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Karybdis

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About Karybdis

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  1. Well, that was quick. I'll probably get in touch with some of the others and ask their opinion on rejoining dev work, but otherwise, I'm in as usual.
  2. I would like to say don't worry too much at this point. I almost forget sometimes how much I hated SC4 at release. Loving it but hating the limitations is what drove me to learn to reverse engineer it and help form the modd squad with the other founders in the first place. I will certainly buy it as Maxis are personal game design heroes to me for their originality..... I can see a bunch of things possibly needing repair or fixing by us though, possibly like *cough* origin connectivity *cough*
  3. The lack of built in terraforming is a massive let down. Lack of subways is another let down, and I'm worried about density options for building. However, don't assume just because maxis doesn't have built in terraforming that we wont add it ourselves. If there's a demand from us and the game is good enough, we'll add it I'm sure, even if it breaks online functionality. Mind you that would likely be done outside the game like the external terrain editor made for SC4. The other question is if the map sizes are even hard coded somewhere, or if it just puts an articifical barrier around a section of the map to improve performance.
  4. Pfft. That's a generic legal answer that it's unknown. :-P We will mod it. It uses the same package format. There's enough talented people around that whatever locks they put on content should be reversed very quickly unless something is coded into the executable to specifically block it (Unlikely, but you never know). Reverse engineering will take a while, then tool building will take a while. You will be able to design building parts in Maya, Blender, or whatever format that modding teams make a tool for. Also Maxis will almost inevitably make a tool as well.
  5. Basically no for the simple reason that this would not be a mod, it would be reprogramming the game, which is impossible.
  6. As one of the people that originally started on this, I can answer specifically. EA gave us complete permission to do any modifications that we want. In fact they cheered us on in person, and gave us as much info as they could without breaking NDA's or giving up company secrets. Several modders have been under Non disclosure agreement with EA specifically for the purpose of furthering file modifications, and a bunch of us (myself included) beta tested the BAT when it was being made. Yes, it is perfectly legal in every way. But sorry, you're not going to get any document saying so. These are our personal emails and chat logs with them. We have talked to them about modding the EXE by the way, but they said they couldn't give us the source code currently due to legal reasons. Modding the exe would be done via dll plugins which can be made, and would be legal if done. The only thing they remotely have a problem with is the naming of SimMars expansion (which EA employees call "That other Mars simulator" in order to maintain legality) If you need more proof, EA paid thousands of dollars to fly us modders to San Fransisco in order to learn more about the game code... I doubt they would do that if they considered it illegal.
  7. Thank god for pnorrell showing up. I was afraid that none of the involved people in the area were on here. Anyway, from my point of view, the driving force is just plain ultranationalism. Note that this is probably the reason I hate strong nationalism/patriotism so much. Russia considers the people in South Ossetia to be Ossetians, and Ossetians to be Russians. Therefore they are defending Russians from the Georgians who want to control the fate of the Russians. They see votes in favour of leaving Georgia and say "look, our fellow brothers have decided their fate". Note that even if (not saying they don't) the people don't believe this on average in Russia, the government does. Hence giving South Ossetians russian passports once they took over control. Russia has slowly been Russianizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia for the last decade. Maybe they're even doing some doublethink here and they didn't originally believe they were Russians. Maybe the whole thing was just to keep Georgia weak. Who knows. I think they've convinced themselves by repeating it too much though. Georgia considers the people of South Ossetia to be Georgians, and since Russia intervened to stop the war, then forced through peace deals as a result, they don't recognize the force there as fully legitimate. Also the fact that the Russian Passports that 90% of South Ossetians have were often just given to them after the 'peacekeepers' arrived, doesn't help the case. So what Saakashvili probably though was "criminal georgians, occupying Georgian territory, aided by an imperialist power(russia), and trying to steal our territory". Therefore whatever started the fighting is plenty of excuse to walk back in. I bet he didn't even consider very strongly what to do after that point. Just that it had to be done "now". Who really started the fight is probably irrelevant at this point, as it was pretty obviously going to happen at some point. Both sides contributed, and there was a general lack of common sense at work. Of course strong nationalism can do that to people. The peace was artificial, and enforced unilaterally against the will of the country that owned the territory in the first place. Nobody really wanted a peace deal unless they got exactly what they demanded, and so a war has broken out. meh I agree with news articles that have stated that Russia really wasn't expecting this at the moment. It probably has been thrown off guard and is responding too strongly. It also probably has to do somewhat with anger at George Soros for partially funding the overthrow of the last Georgian president, which really rocked the boat in the caucasus. This being seen as a chance to repair things, and so they're responding too eagerly. What will probably happen is that Russia will win the war, and claim both South Ossetia and Abkhazia to be independant until they can hold a vote on independance and then probably another vote on joining a political union with Russia. The rest of the world will not accept this, and consider both to be still a part of georgia, as will georgia itself. And in another 15 years, there will (probably almost) be another war between the two, except with Georgia as a NATO member (which this will inevitably push it to become in the near future). Since Russia is outmatched militarily by NATO, that will probably end in a ceasefire in about a day, rather than an actual outright war. I don't think the Russian military are idiots and I'm sure they know they can't win against NATO military forces, even as close to Russia as Georgia is. Nor will anybody use nukes, because nobody is stupid enough to blow up the planet over two territories constituting 250000 people. I consider that to be the most likely scenario. Of course russia could accept a ceasefire and things could return to status quo until the next war, or the world could accept that Georgia is separated permanently (unlikely), or Russia could lose (also unlikely), or the two sides could agree to negotiate a peace deal finally (no clue how likely that is).
