Saturday, 12 October 2013

Steam Powered Controller

When Valve showed off the new controller they had designed my first thought was 'Dear gods WTF have they done'.  it looks so different from the norm.

I was expecting something that looked like an Xbox controller or even a Playstation 3 or some bastardised mix of both.

But what we ended up with does not seem to make sense.  the buttons seem like they are in the wrong place and would be difficult to use,  even the trigger buttons are off.

Now being a fan of all things techy means that even though I am not breaking down the door to get my hands on this, I was still going to get one to go with my big screen TV and see how it actually plays as looks can be deceiving, I mean look at me, I look like an overweight gamer when in fact err well anyways you can not always tell a book by its cover in some cases...

But then Valve yesterday released a gameplay demo of the controller which has now made me sit up and take more notice of this little beast and has peaked my interest more.

The Youtube clip shows someone playing a first person shooter and a strategy game both running in 'legacy mode' which means that the controller is actually outputting keyboard and mouse commands which is very cool indeed and normally would need something like Xpadder to do, So Valve have reinvented the wheel so to speak but with the added extras should allow for a greater range of commands to be programed and used from the controller itself without the need for 3rd party applications and though all this was mentioned in the revealing until you actually see it in action its hard to imagine how it would actually playout.

And now that I have seen someone use it, it seems to make more sense, more demos of the controller are planned by the sound of it, hopefully Eve Online will be shown as I would not mind seeing it in action.

Monday, 30 September 2013

We shall never speak of this again, unless we are drunk

Its been awhile since I have last killed an Amarr but I got the itch last night and logged in to Teamspeak, fleeted up and jumped in to my Rifter.

It was a slow start to the evening as they was not many war targets and the one I did find was a kitey Condor which picked my ship apart while I sat there watching, I tried to overheat my afterburner but he had me fast and I could not outrun him, in the end he got me and another corporation member which I feel bad for as if I was more experienced I would've known that my close range ship would not fare well with the range of the Condor but lesson learnt and it only cost me a Rifter.

So a refit later and I was back in space, hiding in our POS looking for someone more my size when someone noticed a criminal undocking and suggested we help him leave our system, so we regrouped and headed to the station and sure enough they was a criminally flagged pilot just getting ready to leave, he played the docking and undocking game for awhile and then undocked with few of his friends, 5 in total or 4 not 100% sure but they was 3 flagged and 1 or 2 not engageable.

And then things got tense real quick, we locked them and they locked us, we sat there looking at each other waiting to see what the other side was going to do,  then the fleet commander came on comms 'Wait a moment, they're flagged as criminals why are we not shooting, open fire!"

Needles to say we cut their hulls apart but missed their pods and it was agreed that the next time we engage criminals we should dispense with the tense moment and cut straight to the weapon firing part. 

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Tony Tamasi of Nvidia talks about how PC gaming is not getting left behind.

Tony Tamasi the senior vice president of content and technology of nVidia talks to Bennett Ring about PC gaming and how consoles will find it harder to compete with PC in gaming over at PC Power Play.

From reading the byline I thought this was going to be an attack on ATI as its ATI supplying the GPU for the next gen consoles but thankfully it makes for an excellent look at PC Gaming vs Console gaming when it comes to GPU power in general.

In short Tony explains that consoles are designed to run off about 200 - 300 watts as there are designed for the living room and have to keep lower temperatures and use quieter fans and due to this there have constraint on the hardware,  whereas a PC can pull upwards of 1000 watts to dedicate to gaming.

Based just on raw power both can commit, PC will always be the clear winner but its also due to the level of money that nVidia and ATI put into researching GPU for PC.

Now it is good to see PC companies fighting back as every time a new console came out the first thing it does is announce the death of PC gaming and explains how everyone will have this console in their living room.

I have not seen this at all with the Xbox one or the Playstation 4, but that could be that I am missing the advert but so far both units seem to be fighting among themselves while PC's are just sat looking longingly awaiting GTA V to arrive in full HD modding glory.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Valve make an OS called SteamOS

Valve have finally done it,  there have made a pure gaming operating system called 'SteamOS',  based off Linux and free for anyone to download, it should install on any half decent computer with a HDMI output, so you can connect the system straight up to any modern TV.

