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Why characters need a life cycle

infiniti70infiniti70 Huntington Beach, CAPosts: 61Member

If a charachter had a life span in game, an MMO would offer a much richer experience and would solve many of the problems of todays MMO.

1. Risk vs Reward - If a charachter lost 1% of thier toons exsistance for every death for example, then each player's progression will ultimately end at 100 deaths. Suddenly the world is dangerous again.

2. Casual vs hardcore gamer - This concept works for both. It would be entirely possible for the casual gamer to be one of the most powerful on their server. The Hardcore gamer may reach power quicker, but is also more likely to die an early death. So wether you are the turtle or the hare, the same level of accomplishment is obtainable. Log on for half an hour gain some progression, log off....maybe 9 months later you are the elite of your path and in rare company.

3. End game vs dynamic game play - Take less development in end game and focus more on world alteration. Imagine at the end of a life returning to "starting areas" only to find the entire area is different then when you first traveled through. As players play, their actions affect the world around them, thriving settlements are now ghost towns, roads over grown. No two lives would be the same.

4. Guilds/Clans - Would rise and fall organically. A strong guild could lose their leadership to death, a master metal worker to death. A guild has always been the sum of their members, but what would happen if their two best soldiers died?  The world would not be a stale, but ever changing.

5. True need for class/path diversity - With lose of life, comes a true need for healers, crafters, scouts, politics,.... With death a crafters come a real need to apprentice replacements, a healer is needed to prolong life. Imagine being the only Grandmaster weaponsmith in your area instead of everyone being one after 1 month? "yeah we had a weaponmsmith who could make that, but he died last week. Try the town down south, heard they had a guy."

6. True accomplishment - How much disovery, power, fame can I earn in my lifetime? Isn't a ticking clock the highest form of motivation. With some sort of acheivment system, a players life takes on true meaning. Ever play on a new server and get excited about being a sever first either solo or guild? I have and it is truely a great feeling, never to be felt again after a month. What if you could set new individual or guild records continually?

7. Solo vs group play - This is similar to casual vs hardcore. Regardless of your playstyle the risk will match the reward, without a race to a stale end game, your progression is your own. You will always be behind and ahead of your peers.

8. No useless zones - How many times do we see a starting zone packed for a month or two only to become a bunch of quest giving NPCs with no one to talk to? There would not be a need for "new players" to keep areas thriving, there would already be a circular mechanic of fresh adventures. As mentioned, by the time a player lives out one life, it is quite possible the world he remembered the first time through is completey altered...always offering "fresh content." Even a progressed player would enjoy revisiting where he started helping mentor a friend new to the game.

9. Community - Would receive a huge boost. Imagine a vet asking a newby where something is or for help progressing because the world he knew was gone? Crafting would mean something even at a very low level because of a new need for gear. This would bridge the vets to the newcomers instead of the core vs the noobs. Add to the fact the world is dangerous again, and there is a persistant need to help each other out.

So there are my reasons why toons need a lifespan to take MMOs to the next level. Something like this with an heir system (to keep your house or maybe add some form of continual improvement to the game)., and I think an MMO would have a good chance at a healthy population of gamers for more than a 6 month run. A game that would challnge and entertain for years.

So what would be the draw backs to this?

See any other benefits?

Does this form of MMO remind you of a game you have played?

 

 

 

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Comments

  • Dexter2010Dexter2010 Beverly Hills, CAPosts: 244Member Common

    So why bother grinding to the max? To lose it all and repeat at level 1? Would you pay a sub to lose your progress?  Are you enjoying Super Mario Bros?

    "I better make a 5th mage in case this one dies and gets deleted helping a friend..........then he can die releveling me"!

    Why make a game that auto deletes? Just do it yourself after 100 deaths. No xpacks needed 'cause you'll never see endgame!

    I stopped reading after your 1st paragraph.

  • infiniti70infiniti70 Huntington Beach, CAPosts: 61Member
    Originally posted by Dexter2010

    So why bother grinding to the max? To lose it all and repeat at level 1? Would you pay a sub to lose your progress?  Are you enjoying Super Mario Bros?

    "I better make a 5th mage in case this one dies and gets deleted helping a friend..........then he can die releveling me"!