  8. To agree with Boggy, a vaccinologist would laugh you out of the building if you tried to tell him that new forms of bacteria or virii don't evolve. That's their job. To deal with it. Because they do manage to deal with it most of the time, hundreds of millions of people are now alive who probably wouldn't be otherwise. And if you think that monkeys haven't been evolving constantly and look different than they did a few million years ago, then you don't understand the concept of evolution, which is probably a good part of the problem. Monkeys are highly evolved in the last while. Also you have a misunderstanding of mutations. Most mutations ARE bad, almost no mutations would do something like add a new Eyeball though, although that's a relatively small, but just rare mutation. Consider the mutation that causes sickle cell anemia. It's bad right? Guess what though, it's also good, and protects from Malaria because the shape of the cells makes them immune to the parasite. In fact in some parts of the world, it's SO important, that the goods outweigh the problems of having anemia, and so it gets spread around instead of being rare. Also, consider the mutations that cause virii to evolve from year to year. They're bad for us, but very good for the virii. Single mutations don't build a new structure though. In fact no mutation builds a new structure from scratch. They're built up extremely slowly over hundreds of millions of years, and many millions of generations of organism, each one mutating things ever so slowly, each one contributing just the next bit of the equation. Making this pit a bit deeper, making that bone a bit longer, splitting that muscle into two muscles because it's too big, etc. THATS what forms something like an eye, or an arm. This whole idea of the so called "MISSING LINK" is also an error of creationism. It doesn't exist even theoretically or conceptually. I'll tell you why too. Every time we find a "missing link" some creationist somewhere just calls for us to find the "Missing link" between that "Missing link" and the next "Missing link". It happens so regularly that it might as well be a joke. Fossils aren't so regular that you're going to have a fossil record of each individual mutation in each individual chromosome of each individual species. The idea is rediculous. You can indeed find intermediate species, but we've found tons of them already, and creationists unfortunately never recognize the fact because it's against their concept of creation.... so meh.
  9. Societies was unfortunate. It really had potential for modding, and if it had been more fan centric, it could have been as big as SC4 What really happened though is that so much energy is invested in SC4 already that it would have taken a miracle to get it reinvested. Sims2 managed, but it also had a massive modding community partially spawned off here. We'll just have to see what happens with Simcity Creator in 2011. It may be more fan centric, and it may pull people back over. Most of the true diehards though are waiting for Cities Unlimited I think. I certainly am.... If it's good, we'll work on it to the same degree as SC4.
  10. Heh. If Huckabee was actually the republican candidate, he'd be crushed by either according to the latest polls. Fox News Poll Dec 18-19, 2007 Hillary Clinton 47% Mike Huckabee 38% Fox News Poll Dec 18-19, 2007 Barack Obama 44% Mike Huckabee 35% According to NBC, Huckabee might have a chance against Clinton at this point, but it's iffy. The only republican currently able to stand against either of them in opinion polls is John McCain. So if republicans want to win the next election, they should make sure he's the candidate.
  11. I suppose it's all relative. Americans are definitely liberal compared to the middle east , far east, CIS, and africa (most of it)..... However compared to Europe/Canada/other places, America is more conservative. One of the things we're taught in political science is that the American democrats are more right wing than our furthest right wing parties. The American green party would possibly be more left than our right wing parties. Really depends the frame you're defining liberal under. I'm not sure about the cultural thing either, but nobody is suggesting that the US "Has" to do what Europe/Canada/Others do. America will do what it feels like as it always has. Eventually it will become more like the others just because of trends and cultural merging/globalization though. An example is that America will eventually give up the death penalty and believe it is a good idea regardless of what is thought currently. This is obvious if you look at the trends of world wide usage of it, and within the country as well. Regardless of whether Clinton or Obama win the next election (and I fail to see how it could possibly be anyone other than one of the two), there will be no huge changes on the world stage in 8 years. It'll take a while before America actually swings seriously in any direction. Like changing the path of a large wave; it takes a lot of effort.
  12. You do, but if you get upset enough anywhere, they'll give you your money back so they don't have to deal with it.
  13. Also it has to be said that EA neither owns Half life nor Crysis.... they just release them (and only a small portion in HL's case). It's like saying Valve owns Bioshock because you can buy it on steam. EA's only products on that list are stuff packs, which I hardly call dominating.
  14. To each their own. I've seen nothing to make me want to play (so far!) though.