I have yet to decide what my final title format will be for guides. It’s a tough deal but whatever. This guide is not exaggerating either, after a few frustrating matches where I learned the AI for DeRosso I finally came to a conclusion that worked out great. I literally beat him while I was asleep.
Naturally I wasn’t sure if it would work but I am pleased that it did. You don’t need to be asleep, you could have this run while you are having dinner or whatever else. I don’t know how quickly it killed him but we could do the math real quick.
You’ll be dealing roughly 2.3K damage every 30 seconds? He has roughly 233K life. This means that it should take about 50 minutes? Let’s round it up to an hour. I’m sure there are faster strategies out there but this one is guaranteed and basically 0 effort so~.
Job Level 5 Ninja x 4
1 Character at extremely low health. [I killed off one and Phoenix Downed them.]
Abilities – Transcience & Comeback Kid
Edit: You might be able to add “Turn Tables” from the Red Mage abilities to speed up this fight. Assuming DeRosso drains people with extra BP.
The strategy here is simple. You cast “Utsusemi” every turn on all 4 characters. Because one of your characters is at critical health the boss will never use “Gravija” which is his only non-physical attack. He will instead try to use either a single target attack or an AOE physical attack. Neither of these will hit you.
When he does the single target attack your character will evade because of Utsusemi. The evasion will trigger Comeback Kid and Transcience. Comeback Kid gives you +25% to your P.Attack and M.Attack, the previous of those two things being the thing you want here.
Transcience makes your character counterattack with this new buffed hit. So now you are taking 0 damage per turn (guaranteed) and hitting him every couple turns for 2.5K or more if you gear up properly (I just randomly slapped stuff on my characters for testing).
Presumably you should be able to do other things than this but for some reason I kept getting half my team wiped out when I didn’t use Utsusemi on them all. I was tired and decided I wanted to get some sleep BUT I really wanted that darn Vampire job. Tried this and it worked!
So there you go. If you are stuck on Lord DeRosso and getting frustrated by his BS Strategy then try out my BS Strategy and enjoy your brand new super cool looking Job Class!
Rico’s Bravely Default ~ Legendary Dragons (Salamander, Mizuchi, Wyvern, Shinryu, Ladon, Jabberwock) Guide! [Hard Mode but Simple Strategy]0
As with all my guides this will be as spoiler light as possible. If you are far enough to be googling for this you will know about everything I’m about to talk about. If you are someone who hasn’t played yet this guide shouldn’t hurt any part of the story at all.
In Bravely Default there is a Vampire that challenges you to find the 6 Keystones that open a door to his home. These keystones are each guarded by badass dragons that want to eat you. You must defeat these 6 dragons if you wish to go find this Vampire and drive a stake through his heart…or whatever…I’m not actually beyond killing the dragons yet.
I’ll write out my strategies in the order that I fought them but for the most part the strategy is the same for each and its very simple! I was roughly level 70 when I did this with all my characters at job level 9 in all classes (with the exception of one character needing a monk at 13 and another with Spiritmaster at 10). So let’s begin.
What you need
Support Abilites – [ Angelic Ward and BP Recovery. Status Immunity if Applicable. ]
Spell Fencer with Drain + Monk Secondary Job with Phoenix Flight
Spiritmaster with Greater Spirit Ward
Templar with Rampart
4th character with Blessed Shield (I just had a pirate here, anything works).
Accessories that give necessary Status Immunity when you don’t have a Support Ability that could do it.
IceFlame Shield (Makes 2 of these fights even easier)
The first dragon that I fought was Ladon and boy did he surprise me. He’s the reason I wrote this guide in the first place. Each of these dragons have 3 things that they will do to you in combat. They’ll gaze at you lowering your defense against their element, they’ll breath on your team in that element, and they’ll bite you like na asshole. The latter of which does lots of damage to a single target. The breath could OHKO your entire team if you aren’t careful but we’ll go into more detail with that in a moment.
The reason you want Angelic Ward and BP Recovery is to hedge your bets. These two things will fire most of the time when you take damage or they dragon gazes at you. The nice thing about the latter is that every time the dragon tries to lower your defense to his ability you get +2 BP! That’s so broken its not even funny, you’ll start burning through these jerks.
The order of operations for this fight are as follows:
Is your Spell Fencer enchanted with Drain?
If Yes -> Phoenix Flight x 4.
If No -> Drain x 1 and Phoenix Flight x 3.
Is your Spell Fencer at full health?
If Yes -> Blessed Shield on full team.
If No -> Blessed Shield on Spell Fencer. [Use all excess BP from BP Recovery procs to cap the fencer.]
Is your current character a Spirit Master?
If Yes -> Cast Greater Fairy Ward.
Is your current character a Templar?
If Yes -> Cast Rampart.
Repeat until Dragon is Dead.
Congratulations! You just beat every dragon. How does this work? Well your Spell Fencer will be hitting the dragon for roughly 4.8-5K 3 to 4 times each time it is its turn. Because of BP Recovery you’ll be doing this 4 times every couple of turns or so! It’s pretty crazy. You’ll kill them so fast you might not believe they have roughly 132K Life on Hard.
