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Friday Fun Thread for January 26, 2024

Be advised: this thread is not for serious in-depth discussion of weighty topics (we have a link for that), this thread is not for anything Culture War related. This thread is for Fun. You got jokes? Share 'em. You got silly questions? Ask 'em.

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So I watched two youtube videos recently. "How a WWI Biplane works": https://youtube.com/watch?v=hgG4kGW_G9Y&t=2s and "How a P-51 Mustang Works": https://youtube.com/watch?v=hjsrqMe0B3s

I ended up surprised on multiple points. First, the WWI plane is simultaneously more complex and more well-thought-out than I assumed, but at the same time much flimsier than they might appear, and one gets a clear feeling for how young a field aviation was at the time. And then the WWII plane, designed maybe 25 years later. By comparison, the WWI plane is a folding chair strapped to a lawn mower tied to a kite, with some guns thrown in, whereas the WWII plane is just about one calculator and a booster rocket short of being the space shuttle. I honestly expected the difference to be less extreme.

Or maybe that's just German VS American engineering.

I went to the Udvar Haazy(sp?) air and space museum in the DC area recently. It was very fascinating to look at the relative sizes and complexity of different generations of fighter jets. The main thing that really struck me about the WWI and WWII planes is just how freaking small they were. The WWI planes definitely seemed like a lawn chair with an engine and some paper wings held together by string. The WWII planes were interesting as a comparison point for the modern fighter jets. They seemed obviously way more sturdy, but also so tiny.

I went and looked this up, but it fit my eyeballing estimates:

The b-17 had a max takeoff weight of about 32 tons. The F-15 had a max takeoff weight of 33.5 tons. An empty b-17 is heavier, and so its the average b-17. Compared to the Grumman F8F Bearcat (WWII fighter plane) with a max takeoff weight of 6.5 tons.

WWII plane is just about one calculator and a booster rocket short of being the space shuttle.

No. Just no. It cost a mere $800k in present day dollars to produce.

Meanwhile, rocket boosters, even the most economical ones such as Falcon 9 have a marginal cost of $15 million, and it takes $1 million dollar to refurbish them after a flight. Shuttle infamously cost $1 billion per start, an example of waste and inefficiency.

IF you want to compare spaceplanes to planes, SR-71 is about one of the few valid examples.

Well, congratulations. You have successfully out-autisted the German. That's what I get for attempting a joke.

Revel in your triumph as I commit Sudoku to expunge the shame of my defeat!

There are material costs, and then there engineering/design costs.

I think one of Musk's original reasons for going into the space game was that he realized material and engineering costs for rockets should be comparable to airplanes, but rockets were way more expensive. So presumably there was room for a lot of improvement either on the material or engineering side.

Even still, planes were a lot simpler back in the day... even the engineering costs were probably fairly low in comparison to what came later.

Those are neat videos. I then got recommended https://youtube.com/watch?v=4Nr1AgIfajI, which is from the same channel about an 18th century ship of the line.

I was able to understand most of how these vehicles worked thanks to these videos, but I definitely didn't realize before just how much had to be considered and engineered for these things to work as they did (do).

Not sure if people here play vidya, but I've seen scattered mentions so why not, this is now a vidya subthread. Have you played anything recently?

I've recently sunk an embarrassing amount of hours into Palworld, the "Pokemon at home" game that continues to break all-time records on Steam (second only to PUBG atm) and make Twitter seethe ever since it released into (very) early access a week ago. It's very janky and barebones, but the Pokemon Pal designs are imo solid and the core idea is incredibly fun. I wanted a more mature take on Pokemon and/or a proper open-world game in the franchise for decades - and judging by the absolute fecal tornadoes all over Twitter, Steam forums, 4chan etc. I'm far from the only one - and this game, while obviously being a parody, very much delivers both in one package.

Despite the obvious, obvious Pokemon parallels, the core gameplay is more reminiscent of ARK and other survival basebuilding games, with the key distinctions being 1) real-time combat, 2) the player being an entity on their own with weapons and shit instead of just a walking roster of pokemon, 3) base management revolving around putting your pokemon pals to work: some can chop or mine, Fire-types kindle ore furnaces, crops are planted by Grass-types and watered by Water-types, humanoid ones craft or harvest with their hands, etc. etc.

There are human NPCs in the game too, and if decades ago you've ever wondered what would happen if you threw a pokeball at a human, Palworld's answer is pretty decisive. Call me a rube but this pleases me greatly. American Pokemon, indeed.

The (Japanese, ironically) devs are a proper Ragtag Bunch of Misfits if 4chan translations of their JP TV interviews are to be believed. Bonus points for their (similarly unverified) justifications for guns and the typical current-year "Type 1/Type 2" character creator.

Of course I cannot fail to mention that the #69 entry of the Pokedex Paldeck is, I shit you not, a giant pink sex lizard complete with a heart-shaped crotch plate, whose ingame description explicitly mentions its taste for humans. My first encounter was having my base raided by a bunch of them and it was hysterical, I dislike furries/scalies but I cannot bring myself to disrespect such a mind-bogglingly based approach. Salazzle ain't shit.

The fact of how shameless the game is about itself probably says a lot about our gaming society in the current year, but personally I enjoy both the game itself and the controversy it generates. It's already been accused of everything under the sun, from the obvious animal abuse/slavery complaints, to blatantly ripping off Pokemon, to using AI for its models (I mean, take one look at Lovander above and tell me that is AI generated). Be warned - it is extremely janky and definitely not for everyone, it's in dire need of fixes ASAP, but the core gameplay feels incredibly fresh and I pray devs (having become millionaires overnight) will keep their collective nose to the grindstone. Game Freak urgently needs competition like 15 years ago.

What's with the word "vidya"?

I started and finished a game in a single session. I was happy with that, because through all of 2023 I only finished a single game. This time it was one of the shortest games (of legit quality) ever created, I think. A Short Hike. It was pretty fun and wholesome. I'd give it an 8/10.

What's with the word "vidya"?

AFAIK it's a 4chan cacography of "video" as in video games.

It might have originated from Hank Hill https://youtube.com/watch?v=6hzwKtJF_bg

I have also been playing palworld - it came at just the right time, because I wanted something to do while I caught up on the hilarious drama around Maddox's stalking documentary. It took me a while to get used to, because game freak had conditioned me well and I kept acting like a walking roster of pals instead of just doing stuff myself.

I also finished Prince of Persia The Lost Crown, which is a medium length metroidvania with parry based combat. And metroidvania fans can rejoice, because it nails the formula with a great map, great movement mechanics, some cool sequence breaks and some interesting biomes. And the most important element, and one that sadly gets neglected too often - the boss fights are anime as hell.

Took me a bit to deprogram too, although the trainer playstyle is viable as well, directly commanding ridden pals feels great (even if you can't dodge for shit) and the hard difficulty cuts my damage in half so I'm forced to mostly rely on pals anyway.

I dread the inevitable coming of the meta once PVP is implemented and the game (multiplayer at least) gets reduced to an ARK-esque shooter where the only mons in use are riding/flying mounts and the rest is filled with disposable Pengullets/Tocotocos to nuke bases into nonexistence.

Mordhau and Yakuza 0 and Nebuchadnezzar. Mordhau is frustrating/intense. Yakuza is fun. Nebuchadnezzar is meditative.

Anyone know if there are mods to restore cut trans substory from Yakuza 3? I want to play through without CW modifications.

Man, I envy you, Yakuza 0 is a fucking experience and a half, I would gladly wipe my memories of it just to go through it blind again. Loved every second of it.

I'm a relative newfriend to the series (started with 0), qrd on the substory?

There was a un-PC substory about a trans something in Yakuza 3, I hear. The remaster removed or edited it. I’d like to mod it back in or address any other bowdlerizations.

For what it's worth, the substories in Yakuza 3 are almost universally bad. So you're not really missing out on much regardless. I would say it's not until 5 or 6 where you will see the substories once again hit the same level of consistent quality they had in Yakuza 0.

Mordhau became an awful experience about a few days from launch, with sweaty players contorting like an epileptic ballerina to gently tap the side of your ear with a longsword swung at 0.1 m/s and doing full damage (a decapitation).

Plus even what I normally consider an acceptable ping, about 100, makes high level play impossible for me. Sucks to live in a country that doesn't have servers for anything but CS and Valorant I guess.

If only the devs had made damage dependent on velocity/momentum instead of the current absurd spin to win crap.

But I also happen to know enough about actual medieval warfare/HEMA to cry in agony at how weapons and armor are modeled, beyond my tolerance for simplification in a video game. Maybe I'll buy Chivalry 2 next, it seems far more fun.

