Two Thousand and Sixteen – The New Things

So we ticked over to a new year just over a week ago, from 2015 to 2016, many people will have no doubt mad new years resolutions they’ve already broken.

Not me though, I made no resolutions, I made generalised plans.

First off, as many a gamer, my sleeping patterns suck, getting up after 4pm and going to bed at maybe 7 or 8 am is not conducive to getting anything done involving other people within the time-zone.
However from new years day and onwards I’ve been waking up in the morning without effort, and heading to sleep around midnight.

I also refuse to fit the stereotype of an overweight foul-smelling gamer.
I’d had some serious weight gain to the point I significantly exceeded the mass of my father.
Late last year I managed to lose around 8 kilograms, and this year I plan to lose another 8.

My main gaming PC is due for some upgrades, first on the list is a new monitor, then after that probably a new GPU.

The main plan I have to implement is to build a fully functional micro-system for LANning and such, that I can fit in my backpack.
The timeframe is up until PAX Aus this year.
While I could probably save up and get a laptop to accomplish the same goal, it won’t get me the same satisfaction or aesthetic outcome.
And well this way I  can purchase and assemble over time.

And finally I plan to organise my bedroom and stuff in general.
I have way too much with no idea what exactly I have.

These aren’t hard-locked goals, they’re more vague intentions of things I want to do this year.

So far I’m doing well at it.

AmK

Advertisements

It is time to for Duck season, and the Melbourne internet is invited!

So I’m totally incredibly slack about posting, as people will know.
I really should have posted about this earlier, because for some strange reason it seems people have duck blindness, and this simply will not do.

This coming weekend (the 26th through to 27th of September) there’s a very special event hosted by Respawn LAN, the 34th of the main weekends, DUCK SEASON!

I think I shall need to repeat that again so people get what it is.

DUCK SEASON

Now for people who don’t know what Respawn LAN is, picture a large university hall, filled with rows of long tables (I guestimate three metres), on which each contains two computers+monitors, both of which are plugged in to a fast network switch (a box thing that lots of cables plug in to with lots of blinking lights).
Multiply that by hundreds of tables with attending people and you start to get an idea.

Night Time LANtheon

Take that, give it some sort of an event theme, fill it with lots of awesome people, get them to play games and have a great time.

The theme this event is Ducks, with duck prizes, duck competitions, duck hunting, possibly duck costumes, and Zardoz squeeing out over his favourite animal (he really loves ducks).

I shall be there. I might even have some fairyfloss on account of I can’t get any aardvarks, though I may have time to make something to stick to my monitor (no promises or anything.)

Anyway, last but not least, the link for the event which you should go and sign up to, if you have some kind of a PC (be it windows, mac, or linux), feel like traveling to the northern suburbs, have nothing else to do, like ducks, and want to have fun.

Don’t let your dreams be dreams.
Click this link!

Quack quack!

It’s been an eternity in internet land, but I’m back.

It’s been months and stuff since I last posted, but don’t worry I am still alive and am not just a cunningly placed zombie.

Let’s see, what’s been happening.

Well I guess most recently as in yesterday and last night I’ve been working on some PC stuff.
See, with July 29 creeping up on us, and the free upgrades to full version of Windows 10 for Insiders, I figured I might as well make the most of it.
A couple of months back I had to reinstall windows (because it totally killed itself on the registry level) so I pretty much shifted to 10 and condensed hardware in to one machine, which was up until that point my Steam Box (Praise GabeN).
I scavenged the RAM and everything, because why not.

Of course I kinda got used to running on 16gig, so if I was going to get the other machine operational again I had to acquire two things, a new SSD (amusingly the Win10 install sitting on the old SSD transferred between machines no issue) and new memory.

While I was at it I figured why not also get a fun new case, the Thermaltake Core X9 in black, and a Corsair 240mm closed loop radiator (I intended to acquire that one a year back).

So anyway I spent a few hours shifting my most powerful hardware in to the Core X9, I shifted my storage drives (well pretty much all my spare drives, there’s even a 200gig sitting in there for the hell of it) over to my Antec 1100 except for my Steam drive.
Then after that was up and running and windows was installing (build 10162) I shifted over to the Antec.