Your Extra character is topping off any of your characters when RNG doesn’t favor you. If you make them a high int character that Blessed Shield is going to be putting away some serious heals. I used a Pirate though, so I mean…you can use anything really. That +300 health per use is more than enough off a Pirate.
Your Spirit Master is repeatedly removing that gaze effect from the dragon with Greater Fairy Ward. It requires 2 BP to do but you gain 2 BP every time the dragon gazes so~.
Additionally your Templar is making your entire team invulnerably to a single hit. The Templar moves slower than the dragon which means that the first time you do it will be after a breath more than likely. But every time after that you’ll be taking the breath to your Rampart and then putting it right back up at the end of the turn. This means that if you are like me you’ll fight 4 of these dragons and take about 2K damage total over the entire fight.
Ladon is the hardest of the fights in my experience. He does his “breath” attack two times in a row usually which means that some of them might get through. As long as you have Paralyze Immunity he’s still a cakewalk. Once he’s down the rest are just laughable.
Salamander and Mizuchi were the next on my list. I include them together because this is where your IceFlame Shield makes it even easier. Make the offhand of your Spell Fencer that shield and you are guaranteed not to take any AOE damage on the first turn of your fight with either dragon (and only a 25% chance of being hit by a bite is not shabby). Keep in mind that Greater Fairy Ward actually breaks IceFlame Shield, but I like it for that guaranteed protection on turn 1.
For these two you want to repeat the same strategy above making sure that you have Stop Immunity for Mizuchi. Salamander has no status effect, he’s just kinda a dragon. Make sure you aren’t wielding the same elemental sword that your dragon is. A fire sword against a fire dragon heals them, same with ice to ice, holy to holy, and so forth. This mistake cost me one round of Phoenix Flights (luckily you can change equipment in combat).
After this we moved on to Jabberwock. This is our resident Dark Dragon and he casts Dread on breath.
Make sure you have Dread Immunity and you are fine here. Update: I derped… There is no dread immunity. Just ignore it and attack once per turn on characters that have dread. It’s basically harmless and just prolongs the fight. Same strategy. Keep your Rampart up, keep casting your Greater Fairy Ward, and be sure to top off your Spell Fencer any time she (in my case Edea) or he is hurting. Also don’t be shy about doing Drain + 3 Phoenix Flights in a turn. You’ll be procing BP Recovery a lot and even if she gets hit and only does 2K Per that’s still a solid 6K of damage. It adds up fast on >>>> combat speed.
Following Jabberwock was Shinryu. Shinryu casts Blind on breath. Make sure you have Blind Immunity for this fight. Otherwise there is nothing special about Shinryu. Just pound away with those Phoenix Flights and be amazed at how you took 0 damage during this entire fight (if you happen to get as lucky as I was). It’s all strongly RNG based, if they keep to a pattern you’ll notice it and be able to capitalize on it. Just don’t auto combat and you are fine. Though frankly I think I could have setup an autocombat and still won this fight. Rampart with BP Recovery is gorgeously broken against the dragons.
The final dragon I fought was Wyvern. He’s just a storm dragon. No special status effect. I walked into him with the same equipment I wore for Shinryu and dropped him just before writing this guide. If you are playing on Easy I suspect these fights will go by in the blink of an eye. On Hard they aren’t much worse, just a little longer because of the added HP the targets have.
I hadn’t even mentioned all my previous guides were for hard mode. I suppose that just means they work even better for easy mode. Regardless I hope you enjoyed this little (very simple) guide as the internet appears to think there is no strategy that everyone can apply to them. By now most folks should have the content mentioned above just by playing… Anyways if not just check out my leveling guide to quickly and easily gather it all. Reaching level 9 on various jobs only takes a few minutes if you do it in the Florem Gardens. Other areas are quicker but this place is faceroll so you don’t need to pay attention.
Today I had an instance of immense Déjà vu. I was standing in the kitchen of my current job looking at the face of the Keurig machine. I had a dream ages ago, a few years now, about decaf coffee. I remember seeing the white cups, the black lids, and I remember tossing the K-cup that was already in the machine into a round trash bin with a round hole in the top.
At the time I thought the dream was strange for a number of reasons. I had thrown away the lid of my coffee cup in the dream and I remember staring at it in the dream and wondering why I would have done that? Why not wash it off?
I threw one of those black lids in the trash and that thought crossed my mind. My eyes grew wide and my lips parted ever so slightly. I looked around and began to pinpoint all the little bits of that dream. In a sudden moment I was experience intense levels of nostalgia and Déjà vu. Every little quirk about that dream came rushing back to me after it being in the depths of my subconscious for years.
Then I got to thinking about it. Naturally I can’t be clairvoyant, that’s just silly. There are possibilities here. One involving perhaps some strange connection brains have with the passage of time, but that one requires a post of its own with a nice cup of tea to fuel it.
Today I want to talk about wildcards. I suspect that our brains are dealing with wildcards more than we realize. When I say wildcard I specifically mean an entry that could be filled in with any relevant data. For instance if you have a memory about a room, your brain might make the color of the walls in that room a wildcard. Basically think of it as this mirage paint that shifts to fit whatever your new stimuli make it.
For you that memory is still perfect and unchanged. You see a brown wall today, even though it might have been a green wall. Since your brain is both supplying the data and supplying the integrity check you are left without any errors firing off.
