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Topics - Kelmola

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1
Gaming / Pokémon GO
« on: 15-08-2016, 23:08:04 »
So, why aren't you on Level 20+ yet? :P

It's obviously an "early access pre-alpha" despite reputedly having been in a public beta already, but the 0.3.x version number seems to be accurate. Practically none of the features advertised in the announcement trailer exist (PvP battles on the go, genuine team vs. team battles, "raids" and/or events, and most importantly, trading pokémons) and even a supposedly working pokémon tracking system is still in "beta testing for selected users", which would still be a much more vague system than the trailer suggests. Oh well, the launch trailer did away with all this, but it still has the bluetooth alert gizmo, and suggests that the odometer would work if the screen is turned on and/or lock screen is used (hint: it won't, the game loses the GPS signal due to how Android is made). And the launch trailer encourages cheating (not to mention potentially suicidal behaviour) because people are playing the game while riding a bicycle.

Despite the real game missing from this, it has actually managed to become a breakthrough in "gamifying" physical exercise, which I think is a good justification all by itself. Across the first world and increasingly in developing countries, sedentary lifestyle with too little of physical activity is contributing to various health problems, so anything that gets people (like me) moving is a good thing basically. Last night what was supposed to be a quick "incense run" of 30 mins (because Incense spawns a new 'mon every 200 metres moved) accidentally stretched out to 2 hours of interval training.

Also, it's funny how nowadays more and more people are clearly playing it whenever they are walking. Parks and squares are filling up with people who talk and get acquainted with each other, and of course NIMBY's are at it and are raving how public spaces should be empty and silent at all times. Oh well, at least now also in beergardens and on terraces people have a common ice-breaker to open the discussion.

Though, Niantic really should build a game in there somewhere to keep the users interested. And of course, WINTER IS COMING and since the game eats battery like no tomorrow, cold air is not going to increase playing time, not to mention that throwing pokéballs with gloves on will be impossible. Interesting to see whether the game survives until spring thaws outside the regions where snowfall is a national emergency that fortunately lasts only a day or two.

PS. Can't even blame the nostalgy, I was too old for Pokémon when it became all the rage so all this is new to me except for the "wild x appeared" and "x uses y, it is super effective!" memes.

2
Off-Topic / Star Wars: The Force Awakens
« on: 28-11-2014, 18:11:14 »
Teaser trailer has been up for two entire hours and still zero posts about it? Welp, time to fix that.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erLk59H86ww

3
OMG FINNISH BIAS

Finnish Defence Forces opened today their wartime picture archive online, free of charge. The service promptly crashed after 100 000 simultaneous users attemted to access it. However, once they have extra server cap and/or the novelty value wears off, some of you might be interested to browse it. (Reportedly, it also has search feature, which might come in handy provided the photos are properly named and/or tagged.)

http://www.sa-kuva.fi/

4
Gaming / Diaspora: Shattered Armistice
« on: 06-09-2012, 12:09:56 »
There are those who believe that the era of great space combat games did not end with the death of X-Wing, Wing Commander, and Freespace franchises at the end of the 90's, that the freely released source code of Freespace 2 could have been the architect of Wing Commander: The Darkest Dawn and even more new great space sims. Some believe that there may yet be brothers of Man, who even now create epic space combat games somewhere beyond the cyberspace...

Way back when Battlestar Galactica reboot's epic fail of a finale had not yet marred our enjoyment of the xbawks series, there was a fan project in the works using the Freespace 2 engine to create a BSG space sim in the spirit of the games of yore. Then, it was still called Beyond the Red Line, and even a playable demo was released. Then, the project team fell the victim of a 100-megaton dramabomb, and the majority of the team jumped ship and announced a "fork" they called Diaspora. BtRL team (that had the rights to the project name, but little else) responded by claiming they would also make a release of their own, even though they did not have the resources. Silence fell upon the interwebz, as the other team stopped posting news altogether while the other team at least posted new concept trailers and progress reports.

