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KestrelPi

Massive Chalice and same sex couples

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I do feel that this whole "in-game romance" (or marriage) has gotten to the point where it adds nothing to a game, in terms of gameplay, other than the satisfaction that all our sensibilities regarding the recognition of same-sex relationships/marriage are recognized.

ME3 went out of its way to include every possible combination and I in my opinion it did not add anything to the game (other than controversy, over the tasteful/ tasteless way various characters where represented in terms of their gender and/or sexual preferences). If anything, I found it shallow (not to say improbable, given the frantic nature of that -somewhat disappointing- third installment) that the main character would pursue romantic relationships with people s/he barely knew in the midst of impending disaster.

Then again, I never understood why Ariel had to pester me with her needy love (she knew me for half a day before she started dropping hints) in Shadows of Amn and that's the earliest example of (meaningless, if not annoying) in-game romance I recall right now.

In short, I feel we have gotten to the point where the inclusion of all these aspects has nothing to do with creating a better game. Denying someone the right to be with the person they really love/lust/fancy at the moment because of social prejudices and/or the need to produce an heir and/or the need to secure a more pressing alliance etc. could make for an interesting game mechanism, in term of creating tensions, unhappy/fragile unions/alliances etc., but that would not be sufficiently politically correct, and we can't have that now, can we?

Must say I respectfully disagree on several levels.

1) I think at its best, this discussion really has been about how same sex couples might work in the context of making a great game and not just for the sake of it. So for example the talk around 'what else might couples be able to do aside from have babies that could be really strategically important in an epic timescale war?' is something that could include both opposite and same sex pairings (or even singles), and the stuff about adoption plays into ideas about nature/nurture that the team were already thinking about, and again isn't something that need exclusively apply to opposite or same sex couples.

2) I must disagree with your ME3 example! That game has issues, but I thought they were just doing something they should have done from the start. I always knew that eventually they would do male-male relationships in that game, so I played my Shepard as gay (not out of stubbornness, but just because that's default for me) right from the first game (which basically just meant I rejected all the romantic options for 2 games). By the time I got to accept it, I thought 'about time!' And I didn't think it was unbelievable that a man with the weight of the universe on his shoulders would seek solace in romance when he had the opportunity.

3) I don't disagree that they could do a game that explored themes of social prejudice and denying people their happiness. But those are issues that need a lot of attention to really do that justice (I'm sure you'll agree, there's nothing quite so awkward as a serious social history issue handled in a really hamfisted way), and it doesn't seem like they're really going for that tone to me. If they were, and they went for it, cool! But it seems like a world where it just didn't really matter is more Double Fine's style.

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Can't we always just adopt or use magic, alchemy, or literally anything for reproducing? It is fantasy. Sacred Band of Thebes anybody?

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Can't we always just adopt or use magic, alchemy, or literally anything for reproducing? It is fantasy. Sacred Band of Thebes anybody?

On a certain level I do like the idea of the game not looking too deeply into the 'mechanics' of babymaking, as opposed to the more interesting stuff of inheritance and nature/nurture, bloodlines, etc.

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Well, what can I say, we agree that we disagree.

I felt that "romance" in ME3 was quite meaningless; it didn't add real options and the fact that is was an afterthought is amply demonstrated by the way the "romantic conclusion" was dealt with near the (horribly scripted) end, before the final assault against the Reaper (not that the game was particularly well thought out overall, but that's another discussion altogether).

In fact, it was a pure exercise in adding as many forms of romance and nothing else. I dare say I cared more about Mordin and Legion more than any of the poorly written (and improbable) romantic interests that were shoved down the storyline of ME3 for the sake of inclusion. I found the male gay romantic interest particularly distasteful, given that he had lost his "soul mate" quite recently, yet had little problem romancing a male Shepard.

Anyway, all this may be beside the point; you liked those options, I found them superficial, at best. That's fine.

