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New Rig

just in time for new years, went out on boxing day to line up at NCIX for parts to build a new computer. First time in my life i went to line up at a computer store on boxing day too by the way.

 

2011-12-26 13.59.50

first up, nude picture!

Specs:

Core i5 2500k @ 4739MHz

Corsair H60 CPU cooler

Corsair obsidian 650D case

EVGA GTX 570 superclocked edition

Asus P8Z68 deluxe/gen3 motherboard

Corsair TX 750M PSU

16 gig Corsair Vengeance RAM

WD Caviar black 2TB harddrive

2011-12-26 19.11.56

the wire monster

2011-12-26 15.23.52

all installed

2012-01-07 12.08.15

new fans up top, moved other fans around

CPU idle temperature around 30 degrees C, while prime95-ing it peaks up to 68 to 70 degrees. Haven’t really done much other benchmarking, 1212 in unigien heaven benchmark, 4x anisotropy, 1920×1080, high, high, normal tessellation. Ran some crysis 2 with DX11 enabled on ultra, most of the time locks in at 60 fps, sometimes drops to 30, but generally very playable. Skyrim as well, again, seems frame rate drop but most of the time locks in at 60 and very playable overall.

I wish I know how to benchmark.

comments, critics, concerns and cute pictures, leave them below.

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Gears of war 3

i imagine the meeting at epic games before making the gears of war series something that went like this:

cliff walks in the meeting room with he’s i-just-got-out-of-shower hair and tiny arms and said “i wanna make a game that will make me feel like such a bad ass i’ll work out and get super buff, also get a good haircut and put gel in my hair. Oh and i wanna chainsaw my enemy into tiny meat chunks.”

and gears of war was born.

i’m a big fan of the series, having played the previous games i, along with millions of fans, are eager to see how the story come to an end. Without spoiling anything for those who have not finished the game, i just wan tot say, yes the story does wrap, but may not be as satisfying as one might have hoped.

The game itself wasn’t that long, probably 12 to 14 hours on hardcore, though very similar to the previous game there are some welcoming changes such as in the single player campaign when you are down your AI team mates have the option to res you, by have the option i mean sometimes they don’t bother to save you, obviously they don’t know that when you are out the game is over, but it is a nice feature unlike in the previous games when you are down you are done. However they didn’t seem to bother to upgrade the AI at all, sometimes your AI team mates do the stupidest of things such as rushing out into a bunch of enemies, flipping all over the place and not bother shooting at all, but sometimes they do decide to save your ass.

One thing i did like was the fact that sometimes you have more than 3 teammates fighting along side you, up to 6 or 7 sometimes. I personally really like it when you have a bunch of teammates fighting with you, makes it feel like it is actually a war rather than just something you are doing off on your own, there are other people involved and makes whatever you are doing that much more meaningful.

Although there are now more characters, but you don’t really get to know any of the new character in any depth at all, there are literally no character development, granted it is not an RPG but still, some introduction to who these characters you are fighting alongside with are would be great. Throughout the game your mission is clear, but i have the feeling that i don’t really care about the story as much as i just want to finish it. Oh and Sam has a sexy accent.

My biggest complain though, the ending. It wraps the story up, but seriously, that’s the best you can come up with? i mean cmon, the last boss fight is a complete joke. It felt like someone went “oh shit, we don’t have a final boss battle” 3 weeks before the game goes gold, and they scramble to put something in there, it did not felt like they thought about the final boss fight at all, it’s like back in the RAAM fight, i mean skorge was more fun to fight than this.

I love what they did with the multilayer though, there are so many medals, ribbons, unlocks to collect, it’ll take a while to collect them all, if one can ever collect all of them. Weapon skins are a brilliant idea, i love the idea of being able to customize your weapons, but also its a great way for epic to make tons of money. Would be nice if i can also customize characters though.

Horde 2.0, probably something you’ve hard a lot about, it’s pretty fun, some say it’s like tower defense and horde mixed together, but it’s hardly a tower defense type of game, sure you can build a much of stuff, but most of the time they aren’t that useful, the fences take tremendous amount of damage when enemy walks through it, the sentries do literally nothing, enemies will spawn right next to your base, i really thing there are many things to do to make the horde 2.0 better, but it’s a good place to start, and it is more fun than the original horde. Beast mode is excatly like horde but you play as the locus.

so, how is the game? Well, to me it’s a very solid game, in fact, a pretty good game, but for some reason to me it has lost it’s charm, it is still a gears of war game, and it felt exactly like the first game but more smooth, but story wise i felt very disconnected. i didn’t care for any of the characters, i didn’t care for what really happens. The game is not a let down by any stretch of the imagination, but it could be been much much more.