All hope had failed, and even the unexpected completion of WC: The Darkest Dawn did not help much. But then the unthinkable happened: RELEASE ANNOUNCEMENT OF DIASPORA. Yes, there is finally a playable version, completely free, and IT DOES NOT REQUIRE FREESPACE 2 TO WORK, IT IS A STAND-ALONE GAME USING ONLY ITS ENGINE.

If you ever played one of the Great Space Combat Sims and have been yearning for more for the past decade and then some, why are you not already downloading? If you are only beginning now, this might be the time and place, since the game does not require you buy another game or to fight modern Windows trying to get legacy software to work properly.

Torrents and direct download links here:
http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=81859.0

Release trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWt2m1xtJbw

5
Gaming / MechWarrior: Living Legends
« on: 02-07-2012, 16:07:50 »
After a long hiatus, this year seems to be the Year of the Mech. Besides Hawken (f2p FPS-style mecha game, which is getting its own DirectInput compatible controller), Reign of Thunder (MechAssault 3 but without the licence: and MechAssault is a four-letter word anyway), and Steel Battallion Kinect (durr, it's not a real SB without a WTFHUEG controller), there's three official commercial BattleTech games coming out: MechWarrior OnLine, f2p 'Mech simulator-light not entirely dissimilar to World of Tanks (with its own controller, no word yet on its compatibility); MechWarrior: Tactical Command, RTS for iDevices; MechWarrior Tactics, f2p conversion of the tabletop BattleTech, where you can buy "booster packs" trading cards-style (life is like a bag of 'Mechs and their parts: you never know what you are going to get, except that the "premium" boosters bought with real money are more likely contain better stuff).

However, there is already a completely free MechWarrior simulator out there. No, I'm not talking about the recently freely released MechWarrior 4 (it's 10+ years old and it shows, in a really bad way) nor of the upcoming indie remake of MechWarrior 2 called Assault Tech 1 (it looks and plays like if it were 10+ years old).

I'm talking about MechWarrior: Living Legends.

So what it is actually?

Right now, it's the best and most "believable" 'Mech game available, ever. It also looks faptastically gorgeous. It's so addictive that I have almost managed to withdraw myself from my FH2 addiction. If you are unfamiliar to BattleTech, a 'Mech is a 8 to 15 meters tall armoured, vaguely humanoid-shaped combat walker (not a robot: it has a human pilot). The game is from first-person view only, either from the cockpit of one of the warmachines, or on foot. It's not pure 'Mech vs. 'Mech, but combined arms; you have battle-armoured infantry, APCs, tanks, hovercraft, indirect artillery, helicopters and aerospace fighters. It's multiplayer only, and no singleplayer is forthcoming, however, what a multiplayer it is. The game has already more 'Mechs and vehicles (with more to come SoonTM) than most of the games in the series ever had.

The approach in 'Mechs is more simulator and less FPS-like - only the battlearmour plays like FPS, and flight physics are "relaxed". In fact, veterans of FH2 or PR will feel right at home (the game is much more complex than vanilla Battlefield, but the general idea is similar). However, even if you were familiar with the BattleTech universe (not everything is exactly as in tabletop rules, due to the real-time nature of the game and various balancing issues), or have played previous MW computer games (some changes detailed below), the learning curve is nevertheless vertical. The first "public beta" was released in the Christmas of 2009, and some veterans have been playing it ever since, so they seem to have impossibru skill level (over 9000). The effects of various weapons and systems and managing them in the heat of battle while controlling your soldier/'Mech/AFV/flyer takes time to master, but fortunately there is a comprehensive wiki to help newcomers, forums full of useful threads already, and one of the most helpful player communities: ask away on the forums or in-game chat, and you will certainly get help promptly. Despite a difficult start, the game feels very rewarding when you finally beat someone through your own skills.

What do you need to play it?

