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Helm Lardar

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Helm Lardar last won the day on September 5 2012

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About Helm Lardar

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  • Birthday 11/25/1994

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    Wiltshire, UK

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    Helm Lardar
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    Runecrafting, Smithing, Crafting, Construction.
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    It's over 9000! Uhh, 11~~
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    Canting Away

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  1. Helm Lardar

    Superheroes and the Lone Ranger

    I am referring specifically to the latest iterations, ie the TV show 'Sherlock' and the 2013 film 'The Lone Ranger'.
  2. Helm Lardar

    Superheroes and the Lone Ranger

    I like superheroes in fiction. That might not seem controversial, but for some reason plenty of superhero films are derided, apparently for containing them. Problem with those films is that quite often they don't call the leads superheroes, even when they are. The audience is expected to infer it. That means half the time the audience doesn't. Then they start complaining about how the story doesn't make sense, or how it's too cheesy, or how important things aren't explained, or how a particular character is absurd, etc etc. Some of these criticisms turn out to be legitimate, but some don't. Let's name four superheroes. Sherlock Holmes. Spiderman. The Lone Ranger. Tonto. Only one of these are announced: Spiderman, who decides the best way to use his powers is to make a special suit and gadgets, and fight crime as a masked man with a fancy name. But they've all got superpowers in their latest iterations: Sherlock can make inhuman deductions and clues visibly manifest themselves as text to his eyes, Spiderman has outrageous reflexes, superb strength, and the knowledge to make previously unheard of spider-related kit, the Lone Ranger is immortal (in battle) and can't miss, and Tonto is a skinwalker who can communicate with animals and otherwise find protection. Now they're all fun to watch, as long as you recognise that they're in a trope. They're not meant to be taken seriously. But many people somehow think they are, and expect something of them that they can't deliver. Stories like that of The Lone Ranger, in the latest film of that name, should be taken as enjoyable stories, but not held to the standards of something intended to be analysed as a rational tale. Which is why I was shocked (shocked!) to see The Lone Ranger lambasted so. It's a fun superhero film. If we can enjoy Spiderman or Sherlock, why can't we enjoy this?
  3. Helm Lardar

    Post Quest Implementation

    So I've been doing all the quests, and got the quest cape for the first time yesterday. And it's made me think about one thing in particular: post quest implementation, and why it's so variable for different series. By post quest implementation I mean what happens to fulfil the ending of a story. In a traditional book, this would be the epilogue, where you find out what happened to a few of the key characters now that the main issues of the story have been resolved. It tends to be a way for the author to tie up loose ends without having to worry about shoehorning them into earlier parts of the story, and it can also provide a helpful sense of closure to readers. In games, post quest implementation is quite different. Something like RuneScape, or any game with an open world, requires the effects of story resolution to be played out in the world after the story is over. So for example in a game like TES: Oblivion, 'Oblivion Gates' must stop appearing in the main world once the quest to stop them appearing is complete. However, some stories can be a lot more difficult to fulfil than others: frequently, stories are resolved not simply by removing a threat, but by changing what was done before. However, RuneScape and other games are not always very good at this. At the moment, I'm thinking of one particularly clear example (there are others, but this is unusually simple to explain). First, the 'Brink of Extinction' quest with the TzHaar gives a variety of good reasons not to use Tokkul, and the leader/representative of the TzHaar people says they will no longer use it as a currency, but pass it into the sacred lava. All well and good, and for a book you would be able to end it there, because since he's said it, he will surely do it. Not so in-game. Currently, TzHaar-Mej-Jeh has said they'll stop using Tokkul, but when asked to recharge a ring he gave you, says "Certainly! That'll be 50,000 Tokkul." This is problematic, particularly because updates by Jagex over the years make it very difficult to make sense of this dissonance. The only ways to acquire Tokkul, since it is bizarrely untradeable, are to kill TzHaar or acquire it from them by succeeding in battles they set up. This means that you cannot morally acquire the substance. Equally, it isn't as though Jagex couldn't solve it. A small amount of work could have seen Tokkul made newly tradeable for those who had done the quest, or had the TzHaar learn to exchange money with gems instead, or uniquely carved obsidian tokens, or whatever. But that didn't happen. RuneScape, oddly, isn't the only game that does this sort of thing. Skyrim had an issue with its main quest, which was all about stopping a dragon invasion of the world. Once you defeated the head dragon, and resolved the plot, the dragons continued to invade the world. That such a widely sold game never had such a simple change made by its developers seems bizarre. Why is it that this happens? Is it because game developers think too much like novel writers and forget that they need to tie up loose ends? Is it because those doing the quest don't think further than the quest, and see it as an isolated instance in what is in reality an open world? Maybe they just forget about the area, because they aren't developing content for it? Or perhaps it's because they feel too stretched for time and resources to make that change, when it would appear to be one of the easiest ways to make the impact of the story known. I don't know. But it's a shame post quest implementation is so often weak. Jagex can do post quest implementation well: The World Wakes has been managed admirably. But it's a shame that this is the exception, not the rule. Why is it sometimes done so poorly, when it can be done so well?
  4. Helm Lardar

