Monday, May 30, 2011

Code Fuschia !!!

Clear Skies III is out !!!

Watched it this morning after waking up at the obscene hour of 3:30AM, and it made my Monday much better. Now, if only EVE Online could be this awesome all the time.... *sigh*

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday's Electric Lunch Hour - Hellgate Edition

Let's take a Power Metal left turn for a bit. Last weekend I read a bit of news that I found pretty exciting because it involves one of the games that I really enjoyed playing but unfortunately had suffered a terminal case of corporate struggle. Hellgate: London, a game which looks and feels like it is the result of Diablo and Doom having had some extremely kinky sex, was released on October 31st 2007. I started playing it around May 2008, and on January 31st 2009 all support for the game was stopped, and the servers and websites were shut down. Yep, vast amounts of suckage. But fortunately for Hellgate's community, the brand was picked up by Korean-based studio Hanbitsoft and work started to not only update the game's content, but to also open new multiplayer servers, in Asia at first, and at an unknown date in the US and EU. The project was called Hellgate: Resurrection.

Not wanting to be left out and desiring to keep the game somewhat alive, some members of the community started a project called Hellgate: Revival, intended to update the single-player content of the game. I have yet to check it out, but now that I'm enjoying other games I most probably will in the near future. And the bit of news that excited me? On June 3rd, which means next week, the closed beta for the english version of Resurrection will start. Of course I registered to hopefully receive a log-in key! So what are my character choices? I'm pretty split on this so I'll have to make two: a Templar Blademaster so I can go to town with twin swords swinging madly, and a Hunter Marksman so I can run around Quake-style fragging the shit out of anything that moves. I don't know when I'll be able to go multi-player, but I think I'll have quite a ball killing demons soon :)

On the Quake Live front, every day that passes I'm shedding a bit more rust. I still have the problem that I go on both very good and very bad streaks. When I'm on a good one it's fine, but when I dig a rut I dig it pretty deep and it's hard to come out of it. My main problem is that I tend to be too aggressive in my playing style, so I pay for it regularly. But it's all good in the end. It's great to play games that I don't feel like I have to reserve 3 hours or more if I want to do more than skill flipping or mission running. Yes, EVE hiatuses are awesome; if you think you may need a break, it's because you really do. Take one!

If it moves, shoot it. If it doesn't move, shoot it harder.


Edit: Various links to be added when ceases to be retarded; I had to post this from work where I don't have access to any gaming related sites.

Edit #2: Yay me... I made Ga'len's Fail Mail Friday !!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Quake graphics 101

To the casual player, Quake Live looks like this:


But to the serious Quaker, prettiness is superfluous, and the game looks like this:

Who needs eye candy?!

Take a wild guess which side of the crowd I'm part of >:) A little back story on the map: this is Blood Run by a brilliant map maker called ztn. The first version of this map was for the venerable Classic Quake, and it received a new life not long after Quake3 came out. It's very popular among competition deathmatchers, and it's also one of my favorites. The key to success on this map is controlling the Red Armor (RA), on that little ledge on the left, and the MegaHealth (MH), which is found just on the other side of the archway on the bottom of the map. Getting to the RA can be tricky though, as you have to leave yourself exposed to attacks from below.

So yes, ever since the EVE account went dead I've been getting back seriously into Quake, mainly playing FFA deathmatches, Clan Arena, and a little Instagib to work on my rusty railgun. I also spent last evening getting back together with a few of my old clanmates, where I found that for someone who spent much of 3.5 years not playing Quake seriously I wasn't as rusty as I thought! My buddy StaticSys did remind me more than a few times that my railgun needed some work, so this morning I got on an Instagib server and managed to pull this off:

Booya !!!

I need to work on my rail accuracy a bit more, but yeah... I'm back :)

Fly dangerous; rocket-jumps ftw !!!


Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday's Electric Lunch Hour - 2011/05/20

After Letrange mentioned it, I just couldn't NOT post it :)



Thursday, May 19, 2011

Journey's end

And it's finally done. The obligatory "I'm outta here" on the EVE-O forums has been posted, without a wall-o-text of whine I might add. The "can I haz your stuff" comments have been heard and ridiculed. And with the closed account the EVE-O forums are back to read-only for me. At least I'll be able to keep track of what's been happening when I get the spaceship bug again.

