03/01/2013

Livestream Weekend!

Sup guys, not gonna be advertising this blog anywhere so you'll only really find out about this if you click on one of the existing adverts out there for The Gaming MoD.

I'll be livestreaming this Saturday at 9pm GMT(4pm Eastern, 3pm US Central, 2pm Mountain) for about 2 hours, first of all finishing off Sonic CD from last week and then playing an as yet undecided game.

Please come on down and enjoy :)

01/01/2013

[Update] Where have I been?

Greetings one and all, MoD here after an absence of about 6 months, I think? It's certainly been a while. It's been rather hectic in recent months so I'll try and summarise what I've been up to of late. It's mostly RL based so if you're expecting gaming-related news, skip to the end a little, to "Back Into Action".

The Bullshit Known as Life

Firstly, RL. I work as an order picker at Caterpillar, and it can be quite physically draining. And when then I get in from work I'm usually too tired to do much other than make the girlfriend a cup of tea, and maybe get myself from toast. I was suffering from physical drainage, and this was taking a toll on me mentally - my main strength, and the one muscle needed for gaming. And then all of a sudden a new logistical company took over(CEVA, for those interested) the running of the warehouse and this unfortunately coincided with the busiest period of the year for us. I was also being bullied by some idiot agency tosspot who wanted my responsibilities for himself and he kept on and on trying to grass me in for shit I'd been doing for months. What started it? I think it was my subtle change in hours that favoured his lifestyle(and thus, he wanted these hours) along with removing some graffiti he'd placed onto my delivery truck. The responsibility I had was making regular deliveries around the workshops on an electronic tuc-tuc, and instead of 10-6.30 I'd been asked to do 9-5.30. I was more than happy to accept this - I actually thrive on being given responsibility, and for some reason it put this guy's nose out of joint. He didn't see the role I was performing, but instead that for some reason(my brown nosing apparently) my hours were what he wanted, and so chose to make my life a misery.
I attempted to approach one of the bosses about this but he told me I had to put up with it, or he'd sack both me and the idiot. So I put up with it(the economy in the UK is still shockingly shite so there's still no employment anywhere) and my mental defences began to crumble.

Eve Suffers

As a direct result of this, I had to stand down as leader of Ironworks, in Eve Online. I was logging on less and less, not doing much when logged on, and generally running the alliance into the ground through my continued neglect. I had a choice - carry on as I was and continue to let my baby suffer a second time, or hand over to someone else. As luck would have it someone else in the alliance had(and still has) very similar ideals to myself for the direction we should be headed in, so thanking you very much Opner Dresden - the alliance was in safe hands, and I could take a proper, extended break from Eve.

And then it turned out, I had to take a break from work as well. The continued bullying from the asshole was causing me a lot of stress, and not only Eve but now my social life and other gaming outlets were suffering. Combine this with a girlfriend who's going through a rough patch and a mother who demands all the housework be done even though you've got a massively physically demanding job(still living with the mad dragon lady, yep) and I had no way of dealing with the stress.
Usually, my gaming is my way of unwinding. But I had no chance to destress and my desire to play games was going down and down. Not even playing Sonic games helped me out. Not Minecraft, Forza, beer, nothing was helping. My usual calm exterior began to crumble before me.

The Straw That Broke The Camel's Back

Something had to give, and it did. The stress triggered a previously-dormant IBS and I spent 2 weeks angrily sitting on a toilet in agony and swearing blind at the idiot who made it happen. I've had to change my entire diet as a result now, causing even more problems until my body accepts the changes and settles down.
At the end of this period I was ready to go back to work, only to be told that actually I wasn't needed any more, that I'd had too much time off work and I was being let go. Ah, the life of an agency worker. And then the following weekend my car got broken into, costing me about £300 to put right(and I'm still paying for it now, 2 months later).

It was the car being broken into that snapped me out of the funk. As my mother, the girlfriend and I were stood around the car, they were both about to burst into tears. You see, my little purple Ford Fiesta isn't just a car, it's a loyal hard-working member of the family. As usually happens with cars. So they're both absolutely devastated about the broken window and the missing stereo, and once again I had to be the fucking rock that kept people steady.

Light At The End Of The Tunnel

And that's when it hit me. This was nothing in the grand scheme of things. In fact, much much worse has happened to me. Even including the last few weeks of bullshit, I'd been through far worse and come out with a smile, eventually. So I told them both this, and got my head straight for long enough to come up with a plan. Mum and Mirtai's mother lent me the cash to put it right, and so began MoD putting the building blocks in place to come back up from this small disaster. The car got fixed and a new stereo purchased(one a bit more chav-proof this time and we'll keep the fascia in the house from now on as opposed to the glove box) and I threw myself into getting rid of this stress.