I used to play Chivalry 1, and by god you never gave Mordhau a fair shake because it's miles and leagues better than Chivalry 1. And Chivalry 2 is not. By comparison, the pirouettes and contortions are extremely subdued in Mordhau, and it's relatively few players who rely on them. And the devs are still active in preventing those. And if it's the damage model that turns you off, then Chivalry is no-go, because it uses pretty much exactly the same design.

Yes it's not a HEMA simulator. There's Hellish Quart for that. And Mount-&-Blade-like velocity-based damage models do even more poorly in multiplayer, where any ping above 0 means the damage you take and deal is pretty much randomized. Mordhau, even if it doesn't attempt to model realistic Harnischfechten, is just a gem of gameplay. Difficult, sure - there's a high skill ceiling. But that also means there's a lot to dig into if you appreciate mechanical depth. Can veteran players lay your armored knight flat with nothing but a bollocks dagger or a horse turd? Yes. Just gang up with your teammates and shank them in the back.

Recently started Outward and it is a BLAST. It's probably not everyone's cup of tea, but man is it a fun medieval fantasy RPG.

Recently updated to a stationary PC after years of laptop gaming, so I'm working through my backlog. Currently playing DMC5. Dodging is notably harder than I recall from playing DMC3 a long time ago, but maybe I should just try it on a controller and see how it goes.

You're playing a DMC game on mouse and keyboard? That's probably a tougher challenge than trying to beat it in Dante Must Die difficulty with a controller. I thought DMC5 felt a lot like DMC3 in terms of the combat system including the rolls, but obviously with a lot of extra complexities in part due to having 2 other characters than Dante. One thing is that Dante by default in DMC3 had a dash due to defaulting to his Trickster style, but Nero and V don't have access to that and can only dodge by doing a lock-on roll.

I got recruited and then quit one of the Ark official pvp megatribes last month.

The game runs like shit atm, it's never going to not suck for that type of gameplay, and if that tribe is any indication, over time (2015-2023) the average IQ of megatribe players went down by cca 10 pts. That they added pokéballs and made everything simpler didn't help. I mean to write a detailed review of the online pvp play given the hours I've spent on it. It was an interesting social experiment.

Palworld sounds intriguing conceptwise but is violently disgusting me aesthetically, and seeing how much Ark sucked to me because of bad programming, and how much it still sucks - bases spend minutes to fully load even now, the idea of playing something like Ark but written by even bigger amateurs is out of the question.

Programming wise I'd be leery to invest any time in it even if it had impeccable aesthetics and instead of using pokéballs to catch monsters the logistic gameplay loop involved firing nets to catch impossibly attractive waifus and putting them to work on the ammo production lines.

No experience with MP, I mostly play solo because I have no friends burned out completely on PVP, I lasted about 300hrs in Apex before uninstalling and haven't played a FPS since. For the same reasons I haven't tried Palworld MP, the game is a week old and the jank is all over the place, on release your guildmates could literally corrupt your MP savefile even if you were offline.

According to the roadmap PVP is a priority for devs once they squash all the major bugs, which, uh, doesn't fill me with confidence. I understand this is vital for the game's longevity but this (unreleased) thing sounds like a recipe for disaster and I dread to imagine the soulless metafaggotry which will immediately infest the Pokemon aspect of the game, I confidently predict the most meta pal will be Pengullet because it can be found very early on and its innate skill, available closer to midgame, launches him as a fuck-off nuke that obliterates everything in the blast radius (including the Pengullet). Not to mention the standard PVP survcrafting woes where the sole marker of your success in multiplayer is how little you sleep to amass resources 24/7 and sabotage opponents while they're offline. Here's hoping the game doesn't go the way of Fortnite StW and I can still enjoy an occasional update not aimed at PVP.

Besides, jank is good in moderation, so what if you can capture bosses via a glitch and their mons have like 10x the HP of a normal one? Look, it still has Zoe on its back! I can fix her put her to work!

instead of using pokéballs to catch monsters the logistic gameplay loop involved firing nets at catching impossibly attractive waifus and putting them to work on the ammo production lines.

You jest(?) but I legitimately hope this "genre" becomes a fad and takes off, there's definitely a lot of (evidently untapped) potential here.

The boss capture glitch should really become a legit feature, beat a giant lightning Totoro and get the girl as a bonus. The game already lets you capture humans so what's the holdup, worst case you can always sell her off to a shady smuggler or something.

Not to mention the standard PVP survcrafting woes where the sole marker of your success in multiplayer is how little you sleep to amass resources 24/7 and sabotage opponents while they're offline.

The trick there of course is to befriend people around the globe with the same problem so there's always someone online.

That's how people solved the problem in Ark. Once you were in a crew of ~30 and allied to a couple hundred group, you could rest easy knowing nobody but the biggest guys would invade you. And even if they logged into the server in mass and hogged all the slots, you could always crash the server to get in your own guys to even things out.

Devolved into days long siege battles. Not great, not terrible tbh.

I've been on a Warhammer kick playing Rogue Trader and TW Warhammer III.

I think I put 50 hours into RT.

I'd say it's a 7.5/10 game, but the skill system is stupid, I feel like none of it is remotely intuitive, and would have much preferred something like Mechanicus. Some enemies are ridiculously bullet spongy, and accuracy with burst or full auto is comically hard. You can tune the former in the difficulty settings, but I remain convinced a burst of bolt shells to an unarmoured Cultist should gib them, and even a minor Daemon shouldn't shrug off a plasma blast to the face.

I have many minor niggles with it, but it's still a solid RPG, and we Warhammer 40k fans needed one of those.

I think I'll give it another go when there's more DLC, Tau, Necrons and the like, and I'm flabbergasted we didn't get Orks from the start.

I found the beta a month before launch, and probably put 20 hours into that and a bit less into the release.

I feel like none of it is remotely intuitive

I can't agree more with that. I have yet to have an idea what I'll be doing on the next level up and what I should be prioritizing. But I love how well it reflects the theme and setting, that part is amazing.

Giving Argenta a las gun early was the best random accident I've made she's lethal with that in the early game.

Argenta can hard carry if you spec into Bolters, later Heavy Bolters. With buffs and extra turns from Officers, she can clear rooms solo.

Sadly the skill system is so unintuitive that I had to look up a guide to figure out how to do that, but it works wonders. I still don't think an RPG should require minmaxing of that nature, but yeah, at least you can tweak difficulty settings to make it a bit more palatable.

I use the Interrogator as a tank, and mf can dodge for days and tie up a horde, all while healing himself, and everyone pops up those outside friendly fire range.

Eeh, I'm on a nostalgia/clean-steam-library path recently. Nox is the greatest isometric action game, fite me.

Thanks to completing my exams and only being assigned half hours at my job (a bunch of residents joined, so they're overstaffed), I've been no-lifing Escape From Tarkov.

Great game, albeit bad for your cardiovascular and mental health.

For the unacquainted, imagine if PUBG worked with you bringing your own gear into a match, and being able to take what you found out, or spend money to buy new gear. Far more hardcore in mechanics, map design and realism than anything else on the market, including loose copies like Warzone. If you die with that meta gun and armor worth a day's grinding, sucks to suck, you're not getting it back, unless you paid for "insurance", where a friendly neighborhood armed hobo combs the map for what's leftover and delivers the dregs for a fee.

It uses realistic ballistics, real guns and aftermarket equipment (for the most part), and a more in depth medical system than the overwhelming majority of non-modded games out there. A map can take days to learn to navigate. A single bullet can end your day, even if you're a sweaty Chad with 4000 hours in the game, lobbed by a panicked newbie who decided the correct thing to do when being confronted by the Terminator was to spray it with the equivalent of BBs. I don't play it solo these days, far too stressful, but I've made enough random Discord buddies that I can throw together a reasonably competent fireteam and apply some real world tactics. All those American soldiers stationed in Korea are good for something other than keeping NK at bay, eh?

Now, excuse me while I die from a stroke after seeing Amoxicillin used as a painkiller, or a simple vein transilluminator for IV cannulation exist as an item worth more in cash than some of the best guns money can buy.

And of course, some Total War Warhammer 3, for my Aztec Lizardmen fighting Rodents of Unusual Size fix.

Maybe some Arma 3, as the Zeus, so I can use real human beings as stand-ins for my childhood toy soldiers (it's pretty much DND with guns, or a COD campaign being built on the fly by a GM desperate to stop Arma 3's physics and AI from launching players into the stratosphere).

I am looking forward to a game called Grey Zone Warfare, which seems to be strongly inspired by Tarkov but far more intent on doing everything better, with less technical debt and Russian gamedev incompetence/jank. I am cautiously optimistic, and who knows, maybe I'll get my name in the credits for helping design their medical system, since the devs were kind enough to reach out to me when I made an enormous effort post on the tradeoffs between realism and gameplay when it comes to medical systems in hardcore FPS milsims like theirs.

Ah, Tarkov.