And with a controller play all your games on your sofa like any console.  As this is a Linux OS though there will be some drawbacks of course.  The first bring any game not built for Linux will not run,  but Steam have added the ability to stream the game from your windows computer to your TV using the SteamOS.

This sounds awesome but how well will it actually play under a normal home network and at what resolution are we talking about 720 or 1080 and how does it fare on a wireless network?

We will find out more at a later date it appears but if the OS is able to stream 1080p games across a wireless network with little to no latency then I have found my new console.

There are still some things Valve have to clear up, like how many games can there actually bring to the new OS natively. As if you have to steam them all from your gaming rig then it only fills a small niche market and is more of a set top box then a console in its own right but I am going to be keeping an eye on this one as it sounds like a winner, it also talks about connecting to the popular media services as well, so that could mean Netflix and such so it could be a whole set top box replacer.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Diablo 3 and the lost weekend

With Monsoon off at college learning how to kill me with overdoses and Bad dog still wrestling with understanding the idea of 'this is mine and that is your'.  The weekdays are often a blur of working and trying to get some free time to ourselves.

So when the opportunity comes to play a game together; it's not something I want to pass up.  Monsoon is not really in to Eve Online she likes it but finds it too unforgiving and though I like Rift it's too much like Wow and I am not ready to head back into that type of game at the moment, So our free time is normally spent playing on the computer together but in two different worlds.

And it can sometimes feel like this in real life too,  So when Monsoon said she has gotten back into Diablo 3 and would I like to level a new character with her I was updating the game client as fast as my ISP allowed and this is where we have spent most of the weekend.

For anyone who has not seen any of the Diablo series, it is made by Blizzard and is a dungeon crawling game.  It's very addictive and fun to play with friends.  It's just come out on Xbox/PS3 but the PC version has been out for a while and Blizzard confirm that there is no plans to give it controller support.

The no plans answer is normally what game companies give when there have really not thought about it and wish to leave the subject open enough so there can change their minds but final enough that people do not keep posting but when request on the forums.
I can understand why they have done this but it still would've been nice to be able to get my controller and kick back on the sofa while grouping up with Monsoon.

The game uses an Isometric view of a 3d world using a customer in-house physics engine that allows for destructible environments and supports multiple players using its service.

The game currently has 2 Auction Houses, one using ingame gold and the other using real world cash but there do not have long left to live as come March 2014 there will be getting removed, Though Blizzard like the idea of auction houses it goes against the nature of DIablo which is about running dungeons to get loot, so you can run dungeon.

There is also a new expansion coming 2014 called Reaper of Souls which looks very cool so I can see me and Monsoon losing some time in this as well.  it brings a new class called the Crusader and a 5th act to the storey evolving the Black Soulstone.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Winter Expansion details will be announced soon

On the 26 September at 9pm UK time (8pm UTC) CCP will be announcing their winter expansion on there Twitch.TV.

And it will be presented by CCP Guard and the games Dev Team.

Hoping that it will include more on the SPZ-3 "Torch" Laser Sight Combat Ocular as even though its only a vanity item it looks cool and I want one.

Also hoping for some movement on the 'Walking in Stations' stuff as at the moment there really is no reason to click the captains quarters button at the moment and it seems such a waste for the amount of effort that must of been put in to bring it to life.

Oh and snowball launchers for Christmas!

Internet Down, Baiban unplugged

Last night was a non starter for me as everything I had planned to done involved me going online but Karoo my ISP had other ideas.

After waiting on hold for what seemed like an ice age, finally got to speak to tech support.  Now being in phone tech support myself I always try to not let my frustrations out on the guy on the phone unless it them that frustrates me then it's open season.

Lucky I got a good one and we had a chat about what was going on.  Bad news is there was an issue at the exchange effecting the card I am on so no simple setting change to get my online life back in gear.  I was in Karoo hands and all I could do was look on and hope.

Spoke some more about what seemed like a related issues and asked about an ETA on the actual fix and got the stranded engineer response.  The stranded response goes something like like this "I can not really give an ETA, we have engineers looking at it as a priority and we will get it repaired as quickly as possible".

I explained that I work in IT support and I understand what an engineers ETA really means and I would not be ringing up 1 miller second after the ETA ends to complain that my internet was still down.

We had a laugh and told each other some jokes and he confirmed that they simple do not know as it's a card issue, it could an hour to the next day.

Balls,  needed an early night anyway I suppose and Bad Dog was happy for some extra attention.