Before long I was enjoying life again. The small hiccup forgotten, and somehow my job given back to me(the right bosses were keen to speak to me about the idiot, who'd now been fired for being a cunt and speak they did - such a massive apology that if possible, I shall frame it and keep it on the front door for ever and ever and ever) and I began repaying my debts to the respective mothers.

And before you knew it, I was contemplating gaming once again.

Back Into Action

First thing was to get back into Eve and help Opner out; I knew from experience that single-handedly running an alliance was a nightmare so rushed to offer him my assistance. So far I'd like to think that's going well and Ironworks is going great places, the foundations now being put in place for the grand plans we have.

Minecraft's been going slow; I joined a couple of servers but they were filled with kids despite the owner's insistence that they operated 18+ servers. How hard can it be to find a decent server without having to fuckin' rent one myself again? Although I don't think many people would complain if I set up MoD's World again.

The Steam sale this Xmas was a great one from my perspective, I went crazy. Finally got F1 2012(I hate it), a Half Life mega pack, a Sonic bundle, and my current favourite game FTL. This will be the subject of an upcoming article at some point soon and yes, it's as good as people say it is.

In fact, I liked it so much I set up a livestream on Twitch and showed off to a few guys. It turns out that FTL is brilliant for audience interaction so I plan on streaming this again at some point! In fact I might well just get back into my Youtube videos, I'm building up a nice catalogue of PC games so can take requests at least.
So shameless plug time, have a look at the FTL livestream here. There's also some Sonic CD at the end of the playlist, someone in the chat requested it so I did a quick 25 minute blast and will finish it off at some point for them. don't forget to like/subscribe if you like, and share with your friends ;)


I do believe that's it for now. Cheers for reading, and I'll try not to leave it so long until my next update.
~MoD.

24/06/2012

[Preview] F1 Online: The Game

The Facebook message

F1 Online: The Game NDA Lifted

Do you have any great screenshots or video taken from the Closed Beta that you'd like share?


With the end of Closed Beta yesterday, the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) has been lifted. This means you are free to talk about the game and share your experiences.


We'd love to hear about your best moments from the Closed Beta.
This was the message I received on my Facebook page the other day, meaning I can now finally get going with my thoughts on this upcoming title.

First, some boring historical stuff.

F1 Online is the latest F1-based title to come out of Codemasters, who since taking over the licence for Formula 1 games have produced highly respectable games, of such quality that thoughts of F1 games on PS1 are now but a distance memory(1998's version being particularly nasty...). They haven't gone down the EA route of churning out titles and spin-off titles, even though the F1 crowd are usually quite demanding when it comes to having yearly titles. Instead Codemasters have preferred to place an emphasis on quality over quantity, a choice that has paid off in my opinion. I've never wanted to pay out for a new game every year just for the same tracks and some slight driver changes, so the approach taken by the developers pleases me quite a bit.
It's for this reason that I didn't purchase F1 2011; despite the introduction of KERS, DRS and the new Indian track it'll still handle like the older title that I still play, F1 2010. There wasn't enough to warrant my shelling out full whack for that one, but I might be tempted to get the 2012 game. Might. But we'll have to wait and see for later on in the year.


The Game - Firing it up

And so we bring our attention to F1 Online: The Game. It's a browser-based game, running off the Unity game engine. Having seen the Unity engine running a polygon-based game in the form of The Borealis Express(of Mojam Bundle fame), I had high hopes of this being fairly fast and smooth. Maybe not too aesthetically pleasing in terms of textures and smoothness of polygons, but high FPS figures looked like they could well be on.
When the opportunity came up to join a closed beta I immediately signed up, and waited. Before long it was confirmed that the beta was ready to test out so off I went.

There are two main game modes, a generic F1 season with authentic teams and tracks, and a career mode where you take the time to build up your own team and become your own success story. The Season mode was alright, you pick from one of three available teams, have a couple of races where you try and unlock them permanently, before it rotates to another three teams. You can unlock the teams prematurely, but I'll get to that later.
The main focus of this preview is on Career mode, the main bulk of Codemaster's attention went here and I can understand why; there aren't many true management-type games out there for racing games without entering deep dark levels of obsession(and Google-Fu) and the lazy bastards like me have been crying out for it for some time. The purists amongst us F1 fans will still get a lot of enjoyment out of Season mode, but for pure novelty and the desire to make my own F1 car, I suspect Career is going to be the focus for many gamers out there. I created a team(M1nardi F1, as Minardi was sadly banned from being used in all other shapes and forms) and had a poke about the various menus.

Above: in-game graphics are pretty fucking lush. Not bad for a free browser-based game eh?