You might think “Well what if my brain thinks the wall was colored squid? Or manatee?” These fall outside of the relevant classification (or category) sector. Imagine if you were playing poker (or anything with a joker card) and someone puts it down and tells you that it represents shovel. Shovel is not an acceptable answer within the classification of Poker. They have 4 suits, 3 face cards, ace, and 1-10. Similarly your brain must pull from a pool that doesn’t cause dissonance.
Basically those checks happen in your subconscious. You rebuild the memory in a matter of milliseconds and any section of the code that tries to fire an unacceptable filler will get rerun until it flags something solid. Perhaps infinite loops are what cause the tip of the tongue phenomena?
Our brain tries to find the name of that one guy from that one show and makes the wrong connection to a pool of answers that aren’t deemed relevant. Since its pulling from the wrong data pool it keeps failing until you completely reboot the process (try again much later after the program has been closed).
This feels to me like one of the more reasonable explanations for what happened in the kitchen today. My brain had a memory stored with a series of “*” values that each had a category that they needed to pass before they would be accepted. Once each value was set the memory fired and I was hit with a wave of Déjà vu.
Regardless it was a startlingly powerful feeling.
I wrote a guide a bit ago about how to beat basically every boss. Well there is one boss in particular that that strategy does not work on! That boss is Victor & Victoria. I won’t be describing any story elements or anything that could spoil it. Honestly by playing you already know you’ll be fighting these two because the game makes it very obvious. I’ll be talking about mechanics only.
What you need
One character with Reflect (White Mage Spell)
One (or more) characters with “Drain” Spell Fencer ability & “Phoenix Flight”
A few Phoenix Downs & Hi-Potions (20 is probably fine)
Admittedly I was level 70 when I did this but all that did for me was make me most certainly faster than them. Overall I wasn’t getting hit anyways so the amount of HP I had didn’t matter for survivability. What DID make HP matter was the combo of “Drain” and “Phoenix Flight” which I’ll start calling D/PF. I’ll give you the rotation and then you just rinse and repeat this for the rest of the match to win.
Cast Reflect x 4 on all of your team members.
Cast Drain on all characters who will be on offense.
Default on all characters who won’t (or do some kind of damaging attack).
Cast “Phoenix Flight” x 4 on Victoria. This should deal 20K or so per character if you are sitting around 5K life.
Phase 2 until Reflect drops on all 4 characters then Phase 1. Repeat ad nauseum.
That’s all you have to do. If you find that a DOOM or something gets through your reflect (it happens on rare occasion, I wonder if its a bug?) then just raise that person and use your free characters to hi-potion them back up. After a handful of turns you’ll kill Victoria and be left with Victor. He is considerably less scary and once you get the routine above going on him he’ll die pretty quickly.
Something to consider is adding “Poison Immunity” to your characters if you have it. This way if you get hit between reflects with poison it will not do anything. If it DOES hit it can be a bit of a tedious inconvenience.
If your reflect is up you’ll be taking around 0 damage, maybe a few hundred in random melee damage. If it is down there is a chance that you’ll be instantly killed. I don’t just mean one character either, your entire team. No amount of power leveling appears to make this survivable. So just keep reflect up all the time and you’ll be god mode for this fight.
That’s it! If you have any questions, corrections, or whatever the comments are open. But in my experience most folks just come for the data and apply it.
The odds are good that lately if you are here you are here for video game news or strategies (judging by analytics). I’m planning an update of the website layout that will help clean this place up and make it easier for people to find what they are interested in. But for now this website will continue being a jumbled mess of my thoughts. Today those thoughts come to the question of why billionaires would want the debt ceiling debacle (fun to say out loud, give it a try). What could you possibly gain as a wealthy bank owner (or investor) from the government shutting down? Is there any simple logic to it? I’m sure there are dozens of websites detailing complicated conspiracy theories. But I’m here to provide you with the simple and (in my opinion) likely reason that wealthy people were pushing hard on the Tea Party to make this happen.
That simple thing is interest rates.
You might not be aware of this but when the government wavers in its duties to pay bills or honor loans it comes under scrutiny from creditor rating groups. Do you know what happens when someone has their credit rating drop? The cost of all their loans jumps. This is actually true of governments as well. If the US drops a credit rating then all the debt they own and all the debt of all their citizens see an immediate increase in the interest rates.
Who profits from interest rates spiking nationally? Wealthy people with investments in banks and anyone with money riding on loans. The same folks that created the Tea Party that was doing this.
Rather simple isn’t it? You convince people that your concern is the national debt while hiding the true reasoning behind your actions. The balance here is very delicate however. You want to hold the government hostage for as long as it takes for the credit rating to come into question but not long enough for the government to default. If the US Government ever defaults the result will be a global economic cataclysm. This won’t ever happen for the same reason that Nuclear War doesn’t happen, but that doesn’t mean you should poke the hornets nest. Genuinely wealthy people are aware of what it would mean for them if they waited too long on these little political games and this is the reason that the government shutdown didn’t run for longer than it did.
