Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday's Electric Happy Hour - 2011/04/29

Two tunes in one video that I feel are perfect for the coda of my particular show.

By the way, Rixx's post on blogger burn-out really hit home in my case, but oh well. I started blogging for my own self and I'll keep it that way. Anything else after that is gravy :)

Fly free


Thursday, April 28, 2011

WASD, how I've missed you!

Told ya I'd keep blogging. I may not be arsed to get on EVE but I still enjoy gaming quite a bit, and doing so in a mostly troll-free environment where actual twitch skills are everything is something I've always prefered over EVE. Now that I've been getting back more steadily into action first-person shooters, I realise that maybe I should've taken a break from EVE sooner or more often. Shocking isn't it? I can recognize that EVE has a complexity that is second to none, and to many people meta-gaming is just as important as the game itself. But I'm more of a "point gun, shoot" gamer; the more complex a game is the faster I lose interest. Ever since I've started writing this blog I haven't exactly hidden the fact that I'm a Quake guy and love blowing shit up. And now that I'm into the mindset that I don't play EVE anymore I've been warming up the old twitch reflexes quite a bit in preparation for a full-on multiplayer deathmatch assault.

Since it came out in 1999, my fragging game of choice has been Quake III Arena, modded with Challenge Pro-Mode Arena. I would also play other FPS games like Doom3, Half-Life2 and Jedi Academy, but I never had any interest in the FPS games based on warfare or special ops; When Counterstrike took the throne as THE online FPS game I did give it a shot, but sneaking around for minutes just for a scant few seconds of action just isn't my thing... the same as roaming in EVE for 2 hours and killing two ships (and I ain't talking about the time lost making the fleet). I much prefer the speed and crazy aerial acrobatics of a game like Quake. I also gave a shot at Unreal Tournament 2004, but once again I found Quake to be more "my style" if you will. At the dawn of 2009 I got my beta key for Quake Live (which is basically Q3A on a browser plug-in, minus the blood, gore and satanic references) and that's where I've been doing my online fragging once in a while. But lately two freeware games have attracted my attention. Both play in Quake's court, and both use modified versions of id Software technology. Let's have a look at 'em:

Warsow CTF. Red vs... Green?

Of the two games this one is my favorite. Based on a modified Quake2 engine, the game feels a more like Q3 CPMA than the game it takes the engine from. All the maps are geared more towards fluid gameplay than towards looks, but than doesn't mean they are by any means ugly. The player models, weapons and pick-ups are all textured with cell-shaders and the weapon effects are minimal, looking very much like a Quake3 client set up for tournament play, but unlike Quake3 you don't have to tweak config files like mad to have a clear field of view. Well, the configs can be tweaked to heart's content, but it's good to have a business-ready client right after installation.

And the gameplay? Fast. Blinding fast. This doesn't just play on Q3A's court, it wrestles with it on the same ring! Let's be honest, a deathmatch game is a pretty simple and standard thing, with pretty much the same pick-ups and weapons. But where Warsow really shines is in the movement. It is much more fluid than the original Q3A or even the current Quake Live, and just slightly less crazy than CPMA. And as a direct competitor, it more than does the job as the game has been used in some professional gaming tournaments. My verdict? At the awesome price of zero dollars and zero cents, this game is a must-have for any deathmatch aficionado.

This is the Q1 engine?! DAMN !!!

I may have favorited the first game but this one is no slouch. When the game is first loaded, it's hard to believe that at its very core lies what used to be a Classic Quake engine. Yes, the Quake from 1996! But what the developers did was throw the venerable Quake engine into Top Gear's V8 blender along with a few buckets of OpenGL goodies, and what came out is an engine that looks even better than the Quake THREE engine. So much so that the developers ditched the Quake name and called it Darkplaces. When maxed out, the graphics were a bit choppy on my 2008 machine so I have to tone things down a bit, but the looks were absolutely stunning.

The physics are where I feel a little let-down though. As opposed to Q3A, CPMA or Warsow, Nexuiz feels a bit more like a threesome between Classic Quake, Quake2, and Unreal Tournament. But the vast quantity of awesome-looking maps and effects will keep me coming back once in a while for sure. Currently Nexuiz is available only as a free download for the PC, but the developers have announced that the game will be made for consoles, and from the screenshots on the website the game will look even more stunning! Coupled with its slightly slower action, which should work pretty good for those used to gamepads (I just can't use gamepads for FPS games... mouse/keyboard baby!), the game could be quite successful if the developers play their cards right.