Dreaded Microtransactions...

Presentation is incredibly slick, in fact the menus and various options wouldn't look out of place on a console game. Ease of accessibility is quite visible throughout the entire game, including the horrid microtransaction store. In order to make this a free game, Codemasters have introduced a store where you can purchase various aesthetic items such as liveries, helmets, sponsor labels and so on. There also appear to be purchasable development points that you can spend on your team's infrastructure, introducing a form of pay-to-win for the impatient amongst you. I personally am a big hater of pay to win items, and will thoroughly enjoy beating people who've spent a small fortune on getting their team's abilities up. Such as I already do on TF2, my Heavy with a plain ol' minigun simply wading through masses of noobs who buy extra-nice gear thinking it's a shortcut to greatness. Assuming of course it's actually possible to win a race or three against these transaction users.

Moving away from MT's, onto the restrictive part

So what can you do exactly? Well you can tinker with your livery, although it's quite restrictive. I was expecting the ability to choose at least my own choices of colour after reading the press release blurb, but you're in fact limited to a palette of about 10 swatches, each made of of colours that are similar to each other. Three shades of blue? Green, dark green and black? Pinks and purples? No option to pick and choose as I see fit. You can rotate the colours within your chosen swatch so you could have say, dark green, green and black or black, dark green green. These colours apply themselves to various parts of your bodywork and to unlock more colours and livery layouts, you have to either level up via racing, or... yep, MT's. I plumped for a grey/light blue/blue swatch and applied it to the car to look a bit like this:
Yes, it's an old Minardi  - exactly what I wanted to go for. But With the limited colours and livery layouts, this was the only way I could get a Minardi livery. You could have had a BMW Sauber one easily enough, or an older Williams. But during the racing the lack of variety showed as you could see green-ish cars, yellow cars, blue cars, a lot that looked like the Minardi above, but amusingly hardly any red ones.
See what I mean about the swatches, over on the right? Hardly what I'd call a decent choice. But hey, MT store.

GET ON WITH IT MoD!

Fine, fine. Let's stop whining about MT's and get on with the way it plays. The actual building/development is fairly quick to make happen once you get into it, but the tutorial(which can't be switched off, in case you're a hater of tutorials. Don't though, this one's quite good) asks you to jump into a race. So you click on the Quick Race button, and join a lobby which fills up reasonably quickly. Then after a short bit of loading, you're off.

The controls can be configured to you flavour, but the defaults give you the mouse for steering(via a big green arrow you direct around with your pointer), throttle and brakes(mouse buttons) which leaves you D for DRS and Space for KERS. Early on, your KERS doesn't feel that effective but as you progress through the game it's possible to upgrade it so hang in there.

Driving is done from a semi-top down view, reminiscent of Micro Machines from the 16-bit era - and is a lot of fun. The cars handle very nicely, and once you get the hang of it and the track layout, if you do make a mistake it's more often than not your fault, and it feels like it's your fault too. The biggest problem with the driving however, is the standards of your rivals. All too often I was nerfed out of 3rd place due to someone using me as their brakes, or simply just shoving me aside. A consequence of making an F1 game easily accessible would appear to be attracting the idiots that ruin online racing games such as Forza, over on the console scene. If I've cut a corner in a close race I'll back off and hand the position back if required. More and more it seems, I'm going to have to resort to ever-deeper probing of the internet to find an online racer that's actually got fast but fair drivers in. It'll have to be the deep parts because if they were more commonly known, I'm sure they'd have their share of idiots too.

Gaming Mannerisms

These games exist, I found out they do during a trip to Truro a couple of weeks ago. And that, apart from my major complaint about microtransactions, is my biggest complaint. Too many idiots will end up playing this game, not thinking they're doing anything wrong by barging through someone.
Being sneaky and devious and using all the advantages is all about online gaming. Shooting games, you have camping either spawn points or using a sniper rifle, or perhaps even blobbing warfare. Eve Online is just utterly ruthless thanks to its consequence-based PVP(you lose a fight, you lose your ship!) as everyone's trying that much harder to not lose their stuff.
In these and more, acting like a douche is an acceptable part of the gameplay. Perhaps I'm a misguided fool, but I once thought there was at least some racing etiquette within racing games. Which is a shame because this game has a lot of potential.
I'd like to carry on about the depth of career mode and how with gaining XP you can build more and more infrastructure that'll aid you in making your car that much faster, but I fear there's no point for the standard of driving within the game will just drive people away. Yes, it's that bad. Not just because I seem to have manners when playing a racing game, but because the console idiots are coming over to the PC to try their hand at this game.