No, I'd rather play Hunt: Showdown, which forgoes the tacticool aesthetics in favor of emo cowboys, and where losing your gear just means that you need to buy it back with half a match's worth of earnings. Less gear fear, more Schofield revolvers.

One in 2-3 scav rounds you can go back with an SKS or some crappy AK. If the game is realistic, you don't really need anything else for most gameplay. AK is a perfectly serviceable weapon, SKS too.

I have nothing against Hunt, but I refuse to use weapons antiquated by WW1, if it doesn't take picatinny rails or newer, I don't want it 🙏

(Is it obvious I have raging bloodthirst for Mosin users in Tarkov?)

Hunt players will never stop complaining about players who use the Dolch (really a Mauser broomhandle), since its just too modern and ruins the Western feeling of the game. Or so they say.

I for one have a burning hatred of those clowns who play with bows and arrows or crossbows and manage to 360° noscope me with that. Damn cavemen.

Praying they add a spear to the game so the crossbow players have something to complain about.

Ooops. I should have been more clear, it's the Sig MCX Spear, the civilian version of the XM5.

Genuine question - what is the appeal of Tarkov? 3k hours of Dota burned me out on PVP forever but my entire IRL circle is completely addicted to it, every new wipe they sink a month or two into it uninterrupted. Is it the competitive aspect? The "ok ONE more raid" grinding/progression? The random loot? Losing your shit on death so you're forced to actually tryhard? Subjectively I noticed a big overlap of Tarkov with Path of Exile players so surely the repetitive autistic grinding must be part of the appeal, also the hate/love relationship with the game for most of them is almost 1:1 with Dota (I suppose that's what you mean by "bad for your health" too). Every single one of them hates the stupid janky-ass game but cannot stop playing it whenever available.

Tarkov accommodates a lot of different playstyles, but the main appeal can be summed up by:

  1. High stakes PVP where hours of genuine effort can hinge upon a gunfight.
  2. Insane gun customization that matters, with easy access to the best parts locked behind quests and progression.
  3. Maps with a level of fidelity unseen elsewhere.

You can snipe from hundreds of meters from a bush. You can take an SMG loaded with armor piercing bullets and bumrush anything you hear. You can play solo or as a team, and that doesn't change matchmaking. You can run into a single scared newbie, or a stampeding herd of 5 players more coordinated than SEAL Team 6 who brought ten grenades to a gunfight and prefer to clear rooms without ever stepping in.

You can be as brave and homicidal, or as cowardly and quiet as you like. Neither is a strictly dominant strategy, once you know the msps and rotations.

For me, it's the thrill of outsmarting other players and putting a bullet in their head, even if I'm average in a fight. It also lets me be a firearms nerd while stuck in countries where I can't own one I care about.

I wonder if the fact that the devs are Japanese makes them more or less likely to get away with it legally.

Japan has surprisingly zealous copyright enforcement with strict laws. One of its cultural failures. The Pokémon company is investigating Palworld but I believe moreso due to mods that introduce actual Pokémon(tm) which were hosted then purged from NexusMods.

I've been enjoying Sunset Overdrive. I grew up playing quake type games and I simply cannot bear cover shooters with chest high walls (Wolfenstein, looking at you). SO doesn't take itself seriously and is overall great fun. Lots of weapon variety, lots of movement options, and the gameplay doesn't get too stale. My only complaint is that it's somewhat too easy, I only died a few times in the main campaign which means that there's not much point in screwing around with amps. But the DLC seems a bit harder so far.

I love Sunset Overdrive, it’s a shame it didn’t sell because it’s probably the best Xbox exclusive of the last generation.

I tried to replay the game recently but couldn't get over the slow start before you actually get to play with upgraded toys, and the base defense tutorial mission put me to sleep.

Fortunately it was ported to PC in 2018 so people without consoles can play it too. It is pretty underrated though.

In December 2023, Insomniac Games was targeted in a ransomware attack by the group Rhysida, who published 1.6 terabytes (TB) of information concerning employee documentation, development assets and corporate timelines related to the developer.[100] A planned Sunset Overdrive sequel was purportedly in production since 2015, but was cancelled the following year in favor of the studio prioritizing Marvel's Spider-Man (2018) for PlayStation 4.

Remember what they took from you.

and judging by the absolute fecal tornadoes all over Twitter, Steam forums, 4chan etc.

Can someone steelman the shitstorm for me? My brain keeps boiling it down to "these losers have no right to be this successful" and "brand loyalty gone too far", am I missing something?

The steelman is that it looks and feels a lot like shovelware, and both Minecraft-likes and the basebuilding genres are filled with them, to the genres' detriment.

Rayon bring up ARK, and that gets pretty bad at times -- the game is notoriously buggy (and so prone to subtle save-breaking glitches that most servers will run up days or up to a week of save backups, at 100+mb per), depended on user mods for basic QoL functionality for the better part of a decade, is hilariously (500GB install!) badly optimized, and throws out increasingly unbalanced expansion- or map-specific content into a heavily PvP-focused game -- but the worst part is that it's a success story, despite the flirtations with bankruptcy. It made it to a mostly-working final release, it has a fandom today, you can (and imo should) run your own servers, the story completed with the third expansion (and then got two fillers to bridge to the sequel, releasing in 2022 2024 SoonTM). Similarly, Eco is still getting updates five years in, and always been as much as political statement as an actual game, but it's also mostly been lipstick on a pig.

By contrast, Windborne died a pretty awful death, and TUG was taken down to await a v2.0 that will never come. Planet Explorers is at least free to play (with story DLC), which I absolutely can't recommend. Skysaga] actually got a small fandom together before falling over. And those are the memorable ones.

Even where it's not that overt of a failure, there's just a lot of stuff that gets made with asset flips, feted at length, given a long and shiny roadmap, and then completely ignored. There's nothing that inherently prevents this stuff from having tons of polish, or unique or clever mechanics or story, but there's a lot of reasons to be suspicious, not least of all that the previous game from the same dev has a lot of mechanical overlap... and are still in early access.

Palworld seems like it has more work put toward it, and it looks more competent, but no small amount of that reflects the Unity sphere have better cheap assets available. And especially if Nintendo decides to leave a Rapidash Rooby's head in the developer's bed, there's more reasons than normal to expect that this game might not get out of eternal early access. Which gets to the more common complaint.

The more common complaint is that it's incredibly overt in its cloning, even by the standards of satire. Now, that satire is genuinely present, if sometimes crossing the line from 'biting and clever' to 'Rick and Morty would think it a little too low', but even if this (might -- Japan doesn't really have a fair use exception for parody) make it legal as a matter of law, it makes a lot of things feel particularly shallow at first glance, and lazy more often. I don't know that this would have been as big an issue five years ago, but AI-gen and Palworld dev's takes on AI don't help, even if I'm skeptical that any AI-gen was used here -- I think that's a lot of what started things off.

((And it doesn't just borrow the mons, which tbf are only sometimes that bad. The tech tree's UI layout is very reminiscent of Ark's, for example, which... why? It's famously bad there, why not at least steal something that doesn't suck?))

The... less charitable take is that the line between condone and criticize has almost completely dissolved for at least some of the political field. The game features firearms, animal cruelty, slave labor, pokepal-cannibalism and -shields (and whatever the 'pal essence' gimmick is), so on, all as things the players can do, and some that you're pretty strongly incentivized to do. And whatever charity that some people might have been willing to extend (or overextend) if they liked the stuff, they're absolutely going to hate on it if they already didn't want to like the game's concept.

The steelman is that it looks and feels a lot like shovelware, and both Minecraft-likes and the basebuilding genres are filled with them, to the genres' detriment.

...So why is it so goddamn awesome? Like, I've been dumping multiple late-night gaming sessions into it, and I'm loving it. Apparently a lot of other people are loving it too, given the massive concurrent players at the moment. Collecting resources and capturing pokeymans is fun. the automation feels pretty limited, but what there is of it is fun as well. The combat is pretty good, with the transition from base crossbow to musket being one of the most absurdly satisfying gameplay experiences in recent memory. The jank is definately there; I hate missing throws with the orbs, I hate losing orbs to a miss, building can be twitchy, interaction with entities can be a bit spotty, a few of the controls can feel a bit unintuitive... but that all pales in comparison to the joy of exploring and building and acquiring. And apparently, a lot of other people agree.

The criticism feels like it's mainly coming from critics, not players, and we're seeing another example of hostility between the consumers and the intelligentsia. I'd be lying if I didn't admit that it feels real good to see members of the games journo set taking a hard L fighting obvious consumer consensus.

pal-cannibalism

Regular cannibalism too. You can capture humans, and apparently the cleaver works on them as well, though I suppose they technically don't drop food products. Hey, mod opportunity!

