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News: Paul & Fred have reached a settlement with Stardock!

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196  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Which Star Control species is your favorite and why? Which annoy you? on: August 19, 2010, 11:33:39 pm
Indeed, if it wasn't for their ships, 100 of my crew would still be nice and cozy at the starbase. Too bad about them, really...
That over-sized cannon of a spaceship can be very effective if your aim is good. The Mauler is fun if you're a sniper, but do not expect to get far with it if you never use the furnace. Heh, whoops! Out of fuel! Who's next?  Grin

The Druuge themselves, on the other hand, are another story. They are not the most unreasonable of thugs and corporate tycoons out there, but I would never want to trade places with a Druuge, nor would I trust any of them, for that matter. I find nearly everything about the Druuge creepy. They look like they're being tortured by their own ships' control mechanisms. They lie, give you "deals" that consist of selling your crew into slavery, and are obsessed with finding live creatures to toss into the furnace at the first opportunity they get. In fact, if I were to judge the Druuge by their personality alone, I would say it would have been better if the Orz wiped them out instead of the Androsynth. I am fairly certain the Orz would find them *frumple* enough to do so if they were to speak with them. If anything, the ensuing hilarity would be worth it. Oh, what I would give to watch as those two races establish contact...
197  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Can computers be made to feel? on: August 19, 2010, 07:41:42 am
That is promising development, but I do remember saying "at current technology levels". Just in case, we may want to avoid making the first sentient robots combat-capable, lest they turn on their masters as they have in so many science fiction films.
198  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Can computers be made to feel? on: August 19, 2010, 05:10:13 am
For the purposes a computer is intended for, consciousness and self-awareness are hardly necessary. Machine intelligence is fundamentally different. Our brains use electrical transmissions, to be sure, but the way our brains process that information is far different from the way a computer works. In theory, a duplicate of the human brain could be built, but, at current technology levels, the network of computers to make the number of links required to mimic the way it functions would have to be so immense, the structure used to house it would be impossibly large.

Think of it this way. If an algorithm allowed a robot sniper to react instantaneously and shoot targets 100% accurately whereas even the most skilled human equivalents could not, should anyone care to make said robots more like us? Personally, I think people should be focusing on taking advantage of the advantages computers already have. We'd be able to keep them as slaves for as long as we wanted; they would not have the feelings to care. Hence why making the Androsynth was such a bad idea. Robots are more obedient.
199  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Which Star Control species is your favorite and why? Which annoy you? on: August 19, 2010, 04:46:24 am
I reason that the hybrid between a race of sedentary crystalline sillicon beings and a race of cold, efficient machines would end up with a rather cold and distant personality, especially since they relied on isolation behind a slave shield to complete the process uninterrupted.  Still, you have a point. It would have been better if it were possible to communicate with the pre-hybridization Chenjesu and Mmrnmhrm. I think that would give them more depth.
200  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Which Star Control species is your favorite and why? Which annoy you? on: August 19, 2010, 12:12:13 am
I am already a plenty opinionated person myself, but I just wanted to know my fellow community members' thoughts and impressions of the different races and share my own ideas.
So, the topic of this is what your favorite alien species is, your reasoning on why it is your favorite, and perhaps your grievances against certain other races. Do not discuss their ships exclusively; commentary on their spaceships is welcome as long as your focus is the personality of the species. For example, I like the Utwig Jugger's blasting power, but the Utwig themselves really tic me off. In fact, I would kill an Utwig on sight if they were not so vital to winning the game (call me what you like, but it's true). If you dislike or even hate a certain race for whatever reason, share that too, but don't spare any of the details of what you think makes that race so irritating to you.

Since I started the topic, I have the honor of starting first. Lucky me!