Would you possibly believe my installs were flawless other than a flap on the IO shield on the Core X9 blocking it’s dedicated USB DAC port.

Sure it’s a lot of work, sure I now have a case you could pack a human body in, and sure it’s going to be fun transporting the thing to the next Respawn LAN on the last weekend of September, but honestly I feel I achieved something.

So now once again after many years I have a machine dedicated to productivity stuff (storage, office apps, boring stuff) which I can remote in to, while at the same time having a separate machine I can take to LANs.

Sadly my poor Corsair Air 540 cube case is now feeling empty and unwanted.
It’s a good case, it just sucks when it comes to storing 3.5″ drives

Anyway, my file transfers between machines have finished, I should get some sleep, since sometime today I intend to redesign the network in my room to allow for gigabit between the boxes, with WiFi for everything else.

I may have been a little harsh on Hi Voltage and NetherRealm studios, but it may have been warranted.

So we’re basically a week after the launch of Mortal Kombat X, figured that since the dust has settled that it’s time to follow up.

So far the track record of NRS and HVS with fighting games on PC has proven flawed.
They had Injustice, and MK9 previously, and they copped quite a lot of flak for it.
MKX being the 3rd in a row from this combination of developers.
However I only picked up the previous two long after release with their ultimate versions so I’ll focus on MKX.

The first issue I, and a lot of other people had, was that the retail release of MKX for PC was required to be downloaded due to the shift to the streaming install model.
At the least they could have packed enough data to fill a DVD9 disc, the amount would have been good for a preload, and people would have less reason to complain.
The retail disc contained virtually no useful data other than installing Steam.
I have thus repurposed it as a drink coaster.

Then a few days after release, they decided to roll out some revised shaders for the various graphical assets to help deal with bad performance from many users.
Sadly due to the number of items, this patch ended up around 15.4gig in size, wiping out my saturday (well in theory, shifting Steam to Offline mode allowed me to play without patching and let me finish the story mode) and some of sunday.
Those fellow gamers on terrible internet like myself would no-doubt have had the same problem.
Amusingly this patch completely renders the core DLC structure pointless.

Another couple of small patches later and we’ve now got Faction server functionality back, as well as stats and online play and apparently the foundations for future DLC releases.

This of course doesn’t do anything about the rampant swarms of raging Scorpions, but then again the only way to do anything about the posterchild of Ed Boon would be to not include him at all.

Due to things settling I chose to shell out on the Kombat Pack, which is almost but not quite a season pass.
To explain, it’s a DLC package that over time will have characters and skins release.
Given the price of Goro being $4.99, I guess the $29.99 for 4 characters (Jason and Predator being two of them) plus a heap of skins such as the Samurai pack, it seems like it could be decent value.

PC may not be at the forefront of WB Games attention, but all we ask for is equal attention and support.
We want something more than a pitiful 10 thousand krypt koin bribe, we just want our game to work properly.
For the game to work with the posted minimum specifications, and well with the recommended.
To not have gameplay elements locked to 30fps for a so-called “cinematic experience”.
For us to be able to open that damned cave door in the crypt further than half.

PC gamers just want to be treated as good as console gamers, it’s the least we can ask for from AAA studios.

Mortal Kombat X publishers made a fatal mistake.

So, Mortal Kombat X finally released.
Money was in my account.
I decided to buy Mortal Kombat X for PC and looked at my options.
I looked at EB Games, and saw they had it at $79.95 for a physical copy.
I looked at Steam and saw they had it at $69.99US (pretty much the same as the AU cost at EB after conversion, even a tad more expensive due to conversion rate and fees.)
I saw it sitting on CJS Keys for around $35AU.

I thought to myself, that with two of the options being purely download, with the third being on disc, that I might save myself the time and effort and just spend the extra money for physical copy for convenience sake.
You know, so I could just install it, grab the day 0 patch and play.
This would make sense as I’m in Australia with a slow connection.

