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Comment Re:I still don't 'get' realistic war simulations. (Score 1) 174

I like about Battlefield 1 because it's at least as much about the horrors of the first world war as it is about infantry and vehicle combat.

BF1 includes a mechanic where the player can initiate a bayonet charge, assuming they have a weapon with a bayonet attached. The player can sprint at faster-than-full speed for about thirty meters before losing his steam (and being penalized with much slower movement for a short period). If during that charge he makes physical contact with an enemy player, the enemy player is impaled and instantly killed in a way that cannot be reversed by the medic class. But during that charge, the player character is screaming and by golly some of these screams are as much fear as they are a battle cry. The whole experience of a successful bayonet charge is brutal and horrifyingly personal, for both players. It's an adrenaline rush that comes from a mixture of horror at the gruesome, but desirable results.

Melee takedowns, with non-bayonet weapons, are equally brutal. Knife takedowns usually involve a literal hug with the left arm and a plunging blade in the right fist. Club takedowns are blows to the shin and then chin, or simply a bash across the back of the head. Club takedowns on prone enemies are particularly awful: The enemy is hooked onto his back with one swing, and then gets a (visibly horrified) face full of mace. Or simply a boot on the neck. Sword and hatchet takedowns are strangely the least personal. Just double-handed swings... to the shoulderblades. Or the neck.

The recently released DLC is all about the French (who for some reason weren't included in the base game because ???). There's an "Operation" (a long-form game taking place across two maps between attackers and defenders) called Devil's Anvil, which is set in Verdun. The first map is surrounded by a raging forest fire set by the artillery barrage in the late evening and early twilight. As the game progresses, it gets dimmer and darker, and periodically the wind changes and the whole battlefield is cloaked in smoke from the fire, reducing visibility to a few meters at best. As the attackers get nearer to the final objective, the music swells, the low brasses drone stranger, and the sun sets beyond the hillside, dunking the battlefield into shadow, backlit by the raging forest fire. It's hard, grinding combat up a hillside into fortifications, and the body count is always high. The second map of Devil's Anvil is the partially shattered open Fort de Vaux. Close combat in a confusion of corridors is bad already, but the sound design is such that if you're not in combat, you're hearing the sounds of combat, but twisted and altered by the concrete tunnels around you.

BF1 isn't anywhere near a realistic simulation of WWI, but it certainly captures a smidgen of the horrors and lunar landscapes of that war. Oh, and the gameplay is different because of the lower tech base too. Sure there are machineguns, but weapons that take a recognizable magazine are rare. Many are reloaded individually or with stripper clips, have low rates of fire, poor accuracy, slow muzzle velocities, strange visual impediments, or simply smaller ammo capacities. It's a substantially different game from "modern" or even WWII shooters.

I'm probably doing a pretty bad job of explaining why I like BF1, but I've written a bunch already and this point it feels like an enthusiast ramble so I'm going to stop now. For the record, I also enjoy the more arcade-y combat of UT, Tribes, and TF2. Certainly they're much closer to games of real skill than the massive grindfest clusterfucks that show up in the 64 player games of Operations that I also enjoy. It's just a matter of which kind of gameplay I'm looking for at any given time.

Submission + - Democrat Operatives Caused Violence at Trump Rallies, Framed Sanders Supporters (youtube.com) 16

Xenographic writes: A new video has come out detailing how Democratic operatives created violence at Trump rallies. You may remember that they then framed Sanders supporters for those protests. This video is notable because one of the operatives, Zulema Rodriguez, can be identified in videos of the Arizona protests at 17:35 in this independent video as well as at 10:30 in the first video link. Furthermore, you look at the FEC records of disbursements to her and see that she was paid by MoveOn.org. Finally, this again can be corroborated with the Wikileaks dump, specifically this email. For those too lazy to browse all the links, you can see Zulema's appearance in both videos in this image and note that it's the same person down to the tiny mole on her chest.

Comment Re: $300 or $400 for map update (Score 1) 310

I live in San Jose CA and the meat came from Morris Grassfed Beef and the price/pound is still better than what I can get at the grocery store. I imagine the price difference described by you and Eristone can probably be ascribed to me being in the SF Bay Area and you and Eristone living Somewhere Else.

Plus, I didn't pay for this, my parents did. I was just the one assigned to pick up the beef.

Comment Re: $300 or $400 for map update (Score 4, Informative) 310

It's a quarter-cow's worth of (in this case, grass fed) beef for $8.69 a pound. A split half is roughly 90 lbs. total, half ground beef and the rest an assortment. It's basically buying a fully butchered quarter-carcass, so you get approximately the steaks and pieces that you would get if you had literally purchased a quarter of a cow. It's a very good deal on very good beef if you have the freezer space and don't mind having a lot of ground beef.

Comment Re:It's Sony - duh (Score 1) 467

30-50 hours until space stage? Are you sure you played the same game I did?

I'll grant that if you spent two or three hours designing your creature at each stage plus all the vehicles and buildings you could definitely rack up more than twenty hours by the Space stage, but that's at the far end of the spectrum. I never had the patience for it, so I usually went from speck to spaceship in the span of five or six hours of play.

The outrage over Spore that I recall was more about the fact that the Creature, Tribal, and Civilization stages were so brief and shallow. A lot of the hype for Spore before release was that you supposedly had a third person adventure, a tactical (read: micro heavy) RTS, Civ Lite, and Elite/Colony Management game all wrapped up in a pretty package. The novel gimmick was that you got to do all these Fun Awesome Things with the very species you guided from paramecium to Galactic Powerhouse. The concept was extremely cool.