Yeah, that's definitely fair. I've not had a chance to play anything in the last couple weeks, and almost all of the serious critics are pretty clearly working more from marketing material or watching other people's streamed play. I don't know that's entirely Critics-as-in-intelligentsia -- I've definitely seen complaints from Ark/Valheim player circles, although that seems to be changing a bit as bigger names like Syntac seem to be sticking with it -- but it's definitely a complaint that makes more sense outside of the box. Among those who've bought and played it, reactions generally seem far more positive.

(and from what I've heard, bad as building and entity interactions are, they're still not Ark-bad.)

Eco

That brings me back. I no-lifed Eco for a couple of weeks on a public server with a few friends close to the Steam release and it was a surprisingly fun game to optimize (until our group got called into a "tribunal" for suspicion of exploiting, because our 4 players had progressed much further than the rest of the 200+ player server: supposedly we were abusing a bug that let you respec professions for free, in reality we simply specialized purely into unlocking better tech and completely ignored all of the efficiency bonuses, powering through with raw playtime). The player economy stuff was great: our currency become the de facto standard by cornering the market on higher-tier tech, and then we could discreetly mint more coins as we needed to buy up raw resources for "free". I haven't kept up with the game since, but as I understand it there were quite a few updates to prevent that particular style of gameplay.

Re: Palworld, I think your assessment is largely on the mark, though with a caveat that Palworld, mechanically, does interesting things that other (multiplayer) survival/base builder games don't. Or at least it tries to, anyway -- there are obvious issues that may or may not be addressed. Sure, Conan Exiles had a similar "recruitment" feature where you kidnapped enemies and forced them to work in your base, and you could even bring them along in a party, but it was quite horribly executed (IIRC with default settings you needed to "break them on the wheel" in classic Conan-fashion for literal hours: in Palworld you just toss a sphere and pray to RNGesus). Pals have needs and will path around your base to fulfill them: if you drop resources, they'll actually go pick them up and deliver them. This isn't technically impressive or anything like that, but it brings Palworld a step closer to something like Kenshi vs. a game like Conan where the NPCs are just crafting boosts. I recently played Enshrouded, another new Early Access survival game, and while I love the voxel-based building system (though I wish there were a few Valheim-style restrictions, like with smoke/structural support) the "NPCs" there are literally just crafting stations: you dump them in a spot and then they're completely static. At least in Terraria NPCs wander around a bit! It is shocking that no other game attempts what Palworld does. Hell, even Starfield, which is singleplayer(!!) has an utterly undeveloped base-building system compared to Palworld, and that's a game that had both Fallout 76 and Fallout 4 to build off of, but somehow managed to be a major step backwards.

Dealing with NPCs doing things in any not-fake way is surprisingly rough, especially if you have any serious amount of building or terrain movement going on -- I dunno whether it's technically impressive, but getting it to behave non-crazy ways without chugging down a server takes more effort than you might expect.

I did some unrelated small work (json and ui futzing) on a Minecraft mod called Minecolonies a few years ago, which tried to have 4 to 250 npcs doing pretty basic activities in a well-defined range, and the developers who were running the main pathfinding code had to pull some amazing tricks and awkward compromises to have it work, and it was still extremely scary just trying to help diagnose or replicate failure modes. Just the question of 'find trees in X blocks from X position had a million different ways to break.

Ark/Palworld is a slightly easier version of the problem since there's fewer nav updates (building, not block), it's a sparser field to work with, and you can more easily register just the relevant ones, but it's still something where I've got a huge amount of patience for people who try it and get a slightly-buggy result.

(Though, uh, too buggy can be a problem: Ark's solution still occasionally resulted in disappearing critters ten years in, bad enough that one of the most popular mods was a hitching post, and that was only Terraria-level wandering.)

I think there are a lot of defenses, and far more possibility: Palworld is, after all, just recently into early access, and some few games have done amazing things with the model, and just by allowing private servers and a modding api they've done a lot better than some of the more obnoxious Steam shovelware (and just by releasing something playable, they're better than the typical kickstarter scam). I'll probably try the game eventually once my free time has been consumed less by work and stem outreach stuff.

But I think there's something more than Arjin's proposed causes, than loser-hate or Nintendo-loyalty (or immune reaction to AIgen proponents).

Even where it's not that overt of a failure, there's just a lot of stuff that gets made with asset flips, feted at length, given a long and shiny roadmap, and then completely ignored.

A valid concern, but surely, at this point everybody buying early access knows what they're signing up for?

The more common complaint is that it's incredibly overt in its cloning, even by the standards of satire.

Now this is the bit I feel I need explained - so what? I understand why Nintendo would be crying for blood, but so far they seem to be the most reasonable people of all involved, how is this a problem for players? Cheap knock-offs have been a thing since forever, normally buying one would mark you as low-status, so my first question is, if it's really that bad, how did this thing take off at all? Why is everybody trying to get in on some of the action, rather than pointing and laughing at all the losers playing discount-pokemon? Perhaps naively, the first explanation that comes to mind is that they must be scratching some kind of an itch people can't get scratched anywhere else, and so my brain ends up rounding it off to jealousy. Am I missing something obvious about cloning being bad?

((And it doesn't just borrow the mons, which tbf are only sometimes that bad. The tech tree's UI layout is very reminiscent of Ark's, for example, which... why? It's famously bad there, why not at least steal something that doesn't suck?))

Well if you want to say the UI sucks, that's fair enough, but I cannot take the complaint of "stealing UI" seriously.

surely, at this point everybody buying early access knows what they're signing up for?

To be fair, one man's early access is another man's complete package, in my opinion Early Access titles vastly vary in quality and can be as good as complete games even when still in "beta" (though I do agree open-world survival crafting games have a higher risk factor, it's a meme for a reason). The trick is mostly in sniffing out gems from the piles and piles of shit. The most egregious example is probably 7 Days to Die, it's in "alpha" for over 10 years at this point but it's a complete game for all intents and purposes and I've gotten a lot of hours out of it. Backpack Battles isn't even technically out yet, there's only a demo, but it's deceptively addictive and has surprisingly deep mechanics, which you can put to the test against other players in ranked matches. Chrono Ark keeps delaying its final update but everything else is basically complete, it's extremely impressive mechanics-wise and I genuinely consider it one of the best roguelike deckbuilders out there, above even Slay the Spire. My personal recommendation.

Palworld is... eeeh, 50/50 in this regard I'd say, the core is already incredibly solid and the base building is surprisingly fleshed out, but the AI and especially pathfinding is dreadful and needs immediate fixes, and the midgame onwards needs to be more fleshed out. Copper ore is absolutely central to your progression but you can never get enough of it, it's way too heavy to mine and carry home, and it cannot be reliably automated - ore nodes respawn, but even if you build a base on top of them, your pals will somehow only mine when you are there with them (I once left a base for an hour and came back to 12 pieces of ore, a single node is worth at least 20). Chalk it up to general pathfinding jank, my base pals regularly end up stuck on top of trees, rocks, whatever the fuck and simply give up until I throw them off or they pass out from starvation.

Why is everybody trying to get in on some of the action, rather than pointing and laughing at all the losers playing discount-pokemon? Perhaps naively, the first explanation that comes to mind is that they must be scratching some kind of an itch people can't get scratched anywhere else, and so my brain ends up rounding it off to jealousy.

"It was revealed to me in a dream"

Seconding gattsuru below in that Palworld absolutely does scratch an itch that nothing else scratches, for me it was the long-awaited open-world Pokemon game, with real-time combat and a good system of pokemon pal interactions to boot. I emulated Legends: Arceus before and thought it was pretty decent, but it wasn't until a week ago that it really sank in just how barebones Arceus is, it's arguably even jankier than Palworld, interactions are nonexistent (your ride/glider mons are all fixed unlike Palworld too) and the boss fights are just hilarity, it's basically a normal pokemon battle but occasionally you run around the boss and throw tranqs at it for half a minute so it goes into a battle phase again.

Palworld's boss fights, even basic as they are, are so far above in comparison it's not even funny - almost purely by virtue of you the player actively dodging and participating. Even things as simple as the trick of recalling your pal to avoid hard-hitting attacks aimed at it add so much to the perception of yourself as a trainer working in tandem with your team. In my opinion this is exactly what is missing from Pokemon.

A valid concern, but surely, at this point everybody buying early access knows what they're signing up for?

You would think so, but there's no small number of fools willing to pay out for 'em still, and bitching about shovelware is how people warn each other. And there's a messier question of whether high-profiles for some of the worst games end up undermining better games in the same genre: I'll point to both ShooterGame.exe Ark (as rough as it was) and Vintage Story for games that had much rougher times getting player buy-in given how much absolute schlock was getting thrown up onto Steam.

Of course, that just gets back to the question of whether this is or just looks like shovelware.

I understand why Nintendo would be crying for blood, but so far they seem to be the most reasonable people of all involved, how is this a problem for players?

