Revelations II, IGB issue?

Revelations II went in yesterday with almost no problems for me, other than my overview settings getting wiped (again). The only main issue which may affect WDA readers is for some reason the site no longer functions within the in-game browser. I’ll be looking to see what I can do to fix it from my end tonight, in the meantime I’ll wait and see what CCP says in the patch feedback thread on their site.

Sorry for the inconvenience, the out-of-game version still works fine (of course there’s no ability for users to post comments).

Major Nelson Podcast Ridiculousness

For those who haven’t seen the story yet, check out the story on Kotaku called Major Nelson Mocks Gamers, Undermines Position.

In summary, essentially we have another case of Xbox Live’s Major Nelson teaming up with the simply-named “e” to marginalize player opinions once more. Personally, I’ve had it with the Major Nelson cast. The following is a post that I made no the Major Nelson blog.

“MN: Damage done, to be honest I’ve been listening to your podcast for a long time now and will probably not continue. I’ll still use your site for news of upcoming 360 and Live content of course.

Any time I’ve ever heard e on the podcast the two of you are usually addressing something to do with a Live update, some special bit of content, etc. That’s fine. But when addressing the concerns of Live’s paying customers the two of you frequently come off with a very condescending tone that’ll usually have me stopping listening to it.

I know you’re human, I know you’re trying to inject humor into it, but this kind of thing has been going on for a while now. That is, the marginalizing of the opinion of your consumers. Nobody’s asking that MS and the 360 developers bend over a barrel for every wish that everything be free, only that someone somewhere listens to us telling you that we’d have less of a problem purchasing content digitally if it was priced reasonably when taken in context with the content itself.

The problem is nobody sees that happening when time after time the consumer is given content which is unreasonably priced. It reads like we’re not getting heard, that developers are greedy, and faith is lost.

Anyway, just my opinion that I wanted to share, because I do see the value in the things that you do.”

I’m sure nothing will come of it, that no response will be garnered from Nelson himself, and that the various Xbots out there will flame the bejesus out of it, but oh well. This is just bad community relations, and at the very least he should be aware of how the consumer feels.

EVE 4th Anniversary

Congratulations are in order for the fine folks at CCP Games, as this weekend they celebrate the 4th anniversary of EVE Online! As someone who’s been playing since the beta, I have to say this is the longest I’ve ever played a single game in my entire life. Longest by far.

Following up on the EVE Voice launch, CCP’s asked me to do a splash screen for the game. For those who don’t have access to EVE, here’s what went online this morning:

EVE 4th Anniversary Splash

Congratulations again, CCP! Here’s to another four awesome years. Hope you guys get a chance to party hard this weekend!

A new PC is born

So finally I managed to get a PC worthy of a gaming rig. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to say that. First, a shot from before the upgrade. That’s my old PC and my iMac, sitting happily together on my desk. Ah, the memories. It’s like a silicon version of the black and white cookie.

Before the upgrade

And now, the new gear. First, a shot of my case and PSU in their boxy homes, and second a shot of my motherboard. I decided to be lazy and let the guys at the store mount the CPU and memory for me with my cooler. Saved me some time, and it was free of charge. Can’t complain about that. Lastly, a shot of the case after I installed my PSU.

Boxes of goodies Motherboard, CPU mounted and ram already in PSU installed

After that I got pretty busy installing all the other stuff, so I didn’t take too much time to take pictures. On to the action shots.

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Got the requisite “gamer in the dark” pictures accentuating my lack of sunlight exposure, and the last one has a flash on to show some details on how much I need to wipe down my glass desk. My iMac has subsequently found a home off to the right where my printer was, and the printer is on the floor waiting for a home.

It was a great bit of fun doing the build, I have to say, and it’s even better that it booted up on the first try. At some point I’m going to have to wrangle the cables a bit better, but this thing blows away what I upgraded from. Here’s a list of what went inside:

  • Antec Nine Hundred Ultimate Gamer Case
  • Intel Coreâ„¢2 Duo Processor E6600 2.4GHz w/ 4MB Cache
  • Zalman CNPS9700 NT Ultra Quiet CPU Cooler
  • Asus P5B w/ DualDDR2 800, 7.1 Audio, Gigabit Lan, SATA II, PCI-E x16
  • Corsair 2GB XMS2-6400 TWIN2X Dual Channel DDR2 Kit (2 x 1GB)
  • eVGA e-GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB PCI-E w/ Dual DVI, HDTV-Out
  • Seagate 320GB Barracuda 7200.10 SATA II w/ NCQ, 16MB Cache
  • Corsair HX 620W Modular Power Supply w/ Triple +12V
  • Dual Samsung SyncMaster 206BW 20in Widescreen LCD w/ DVI, 2ms, 3000:1

And no, I didn’t go with Vista on this thing (yet). No real reason to yet. 🙂

EVE Fanfest 2007 announced!

