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Comment Re:Aww.. (Score 1) 171

I agree, rank is definitely more of an indicator of how long you've played the game rather than how good you are - or, as you say, how willing you are to do silly exploits instead of actually playing the game. I was just pointing out that it is visible, and that some people might take notice of it (but on large servers I have never seen that happen, and wouldn't at all expect to).

Comment Re:Aww.. (Score 1) 171

Do you have any other recommendations for ways to approach FPS multiplayer games if you're a (let's say slightly) below-average player?

I would say a good idea would be to choose carefully which games you go for. I'd avoid the Call of Duty series like the plague, simply because those games reward fast, twitchy aiming and your ability to fire rocket launchers. (And/or shout slurs at people who are better at firing rocket launchers than you.)
In contrast, games like Team Fortress 2 don't rely purely on aiming skill; there is a lot more teamwork involved (in theory, at least...) and you can be very useful to your team without firing a shot, as medic or engineer. Also, in general there isn't much of a skill level expected of you in TF2 - it recently went free-to-play so there are a lot of new players anyway, and it's not assumed that everyone will know what they're doing.

I'm older than most of the gamer community, so I don't have a lot of friends who are playing games online at the same time I am. On some games, like the old Burnout Paradise, I made friends online. But when you're not that good or at least your stats are not that good, people aren't always anxious to see you join their team.

In TF2 there is no way to know anything about a player's skill level other than watching them play (or making a guess based on whether they're wearing a hat...).
BF3 is slightly more ambiguous in that you can see what rank people are. That said, in general I've been playing on 64-man servers which are mostly full; if someone gets annoyed that out of 30-odd people, your team has one level 1... Call them out for being the crazy idiot that they are. ;)
That said, if you don't think you're that good, or possibly don't know what you're doing yet, avoid taking up the "important" roles, which in BF3 are usually helicopter pilots and tanks; both are generally quite a scarce resource in-game and can make a large difference to how the game goes. Also, there's nothing quite as depressing as spawning to join your squadmate as he/she nosedives a helicopter into a mountainside. :D

I've been playing TF2 since it was in beta, and plan to be playing a lot more BF3 (and play quite a few other multiplayer FPSs here and there). Feel free to add me on Steam or on BF3's infernal Battlelog system if you like (my username's Esvandiary on there too). I'm in the UK so depending on where you are the timezones might only match up if I'm still up at about 3am (which, uh, clearly never happens) - but I'm happy to help you get the hang of TF2 by healing you lots and giving hints, if you decide it's something you want to get into. :)

Comment Re:BF3 graphics tech talk (Score 1) 171

That talk was extremely interesting, thank you very much for the link.
Especially interesting to see DICE using deferred shading; we used the technique for a 3D game project a couple of years ago as part of my university course; it seemed like it could be a good solution in the future. That said, I'm very glad I was not the one who had to make it work, or make it fit within a half-decent performance envelope at the time! ;)

Comment Re:Aww.. (Score 1) 171

For me, the singleplayer had some rather awesome moments marred by glitches and annoying quick-time events (the keys for which are hard-coded). It wasn't all that long for me either, which as you say was disappointing.
That said, I would recommend at least trying the multiplayer. I haven't seen much smack talking on most servers so far, and I honestly think it could be fun even if you're not that good. I think the most fun I've had so far is driving jeeps while other people are gunner - in a big Conquest game, you can drive around taking points that the enemy has forgotten about, while your gunner (hopefully) mops up any infantry resistance around. Just avoid Operation Metro like the plague if you're not a fan of twitchy firefights.

Comment Re:Internet (Score 1) 607

Not quite Atlantis good? Really?

Whilst I completely agree they perhaps started off a little too slowly, I found SGU to be far better than Atlantis. Sure, ATL was more exciting for the most part, but the characters were in general about as deep as your average puddle, and the stories and arcs were about as believable as usual.

Now please don't get me wrong - I liked ATL a lot, as I did SG1; the Stargate franchise in the past was never about watertight stories or exceptional characterisation, it was about simple fun with occasional Striking Morals (tm).
I think this is where Universe fell down a little; it was quite a dramatic shift from the previous shows, and too much so for a lot of fans.

That said, I honestly feel it was a much better and more interesting show overall; the tension and pacing was leagues ahead of SG1 or ATL, and the stories actually felt believable. No English-speaking aliens with North American accents, and all that. Not to mention what to me was the most interesting aspect of the whole show - the interactions between the human leaders.
The production values of SGU in pretty much all areas were just way beyond the previous shows, and it has kept me interested more than any other show out there at the moment. I for one really hope they somehow find a way to continue the show, even if it's on another network.

Comment Re:Champion (Score 1) 195

It's actually better than that - you don't even need to reinstall Steam; just run Steam.exe and it should work perfectly. I installed Steam on my desktop exactly once, in March 2004 - I've just copied the directory ever since.

That said, I have encountered some third-party (mostly GfWL-encumbered) games that don't play by the rules and dump stuff in the user directory. But I guess if you're re-doing the machine, you're probably backing that up anyway!

Comment Re:I don't know that I'd call it serious (Score 0) 202

In most cases I'd agree, but by the sound of it, it was full-scale VAC bans being given out.

That means that with your account, you can no longer play on VAC-secured servers on any game, and means you have a big red "probably a cheater" mark on your Steam Community info. In other words, you probably want a new Steam account.

That said, the response was excellent. You hit the nail on the head - "It wasn't a serious problem because they dealt with it."

Comment Re:I disagree (Score 0) 84

Interesting you say that...

A few years back, a fake NEC company was found operating, selling knock-off products under NEC's name.
The funny thing? As well as copying NEC's products, they actually made some of their own as well, anecdotally even rivalling the quality of the real NEC. Good old competition, eh? :)

Adapt. Enjoy. Survive.