I mean, Nintendo's probably being reasonable while they coordinate the lawsuit (/hitmen), but you're certainly right in that a lot of (often very strongly anticorporatist otherwise!) people are just being bizarrely fast to put their names on the line for a big company. And some people just genuinely do have principled stances on intellectual property that I don't share nor can there really be a utilitarian (and maybe even virtue-based) argument on.

Perhaps naively, the first explanation that comes to mind is that they must be scratching some kind of an itch people can't get scratched anywhere else, and so my brain ends up rounding it off to jealousy. Am I missing something obvious about cloning being bad?

Oh, agree that Palworld absolutely scratched an itch people were looking for. If you went in time a year ago and told Ark people there'd be a less-janky fantasy game with a big emphasis on more casual-friendly play and smarter critter mechanics, they'd absolutely have drooled over it, and I think a lot of that has driven some interest from Ark/Valheim players. ((It also looks like it hits a particularly strong niche within that play, since it's just at the sweet spot of a few different game behaviors.))

And there's a fair complaint that clones aren't necessarily bad; fanfiction as a whole is about taking someone's idea into novel places (sometimes even well), and going too far from the source material in satire risks undermining any recognition. To some extent, I think that's a part of why people are complaining as loudly. If this were just another PUGB clone, it could go in the pit with the rest.

There's a reasonable response (and I think rayon and, to a lesser extent, FCfromSSC already make it) that this game is interesting, just not in ways that a lot of people see when they're looking at My Neighbor Electrobuzz, but there's 30 USD jump from here to there.

Well if you want to say the UI sucks, that's fair enough, but I cannot take the complaint of "stealing UI" seriously.

I haven't played the game; it's quite possible it works better for Palworld than Ark, given the different tech tree. But I bring it up as something that's harder to justify as part of the parody/satire. Legally, yeah, it doesn't matter, and morally 'oh no a level-based list with a pickaxe' is not exactly stealing the factory keys.

Cheap knock-offs have been a thing since forever, normally buying one would mark you as low-status, so my first question is, if it's really that bad, how did this thing take off at all?

Imagine Lego veering off into self-referential and obscure new themes, or concentrating too much on third-party themes with lots of custom parts and no real rebuildability. Then one of the Chinese toy makers, like Mould King, releases a Lego-compatible city or space or pirate line-up of sets. The designs are clearly Lego-inspired, but they are original and full of clever interactive stuff, the pieces fit together well enough that you don't really notice it's not Lego, and when they release a new locomotive they damn well make sure it can be motorized.

So you get vocal Lego purists that say they will never touch these sets, and a lot of people who go, "wow, I can't believe it's this good, it's like Lego, but fun again!"

Honestly this is my read too, but if I had to try - Palworld is totally shameless about its influences, the CEO is on record saying he's a trendchaser and isn't shy of stealing popular mechanics from other games.

It can be considered somewhat shallow, I suppose. The not-Pokemon aren't directly ripped but the Pokemon parallels are glaringly obvious, and many of them can be succinctly described as "%Pokemon% but %different_type%". The game is early access, a business model that doesn't inspire confidence. The game uses a lot of basic UE5 assets, down to the gliders/pickaxe swings identical to Fortnite. The guns seem to be mostly an afterthought (although a very detailed afterthought - the gun animator is definitely a /k/ommando), and the exploitation is over the top at times - I don't have a screenshot but you can butcher captured pals for drops, complete with a gratuitous pixel filter over the pal as it's being slaughtered. Incidentally, this can also be done on captured humans.

On the other hand, the game has laid bare everything wrong with modern Pokemon games - this humble webm sent the entire /vp/ board into a hysterical meltdown over how, almost thirty years in, Pokemon games still have nothing resembling even such a basic level of interaction with your companions yes I played Scarlet/Violet, picnics are shit, mons barely interact. The base management, far from being "exploitation", actually makes your pal team feel that much more alive and integral to the world compared to pokemon who might as well be naked statblocks - you survive and thrive alongside them both in and out of actual combat. To offset the default assets in other aspects of the game, the pokemon pals themselves have handcrafted animations, different for every one, even their work animations differ: a small penguin transports stuff by balancing it on its head, while a bigger Lovander has actual hands and just picks things up, holding them high like a plate of food.

Many (including me) are convinced a literal small indie company is running laps around the media juggernaut, publicly embarrassing it on its own turf, and the massive demand (Palworld already outsold Sword/Shield and Legends: Arceus) convincingly backs up that this is exactly what people want. Game Freak has absolutely no excuse.

edit: reuploaded webms

To be fair, Pokemon Sun/Moon had both the Pokemon Refresh mechanic and the weird idle game island thing.

But otherwise agreed. Even the pokemon show are really inconsistent about how much pokemon are part of people's lives outside of trainer battles or other competitions; the games have never been able to engage well with the pokemon as characters rather than stat blocks. And there's a lot of interest in it.

"Pokemon meets Zelda" was something probably every kid considered back at the time of Pokemon Red/Blue, and modded-world attempts to get some sort of serious interactions between mons or between the trainer and mons dated back some of the earliest Pokemon mods in Minecraft and elsewhere. There's been a few moderately-successful merges touching on the farming sim world (Slime Rancher is one of the more minimalistic, with only about a dozen base slime species).

Maybe Palworld will get more serious about that as time goes on (I think I've heard you can already have a slave pal revolt?) and end up where rather than just showing all the ways being a Pokemon Trainer could make you an awful person, it contrasts the factory farm approach with a more personalized and even-handed one that might not be as strong or efficient but comes with other benefits (or less chance of getting eaten in your sleep). Or maybe it will inspire Nintendo to step up from the crappy shovelware, or for someone else to do a more creative take.

Maybe Palworld will get more serious about that as time goes on (I think I've heard you can already have a slave pal revolt?)

It's technically already there, they don't revolt (yet?) but working pals have a SAN meter which drains as they work and refills as they eat, sleep or use amenities like hot springs. As SAN dips lower, they start slacking off and stress eating, plundering the contents of the feeding bin more quickly. Lower still, and they get depressed, start sleeping constantly or even injuring themselves, with productivity in the gutter. There are meds to treat conditions, but they're expensive and have to be fed individually.

There's even a buildable lectern that allows you to play full-on slavedriver and toggle work modes between normal, hard and slave labor super hard work, making them work much faster in exchange for a greater drain on their hunger and SAN. I tried it and, hilariously, it's completely not worth it in the current state - the productivity gains are noticeable but entirely offset by pals slacking off and stuffing themselves much more often (during which they obviously don't work).

Basically, even the based and redpilled pokemon slave factory game incentivizes you to treat your workers with care and provide them with decent food (making trips to the feeder less frequent), beds and amenities (less stress = less slacking). People crying about animal abuse clearly don't play the game, slavery is just plain inefficient.

maybe it will inspire Nintendo to step up from the crappy shovelware

Hate-reading /vp/ for a week after the release makes me very much doubt that, the Pokemon fans (at least those) are in extreme denial and display impossible feats of mental gymnastics. They will consume product Pokemon game and be excited for the next product Pokemon game.

It's technically already there, they don't revolt (yet?) but working pals have a SAN meter which drains as they work and refills as they eat, sleep or use amenities like hot springs.

Ah, that makes more sense. The Dwarf Fortress player in me loves the idea of a tantrum spiral, especially since there's such an asymmetry between how many Pals people look to end up having around their base in the late-game vs how many they can have on them at once, but I could definitely see that being too frustrating even if you had a ton of warning signs about it.

I tried it and, hilariously, it's completely not worth it in the current state - the productivity gains are noticeable but entirely offset by pals slacking off and stuffing themselves much more often (during which they obviously don't work).

Interesting. I wonder if the 'harsher' modes are intended as a panic button for short bursts, or if players are intended to use longer periods at default-speed (such as dedicated servers when offline) to build up simple resources to support short bursts of the hard and super-hard work when players are online.

They will consume product Pokemon game and be excited for the next product Pokemon game.

Maybe. A lot of these people are otherwise pretty critical of Pokemon, though, especially given recent flops or semi-flops like Arceus.

But even if the marginal buyer (or their parent's/grandma) doesn't end changing orders, this could still be a pretty hot fire under Nintendo's marketing and executive side, if it doesn't get solved by the legal one.

Well, I definitely hope Palworld lends its weight to the heaps of criticisms against Pokemon games. The camel's back will break someday.

The only justification I think is legit is that they are hamstrung by having to make games for the Switch, which realistically could never run something like Palworld. Dex cuts are extremely unpopular in the fanbase but those are the kinds of measures they have to take to fit their shit into a Switch (well at least I thought this until they started selling DLCs which add cut mons back, kek). The technical debt is catching up with them, they really should work on their 3d engine because SwSh and SV have both been, shall we say, lackluster animation/detail-wise. They have to start improving at some point, Palworld will not be the last to encroach on their lunch, not after such a smash hit.