It's certainly worth a look when the game gets its full release, especially so if you're one of the fucking idiots who believe that punting your opponent off the track in a non-contact game is perfectly legit. If you're like me however, you're probably best off finding your online fix elsewhere.

02/06/2012

[Eve] A Carebear's Look On... BS



That's BS as in "battleship", not bullshit. 

To a lot of you who might read this article it's all stuff that should make a lot of sense. I'm not writing this for the guys and gals with 70mil sp+, this is written with the newer players in mind - so remember that if you choose to read on.


In previous Eve-related entries I have made mention of the stumbling blocks my RL friends have been taking as they get into the game. Two of them are making strides towards the humble battleship; loyal friend of many a pilot within New Eden whether they be carebear, vicious bastard pirate killing machine, or any shade of career inbetween. Even industrialists have a fond place in their hearts for the battleship(even if it's just to make a profit off of one) and they're easily the class of ship most newer players aspire to when they begin playing; more often than not short-cutting training just to sit in one and make semi-erotic noises.
Lucky for my two padawans, they've refused to take the short cuts others have. Rizolver in particular is pissing me off as he'd rather get Amarr Frigate 5 instead of Gunnery 5 to get large guns on his Apocalypse; I believe he's ready to move up but he'd rather mess about with a Retribution. I appreciate it's his game and he can play it how he wants, but I'd rather he got into a position where he can make decent ISK and become ever-more independent in Eve before faffing about with assault frigs, but that's me watching the errors I made in my past I suppose.

We're getting off-subject. A couple of days ago I received a mail off my good friend Castus, the other of my two trainees. I often get mail like this from Castus and Riz, but this is probably the first one I've felt like blogging about in any depth.
Without further ado, here's the mail I received.


--------------------------------
BS Help
From: Castus Drake
Sent: 2012.05.29 23:12
To: Versuvius Marii, 


Hi bud, After training my Orca it will be a short hop into a BS.. BUT I have no idea on what to use. I was thinking of missions to start with. But PvP is good too


I have T2 tank on both armour and shield.


My gunnery skills are slightly better than my missiles skills. (but not by much)


I was wondering in your opinion what should I be getting into and what to fit it with..... I was thinking of lvl 4 missions. And PvP.


Any help(with explanations) would be brilliant...... :)


Race don't matter cuz I've trained up Caldari, Amarr and Gallente....... and Minmatar wont take long to train up either.


Many thanks


--------------------------------

Yes, using a BS on missions first is the best way to go, as opposed to player combat. It gives you a good amount of time to familiarise yourself with their bulk, tank and potential damage output. They can be brilliant in PVP, but only as part of a fleet. Solo, they're too slow and there's too many ships out there that can either out-move your guns/missiles, or call in help. Even the guys who do "solo" in a BS have a number of fleet boosting alts in-system and have such a high level of SP - combined with a high level of PVP experience - that your chances of getting one over them are pretty low.

With that in mind I'll list the twelve battleships and what I think are their strengths and weaknesses both for missioning and PVP. I will not go into Faction/Pirate types, as they're too expensive and are incredibly skill intensive. I recommend that you get used to T1 ships first before even considering them. Also bear in mind these are just my personal opinions on these ships, everyone's got their own way of flying and fitting the various ships in Eve and battleships are certainly no exception.


Armageddon(lasers, armour buffer) - Good damage dealer, solid POS basher. Is average in the cap department for a laser-using ship and so isn't too good for missioning where you need an active tank, but can buffer up with the best of them. It CAN mission, but it's not the best choice. You'll more often than not see this in PVP fleets, and as they have a weaker tank than other ships compared to their output, you'll find these get primaried after e-war is removed -  the threat posed by these is that high.

Apocalypse(lasers, active armour) - not as good as dishing out damage as the 'Geddon but can use Pulse lasers and get similar ranges/dps figures to Beams, without the drawbacks associated with them. Pulses can also track better and have better cap usage. The Apoc is best as a dual-repping mission runner(it'll go slowly as it doesn't have much DPS) or as a beam-fitted sniper. Apocalypses are often the best choice for sniping fleets in PVP but you don't see those fleets too often outside of structure bashing.

Abaddon(lasers, armour buffer) - think of this as a more exaggerated version of the Geddon. No cap bonus so is incredibly tricky to make work in a mission, but high resists and damage output help out with this. It's also pretty good as a buffer fit PVP ship, and there are many stories of Abaddons hitting 250k EHP(although I suspect this might be with T2 trimarks...). In the right hands, this is a bloody nasty ship but the cap is very fragile compared to the others so bear that in mind.