So don’t be fooled the next time you hear about holding the debt ceiling hostage to curb our spending. It’s much less noble than that. The goal here is to cause the government to stumble (even if only slightly) on their debts and to cause a rise in interest rates. Likely for the foreseeable future there will be a little game each time the budget comes up because the profits gained and the effort necessary are so out of whack. It doesn’t take much to get entrenched congress people to do whatever you want, so for as long as they exist we’ll be seeing this sort of thing often.
Very clever and very simple. The most effective methods of profit in business usually are.
Note: When I say genuinely wealthy I’m also implying greedy. There are rich people out there that are perfectly happy just being as rich as they are. No harm there. But some people, some people have serious money addiction problems.
Imagine if I told you that I had a product and that that product appealed to .15% of all people that tried it. Would you consider me a success? Likely not, I’m sure you would look at me and think I’m some kind of moron who doesn’t know what I’m doing. But this is not what is happening in the Mobile Games market. Half of all their sales come from .15% of the people that they reach with their games. You wouldn’t think this judging by all the bantering of investors and “experts”, you’d figure that these obscene sales that are coming from the industry are a sign that they know what they are doing and they are doing it well.
Clearly they are not and do not. What they’ve found is a previously untapped market of addicts. People willing to sell their home in order to fund a quick pleasure fix. Where we’ve previously placed laws to fight this kind of predation (which I don’t necessarily support, I’m more about education), we applaud these folks. So what are they doing wrong exactly? I’m not going to act like I know fully but I can at least speak anecdotally about what bothers me and suggest that this may be at least one avenue that they are failing.
Free to Play games are misleadingly named. They are not Free to Play, at best they are Free to Try or Free to Wait. These games punish you for not investing in them and most (if not all) of your investments are momentary fleeting positive results. This is similar to the drug model where you give people small free doses to help get them hooked and then jack up the price once they are addicted and rake in the profits. It’s a fairly nefarious abuse of our understanding of psychology and not something that I appreciate.
Once you are aware of how Free to Play games work you begin to find them very annoying. You end up seeing all that wasted talent on titles that have little to no merit to exist. It’s about mentality of design, at least as far as I’m concerned. When you build a game that will survive off of consistent and repeated monetary investments you are more likely to design the game to promote those activities. Once your primary focus is how to get money out of people you are not going to make a good game. If, in contrast, your goal is to make money by making good games then you are more likely to actually succeed.
It sounds a bit patronizing and obvious when I write it out but obviously it is not obvious to major game developers (or perhaps just the upper management of these places). If a game must have in app purchases I believe these should be designed after the fact. Games should be complete and enjoyable experiences when you release them to the public. Once you’ve done that then you can brainstorm (perhaps with your community) about what neat things they’d like you to keep making for them and then the community can pay your team to make that content by buying it.
A good example is League of Legends. The game on launch was a complete experience and I’d argue it still is a complete experience. There are no timers gating you from enjoying the game. For the most part there is no imbalance between you and paying users either. Most imbalances are accidental and they are fixed quickly and cleanly.
Another thing to consider is that not all games need in app purchases. If you design them smartly you should be able to release a game for a single fee and return ample profits to keep your company running. If you cannot this is a failure on your part and should not be passed on to the customer. It always is, but it shouldn’t be. Bravely Default is a beautiful example. Quite nearly a perfect game that hits all the right cords but then they randomly added in an in-app purchase.
Does it imbalance the game? Potentially but not necessarily. That’s something in its favor. Can you get it for free? Sure, you get one every time you go to bed (basically). Does it break immersion? Yes, desperately. When you use it your characters will hint that you can buy this item. That’s a very bad decision and it taints the entire experience. I see this nearly perfect snowflake but there is a lump of poop on the edge of it. An entirely unnecessary lump of poop as well.
It’s sad because as time goes on this game will always be remembered as that “nearly perfect game that had that icky in app purchase slapped on”. So tragic for something so beautiful to be so unnecessarily molested.
That’s where we stand. The industry is making the wrong decisions 99.85% of the time and yet everyone is trying to shift their design plan to fit that system. I can’t think of any other business where a 99.85% failure rate is considered wildly good and worth pursuing. To me this looks like an extremely frail bubble that is going to burst and burst hard. That .15% won’t have billions of dollars forever, once you milk them dry through deeper and deeper abuse they’ll be gone. Think of it like over fishing an ocean, if you are taking out quicker than they are breeding you will be left eventually with no fish.
We are on the precipice of a barren mobile gaming ocean and it will not be a clean break. What disappoints me is that the solution is not complicated. Fish smarter, fish friendlier, fish with honesty, and be patient. None of these things fit into the modern accepted model of capitalism however.
Should be interesting.
Rico’s Bravely Default Universal Boss Guide ~ Kill it with Phoenix Fire! [As Spoiler Light as Possible]0
So you’ve leveled to your heart’s desire and have more money than the merchantry. But you find yourself stuck on a particular pain in the buttocks boss. I’ve not yet beaten the entire game but I have found a strategy that has worked on every single boss up to the point where I am (I should be nearing the end as I have most of the jobs unlocked).
Again this will be spoiler light. Because it works for anything that isn’t undead and anything that IS undead has an even simpler fix. If you go up against something that is undead just drop a Phoenix Down on it to instantly kill it (if it hits). You might think it strange that I’d title the post after that little strategy, and it would be strange, but that’s not what I’ve done. What we are getting into involves two job classes. The Spell Fencer and the Monk.