>linking directly to 4chan webms that will disappear in a few days

/v/ is not indexed by desuarchive and I cba to reupload + the thread lives for a week anyway. Any site where I can easily upload webms to link?

God I'm a retard, thanks for reminding me catbox accepts webms. Have a bonus on the house.

Why is food waste just turned a blind eye to in Asian cooking? Here are a few recent ones I can think of.

  • Ramen broth. Does anyone ever actually finish the entire bowl of broth? Do we need the noodles to swim in the broth as opposed to just idk have enough broth to still sip, but not throw out 3/4ths of it? After all all the work of making ramen is just making the broth.
  • Same for pho.
  • All the dips they bring out in a Middle Eastern restaurant. Yeah, I have never seen anyone finish all the dips.
  • All the greens and pickles they also bring out in the middle eastern restaurants.
  • The banchan in Korean restaurants. Once again, no one finishes all of these.
  • All that fucking oil that certain Sichuan dishes come with. I once got served a fish that was swimming in a salad bowl full of oil.
  • All that hotpot broth!!, does every table need a dutch oven sized amount of broth? I'm sure a small saucepan is more than enough for the amount of broth you actually need to cook an average hotpot serving.

I understand broth for the most part is made of scraps and is cheap. But this is just money sitting on the table. You can solve itt by.. serving smaller portions. What about not wasting food on principle? I've not noticed such obvious food waste in western cooking, even though I am sure a lot of it is happening behind the scenes.

I understand trying to not waste things probably has diminishing and probably negative returns past a certain point, but is that a fact of the universe or just an excuse that we are okay with accepting ?


In a similar vein, in 2024, do we not have the technology to produce deep fried results without wasting vats of oil? Deep fried foods are significantly improved by using better (more expensive) fats such as olive oil, butter or beef tallow. If we could get deep fried results without using a barrel of oil, we could have better fats as the default. It won't show up in the GDP figures, but it will be increased QOL.

Ramen broth. Does anyone ever actually finish the entire bowl of broth? Do we need the noodles to swim in the broth as opposed to just idk have enough broth to still sip, but not throw out 3/4ths of it? After all all the work of making ramen is just making the broth.

The banchan in Korean restaurants. Once again, no one finishes all of these.

These both strike me as just plain wrong. Basically everyone I know always finishes all of the broth when they eat ramen. Drinking up the broth, possibly adding more rice or noodles to it to soak it up, is considered just a standard part of eating ramen. There's a reason why slurping directly from your bowl is considered normal in Korea while being considered at least mildly poorly mannered in much of the West.

For banchan, this is an offshoot of the fact that in Korean homes, you just re-wrap your banchan after every meal and put it back in the fridge. Obviously that doesn't work in restaurants, but by and large, Korean restaurants give so little volume per banchan that it's pretty typical to just finish the whole thing and often have to ask for seconds for the popular ones. They'll even usually scale it so that they give you more if you have more people in your party.

In Japan ramen broth is typically drunk down at least to an inch or two, unless the person wasn't hungry. Instant ramen of course less so, but even there the soup is not ritualistically poured off before eating the noodles as I used to see my American friends doing in university. Pickles are also eaten..again unless the person isn't hungry or hates pickles. But they're not like parsley (though my wife happily eats parsley garnish).

As for hotpot, or nabe/鍋 as it is called here, often at the end either うどん/udon noodles are added and it is eaten as a sort of noodle soup, or cooked rice, beaten egg, and maybe a bit of ponzu/ポン酢 is added to make what is called zousui/雑炊, often my favorite part, especially with kimchee nabe or the more modern tomato cheese nabe, which ends up almost like some kind of fusion risotto.

Food waste is just not a real problem.

Because to Asians raised in famine-stricken societies, it the responsibility of a host to ensure that their guests are well-fed. This explains the Asian obsession with food relative to westerners who are many generations removed from true poverty, a decent fraction of whom seem to eat almost entirely for sustenance and not pleasure. In many Asian languages the traditional greeting is "have you eaten yet?" and you can't walk ten feet in a rural area without someone offering you dinner.

I'm not sure what there really is to complain about here though. I love taking home enough leftovers from a Chinese restaurant to cook my next three meals; it's the customers who are leaving money sitting on the table if they let the restaurant throw it all away. The only things I don't usually take back with me are excess hotpot broth and dipping sauces. By contrast, whenever I go to a European restaurant and am presented with half a sandwich and a cup of soup I feel cheated because I could have gotten 3x as much of better-tasting food for the same price at an Asian or Middle Eastern place.

In truth though middle eastern or Chinese restaurants aren’t actually ‘better value’ than most ‘Western’ restaurants if value corresponds to costly food items (like meat protein). Sure, actual fine dining has a higher cost:ingredients ratio for obvious reasons (higher paid staff, more skill and time involved in preparation etc), but the amount of protein you get for your $30 isn’t higher at the average Chinese restaurant compared to the average ‘American’ cuisine restaurant.

What tends to happen is that ‘ethnic’ food places (including traditional “red sauce” Italian-American restaurants in the US, although less so in Europe) offer you a ton of cheap/free relatively tasteless carbs which cost them almost nothing to provide. My grandfather’s favorite Italian restaurant of 50 years on Long Island would serve every entree with a colossal bowl of spaghetti with tomato sauce. I suppose this counts as cheap calories, but I don’t know that it really improves the value proposition of the restaurant.

Similarly, a lot of classic Chinese export dishes at Western Chinese restaurants have a pretty small amount of meat and large amount of cheap vegetables like onions and bell peppers.

If we're talking about dollars per gram of protein, Asian food is the best ime as a vegetarian. These days you might find some meat replacements in western restaurants, but it's still somewhat rare. Lentils are not bad, but have way more carbs than protein. Meanwhile in Chinese restaurants there's plenty of tofu and seitan on the menu.

The way it was explained to me by Chinese friends was that excess == wealth. Chinese have grandparents who at different times couldn't buy enough food to eat, and parents who were restricted in the amount and quality of ingredients they could buy. So using ingredients extravagantly feels like a celebration of wealth and comfort. Similar story from Korean friends. Metal bowls and chopsticks were only available to the nobility, so they became a symbol of prosperity and class. Similarly, only the nobility had the money and ability to secure a wide enough variety of dishes to completely cover the table as is often done even in Korean homes. I'm sure that once famine and extreme poverty have mostly passed out of living memory people will question the need for such portions.

Re. the other comments on ramen broth -- you really shouldn't drink a lot of ramen broths. Tonkotsu, shio, and shoyu broths typically have a ridiculous amount of sodium, not to mention grease. Most Japanese also don't drink the broth and I think they many would consider someone who did a bit low-class and gross. There are however some more recent health conscious places (often targeted at women) that serve smaller bowls of ramen with totally drinkable broth (usually vegetable or chicken based). I try to find those since I love the broth.

My family regularly drinks broth though not to the bottom. Maybe we're low class and gross? Also my favorite ramen shop will bring up to two waves of extra noodles to plop hot into the broth if you find you've finished but have lots of soup and plenty of appetite left.

Maybe we're low class and gross?

Not sure, that's just my impression from my work circle and my dad friends. I could be in a bubble. In any case with the amount of times we eat at famiresu and monthly Domino's pizza cravings I might not be the best judge of what's low class and gross, lol.

I wouldn't argue that drinking all that soup is a healthy idea, but I don't eat ramen all that much, like maybe once every two or three months, so I enjoy it when I have it. I am in Kansai and generally people here are a bit swarthy (There's a nice stereotype for you.)

Edit: Speaking of Domino's we had the "New Yorker" last Friday with some Iberico bacon and spinach pizza. I usually make pizzas myself, but if you get them hot, and can swallow the steep price, those were both pretty good.

Man, I wish ramen places in my area did that. I always have way more broth than noodles, I would love to get some more delicious noodles with it.

Here is the shop (it's a chain). The best thing on the menu is the 野菜ラーメン (vegetable ramen) with soup 濃いめ (stronger or thicker) and the noodles 片面 (firmer). And this is from a guy who is a meat eater. I just haven't found any ramen better.

Edit: The Menu

Yum. Those prices would tempt me to go there often! Where I live you'd pay 2-3 times more. ;(

Sadly (though not surprisingly), it doesn't look like they have any US locations. But hey, I'm hoping to visit Japan in the next few years so hopefully I can check them out then!