My favorite Star Control race is the Thraddash. Like myself, they love a good battle and like to blow stuff up. Their philosophy is to fight, learn, and improve. They are not evil, but they sincerely enjoy waging war. Quite a few times, when I came to visit them and their resource-rich planets, they tell me that my presence in their territory is an act of war, which they are thrilled to know. By engaging them in battle, I both gradually start to impress them and profit from the RU I salvage from their ships -- what a deal! The Thraddash voice acting puts some other races to shame. Plus, the Torch can use its secondary propulsion system (Reeunk afterburner) as a weapon to great effect. Even if you do not like the ship, you have to admit that's pretty neat.
I am irritated by the Melnorme at times. I like what they have to sell, don't get me wrong, but I just wish they did not speak sooo darrn slowwly. Even when you threaten to kill the Melnorme they do not break from their monotonous tone of voice. That is weird, even for intergalactic business-minded traders. I wonder why they don't give an option for their customers to pay them to get them to hurry up. It should be profitable enough for them to consider. Tongue
201  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Starcon: TimeWarp: Gob update on: August 17, 2010, 12:14:27 am
Well then, I'm stumped. Perhaps you could consult Google for the answer?
202  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Teabaggers on: August 16, 2010, 11:34:22 pm
I think this is precisely what I was attempting to communicate but somehow failed to do, so please do not get offended.

Again, I apologize if I've misunderstood you. But reading through your posts, I tend to get the opposite of what you're saying now. All the way through, I think you've made the argument that socialized institutions such as universal healthcare, public schools or police officers are bad because these are things that you should provide for yourself through hard work and a social network. But now it sounds as if you are actually agreeing with me and saying that socialized institutions such as these perform a vital function in a country. Which, unless I've misunderstood, would actually make you pro-socialism with just a dash of capitalism on the side for things that aren't integral to a functioning society. So are you against socialism or for it?

Very rarely do I become emotionally charged. Your reaction is understandable. I make a few statements that make me sound as if I were acting on intense emotions, but I have never necessarily been easy to communicate with.
The way I have phrased my arguments seems counter-effective, so I'll try from now on to make better-organised points.
By the way, I only agreed that some socialism is not a terrible thing. I still proudly support capitalism and free-enterprise despite the bashing it has gotten.

While I'm short on time, I'd like to note that you haven't addressed my questions, at least directly. From you're writing, it seems that you believe that everything should be privatized, down to law enforcement and firefighting. Is that a correct position?
Not necessarily, but privatized law enforcement and firefighting would be great in my book, as long as there is a sufficient number of private entities for these services to be brought to everyone.

Also, it's clear you don't like what Obama is doing. But you're not actually saying what should be done, other than "private interests should handle it". Could you be a bit more clear on that? Should government just lean back and do nothing, or is there some other way it should stimulate private industries?
First of all, a precautionary background check for any and all future president candidates (and of course for all other political offices) like they have in corporations is one thing not present that, by common sense, really should be. As long as a candidate has the skill and knowhow to be a good president, congressman, or whatever, the requirement to have lived a certain number of years in America is unreasonable. The background check will root out most if not all of the troublesome types.
I think regulation from state governments could be feasible, not regulation from a singular Federal government. As it stands, state governments have little say when the Federal government comes in stomping around and hounds them with pretty much whatever absurdities they feel like. Much benefit could be had from a symbiotic relationship between the private sector and state administrations. This would let both cooperate in solving local problems and fighting for their freedom from the Federals whenever the need arises. The state governments, for example, could be given limited ability to ensure the things like law enforcement and fire departments given by private organisations that regular people need could not impose unfair tariffs or other such unfavorable tactics companies in such monopolistic (being the only fire department/police headquarter in a given district) situations would feel compelled to do. Private entities could fight crime, fight fires, and protect other citizens, while the state government could help ensure that corruption is kept in check. Of course, this would require qualified individuals and mutual trust that just does not exist as of now, but at least a system like this would not consist of a tax-happy Federal government throwing its weight around. It is clear to me that both Bush and Obama are guilty of exploiting that exact situation.
Also, I guess you consider Newsweek to be "liberal" or whatever term you wish to apply, but guess whose country they think is the best in the world? Not yours Smiley
The world is a fairly uncertain and ever-changing place. There is no best country in the world, in my opinion. Most of the pride and respect I have held for my country is already dead.