Getting back to MC, I have some doubts about the way a "heroic bloodline" ties in with adopting a child and why adopting (or even conceiving and/or giving birth to a child) would require the permanents retirement of a hero. On the other hand, Roman emperors often adopted promising young generals, who, on occasion, went on to prove superior to their adopted parents, so perhaps the whole "bloodline" (instead of meritocracy) could be seen as problematic.

So, I would suggest that the whole "bloodline" mechanism is dropped and instead replaced by the need to find an heir for the hero's house, by any means possible (birth, adoption, merging of families etc.) in a manner similar to that of Crusader Kings. Aging is a cool mechanism and deals with the danger of creating superheroes, so that's useful, as well as the relic that is left behind when the hero dies.

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Maybe they can create a pseudo-bloodline or a way to artificially pass it down. For example a bloodline called "Great Courage" could buff strength by 10%. The pseudo version could only buff 7% but gain 3% vitality; could be called "Heart Courage". Adopted heirs could get a bloodline based off of their adopted parents but slightly different. Them being influenced by their parents but genetically different and adding a small variant. Maybe you could adopt a dead hero's child and get a mixture of bloodlines or learned skills/abilities.

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Or maybe there is the notion of bloodline, but it's more like a ritual, a tradition within this fantasy culture that binds people by blood. And usually it's a family ritual because that would be common, but there's no reason that an adopted child couldn't also go through the ritual.

I actually like that the more I think about it. Bloodlines are magical in this world, so it would make total sense that they have rituals and traditions surrounding it.

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With adoption you can do all sorts of things; have the adopted children adore or despise their parents or have problems with other members of the house due to not being "purebloods" and such. Perhaps have an uncle (or aunt) challenge their right to head the house once the current leader dies.

What I'm trying to say is that, from a design point of view, instead of spending time clarifying the position of women or same-sex marriage etc., it would be far more productive (and, ultimately, rewarding in terms of gameplay) to focus on the various noble houses and the relations between those families, forging alliances. Forget bloodlines and focus on houses, add a healthy dose of intrigue and backstabings and create a more sinister atmosphere.

So, instead of centering the dilemma on whether to retire a hero or keep them on the field on the issue of (physically) producing an heir, the dilemma could be replaced by the need to keep a strong leader on the field (and have them die earlier due to hardships/injuries) against retiring them to add a bonus to their house and increase the change of getting a better (or worse, if they're downright bastards) heir (or the risk of getting a "coward" trait if they are retired too early).

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A house mechanic would be better. A bloodline is just the cherry on top. It's what make the houses unique and fun.

I do think bloodlines are a pretty important thematic cherry though. There's a certain romance (in the sense of romanticism) in the idea of bloodlines that it would be a shame to lose. I'm all for that, but I think it's a good question as to whether it is necessary for it to be tied directly to reproduction, or whether this could be a culture where someone can become a blood relative through a more ritual, traditional ceremony, with all the mystical benefits that that implies.

Or, to put it another way, imagine that all kids go through a 'coming of age' ceremony, whether they are adopted or not, and that's the ceremony that confirms their bloodline. I think that would fit in really well with the themes of this game and could even be a mechanic - at the point of their bloodline ceremony, you might get to choose certain abilities they inherit for going into the battlefield with. AWESOME!

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A house mechanic would be better. A bloodline is just the cherry on top. It's what make the houses unique and fun.

I do think bloodlines are a pretty important thematic cherry though. There's a certain romance (in the sense of romanticism) in the idea of bloodlines that it would be a shame to lose. I'm all for that, but I think it's a good question as to whether it is necessary for it to be tied directly to reproduction, or whether this could be a culture where someone can become a blood relative through a more ritual, traditional ceremony, with all the mystical benefits that that implies.