    Why make a game that auto deletes? Just do it yourself after 100 deaths. No xpacks needed 'cause you'll never see endgame!

    I stopped reading after your 1st paragraph.

    End game = fail. We have seen it over and over.

    Why do people play sports? Take golf as an example: I play 18 holes and record a score. What fun wiould the game be if I played 18 holes, then everytime I went back just putted around on hole 18? There is a reason why we start a new game, measure ourselves in a fixed increment of time.

    What you call progression is what I call running a quick maze to end up as a hamster on a wheel. "man, one more level and spell X goes from 20 DPS to 24.3 DPS, and I can finally kill the Orcs in red...so sick of killing the ones in green!"

    Without a life cycle, there is no progression. Just a game where the deveopers hope the maze takes long enough to get their money before you get sick of the wheel and move on to the next maze & wheel.

    Mario Bros or hamster on a wheel? Where is my old 64?

  • PsiKahnPsiKahn Woodside, NYPosts: 126Member

    There certainly exists a contingency of people to whom this concept would never appeal, and I suspect those people continue to find satisfaction in reaching, inhabiting, and mastering a predetermined endgame.  That's totally fine, of course, and there are plenty of games out there that suit their tastes.

    There are however people like me who would be eager to see a virtual world that takes advantage of the many benefits of limiting character lifespan, and I think you did a good job of outlining those benefits above.  The developers of Trials of Ascension have a little piece on their website about the "Perks of Perma-death" as they are trying to make a game that uses a 100-life mechanism to enable a dynamic and challenging persistent world.  I think there may be a couple of other games out there that play with the concept to varying extents.

    I do think that we've all been conditioned a bit to expect our characters to just get bigger and badder and never look back, but I do think it's possible to get over that some and re-experience the idea of an MMO through a world that doesn't allow unrestricted character bloat.  Frankly, it's  not something that has been tried much, so there's plenty of design space left for experimentation.

  • MMOExposedMMOExposed lalal land, DCPosts: 6,255Member Uncommon
    Perma death leads to detachment from character. thats not what MMOs need.

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  • DogblasterDogblaster PraguePosts: 491Member

    IF I had a choice in real life I would live forever in and never ever die.

     

    I understand your concept here, maybe they could add HC servers to the mmorpgs games where you have only 1 life. I played on hardcore servers only in poe, diablo, but those are not mmorpgs so thats why. In mmorpgs you have a lot more to do that gives you thrill.

    But I am not against it, but as HC player who is playing mmorpg for 8+ hours a day, I WOULD be really but really pissed off loosing this character after 3000 hours, etc.

     

    + 100 deads = perma dead.. Players would just play safe after dieing 90 times or rarely. etc..maybe playing alts in dangerous situations and giving loot to the main, etc... You either give only 1 life or any. 100 wont ever work because no player would ever risk dieing for hundered time to be perma dead.

     

    Endgame = main reason for A LOT of players to play mmorpgs, for HC players I would say major one (those who loves dungeons, raids) etc. Call it as you want, maybe not engame but character progression, competetive gearing up ..

  • PsiKahnPsiKahn Woodside, NYPosts: 126Member
    Originally posted by MMOExposed
    Perma death leads to detachment from character. thats not what MMOs need.

    I would argue that the opposite is true.  Think of the additional weight you would invest in your character's actions if there was a risk of losing that character forever.  I think that would cause me to identify much more closely with that character.

  • DihoruDihoru ConstantaPosts: 2,731Member
    Originally posted by Dogblaster

    Endgame = main reason for A LOT of players to play mmorpgs, for HC players mainly, etc. Call it as you want, maybe not engame but character progression, competetive gearing up ..

    The hamster wheel, the neverending grind, the place were you sink time and never really do anything important, etc,etc.

     

    Perma-death could work but only in an open world pvp game where actions have consequences, you may kill someone but if that someone has allot of friends you're not gonna be long for this world either, such and such. Makes the game actually worth playing in a serious sense and not just some kiddy game where if you die you do a corpse run and have to pay 10 copper to repair your orange gear of +12 (months wasted getting it).