Good news was internet was back up this morning so tonight will be spent catching up on what I missed.

It is interesting how much the internet has become such a part of my life,  taken away my world seems to grow smaller.  All the knowledge of the world removed from my fingertips.

We augment our selfs with external memory and can communicate with people anywhere in the world from anywhere in the world.  We can learn about and embrace new cultures and ideas without moving an inch.  And when we lose this connection to world it can leave you with a sense of "well what do I do now"

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Newbie Guide to Overheating

Overheating allows you to push your modules beyond what there are suppose to do at risk of damaging the module's themselves and if left unchecked will burn the module out and make it unusable until you have docked and repaired.

Different modules give different benefits when overheated and for a better break down you can check the information on each module to get a better idea of what the bonus is but in short.

Weapons give increased damage, Propulsion gives extra speed and Propulsion Jamming gives extra range.

For the basics you need 'Thermodynamics' Skill which requires 'Power Grid Management V', 'Capacitor Management III' and 'Science IV' and most people I have spoken to agree that level 4 in Thermodynamics is a good place to start for PvP.

You can overheat the whole rack at once e.g. the low/mid/high rack or a module individually by pressing the green bar at the top of each module or by pressing the shift key and then selecting the module itself.

Inactive but overloaded modules do not generate heat until there are used and will benefit from the bonus on the first cycle, while an offline or empty module slot will function as a heat sink lowering the damage taken overtime both for the nearby modules and for the ship as a whole.

Jester's Trek Guide to overheating breaks it down more in-depth and is a good read for anyone that is new to overheating and I would suggest checking it out as the stuff I have put is a quick tour of overheating in comparison.

it seems outdated but gives you a good starting point and a good understanding of the principals of overheating while the Eve Online Wiki will bring you more up todate as Jester's Blog seems to talk about Heat Emission ratings while the modules no longer list that stat.

Overheating has its down sides and if not done correctly could leave you in a jam but done right can give you a needed boost when you need it.

or in my case it level the playing field a little while my skills catch up.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Killing Reapers pass the time but where is the Amarr at

Been Plexing over the weekend but not really come across any willing war targets, it feels like the Amarr have lost any teeth there had and lowered their weapons and picked up farming tools instead.

Now in the last few months my gaming habits have changed a little, I can no longer get on as early as I use to due to real world commitments so maybe I am missing the sweet spot for faction warfare or it may of hit a slow period as this is my first year in faction warfare I am not 100% sure what to expect, but if we roll back a few months there was Amarr pilots as far as the eyes could see, gate camps where a busy affair, while we was hunting them there where hunting us and it seemed very active.

So this weekend the best real kill I got was a Reaper, the rest of the time I felt like I was chasing phantoms.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

I made a Noob mistake in Eve and I have learnt my lesson

So, I am still a newbie when it comes to Eve Online but I am learning and with every week my little Rifter is getting a lot stronger.

The only issue I have had is everything seems to be able to pull range on me, even though I was locking them up and running a 'J5 Prototype Warp Disruptor I' on them, there were zipping around me or running away from me at +3K m/s or more.

And here I am thinking wow even with their Microwarp Devices shutdown there are still pulling some high speeds.

Now I have lost a few ships to the fact that the other side were able to dictate the range and I put it down to my low SP vs there high SP.

Today I learnt this was not the case thanks to Reddit and that a Disruptor does not infact shut down a MWD but a Scrambler does and this is why I have been pushed around in some of my fights.

Now I feel like an idiot, and I was idiot, I should of RTFM before fitting the ship and taking her out.

So my advice to any new players before flying your new ship speak to someone in corp chat or make a post on Reddit Fitting Page and read the stats and descriptions of the items your are fitting!

Don't be like me, be a Newbie not a Noob.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

CCP Open Negotiation over ToS Change and the Jita Monument looks on in fear

CCP yesterday opened talks over the recent change to their ToS for Eve-Online.  This recent changes to the Terms of Service has upset a lot of people (Link Here). 

What CCP call an exercise in making them clearer to understand has more appeared to be a step towards trying to make a more safer world for newer players and closes down a form of scamming that has been around for a while.

Now people who are not formally with Eve make think this is a good idea and in some ways it is but the big thing of Eve is that its a sandbox game where you can be the bad guy, it supports this idea and allows people to get ripped off as long as you play by the rules.