What you need for this strategy
Each of your characters need to know “Life Drain” from Spell Fencing.
Each of your characters need to know “Phoenix Flight” from Monk.
Probably wise to equip “Blessed Shield” on each of them.
Optional: Each of your characters can add “Revenge” from Red Mage.
Weapon doesn’t matter.
The more HP you can give your characters the better. This is because of the nature of “Phoenix Flight”. PF does “Reduce HP to 1 and convert the amount of HP sacrificed into damage applied to target enemy.” This on the face of it means that you wouldn’t want to do it 4 times in a row because it would do thousands of damage then 1 damage 3 times. But consider if we have our second job class being Spell Fencer and we use Life Drain the turn before.
Life Drain (I believe its just called Drain) causes you to convert 100% of your damage into life. So let’s imagine you’ve leveled your characters up to have about 5000 life after all their HP buffs are taken into account. They’ll deal 5,000 damage and then immediately gain back 5,000 life putting them back at max. If you brave with them 3 times that will be 20,000 damage from one character in a single turn.
Spread that across all four of your characters and you’ve just done 80,000 damage in a single turn. This isn’t quite enough to kill a few of the bosses outright as they have 100,000 life or 20,000 life. An ideal extra to this setup is to get “Revenge” from Red Mage level 11.
Revenge adds the following effect “Has a 25% chance to increase BP by 1 when taking damage.” This means that if you do go all in (I usually do this with only a single character and the other 3 spamming Blessed Shields) you will recover your BP extremely quickly in the following barrage of attacks by your opponent. It says that it activates only 25% of the time but I have an astoundingly high proc rate in my experience. Perhaps it is just luck.
The Blessed Shield provides you with an infinite supply of “Cura” which is incredibly helpful. If you keep healing your team each turn and just pumping out 20,000 damage every 4 turns with your 4th you’ll drop basically any boss up till the scary things on the world map. But even those things (which I won’t name) can be dropped with this method (I’ve done it).
Additionally if you want you can pump out an addition 10-20K damage with Bravely Second bringing a single turn of pounding up to 100,000 which will drop most job class bosses or quite nearly kill them.
It’s an easy strategy that is incredibly fun (for me) to do. You feel really great when your doing a defense and default ignoring 100% hitting 5K strike 4 times in a row. I’ve not once seen this move miss even with blindness and evasion up on my enemy. It MIGHT miss, but I’ve yet to see it happen. It also requires 0 extra BP or SP which means you can spam it willy nilly. The only SP loss is from the Drain and you can add “SP Gain on Hit” to your abilities if you’ve unlocked it to regain that in combat.
Sometimes a character will get cheesed and die instantly but you can res them and just grind it out. My worst experiences have been with bosses that “predict” who will hit them and kill that person or bosses that have additional “Damage every X turns at start of turns” effects as those reduce the impact of your attack because you are weaker. Yet I’ve only had to redo a boss fight once (soon to be twice) and both times it was only because I was OHKO’d across my entire team by cheese.
If you don’t get cheesed you can easily rule the world with this simple strategy :).
Edit: If you happen to be up against a tiny masochist and their keeper, I believe the strategy there is to use reflect so as to have them kill themselves with their extremely cheesy cheese. I haven’t tested it but it seems far too obvious to not be the case. You’ll know who I mean when they trounce you with no warning and no means of survival :p.
Today I was compared to a young-earth creationist because I dared to disbelieve that spoiling entertainment has no detrimental (or indeed it has a positive) impact on my enjoyment. The level of patronizing in the criticism was such that I read the report that he cited to patronize me. That, I suspect, is where our experiences with the subject matter differed. Because once I had read it I went from being mostly suspect to being in complete disbelief, I couldn’t imagine anyone reading this research paper and not being suspicious of the findings.
I’m going to lay out the criticisms that come to mind but rest assured I won’t be hitting everything. In at least on point in our discussion I’m going to be tautological but doing so entirely aware and intentionally. But let’s begin at the beginning.
The first is the topic of discussion. Psychology, while being one of my favorite sciences, is and likely always will be a soft science. We can with Psychology make broad statements about the human psyche and the larger our research pool the more certain we can be with our commentary. Psychology was my main focus in college and likely one of the most heavily researched fields in my life. So when someone starts getting smug with me on this topic I tend to be a bit defensive. First we’ll link you to the research paper that everyone cited but didn’t have the decency to link to:
What we are most interested in are the method and the result, their anecdotes elsewhere are of little importance. 819 students from the University of California, San Diego were used for this study. Of this group there was 176 men and 643 women. Already I’m a little nervous while reading this article because its heavily sided to a single gender. Something they seem entirely oblivious of and never address. The next is that we are looking at 819 college students from a single university in a single state. Everyone citing this paper is extrapolating a very small study to the entire human population. Do you know what happened the last time someone did that that I can recall off hand? People started saying vaccines caused Autism.
