I have no intention of requesting metaphysical aid in either matter.
Blog: Miasmon's Plot: A follow-up  
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Rating Orb hlbeta 22 United States CholericMelancholic 144C 131F
6 years ago | (0)
When referring to Francis as a hero and powerful individual, I meant it in terms of intellect. The information given seems to indicate that he was at the top of his field in his heyday. His work with cloning (miasmic printing?) revolutionized the relationship between his people and their environment. He's already changed his world once, probably for the better. By entering into his self-imposed exile he effectively denies the world access to his gifts, which are presumably important considering his involvement in the story. I find that kind of personal growth good narrative fodder, but it's pretty clear that he's not going to be the PC anymore.

The whole tutorial fight thing was meant to just be a scripted battle that would show off a few key aspects of the controls. I assumed mechanics identical to Pokemon and ran with it. Probably best for me to avoid such detail in the future. It amused me at the time.
Blog: Miasmon's Plot: A follow-up  
hlbeta`s Avatar
Rating Orb hlbeta 22 United States CholericMelancholic 144C 131F
6 years ago | (3)
As I understand it, the female market tends to steer towards characterization-heavy games. Bioware has a huge female contingent in their fanbase because of the writing quality presented in their games. Yes, their games also offer a gender choice for the PC but that's not something you ever see the fans discussing as a selling point. It's always a matter of their interest in particular NPC or the relationship between a handful of NPCs. The games industry is so testosterone-laden that having to play a male character is something female gamers are nearly entirely desensitized to. I believe you'd server them better by giving them a unique and well-written protagonist like Francis than by stripping away much of that key characterization to give them an unthinking plank of a PC with a nominally female bit of pixel art attached.

As for handling bringing the Player up to date on the backstory with Francis as PC, I'd recommend framing it as scholarly debate. The younger archaeologists can bring a handful of obviously flawed theories with them that are in academic vogue at the time of their arrival. Francis can then provide exposition, build upon his character and establish his own intellectual dominance of the group by striking down those false assertions with long-winded explanations of the facts of the matter. You may want to set it up so that he finds out later that this was a cunning plan by one of his new co-workers to check Francis' knowledge and intelligence by deliberately throwing worthless theories at him, thereby testing Francis beyond what he'd tolerate as direct questioning. So long as it's clear that the false theories are false, it should allow a fairly natural-feeling infodump while establishing the group dynamic handily.
Blog: Miasmon's Plot: A follow-up  
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Rating Orb hlbeta 22 United States CholericMelancholic 144C 131F
6 years ago | (3)
I wholeheartedly support using Francis as the primary character. He's interesting, makes sense as a hero and lends a spark of uniqueness to the game. His "retired genius" status lends the narrative some echoes of the hero's journey or exiled royalty reclaiming rightful titles but in this case it actually makes sense. He's not just [NAME], the young [GENDER] who was called forth from a humble living to do incredible things, as so many other protagonists in these games are. Francis is a genuinely intelligent and talented individual who has already taken up the call to greatness in the past and no longer wants that life. The narrative shifts from some youngling's development of extraordinary power to the mental and moral growth of someone who was already a hero who must realize that it is their duty to use their existing power instead of squander it in exile. It's a rarer story arc and a far more interesting one.

So what if you did the combat tutorial as something closer to the Ranch areas of the Pokemon games in that the trainer is effectively the active creature? You could have Francis out gardening or something (teaching the player to interact with world objects) when the following occurs:
A HUGE SPIDER appears!
Francis: Woah, that is one HUGE SPIDER! It is so FAST I could not possibly hope to STRIKE FIRST!
Tutorial: (Explain turn order system here)
[HUGE SPIDER wins initiative, automatically hitting and poisoning Francis]
Francis: Those freakishly huge fangs must have injected some manner of toxic fluid into my precious bloodstream! Vision fading... must find... antidote!
Tutorial: Select ITEM from your menu and then select ANTIDOTE or this will be a very short game.
Francis: That's much better, but in the time it took for me to use that antidote the spider seems to have run off somewh- GEDDITOFFGEDDITOFFGEDDITOFF!
[HUGE SPIDER uses AMBUSH, falling on Francis' head for puny damage]
Francis: Die you monstrously large arachnid!
Tutorial: To exact gruesome vengeance on the HUGE SPIDER, select ATTACK and then select WRATHFUL STOMP.
[Overwrought bug-squishing animation ensues followed by the pronouncement that the attack was super-effective]
The player then emerges victorious and better instructed in the ways of combat.
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