Scorpion(missiles, ECM) - I've seen these bad boys be crudely armour tanked(hell, I've done it myself sometimes) so the mids can be purely dedicated to jamming modules. More often than not you'll be primaried in PVP so that shitty armour tank won't do much other than buy you enough time to GTFO. They can be used with a degree of success as a solo PVPer, but unless you pick your targets carefully you'll be an easy kill.
As a mission runner, it's barely worth bothering discussing it.

Raven(missiles, active shields) - the mission runner of choice for many people due to its flexible damage output(whatever missiles you pick, it gets a RoF bonus. most Caldari missile ships get bonuses to Kinetic meaning they can't pick other missile types without sacrificing DPS) and can tank reasonably well with a repper and boost amp. They're not exactly what you'd call newb friendly though and their cap isn't brilliant, even when you factor in the lack of cap usage from the missiles.
PVP-wise Ravens have on paper some of the highest damage outputs in the game when torp fit, but torpedos are limited in range(luckily the Raven gets a bonus to increase missile range). Missiles take time to reach their target; by the time your fired salvo is halfway to the target it could well have been popped. As the buffer tank is the king in PVP and shield buffer isn't quite as good as armour, you'll be made primary quite quickly - remove biggest threats first.

Rokh(hybrids, shields) - since the hybrid buff these bad boys are almost useful for something other than looking cool once again. Blaster Rokhs can hit out to decent ranges compared to their Gallente counterparts and can tank better too, but as they don't have a damage bonus they won't hurt anything quite as much. You should be able to hit over 1000 dps easily with overheating and T2 guns, so it'll still hurt. Just bear in mind that once that Megathron gets into range he'll hurt you more than you'll hurt him. A Rokh can also make an excellent sniper but is lacking in damage compared to the Apoc, and has to keep reloading with ammo making it a pain in an extended fight.
Missioning, can be okay thanks to those resists and okay cap. The biggest problem is the lack of damage bonus, yes you can hit that rat 60km away but will you break his tank if you have low gunnery skills? It's unlikely.


Dominix(hybrid/drones, armour) - excellent mission runner, especially if you plan on going AFK. Simply turn on dual reppers, grab aggro, deploy drones once aggro is acquired. Check back every now and again, rinse/repeat. If you plan on paying more attention to the mission then it'll go by even quicker. Highly recommended whether newb or experienced player.
For PVP, this can be a nasty lil sumbitch. Shield gank fit, massive buffer, solo repping beast, cap-stealing heavy tackler, and so on. An incredibly flexible ship that, while not being a single need-to-kill item, will most definitely be a thorn in your side owing to just how much it can do.

Hyperion(hybrid, active armour) - Think of this like you would the Abaddon - high damage output, big tank. But as the bonuses lend themselves to both hybrids and active tanking, this can be vulnerable to neuting. In the right hands is a bit of a tough sod to get rid of, and will make your life a misery if you ignore it for too long. Assuming it can keep its cap alive for long enough.

Megathron(hybrid, buffer armour) - See the Geddon and Raven here - high DPS, decent buffer but will be an instant primary owing to its threat potential.
Can make a decent mission runner but is a bit low on resists, so watch out for that. But damage bonuses mean your rails should hit reasonably hard if you fit up correctly, and you don't need to tank dead ships.


Maelstrom(projectiles, active shield) - mission runner of choice for many carebears. Good damage output whether you use artillery or autocannons, and that tank is an absolute beast with Min BS trained up a few levels. Just don't go AFK in that ship, whatever you do.
A number of 0.0 alliances use Maelstroms in massive numbers(we call this blobbing) so there's clearly demand for them out there. The only other time you'll see one on the battlefield is station camping in low sec, picking off stragglers and others stupid enough to undock in its presence.

Tempest(projectiles, shield or armour) - I'm not too sure about this one for missioning if I'm honest. Its slot layout would tend to make it more of a shield tanker with the lows dedicated to gyros and range-enhancing mods. Six turret slots and two damage-related bonuses help it get some solid dps figures, but it's nothing you'd shout out about.
Theoretically the Tempest can make a good sniper. And a good neuter. And a good bait ship. There's not a lot the good ol' Tempy can't do. It's a bit like the Dominix in that regard, only not as good. However if I saw a Tempest I'd make it a low priority target so perhaps you could take advantage of that and go for a max gank, minimal tank fit. Unless you're the only BS on the field in which case you're humped.