     

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  • sunrunnersunrunner Bullhead City, AZPosts: 8Member

    Drawbacks:

    Disassociation, detachment, a feeling of futility, a loss of accumulated progress, a loss of accumulated reputation, forced replay of already-seen content and a general destruction of anything resembling a cooperative and/or persistent community.

    It makes luck the dominant factor in character ability rather than skill.  Lag of any kind, bugs of kind, other players (even in PvE; a new, bad or unskilled player on your team will result in your charater being deleted faster than it otherwise would), exploration ... all become the enemy.

    It would induce highly risk averse play habits that invariably views playing as a risk.

    Doesn't sound fun in the slightest.

  • infiniti70infiniti70 Huntington Beach, CAPosts: 61Member
    Originally posted by PsiKahn

    I do think that we've all been conditioned a bit to expect our characters to just get bigger and badder and never look back, but I do think it's possible to get over that some and re-experience the idea of an MMO through a world that doesn't allow unrestricted character bloat.  Frankly, it's  not something that has been tried much, so there's plenty of design space left for experimentation.

    I agree we have been conditioned to expect this as the only path to MMO enjoyment. To be a walking trophy.

    To be honest, a life cycle already exsist for 99% of the MMO gamers...the toon dies when they get bored and move on to the next maze/wheel game... which is usually in less than three months.

    I believe the concept has been applied to PvP centric games, but have yet to see it applied to a rich PvE/PvP experience.

    I can understand the thinking that hours are wasted if you have to begin again, but it does not need to begin entirely anew. An heir system would allow players to bequeath some part of their old charachters to remain to give some meaning to previous play. Other features could include generational progression, something like a 3rd generation Blademaster would have unique content open up to him, or master of three different paths...stuff like that.

    I am mearly looking at reallocting the time and resources devs but into trying to build a better hamster wheel, inot a more dynamic, organic, changing maze. Not a hardcore server that has the same stale content, but with perma death. Just a game where a players achievments and contribution to the world out live that specific toon.

    Make it about the journey, not the destination.

  • django-djangodjango-django ElthamPosts: 115Member

    If this was used in an interesting, I'd love to give a go, I think it is a pretty cool idea and I can't say I've seen much like it.

    But unfortunately, there would be quite a few unstable areas in the game, that would put off a lot of MMO players. I think once people start leveling their character and becoming immersed into the game and all of a sudden die, I could imagine they would probably drop like flies after they lose everything and forgot about the dying factor. 

    It would be hard to get the ball rolling for this feature in a game. At least with perma-death options they cater for hardcore players who know death is coming from day one, and understand if you die once you die forever. If you lose your character for a certain amount of deaths, you may lose track and not realise until you die forever, which I'm sure would probably equal a lot of rage-quitting players.

  • DihoruDihoru ConstantaPosts: 2,731Member
    Originally posted by sunrunner

    Drawbacks:

    Disassociation, detachment, a feeling of futility, a loss of accumulated progress, a loss of accumulated reputation, forced replay of already-seen content and a general destruction of anything resembling a cooperative and/or persistent community.

    It makes luck the dominant factor in character ability rather than skill.  Lag of any kind, bugs of kind, other players (even in PvE; a new, bad or unskilled player on your team will result in your charater being deleted faster than it otherwise would), exploration ... all become the enemy.

    It would induce highly risk averse play habits that invariably views playing as a risk.

    Doesn't sound fun in the slightest.

    It's a game which mimics life in that you can die if you make stupid choices. The community would cooperate more because of the fear of losing progression which in turn would eliminate new/bad/unskilled player issues because if you're a real lemming darwin would make sure to frustrate you to the point of quitting or wising up. If your character dies to a bug, take a screenshot, report it, get your character back after you supplied proof of it, few bugs are your fault as a gamer and exploration would be for those with the spirit for adventure, hell some of these brave explorers might hire you and a few others to protect them while they explore.

     

    High risk gameplay induces educated/calculated actions and reactions, that is fun because in real life and in rewarding games which mimic life you are rewarded for well thought out actions.