GM Karidor has cleared up a few things over in this post on the forums but the short of it is, Player A can not pretend to be Player B even if Player A is an alt of Player B and the same goes for corporations as well.

This closes down a simple con and the way CCP tell it is that it has always been the case yet has never really been enforced and you could say this was because no one know it was against the ToS as it was not clear enough and no one reported it happening and expected it as part of the game.

But that even being the case we have gone past the point where just changing the ToS is acceptable as it is now part of the game to falsely represent yourself to gain an advantage.

CCP may of made the game but its the players that make the game and there do seem to understand this as there are willing to listen and change the game based on what the player base says.

Though the Jita Monument undoubtedly feels nervous at this moment in time as it remembers what happened last time the player base was upset with CCP.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Monsoon quits and I ride the bus now!

A lot has been happening since I have been MIA, games have been played and pizza has been eaten. one of the biggest events that have happened so far is that Monsoon has left her job to pursue a life in nursing.

Which means I am now on the bus getting to and from work as we used to work together, which is OK most days as people at work are understanding enough and helpful enough that I actual get home for around the same time.

But there are some days where I have to get bus all the way to the town where I work with a 30 minute walk, no real hardship and its good exercise which as a gamer I am always in need of!

Found out that Stagecoach offer a smart-card called the 'Humber Megarider Xtra' which allows travel around and to Grimsby, Cleethorpes, Immingham, Barton, Scunthorpe and Hull which is really handy for me.

She had her college induction yesterday for her 'Access to Higher Education Diploma' where she got to meet everyone and find out the real details of the course. It's going to take hard work and studying to get it done which means less gaming time on her part (*evil laugh*) but no change in my gaming time really, 
though I fully expect we will have to rebalance the caring of Bad Dog and cleaning of the house as at the moment I am enjoying having a housewife, it's like I am living in the 1940s just need a pipe slippers and I am all set.

I am proud of Monsoon for taking this step as it's not an easy one to make, to change the direction of your life but if your not happy with something change it as you only live once and it may as well be enjoyable.

I am also looking forward to seeing her in a nurse outfit!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

CCP Confirms shipping date for Collectors Edition

So yes I have order the collectors edition of Eve and I am looking forward to my USB Rifter which will be taking to work to use and been reading Jester's Trek blog about it when he was at the summit and it looks huge, not really sure what I expecting but I try to keep my expectations low for most stuff as its never usually as good as the box sells it but its a Rifter and it looks like it has some weight to it as well so may be able to kill a co-worker with it which is always a good thing.

CCP have finally confirmed the release date for The Second Decade Collector's Edition and its going to be the 24th of October 2013.

Taken the picture off Jester's blog to show how huge the USB Rifter actually is,  but I would recommend you check his blog out.

Click to enlarge

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Newbie Guide: Eve Online Overview

I have now been playing Eve for a good few months and have enough info about stuff to be dangerous to the public with.  so I present my first guide for newbies by a newbie.

The Overview is what you will spend most of your time looking at while flying, that and the scanning but we will come back to the scanner in another post as its easy to pick up and hard to master and I can just about track a ship in the a PLEX at the moment.

For a good all round overview setup I would check out Sarah's Overview Pack as this is what I have been using for my overview and its been great for PvP so far and it has most of everything you will need for PvP and PvE and if you open it in notepad it will give you a good starting point to make your own pack.

I would also check out Overview Tutorial on EVElopedia to get more comfortable with the ins and outs of the settings.  I would suggest you learn a lot about the overview as it plays such a big role in everything you do and the right setup will allow you to pick targets faster and filter out the noise.

The first thing I would suggest is un-messing the order and colours of the colour tags by opening the overview settings by left clicking on the icon next to where it says 'Overview' while in space below the Selected Item window and select 'Open Overview Settings', from here you should see the appearance tab.

This is the tab we need to set up, select this and then the background sub tab. and below is the order I have found works the best.