Typhoon(projectiles/missiles, armour) - I've heard of these being used in missions but I personally wouldn't recommend it, there are far better ships out there for the job. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
The Typhoon is probably my favourite battleship for PVP, it can put out an insane buffer tank and insane dps thanks to being able to fit all eight high slots with weapons. To get maximum dps out of it you should fit it with torps(I recommend the maximum of five), and I usually fit three neuts instead of autocannons. High damage output combined with solid tank, enough space for a full flight of heavy drones and its speed when fitted with a MWD make this a pretty excellent ship to fight with. And as you're using torps you're probably going to fit a TP which will only help your fleet out that little bit more. A word of caution with the Typhoon though, out of all the ships here it's one of the least newb friendly to train for. Using it is easy enough if you fit for close range - pick a target, put a brick on your accelerator. It suits my style of fighting perfectly.


That last sentence is something I'd like to highlight, because I think I've done a crap job of summarising the Typhoon for PVP(it's difficult not to be biased with it, but at least I'm honest about this fact). After reading this, get onto the test server. Find a ship that suits your style of gameplay. Don't simply take my word for it that the Typhoon is a PVP god(which it is), go get some ships blown up. Ask in local for some 1v1's. Get your friends on there. Learn for yourselves what makes each ship tick. And the best bit about the test server is not only is everything pretty cheap over there(100 isk p/item) but also you can train for whatever you want and it won't affect TQ. Join in a mass test or two and you'll get given free SP to spend on skills as you see fit, meaning you can get those tier 3 BS even quicker.

How to fight with a battleship - either in missions or pew-pew - can wait til another time, I think I've given y'all something to think about there.

25/05/2012

[Eve] Looking Back


For a TL;DR go to the bottom paragraph.

It's been nearly 2 months to the day since I wrote about Eve's latest big story, that of prominent player The Mittani encouraging people to find another player and get him to commit suicide. Which means that as I was a little slow in getting my thoughts out, it's now over two whole months since it all happened.

Two whole months since The Mittani caused possibly the single most controversial act by a player within the Eve Online universe. Two months of waiting for him to wreck everybody's game as he promised.

Now let's stop there for a moment and ask ourselves about what The Mittani - leader of Goonswarm and the larger CFC - has actually done to fuck us the player base over.

1. Burn Jita - didn't go quite as most people were expecting, myself included. Lots of freighters burned, and the so-called "Save Jita" campaign was as spectacularly successful as John Carter. It ended up just waiting for Tornados and Thrashers to go GCC before locking up and whoring onto KM's. I was there and I did this too. Not even going to pretend that I was saving Jita; I was there to watch the fires and get cheap kills.
There were plenty.
The two biggest highights were the Nyx that somehow ended up in Jita thanks to a GM's reimbursement gone slightly wrong, and seeing Mittani log on.
I wish to elaborate a little on him logging on. You see, I'm not a fan of the guy. Never spoken to him, but thanks to his position as a political leader he's put enough of him out there for people to at least get a basic idea of what he's like. And he rubs me up the wrong way. Factor in the previous blog I wrote on him and you'll understand that I really can't be arsed to like him. But I added him to Aurora's address book just for this event, to see if the big leader with the big balls actually had the fucking balls to show up in Jita with his mindless sheep-like minions.

Green icon popped up on the bottom right of the screen, local went wild for five minutes solid with HAIL MITTENS. The only sensation I can possibly compare this to is waiting for your favourite band to come on stage and being right at the front in the mosh pit, and when they do you somehow get caught up in the euphoria and atmosphere. Now imagine that, but in text form.
The guy's doing something right with his coalition, to command that level of respect. There's no two ways about that fact. People love him, and the adulation for him during that brief period of the Mittani being online was awe-inspiring.

Getting back on track however, Jita didn't so much burn as had an open bonfire with everybody invited, and picking on the poor kid who didn't bring marshmallows. Tornado and Thrasher prices spiked along with certain RF ammo and T2 gyros, the only losers being the idiots who didn't heed the warnings and STILL went to Jita in a freighter loaded with crap on autopilot.

2. Hulkageddon V - Goonies are sponsoring the event which as far as I'm aware is still ongoing. Many Hulks are burning and everyone's having a good time. I haven't bothered with Hulkageddon as I've been busy with work and trying to get Aurora sorted out in 0.0 but from all accounts nobody's really suffering. Ship losses are more or less covered by the 100mil payout(if you fly around in groups of Catalysts with cheap fittings, easy kills for under 10mil a dessie. Profit) and Hulk pilots are either botters(who can absorb the losses easily) or not really bothered. The impact of Hulkageddon is far lower than in previous years among the carebears in high sec, mostly because it seems they're now so used to being griefed it's an everyday occurrence. So again, nobody's really suffering. But amusingly enough, the payouts and having to buy replacement Hulks brings me nicely onto my final point.