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  • infiniti70infiniti70 Huntington Beach, CAPosts: 61Member
    Originally posted by sunrunner

    Drawbacks:

    Disassociation, detachment, a feeling of futility, a loss of accumulated progress, a loss of accumulated reputation, forced replay of already-seen content and a general destruction of anything resembling a cooperative and/or persistent community.

    Does not have to be that way.

    1. Disassociation I completely disagree with. Most have that in spades now, which is why they just "move on" to the next title.

    2. If actions had long term effects on the world, how would it be futile?

    3. Progress could also be mark over a period of lives, achievement and content open up to based on stacking single life achievements. These themselves could be diverse paths of play.

    4. Changing content would be key and is easy to achieve when players can effect the world itself.

    5. I do not call everyone being a maxed out crafter and sitting around waiting for the next raid/PvP battle a good community. If a community itself needs to be balanced by gains and loss, you get a healthy economy, changes in balance, dynamic immersion.

    It makes luck the dominant factor in character ability rather than skill.  Lag of any kind, bugs of kind, other players (even in PvE; a new, bad or unskilled player on your team will result in your charater being deleted faster than it otherwise would), exploration ... all become the enemy.

    It would induce highly risk averse play habits that invariably views playing as a risk.

    Doesn't sound fun in the slightest.

    We are talking about many many deaths, lag/bad player here or there would have very little fi any impact.

  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member

    Specific points:

    1. I feel risk-vs-reward is a wildly overrated concept - it tends to just reward playstyle preference rather than actual play.

    2. You could achieve the same balance between casual and hardcore by simply not having an advancement curve at all.

    3. There are already lots of people who create alts already and it hasn't automatically led developers to embrance dynamic play.

    4. People would suddenly find themselves booted out of their group.  Not everyone wants to be shuffled back into the community on a regular basis.

    5. I don't see how this idea, by itself, promotes diversity - like 4 above, that seems to be a serpeate idea being packaged in rather than being an argument for a life cycle.

    6. True loss too though - all those accomplishments go *poof*

    7. There will also be a lot more drama every times someone messes up (wither solo or group)

    8. That depends - if people are levelling and releveling characters to attempt to push further into challenges than they did the last time, players will quickly start leveling up in the most efficient way, which will still bypass most of the content.

    9. I'm not convinced the community would react the way your predict (it might, I'm just not convinced).

     

    General impression:

    The concept in general is essentially item decay repackaged as character decay.   Look at the lifecycle of a ship in EvE - in a way, your ship is your character and the life and death of a ship in that game captures some of the ideas you are thinking about.  So overall, I think that you are making a stronger case for either a game without any advancement at all and disposable alts.  If there's a progression curve for disposable characters, as soon as I start imagining what players are actually going to do with their new characters to re-level them, it goes badly.

  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAPosts: 22,441Member
    Originally posted by Dihoru

    Perma-death could work but only in an open world pvp game where actions have consequences, you may kill someone but if that someone has allot of friends you're not gonna be long for this world either, such and such. Makes the game actually worth playing in a serious sense and not just some kiddy game where if you die you do a corpse run and have to pay 10 copper to repair your orange gear of +12 (months wasted getting it).

     

    Perma-death works pretty well in Diablo 3. It is neither open world, nor pvp. Heck, it is not even a MMO.

     

  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,719Member Uncommon

    It's been pointed out time and time again that perma-death only works in short-session (<6 hour) games.  The reason should be obvious: players dislike a game which tells them, "You know that awesome experience you sunk 10+ hours of your life into?  Yeah, it's gone now and it meant nothing."

    Some of the OP's supporting points seem unrelated to the aging idea.

    3. Endgame vs. Dynamic.  This feature in isolation has nothing to do with dynamic gameplay.  In isolation you're talking about forcing an old character back to the newbie zone (exactly as boring as it sounds.)  If you're talking about creating some new feature to create dynamic gameplay, then that's applicable to any MMORPG (with or without aging/permadeath.)

    5. True need for diversity.  Aging/permadeath really has nothing to do with how important specialized roles are.  That's purely based on the gameplay itself (how important it is to have specialized roles to complete the game's challenges.)

    Removing progression from MMORPGs removes one of the core pillars that makes them successful.

