Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Geek-Class: Usenet information for beginners.

With Internet Service Providers throttling Peer to Peer bandwidth across all services and the obvious security concerns of connecting to strangers who are logging IP addressed there has never been a better time to dump Torrents.  Enter Usenet. The best way to get stuff from the internet (but not the cheapest.) Its important that I get the following statements out of the way before I write any further...

Piracy is wrong, it hurts most industries that produce digital media, its illegal and its naughty. We don't support piracy. We buy stuff we want but there are times when you may want to download public domain media. Stuff that has no copyright and you are free to get from the internet. Free music, Free amatur films, Open source software or games. even web TV shows. There are lots of reasons to use Usenet or even torrents that don't involve breaking the law. this guide is for those times. if you choose to use this information to get illegally copied and distributed material then its your doing not ours. - we don't pirate stuff here at Quest Hard or affiliated sites. 

Great, now thats out the way let me first tell you that Usenet is an ancient (born, like me in 1980) method of transferring messages and later binary files through either. Have a wikipedia link if you want some home work. 

Basically unlike torrents you don't share files with other people, you download them from a server. The server has something called 'retention' as long as the file is younger than the 'retention' of your server you should be able to download the file you want.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Quick it is Time to kill these Events.

Resident Evil 6 has been receiving a critical drubbing, for several reasons, but one of the
primary ones being that it's insistence on shoehorning in a quick time event in at every
given opportunity. Strangely people have reacted badly to this change from the franchise norm. Previous Resident Evil games have had QTE's in, but not to anywhere near the minute to minute basis that they are in RE6. Having played the demo on the xbox I can confirm that the game does involve a hell of a lot of stick waggling (snigger).

So are quick time events acceptable? Having played through the previous RE games
recently, I think it is safe to say they are not. I love games and the more QTE's are in
a game, the less it becomes, erm well a game. It essentially becomes little more than
a Dragon's Lair style affair, with the same failing. That failing being that you succeed
in the QTE, or you die and you go back, often having to go through the whole process
again. This is a tedious memory task, which you will probably fail the first time because you
don't know that the QTE is going to happen.

Should you go back (to your favourite games)?

As I am no doubt you are aware, I have been keeping a list of games I have finished this year, which can be view at Finished Games. I am pretty proud of myself so far, however there are a few games on the list that I have completed but not counted. The reason being that these are games I have replayed, having previously finished ages ago. This includes both Bioshocks, Splinter Cell Conviction, Gears 1 and 2  and Resident Evil 4 and 5. It seemed to me that counting these was a bit like cheating, as whilst I have refinished them from the beginning, having advanced knowledge of the game that definitely puts it in a new light (yes I know Binary Domain is on the list twice, I am counting pc and console versions as different breeds).

I got to wondering how often people replay games that they love. With the exception of Half-life 2, I don't think that there is a single game I have finished more than twice. So am I the only one who goes back years later and replays there favourite games? However the more that I think about it, the more I realise I am wrong. Whenever you create an alt in a mmo, you are essentially replaying the game, same with the most recent Diablo which I have "replayed" about 6 times. Hell I have finished (or at least tried to finish) each of the Left 4 Dead campaigns at least a dozen times.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

I uninstalled GW2

The game is great...
I didn't look at the leveling bar either....
It's really enjoyable...
I can go back to it right?...
So Wtf happened...

I tried the combat mode mod (some call it the tera mod) and found that the game should be played with this control scheme, then I ran into the limitations with it being only a mod and not fully integrated, so I got fed up and quit. The combat mode mod shouldn't get you banned, it apparently got the nod of approval from some officials  and they have stated that it will eventually be incorporated.

Why do I need to change the control scheme? Well basically because with the default controls its very difficult to move freely, while placing effects on the ground for example. Also, the left/right mouse buttons are a waste in a game where you don't need to select your targets. So really, in GW2 the right click is only there to be held down for all eternity, godawful control design imo. I don't really have a full range of movement and ability to use my character. This constant need to click drag is something that bothers me after 2 years of Mobas as my primary game.

I don't need to try and imagine what it might be like to shoehorn additional dimensions into LoL or Dota, I have GW2. When this feat was accomplished, it takes the form of smite, where up/down and spinning the camera separate from the character are impossible. I can't ever do everything I wanted to do, because I am too busy messing around with the clunky camera. This is my problem with GW2, having a control scheme that isn't as action orientated as the game design, so I am forever trying to place effects and move

So the combat mode mod fixed the issues with having to drag around or target anything, and let me bind the left and right mouse buttons to skills, as clicking to select and camera dragging were now redundant concepts. The problem showed itself every time I had to interact with an NPC, or some kind of quest interaction, I would have to tab out of combat mode, then tab back into the mode afterwards. This isn't really a deal breaker, but it left me feeling that I couldn't be bothered with it until fully implemented the mode.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

A man walks into a bar, gets bored.

I read Hex's most recent blog about Guild Wars 2 and a thought struck me. He states that when playing he found that he didn't look at a levelling bar at all, and gave it practically no consideration, as he was enjoying the game so much. This struck me as an odd statement, not because I disagree with it, more that he felt the need to point it out at all. I know I am not what I would call a mmo player, however a game needs to engage me, or the game has failed.

I have nothing against the levelling mechanic, but it should be a case of "oh cool I levelled." rather than "just 1 more quest and ten more bear kills and I should level.". Levelling should be a mini reward for playing and enjoying the game, little achievements I guess. A game should be a fun and engrossing experience that should be enjoyable with or without levelling. As soon as you make the game about levelling it fails. A prime example of this, for me at least, is The Old Republic, which I found the earlier levels really engaging but later on the great story dried up, I found myself level watching and subsequently quit.

I know that Hex has no problem running around killing bears for xp just to level, I am just not willing to spend half my time looking at a bar.