Oh. You're a red state bible thumper, I get it now. All of this nonsense you're spouting is to hide your irrational fear and loathing of anyone who doesn't want to rule the country according to "good wholesome Christian values"
Now you're only stereotyping me according to what you assume that Christians and people on my side of the political spectrum are like. I'll pay no further attention to your posts in this thread, in that case. I apologize for having my own beliefs and values that happen to differ from your own.
203  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Teabaggers on: August 16, 2010, 10:25:00 pm
Even so, it is not the Federal government's responsibility to do those things. It was not its responsibility when Bush was president, and it certainly isn't now. Big government has no place in a free country. I would much rather preserve my own autonomy than have an unnecessarily huge government looming over my head making sure nothing goes wrong. Government bailouts is slippery business. Sure, they helped out in the short term, but no-one has ever learned anything by getting something for nothing. What in your oh-so-infallible liberal logic gives you the impression GM won't simply go down under anyway? Even if the company now has enough money to stay afloat for a little longer, it still has to tumble sooner or later without some new ideas and much-needed innovation. Would you rather have local entities address the problem who could focus their efforts more precisely and are more familiar with how their area functions or just have the government expand to cover all those failing businesses? Should businesses even want to remain in the US if government intervention grows beyond tolerable levels? If I were the head of my very own business, I know I wouldn't. And I would not even consider starting a business here, either, because I fear what the government could very possibly become, and I resent its current so-called leader.
Obama obviously has an innate skill for giving charismatic speeches. Obama's efforts would have been better spent on delivering speeches to inspire private organisations to excel, rather than his ridiculous, filled-with-nothing rhetoric. Would he do that, though? No, because he thinks himself better than his people. Arrogance in any leader is a bad thing, you know, especially when he goes out and does unpredictable things with his power. Much like Julius Caesar and his crossing the Rubicon, the country might never truly recover from this idiotic "change" Obama keeps on preaching about. The traditional values have served humanity well for centuries, so why not rely on them instead of falling back on some wannabe prophet who, by the way, gravely overestimates his own abilities and underestimates the people who, by popular vote, elected him in the first place?
You're asking for "numbers", but where are yours?! You have just as much need to backup your arguments as any other point of view. So, if you are so confident about your position, why not share with me that secret stash of irrefutable statistics you all seem to possess and are hiding from me.
Why is it that most everyone else here opposes my beliefs and refuses to consider them? Gosh, now I know how Admiral Zex of the VUX must feel... Guess I'll have to rent my own planet to rid you of my nonsense... Not that that is happening any time soon.  Wink
204  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Online campaign - diplomacy, strategy, combat on: August 14, 2010, 03:42:25 am
A new program that takes care of organization and game management... That's genius! Plus, it also means my idea still has hope.
205  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Teabaggers on: August 14, 2010, 03:05:23 am
Is it an interesting comparison though? I mean, as far as I know, Obama hasn't instituted death camps, done away with the democratic system or actively invaded neighbouring countries in order to expand his power base. In which way is the comparison between two major dictators with the bloods of millions of innocents on their hand with the democratically elected president of a republic? Explain this to me, because to me it makes about as much sense as comparing the English Prime Minister to Pol Pot and Mao-Ze Dung based on that they are all men.

By "interesting", I meant that it was slightly amusing to me. I'm not really all that serious on the topic.

I'm confused again I'm afraid. You agree that it is relevant that Obama did not inherit a well functioning economy, but a tattered one coming out of a bubble that had possibly been caused by the previous administration. Or do you feel that the previous administrations economic policies had nothing to do with the crisis?
I don't know if it's possible to verify which previous administrations contributed and how much, but there is no doubt that Obama inherited a bad economy.

Either way, even though you agree that Obama's starting point was very bad, you disagree with his solutions. That's fair enough, economic theory is no clear cut business and about as opaque as it can get. But your answer seems to be "he should have done nothing at all", unless I misunderstand. Are you arguing that if there had been no stimulus program of any sort, the economy would be in better shape now? Or should there have been some other action taken instead of the stimulus program?
I don't think a federal government-run stimulus plan like the one Obama enacted holds water. Even if it does improve things, there is bound to be much waste between the red tape and the people who need the money. It's like having an oasis in a desert. Thanks to the water and sustenance, you aren't going to die, but you're going to suffer while traveling between oases. In the mean time, all that expenditure is added to the deficit in one fell swoop. Private entities in their respective communities can be much more efficient at providing jobs and helping out in times of great need.

I'm the kind of person who speaks bluntly and appreciates the same from others, so don't worry about coming across as too edgy.
I do not even see the point of healthcare. Ultimately, it's just wasteful. Can you honestly tell me that anyone has ever benefited financially from it?