    "Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
    "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates

  • infiniti70infiniti70 Huntington Beach, CAPosts: 61Member
    Originally posted by Axehilt

    It's been pointed out time and time again that perma-death only works in short-session (<6 hour) games.  The reason should be obvious: players dislike a game which tells them, "You know that awesome experience you sunk 10+ hours of your life into?  Yeah, it's gone now and it meant nothing."

    Some of the OP's supporting points seem unrelated to the aging idea.

    3. Endgame vs. Dynamic.  This feature in isolation has nothing to do with dynamic gameplay.  In isolation you're talking about forcing an old character back to the newbie zone (exactly as boring as it sounds.)  If you're talking about creating some new feature to create dynamic gameplay, then that's applicable to any MMORPG (with or without aging/permadeath.)

    5. True need for diversity.  Aging/permadeath really has nothing to do with how important specialized roles are.  That's purely based on the gameplay itself (how important it is to have specialized roles to complete the game's challenges.)

    Removing progression from MMORPGs removes one of the core pillars that makes them successful.

    Why does it need to be for nothing? Many players like EVE (as another poster brought up), does losing your ship mean you have nothing? I have already discussed zones changing over time, could be from weather, player content, so on. You say 10 hours...you really planning to die 100 times in 10 hours?

    The primary content of any good MMO is going to be the players themselves, without change to this content a game can not be dynamic imo. You may feel scaling encounters or random spawning events are dynamic, I don't. Changing economic conditions, power swings, having to change your playstyle from one life to the next is dynamic. For example:

    During a first life you obtain property and wealth, upon death you will your property to yourself as heir. Now you have property and money to start but are too weak to protect it, so you rent it to a more powerful player or hire guards to defend it. Either way you are not starting off the way you did the first time. Maybe you will everything to the church and your next toon starts with high reputation and that opens up early content not available through previous lifes. Not here to write a game, just here to give examples of progression following you and adding to dynamic content.

    True need for diversity would occur. What reason do I have to become a weaponsmith when there are 1000 maxed out players spaming LFW?  Even a new player would have hope he could be amoung the few to be able to make something, even if it is only for a while until rejoins the circle of life.

     

  • GhernGhern Shingle Springs, CAPosts: 134Member Uncommon

    I will keep it short.

    Absolutely not.

  • MMOExposedMMOExposed lalal land, DCPosts: 6,255Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by PsiKahn
    Originally posted by MMOExposed
    Perma death leads to detachment from character. thats not what MMOs need.

    I would argue that the opposite is true.  Think of the additional weight you would invest in your character's actions if there was a risk of losing that character forever.  I think that would cause me to identify much more closely with that character.

    I disagree. In the medical field, you would be taught not to get attached to your patient who can becoming "lost" at any given moment.

    same thing happen here.

    in a game with perma death, you don't get attached to a character because they can be "lost" at any moment.

    same thing in full loot MMO. You never get attached to a set of gear.because it can be taken at any moment.

    image

  • infiniti70infiniti70 Huntington Beach, CAPosts: 61Member

    When we are taught "not" to do something it is because we are natrurally inclined to do it. Your example would only go to prove people without instruction would care deeply.

    Most become extremely attached to pets despite a short lifespan. Many become very attached to cars knowing the model will be onsolete one day.

    I would also argue noone becomes attached to gear in any MMO because it is temporary. Even the 1000 raid grind for the best gear in the game loses all attachment on the next expansion.

  • snapfusionsnapfusion San, CAPosts: 954Member
    All I see is more and more people coming up with ideas for games that are slowly eroding the foundation of why I started playing games in the first place.  I have a game for you to play its called your real life, go live it stop trying to induce the short comings of reality and mortality into the word of fantasy.
  • OG_ZorvanOG_Zorvan Fresno, CAPosts: 615Member
    Originally posted by nariusseldon
    Originally posted by Dihoru

    Perma-death could work but only in an open world pvp game where actions have consequences, you may kill someone but if that someone has allot of friends you're not gonna be long for this world either, such and such. Makes the game actually worth playing in a serious sense and not just some kiddy game where if you die you do a corpse run and have to pay 10 copper to repair your orange gear of +12 (months wasted getting it).

