I HAS PC Life and Interwebs

4Apr/140

Interwebs Issues

Just a short service announcement - I have been having server issues. My site has been down intermittently. This has caused the Nasdaq to plummet and world oil prices to rise.

My apologies.

Don't give up on me! Seems to happen randomly and I'm looking for answers.

On a side note - I got access to WILDSTAR beta! For free! I didn't even have to pre-order. Should be a fun weekend. I'm rolling the troll type guy, for sure.

Have a great Friday, and afterwards, amazing weekend.

26Mar/1417

EQN:L Closed Beta

Just posting here for anyone interested!

I will be playing on the COURAGE (US) Server (assuming it is still there) and will be hoping to claim land near some friends. With this in mind, if you find a place to claim, please post it here! I am at work today *ahem* so I won't be able to claim until the evening.

With that in mind, picking an out of the way spot is preferable so there is room for others to claim nearby. If not, with new claim permissions, 60 minute ports to claims (etc.) it won't be too tough to find one another.

If you claim early please post Server-Area-Tier and Type, and general area. I read there will be a mid-closed beta wipe when they add in caves and water so don't worry about finding the perfect spot. It will go beta-poof! =)

Isey is my name in game as well, so hopefully they have friends lists working in this iteration. Just read they are extending downtime, so we'll see how smooth things are.

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24Mar/143

My Influential 15

One of my favorite blogs to visit is The Ancient Gaming Noob (TAGN) and he recently posted an Influential 15  list - started by another blogger and other sites are also playing along. The parts I read indicated not too many rules, but just do not overthink it - only take 15 minutes, and list them out.

This sounds like fun. I am going in chronological order!

Mario Bros (arcade) (1985)

I spent most of my allowance money playing this game with two of my best friends at the local bowling alley. It was close enough to our school that we could run there at lunch breaks, and always went right after school as well - but just for 20 minutes before racing home. This introduced me to the side scrolling platform [honorable mentions: Ghost and Goblins, Castlevania, Bionic Commando]

Hardball (c64) (1987)

Two teams - the red, power hitting team and the blue, speedy team. That was it in this baseball game. My brother and I played for hours at home - nice to not have to be at the arcade. (I always got stuck with the blue team). [Honorable mention: Madden (I still buy it every few years]

Police Quest (PC) (1987)

My first foray into the Sierra games series (King's quest, Space Quest, etc.) and it was always a weekend event at one of my friend's houses who had it. I think it took us 6 months to complete, since we only had limited weekend time (we mostly played outside - kids those days!)[honorable mention - Maniac Mansion]

Street Fighter (Arcade, SNES) (1987)

Another arcade favorite the one on one bragging rights was a blast. Learning the combos, fighting friends (and arcade enemies) for the right to stay on the machine for the next challenger... flipping a coin for the left or right hand side. All sorts of home field advantages. [Honorable mention: Mortal Combat]

Star control 2 (PC) (1992)

Exploration, adventure, discovery. Space. Has anyone come close since? I am avoiding throwing my money at Star Citizen yet watching it closely. That is a completely separate blog post. [Honorable Mention: Wing Commander. If only for the space.]

Doom (PC) (1993)

We had huge contests at university with Doom - inter dorm rivalries. My philosophy class suffered fiercely. I made a philosophical argument about augmented reality to the prof and he BFG'd me. University was so cool. [Honorable mention: Half Life]

NHL 94 (SEGA) (1993)

Oh Sega hockey, with the one move that would score 100% of the time.. that was up to you do defend properly. Both ends of the rink, there was that ONE move. Yet it was still awesome. Plus bleeding heads.

X com (PC) (1994)

Turn based mastery. This is on many 'best of ever" lists, so not going to explain its full awesome-ness. Many have explained it better than I ever could. Xcom is the perfect example of a game you loved but refuse to play it again. I have it through steam. It sucked to relive it - but awesome the first time around. We are not conditioned to accept failing the first X missions before we have a chance. (see what I did there?) [Honorable mention - Civ 1 - bit of a stretch, but very turn based]

Baldur's Gate (PC) (1998)

I had played a lot of Pen and Paper games and this one reminded me the most of them. I hadn't played a lot of D&D at the time  and this was my first real foray and experience into that. I don't even remember if I won or what happened in the game - I just remember the hours spent hunched in the darkness... in amazement. Just one more encounter. One more.

Rainbow Six (PC) (1998)

The AI could be buggy as hell when you were planning your rescues, but this was an AMAZING shooter - one shot and you are dead, get caught/spotted and the hostages are dead. Great premise and superbly executed at the time. You could do many missions in many different ways and had the choice of your own path. The planning and thinking part was as exciting for me as the executions. And oh yes, permadeath! [Honorable mention: Counter Strike]

Everquest (PC) (1999)

The MMO game changer that has spawned 100 clones, for better or for worse (often better, jaded vets may argue worse. It doesn't even matter anymore. It was awesome and really kickstarted the genre.) It has ruined MMOs for me since, but that is also because of the testserver play environment (hint: community). The rose colored glasses often adorned!