Or, to put it another way, imagine that all kids go through a 'coming of age' ceremony, whether they are adopted or not, and that's the ceremony that confirms their bloodline. I think that would fit in really well with the themes of this game and could even be a mechanic - at the point of their bloodline ceremony, you might get to choose certain abilities they inherit for going into the battlefield with. AWESOME!

That would work great. I hope I don't get hated but it could be a bit like Naruto. Some families have bloodline and others have traditions like you described. A mage family could have a magic ritual. A warrior family could have a test of courage tradition. Others simply have bloodlines.

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A house mechanic would be better. A bloodline is just the cherry on top. It's what make the houses unique and fun.

I do think bloodlines are a pretty important thematic cherry though. There's a certain romance (in the sense of romanticism) in the idea of bloodlines that it would be a shame to lose. I'm all for that, but I think it's a good question as to whether it is necessary for it to be tied directly to reproduction, or whether this could be a culture where someone can become a blood relative through a more ritual, traditional ceremony, with all the mystical benefits that that implies.

Or, to put it another way, imagine that all kids go through a 'coming of age' ceremony, whether they are adopted or not, and that's the ceremony that confirms their bloodline. I think that would fit in really well with the themes of this game and could even be a mechanic - at the point of their bloodline ceremony, you might get to choose certain abilities they inherit for going into the battlefield with. AWESOME!

That would work great. I hope I don't get hated but it could be a bit like Naruto. Some families have bloodline and others have traditions like you described. A mage family could have a magic ritual. A warrior family could have a test of courage tradition. Others simply have bloodlines.

Sure, or alternatively it's all bloodlines, but they come in lots of different flavours.

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Hi, freshly arrived here, I spent time to read this thread from the first post, though.

Very interesting and argued.

I agreed and disagreed with few previous posts I read, like the one stating that "every game should have the option of gay character" (not exactly sic, but it was the idea). Knowing that my stinky barbarian in Diablo 3 is gay, or the pilot of my car in Gran Turismo 5 is a lesbian won't change anything in the game. Really, no matter either in the game mechanics or in the story behind the game. Those two example have their own purpose (respectively smashing monsters and driving from point A to point B), that are not changed in any ways by their sexual orientation.

To come back in MASSIVE CHALICE, it would be nice to have gay character. Why not? The homosexuality didn't appear recently. Victorian Era, Middle Age, Antiquity, and certainly before two, had prooves of homosexual historical characters. So that fine with Med-Fan universe.

In a bloodlines context, it's more tricky, but, not really a problem, at least not a blocking problem. If their religion and/or social context is fine with homosexuality, their is solution: a lesbian could bare a children from a surrogate father while she will raise him/her with her partner/wife, the baby would still carry the blood of the mother. Same for a gay father with a surrogate mother.

That's for the same sex couples. If a single gay Hero don't want to have kids, I guess his King/Queen could say something like:

"Dude, seriously, have a drink, maybe two, and go make a child. Hush, reason of state. I'm your Lord, period. Put your pride and self esteem ten minutes for the realm sake. If you want to stay single no problem. If you want to make the child adopted, I can live with that. If you want to keep him/her, nice too I will provide a nanny to help you. Man, I deadly want my new generation of Heroes"

Okay, that's rude, very rude, but reason of state, king speech and all that kind of stuff. It may sound like horse bredding. But, hey fighting the evil and stuff like that sounds pretty serious too ;)

To represent gay couples, tons of possibilities, as long as they are equals to those which represent hetero couples, like if the two partners are one the same battleground, and if one is killed, "berserk rage" for the second one, "hatred" of the foe and stuff like that.

I hope my tone is not aggressive, english is not my native tongue as I think you may have noticed, so I really hope I didn't choose poorly my words :)

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Moral problems aside(everyones got alot of holes and they can stick whatever things they want into them).

that same sex couple would dilute the gameplay in terms of complexity? Essentially removing the min/maxing element of trying to marry houses together?

If you can make bloodline heirs by simply declaring 2 beings a couple doesn't it remove the complexity of choosing who to marry to who?

