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Darkademic's Blog

25 blog entries found. Displaying 1–6.

Guild Wars 2 Endgame: You Actually Get to Eat the Carrot

Due to the length of the article, a brief "executive summary" was requested to encapsulate what I'm trying to get across.

The purpose of the article is to explain how Guild Wars 2's "endgame" differs from the raiding model commonly found in other MMORPGs, and explain why concerns about its longevity or its appeal are largely unfounded. It is not an attack on raiding as such, but I do point out the flaws I see in the raiding model used in other MMOs, and also identify why these flaws exist.

Also, by "you actually get to eat the carrot" I mean that in Guild Wars 2 rewards are ends in themselves, and are not a means to gaining access to additional content (which in turn offers rewards to access further content, and so on ad infinitum) as in most MMOs.


Something which has been debated and discussed extensively within the Guild Wars 2 community is the issue of the so-called "endgame". Anyone who has played an MMO will more than likely be familiar with the term, which basical… continue reading

Racism vs Multiculturalism = False Dichotomy

You often see debates between those who favour racism/ethno-nationalism/religious nationalism, and those who favour multiculturalism/tolerance, as if these represent two ends of a spectrum.

It's the short-sighted, backwards desire to preserve (i.e. enforce) racial, ideological or cultural hegemony within a given geographical area, versus the naive, careless and dangerous desire to tolerate any and all cultures.

The value of a specific group, versus the value of all groups indiscriminitely.

However, these two positions are two sides of the same coin. One type of collectivism vs all kinds of collectivism. The former is a misallocation of value - seeing value in something which possesses none. The latter is a rejection of value altogether - promoting diversity for diversity's sake.

Individualism is the true alternative to these two doctrines. The appreciation of value in individuals, as individuals.

A Neat Annihilation of Racism

I've been debating on these past few weeks, and I just posted what I regard as one of my most succinct yet crushing arguments against racism/ethno-nationalism.

After a long back-and-forth speaking in terms of abstractions; the concept of race, definitions of pride, whether race is a scientifically valid category etc. I decided to finally boil everything down to a real-world choice. I asked him to state whether he'd prefer a violent, leftist, moron of a white person who opposes all of his beliefs, or a well-mannered, friendly black person who is sympathetic to his beliefs. He hasn't responded yet at the time of writing this, but it's possible he'll resort to the ridiculous "genes are valuable in and of themselves" argument - suggesting that genes are valuable by virtue of their existence, and not because of any actual observable effects that they have. That's the only thing he can do other than admitting defeat, as I see it.

My post went as follows:

I'll elaborat… continue reading

Guild Wars 2: Reasons for Being Excited

I've decided to write in detail my reasons for being excited about Guild Wars 2, because I think it looks absolutely amazing and I want to express my thoughts on it. Maybe this will help to stir up even more enthusiasm for what I hope will be an incredibly successful game. I should also mention that my guild is starting recruitment early, so head over and apply if you're interested.

I played the original Guild Wars since its release in 2005, consistently for maybe a year, and then on-and-off since then. I'm currently trying SWTOR, and recently stopped playing World of Warcraft after spending a lot of time in it. I've also played Warhammer Online, Age of Conan, Rift and Allods Online, so I'd say I have a decent amount of experience with MMOs.

Since World of Wacraft was released, many MMOs have come along and struggled (a.k.a failed) to live up to its standards. For example, Warhammer Online seemed incredibly promising but turned out to be unpolished, clunky, and generally lacking in m… continue reading

StarCraft II

I've been playing StarCraft II since it was released and it is really amazing. I got into the 1v1 gold league after my placement matches and I've since been promoted to platinum. So far I've had a roughly equal number of wins and losses, so the system seems to work pretty well. I've also got into platinum for 3v3, diamond for 4v4, and silver for 2v2.

I've beaten the campaign on brutal and earned all of the campaign achievements. Although quite a lot of people say they're disappointed with the campaign, I really enjoyed it. All of the missions were well designed and reasonably challenging, and none of them were just "build a base and kill the enemy" - they all included some kind of mechanic to keep you on your toes.

Below is a screenshot of my profile as it stands.

It's early days yet, and I'm sure the game will evolve just like SC1 did, but it's a thoroughly enjoyable RTS and I'd highly recommend it.

Gordon Brown Doesn't Understand Economics

After watching most of the two UK election debates these past two weeks, I've become infuriated with Gordon Brown because of his pathetic lack of understanding of economics. Brown has accused David Cameron — leader of the Conservatives — of planning to "take £6 billion out of the economy" by not implementing the NI increase and/or by cutting funding to public sector institutions. This is patently ridiculous. Gordon Brown seems to be oblivious to the (obvious) difference between the economy and the public sector (i.e. government funded sector). The £6 billion won't be going to the government, but that doesn't mean it just disappears. The £6 billion stays in the economy, just in private hands (where it should be).

Similar logic lies behind the idea of stimulus packages. A stimulus package is nothing more than a massive shift of money which would otherwise be spent according to the judgement of private individuals (it doesn't just disappear). A stimulus distorts the market by putting mo… continue reading