Instead, the players got an arcade game, a brief third person walking simulator, exactly one match of Warcraft III, the easiest game of Civ possible, and an "epic" space stage that had the grindiest, most boring colony management game I've ever played. And the space combat wasn't any fun either. In fact, the Space section was probably the weakest part of the game, which is why Galactic Adventures brought back the third person adventuring thing with player-made dungeons, which was actually worthwhile.

Comment Re:Ofc valve knew, it's why they killed custom ski (Score 1) 37

What? You've completely missed the point.

Everyone since the dawn of time has been able to go to websites like FPSBanana (which still loads slow because apparently it's 2004 or something) and download and install every custom skin/model/voice/particle effect they could possibly want. They can still do this. Thousands of people do. The problem is that such modifications are entirely client side, and thus can only ever be for personal satisfaction.

The point of microtransaction items like "cosmetics in TF2 and shitty mspaint reskins in CS:GO" is for other people to see your fancy hat/weapon. It's to show it off to people other than yourself. Some of it is conspicuous consumption to be sure, but a lot of people like customizing their digital avatars for everyone else to see. That appeal will never disappear. For good or for ill, microtransactions are the lifeblood of many games that millions of people play literally every day. The peak today for DOTA 2 was nearly a million players. League of Legends claims tens of millions of unique players monthly.

Of course valve shutting down these gambling sites is about money. It's also about gambling, but in reality gambling is about money anyways so... yeah. It's just not about mods like you erroneously seem to think it is.

Comment Re:Over the MPAA's dead body (Score 1) 83

Which is fine by me. I like the longer form of miniseries, it allows the pacing to be more languid. I hold up the Daredevil show in netflix as a good example of this (at least the first season of it). You can compare it directly to the first season of The Flash which is also on netflix, and you can see that the broader strokes allowed by the longer format and lack of forced advertisement breaks makes for a much more engrossing watch. Putting the timing of cliffhangers and story cuts in the hands of the creators instead of the advertising agencies is a huge improvement.

Comment Re:Not all complaints are legit (Score 1) 95

I don't play CS:GO but I have a substantial amount of Fake Digital Stuff in my Team Fortress 2 "backpack". I've spent at least several hundred dollars on completely digital "goods" in TF2 over the years I've been playing it (since open beta, October 2007). Mostly I haven't regretted the individual "purchases" I've made, and to a large part it gives me joy. I budget it as "entertainment" money, so as long as I'm entertained to a degree I deem of sufficient value in exchange for my money, I don't mind giving it to Valve. After all, I've been playing TF2 for nearly ten years and they've been supporting it and adding gameplay (and a huge ton of digital "goods", which is neither here nor there for the sake of this argument). I'm voting with my wallet.

Some players have things called "unusual hats" in their backpacks. They're hats (which are many in TF2) but they're also special. So called "unusuals" have particle effects attached to them. Buzzing flies, or sunbeams, or little clouds, or sprays of confetti, aces of spades, hundred dollar bills, or perhaps little orbiting planets, or a little cloudburst... there's dozens of effects of varying value determined by inherent coolness, appropriateness of effect to headgear (example: buzzing flies is sold for the lowest prices, but buzzing flies on a hat that's a plunger you wear suckered to your head? That's a "valuable" combination!) and rarity of the effect. Unusual hats go from anywhere from twenty, thirty dollars to many hundreds. Still not as much as the knife skins mentioned though, because CS:GO is a more popular game than TF2.

Different items for different circles, but the reason remains the same: Expensive knife skins, rare hats that appear to be literally on fire, the latest iphone, or the flashiest roadster, it's all purchased for other people to look at and say to themselves "that fellow has a fat wallet and I'm jealous of him".

Comment Re:Not all complaints are legit (Score 1) 95

For (extremely roughly) the same reasons that copy-paste commands don't work on bitcoins. Sure, you can duplicate your bitcoins as much as you want (in the case of these knife skins, you can install as many knife-skin mods as you want) but once you transfer those bitcoins to someone else, as far as everyone else is concerned, they belong to that other person. No matter how many knife-skin mods you have installed on your computer, the "digital goods" are in somebody else's safe deposit box.

Comment Re:What SEO spam? (Score 2) 43

I recall that Google used to have an option for this sort of thing (it was an option next to the cached page link that would remove that website from the current and future searches) but it wasn't around for very long and my google fu isn't strong enough to find any useful mentions of it.

If you do happen to find a plugin (perhaps a custom search engine for firefox?) that does this, I would be interested to hear about it.

Comment Re:I am wondering what would happen after 1 year (Score 4, Insightful) 581

At this point I expect that the supposed cutoff date will roll around, and then one of two things will happen:

1) They start charging whatever they're charging for it. But it won't stop being a "Recommended" update for 7 and 8.1. Meaning of course that some loser will turn updates back on or boot up a laptop that spent seven months without a battery, get updated, and suddenly find their copy of Windows 10 isn't licensed and they have a thirty day countdown. Pay up, sucker.

2) Nothing happens. It remains free. Eventually Microsoft will get around to yanking the updates, but probably not before something like option one happens. Credits to carrots the nagware will stick around though, just different. And no way are the telemetry updates getting removed.

Look deep into your heart. Which one do you think is gonna happen?

Submission + - SourceForge hijacks Win-Gimp, wraps installer in adware (arstechnica.com) 1

slashdice writes: Ars Technica (and, well, everybody other than slashdot) is reporting on the reprehensible behavior by SourceForge, Slashdot sister sister site. "SourceForge, the code repository site owned by Slashdot Media, has apparently seized control of the account hosting GIMP for Windows on the service, according to e-mails and discussions amongst members of the GIMP community—locking out GIMP's lead Windows developer. And now anyone downloading the Windows version of the open source image editing tool from SourceForge gets the software wrapped in an installer replete with advertisements."

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