A powerful PC, heh. CryEngine 2 is bent over backwards and forced to do things it was not supposed to while keeping track of much more things as it was supposed to (for example, a flight of missiles is modelled as individual guided projectiles, and at any given there may be hundreds, or at the worst, thousands of missiles in the air). A fast GPU alone is not enough, MWLL eats processors like there's no tomorrow. My current rig - i5-650/AMD7850HD/6GB - runs 1920*1080 resolution with maximum details with a reasonable framerate, but when there's a lot of action going on nearby, there are noticeable moments of choppiness. Going beyond maximum details - yes, this is possible with manually editing the configuration files, CryEngine 2, rememer? - or having a higher resolution would probably require even more computing horsepower (unless you want to lower the detail level & FX).

Ha ha. What software you need to play it?

It's a mod for Crysis Wars (or rather, a total conversion). Crysis Wars comes bundled with all copies of Crysis Warhead (it's the multiplayer part that is actually a separate install), and is also included in the Crysis Maximum Edition. There's some problems installing the digital download versions (or rather, getting the registry key to stick in the Windows registry; solutions for this can be found on MWLL forums), and with disc versions of Maximum Edition, there are genuinely false codes in some printings (you have to ask a new code from EA support; patience required, as the issue has to be "escalated" to a higher level in their help - been there, done that, got a working code). However, as long as you have the legitly purchased code that is actually valid, the actual installation media can be even the free trial version of Crysis Wars that is legally available all over the place (no need to resort to one obtained from "unofficial" sources), it is the full multiplayer game, just without the registration code.

Other than the base game itself, the mod is completely free, and can be downloaded from the official site.

When in the BattleTech universe does this take place?

MWLL is not officially set in any "year", but since there are some assets from TRO3067 (and some experimental stuff from TacOps), it best represents the FedCom Civil War era, so 3065-ish. It will never include anÿ post-3067 (I'm not going to say the J-word) stuff. The two teams are "Clans" and "Inner Sphere", which would point to pre-3060, but there you go. Making the teams such allows for technologically distinct combatants (although "puretech" is not yet enforced, because assets are still missing from both sides to make a fully functioning combined arms force).

BattleTech? Wot the hech?

BT is a sci-fi universe dating back to the Golden Age of Mankind aka the 80's. It began as a tabletop wargame and its gazillion add-ons, and the main storyline was told in a series of 64+31 novels (64 for Classic BattleTech, 31 for MechWarrior Dark Age; short stories are still being published and the novel storyline is set to resume). Of course, then there are the official (and unofficial) BattleTech and MechWarrior computer games.

To summarize the setting, it is the 31st century. Humanity has spread into space, inhabiting thousands of star systems; the systems within 500 light years or so are known as the Inner Sphere, beyond them lies the Periphery. Almost 300 years ago, the Star League that had united humanity collapsed in the aftermath of a failed coup. The armed forces and scientists of Star League left known space, vowing to return one day. Civilization started to fall apart, with five Successor States waging perpetual Succession Wars for the right to rule Inner Sphere. Meanwhile, the former communications ministry of Star League developed into a dubious quasi-religion called ComStar, holding the monopoly to Star League era technology, with a major faction plotting the downfall of all humanity: after humanity would regress to pre-FTL, even pre-spaceflight level, they could then emerge as its new leaders.

In 3049, however, the descendants of they Star League returned to Inner Sphere with conquest in their mind: they had become a militaristic warrior society formed into warrior clans constantly fighting with each other for supremacy. Initially seemingly unstoppable, the Clans were eventually fought into a standstill. As ComStar broke into a "good" and "bad" faction in 3052, the "good" faction staged a ritual battle according to the Clan law against the Clans, which the Clans surprisingly lost, forfeiting their right to advance towards Terra for the next 15 years (leaving worlds farther than the truce line still at peril). During this time, a newly formed Star League, born out of forced-by-necessity cooperation between the Successor States, struck back at the clans (which was not forbidden by the truce, hehehe) and after partial reconquest went to strike at the Clan homeworlds in turn and completely destroyed the most belligerent Clan, and then won another ritual battle where the Clans lost their "legal" right to continue the war (with some Clans protesting the decision nevertheless).