Wouldn't it remove an amount of depth and realism to choosing who sires who's child?

just my 2 cents

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I honestly don't get what's so difficult about this. It's pretty simple, cut and dry.

1. Sven and Irving get married, dress up nice, have a party.

2. The court clerk processes the official documentation, marriage license, etc.

3. Upon receipt of his carbon copy of the marriage certificate, the stork examines the traits of Sven and Irving, goes out to the cabbage patch, and waters one with the appropriate reagents to ensure it will be a proper child to serve the purpose of their heir.

4. Cabbage blooms into baby, Stork wraps baby in diaper, swaddles in delivery cloth, flies out to Sven and Irving's place to drop off baby and have some tea with one of the buns that Sven put in the oven earlier.

5. Profit.

It's really that simple.

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Moral problems aside(everyones got alot of holes and they can stick whatever things they want into them).

that same sex couple would dilute the gameplay in terms of complexity? Essentially removing the min/maxing element of trying to marry houses together?

If you can make bloodline heirs by simply declaring 2 beings a couple doesn't it remove the complexity of choosing who to marry to who?

Wouldn't it remove an amount of depth and realism to choosing who sires who's child?

just my 2 cents

It would certainly give the player more choice in what they do, but I don't think it would make the decision any less complex. The player would still have to decide which matches work best and which don't work so well, and there could be a whole host of factors that the player has to consider for that. It's not necessarily always going to be obvious what the 'best' matches are. So I actually see it as empowering the player to make a wider range of decisions, rather than watering down the complexity.

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I honestly don't get what's so difficult about this. It's pretty simple, cut and dry.

1. Sven and Irving get married, dress up nice, have a party.

2. The court clerk processes the official documentation, marriage license, etc.

3. Upon receipt of his carbon copy of the marriage certificate, the stork examines the traits of Sven and Irving, goes out to the cabbage patch, and waters one with the appropriate reagents to ensure it will be a proper child to serve the purpose of their heir.

4. Cabbage blooms into baby, Stork wraps baby in diaper, swaddles in delivery cloth, flies out to Sven and Irving's place to drop off baby and have some tea with one of the buns that Sven put in the oven earlier.

5. Profit.

It's really that simple.

And you would have to retire a hero in order for a stork to water a cabbage?

The more I think about it, the more this whole "retire to sire" concept appears to have more holes in it than a sieve.

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I honestly don't get what's so difficult about this. It's pretty simple, cut and dry.

1. Sven and Irving get married, dress up nice, have a party.

2. The court clerk processes the official documentation, marriage license, etc.

3. Upon receipt of his carbon copy of the marriage certificate, the stork examines the traits of Sven and Irving, goes out to the cabbage patch, and waters one with the appropriate reagents to ensure it will be a proper child to serve the purpose of their heir.

4. Cabbage blooms into baby, Stork wraps baby in diaper, swaddles in delivery cloth, flies out to Sven and Irving's place to drop off baby and have some tea with one of the buns that Sven put in the oven earlier.

5. Profit.

It's really that simple.

And you would have to retire a hero in order for a stork to water a cabbage?

The more I think about it, the more this whole "retire to sire" concept appears to have more holes in it than a sieve.

Well obviously the Stork isn't just going to grow orphans. Why would you even suggest that?

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I really do think it could be handled in a very simple way the more I think on it:

1) A marriage is arranged between some combination of guy and/or gal.

2) That couple get a kid, somehow. They make babies or they adopt, it doesn't need to be complex - they just get a baby somehow. Maybe it it's different sex the button is 'Have a baby!' and maybe if they're same sex it's 'Adopt a baby!' or maybe there's just a 'Raise a child' button, and it says 'Blah and Blah have had a baby!' or 'Blah and Blah have Adopted a baby!' - nothing is actually different mechanically.

3) The kid grows up, part of the family.