SPOILER ALERTTT!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DOM dies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Time for capitals?

So here i was, sitting at a friend’s POS in low sec (help defending it, as it was coming out of reinforce). Friendly cyno lights up 200km off POS, and a few carriers jump in, and i’m thinking to myself “man, how nice it would be if i could fly some capitals (carriers/dreads)”.

i’ve been exclusively a sub-cap pilot for a long time (a year and half) and always felt capitals are slow and stupid. but what i have realized recently that any ship with a jump drive is amzingly mobile, while it takes me 10 or so minutes to fly through 7 or 8 low sec systems (with a scout) it would only take about 2 or 3 minutes for cyno alt to traverse throught the same system and bam, you can move in a fleet of jump-capable ships within seconds of lighting the cyno, so capitals, in a way, are just as mobile as frigates.

As the POS came out of reinforce, the carrier starts their triage duties, and the reps coming off of those carriers are amazing, 10 to 15 minutes later the POS is back at 50% shield from 3 carriers repping.

i’m not much of “fleet fight” kinda pilot, most of the PVP i’ve done is low sec roams in small gangs with small ships. A lot of the POS seiging i’ve done is with either battleships or stealth bombers. But i want to train for capitals, at least just to have the option to fly one when i want/need to.

But which line of capital to train? Caldari capitals are pretty much all useless, so it’s basically a race between minmatar, amarr and gallente. from what i’ve heard, minmatar have decent damage but no tank, gallente carrier/super carrier is pretty much king, and archon is a beast carrier. But let’s think about it, am i gonna own a super carrier? probably not, titan? ha, ha, probably not either. So basically dreads and carriers, but dreads are pretty much dead unless you are sieging POSes, and the best dread would be the revelation cause hybrid is shit, guess naglfar is okay too but capital missiles are shit, or so people say. next thinkg about carriers, i guess the thanatos would be the carrier to use if you wanna rat and whatnot(but it’s ugly), archon has the best tank and probably the best support carrier.

The plan (if i can actually stick to it), train up amarr line all the way to carriers, i don’t have any laser skills or amarr ship skills trained, so it migth take a while, then go up the gallente line, train up hybrid on the way, after that i’ll go up the minmatar capital line (probably like a year or two later), and after that maybe the caldari line, but will probably come back and max out other races’ capital first.

vote, i will not!

CSM has been going on these past few weeks, and it has gotten bigger than ever. I’m here to tell you why I have not, and will not vote.

soon as you read that you probably go “you are a bad person, you don’t vote, you don’t help the community!” I am not famous for my contribution to the community, but I try to help people as much as I can, either that be explaining how the game works, showing new players how to fit ships and etc. Let me explain why I don’t vote.

the CSM is a joke, why I say that? it’s a bunch of whiney gamers who, most of the time, have no idea how a game works (behind the scene), and what it takes and how much resource it takes to make changes to a game as big as EVE online. and let’s be honest, a lot of people run because they just want to be in the CSM, even though they don’t have any actual power, but for whatever reason. I don’t deny that some do genuinely want to help the community, but you can help even without running for CSM, and probably some of the most helpful people in the community are not funning for CSM.

This is a game, it is not supposed to be a democracy. I mean sure CCP does say this like it’s a good thing, I mean player feedback is good, and listen to your players to a certain degree is also a great thing, but do you really need to have the CSM telling you what to do? I mean do you not read the forums? do you not read the petitions? do you not read what all the blogs say about EVE? I mean everything CSM has ever suggest have been suggested many many many many times on the forums, do you seriously need some huge voting process just to have people bring up that 300,000 other players have already brought up many many times? I mean seriously, CCP employees play the game themselves, do they have nothing to say about the game they love dearly and created themselves? do no one at CCP play their own game? do you guys seriously do not see any problems with the game that you can/should fix? I mean c’mon CCP, you strike me as a company that loves what they do and loves EVE online dearly, it is your baby, and you DO NOT need some CSM telling you how to make your game. As to player feed, read the forums.

Also CCP flies these 6 people (I think there are 6 of them) out to Iceland every year, providing food and shelter for them for a few days just to talk over stuff, how much money does that cost? probably not a whole lot, but is there seriously nowhere else you can better spend that money?