By the 3060s where MWLL takes place, however, the new Star League is misused as a tool of political plotting, the union of the two largest Successor States is falling apart in a bloody civil war, Clans fight against each other as some of them still harbour dreams of conquest while others are just minding their own business or have defected to the new Star League altogether, and Word of Blake, the renegade ComStar faction, secretly plots against everyone else.

Enough of the background. How's the game mechanics?

The most commonly played gamemodes are Team Solaris Arena (team deathmatch, sometimes gets deadlocked into trench warfare) and Terrain Control (BF2 style fight for flags/bases/control zones, showing the widest variety of tactics). Some servers run Solaris Arena (deathmatch, usually devolves to chaotic brawls) or Test of Strength (team deathmatch with a set amount of in-game currency to buy the assets with).

Yes, "buying". The mechanic is similar to Counter-Strike: you spawn with a set amount of cash, and use that to buy 'Mechs/vehicles/battle armour weapons. Killing enemies, even damaging them, having others kill an enemy you have damaged, capturing flags, passing radar data to friendlies through C3 network, gains you cash and increases your rank. The higher your rank, the more cash you have at spawn; if you die, you will lose your cash (and the asset you were in), unless you had more than you spawned with, in which case you can get to keep it. The most powerful assets cannot be bought with spawn cash, even at the highest rank: to acquire them, you must show some skill and stay alive to earn enough cash.

However, there are no "unlocks", "specializations", "levels", "XP", or persistent stats whatsoever: what you earn is only valid for the match being played (most matches time-limited to 45 or 60 minutes unless tickets run out in TC mode before that). So you have to prove your skills each and every time, there are no shortcuts (such as grinding 200 hours so you could begin every match with the most powerful assets).

The ability to customize your 'Mech ("MechLab", a staple of MW games) is not yet in, but you can select from several variants of each 'Mech/AFV (many of which are straight from the tabletop game).

The Terrain Control is also slightly more complex than BF2/FH2 Conquest: a "flag" may not include a spawnpoint at all, or it may include only infantry spawnpoint, or it might have just the build or repair bay, but not both. Some flags (and usually all the "uncaps") have automated defense turrets, the amount and firepower of which ranges from annoying to definitely lethal.

What are the most important differences to previous MW games?

There are no NHUA (no heat, unlimited ammo) servers. Period. Oh, and there is no self-destruct charge either (though a 'Mech can randomly go critical, nuking its immediate surroungings).

Also, vehicles are much more deadly: no more (literally) walking over the tanks, they can and will take down 'Mechs even on their own. Helicopters can harass you to death, but are terribly fragile themselves. Aerospace fighters (especially the ones with firebombs) are pure murder for the unwary, so AA capable units in your team are a must. Infantry is dead, dead, dead if caught in the open but in broken or built-up terrain will be the death of an unwary MechWarrior.

No "hitscan" weapons. Ballistic weapons, PPC's and dumbfired SRM's require you to lead your target, but beam and heavy lasers require that you keep the beam on target, and MRM's must be guided to target by hand (unfluffy, I know).

LRM's, ATM's, and Streaks cannot be locked onto a certain part of a 'Mech.

There are no "3025" (Level 1, Introductory Rules, pre-Helm Memory Core) technology level units. Even the Inner Sphere 'Mechs - even if older designs - are up to the 3060's standards.

Legging (and arming) is possible: even if all the limbs go, the 'Mech won't be destroyed until the centre torso is gone, but a legless and armless 'Mech is pretty worthless (unless you expose your ankle to it which it could bite; sadly, there is no Black Knight class 'Mech ingame - yet) as it tends to lie on the ground, but weapons (those still attached) can be still fired. Oh yeah, in some cases weapons are in external pods that can also be taken out individually, and destroying the left or right torso destroyes the weapons there (but does not drop the arm). Certain servers ban legging, certain servers encourage it.

If you manage to eject before your asset is destroyed, you will continue the fight as infantry until you die. This is against the fluff but works surprisingly well. Though, most infantry weapons cannot be taken into the cockpit with you.