4) At their coming of age, they take part in a special, traditional but also mystical coming of age ceremony/ritual where their bloodline (and all the advantages/curses that come with it) is confirmed by the King/Queen, regardless of where they came from, and maybe what this means in the gameplay is that you get to choose for them some bloodline powers.

5) They go off to fight, the process continues!

It seems like this would be an elegant way for it to work across the board.

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Well obviously the Stork isn't just going to grow orphans. Why would you even suggest that?

Why not?

Is it more logical for both parents to stay at home to "raise" an heir, instead of one (or both) of them heading back to the battlefield once the cabbage has been watered? What are nannies for?

What I'm trying to say, is that the whole concept of "retire to sire" (or water cabbage, whatever) is entirely abstract. If we allow for magically grown babies, we could equally easily allow for babies that sprout as fully grown individuals.

Then again, if we keep to the biological realities of our world, there is nothing to stop a man from getting back to the battlefield once the deed is done, so to speak and certainly warrior-kings did not become stay-at-home dads. Not that there is anything wrong with stay at home dads, I am merely pointing out that there is no logical basis for the permanent retirement.

So, instead of the abstract "retire to sire" (or water cabbage, or adopt) concept, the choice between keeping a hero active or retiring them could be based on benefits and risks associated with either choice:

Obviously, by keeping them on the field, they gain more experience. On the downside, they risk death and life on the road would lead to shorter lives. By retiring them, they may live longer and/or strengthen their house. I would also suggest that permanent retirement should be scrapped, in favor of a system whereby the provisionally retired hero slowly loses their battle prowess while in retirement, so in theory you could send them back (thereby weakening the house in terms of inter-kingdom backstabings etc.) but you would risk fielding a weakened, older hero, who may not remember as well how to yield that battleaxe.

Something along those lines.

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I don't wish to argue, merely to communicate my preferences to the devs, for whom I have a great deal of respect. I'm very excited about the game idea and jumped on the Kickstarter as soon as I heard. I will say that I'm not excited at seeing the attention now going towards spotlighting sexuality in the game. It's a turn off to me, enough that if these features become prominent, I might take a step back and see what develops, rather than supporting it from the beginning. I do like Brad's idea bout building a few alternate mechanics, but not being explicit so that people can use their imaginations.

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I don't wish to argue, merely to communicate my preferences to the devs, for whom I have a great deal of respect. I'm very excited about the game idea and jumped on the Kickstarter as soon as I heard. I will say that I'm not excited at seeing the attention now going towards spotlighting sexuality in the game. It's a turn off to me, enough that if these features become prominent, I might take a step back and see what develops, rather than supporting it from the beginning. I do like Brad's idea bout building a few alternate mechanics, but not being explicit so that people can use their imaginations.

Sure, but the only reason I think you might think it's being spotlighted is that this is a very busy thread about it. I don't think anyone wants it in the spotlight! In fact, my preferred solution puts it completely in the background. (Not trying to start an argument, just letting you know I think you're safe)

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Haven't gone through every single page of this thread yet...so not sure if this has already been mentioned....but how about giving same sex couples in the game the option to adopt war orphans? I assume there will be an option to either wipe out an entire enemy bloodline or wipe out only the adults and allow the kids to fend for themselves or perhaps be taken into orphanages, where they can be adopted by whatever couple ( or even a single parent) afterwards....just an idea. Then those children would have some of the innate abilities of their lineage as well as picking up some skills from their foster parents....just a thought. This thread is awesome!

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Honestly? Because really, who gives a fuck if there are gay people in a video game anymore? It's 2013! By this time next year. Gay Marriage could be legal in the US. Nobody is going to care if a little indie game allows you to pair up Adam and Steve. And if anyone does, that's their damage, not Double Fine's.