But I couldn't leave without giving one last shot at The PvP so the past couple of days I've logged in longer than in the entire past month. The roams me and a couple of AMC buddies had weren't too successful. On Tuesday we roamed for 2+ hours without meeting anyone to fight; Someone explain this to me: how does a 3-man gang (us) formed of a Hurricane, a Myrmidon and Thorax gets no fight against a 5-man piwat gang comprised of a Broadsword, 2 Drakes and 2 Canes?! We didn't want to shoot ourselves in the feet by getting gate aggression, but even when all the cards were on the table they wouldn't touch us. We ended up heading towards Amamake where we expected to fight someone, but 2 out of 3 members of our small gang had to leave for Real Life reasons. So much for The PvP.

And yesterday just a few hours before my account ran out my old buddy Havegun and I went back out, this time in the general direction of Old Man Star, with a quick stop by the Mya-Gerper constellation so I could say goodbye to our old frag buddies, the Basgerin Pirates. We started with my Stabber and a Vexor, and one Basgerin was in a Hurricane right at the station undock. I aggressed him and called the Vexor in, but being too close to the station I messed up my orbit and got too close, and got scrammed/webbed. We did manage to get the Cane into armor before I died, but a second Basgerin had logged in and joined the fun. The Vexor lasted longer than I did, but its end was inevitable. GF's were given, goodbyes were made, and off we went to reship.

Now flying another Stabber and an Arbitrator, we bee-lined towards OMS. We did have to skate around a BC/T3 gang along the way but nothing happened, except Havegun killing a Shadow Serpentis rat in one of the belts, with decent loot! We got to OMS only to find an even bigger BC/T3 gang. Great... flying defensive again. Seeing that this would only end in tears we went to the neighboring Heydeiles system. Two Drakes, a Rifter and a Punisher were flying around, but we had no clue who was flying with who, so we started touring the belts. Ships were going in and out of scanner range and at some point, a single Drake lands on top me and aggresses. Havegun then joined me so we were able to do a lot of damage, but not enough as the second Drake arrived on the scene. I went down quick, and the Arbitrator only a little longer after. Back to Go, collect 200$.

For the final run we went out in 2 Hurricanes and headed towards Decon, where Havegun knows a few likely targets. And they didn't dissapoint! On scan were a Vagabond and a Hyperion, and at some point Havegun and the Vaga are at about 120km from each other, with the Vaga approaching. When the fight starts I hit the warp button, but Lo and Behold the Vagabond is so fail-fit that he goes down almost instantly, tanking less than 5000 hit points. Dude, you're doing it wrong! We then attack the Hyperion and start doing quite a number on him, until he is joined by a Curse and an Ashimmu. My Cane died before we could get past the BS's active tank, but Havegun, having fit a bigger tank lasted quite a bit longer; I was able to go back to the battlefield twice in Reapers :) So at least we got into one good fight before the end of my time. Once again GF's were shouted in Local, and so were goodbyes.

Our PvP wad having been shot, I cloned-jumped back to my mission hub system of Balginia where my spiffier ships were waiting. I filled up my training queue even though it was about to stop ticking, but it should be ready for my return, God knows when. The very last thing I wanted to do was take a screenshot of my Absolution, currently my best PvP ship, flying into the sunset...

So long New Eden...

This is Capsuleer Cozmik R5, signing off.


Cozmik's final BattleClinic stats: Linkiness

Monday, May 16, 2011

From a first-person perspective

It's no secret that I've been getting back into FPS games, but this weekend was special in that regard for a couple reasons. First, I started a new account in Quake Live because my first one's player name was too goofy, mixing a past Q3 clan I was in and my EVE heritage. I scrapped that and started CozmikR5 fresh with all the stats at zero, unaffiliated with any clan (yet), and obviously a name that's easier to manage. If you have an account on Quake Live, feel free to add me to your buddy list; just remember that there is no space between "Cozmik" and "R5" :)