    Leaving drop party and lottery

    Thanks for the drop party, sorry to see you go, but thanks for your generosity.
  5. Probably. I think that sort of thing is going to feel inherently unfair, because any other skill check is generally 'you have the skill, you succeed'. Making these things based on weight alone (and making that obvious) would allow you to keep the fun mechanics these obstacles introduce (some falling can give tension, a lack of gear also furthers that) while avoiding endlessly frustrating certain players. It's not unusual for a quest to be significantly worsened by agility obstacles that are easily failed at the required level (ROTM's Kethsi, MEP2's broken gap, Underground Pass's cavern of cages, that Fremmenik thing with the water...) Also, I now remember enjoying Underground Pass quite a lot. Not sure why I said it was just good. It was really good. Like, they absolutely nailed the atmosphere in that quest, seriously. It wasn't as good as finding Meiyerditch (seriously, a maze city? *awesome*) or WGS or TWW, but it was probably the best quest I'd ever done at the time I did it.
  6. I enjoyed Underground Pass, though I probably wouldn't have if it hadn't been hyped up as "the quest everyone hates". It was good, but not incredible. The worst quests of all time are the first 2 myreque ones. Glad you guys are also annoyed.
  7. Edit: panic over! The new Q&A, set up in the 'power to the players' section of the RSOF, has mandated that 'Within the Light' will be a requirement to access some of the city, with access to more of the city coming after another Grandmaster Quest. Which will be released soonish. Like Priffidinas was. MEP2 was released in 2005. Just think about that. It will probably take 9 years to reach MEP3, the new quest's 'working title'. http://services.rune... -Mod Balance Screw. That. This is a repost from reddit because I think it's essential in understanding the poll. Elf City, apparently, doesn't require quests. So, uhh, all the stuff you did to get to the forest? Meaningless. Not cool, Jagex. I don't even play any more and somehow the thing that annoys me the most turns out to be this.
  8. Helm Lardar