That vaccine paper actually came to my mind a lot while I read this. But in the case of this study the writers are actually much less confident and smug than the people citing the paper. Whereas with the vaccine paper the opposite was most certainly true. But back to my point. We have 819 college students from a single university in a single state, reading a bunch of books they have literally no emotional expectations from, and these books were ‘spoiled’ with information that the study creators deemed “spoilers”. But what were these spoilers? They are never detailed in the report. Allow me to “spoil” a few video games and movies for you, tell me how they impact your feelings towards those particular items.
Bioshock happens underwater.
There are dead people in the Sixth Sense.
Megatron makes an appearance in Transformers.
Jason Vorhees murders [insert the names of a random selection of teens from any of the films].
Do these constitute spoilers? I would argue that they do not and that they are perhaps even straw men. But that underlines one of my problems with this research paper. They said they spoiled these stories for the readers. But did they really? They might have thought that they did but clearly they did not. Had they spoiled these stories the stories would have been spoiled (that’s the tautology). This is the problem with the nature of the word and its function. A plot summary is meaningless if the reason you are watching the film is not for the plot. The plot of Prometheus is a fetid pile of shit that no spoiler could ruin, but if you are someone who loves set design it is still a very enjoyable film.
But before I start going into the rest of my problems lets get into the result. At the end of their results they mention that readers didn’t find the spoilers included in the altered beginnings to be jarring. This suggests to me even further that what they delivered was not spoilers. They detailed what they found to be the most important parts of the stories to them, to other people, and other people did not find meaning or perhaps did not find the story hinging on those bits of information.
Another major problem I have is with the concept of a “hedonic rating”. I’m a big fan of hedonism, I’m sure a lot of people are. But in citing hedonism they have undone their own research. If people were experiencing the same thing each time they read a book they liked or watched a film they liked (or listened to a song they liked) they would suffer from the Hedonic treadmill. But if they suffered from the Hedonic treadmill they wouldn’t be watching that film, reading that book, or listening to that song for the hundredth time. So why is it then that anyone could do this?
I thought the answer was simple, but during my little discussion today the other half of the discussion seemed to think this was the concrete evidence to prove the report. Obviously this phenomenon that impacts humans nearly universally is overridden when it comes to things we like. The problem here is the confusion of the medium and the experience. Yes, you are reading the same book over and over. But each time you read it is not the same experience. You aren’t reading it for the same reasons each time. The first time you read it you read it to reveal the story. Maybe another time for nostalgia. Another to peel apart all the subtle nuances of the writing. Further still because you want to live in that world. Why deny people that extra experience if they want that experience.
You simply wouldn’t keep absorbing that media if it stimulated you in the same way each time. Because if there is one place we have an astounding amount of research it is in the nature of hedonism and our brains ability to build up resistances to stimulation. The entire nature of addiction and the danger of relapsing into an addiction come from the hedonic treadmill. The recent death of Philip Seymour Hoffman being a real world example.
Some people like that first experience. There is nothing in this entire 1.5 page essay that suggests they are wrong in that belief. All this paper says is that the first experience does not elicit the same (self reported) pleasure levels that the second/spoiled readings do. It doesn’t examine the different ways each reading stimulates the brain. It doesn’t examine how these results work across different cultures or regions. It doesn’t examine just about anything. All it found is that at a basic pleasure level, these books were better when you had the information that the scientists provided.
Another fundamental problem with psychology is that people act differently in studies than they do in real life. There are ethical reasons why we can’t really get passed this most of the time but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t consider it. These people weren’t reading these books for the same reason than the average person consumes a book. They were reading them as part of a project for a college. There are so many variables up in the air with this study that it borders on meaningless.
Finally these were all short stories. Do people have the same expectations from a short story as they do a long one? Do people have the same expectations from a 20 dollar video game as they do a 60 dollar one? Rather random example but its something I know my personal answer to. If this study is 100% true then at best it currently tells us that people don’t care if you spoil a short story.
What would be more interesting (and meaningful) to me would be a study that takes random tidbit of information from a book (or set of books) and A/B tests the response of readers across an actual diverse sampling size. Find which information improves and which information hinders the reading of the book. What bothers me more than this report existing (because its a perfectly acceptable college assignment) but rather the way people are using it.
People citing this study are doing a few things rather consistently across websites. The first is that they are smugly asserting that no good story falls apart when spoiled. This is usually a bad sign. When a scientific study is used to make blanket statements about the “objective” nature of subjective things, you likely have a misstep. The most cliche example was the Dumbledore reveal on a few of the pages citing this report. Personally speaking, as is the only option on this topic, Dumbledore has no impact on my feelings towards the Harry Potter series. He could have turned into a giraffe in the books and the part that actually interested me would have remained interesting.
Telling me what happens with him in the story might seem like a spoiler on the face of it. He’s a primary character and thusly I should be finding him important and his exploits or misfortunes important. But I don’t.
The next major problem I have with folks citing this is that they are using it as means and reason to alter their own lives. It’s one study. It’s not even a good one. What ever happened to being a skeptic? Science is about repeating results. Psychology in particular is very stringent about emphasizing that effectively nothing is universal. Yes, on average, a lot of people suffer the hedonic treadmill. But if you happen to have acute brain damage or even just a different genetic marker you might not. That doesn’t mean you are wrong. That means you are you.
If you find that spoilers spoil things for you, then they do. That’s the nature of personal emotion.