In a different gaming universe, I played a little bit of multiplayer Mech4Mercs this weekend, as requested by my boys who wanted to see dad play with "the robots"! Usually I just load up a few mechs and proceed to go nuts, but this time one of my boys asked me if I was going to have some friends to play with. "Friends as in real people?" I replied. The answer was a resounding "YES!" from both guys. So off to find a server I went. I needed to find one that had actual people as opposed to only bot opponents, but that wasn't too hard because there was plenty of people playing. I first tried a free-for-all server, but unfortunately I didn't have the map the match was being played on. Note to self, get the MGL and NBT map packs ASAP! The second attempt was successful. It was a team battle server with unlimited ammo and no heat, which just meant more mayhem. The server had 2 humans and one bot on one side, and myself and two bots on the other. Despite being a tad lopsided, it was still a very fun match. My Deimos with its six AC5's proved how nasty it could get; I killed all three opposing mechs before my first mech went down. But the enemy was no slouch either; the human players were piloting a PPC/laser fit Executioner and a stock Mauler (maybe upgraded to Clan tech... I can't say). I don't remember the bots' mechs as they were some of the numerous assault mechs available, but for assault mechs they were litterally push-overs. But yeah, fun was had and I can't wait to do it again!

My boys also have a game that I can safely say they're addicted to. Or rather, they're addicted to watching dad play it. I've always been a Star Wars fanboi, and it looks like the Force runs strong in the family! So a few times per dad duty weekend I have to load up Jedi Academy and slice up some stormtroopers, dark Jedi, and disciples of Ragnos. The weird thing is that they're more into the movements of the game than the fragging of bad guys; take them to the park and they run around and jump, making the in-game sound effects :)) Because no, my parental weekends are not purely based on gaming... my ex would incinerate me. But lately the weather has been extremely sucky in Montreal, and when we don't have anywhere special to go of course they're attracted to my twin screen, FCS equipped gaming rig. On the plus side, the boys are getting tech-savvy; heck, my eldest can search for "Hot Wheels Battle Force 5" videos on his own... yes I will have to think about a NetNanny or something to that effect. Damn I'm getting old !!!

As you can see, I've always been able to get some gaming done when I have my boys, and lately too much of it because Mother Nature is being a complete bitch. But notice how nowhere in these three paragraphs is any mention of EVE. It's simple: EVE and kids don't mix. Period. Even the few times they've asked me to "play with the spaceships", they get bored within minutes because admit it, watching someone play EVE is like watching grass grow or paint dry. And doing PvP? That would be litterally irresponsible because ALL your attention has to be on the game. This is reason #346 for the lengthy break.

So if you play any of these three games, feel free to look me up. I will also surely re-install Xfire in the near future so I'll post my contact information. In the meantime, here are my respective callsigns for Quake and Mech4:
  • Quake Live: CozmikR5 (Clan Kill 'Em All {KEA})
  • Mech4Mercs (Mektek edition): CozmikR5

Frag 'em all


Sunday, May 15, 2011

The last ride

Well, maybe not the very last, but it is the last ride for the time being. Behold...

D94 Absolut
Slaver ship in tribal lands

I finished all the necessary skills to make this purchase worthwhile yesterday. Plus, it's cheaper than the Cynabal I got a couple weeks ago, and a helluva lot tankier and gankier. So of course when I undocked it I had to find likely places for cool screenies. Here it is flying around the lava planet in Abudban, and docked up in Balginia with its other expensive siblings. So to those who ask me the dreaded "can I haz your stuff?", I flip the bird at thee :))


I'm a firin' mah lazorz !!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday's Electric Lunch Hour - 2011/05/13

Finally up, after Blogger's mishaps and whatever was with YouTube. In keeping with the tone I set last Monday when I was home sick, here's The Who. Just FYI, there were no encores after this performance :))

Fly like Keith


WTF Blogger? has been having some trouble lately. I don't know what's up but it looks bad... they did lose the post I made about drumming *sigh*

Friday music post soon... when Google fixes YouTube.

/me guesses that school is over and every two-bit hax0r is messing with them internetz.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

What to do with my EVE money


Roland TD-4KX

And this.

Obviously I wasn't talking about ISK. Now that I don't live in the same building as my acoustic drums, the past couple of months after the move have seen my drumming skills being neglected. This is unacceptable. And because my place is way too small for a kit the size of mine (my landlord would frag me anyway) I had to find a solution. And it didn't take too much shopping to realise that Roland electronic drums are the solution. To put it simply, Roland drums are second to none. I've tried models from Yamaha, DDrum, Alesis and various other (cheap-ass) companies and it's really easy to see how Roland drums are superior in every way.