    The Truth is stranger than fiction

    At this point in time, I'm studying history at university. Yay! History is great, and often it's really great because, well, it's like a fantasy novel, but (a) real and (b) much more fleshed out. I was just reading a journal article on porcelain, and this popped out: Robert Finlay, 'The Pilgrim Art: the Culture of Porcelain in World History Also, sorry I didn't pop into the Canting festival thing. I didn't realise when it was when I should have done, and it would have been nice to see you all, so yeah. I've quit runescape generally, but sorry about that. Oh, and I quit that because it was (a) too expensive for what I got, especially compared to the value from one-time game purchases such as FTL or Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, or even free games like Space Station 13 and Dwarf Fortress, (b) very grindy, but you guys know that, and © had very little new content I was actually interested in: notably, a massive lack of quests -I had 1 quest to go when I quit-, and all the fancy stuff was for higher levels than me.
  9. It is complex, but it probably wouldn't be fun if it wasn't.
  10. I've recently been playing Space Station 13, and I thought I'd post my first impressions. Space Station 13 is a (free) multiplayer online role playing game in which you work with lots of other people to run a Space Station, protecting it from disasters (not very successfully) and making interesting things happen. It's a bit different from a lot of games. Graphics isn't the focus (as with many good games) and it's presented in a simplistic RPG-maker style. The platform, BYOND, is fairly unheard of, and not that great, but the only possible way to play it. Role playing, as I mentioned earlier, is not optional: it's enforced. Multiplayer means just that: people have to, and are expected, to work together. And the amount of different jobs in the station is fairly staggering: here, have a look at a list. The first 3 of those blocks of jobs are absolutely essential: you'll need at least one of each, and with a few (like security) several. Many of them work best in pairs, and some are distinctly harder than others. You are encouraged to start in the 4th block of non essential civilians before trying other jobs, so that you can be competent when you take up a proper job: because in most jobs, you are expected to be just that. All in all, this gives a very different feel to the game than most: you genuinely take up the role you're given and grasp it with both horns, because to do anything else is to not only let yourself down but to let your fellow space explorers down too. I should mention that lots of different things can happen: electrical storms, xenomorphs, traitors, revolutionaries, changelings, etc etc, often together. I've tried 3 seperate careers so far on different shifts (which can last from 30 minutes to 3 hours and end with somebody sending for the emergency shuttle and not recalling it in time). Here are my impressions of each: Cargo Technician is as lowly a job as you can realistically get. You're part of a big team that takes in orders from a console (or from people at the desk), hauls crates from the warehouse to a shuttle that docks periodically, and takes items from the shuttle to the warehouse, before loading them onto robots that take them to different departments (robotics might be sent a shipment of metal and glass, for example). You also need to check that shipments are accurate: if they aren't, you can send them back for a refund and points (which are also gained by shipping plasma away) These points are used to order more stuff. You report to the quartermaster, and you tend to work closely with the mining department. It's a fun job initially, and easy to pick up, but it gets a bit slow after a while as fewer people have the time to make orders and the ship becomes increasingly self sufficient. A great way to start work, but a bit stale after a while. Chemist is similairly easy, but nonetheless fun. You're given a chemical dispenser and chemicals packager and work in a small office, making things people might need. Periodically, different staff come by the desk and ask for various solutions which are important in their work. Medicine are frequently requesting complicated stuff, but you'll also get lots of technicians requiring acid, and stuff in between. It's good fun, and initially extremely busy, but if you can't keep up it's easy for people to stop bothering you and for things to become very quiet indeed (or for them to demand entrance to the office and just start making the chems themselves). Overall, it's a step up and it's slightly more fun than cargo tech: you get a deal of entertainment from being at the entrance to the med bay, and people will occasionally ask for medical help and so on. Roboticist is, I've found, a great deal more fun! You do lots of things in this role: maintain cyborgs, create cyborgs, build mechs, and build bots. Several people always queue up to have their brain removed and put in a man-machine interface, so that they can then be placed into a robot body (which you also queue up