So there you have it, two absolutely free games worth every single bit of their respective code, and no F2P bullshit thank you very much!

Welcome to MY world!


Sunday, April 24, 2011

End Game

The time as finally come. On May 19th, at 0245 EVE-time, my account subscription will run out and Cozmik R5, Cassy Winds and Outofplace Lamb will be put into cryosleep vats. This time it has nothing to do with real-life finances, in-game conflicts, frustration or bad game design. I am just awfully tired of playing a game that seems more like a chore than a game. And God knows I hate chores with a passion. I have said it before, there is only a tiny fragment of EVE that I actually like, as beautiful and as deep a game as EVE is. But I tend to prefer games that I can turn on and off whenever I want. In EVE, you know when you turn it on, but you have no clue when you'll be turning it off. Sheer addictiveness does have something to do with it, but not always. The majority of the time everything you want to do just takes too damn long. I've had quite enough of this. Trolls would tell me to harden the fuck up (!); well fuck you trolls! All you're good at is trolling. Putting your money where your mouth is is only a vague concept to you.

But do I want to make an emoragequit post as I'm about to leave a game I've spent close to three and a half years in? Hell no. Despite the sometimes excruciatingly slow action there have been a few jewels of action where the heart was racing at 200 BPM, laughed so hard I was brought to tears, or was simply amazed at some players... let's keep it civil for once and call it "lack of information"! Here are a few of my favorite memories in my time in New Eden.

Flying dangerous, very early: I was 4 or 5 days old when I tried to go for the slightly tougher rats of Low-sec. I knew Low-sec was more dangerous, but at this point I didn't know how harsh the EVE environment could be. I proceeded to kill a few Angels for about 20 minutes when someone in Local said "Alright, that's it!". A second later my then almost brand new Thrasher was no more, blown up by a Rupture  piloted by someone I would later find out is kind of an EVE PvP celebrity. The pilot was Garmon. The system was Amamake :) Yeah, only n00bs!

Show me PvP bitch: at a mere 3 weeks of age real-life friend Letrange introduced me to one Arancia Detto of the Clown Punchers Syndicate. Yeah, a complete n00b wanting to taste 0.0 PvP. BOZO had a training corp back then called Clown College, and once in a while they would take complete n00bs like me and teach them the ropes of The PvP. Of my class I was the only one to not only make it to the big corp, but to stay on for an entire year.

The suicide fleet that wouldn't die: I was learning the ropes of FC'ing and was leading a suicide fleet made up of nothing but T1 cruisers and frigs, when on one roam we managed to kill multiple T2 ships, battlecruisers and battleships, all while losing a single Griffin. Pure epic win!

The rebirth of an alliance: That much PvP was fun but I did need to slow down my pace at some point. This happened to be just in time to join Letrange in his rebuilding of the AMC alliance in preparation for Apocrypha, W-space, T3 ships and all that fun stuff. Let's alliance was composed mostly of industrialists who had never flown in dangerous space before, but players like me, Cerui Tarshiel, and MAPU corp made sure everyone got a crash course in PvP, which culminated in the first POS bash we had to do in W-space, which was expensive but we had managed to pull off what we intended to do, kick the bad guys out. AMC pilots are still carebears at heart but I would dare anyone to try and fuck with 'em. Go ahead, try!

From learner to master: when one of my long-time friends surprised me by logging on the day after I told him about EVE, I became a teacher. He was of course overwhelmed by the Learning Cliff but he came out alright. The fact that he's not playing anymore has more to do with his company getting WTFPWND by some bank-frauding douchebag than by loss of interest.

The Provi-War: I wasn't there for the entire duration, but fun was had especially at the very beginning. Unfortunately the alliance I was associated with bit off more than it could chew and eventually fail-cascaded, which was sad because at the start it looked like it was going to be a total ball!