I hate to bring up WoW as a comparison, but you don’t see WoW having a council of players that tells blizzard what the hell they need to do with their game. As a game developer, blizzard is fully aware of the problems and what the players wants, and I’m sure CCP does too to some degree, but all I’m saying is if only you just read the forums, listen to what the players has to say, all those GMs on payroll, put them to good use. Looking at other games, MMO or single player, not many, if any has any sort of thing like the CSM, it might be a good thing, but in my opinion it is not. I mean as a game developer you have ultimate control over the game and you should know what to fix, “but the crowed sourcing for prioritizing the fixes is great and it’s CSM’s idea” again, like seriously do you not see the many many threads in the suggestion forums? those that are discussed the most are obviously something people are very interested in, those suggestions that are 10 pages back are obviously not exactly something everyone has in their mind.

I mean CSM seems to be like a lazy way to get suggestions from fewer number of players and a much smaller sample size. but also it comes down to I just don’t trust these people who are running for CSM. Reading their campaign stuff strikes me as they all copy and pasted each other’s stuff, “I’ll do this, I’ll fix that, I’ll make sure CCP get this done” none of the “speeches” has any substance, no perspective, no opinions, and ultimately no ideas. just because you read the forums doesn’t make you a good CSM candidate.

but to me, it all comes down to one thing, I believe CCP can make this game better without the help of CSM, and in fact, i believe CCP will do a better job at making the game better without CSM, almost every other company out there did it why can’t CCP? I love EVE online, it’s like no other games, and I love CCP, i think they are a great company, and I trust CCP will make this game better, why? simply because #1 it is their baby, #2 if EVE fails, so will the company. I forbid the day when everyone is happy with the game, but to me CSM is a waste of time.

It is, after all, just a game. CCP is the god in this game I trust this god will do all of us justice. CSM, waste of time, waste of effort, if CCP could pay a bit more attention, make notes as to what the people want, it’s much better than just the few weeks when people run for CSM stirs up all the mud from the bottom of the ocean. Just ask this, is this game what i had envision? what could I do to make this game more enjoyable for me as a player of this game and not a dev? you don’t need the CSM to tell you what to do. Make the game you want to make, and we will follow you to the end of the universe!

Spotting an incursion in Amarr space I, as a responsible capsuleer, feel like it is my duty to fight back the sanshas, keep the people safe, and of course at the same time make a bunch of money and concord LP.

Taking my maelstrom, the ship i ususally take to incursions (personally i do believe battleships should be the main DPS, while battlecruisers/T3/HAC are there for support, such as webbing, target painting, cap transfering and taking out smaller ships).

As i didn’t not have my regular fleet with me, i typed in local chat “shield maelstrom looking for fleet”, knowing full well that i am having to trust people i’ve never played with and probably gonna have some really bad pilots. I, the verteran of many many incursions, generally know how to run incursions, the ships we need, the amount of DPS we need and things like that, however for many, it might still be their first incursion, now knowing the danger lurking behind those seemingly harmless acceleration gates.

Sure enough, didn’t take long for me to get invited, and of course i joined up, that’s when the nightmare (not the ship) begins. I think when people think of a shield tanking fleet they automatically think drakes, and drakes is what we got in the fleet, 5 drakes, some badly fitted some okay fitted. I hate talking bad about drakes, they are good ships and i’ve flown them personally (long time ago) but personally i believe they are not the ships for incursions, however for low SP characters there really isn’t that much choice. oh and drone boats are not the best of choices, since sanshas will treat drones as a threat, they will shoot your drones, you lose your drones you are useless, and of course losing T2 drones is expensive. And whatever extrea DPS you decide to bring until the upper limit of people you can have, that’s about all you need for vanguard sites.

Other than drakes we have a ferox (for crying out loud a ferox? with T1 rails, cmon..), a scimitar and a basilisk, we are waiting on finding a cap buddy for the basilisk. Unknown amount of time passed (an hour probably) the fleet decide to disband and look for bigger fleets because we can’t find a cap buddy for the basilisk and the scimitar pilot leaving.

Upon joining another fleet i was treated with the same horrific sight, but this time we got a raven navy issue (i don’t understand why you would wanna bring a faction BS to incursions, flying with people you don’t trust, but they it’s not my money). after waiting a long time we finally got another basilisk pilot and the FC decides it’s time for some action (mind you, you kinda screwed their biggest DPS dealer, me, by having no webs at all, those 800mm ACs can’t hit the frigs.). Starting off with a nation’s mining colony, fleet warps in, we started taking out the frigates, which i do not thing it’s a good idea since i think they are the triggers, anyway 4 frigates later, the FC ordered us to warp out, and of course i follow the FC’s orders without question, that’s how it should be in a fleet. upon warping i asked “what happened?”, apparently one of the basilisk popped. I am tired of these things, so i decided to leave and go home before i lose my maelstrom due to some error by these incompetent pilots.