to be made). This job revolves between surgery for cyborgs, surgery on humans, building big mechs, and complaining to research and development that they haven't got you your circuit boards yet. I found myself striving to create a ripley (a big mining mech) but always hampered by this problem, but I'm sure I'll get there eventually. The constant brain removal was a little grimdark, but very fun. Overall, the game is excellent and able to be played by players of almost any skill. It increases in fun as things get more challenging, and there's a lot going for a game in which role playing is enforced and jobs are genuinely specialised. For my taste, most rounds end too early to have as much fun as I'd like and to get as far as possible with the station, so I think banning the escape shuttle (if such a thing were possible) might make it much more entertaining. However, with what it is Space Station 13 makes for a fantastic game: one you should all check out!
  11. @Sobend: Heh, I had to pick somebody. I said last time I'd put anyone who visited into these posts, even if they didn't comment, for the sake of fun. I hope you're OK with being involved: please vote for the count to be nicknamed after a salmon not currently in the fort! @Micael Fatia: it is a fun game, worth a go. There's a lot of variety which makes it particularly good for the Let's Play format. @Reepicheep: Thank you! I'm sorry it wasn't clear that I'm looking for a different character (the Count's dwarf is fixed, and it would be weird to transfer a name between dwarves), but I'm glad it is now. Since there's no way I can just pick between Yuanarang and Lilshu, THE SALMON WHO IS TO BECOME COUNT (which is largely a symbolic position) MUST HAVE MORE VOTES THAN ANY OTHER CONTENDER. I'll cast my vote for Merch Gwyar.
  12. So what’s been happening in the fortress? Well, the military is properly up and running now, and has seen off several threats with some casualties. If a dwarven fortress is a mountain range, then a well-run military has to be one of the peaks: it requires a great deal of different mechanics to be carefully thought through and meshed together: civilian cross training with unattached pumps to get some rudimentary strength training, mining for useful minerals, smelting of ores and creation of fine weapons and armour, and of course training the squads themselves to be as useful as they can be. With that in mind, some of your dwarves are taking part in the process. Egghebrecht, for example, is the house weaponsmith, and one of his masterwork steel swords (masterwork, behind artefact, is the highest level of normally producible quality) was used to slay an exceptionally dangerous beast recently, and was thereby given the name Dolil Thukkan, the Lock of Amber. Army of One and Big Tree are both military dwarves, and some of our best fighters. Big Tree and a couple of other dwarves (including the wielder of Amberlock, Nish) slew a forgotten beast called Damid. Unfortunately, while the sword was named during the process, all three of them shortly melted afterwards. Damid had a ‘deadly gas’ attack which got under their armour and activated a few minutes after his death. While this is obviously a great pity (losing three of the force’s best fighters was an annoying blow) the subsequent success (in attacking a different forgotten beast) of the recruit team, known as The Crazed Trainees, means that they are replaceable. Though they will remain forever in our hearts, and in a pool of forgotten beast extract at the bottom of the underdar, a series of caverns that stretches below the world and is currently thickly forested. Lots of dwarves die in Dwarf Fortress, as has already been seen. It’s a pity Big Tree had it, but that’s life. Or death, if you prefer. While Big Tree melted a few seconds after killing Damid, Army of One wasn’t covered in deadly forgotten beast extract, so he went and slew a Jabberer single-handed in the caves with three strokes of his axe: one to a foot, one to a leg, and one to behead it. He might also have bit it in the chest: I can’t quite remember, but he was pretty quick with his attacks and it didn’t last long. He is my military ‘Champion’, appointed by the leading aristocrat to train all squads, not just the one he’s in. A very useful noble and fighting dwarf. For an explanation of what a Jabberer is, read on! Architect Reepicheep II as captain of the guard (best described as justice secretary) has been having a rather boring time of it. There was a murder, but for some reason he decided not to prosecute: perhaps he thought there were mitigating circumstances, or that no foul play was involved? All I know is that a dwarf was found dead, but not drained of blood, and without any recorded fights. Either he died of old age or of self-inflicted injury, but whatever the case we know it’s not a vampire, which is quite a positive. Chief Sitting Bull started his tenure as an animal trainer. Caged creatures (which are obtained through a series of traps) can be fed to gain their loyalty, and he has slowly been improving his skills in that area. Our fortress has a training programme for Keas, a