Garlic Bread LAN v17 – Return of the Domino

So it’s another one of those times of year again (well it happens like 4 times a year) where LANslide open up registrations for yet another jam-packed and bound to be amazeballs event.

First, let’s get the important business out of the way, I want you to go here.
This of course lets you register and get in early.

Now that you’ve all gone and registered for the event (if you haven’t, then why not? you should totally register) you should now be poised to have a great time.

The crazy people who organise and run these events keep coming up with new, and old, ways to get people engaged and interacting.
I mean last time we had ghetto pass the parcel. There was also pass the GPU box, but all those boxes contained was disappointment.

We’ve had Gangbeasts tournaments, which is serious business.
I mean come on, do you risk coming near me? I will kill us all, as many of us as possible while falling to my death, taking you with me.
Then contrasting with that, Street Fighter V.

Doughnuts on strings? many have attempted to eat them.

Watermelon consumption? It happened, it was messy, we all had a great time.

Seriously though, if you’re available, you should come and join us.
There may even be garlic bread.

AmK

Many LANs make light work.

About time I got around to posting something new from the aardvark front.

It’s been a pretty busy past month in a crazy way as I elected to join some friends on part of their House of Doge LANsploration Adventure.

To begin with, last month we had eLeague hosted up in Sydney, where a whole group of us Melbournites travelled up, some by plane, others such as myself by car in a convoy.
Didn’t really know what to expect, I just knew there was no way I was going to realistically transport my desktop machine (which could in many ways have been used as a desk itself, or a seat, or even a coffee table if I drank coffee, what I’m saying is it was big.)
So I borrowed a gaming laptop from my good friend tOrN and along I went.
The main thing I did while there was play Paragon against the AI, watching the Nvidia drivers on the Venom constantly crap themselves, and the foliage flicker like crazy. Finding humans is difficult when they need to pay money to get in to early access.
I also jumped in a deathmatch of the new Unreal Tournament, where I ran around trying to kill people with the Impact Hammer. Good times.

After we got home I had a bit of time to myself doing next to nothing.

The start of this month was of course LANslide.
A much shorter journey was involved.
I’m certain I played games that weekend, and I know there was cake, prizes being launched at head-height, and doughnut shenanigans.
There was of course also the Doom closed beta, which Tofuboi and myself decided to take for a spin. I’m apparently not terrible when running at 800+ms latency.
This  was also the weekend where Babymetal’s Metal Resistance was released, and the Telstra unmetered data Sunday occured (I only acquired something like 63gig of Steam and Epic games.)

Last weekend a considerable number of Melbournites made a trip down to Traralgon for ROFL LAN.
This event was very much like the LANs of 10+ years ago, a whole group of stress-free people in a hall playing games, no eSports, 7 Bishies, 30+ parmas and 1 fish and chips, crazy parking, and one person ending up contained within something they shouldn’t.
Seriously this was the type of event that has the soul of the events of old.
These days there’s generally too much focus on the big competitions, big prizes, big sponsors. ROFL didn’t involve any of those.

Of course after I got home from ROFL I took it upon myself to transfer my gaming PC back in to my Air540 case, and my productivity machine slash fileserver in to my behemoth.
After lugging something bigger than many people I know around, I finally took the smart option. I have many injuries from the transition between cases.

This coming weekend I finish my journey on the LANsploration adventure with RespawnLAN.
It’s the time of the Doom open beta, and I have no idea what else I’ll be doing.
There are many games I’d like to play with others, but unless I can bludgeon people in to submission I don’t see them happening.

There are many more events coming up like RF LAN, LAN of the Damned, and so on. I just don’t see myself making the journey west of Melbourne to get to them.

I suppose I’ll end up focusing my attentions on my planned upcoming Beast: the Primordial chronicle, where I’m sure my players will find some way to set the environment and themselves on fire.
The goal of course will be taking it to LARP scale.

AmK.

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

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.