Sims (PC) (2000)

Sims the original was the first game that I could get my girlfriends to play. And my non-gaming roommates. It was the first time I realized games could be for everyone. Then I invented the Wii. (or should have, at least). All that being said, I am pretty sure the things my girlfriend at the time did to the Sims (or tried to do) made me realize that maybe she wasn't the one. Sicko. May have saved my life.

Dark Age of Camelot (PC) (2001)

My second MMO I played the heck out of and my first real PVP experience was also amazing. I also played on the testserver (Pendragon) and the strength of the community there really improved the overall experience. Sadly, game developers have learned that test servers make bad for the quick hitting types of testing they want with enough sample size, and they don't really exist anymore. The lesson they should have learned is that smaller, more dedicated communities make for stronger ties. Another post. DAOC taught me to embrace PVP and how humans always beat AI on experience - always.

World of Warcraft (PC) (2004)

What to say? The most successful MMO ever made took an inaccessible genre and made it easy for everyone to participate. While I have spent my fair share of time arguing WoW has hurt the MMO space in many ways, you cannot argue against its influence. I still go back every expansion, do the theme park rides, /hug and /hi to my friends still playing, and then out again.  I think the next MMO Blizzard makes is going to say a lot about what they have learned from WoW. I'm intrigued.

Battlefield 2142 (PC) (2006)

The multiplayer FPS I judge all other FPSs against. It was great. It was better than great - it was awesome. The kits, the vehicles, everything. COD always felt too twitchy and gamey in comparison (even the DICE successors did) and I started playing more strategic, slower paced shooters afterwards. BF2142 was just the perfect balance for *me*. [Honorable Mention: Project Reality]

That's It!

There is my list! Crazy, and a *bit* sad that the most recent game launch on my list is 8 years old already, but influence is influence. As I re-read this there were a few I wanted to add (RTS such as Warcraft -or- Command & Conquer) but I decided to keep it pure - the ones that spoke to me first. I'm sure as I read through other's lists I'll have many an "aha!" moment. I hope mine brought along some positive smiles and memories!

12Mar/140

Askimet Showing Cracks?

Askimet has been a great, free, spam stopper on this blog since I started it in 2008. In fact, it has stopped 62,479 comments from being spam. (which is ~62x the REAL comments I have received!)

Lately I am squashing spam comments that are sneaking through - and I have rarely ever had to do that. Is anyone else noticing this as a trend, or am I just going through a string of bad luck?

I'm very thankful and mostly just curious if there is something else I should be doing.

 

 

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4Mar/144

Dry Spells and Random Stuffs

This happens to me often with gaming - I hit dry spells.

This occurs when life gets too busy and/or games get a bit dry for me. Thankfully, right now I am in the former - just busy. This, in turn, makes blogging more challenging because if you aren't playing then there's not much to talk about. And if you do have time you would rather be playing instead of writing about it.

We call these, "first world problems".

I'm 25 rubicite away from the final crafting upgrade in EQN:L and its probably a solid 3 hour burn/zengrind. Excitedly, there is a patch on Thursday that promises new biomes - SNOW! I love the outdoors and my favorite backdrop is a lake, but also love winter sports/shenanigans so hey, I'll take a frozen lake and snow. This raises a couple quick conundrums.

One is that I like my claim, and where I am. There is a ton to do with it and we are only a couple patches away from claim expansions which makes it a whole new world for building. My good friend Mehlan has joined the game and claimed beside me so logging in now I find him there, waddling away, so I can say hi and hang out. So for those two reasons alone, not moving.

The second is hopefully they have meaningful seasons - has any game? I don't recall. Why can't I have my lakeside cottage.. and winter wonderland for half the time? Something tells me to add that to the "captain obvious yet awesome" list of what would make the same-old MMO the new-awesome MMO. (See: combat mechanics, leveling mechanics, endgame content, equipment issues . etc.)

Oh, EQN:L tip if you are feeling lonesome, /join general (chat) - people are connecting there and always a stream of chatter. Makes the nights fly by.

I'm starting to wonder if I really am done entirely with World of Warcraft - usually I play out the expansion to the end but the daily grind of the uh, daily grind quests of MoP had me leaving early in the expansion. Now I feel less connected to WoW than ever and I wonder if that slide means the end and no Warlords of Draenor for me. My friends still play and I miss their chatter (and envy their dedication).

I didn't get far in Diablo III - level 20 I think? Before I realized this game wasn't as fun as the first two. The potion chugging loot-fest just got boring fast. I heard there have been some nice changes so I may check it out again. I did pay for it, after all. Something tells me I may like the Crusader class but there better be a trial or something - not shelling out more for a game that didn't capture me in the first place.

Speaking of games I didn't finish/start, GW2. Level 37 was my breaking point. I read a lot of bloggers who love it but I now feel I am so far behind the story that I missed out on the game. Is that the danger of too many updates?

I was >< that close to becoming a LOTRO blog for a while and even queued up the Warden (after much bitching about it) but alas, right now its EQN:L or bust. And bust it is.