type of parrot that occasionally flies by to thieve, and Rhesus Macaques, an adorable sort of monkey that produces a reasonable amount of meat and leather. We also have the more standard war dogs, which are useful for guarding the entrance from kobold thieves and goblin snatchers. However, Chief Sitting Bull had his time enlivened by a sudden mood, with which he produced an artefact rock coffer, Ancientjudged the Cross Ripper, which has a fantastic picture of a single moment in a siege (a moment I watched! Amazing!) recently, where a macedwarf (now sadly departed) decided, even though he’d just had his hip fractured, to take down a full-grown troll on his own. It was an awesome moment, and it’s such a cool thing to see captured in stone. There’s also a couple of other pictures: one of the foundation of the fortress in 257 (we’re at 265 at the moment), and another of a different troll-slaying, this time with a human shooting a troll with a crossbow. Perhaps he’s making the point that while humans mess around with crossbows, real dwarves do it up close and personal? The point is slightly spoiled by the fact that in the next siege my marksdwarves shot all the trolls instead of charging into them (there were more and I’d improved my defences), but either way the choice of imagery and the usefulness of this, despite its relatively low 40,000 value, makes this one of the best artefacts I have ever seen. Well done! Chief Sitting Bull became a legendary miner through this (making an artefact gives a big experience boost in the relevant skill). Seer, another miner, has been keeping the books. Nothing exceptional has happened, but the miners did collectively help create some tunnels to cavern edges to gain a more complete idea of the size and shape of them, as the engravers carved peep-holes into the sides once the tunnels reached the area. They also expanded the hospital from 6 beds to 16: each bedroom has a door which can be locked to prioritise the treatment of particular dwarves if necessary, or to keep one patient locked away until death in the event of serious risk (they might be a werebeast, vampire, berserk, etc). Fabis II, with the masons (and mason-mechanics, a general class of unskilled dwarves who do grunt labour like reloading cage traps, shifting stone into fortifications, and so on…Fabis is one of the most competent masons, which excuses him from mechanics duties), has been helping to massively expand the surface defences of the fortress. Along with walls that stretch almost to the edges of the map, two layers of battlements have been made, so that marksdwarves can intercept enemies both from a curtain layer of fortifications on the ground and an upper layer. This gives them maximum chance to shoot at the enemy without the enemy shooting back: a worthy improvement for the fortress as it faces larger and larger sieges of goblins. Dr Amber Pyre, high master wound dresser and diagnostician (thinking of making her Chief Medical Dwarf) has, in a stupendous twist, been working at the hospital and hauling stuff around generally. She’s the most skilled in the medical team and has helped fix up the odd dwarf injury, generally from combat. Dwarf medical treatment, while free, is not simple: dwarves with injuries constantly require evaluation and must then go through a complex series of stages for any given wound. For example, a recruit was recently lashed in the hand by a goblin with a silver scourge, causing him to temporarily lose the ability to grasp. He got to the hospital and had to be evaluated (diagnosis skill), cleaned (no skill, but soap making is a task in itself and must be done to help avoid infection), sutured three times (suturing skill, with diagnosis inbetween), have the wound dressed (dressing wounds skill), and then evaluated again before he could go. Depending on the wound, he could have also needed surgery, bone setting, being fed or watered, being given a splint, a crutch, or a cast, being secured in a traction bench, being hauled over to a table to be operated on, etc etc. It is complicated, but when it works it is beautiful, and Amber Pyre is a part of that. With Chief Sitting Bull making an awesome artefact and taking up mining, I’ve hired another trainer. Guitarguy, otherwise a legendary gem cutter and maker of Foldedache, a bracelet made from a single amethyst (it is beautiful, and pretty valuable too), isn’t employed with that work all the time so he helps with the animal training. Description of what that involves is above: I think it also includes chaining up prisoners, which is important for helping the military dwarves get trained up: live training is best training. Like I said, a mountain peak. Domesticating dragons would be another one, but you need dragons for that. Perhaps if I’m lucky I will be able to create a herd of tame jabberers, giant war birds that live in caves (think Spirit Terrorbirds, but twice the height of a human and even more beaky). Frankly, most cave creatures are tough enough to provide either really good training or pretty impressive pets, or useful siege accoutrements (blind cave ogres vs trolls, who will win?!). You know