     

    Perma-death works pretty well in Diablo 3. It is neither open world, nor pvp. Heck, it is not even a MMO.

     

    So you use a non-mmo as an example of what will work for an mmo?

     

    Um, no.

    EA CEO John Riccitiello's on future microtransactions: "When you are six hours into playing Battlefield and you run out of ammo in your clip, and we ask you for a dollar to reload, you're really not very price sensitive at that point in time...We're not gouging, but we're charging."

  • bcbullybcbully Westland, MIPosts: 8,275Member Uncommon
    Original idea? If so good job man.
  • xpowderxxpowderx Radcliff, KYPosts: 2,131Member Uncommon

    I like this post. Very cool ideas indeed!

    I imagine that character who developed through his lifetimes with prestige, honor and power! Who is now at last on his last life! A sole King in his own right. Who now subjugates those around him. Who can no longer risk. Who sits on his pedestal in his guild hall with friends and allies in his final days.  His last Glorious adventure! To be remembered by those around him and more at his last breath!

    Alas, life renewed.... A beginning of new things, young and foolhearty.... the memories of old are just that. A new world, a new cycle begins... To seek that which was lost... To conquer again, to rise the ranks of power and fully encompass the world! Where his name brings fear among the mightiest of opponents... Wise, and hearty, and thoughtful!

    This lifetime will be different! I shall be King of Kings, my friends and allies shall be the strongest in the world!

    Thus my reign begins!!!!!

  • infiniti70infiniti70 Huntington Beach, CAPosts: 61Member

    Thanks you two.

    Not sure how original it is, but the idea was simply that with each encounter in an MMo we risk death. Some of the best times I have had are in epic fights, some I won, some I lost. What if you stretched that encounter over a long period, like a life time. The ebbs and flows of a good encounter over a lifetime?

    When we die in an encounter, no one frets over the lost progression of losing the fight. We do not care that we have to start the fight anew, just that the struggle of the encounter is fufilling and entertaining.

    Also, yes the RP features of this type of game would be something, "The king is dead, long live the King!"

  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,719Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by infiniti70

    Why does it need to be for nothing? Many players like EVE (as another poster brought up), does losing your ship mean you have nothing? I have already discussed zones changing over time, could be from weather, player content, so on. You say 10 hours...you really planning to die 100 times in 10 hours?

    The primary content of any good MMO is going to be the players themselves, without change to this content a game can not be dynamic imo. You may feel scaling encounters or random spawning events are dynamic, I don't. Changing economic conditions, power swings, having to change your playstyle from one life to the next is dynamic. For example:

    During a first life you obtain property and wealth, upon death you will your property to yourself as heir. Now you have property and money to start but are too weak to protect it, so you rent it to a more powerful player or hire guards to defend it. Either way you are not starting off the way you did the first time. Maybe you will everything to the church and your next toon starts with high reputation and that opens up early content not available through previous lifes. Not here to write a game, just here to give examples of progression following you and adding to dynamic content.

    True need for diversity would occur. What reason do I have to become a weaponsmith when there are 1000 maxed out players spaming LFW?  Even a new player would have hope he could be amoung the few to be able to make something, even if it is only for a while until rejoins the circle of life. 

    "Why does it need to be for nothing?" is the root of the problem.  That's the question players are going to ask, and one which is not answered by your list of "advantages" (most of which can be accomplished in other ways, without mangling progression.)

    No I'm not planning to die 100 times in 10 hours.  I'm trying to discuss the Very Bad version of an idea (deleting 10 hours of progression) instead of the Absolutely Unthinkably Bad version of an idea (deleting 1,000s of hours of progression.)  Although your example here makes it sound like the fake-permadeath of EVE where you don't really lose much (which is very different from the aging mechanic you described in the OP.  One is optional and the player controls the risk.  The other is just the game deleting player progression.)

    You have a specific bar for what you consider acceptably dynamic gameplay, however that doesn't make those other forms of dynamic content not dynamic. They're still dynamic, they're just not dynamic enough for you. Dynamic content is good, and a greater dynamic tends to be better.  But again, you can have extremely dynamic gameplay without removing progression, so this is all rather moot.

    "Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
    "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates

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