after hearing my rant, you might ask, “well, just how the hell do you run incursions?” well, let me tell you about my regular fleet, #1 is you need to have people you trust, sometimes you might get lucky and get in a good fleet, most of the time you don’t, your corpies are a good place to start. #2 fleet composition, very important, you’ll need the proper support, mainly webs, i don’t care if you are using drakes, those frigates zipping around at 400+m/s negates a lot of your damage. also hackers in fast ships if you are doing transfer, miners if you doing mining colony, needless to say.

here’s what i believe to be a good composition: 1x fleet booster (he can be excluded from the battle, just parked somewhere at a safe in the system.) 1x webber, either it be a rapier or a loki, anyone who has bonus to webs. 1x hacker/miner who will not be participating in the battle only called in when needed. 2x logistics, whatever it is that you need in a cap chain, personally also prefer battleships as logistics, tankier and fully insurrable. 3-4x DPS, again perferablly battleships, why? because of the sheer amount of volley damage. sometimes being able to alpha the frigates make your life so much easier. Also the ability to field nice amount of drones. torp ravens (since most of the engagments will be within 15km, you NEED to have a webber), maelstromes, hyperions, rokhs (both with blasters of course), and whatever extra DPS you decide to bring until the upper limit of people allowed in a vanguard site (or up till the number of targets your logistics can lock on to). Oh and did i mention i think shield tanking is the way to go, free up those low slots of maximum DPS, since you rely on your logistics to keep you alive (the only way you can stay alive, local tank WILL NOT save you, so stop fitting those fucking shield boosters). Also shield transfers give result at the beginning o the cycle instead of the end of the cycle like armour reps (bit less strain on the logistics pilot).

my incursion maelstrom fit for those who are interested

[Maelstrom, My incursion maelstrom]
Gyrostabilizer II
Gyrostabilizer II
Gyrostabilizer II
Tracking Enhancer II
Tracking Enhancer II

Invulnerability Field II
Invulnerability Field II
Photon Scattering Field II
Heat Dissipation Field II
Large Shield Extender II
Large Shield Extender II

800mm Repeating Artillery II
800mm Repeating Artillery II
800mm Repeating Artillery II
800mm Repeating Artillery II
800mm Repeating Artillery II
800mm Repeating Artillery II
800mm Repeating Artillery II
800mm Repeating Artillery II

Large Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Large Anti-Kinetic Screen Reinforcer I
Large Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I

Garde I

Incrusion

The lastest expansion for EVE online comes with many things, the new character editor you probably have seen 10 million times, it is great. The anti alliasing feature everyone’s been wanting since trinity. And, the big thing that everyone is looking forward to (not really) the flying turds (incursions).

I never got a chance to actually try out incursion sites on the Sisi server mainly because i didn’t feel like downloading 3 gigs of file every week to keep Sisi updated. I really have no idea what to expect from the sites. A few corpmates was running the sites in an incursion near me (these are very good pilots mind you),  they said something along the line of “incursion sites make C5 WH look easy”, although they have been running class 5 WH for a while.

To Battle!

Was gonna play the rift beta I joined them to push back the sanshas instead. In my awesome nighthawk I go, into battle. Going into the unknown always make me a bit nervous, I do not like losing ships. But my corpmates are very good, we had shield RR BS, with cap transfers, seems to work pretty well, the AI likes to target battleships, they rarely focused me, they don’t hit quite as hard as sleeper battleships, but there are more of them than there are in WH sites, each torpedo hits my nighthawk with mid 80s resist for about 300ish, the lasers coming from the cruisers do about 380.

Fire Everything!

What’s scary, however, is not just the incoming DPS, they also neut and jam. Having one of your BS in the chain jammed is never good, focusing down the jammers is top priority, good thing they die pretty fast. Hacking is also a very important part of the fight, the remote logistics station will keep every sansha ship repped, you need to have a ship, preferably a fast ship dedicated to hacking.

Okay now that I’ve covered the fight, let’s talk about how I felt. It’s fun, really it is, it is pretty challenging, as you might have noticed from the lost ship statistics in the star map. Having a well-organized and trusted fleet is key for incursions. Focus fire is absolutely key. Good logistics is a must. Neuting and jamming is bad, kill them first. The sanshas have MWD, bring a tackle. They do scramble you, but then again speed tanking was never an option.

Logistics station

Now, as much as incursions are fun, they are not very “rewarding” at least not monetary wise anything, but bringing down rats who are pretty decent is quite satisfying than just pounding away on those rats in a level 4 mission. The incursions we did, are vanguard level (about the mid level sites), and the reward, decent, but we would think of better things to do. 15 million ISK cash and 2000 concord LP, oh and you don’t get the LP until the entire incursion has been cleared. I then think to myself “what is in the concord store?”. Extensive (not really) googling yields result that is not very pleasing. Other than named capital module blueprints, there is only implants, 1% better than the regular ones. however the price seems a bit too steep. 250 million isk + 250,000 LP for a 6% implant, I’m really not sure if it’s worth it.