Back to AMC: when I came back the alliance wasn't the fledgling thing it was in early Apocrypha, it was a well-oiled machine making more ISK than you could think possible. Wardecs were welcomed with bared teeth instead of dread. POS ops were handled with calm efficiency instead of the first ones' panic. And we also had a few PvP roams that were nothing but pure fun. The highlight was catching gank pirate WayCharles pants down, killing a Phobos, an Oneiros and an Abaddon with nothing but 2 T1 cruisers, a battlecruisers, a Rifter and my Taranis. Piwat tears > Carebear tears :))

Back to Curse: when I joined Ushra'Khan just over a month ago I came very close to writing this very post because like a few of my AMC mates, I was in burn-out mode. Hell, I AM in burn-out mode! But despite some schedule conflicts because most of U'K is EU-based, and some hard-headed spirits I have a tougher time dealing with, I was welcomed with open arms into this new family. I even had my best ever stats within a corp. The final tally in my time in TDR is 36 kills (25 real kills) and 1 death, for a 97.19% efficiency. Not bad for someone who has trouble logging in at the same time as most of his corpmates. But the feeling I now have for EVE goes beyond the sweet PvP numbers. Internet spaceships don't sing to me anymore, so the time has come to put some tarps over my ships, close the garage door and put out the lights.

"So what are your plans?" you ask. Well, before the light goes out I do want to treat myself a little. I've always wanted a Cynabal so I'll get one. When I tried it on Sisi I fell in love with it. I won't play with it much right now but at least it'll be there when I come back, because of course I'll come back at some point. But not before summer's end, at least. There are some other games that interest me, but I admit that this burn-out is pretty much a gaming burn-out, not just EVE. But yeah, I will fly a Eurofighter Typhoon down the Grand Canyon once in a while. I will frag the crap out of someone on Quake Live. I will fly a starfighter with a stick and blow shit up. I will blow some Inner Sphere surat's mech to smithereens. I will hack-n-slash my way into a dungeon, looking for sweet loot. But I will also play my drums and guitar as often as possible. I will ride my mountain bike for miles and miles through all sorts of terrain, urban and not. I will do some urban exploration and try to go into real-life Low-sec. I will go see awesome music shows and enjoy a cold one on hot summer days. And after all that, then I'll see if it's worth it for me to come back to EVE. But whatever I do, if it's interesting enough I will probably blog about it because the "Diary" isn't going anywhere, and I love writing about and posting stuff. Yes, you can still expect a tune next friday :))

I cannot leave EVE Online without saying some Thank You's to a few people that have helped me in one way or another, even if they don't know or remember me, during my growth as an EVE player, so here goes:

To Garmon, who has taught me to harden the fuck up 2 years before the slogan was invented.

To the BOZOs: Arancia Detto, Quebnaric Deile, Teister, Tolarus, Cerui Tarshiel, Maelgar, Madcoy Flinstone, Matriux, Kazmak, Masnunca, Nagumwasuck, Zenethian, Jel Malar, Freak76, Delusional Miner, Ephetian, and countless others I will probably remember one week after this has been posted, for giving a 3 week old n00b a shot at 0.0 life, and getting on more killmails in a single month than some people have in their entire EVE career. (v3rtigo, Rugs, ts5p, Fumb Duck, Music TSP... there are more!)

To all at AMC: Cathrianne, Strongpaw Griffis, Teena & Luna Wyldfyre, Raistel, StarHomer, Devorik, Uskas, Zynda, Tsurugisan, Gemorion, FreddyFacepalm, and various others for teaching that not all carebears shed tears, but turn into kodiaks instead.

To MAPU, Chez Stan, and other Montreal EVE pilots: Unzer, Suletsap III, Havegun Willtravel, IvanAsen, Felix Dcat, Mokmo3, Theodore Geisel, Ouzag and Cartboard Box for being the best real-life buddies anyone could have and for helping with real-life shit. Whenever any of you guys need help, I'll be there.

To the EVE bloggers, past and present: Mynxee, Shae Tiann, Spectre3353, Kirith Kodachi, Manasi, Ga'len, Wensley, Kane Rizzel, Miura Bull, Rixx Javix, Helicity Boson, Raxip Elamp, Crazy Kinux, and others for giving me different prespectives on EVE and giving me the means to read about the game when I can't have access to it.

To TDR and U'K: Lord Makk, Cenm, Aedun Sole, Xious, Forlorn Wongraven, Spark's, Spotlessblade, Nutkins, Naurill, and various others for the warm welcome back in that crazy place called Curse.