3. The Technetium Cartel - CFC is now in contol the vast majority of tech moons, or working with those who do control them, to pump the price up. We all know by now just how valuable tech is to T2 ship builds and after the panic buying of tech is over and the price slowly stabilising, it's clear that T2 ships and modules have gone up, but nowhere near as much as the base hulls and modules that T2 is based on. Which was brought on by factors outside of The Mittani's control and we're fairly familiar with by now.


So basically... not a lot has actually gone wrong. Unless you're an owner of a freighter or a Hulk. If you're in industry or up for going GCC you're having a good time. And if you build things you're rich.

In summary The Mittani hasn't really fucked anybody's game up, he's just basically reminded us all of what he can to to make the game fun and that we should vote for him for CSM 8 Chairman. Read between the lines, you know this to be true. I for one am actually looking forward to his next attempt to break our beloved game, and I'll be there.

27/04/2012

[MC] Back To The Server

Watson690 and MoD1982.
In recent weeks, my Minecraft activities have been pretty lacking apart from the series of Let's Play videos I'm recording with my lil brother. It's called Minecraft: In Tuxedos and basically we piss about with all the typical banter that can be summoned between two siblings, whilst using skins that wear tuxedos. One day I think we should record an episode where we're actually wearing tuxedos in real life but for now we'll settle for some pixellated polygons with varying amount of lulz. I'll be the first to admit the videos are fairly shit, but the next batch should be good fun once I get around to uploading them to Youtube...

If you want to watch what we've got so far, have a look here and here. Also check out our Facebook page and click Like on us, you know you want to!

Now the shameless plug is out of the way, let's bring our attention back towards Ethea, or more accurately MoD's World.

About two months ago I stopped paying the bills for the server rent and let it go inactive. The server was constantly plagued with problem after problem, and on the rare days we had no issues we had massive parties to celebrate. So far, there has been just one party. And there was cake. And we laughed. And laughed. And laughed.

Now however, Minecraft releases seem to have settled down somewhat. I believe I'll wait til 1.2.6 or whatever release comes out(along with its subsequent Bukkit) and then reactivate it, ensuring that permissions are properly configured this time. This gives me plenty of time to find another server host, as Daddycheese looked quite good initially but have been nothing short of a pain in the arse ever since. They're fine for the small server I rent for the M:IT series but for bigger stuff it's been a constant source of frustration. Seriously, most of the issues we've had have been mostly due to their end corrupting or breaking stuff. We only ever had a maximum of about ten plugins at any given time, all were up to date and all were popular ones that wouldn't clash. Not to mention the fact the server kept running out of RAM after an hour of just one person being online, US players getting more lag than would normally be acceptable for an EU-based server, and blahblah you get the general idea by now.

With some luck Sakul and Avii are still up for being op on the server, and everyone else is willing to come back and have some fun once again. I for one can't wait to get the Death Egg up and running properly :D


Before I close this short entry off, here's a list of updates that's coming with 1.3. More bug fixing, and some iteration on existing game mechanics. Credit to the Minecraft Wiki for this.


  • Fix for glitchy mob prediction in multiplayer.
  • Large amount of internal changes.
  • Silk Touch will be able to pick up ice again.
  • Modding API to officially support third-party plugins.
    • Plugins will be easy to install by simply dropping them into a folder.
  • Stackable items now stack outside inventory when thrown to the ground individually.
  • Easier item manipulation within inventory
    • Brewing stands allow use of shift clicking to put items in it.
    • ⇧ Shift+clicking can now be used to wear armor.
  • Dispensers can place Minecarts on rails and Boats in water.
  • While in Creative Mode, players can supply a powered minecart with fuel by right clicking it as if they were holding coal.
  • Commands in Singleplayer.
  • Optional bonus chests placed close to the player when created a new world.
  • Demo mode playable through non-premium Minecraft.net accounts.
  • Different crafting recipe for books.
  • Added Book and Quill
    • Ability to write in books, save them to edit later, and sign them and title them to finish off the book.
  • New slabs of the 3 new plank types.
    • Wood slabs behave as wood, not as stone. 

25/04/2012

[Eve] Totally Meant For That To Happen

Over at my older, more specific Eve blog, I made a few posts detailing my search for a future direction while playing Eve. This post in particular explains my history within New Eden in a short burst of info and what I planned for the future.
Go ahead and read the last couple, bring yourself up to speed about how boredom and stagnation has affected me over the last twelve months.

Fast forwarding now to current times, I found out fairly recently that a few of my RL friends were playing Eve. Were they keeping it quiet from me, the local Eve-tard? Nah, turns out they'd all decided pretty much to start new accounts and asked me for advice. I helped them set themselves up, and offered them a place in the resurrected Ironworks Coalition.
For a while this was my newfound direction, as helping RL friends learn how to play has been bloody great fun. If they don't get how to set up an overview, a simple trip over to their house later fixed this. And if we all went out on pew-pew, we could always go down the pub afterwards to either celebrate or drown our sorrows(so far it's only really been drowning of sorrows, and I've lost a small fortune in ships in the last month or so).