Now do I have 1500$ to plop on a new kit right away? Well, no. I'll just have to do what I did when I got my Ibanez guitar: put a deposit on the kit, double pedal, quality headphones and throne, and show up at the store every other week and slap a bit of money on it. The target date: Christmas. As Wayne put it, "It will be mine... oh yes... it WILL be MINE!"

And the Drum Channel thing? Drum channel is the brain child of drum instructor Don Lombardi and drum legend Terry Bozzio to create a one-stop site for the drumming community, complete with interactive lessons, interviews, shows and special events. Guests are anybody from completely unknown drummers to established drum icons. I mean, what could be better than receiving actual lessons from people like Bozzio, Peter Erskine, Neil Peart, Ralph Humphrey, Stephen Perkins, etc.? Yes, Frank Zappa was right... music is the best !!!

Fly loud


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Last Week

Well this is it, 7 days to go and I'll be closing the book on EVE Online. And in the last drama I'll see people fight, bitch and moan over the fixing of the jump bridge system. Not that it's something that touches me even if I kept playing, I admit that it was something that needed to be done. Once again, those who will adapt the fastest will win, the others will be crushed. I'll keep my eyes peeled on EVENews24 after I'm gone because there should some interesting stuff happening.

So as I wait for the curtain to drop, I've only logged in very sporadically. I made sure all was cool with Dock 94 before it goes into deep freeze. I've run a mission or two. I've hunted Low-sec with ex-corpmate Havegun. And I've stashed a PLEX for an eventual return, even though I seriously don't know when that will be. One quick scan of the EVE-O forums, with its myriad of trolls, angry carebears, and sometimes complete dick-wads tells me what I've been suspecting for a while. I'm sick of the general aggressive negativeness that covers pretty much everything. Note to anyone beginning their adventures in New Eden: if you want positive advice on the game, look to the blogs instead of the forums because very little is constructive there.

So here's what I've been doing instead of banging my head against EVE:

- Re-installed, played and finished Half-Life 2. I had wanted to do this for a long time because I have only played it once when I got it in 2004-2005.

- Deathmatch practice in Quake Live, Warsow and Nexuiz: after spending so much time in an MMO, I'm slightly rusty. Well, not too much because DM is almost like riding a bike, but my performance in general is really jagged, with both bits of brilliance and bits of stupidity. Like in anything, it's easy to be good but very hard to be great.

- Flown some Flight Sim: for a long time I've been wanting to make a canyon run movie so I've started to practice not only the canyon run itself, but also playing with different angles and studying the tools I could use to make my life easier. I have a new-found respect for guys like Ian Chisholm of Clear Skies fame; making Machinima takes a shit-ton of time and patience!

- Flown some Black Prophecy: sure it's incomplete and will never be even close to EVE in scale, but I can get in, blow up some ships, and get out. I'm still curious to see how the game will develop.

So to all of you who are staying in EVE for the forseeable future, I wish you the best of luck, and I sincerely wish you don't let the general oppressiveness of New Eden get you down. If it does, do like me and take a break, and if anyone isn't happy about it tell them to fuck off and to cram their heads up their asses.

Keep flying dangerous; you'll be less disappointed when your ship blows up :)


Monday, May 9, 2011

Sick Day Electric Lunch Hour

Yeah, I think I wasn't dressed warmly enough for Saturday's Montreal EVE Meet, which for the first time this year started on the terrasse. The result, a nasty cold and a dead throat. So here I am trying to drink as much fluid as possible and watching music stuff on YouTube.

Here's an awesome one from the late 80's, with The Who's Pete Townsend surrounding himself with a most amazing band, and as he said, The Gilmour :) On a side note, drummer Simon Phillips and I share something, the taste for drum sticks. Pro Mark's ZX-707 model to be precise. As I've told a few drummers starting up, choosing drum sticks works like wands in Harry Potter: they choose you, not the other way around. You basically have to go to your favorite music store, arm yourself with patience and try all of 'em, until the light starts shining down on you and wind is whipping your face :)

So crank up that knob and enjoy !!!


Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday's Electric Lunch Hour - 2011/05/06

Without knowing it, the boys of Led Zeppelin have perfectly described my relationship with EVE Online in one of their songs! So crank it up to eleven and enjoy :)