I don't think you understand the relationship between a game creator and a customer. If the customer doesn't pay for a product they don't lose out. The simple question is does including gay marriage enhance the gameplay? No. Does it fit with the theme of marrying royal families together and mixing genetic materials to create an offspring? No. Could the developers use time and resources to put this in the game regardless for the sole reason of inclusion? Absolutely. I have not a shred of a problem with gay people or gay marriage but if this is watering down the game because if they don't include it then they are being "homophobic" or some other nonsense then that is a big deal.

I don't wish to argue, merely to communicate my preferences to the devs, for whom I have a great deal of respect. I'm very excited about the game idea and jumped on the Kickstarter as soon as I heard. I will say that I'm not excited at seeing the attention now going towards spotlighting sexuality in the game. It's a turn off to me, enough that if these features become prominent, I might take a step back and see what develops, rather than supporting it from the beginning. I do like Brad's idea bout building a few alternate mechanics, but not being explicit so that people can use their imaginations.

I am right with you I watched the original video and I was like "Holy crap what a beautiful concept. Royal families have proficiency in various fighting classes and then you have to choose to keep powering up your character or retiring them to have a child and pass on your teaching to them. Do you want to use your best warrior or will he be out of combat for the next generation". The only reason I didn't kickstart then is many games have more detail about the mechanics or gameplay so I wanted to go get more details about what was going on first. Having your best male and female hero make a baby then go back to fighting and have another couple raise the baby is an absolute destruction of the core mechanic. I don't see what examining the nature vs nurture relationship brings to the game what royal family is going to let someone else raise their heir.

The comments in this article absolutely make this black and white as to what the issue is... http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/06/06/how-kickstarter-got-gay-marriage-into-massive-chalice/

"Anyone who doesn't think gay marriage should be in the game is homophobic and a bigot. The real world has gay marriage so why can't the game. Don't bring up procreation is the point of marriage in a game about royal marriages for the purpose of making a heir" etc, etc. I support gay marriage in -real life-. I support gay marriage in any game it fits the setting and/or game mechanics. This is absolutely detrimental to the game for the purpose of inclusion. You are making it a social issue instead of a game mechanic.

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Go for it if it makes sense mechanically within the context of the game but DF shouldn't feel obliged to find a way to "force" it in a way that ends up being detrimental.

Which is just a longer way of saying "just make a good game" :D

One way of making room for both , I guess, if that's the way Brad wants to go, would be to give the option of giving a hero a Squire who would have a higher chance of producing a new hero with a lower (but still better) skill potential or coupling up heroes which would have a lower chance of producing a new hero with higher skill potential. Everything else can then be left up the individual persons imagination as to how they want to role play it.

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I think it's awesome that this will be a part of the game. I haven't followed things too closely but if it's a natural part of our world, it can be a natural part of Massive Chalice's world, too.

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Go for it if it makes sense mechanically within the context of the game but DF shouldn't feel obliged to find a way to "force" it in a way that ends up being detrimental.

Which is just a longer way of saying "just make a good game" :D

I dunno if just make a good game covers it because either way they go it could be a good game. In your standard RPG/SRPG the romantic pairing in storylines are just fluff not important to the game in the least but that just isn't true in this one. Here is what cuts to the core of the issue: we generally know how combat works, we don't know how classes, magic all the details are going to go or anything in the combat portion. We don't know how kingdoms are run or any of the details of the governance portion of the game is played. The one thing that we got specifics on and what they got 800k kickstarted into was the amazing core game mechanic - Royal families marry, permadeath at old age, creating offspring and raising them retiring your heroes, thus the multi-generational battle vs demons ensues. They say they don't want game details yet or stretch goals because they run the risk of not providing things that they promised but if they twist the core game mechanic to something very different to enable gay marriage because they didn't consider it in the design of the game, then I don't see how the game matches the core game mechanic that got everyone excited. I went from massive excitement to massive disappointment. I dunno I'll prolly check back in 20 days and see if everything else in the game is awesome enough to change my mind.

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