History it seems has a way of repeating itself.

People began going inactive - Eve is a demanding game on your time, and many of the guys are only logging in now to set skills. To date there are now only 5 characters that log on on a regular basis, and three are mine. RL has been very hectic for most of our small group. I've suggested we go recruiting but I have to teach their acting CEO how to do so, and I'd also need to do some myself for my own corporation. It is a route that doesn't quite appeal to me, and a stupid situation at work within the last 24 hours means my time is now getting ever-more limited too. I've put Aurora into RVB but even then, while the PVP is pretty good I'm still struggling to find the time to commit to it that RVB deserves(for non-Eve readers, Red Vs Blue are two corporations locks into eternal war purely in the name of cheap and easy PVP with few rules of engagement. It's cheap, it's fun and there's plenty of PEWPEW!) and so I began once more turning my eye elsewhere for a future direction in the game, possibly even back to 0.0 space.

Now the scene is set, it's time to get to the main point of today's blog.
It's been well documented that Goonswarm are going to lock down Jita for a month once their leader is unbanned from his actions(I covered what happened there in a previous entry), the specifics of which can be found here. A number of people are joining the ever-growing call to stand up to these guys, and I can't help but think that some people are just way too bored in the game and have been waiting for something like this to happen for a long time. No shit, right?
I just so happen to be one of these bored players so I bought myself a Tornado, fitted it out with T2 1400s and RF ammo, and went to Jita. The aim was simply to practice target locking pods(if I could pod a few Goons during the Jita Burning campaign then I would) and also try and kill a few -5 and below guys who undocked in shuttles and the like.

(Short part here for the non-Eve player again. Space is divided up into 3 parts: high security(or high sec), low sec, and null sec. Each player has personal security status too: -2 and you begin being locked out of certain high sec systems. -5 and lower you can't go anywhere in high sec without the NPC authorities wanting a ward with their guns... To increase your sec status you kill NPC bad guys, and it takes forever. To lower it, you either aggress someone, kill their ship or destroy their escape pod - each with ever-increasing penalties of security status. And if you do this in high sec without legal shooting rights on your target, the NPCs(in the form of CONCORD) come and kill your current ship as penalty. Now that's done, onwards once again.)

About two hours of this and I began to get rather bored. And I mean, bored to the point where I was tempted to mash my F1 key and open fire on an innocent civilian ship that was within range. The Tornado is recognised as the best ganking ship in the game, and Jita is a quite high sec'd part of space so CONCORD would be on my ass after only one shot. If I was going to shoot someone I'd have to pick carefully, and without an alt scanning ships down for me I'd have to just bide my time.
Before long, a pod came along so I targeted it(took about 2 seconds) and looked him up real quick. He was a 2005 player and autopiloting. Almost everybody knows that you simply do not engage autopilot, and an '05 player should have known this. Rather than manually jumping to zero he'd engaged a built-in macro within Eve that jumps you to within 15km of your next stargate/station and moved you towards it before activating the gate or docking. I had a lot of time to contemplate pressing F1 to fire all eight 1400's upon his small tiny pod. A Tornado in gank fit could pump out 12000 damage with its single shot, and here I was contemplating hitting something that only had 430. And there was the chance that his pod was pretty worthless...

Temptation won. And CONCORD duly came along and relieved me of my Tornado.

I sat there in space for a moment, on a small buzz from that. That'd teach the guy to autopilot with expensive implants installed. And then it hit me - I had a LG Slave set in, much more expensive than the set installed within the '05 guy's head. I had to GTFO. And I was flagged to CONCORD for 15 minutes - they wouldn't attack my pod but if I undocked in any ship in that time it'd be forfeit too. I bounced off a planet and began running for my high sec base of operations. It was about fifteen jumps away so the travel would remove most of that 15 minute timer on my head.

Upon reaching my destination, I checked my situation. I'd taken a massive hit - a nosedive from 1.2 sec status to -3.33. I was barred from entering a decent chunk of high sec, and if I dared enter I'd have to move about pretty quickly. Running missions to repair that was out of question now. So I had a look in my inventory and found an Interceptor... that'd do, I thought.

Once the criminal timer wore off I undocked in the inty and moved towards a region in space known as Providence. My plan was to hit NPCs hard, and move quickly from system to system to repair that status.

It's back up to -3.1. Looks like in the short term at least, my boredom has subsided. Oh, and I lost that first interceptor already to a surprisingly well setup trap.