Right, Chinese are pretty much all new money (if they have money), so it’s a different cultural perception of wealth. My parents would get angry because my best friend’s parents would give me like $1000 in cash for my birthday aged 10, which they found ridiculous and unreasonable (and would make me share it with my siblings). But I came to understand that - for them - to give me a card and a chocolate bar, the kind of gift ten year olds might give each other, would have been insulting. Arab friends were similar. The point of wealth in non-Hajnali cultures is to share it with chosen acquaintances, friends and family for your own prestige and good fortune. It’s like that funny /r/Europe thing recently where the Scandinavians all said it would be weird to offer your kid’s friends who came to play after school dinner, because the custom is that the child should go home for food. Or the Dutch with their endless ‘tikkies’ for €3 coffees. Nobody in the Arab world or in China would ever split the bill for a coffee, or even dare to suggest it, the idea would seem ridiculous unless both people worked for a western company and it was some expenses thing (and even then, someone would just pay). It’s an honor to pay for another.

And yeah, eating ramen broth is often a bad idea, as delicious as it is.

It’s like that funny /r/Europe thing recently where the Scandinavians all said it would be weird to offer your kid’s friends who came to play after school dinner, because the custom is that the child should go home for food.

I thought I could perhaps add some context here because this gets blown out of proportion a bit.

When you go to a friend's house after school you are served food (like sandwiches or yoghurt), just not dinner, unless there is an agreement. The reasons for this are threefold:

On a week night people usually make food just for the amount of people that are expected to eat, and will only have bought enough food for this. There are often literally not enough potatoes available to feed another person.

Secondly, you don't want to deprive the other family of their family dinner without asking first. Serving someone else's kid without asking is impolite.

Thirdly, what usually happens is that a bunch of friends go home to someone, not just one person (because the vast majority live within walking distance to school). So it's often not about feeding a single person but 2-4 extra persons. It's also often the case that it's the same house you go to (the one closest to school or whatever) and you go there after school almost every day. So it's not about occasionally feeding a single person a portion of dinner, it's about regularly feeding a number of extra people. The amount of people supposed to be fed varying by as much as 100% is not a small imposition on working parents.

Despite all this people are regularly fed dinner at other people's houses, you just ask first. In middle school I got an earlu dinner at a friend's house ~2 days a week for 2 years.. but I've also sat and waited while friends have had dinner in cases where they had dinner at 5pm and I'm going to have dinner at 7pm.

On a week night people usually make food just for the amount of people that are expected to eat, and will only have bought enough food for this. There are often literally not enough potatoes available to feed another person.

This always got me about Europeans going "we don't need cars, we just carry a single day's shopping home from the grocery store!" Like, what do you do if people are coming over? Or if something's bad and you decide to cook something else, or there's 10ft of snow on the ground?
And I guess sometimes the answer is "there are not enough potatoes available in the house"

or there's 10ft of snow on the ground?

In my area 3m of snow would imply some sort of apocalypse. Not happened in my life. Would result in at least deployment of army for rescue and restoring basic supply, maybe evacuations.

Like, what do you do if people are coming over?

How many and how much they are going to eat? Recently I was cooking for 10 people, brought all the things necessary for it in one backpack.

The Russian custom is that you must offer dinner to your guests, it's your duty as a host, but the guests should come up with an excuse not to eat it and leave before dinner. If you're a kid and your friend's mom is asking if you would stay for dinner, staying for dinner is a social faux pas; if you're an adult, and your friend and your friend's spouse are both saying you should stay for dinner, then it's really up to you, but everyone has this bigass mental ledger of small favors owed that roughly tracks who's in whose debt.

This reminds me of the German custom. You can seemingly drop by for coffee (including cake, of course) at any reasonable time, but while you may be offered dinner it would be very unusual and weird to accept unless it was effectively a pre-planned dinner party or event.

The British seem to mean it more honestly, they’ll say something like “I’m just making pasta for dinner tonight, please stay” and welcome it. But the inverse is that if you’re ever outside the home and they invite you over, there’s a 95% chance they’re just being polite (the famous “oh, we must do dinner”) and would be horrified at you actually expecting a date and time.

Anglos aren’t desperate to feed you but they’re usually happy enough to have the company. Kind of a hybrid between the Scandinavians and, say, Indians or Mexicans who start serving food and don’t stop.

The British seem to mean it more honestly, they’ll say something like “I’m just making pasta for dinner tonight, please stay” and welcome it. But the inverse is that if you’re ever outside the home and they invite you over, there’s a 95% chance they’re just being polite (the famous “oh, we must do dinner”) and would be horrified at you actually expecting a date and time.

My wife used to spend a fair bit of time in the UK for work and she had dinner at home with multiple colleagues, at different occasions, with their families. I've always wondered a bit whether they were just very inviting to their Swedish boss or if she accepted insincere invitations. She thought it was nice but also a bit strange, and the same thing didn't happen with her French or German coworkers, they just ate out.

I've certainly never been invited to have dinner with a colleague and their family in their home.

Maybe it’s just the quality of the food. In my experience, the french are more sparing with their dinner invitations than the germans – understandable, when they feel obliged to offer multiple courses of heavenly delights, while the german casually serves you his dreadful slop, ‘come as you are and eat what is left’.

Our dreadful slop is filling and gives you energy for actual work. Not like the eternal slimming diet the french are on. Their food is art, but art sucks, and ours is meant to get people through a long day of actual work, which it does.

German cooks are often good when they cook you the food of their people, but they have an awful fondness for the most awful bastardizations of “Asian food” imaginable. The English, meanwhile, are usually either good cooks at multiple cuisines or terrible at all of them, including their own.

Germans just don’t care about food like the french do. Even working class french people spend considerable money and time preparing different kinds of meat, on any given day of the week. Middle class germans eat potato salad with sausage on christmas. If they’re feeling adventurous, they’ll spring for some schweinemedaillons – but whatever happens, it’s all pork all the time. I don’t really mind, I enjoy the lack of fuss. I find the french high maintenance, generally. At work, at school, at dinner, germans are more laid back.

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I thought I could perhaps add some context here

No, don't, stop, you're only making it worse.

It's a cultural difference, it's fine. Cultures are weird, and that's what makes them fun, celebrate diversity and all that. If you try to provide additional explanations like "there's not enough potatoes" you'll just end up looking silly to people who make a fraction of your salary and have saying likes "where there's food for four, there's food for five".

I don't care if people like it or not, I dislike when people get the wrong idea and then spread it. I've seen so much false claims about this and it irritates me.

People are fed, they're just not invited to dinner as a rule. They're not invited to dinner because they're not planned for (and people actually are planning) and because people don't want to presume or irritate other families. That there isn't enough food isn't the only reason, it's one of the multiple reasons that taken together amount to why people might not be invited to dinner.

If people don't like this, then that's fine. It's just that it is not true that people aren't invited for dinner as a rule, it's just a possibility. It isn't weird to offer your kid's friend dinner, if you check with their parents first.

I’m not scandinavian, but it seems to me there’s more to it than these practical considerations. Of course it’s not a question of a lack of generosity. But regularly feeding another family’s child goes against your aggressively egalitarian ethos, by marking one family as poor and the other as rich.

That is not it at all. No one is that poor and no one would even consider that an issue for a second.

It's about the child being an imposition (on that particular day), and depriving the other family of their family time and fucking up their planning.

It's almost the other way around. The more affluent the family is the the more precise their planning will be and the parents time more precious, and they likely have their children's time planned out as well.

That can’t be it, I doubt Scandinavians are more likely to be helicopter parents than Americans of the same class. The family time explanation, I don’t know, you’re not really “losing” family time if your family eats together with your kid’s best friend, not in any practical sense.

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I still think your society is uncomfortable with gifts because it implies an unequal relationship and disturbs the law of jante, which also explains the going dutch and the rest of your peculiarities. And it’s just more fun to believe that, rather than your culture being particularly anal about eating times and potatoes.

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People are fed, they're just not invited to dinner as a rule.

Yes, good, exactly, this is what you should stick to! There's nothing more to it.

That there isn't enough food isn't the only reason, it's one of the multiple reasons that taken together amount to why people might not be invited to dinner.

No! You're doing it wrong again! There are no other reasons. All these other dinner-by-default cultures are subject to the same constraints, they don't have infinite food or infinite family time either, but if they have a guest at home, they invite them to join. The moment you start trying to explain yourself with anything other than "them's the rules" you start looking silly.

I'm not on a PR campaign trying to deceive you to perceive us in a more positive ligbt, I'm trying to explain whats going on and how people are reasoning.

Furthermore, I don't think the conditions are the same. Maybe in the general sense they are, people could organise their lives differently, maybe, but in the moment the choices are made the conditions are different. If you plan your meals (and shopping) more meticulously and you have practically twice the female labour force participation rate, having extra meal guests is a larger imposition and such a consideration is more important.

If this highlights a cultural difference then then that may be so, it doesn't make it a factor people doesn't consider and doesn't consider important.

It’s like that funny /r/Europe thing recently where the Scandinavians all said it would be weird to offer your kid’s friends who came to play after school dinner, because the custom is that the child should go home for food.