And finally, and most importantly, to my great friend Letrange, who helped me with everything from fitting my very first Slasher to buying me lunch. I would've have passed on EVE if it hadn't been for you, which means I wouldn't have been associated in one way or another with the fine people (yes, even Spectre!) named above, and I wouldn't have been able to deprive New Eden's citizens of 42.63 billion ISK worth of assets, according to Battleclinic.

Now's the time for one last trip in dangerous space, as I will board my last interceptor and head towards the Doril gate one last time, at least for a few months. This isn't goodbye forever; it is merely as René Lévesque put it on that faithful day in 1980...

A la prochaine !!!


Wind of change

Major changes are coming to my blogs as EVE is soon going on the back burner but I still love blogging (babbling?) about other things that interest me. More details when it's earlier and my brain functions better to type text.

This change is needed, and it's not just about one mind-numbingly stupid weekend of EVE-O forum failure.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday's Electric Lunch Hour - 2011/04/22

The real hockey season has started so I just have to post this...


Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday's Electric Lunch Hour - 2011/04/15

This week's music video is audio only, but enough is happening in this tune to melt anyone's brain. This is what happens when keyboardist Derek Sherinian manages to cram Billy Sheehan, Yngwie Malmsteen, Al Di Meola and Simon Phillips onto the same track. I wonder how they managed to record the track without the machines blowing up :))



Wednesday, April 13, 2011

First Orbit


The Manual

Before I started playing EVE I spent 2 months reading a shit-ton-and-a-half of guides and forums because EVE has this particular situation: the manual is NOT included. As CCP Soundwave put it during Fanfest: "Here's some toys... go fuck yourself!". Some guides were better than others but you had to Google like crazy to find anything. Not anymore.


This is the manual that EVE never had, and it's an awesome source of knowledge for everybody from n00blets to bitter vets (not that they'll care though, as most bitter vets think that their version of what is right is the only version valid). FYI, in this case ISK is short for Industrial-Sized Knowledgebase, and not the in-game currency. So this isn't a book about how to get uber-rich by scamming in Jita.

I hope this can help anyone interested in EVE.


Monday, April 11, 2011

The 2011 EVE-O Forums Debacle


This is the first word that comes to mind when thinking about last weekend's melodrama around the failed New Forums. To me it started when some well-known forum denizens who I believe play the forums more than the actual game (I call Akita T to the defendant's box) posted an ungodly amount of "Waaaaa the new forums suck!" whine threads. At first I thought the issue would slowly blow over because this was only the reaction of people getting thrown out of their comfort zone. For the record I'll say that I actually liked the look of the new forums; the EVE client has already damaged my eyes enough with it's microscopic font, it was nice to have something readable for once. The avatars were on the large-ish size but I could live with that. But it turned out the whine was about to turn to vinegar.

I won't go back into the details, Helicity Boson has already done a better job describing the Epic Forum Fail than anyone could have.

After various attempts at quick-fixing the problem which looked more like fixing a steel frame with duct tape, a few weird/idiotic posts on Facebook, the banning of the player who prooved how bad the situation could get, and finally the complete roll-back to the old forums, I came away extremely disappointed with CCP's handling of the situation, and my already dwindling interest in EVE has taken yet another hit. As I commented on Helicity's post, I can live with a few lag issues because all multi-player games have them to some degree. I can live with bad design if the game behind it is interesting enough to me. I can even live with faulty/broken/unbalanced game mechanics along the lines of hybrid guns and over-powered ECM because there are other ways to have fun in the game. But a direct threat to not only my game account but to my entire computer? From a company that two weeks ago was basking in its own glory and and flaunting its commitment to excellence and delivering the goods? I'm sorry, but this is unacceptable.

So am I ready to emoragequit yet? No, not quite. I do log in a lot less these days, but not just in EVE. With the awesome weather Montreal finally got it was way more fun to be outdoors doing urban exploration than to sit at my computer reading the rage of other players. When I do log in there's plenty of fun to be had down in Curse. But when I look at the big picture of EVE, not just my little corner of the universe, I realise that the thread attaching me to this game is getting thinner by the day. There are already plenty of things I have zero interest in, and shenanigans like last weekend's are only bringing me closer to the proverbial "Fuck that noise". My subscription renewal is coming up in June. I don't think I'll be saying I'm leaving forever, but I seriously think that I will take the summer off and see if CCP can get its act together, especially knowing that a significant change in the gameplay (ie: Incarna) is on the way. So no, you can't have my stuff; I will try to get it gloriously blown up first!