Background Settings
Click to expand

  1. Pilot is at war with your corporation/alliance
  2. Pilot is at war with your militia
  3. Pilot has a limited engagement with you
  4. Pilot is in your fleet
  5. Pilot is in your corporation
  6. Pilot is in your alliance
  7. Pilot has excellent standing
  8. Pilot has good standing
  9. Pilot is in your militia or allied to your militia
  10. Pilot is an ally in one or more of your wars
  11. Pilot has terrible standing
  12. Pilot has bad standing
  13. Pilot has a security status below -5
  14. Pilot is a criminal
  15. Pilot is a suspect
  16. Pilot has a kill right on him that you can activate
  17. Pilot has a security below 0
  18. Pilot has a bounty on him
  19. Pilot (agent) is intractable
  20. Pilot has neutral standing
  21. Pilot has no standing
Once you are happy with the background settings we can move to the next tab called colour tags tab.

Click to Expand
  1. Pilot is at war with your corporation/alliance
  2. Pilot is at war with your militia
  3. Pilot has a limited engagement with you
  4. Pilot is in your fleet
  5. Pilot is in your corporation
  6. Pilot is in your alliance
  7. Pilot has excellent standing
  8. Pilot has good standing
  9. Pilot is in your militia or allied to your militia
  10. Pilot has a security status below -5
  11. Pilot is a criminal
  12. Pilot is a suspect
  13. Pilot has a kill right on him that you can activate
  14. Pilot has terrible standing
  15. Pilot has bad standing
  16. Pilot is an ally in one or more of your wars
  17. Pilot has a security below 0
  18. Pilot has neutral standing
  19. Pilot has no standing
  20. Pilot (agent) is intractable
  21. Pilot has a bounty on him
Once you have both tabs order and colour sorted you also need to make sure you have unticked 'User small colortags' and 'Use small fonts'.

With those changes to your background and colourtag you should not be shooting your friends unless you really want to that is.  the filters tab is more down to personal choice really, but if you have used the Sarah's Overview pack then it should set itself up with a good starting layout.

If you're importing an overview pack I have noticed that the 'Use small colourtags' re-ticks itself so after an import I would check to make sure its not reset itself

Good Doctrines beats Good Skill?

Been reading Greedy Goblins Blog entitled 'Bad players have skill, good players have doctrines' and it makes for a interesting read.

It touches on the subject of ISK Efficiency, which tells you how much you have lost versus how much you have killed using ISK as the decider.  now as a new player ISK Efficiency is great way to compare your self against everyone else as when it comes to Skill Points you will never really win,  as I started playing a few months again Skill Point wise I will always be at a lost with older players, its just the nature of the beast.

But if I focus my training with one goal in mind and fly the lowest costing ship and pick my battles I can actually hold my own in PvP and be useful...  that's what I should of done; what I actually did was train a load of stuff I did not need before realising this idea and am now playing catch up with myself.

As a new player I been flying with a doctrine of flying what I can afford to lose while trying to kill high value targets which has been working out for me very well, lost around 11 ships that cost me near 50 million in total but been involved in 500 million worth of damage so in my eyes I am doing very well so far in my little Rifter.

but it is interesting to read how people measure them self against each other, using Skill Points, perceived skill or a doctrine and I suppose its each to his own really but I think I am going with a doctrine of low cost against high value targets as it seems more fun and less stressful.

Baiban and Bad Dog MIA but still fighting the good fight

Baiban and Bad Dog are back after going MIA for a few months!

So the question on everyone lips is where the hell have I been. Actually the real question will more then likely be 'Who the hell are you and why am I reading your blog' but I digress.

I have been searching for an MMO for a while now that could hold my attention for longer then a week but been falling short every time. It's not that there aren't any good ones but after leaving WoW I been looking for something different and all the MMO of late all feel like WoW.

Which you can not blame them for, WoW has become the standard for MMO for a reason and love or hate it it's now the daddy of the genre.

So in a desert of WoW clones I turned to Eve Online for my life line once more. Been playing Eve on and off for years now and it's a game I love but never seem to understand or get that far in to before giving up and heading back to WoW in shame.

But this time I decided that will change and before handing my money over to CCP, I did some reading on what everyone was doing in game and liked the sound of faction warfare.

Which in short is a bit like Role Playing PvP. I will break Eve down more in another post but for now trust me it's more fun then it's sound.

So after handing my money over I headed out in to this new dark world to make a name for my self.

So far I have lost 11 ships, been conned out of 100 million isk, joined a fake corporation and got conned again, then joined a FW corporation and been loving ever minute of it so far.

And this is where I have been since my last post. Reading and fighting in Eve.

Friday, 7 June 2013

GTA vs Saints Row.... or Where is my money going next!