Surely that’s true in America as well, right? Or is this an area where Midwestern Germans and Scandinavians have retained something of their ancestral culture? I don’t think I’ve ever heard of people serving dinner to their kids’ friends.

You mean you’d feed him yourself and deprive his family of family dinner? Barbarism! Once dinner is ready, that’s the signal for your child’s friend to go home. Now, there are exceptions, of course, if you’ve previously made arrangements with the kid’s parents to serve him dinner at your house—say after a game or something. Also, on reflection, I think the lower and lower middle class kids were (and presumably still are) more likely to eat dinner at their friends’ houses. But not, in my experience, the middle middle class kids. They’ll just get snacks if they’re lucky. I should clarify that I’m speaking from a rural/very small town Midwest perspective. Things are probably different in the cities.

It depends on the circumstance of the invitation. If you live in a neighborhood where kids are in and out of each other's houses every day after school, then no, it wouldn't be customary to offer the friend dinner, though it wouldn't be unheard of. However, it's also pretty common to invite a friend over with the specific intention of serving dinner, the same as if you'd invited any other guest over for dinner.

In Sweden they will apparently eat dinner while the guest child is still in the house, which is beyond the pale IME in America (or among my Russian family). That's different from having kids go home to eat at a certain time.

Oh, I agree that that would be a step too far.

Interesting. If I went to a friend’s after school it was always assumed I was staying for dinner and would be picked up afterwards at 8 or 9 (after my parents had eaten), not before.

There were three kids in our house and it was very normal to have 1-2 (or more on Fridays) friends of mine or my siblings over for dinner pretty much every weekday.

In Australia it's weird if you don't feed your kids' friends, and the same was true when I was a kid in the States, although that was back in the late eighties/early nineties. But yeah one of my early memories is of my parents scoffing at my friend's parents on the ride home for being too poor to make me a sandwich or something.

If you don’t mind my asking, whereabouts did you grow up in the States? I’m a bit younger than you, but I also know that my parents never ate dinner at their friends’ houses growing up either. When my dad was young, one of my grandma’s neighbors would ring a farm bell when it was getting close to supper, which was the signal for all the kids in the neighborhood to go home.

Tennessee. Your experience kind of reminds me of when we'd visit my grandparents though, but there my grandma rang the bell to let anyone on the property know it was time to come in for dinner. But now my confidence is shot, so maybe that was to do with her Italianness.

It just occurred to me -- I guess Americans mostly falls in the with the Arab/Chinese/Koreans on this matter? Or maybe somewhere in between. If you sent someone a "tikkie" in the U.S. for a coffee, I think a lot of people would think you're stingy. When I used to eat out with friends after around the age of 25 or so (i.e. when most people weren't scraping to get by), usually someone would pick up the bill for the entire table, and then next time it would be someone else's turn to pick it up. Occasionally there were weasels in the group who tried to only pick up the tab at the cheapest restaurants, but we usually would just go somewhere fancy next time it was their turn and stick them with the bill. Some people probably came out ahead a few bucks here and there but complaining about that would have seemed petty.

I spent most of my time in the South though and America is really a handful of nations in a trenchcoat pretending to be a single unified nation, so perhaps norms are different elsewhere.

EDIT:

It’s an honor to pay for another.

N=1 but this is pretty much how I feel. I feel proud to be generous with my money and pay for my friends. Not sure how much of that is culture vs personality vs something else.

When I used to eat out with friends after around the age of 25 or so (i.e. when most people weren't scraping to get by), usually someone would pick up the bill for the entire table, and then next time it would be someone else's turn to pick it up. Occasionally there were weasels in the group who tried to only pick up the tab at the cheapest restaurants, but we usually would just go somewhere fancy next time it was their turn and stick them with the bill.

Huh, in Poland and Germany norm is that anyone pays for themself. At least among people I know well.

Yeah, it’s one of those interesting cultural differences like whether it’s normal to take your friends out for food on your birthday or whether it’s normal for them to take you.

Another difference: in Poland it is typical to organize this at home, rather than dining out.

This is probably mostly a personality thing, but I hate the “I’m buying this time” culture that is pretty much standard both in America and also it seems in most of the English-speaking world. I hate it in part for OCD type reasons that David Mitchell lays out here, but also because I’m quite frugal by nature, which hurts both when I’m paying and when I’m not. When someone else is paying, I feel the need to keep my tab to a minimum, so as not to impose. When I’m paying, I still keep my tab to a minimum, since I’d rather not waste my money on eating out. My friends, on the other hand, don’t share my frugality, so they’ll happily order more expensive items regardless of whether they’re paying, which means I always end up paying extra to cover their profligacy. I much prefer the Dutch system.

Is it because you're uncomfortable feeling like you "owe" someone or are "owed" something? I used to be like that to the point where I would refuse gifts from friends and family sometimes, but I realized one day that allowing someone else to be generous to you is actually also an act of humility and generosity on your own part since you're making your self "vulnerable" in a sense. Since then, I've tried to freely accepted gifts (though I do try to gift back later when I have the chance).

Hmm, maybe in part. I don’t have a problem giving or receiving explicit gifts. It’s the ambiguous nature of the paying-for-each-others’-meals arrangement that has always slightly bothered me (are these gifts or is the understanding that it will all even out in the end?). That and the fact that I dislike spending extra money on eating and drinking out. Plus it’s not something I grew up with. Even my extended family goes Dutch on the few occasions we all go out together.

It doesn’t really work well at Western restaurants where everyone orders their own food and drinks because of this defection risk (unless you really trust your dining companions, it’s always best to just order the steak/lobster/stack the cocktails for game theory reasons).

But in the Middle East and China it tends traditionally to be one person (not necessarily the person paying, but one person) ordering for the whole table, and then maybe ordering drinks for the table, so it makes more sense. Even when I’m with Chinese clients at Western restaurants they have typically tended (certainly more than average) to order sharing dishes or, say, the tasting menu for the whole table.

game theory reasons

Until you consider the iterated game, and realize that you're not going to be invited back if you order obnoxiously expensive meals and drinks.

Yes if as @reactionary_peasant notes you follow my exaggerated example literally and order a $200 meal when your friends spend $50. But if you just get a $12 G&T while your friends get $7 beers each round of drinks, or you order slightly more expensive sides or dessert or a marginally more expensive meal then you can usually get away with it and won't be disowned as a friend at all. And in time that's essentially taking hundreds of dollars more than you 'should' if the desire is actual equal contribution.

Also, only tangentially related, but in Japan there's a fascinating phenomenon at business meals (even internal meals!) where the first person to order will order entree X and drink Y, and then everyone else at the table will follow suit, with the chances of someone ordering something different decreasing in proportion to how late they place their order (i.e. the last person to order is almost guaranteed not to order something else).

I've asked Japanese people about this and they say that they don't want to break the flow or harmony and that it would be embarrassing or it would draw attention to order something else. As western barbarian steeped in individualism, I can only comprehend this on a theoretical, intellectual level. It's totally alien to me.

I do this all the time! That is, just piggyback on someone else's order, and find it slightly pleasing/harmonious if others at the table do as well.

I feel like it's a minor bonus to group cohesion if we all do a thing together. (eg. if everyone has poutine, or everyone orders a Caesar). I'm pretty indecisive, and not too picky, so anything that helps tip the scales one way or another, I'll just go with it. There's also some consideration for kitchen/bar/server efficiency.

unless you really trust your dining companions, it’s always best to just order the steak/lobster/stack the cocktails for game theory reasons

Not sure if you're joking but this is the sort of comment that makes me wonder if motteposters spend much time around normal average people (no particular offense meant towards you). If someone did this in my friend group he'd be cajoled into paying $10-20 towards the bill. You probably couldn't swing steak and lobster but if everyones getting chicken fajitas you could probably get the steak fajitas for +$3 without anyone complaining. It's kind of like going over the speed limit. Everyone just sort of knows that you can go roughly 5 over in a 40MPH zone and roughly 10 over in a 70MPH zone since the cops are people instead of robots

There have to be some things where switching from a home setting (but still trying to signal authenticity) causes the waste. Kimchi is more like condiments that would go back in the fridge if they weren’t in a public setting. The western counterpart would be, I don’t know, those peppers that come with pizza delivery? Ketchup packets?

American portions are just generally huge, so smaller people waste a surprising amount.

And I’m with the various other commenters asking how you don’t finish your broth. It just seems wrong. Do you pick pasta out of its sauce, too?

Do you pick pasta out of its sauce, too?

No, but I never got served a ramen broth amount of pasta sauce.

And I’m with the various other commenters asking how you don’t finish your broth.

Most of the time I do. I just think drinking 500ml of salty liquid is not worth it when I could rather fill up stomach real estate with starters and desserts. I would rather there just be enough liquid to flavor the noodles and take a few sips here and there.