How wrong I was, how dead wrong I was.

You see, Valve are rolling out a new Streaming install format, and MKX was chosen to pretty much be in the vanguard for it.
The concept is simple, you install the core game, and then it downloads the rest of the data as you play.
The core game is 3gig, with the rest of the 32gig broken up as DLC packages.

You’d think that might be fine, the 3gig will all be on the DVD, and I can just download the rest as intended.

Wrong again, the total size of all the data on the dvd is 2.45 GB, of which next to nothing is actually installed.

So to sum it up, we have a game at same price in-store as online (other than international sellers like CJS) with a worthless DVD and the requirement to download everything.

In this day and age is it too much to expect those people with optical drives are capable of reading dual-layer blu-ray?
Even multiple dual-layer DVDs like with GTA V.

WB Games, Netherrealm and Valve I am massively disappointed with this state of affairs.
Thus I am illuminating just how bad it is to other potential buyers.

Such a thing burns bridges, nobody will want to touch anything using this Streaming method in future.

If you’re going to buy this game, pick it up on console and minimise your discomfort

Update

4.3gig later, the core game, goro and the first three numbered content DLC downloaded, sadly no real way ingame to tell what stuff is accessible and what will crash the game due to not being downloaded yet.
Can’t even do the tutorial, but I did manage to fire up a training stage with sub zero and scorpion.

Update 2

Goro and DLC 1 through 9 down, another 20 to go. This is going to take awhile.

Like the fire of the gods, Nvidia enlightened the LANtheon

So anyway, last post was prior to the Respawn LANtheon special event, this one is a couple of weeks later.

This one was our first in a new location with all the relevant hurdles involved, from space allocation to requiring a generator.

Now unlike usual, my regular gopher duties were unneeded due to the provided AV system, so I got to spend time playing games and enjoying myself as pretty much a pure player.

Nvidia came along as a massive sponsor, not only providing a great selection of their 900 series cards, but also making a presentation involving all the new improvements in the current GPU range with a reverse Q&A session.

Competition-wise we had a number of new things such as Next Car Game: Wreckfest, and an anniversary introduction of Smite in a 3v3 Joust format.

I played Smite with a team comprising MajorMarris and PlasmaVoid. We organised, had Curse Voice running, and after one easy, one brutal, and one stalemated match, the then named Team Respawn gained third place.

A wildcard contender appeared for solving draws, and even being used for a comp for a Smite Ultimate God Pack.
This contender is named PNOG.
Think of it like single player pong, but where the rules constantly shift and you’re fighting against the machine.
We had an event record of 69PNOGs.
PNOG being the brainchild of my friend Wolfmother, which can be purchased for $0.88 over here.

And now just a few shots of the weekend.

LANtheon Green
Army of AssesNight Time LANtheon

Time is running out, but there’s still time for you!

So this weekend coming up, the 28th and 29th of March, is an ultra-special Respawn LANtheon event.

It’s half the usual size, but it’s even more exclusive than usual, currently sitting at 198 players of 212.

There are some new competitions not held previously, such as the awesome game Smite running in a 3v3 format (hopefully using Joust mode.)
Smite is a MOBA, the same type of game as DOTA, LOL and HON, but one with a difference, it’s a 3rd person over the shoulder realtime WASD control with mouselook.
It contains multiple pantheons of gods, from Greek, to Roman, to Aztec, to Chinese, to Indian and many more in a team vs team format.
Personally I prefer the hunter type and suck at melee (my favourite uses bees as a weapon of choice.)
There’s also Next Car Game: Wreckfest for those people who feel like racing and smashing up cars.
We’re talking crazy levels of car deformation type damage and physics, enough to satisfy even the safest of drivers base urges.

There’s also possibly Evolve, the 4 hunter vs 1 monster game from the creators of Left 4 Dead.

I’m fully expecting the Respawn LAN team to adapt to the new environment and challenges and bring us an amazing event.
We’re talking full gigabit network with serious planning for the lowest latency gaming possible on such a scale.

I’m going to be there, so should you.

Go to Respawn LAN and sign up while you still can.