In my opinion, incursions are fun to do, and it does bring people together, since once the system is affected, you pretty have to push the incursion back, the bad stuff sanshas bring disrupts all normal activities. It is a heaven for salvagers/looters/pirates, while we were doing the incursion sites, there wasn’t one moment we didn’t have someone in our site, salvaging our wrecks, looting the wrecks from capsuleers who were so lucky. Sure there really isn’t much to salvage or loot, and they don’t get any reward because they didn’t participate, but it s quite annoying, having people in your site, while you are busy getting shot at, trying to stay alive, they could have annoying and bump your ship away from each other, break the logistic chain (only if you are using battleships for RR) and many good stuff like that. Would be nice to see if the sanshas decide to instapop some frigates who is in here. But the fleets have been nice so far, if they realize there is someone doing the incursion already, they’ll go find another one.

If you want money, go to level 4s or WHs, if you wanna have some fun, have a challenge, spend some quality time with your corpmates/strangers, the incrusion sites are for you, and it’s a good time to RP (roleplay) as well, and when you push back the incursion you do feel like you made a contribution, however minuet, you helped out in something greater.

Star Trek Online

I finally got around to trying out star trek online. I heard bad things about it, but recently after the latest expansion, people seem to be saying that it’s better.

Star Trek Online

Star Trek Online

People say Star trek online is just like EVE online, but with star trek ships, they are surely mistaken. EVE is a sandbox, a big sandbox, star trek online is more like your traditional click, use skill, kill mob, MMO in space with star trek ships.

Alright, let’s sum up the boring part really fast, very nice character customization, not completely control but enough control to make yours rather unique. Naming your ship and having the name show up on the ship is cool too, nice touch.

The combat, let’s talk about the ground combat first, since that’s where they started you off, the ground combat is clunky, slow, very boring and not fun at all, it pretty much comes down to you spamming the 1, 2 and 3 button. Oh flanking attack, that’s pretty much having the enemy shoot at your crewmen while to take them out from behind, nothing too spectacular. the ground combat is no first person shooter, it’s no their person shooter either, it’s just like the regular MMOs like wow or whatever, you select target, spam skills until it’s dead.

Looking out at earth

Space combat is a bit more fun, a bit more fun but not that more fun, it’s just as mind numbing as the ground combat. Mostly what I’ve seen so far is it consists a lot of space bar spamming and when the enemy’s shield is down, launch a torpedo that causes massive damage. Cool? not really, I mean I’m sure later on you can put on different shield generators, different phaser and torpedo launchers, but it’s just that, it’s just phaser, torpedos and shields. As much as it is following the star trek lore, it is just kinda boring.

The anomalies, I mean come on, what the hell are those? little symbol in space, you go interact with them and you match this little wave pattern in a given time (worst in-game mini game I’ve played) and then you get some random crap. I mean come on, exploration should be fun, this definitely is not, you go to a system, or mission or whatever not sure how that works just yet, and you hit a button, your ship finds the anomalies for you, you then fly to them and proceed with matching some boring wave patterns.

earth

The progression system is just about the same as any other run of the mill MMO, you kill people you get skill points, and you spend the skill points on different things, and you get promoted.

Graphics looks great, I think that is the best part about this game, the graphics, the ships look great, the space look great, although I did feel the space station and dry docks at earth looked not as good. Oh and engine trails!

Engine Trails!

Bottom line is, this game is not worth my money, I will NOT spend some 10 bucks to buy the game and 15 bucks a month to play it. If it where a free to play, then I could see it being quite popular, like how LoTRO, after becoming free to play it has become really popular. Star Trek online I feel lacks polish, lacks the flow, although fun in small doses, I don’t see myself playing it for very long. Would I recommend it to other people? I say, try the demo, see how you feel, I’ve been spoiled by EVE, it’s hard to go to another space MMO that is not entirely sandbox and gives YOU the freedom to do whatever you want.

Hey there!

hi, welcome, this is gonna be my blog about games, MMOs, PC games, consoles, whatever, any game that I have played. I’ll write something about them, screen shots, interesting stuffs, and other things.

 

also you can check out my main blog, here: http://michaelvfx.wordpress.com/

my regular twitter (i’m gonna make another twitter just for this one i guess): http://twitter.com/#!/BPhelmet

moving right along, going to post some stuff tomorrow, hopfully.

run a long now, go kick some ass!