With the new GTA due out in September and Saints Row out in August this year, It's looking like its going to be a heavy two months of open world sandboxing joy!

Been a fan of the GTA series from the beginning when it started out as a top down car stealing rocket launching way to spend your free time and enjoyed the series all the way up to number 3, but GTA 4 put me off a little as it seemed to be trying to make feel guilty about everything I was doing as ' Niko Bellic' gets involved with the wrong people when he comes to America chasing the dream.

Which is fine in itself as the developers are trying to build a dark and gritty storyline of how pursuing the American Dream can go very wrong and turn you into a someone you never wished to be.

But it does half get in the way of enjoying mass chaos and destruction in open world filled with lots of ways to infect mass destruction it seems to be at odds with itself.

So I went looking for something new and with Saints Row 2 on sale for Xbox 360, I thought what the hell and it reminded me of GTA 3, it had a story but it did not get in the way of all the killing.

Now whereas GTA seems to be heading for a serious hard impacting drama in its sandbox, Saints Row story seems to be heading the other way but giving you more weapons and vehicles to enjoy the carnage with and this is what I am looking for in a sandbox game, give me flimsy story and jetbike with shark firing lasers attached to it any day.

Saints Row from 3 upwards is just fun gameplay with just enough story to give you a reason to play with all the cool toys and this can be very relaxing and a real change from the realistic dark worlds the other developers are bringing to the table at the moment that leave you depressed and wondering what is wrong with humanity.

I will more than likely end up buying both but I have a feeling I will be enjoying Saints Row IV the most and it will keep me coming back.

Now this is not to say that GTA V will not be a very good game but I think me and Rockstar Games just want different things out of a sandbox 'do as you please game'.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Gunpoint..... Smashing though windows has never been more fun

Gunpoint is a stealth-based 2-D puzzle platform game made by 'Tom Francis'.  I normally keep away from indie games as finding a good one can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

But Gunpoint took my interest as its been getting some good chatter on the web, so I started giving it some notice and liked the sound of it enough to actually give it a go.

Each level / mission is set in a 2D platform of an office building with traps and security guards patrolling the area and you have to get around them all and complete the objective, which is down to yourself on how you do this, you could take the stealth route or you could go on a killing spree and kill them all there is no wrong answer on how to complete the level, There is no health system or lives, you get shot your dead though the game does have a good save system so you can roll back to the last few seconds and try and correct your mistake and failing that restart the mission.

You start with one ability which to be able to jump long distances using a 'Bullfrog' jacket and from there you can buy new ones with cash earned from doing the missions and also earn upgrade points to upgrade your jumping ability.

I am still playing this so can not say how the game fairs long term but so far the puzzle are fun and interesting and short enough to not become boring and the game doesn't take itself too seriously so the mission briefing themselves bring a smile with some of the responses you can make and its just plain fun to lead a guard to an automatic door and smack him in the face with it or electrocute them with a plug socket.

The art style reminds me of 'Another world' or 'Flashback' which where 2D platform games from the 90's and gives me a nostalgic feeling while still being new and fun to explore.

Its currently on Steam for £6.29 and if you fancy yourself as a master spy then I would recommend you give this ago.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Blizzard say Project Titan is changing...

In 2008 Blizzard confirmed it was working on a new 'Next-Gen MMO' codenamed Titan which was a completely new game.

Then in 2010 it was rumoured that they had the most experienced MMO developers working on the project and then in 2011 Paul Sams had an interview with Gamasutra saying that it was the most ambitious thing Blizzard has attempted and were putting their best developers in to the project and had a playable version already and were playing it in the office.

Fast forward to today and it has allegedly rebooted and delayed the whole project for release in 2016 and reassigned 70% of its staff leaving a small team to start again.  Currently Blizzard are still seeking staff to work on the 'Next-Gen MMO' and with BlizzCon set for November this year maybe we could see something getting mentioned then.

I do look forward to seeing what Blizzard bring with Titan as World of Warcraft has brought advancements in MMO's and has led the way for a number of years, I am interested in seeing what they do with all this experience and technology.    

Monday, 27 May 2013

WildStar a new MMO and soon the reason why I sleep at work

WildStar is currently in Beta and is being developed by Carbine Studios and is being published by NCsoft and will be using a custom in-house engine.