I was born with a congenital heart defect. Basically, my aorta valve does not close properly by itself, allowing blood to flow back into the heart and forcing the heart to work much harder than it would otherwise. Without surgery I would have been dead by age 12. I had two operations, one at 10 and one at 13 when a artificial valve was installed. My parents are teachers with 3 children and would have been completely crushed under a burden of hundreds of thousands of dollars owed for corrective surgery and expensive medicines. Instead, they are productive members of society. I've graduated Uni with a M.Sci and have been a productive part of the workforce for four years, netting the state large incomes through all sorts of taxes, most recently when I bought a car. So I'd say both my parents and I have significantly benefited from healthcare, since I'm alive and they haven't been driven into poverty but have been able to provide for all their children.

But I think ultimately your question is phrased in an strange fashion. Healthcare, or any support system isn't about someone benefiting financially. It's about making sure that random chance doesn't crush anyone Over the course of my life, I fully expect that what I have cost the state will be paid back through different taxes. Some people will pay more into the system than they ever get out. some people will break even, and some people will gain more than they pay in. In fact, the only difference I can see between this and a health insurance of the type you guys use is  that no one makes a huge profit on human suffering and no human being is put on the scrap heap because of random chance.

At that point I was merely suggesting a theory and an alternate point of view to spark debate. In retrospect, I'd say I could not have planned it any better. Excellent points have been made, especially by you, and I enjoy the debate. I have to say, though, it is getting awfully chaotic.

I utterly despise those systems that provide for people what could have been gained easily from a friend or through hard work.

At 12 I'd have had trouble finding work to pay for heart surgery. Also, one of my friends dads was a doctor, but not a surgeon. Do you really think that badly of me because I was dealt a bad card when I was a child? Do you really think that I don't deserve the chance to become a productive member of society, but that I should have either waned and died at 12 or forced my parents into abject poverty with no hope of putting food for 3 children on the table? Would it please you if my brother had been given up for adoption because of something completely outside our control? Healthcare is about people.
I am nothing like that! Due to horrendous choice of words and/or phrases on my part, I must have struck a sensitive cord somewhere and unleashed an avalanche of responses upon myself.

Insurance companies only redistribute the wealth. If people worked hard enough to acquire the needed wealth for themselves, no such thing would be necessary, and the funds which would otherwise be used to pay the people working for insurance companies would be available for other things. Insurance and welfare over-complicate things.  As you can most likely tell, I am a strong believer in capitalism. I love the sheer simplicity of it and how the money you make is directly proportional to the effort you put into it.

But that doesn't seem right though. I can understand the principle that people need to acquire wealth for themselves, that they need to prove their worth by earning it. It's a fair principle. But I don't think you're living by it. I mean, you still benefit from loads of socialist services in your country that by rights you should provide by yourself. Why should you be entitled to a police force to protect you when working hard could easily earn you the money to hire private security? Why do you need a fire brigade when an honest days labour and some common sense would let you afford to hire someone less competent to guard your property against fire? Why should you pay for public roads when you and other person of reasonable wealth could lay those roads yourselves, and only for your use?

I think that if the principle is that every man should stand on his own, by his own worth and his own hard labour, then that principle should not be diluted. Otherwise it becomes a muddy line where you can ask questions such as "Can you honestly tell me that anyone has ever benefited financially from a police station" or make harsh statements such as " I utterly despise those systems that provide fire protection for people that could have been gained easily from a friend or through hard work."

I think this is precisely what I was attempting to communicate but somehow failed to do, so please do not get offended.
206  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Online campaign - diplomacy, strategy, combat on: August 14, 2010, 12:50:41 am
How about: 100% of the stars must be controlled. The game ends when there are no competing factions. Players will also get score at the end of the game:
+100 points divided by the members of alliance
+2 for each star they control
+1 for each alliance star the rest of his alliance controls
-1 for each star cluster with more than 1 player inside it
That sounds reasonable. I still want to be the Slylandro player though...

Also definition: Star cluster probably needs to be named something else. What are they called in Star Control hyperspace map?
207  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Starcon: TimeWarp: Gob update on: August 13, 2010, 11:47:58 pm
Had a go at it and it said:
"Unsupported Colour Depth!"
What do I do now?