What I find most strange about these results and people flippantly throwing them around is that they don’t even make functional sense in the scientific community. Can you think of a single scientist that wants to immediately know the answer to everything? I imagine some exist but science is about the journey. The results are these once in a lifetime bursts of sensation that run throughout your body. But the journey is what really captures a scientist. That curiosity. If spoilers don’t ruin anything then by that logic knowing the answer to every question would have no impact on the journey to know.
Maybe that is true but on the face of it that sounds rather ludicrous to me. But what do I know? Apparently I’m as dumb as someone who thinks the world is only 6,000 years old.
Note: Another (of the literally dozens) of explanations for this paper that I didn’t even consider was stated thusly: “Perhaps it’s simply that stories are EASIER to read when we don’t have to spend time worrying about where intricate plot lines are going?”
This title of this one might be a little misleading but I’ll try to explain what I mean. Specifically when I say humans I’m talking about humans that have existed during written human history. Something like from today back five thousand years. That seems like a fair number right? That puts us between 3000 BC and 2000AD roughly and within that realm we are looking at people who thought building a stone prism was a great human accomplishment up to people landing humans on an object rocketing through space 400,000 KM away with the technological equivalent of the shittiest cellphone you’ve ever owned. When I say “smarter” I mean a literal distinct “advantage” to being able to learn things. That is to say that people now are evolutionarily more capable of learning than people of Ancient History.
You might be thinking to yourself, oh how great I am, I live in the age of smart humanity. We are brilliant aren’t we? We can tell the composition of stars by their wavelength, we understand relativity, physics, and chemistry. We no longer believe in humors, we’ve found planets outside of Jupiter and Saturn and can even propel ourselves through the sky in giant steel contraptions.
You’d be forgiven if you thought this meant that you were smarter than Aztecs or Ancient Egyptians. I could see how someone might make that mistake. Yes the human brain has come a long way since our nearest ancient evolutionary relatives. But those brain changes happened over millions of years. The change in our brains evolutionarily in the last few thousand years is not quite so significant (it tripled over millions of years, I doubt we’ve seen anything even remotely close to that since 3000 BC).
You have in your head, for all intents and purposes, the same brain that people had in their head in 3000 BC. You might be asking yourself then “Why am I so smart? I can use the internet! I am so sexy and brilliant! Those primitive people were so primitive!” This is the essence of a lot of bigotry in human history. I’ve been meaning to write a post about how Aliens play into all this and I’m going to try my best to not bring them into this particular post. Basically historically Europeans have used this reasoning, the idea of Eugenics (even long before such a thing existed or had a name) to justify pilfering other nations, enslaving other nations, and abusing natural resources.
For them it wasn’t a matter of abusing other cultures but “enlightening” an ancient ignorant people. How then, if we aren’t getting smarter, do these changes happen? How does one group of people geographically or chronologically get out of whack with another? A big part of it is luck. While I suspect the story is embellished, if Newton hadn’t been hit in the head by a falling apple he might have never asked the question “Why doesn’t the moon also fall?”
Before he asked that question there might have been millions of other people who asked it. Much like you or I might ask “Why does a Microwave have a grate?” But of those millions of people only a small fraction of them, perhaps even as few as a dozen, will ever actually research why this is the case. Until this point people just take certain things for granted.
Why doesn’t the moon fall? Because god. Why does the sun rise in the morning? Because god. Ad infintium. This isn’t because they are dumber than you or I but it is usually because nobody has serendipitously experienced the chain of events that leads to either being obsessed by the question or by discovering a new technology that can help answer the question.
Before the telescope was invented (in two separate places at nearly the same time by two separate people who never met by the way, but both were white so we don’t attribute this to aliens). Most recent research suggests that it might have even been invented by as many as five people. Five friggen people, but only one of them was both famous enough and curious enough to point it at the moon and other celestial bodies. Were they smarter? No, they had the same mental capacity of every person in even their relatively distant past.
Eratosthenes figured out the diameter of the Earth with sticks and shadows in ~200 BC (Somewhere in there). Sticks and shadows. How many people do you know in modern times that you can hand a stick and nothing else and get a nearly correct measurement of the Earth? Our ancient past was not filled with millions of people scared they’d fall off the edge of the Earth. These, like many historical stories, were glamorized and white washed to make modern people’s or certain cultures appear much more (or much less) intelligent than they are (or were).
Remember how I mentioned Newton? You can thank a Monk for Newton being so famous because 700 years ago a Monk scraped off the works of one man by the name of “Archimedes” which detailed Calculus. Calculus by Archimedes? You mean that guy born in 287 BC? Yes, yes, that is exactly who I mean. And Archimedes is just the person that we know about. Who knows how many other people discovered Calculus? Much like the microwave question earlier it all was waiting on someone famous enough, loud enough, and curious enough to make it widely known.
Then we have other discoveries like microbiology. Many centuries before it was officially seen with a microscope, people had theorized the existence of bacteria. Why did they do this? Because they had the same brain that you or I have, they had the same eyes, the same senses, the same planet, the same general needs, fears, and wants.