Again, the worries and problems of a modern day adult gamer. Too much to do, not as much time to do it. Somehow manage to blog about it though.

27Feb/140

Corporate Governance

This sat in drafts and I never got around to finishing it. Now the info is really outdated, but still - wanted to talk about companies that make games really briefly.

First, we have this nice reminder of EA being voted worst company to work for (again)

Then, we have FUNCOM being raided for suspected wrongdoings

Add in a whole bunch of short-term stock thinking, churn and burn/crunchtime production mentality and man, I can't help but think:

Is it really a surprise we get crappy games?

Then I read this gem from over at Valve - their awesome employee handbook

And this - the Bteam website

Is Corporate (North) America ready for an epic showdown? Is it all coming to a head as hard working humans reject that they need to be taken advantage of to earn a living?

Can we have purpose AND profits?

(side note: go read Tony Hsieh - Delivering Happiness)

19Feb/140

Soft Posts

I have been travelling for work the past couple of weeks (and doing so until this weekend) so I haven't been working on my masterpiece (*cough cough*) in EQN:Landmark. And I am missing the game.

My travel PC is a Microsoft Surface Pro 2 and as I have mentioned in the recent past, I love the unit. Its awesome on planes, the battery life is amazing, and I have adopted the pen input to take over what I would have used to have used my mouse for. It's a great machine. Bit pricey, but huge fan.

Problem? Integrated graphics. The stats on a MS Pro 2 are actually pretty beefy:

Surface Pro 2

Technical Specifications

  • Software
  • Windows 8.1 Pro
  • Exterior
  • Dimensions: 10.81 x 6.81 x 0.53 in
  • Weight: 2 lbs
  • Casing: VaporMg
  • Color: Dark Titanium
  • Physical buttons: Volume, Power
  • Storage* & Memory
  • 64/128GB     256/512GB
  • --------------------------
  • 4GB RAM      8GB RAM
  • Display
  • Screen: 10.6 inch ClearType Full HD Display
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 (widescreen)
  • Touch: 10-point multi-touch
  • Durable display
  • CPU & Wireless
  • 4th generation Intel® Core i5 Processor
  • TPM Chip for enterprise security
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n)
  • Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy technology

I am not telling you all of this because I get a cut - I am actually telling you about it because by all accounts, this game should play EQN: Landmark but it doesn't - some texture issue that everything above ground (props) render nicely, and I get great FPS but the VOXELS textures all come up black - so hard/impossible to build, impossible to mine/collect (anything but trees).

I am SUPER excited for when they fix this (they say they are) because I am looking forward to drawing my building items. The pen input and EQN:L should be a nice match made in heaven.

The building bug has hit me and it reminds me of a story we use in our business discussions.

Three bricklayers are all working on a site. A man walks up and asks the first one:

"What are you doing?"

He answers "laying bricks"

He asks the second man - "What are YOU doing?"

He answers "building a wall"

He approaches the third man, who is working with a big smile on his face - "And what are you doing?"

He responds

"I am building a cathedral"

Go build cathedrals. Its all about perspective.

16Feb/142

Measuring The Same Thing Two Ways

Interesting observation as I was travelling through the USA and watching Olympic coverage.

Canada counts good medals as the ultimate qualifier (odd considering their demeanor) for medal standings. Most gold medals is first, if tied use silver as a tie breaker and then bronze as the "rubber match".

A country with just 15 gold medals is better than a country with 14 gold, 10 silver, 4 bronze.

USA evaluates by number of total medals. Each is worth the same. If you have 40 bronze you are better than a country with 39 gold.

Guess which country had the most of what last Olympics in Vancouver.

They should talk it out and come to a fair compromise - 3 points for a gold, 2 points for a silver, 1 for a bronze. I'm sure whoever would "win" under that setup would agree to that!

Neither will and the debate continues. Canada will claim whoever has the most gold medals  is the Country who won the Olympics and the USA will claim most medals is. That will probably stay the same unless the USA gets the most gold medals (they have used this argument in Summer Olympics) or Canada actually becomes a sporting dominance outside of hockey.

Information is only useful when used properly. That "properly" is hard to define. How about "when used without prejudice or dishonest intent without personal or representative regard"

Think also - anytime a politician uses data/stats.

(hopefully I get to play video games again so my thoughts can stay more focused)

22Jan/142

A Dark Room

What a great little text/flash/ascii game.

There is a lot to do and discover once you get past the idle games part, and I was disappointed one of my discoveries led to the end of the game - I felt I had more to learn and discover but I actually "won" (by accident. I thought I was still discovering...). Playing through again to see if I missed anything.

Sometimes the simplicity is in the delivery, and I am glad www.killtenrats.com shared it.

If you haven't yet, go play it now.

Since we are on the topic: reminder of Gods Will be Watching for other cool games worth playing =)

25Dec/130

I Has Christmas

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Holidays.

Time to reflect.

Time to love

Time to remember

Time to blog.

Best to you and yours and a fantastic 2014 is in store for us all. I promise.

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