You could try changing the BitsPerPixel setting in that ini file I mentioned to a lower vale, but other than that, your guess is as good as mine.
208  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / Starbase Café / Re: Teabaggers on: August 13, 2010, 11:40:51 pm
That's cute. You know, in a pure capitalist society like the one similar to the system we had in place around the industrial revolution and turn of the century (1900), there was nothing in place to protect people who didn't have as much money from being victimized by those that did, and a lot of government efforts went toward rectifying that situation. You're suggesting we do away with all of that government oversight? Read a bit of The Jungle to see why that might be a bad idea; we'd be eating people and breathing smog soup again in no time as the companies eliminate safe working environments, pollution controls, reasonable hours, minimum wages, etc. etc. etc., because all that stuff cuts into their profits. Dare to protest against unjust conditions and go on strike? Well, the Pinkertons will brutally beat you (if they don't just shoot you on sight as an example) to dissuade that sort of behavior. And since medecines and treatment is so expensive and you're abolished healthcare and insurance, good luck with your recovery. Pure capitalist societies can be mighty dangerous places to live.
Well, you've effectively flattened my argument to the ground. I had never considered that. Can I have your autograph?  Tongue

So, how do we handle cases where people don't have enough money to get the medical treatment they need, or maintain prescriptions that cost several hundred dollars per bottle? The impression I get is that you're suggesting to these folks that they curl up and die, since they don't work hard enough.
I am assuming that, with inefficiencies like healthcare out of the way, such essential tangibles needn't be  as expensive. As for those who still cannot afford them, that is what good neighbors and friends are for.
(In a subconscious sort of way, yes)
209  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Star Control: Best and Worst on: August 13, 2010, 10:59:02 pm
What Storyline did you enjoy learning about the most?

Definitely that of the Thraddash and their many cultures. They are the only race you can impress using only violence. Their brutal, warlike ways are a pleasant contrast to other races (so much so, in fact, that I can imagine poor Fwiffo going into a state of panic whenever I speak to them). Plus, the Thraddash have one of the best theme songs and the most awesome voice acting in all the game. Even if you don't like the voices given to all the other races, hearing the Thraddash speak in detail about their long and glorious history is reason enough to install the voicepack.
I also enjoyed learning about the Yehat. Their storyline did more to inspire my sympathy than any other.

Of course, nothing beats a good Slylandro Probe attack.  Wink

What Quest did you enjoy the most?

I am not sure. I know I enjoy talking to the VUX, even though the feeling is hardly mutual. I share more in common with them personality-wise than I do any other race. Either that, or I just get a cruel satisfaction out of knowing my abominable alien face grossed them out.

What do you wish had been explained more?

Not a thing. It's an adventure; some things are supposed to remain mysteries.

Which quest was boring/tedious/annoying for you?

The quest to obtain Admiral Zex's long-sought-after beast tops my list for sure. Honestly, where the heck is "the long, thin creature who has swallowed the huge beast " supposed to be, anyway?! Arg...

Which of the Unanswered question(s) annoyed you the most at the end of the game?

I have not finished the game yet (don't spoil me, please), but I am going to be so angry if Fwiffo dies.

What was the best and worst part of interacting with other aliens?

Despite popular opinion, I for one think the voices are great. That is, needless to say, excluding the Umgah. They're virtually impossible to understand without using subtitles. The Orz are extremely weird, but I know that was intentional.

What was the best and worst part in Melee?

I can't decide, but I like hearing each race play its victory ditty when it wins!

What was the best and worst part in Travelling and mining?

The best parts about traveling and mining are navigating to optimize fuel usage and that there is plenty to discover if you are patient. I like honing my lander skills. I'm now good enough to avoid receiving too much damage from planets with level 6 tectonic activity if I concentrate. The worst parts are the staggering RU cost of fuel (I know the flagship is big and heavy, but 20 per unit of fuel is excessive) and the fact that, besides an enormous stockpile of minerals or two or evil life forms that are only good for their data, over half of the star systems I have explored so far are rather empty.

What was the best and worst feature in other aspects of the game?

I like everything; I just wish more scaling mechanisms were available in the game's graphic options. They all have their appeals, but none of them looked quite "right" to me.
210  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Online campaign - diplomacy, strategy, combat on: August 13, 2010, 10:45:48 pm
Of course, some races in the star control universe would never ally themselves with some other races. For example, the Orz and Arilou never could get along. I think this should be incorporated as well. In other words, I think it would seem more realistic if more role-play is involved. Perhaps give players the disposition of a certain race, thus limiting who they could make an alliance with and, to make it a little more interesting, what ships they can deploy in their fleet. Perhaps a Slylandro player with special victory conditions could be used to increase tension between factions. *cough*I will volunteer*cough*
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