how Egghebrecht’s been making the weapons? Well, Sobend is in charge of the armoursmithing. There are 5 specifically forge related jobs: furnace operating, weaponsmithing, armouring, blacksmithing, and metalcrafting. My count (yeah, my Baron’s been promoted now) keeps mandating battleaxes, and my mayor keeps asking for mail shirts, so I’ve been making those out of steel. Conveniently, this also lets me expand the military at a fairly organic pace, so there’s that too. None of my smiths are legendary yet, but they’re training fine. Bwauder, my bone carver, hasn’t had much to do. In the past, we culled a lot of badgers that came in, so he made scepters and crowns out of them. They were all masterful or exceptional, and we sent them off to the mountainhome for the king to look at (presumably part of the reason the count was promoted from Baron). Micael Fatia has carried on with engraving masterfully, trading wonderfully, and being cool. Not much more to say there: the latest project of the engravers was of course carving the peep-holes into the caverns and engraving the tombs (there’s a big series of catacombs for this, as we have quite a few dead dwarves). KAMIL has been part of our local team of 3 brewers. He’s in the middle of the group in terms of skill, but it’s a decent job he’s doing, as an expert brewer. Dwarves don’t drink water unless they absolutely have to, ie are hospitalised, so running out of booze can mean a tantrum spiral that results in the destruction of the fortress. As such, the job is important. Most of the fortresses’ booze is wine, made from pressed plump helmets (baby’s first plant, a purple growth that produces a fresh crop underground every season and makes tons of produce as a result). We also buy in booze from the caravans that’s rum, ale and beer…and it’s possible we make some of it ourselves too, but I haven’t paid a lot of attention there. We certainly grow some of the ingredients. Human plants allow other drinks, like river spirits, sewer brew, and so on, which are surprisingly popular, while elves (hated by the dwarves, and which I so far haven’t seen on this world) grow the ‘sun berry’, which can be brewed into Sunshine, the best alcohol in the game. If you’ve read this far, please nominate a salmon to become the Count, currently Founder Cerol, the only surviving founder, a legendary miner (by hard work, not an artefact) and meeter of diplomats. You can’t nominate yourself, and you can’t nominate someone already in this fortress. The humans recently paid us a non-caravan visit, sending us their deity, a giraffe twisted into human form, to come as a diplomat. He had his guards, and although I kept my guards in the same room as the count in case of an altercation, nothing happened. He constantly made threats of torture and death, while at the same time noting that “it’s such a pleasant place you’ve carved out for yourselves”. The conversation was short, but worthwhile: seeing a giraffe demon deity first hand was something not to be missed. All deities in Dwarf Fortress are demons, I think that’s just the mechanic of it, and they lead human civilizations sometimes (it depends on the randomly generated history of the world, which I really must look into in Legends Mode, I want to know more about the Barbs of Sand all the engravers keep referencing). Although I wanted to kill the human diplomat, since they never bring anything interesting to trade and another war would be quite fun, I’ll wait until they come round again before I do that. Demons might be tougher to take down than I expect. EDIT: Dammit, I missed Dr Mitchell. Sorry about that. Would have been a perfect fit for the medical team.
  13. Is curry a 'thing' in the US?f

    1. Show previous comments  3 more
    2. Sobend


      Yeah but its not huge

    3. Adam?


      guys americans are so fat

    4. Fox Totem

      Fox Totem

      I used to think that curry originated in the Americas. aka chili. Though India may be the biggest producer of chili these days, I am told that curry can be made of any number of spices

  14. You've got a new dwarf, who is a legendary mason. Made an artefact called 'The Incidental Inch', which is pretty cool (though a bit similar to your last chap). Incidentally, I was browsing some of Micael Fatia's engravings in the Baron's Throne Room, and I noticed that there was an image of your promotion to Mayor. Mayors do several things: they meet with diplomats, console unhappy dwarves, mandate the production of certain goods, ban the export of others, and demand several nice rooms for the privilege. They are elected, which means the mayor frequently changes to the dwarf with the most friends (this is good, because it means you get a dwarf with social skills, which means they are good at consoling people who have lost relatives or whatever). I'd forgotten you were ever mayor, but I hope it shows your dwarf wasn't entirely boring.
  15. Okay then: Architect Reepicheep, Captain of the Guard (note that this is a separate position from Militia Commander, and the cotg doesn't fight-he's far too important!).

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