Fly hard, but if the game fails fly something else.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday's Electric Lunch Hour - 2011/04/08

What happens when a Norwegian Black Metal singer gets together with some buddies and they go searching deep within their Viking roots? This. A thing to notice: all instruments are made of wood, skin, horns and bones. Yes you read right, bones!



Wednesday, April 6, 2011

New blog started

And it has nothing to do with EVE Online!

Prophecy in Black

I'm not completely crossing over just yet, but my interest is high enough to write about it. Headers and gadgets may change without notice :)

Fly dangerous, wherever you may fly


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Training something new

Hey there! It's been already a week while since the last real post and seriously, not much is new. I've gotten on a few kills down in Curse with my U'K mates before clone-jumping back to Hi-sec to move a bit more assets for eventual transport. Oh and somewhere in there April Fools happened; in U'K this came in the form of a fake Wyvern loss, with a fake traitor doing the "tackling". Unless you haven't followed the news last year, you probably know that Ushra'khan is extremely sensitive to would-be traitors/spies. Personally I found the whole thing kind of funny, but I could tell that this joke struck a particularly painful nerve. I still say that the only good supercap is a dead one.

I've also found something that may eventually hurt my stay in U'K. I know of at least one FC who doesn't take losses well, and it's not like we throw away HACs or anything. This was only talk as nothing had happened but I took the opportunity to make him know how I feel when an FC freaks out over one of my losses. Let's just say I hope he's not in command when my current lucky streak gets broken, because it will. To me, pixel ships are made of pixels, and I consider every single ship I undock lost; everything else is just icing on the cake. FC's that take EVE too seriously can litterally kiss my ass! But apart from that things are pretty cool, and even though I've been playing EVE a bit less because of other interests I've generally been having fun. There's also Black Prophecy and other games, but I admit I can feel an all-around gaming burn-out period coming. It happens every year when spring finally decides to show itself in Montreal. I'm not the kind of gamer who likes doing nothing but sit hours and days on end at the computer, so when the weather gets better I prefer to be out having a beer with buddies than flying pixel ships, as cool as they are. I also have this problem that I'm interested in too many things (by interested I mean near-obsessed) and with only 24 hours in one day, a full-time job and part-time dad duties... yeah, sometimes doing sweet fuck-all is better than all the gaming time in the world!

That said, Cozmik's training is going forward. At some point last week I finally achieved Amarr Frigate V and T2 small lasers (the specializations are currently only at III though), and Amarr Cruiser and medium lasers at IV. In ten days time I will hit Medium Energy Turrets V, and after training the specs to IV I will get Amarr Cruiser V. Hello Zealot and Absolution! I will most probably get better neutralizer skills to fly a mean Curse. But that said I have already purchased my first ever serious Amarr ship; an alliance-mate had a fully-fit Imperial Navy Omen he wanted to liquidate so I took the opportunity by the balls and got it :) It was quite funny when I was asked if I had tried it; my answer was "I'll tell you next month!". I also need to buy some Amarr frigs; the Navy Slicer sounds good, and I know of one A4D pilot who used to do wonders in a Crusader.

And after skilling up for the decent Amarr HAC? It will be long-term stuff from here on in. First Minmatar Battleship V, then I'll have to decide weather to finish what I started with my Gallente side - I already have Gallente BS III and Large Hybrids III (I had switched to something more fun!) - or keep on the new path and train up Amarr battleships and large weapons. The first would get me closer to the trophy ship called the Machariel, and the second to the Bhaalgorn. How I would fund ships like those remains a mystery to me though. And Caldari? Nah, if only for aesthetic reasons. Whoever designed eyesores like the Kestrel, Moa, Blackbird, Ferox, Rokh, Wyvern (fuck, the list is endless!)... anyway, that fucktard needs to rot in a special blocky corner of Hell. And after all this we'll see. Getting three races' battleships up to V with their respective T2 weapons will take quite a while. I will surely polish up some support skills here and there but I'll see how it goes.

So there ya go. Let's see what will win this weekend: gaming or real life? Only Mother Nature knows...

Fly it if you got it, and if your FC isn't happy because you lost it while having fun tell him to fuck himself!


Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday's Electric Lunch Hour - 2011/04/01

Too early for any comments. Just enjoy this animation of this well known Rush tune :)