What changes throughout history is not how smart we are but the baseline for our observations. Someone, somewhere, stumbles upon something (like Penicillin) and we suddenly have a new baseline. People learning from that baseline are not smarter. Technically we could argue semantics, but for me I want to squash this notion that ancient people couldn’t have done great things. There is no reason to believe this and there is no biologist in the world that will argue that there is a fundamental necessity for ancient people to be “archaic” or dumb. The number of dumb people then was likely at similar ratio as it is now.
We have a museum in the US where people show ancient humans chilling with dinosaurs. I doubt there were many people in the past so dumb as to suggest that such a thing is the case. Yet here we are, with planes in the sky, cars, boats, spaceships, and all the wonders of the internet, still all this is not enough to stop a museum from showing a man eating grains with a herbivorous Utahraptor.
Our capacity to learn has been largely unchanged. What has changed is the rate at which our brains are stimulated. Information is accelerating and I suspect we’ll find that there is a speed limit for how much data you can take in that will remain meaningful. I also suspect we’ll find we broke that limit and are currently in a place where we need to slow down. But that is for another day.
Even on the face of it this whole belief is kind of moronic. Imagine if you will a culture that sacrifices a thousand people a year (which is a low number), do you really think it is surprising that they would understand surgery? Does anyone really find it odd that people dissecting bodies constantly wouldn’t be highly knowledgeable in them? This is exactly how Leonardo became so well versed in the human body, he tore apart cadavers.
Every culture that ever did anything we find outstanding did so because they had incredible levels of experience in that field. Just like it takes you 10,000 hours to master something it takes basically anyone without a cognitive defect 10,000 hours to be a master at anything.
We need a better word when discussing the differences between modern peoples and ancient peoples. A word that stresses that it is not the mental capacity of the peoples that is different but the technological baseline. Until that point people will continue to make the false claim that we are wise and they were fools. [Don't even get me started on all the scientific advancements made during the 'dark ages'. Eurocentric history bothers me.]
Edit: A fun extra: Older than oldest of 7 Wonders: 4,600 yo step pyramid uncovered in Egypt - As time goes on I suspect we’ll find that most cultures were building smaller pyramids and once they got exceptionally good at it they began building bigger and bigger ones. Same with any other wonder. People practice, get good at it, and show off.
Rico’s Bravely Default Money Making Guide ~ As Spoiler Light as Possible [Make 1 Million pg while you sleep!]1
Given how many people have visited my last guide on Bravely Default I suppose its time to hook people up with a better money making tool. This one came about after I got the skill “Big Pharma” and realized I was looking at a veritable goldmine, a bit like actual Big Pharma. As with the previous guide I’m going to be making this as spoiler free as possible, thankfully the entire guide takes place in the “Wind Temple” which is one of the first areas you enter in the game! [Ironically I had reached Merchant Job Class 11 in the very same place, so it was incredibly convenient for me.]
Blessed Shield x 1
Agnes without a weapon & Job changed to a Spellcaster.
One character with Merchant at Job Level 11 [I personally used Tiz, seeing as Ringabel is my Thief].
Next go to the second floor of the Wind Temple (which you’ve likely already found, so I won’t say where it is). Make sure that you have your non-merchant, non-Agnes character hooked up with the Blessed Shield. If you want you can put Blessed Shields on all 4 of your characters, this will help keep things more certain but isn’t necessary. Get into a fight with a Golem (kill any other mobs with him but don’t hit him yet). Once the Golem is alone do the following list in any order.
- Have your non-merchant, non-Agnes, non-Blessed Shield character use Default.
- Have your Blessed Shield character use their Blessed Shield on the party (This will cast Cura on the party, usually for about 200 life).
- Have Agnes physically hit the enemy, make sure she’s equipped with something that does less than 500 damage usually. I find that unarmed is probably best.
- Have your merchant use “Big Pharma” on the Golem.
What does this do? One character hits the Golem for between 200 and 500 damage, another heals him for that much and you get exactly that much in money back, a third heals the party for 200 damage (you are only taking between 1 and 50 by this point), and the last is just blocking.
This means that every turn you earn about 250 pg. Press Y and let your party keep doing this on repeat, crank up the speed to >>>>, and now you’ve got yourself a money making monstrosity! Leave the game running overnight and you should come back to roughly 1 million PG (almost on the spot, its rather consistent). Assuming that you kept Agnes unarmed you shouldn’t hit the Golem for more than 500 on anything but crits, this is good because you want to keep him healing from Big Pharma fast enough to not die while you are asleep.
In this way you can buy various items that will help make the game more enjoyable and take a bit of pressure off from the (surprisingly low) money output that the game delivers. Additionally you can purchase a certain item (which I won’t name) that increases your exp and job exp gains while simultaneously turning off your pg gains. You won’t need pg gains because of this trick which means you can use that item with my leveling guide to level twice as fast.
I personally leave the game running in this way while I sleep with my 3DS sleeve over the bottom screen and an empty 3DS game case over the top one. Keeps the 3DS nice and dark so that I can sleep and in the morning I can pick it up, kill the Golem, and check out my sweet haul.
There you go! A simple and fun way to earn a million pg while you sleep. Anyone can do it and it requires very little to get online.
Edit: For the sake of clarity. You could make as little as 750K or so depending on how hard you hit. Still you were sleeping when it happened so~