The game is an MMO which I have a love hate relationship with at the moment, since leaving World of Warcraft I have not been able to find an MMO that holds my attention as it once did and I just seem to drift from MMO to MMO.

I came across this a few weeks back but never paid it any real attention, until this weekend when I watched the paths youtube video and I decided to give it a real look.

The main thing that got my attention was that it seems to have a sense of humor which most MMO those days seem to be lacking everything is all dramatic and realistic which is great if you're playing a single player game but can drag a little on an MMO.

The Class system has an interesting twist as well where you get to choose your playing style and then with paths you get to choose what parts of an MMO you enjoy playing (e.g Killing, exploring or learning the lore) and you get given access to extras to complement this.

The more I read about it the more interested I become to the point where I think i may be able to love again and get in to another MMO.

Safe to say I have put myself down for Beta access and will be keeping an eye on this one.

And if you are looking for an MMO with a sense of humor and epic battles to be enjoyed then I would suggest you keep an eye on this too.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Bad Dog is growing up

This is Bad Dog when she was still small, on her first trip to the vets when she was getting her shoots, as you can see she was very happy about it!

Rolling forward a year and she is just having her first Season which has lasted so far 5 weeks, so she has been locked in the confines of our home since then (We do not want puppies yet so do not want any male night callers).

We keep trying to come up with ways to keep her amused.  this week its chase the bubbles!

Hopefully it will be over soon so things can get back to normal!  until then Kill the bubbles!!!

Microsoft would appreciate it if you stopped all the rumours.....

And played nice until there are ready to tell us how the second gaming is going to work.

Marjor Nelson who is the director of programming for Xbox live is said to be displeased with all the reports and misinformation flying about how Xbox one will handle second hand gaming.

Well there is one way to fix this very easily, actually tell us and stop it all dead, but that is not going to happen so we are all left wondering and guessing what will happen until we get the official announcement.

Some of the rumours are as follows:

  • Each game could cost you £35 for an activation fee on top of what the store charges you to buy it
  • The store gets charged the activation fee which could be as high as 90% of the original fee.
  • Microsoft takes a cut from the reselling of games and you can only sell them to authorized resellers.
  •  As each game is tied in to your account you can take around to a friends house and play it as long as you sign in with your account.
And the best rumor I have heard so far is that when renting a movie on the Xbox the Kinect will count how many people are watching it to see if you are breaking the T&Cs.

From all the rumors apart from the Kinect one which is just off the wall, you can find some grain of truth.

By the sound of it, there is going to be a activation fee but as to how this will work is unknown.  it would make sense that the store pays this and passes the cost on to the customers so that all you have to do is take the game home and play but as to how this will affect prices is unknown at the moment.

Each game is locked to your account, so you can take it around to your mates house and play the game as long as you log in with your Xbox account,  no word on how borrowing a game will work or if it will at all.

But until Microsoft gets off the fence and actually tells us everything is up in the air.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Xbox one, the Xbox to rule them all

The Xbox has now been relieved and its been giving the name 'Xbox one' or the 'Xbox huh?'

Its due out this year, rumors are November for the UK and will include a Blu-ray Disc, 8GB of DDR3 with 5 GB available to games themselves and will be able to do 1080p and 4K display with 7.1 surround sound.

The local storage will be a 500GB hard drive and support external USB 3 drive.

This is a marked step up from the 360 but the actual nuts of bolts of the new Xbox live system start to wear some of the shine from all this gloss.

There is more flying around about the second hand game issue and leading a game to your mate actually costing them money but Microsoft support confirmed on twitter that this was not the case but this means nothing until the unit is released as Microsoft have changed their minds before.

The console will require an internet connection but will not need a permanent one as it will only need to call home every 24 hours,  the other things is that it will always be on, downloading, updating and waiting for your voice command to turn it on.

Nothing really grabbed me and made me say yes I will be buying one, going to wait and see what Sony brings with its Playstation 4 and make my mind up again on which one i will be gaming on.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Trion has around of layoffs and the word is massive layoffs

Its always hard to read about a company doing round of layoffs more so when its a company that does a game I am currently playing.

So when I read this morning about Trion doing a massive amount of layoffs and the Defiance team has been hit the hardest by it.

Then I came across this by IGN which shed some more light on it and Trion are down playing the rumors and are saying there are doing this to best position themselves in a rapidly changing industry.