Here’s a link to the announcement post on the EVE forums.

For those who haven’t made it to one of these, they’re absolutely incredible. They gave some great advance notice this year, so plan ahead with vacation and cash. It’s well worth the effort, Iceland’s a beautiful country, and it’s amazing visiting with a ton of people who share the same passion for EVE.

My gallery’s still online, so hit this link and take a look at what you missed last year.

EVE Voice Splash

Many people noticed a new splash screen that came up when launching EVE, something which CCP tends to do when they have something to announce such as a new product or service. Today’s was something a little special, to announce the availability of EVE Voice, the in-game VOIP service provided by the fine folks at Vivox. 🙂

It’s entirely surreal to log in and see your own stuff at the front end of a MMO’s login screen. Thanks a bunch for letting me help out, CCP!

Systemfehler

Funnily enough, 14 days before my Xbox 360’s product replacement plan through Best Buy is due to expire, my 360 starts doing some weird graphical stuff while playing GRAW2. I reboot to see if it fixes the problem and whammo, get a single red light of doomy doom. Behold, the gallery of shame.

According to some useful debug information, the error could be because of a screwed A/V cable or a failed A/V encoder. I have two A/V sets, one for component and one for VGA. I’ve tried both of them, which worked before the problem, now both show this error. I’m inclined to think it’s a deeper hardware failure.

I’ve been using my 360 through the VGA connection so I can utilize the 1080p resolution on my set, so who knows, maybe running the 360 in a mode it wasn’t originally designed for has cooked the video chipset. At any rate, tomorrow I’ll probably be going to exchange it. Whee!

Review: Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2

Title: Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2
Platform: Xbox 360

Trying really hard to break the record for the longest game title, GRAW2 came out this week to a relatively decent amount of fanfare. Sort of. Well there IS a TV trailer which doesn’t even show in-game footage, but lets not go there.

If you’ve played GRAW1, you’ve played GRAW2. The gameplay is nearly identical, with some generally good improvements. Graphically, it’s a pretty large leap above GRAW1, which was pretty interesting in that GRAW1 looked pretty fracking good. Here the shadows and lighting effects are unbelievably good, with a very cinematic quality which immediately sets the mood for you. Things are almost too realistic here, it’s even more of a challenge to spot the enemy which makes the gameplay move at a more strategic pace.

The Cross-Com interface has been improved with some neat enhancements, such as the ability to hold down the RB button to see a full-screen view of the team member or support unit you’ve got selected. You can manually control drones this way, and with squad member in single player it lets you swivel the camera around and issue orders. You could almost stay back away from the action and just coordinate efforts from that view. It’s pretty slick.

Multiplayer has a new co-op campaign to play though, and has a couple of new game types such as Helicopter Hunt, where it’s your squad vs. an onslaught of helicopters. This is not as easy as it sounds, as the later choppers are gunships with missiles. Ow.

Overall though, the multiplayer area of the game is obviously where the development focus was, so if you’re buying this for the single player campaign you’re going to be slightly disappointed. The SP campaign is good, don’t get me wrong, it’s just ridiculously short. GRAW1’s was longer than this, but that being said GRAW2’s is far more cinematic and intense, as well as being easier to manage with all the Cross-Com enhancements. Still, multiplayer is where it’s at here, so if you didn’t enjoy that with the first game then give this one a pass.

You can even change the time of day in the non-co-op matches, so you can play during the day or at night. This means you probably won’t see too much in the way of $20 downloadable content consisting of relit maps, something which is universally considered to be a great big pile of crap.

Otherwise if you even liked GRAW1 in the slightest, this is definitely a great evolution of the game. Well worth trading in the old game for this, since I doubt anyone is going to be playing that anymore.

Rating: 8/10

New Comic, just like riding a bike

Finally got back into doing comics after returning to playing EVE. It’s so great to be back into the general swing of things after two months. It’s been neat to come back to the player politics, especially with the “everyone pile on BoB” thing that’s been going on.

Been playing a ton of Crackdown on the Xbox 360 as well, which has proven to be a great way to pass a lot of free time. It’s incredibly light on the main “plot” missions, but more than makes up for it with the free sandbox gameplay. Finding new ways to jump around the city rooftops and such is more fun than most games of the genre.

Also had a chance to play the new GRAW2 demo, which is basically like saying I’ve been playing GRAW again but with prettier graphics. It’s the same game. Almost exactly the same, and I can’t see why this is being marketed as anything other than an expansion pack at best. The shadowing is very impressive, but only really showcases that the AI cheats more.

Other than gaming, today was an interesting milestone: I finally got a chance to take my car out for a spin, after two months of it sitting all nice and clean in my garage. I seriously missed it, and ended up missing out on some prime AWD conditions. 😦 But such is life, and there’s always next year.