Now most of this may just be PA smoke to try and keep consumer confidence high and only time will tell on this but the games Trion brought to market so far have been impressive and I hope whatever is happening they manage to ride it through.

Friday, 17 May 2013

SNES Gaming.... Setting up an Emulator to relive my childhood

I am a bit of packrat of sorts when it comes to my consoles though none of them still work, I do have a lot of games kicking around so need something to do with them.

This is when emulation sprang to mind and getting a Raspberry Pi and turning it into a SNES / Playstation console thanks to the Retropi project by Petrock blog.

Now all the equipment I need is in the mail so setting that up is for another post but I am itching to play Super Mario World now so started looking at emulators that would run off my PC and came across Retro Arch that has a stand alone Windows download that does the job nicely.

Once you've downloaded Retro Arch software and unzipped it to a relevant location you will need a ROM to load on it and this is where things are tricky as before you can't use a ROM unless you own the game the ROM is based on.

You are allowed to keep a backup copy of any game you own so as long as you have the media you download the ROM off a corresponding website, a good one is Cool Roms.

Again I must stress that you must own the game before you can download a backup rom off any website.

Once you have the rom you need to save it in an easy location to get to, I would suggest a folder within the Retroarch folder called 'Roms'

Click to Enlarge
Once you have the game you need to run 'retroarch-phoenix.exe' and you should see something like this.

As you can see mine is setup to run Super Mario World for the SNES already.

The first field we want to fill in is the one called 'RetroArch Config File' just press the browse button on the left and select the one called retroarch.cfg and press open.

From here we can start setting up the program for our computer, we need to fill in the field called 'RetroArch Path' with the location of the retroarch.exe, once this is done we can start looking at the Core which takes care of all the actual emulation.

Now I actually had issues with the default SNES core in RetroArch as it would not load so I had to switch it for the SNES9x one which seems to be working fine so I would suggest you guys do the same.

Click to Enlarge
To do this we need to press 'Retroarch' on top of the toolbar and select 'Update RetroArch' and we will see the following.

Select 'Check Version' and it should pop up and say 'RetroArch is up to date!', press ok and then we should get a list of cores to download.

Select the one called 'SNES9x' and press 'Download core'.  Now this is where it goes a little wrong.

It will download the core but it does not seem to unzip it and just hangs at 100%, once it does this just close it and go to the folder location for RetroArch and find the zip and unpack it yourself in to the RetroArch folder as such, you should end up with 'libretro-git-snes9x-x86.dll' in the RetroArch folder then run retroarch-phoenix.exe again and select 'Upgrade RetroArch' once more and then 'Check Version'.

Click to Enlarge
This time SNES9x should say yes in the Downloaded column, when it does select it and press 'Use Core' and it will fill in the field called 'libretro core path' for you and we are almost there.

We now need to go to the 'Settings' option at the top and select general and we need to point the 'System Directory' to the RetroArch folder then its ok to close this one down from there and the last thing we need to do is to select 'Settings' once more and select 'Input' and set up your keybindings for your controller or keyboard.

Now you can go to 'Settings' one last time and select 'Save RetroArch Config' and overwrite retroarch.cfg and then press 'Start RetroArch' and enjoy reliving your childhood!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Google I/O 2013: word from the chocolate factory.

Its only recently that I started taking notice of Google and its gadgets but since getting the Nexus 7 I have found that I have been missing out and started to take notice.

Google always worried me about all the data it was collecting about me and my internet habits and activities,  but the way it gives you access back to this information and shows you what it is collecting has eased my concerns enough to sit up and listen to what they actually have to saying and looking at their devices again.

Recently they had their Google I/O event and from reading over the event and what it brought some of the things stand out to me.

The first is that Google are going to be adding a Game Center to the android platform, allowing Achievements and Multiplayer. Developers already have access to it but there is no word on when we will see it being rolled out.

Google is also taking aim at Xbox Music pass and the spotify subscription service with its own music streaming service priced at $9.99 a month no word on the UK price but it will more than likely be around £10.

Google Now will also be getting voice reminders to allow it to give you reminders of upcoming appointments and the last thing is that soon Google play will be soon offering a stock version of the Galaxy S4 with no Samsung Bloatware.

I am interested to see what the game developers make of the gaming center with multiplayer experiences and synced saves across devices.