---

I hope I have managed to get your interest, or if you're a closeted MWLL player already, to get you to participate in this thread. In the very next update alone there's going to be almost as much free content as MechWarrior OnLine is going to have at launch!

Visit the official site for more info.

See you on the battlefield. Freeborn filth and vat-born freaks alike are all welcome to my sights.

6
Gaming / Hypothetical FH3 engine discussion
« on: 08-06-2012, 12:06:25 »
So. Were FH team to decide to change engines in a few years. What should they mod?

CryEngine 3 SDK:
Pros: Optimized for current technology; destructible terrain; procedural animations; quite flexible due to being a SDK
Cons: Might have issues with vehicles; flight physics tricky; might have problems with realistic ballistics; lot of work due to being a SDK

ArmA II:
Pros: It's ArmA
Cons: It's ArmA

RO2:
Pros: Is already a WW2 tactical combined arms FPS, so no need to reinvent (recode) the wheel
Cons: Tanks need much more work; no aircraft; "unlock" system means everyone and their dog is running with MKb42

7
Gaming / Razer Artemis Concept Controller
« on: 05-06-2012, 18:06:05 »
Trouble getting the original Steel Battallion controller to work with Win7 64-bit (it won't, the bootleg driver only supports WinXP and 32-bit), or rather, even finding one at anything less than for a completely ludicrous price (you won't either, at least a working one)? Feeling that mouse and keyboard, or even joystick and keyboard do not give you the right feeling when playing 'Mech games and are somehow inadequate? Want to spend your hard earned money for something that you don't dare to show anyone lest they knew about your fetish?

Seems that the good folks at Razer have thought of you.

Supposedly it's "exclusively" designed for the upcoming Mechwarrior Online, hopefully it will support other games too (namely Mechwarrior Living Legends, which I consider to be infinitely better now than MWO will ever be).

8
Off-Topic / Android gaemz and software
« on: 28-12-2011, 15:12:27 »
So my mobile operator decided I've been such a faithful customer, and they made me an offer I could not refuse (horse head not included): I will get a free* Samsung Galaxy SII, and my mobile interwebz gets boosted from 384 kbps (often slower) to 42 Mbps (very theoretical, 5-10 Mbps is realistically achievable in practice) with unlimited data, but my phone bills stay the same.

*) SIM-locked, must stay as a customer for two years

So now, after clearing out the irritating blinking news widgets telling me U.S. domestic news, and delayed-data finance feed from U.S. markets, and all the "hubs", and preventing Facebook contact info from being synchronized (because, one day I'll be moving the contact info to another phone and even in the year 2011 it seems that SIM card is still the most convenient way, so I'll be keeping a "conventional" phone book that can be copied to the SIM), I'm looking for ways to use the phone more constructively.

Don't think that touchscreen controls (or even the keys of a regular phone) are really suitable for action games, puzzle games have never really been my cup of tea, and it will be a cold day in hell indeed if Angry-frakking-Birds ever lands on any device of mine. But I'm open to recommendations. Strategy? RPG? Adventure? Pr0n? Both paid and free are OK.

Other useful or entertaining non-gaming software suggestions are also welcome. Free preferred, but if it's really good I might consider paying.

9
Bug Reporting / Go prone in snow, see through terrain
« on: 02-10-2011, 21:10:38 »
On Eppeldorf, going prone in a "snowdrift" in certain places allows you to see through not only snow, but through the entire terrain piece you're on. Haven't managed to replicate in other maps yet. See attachemnt for the exact location (it's the hill edge northeast of Eppeldorf North flag).


10
Just a small suggestion for the Statistics part of the Awards page.

Right now, you can see who is your worst enemy and who is your favourite victim. Since you might not be the worst enemy of your favourite victim (and vice versa), it would be interesting to see whose worst enemy and whose favourite victim you are (if you even are one, that is!).

Thoughts?

11
Bug Reporting / Spawning in a tank makes it transparent
« on: 01-08-2011, 00:08:02 »
Had this problem already with 2.3, but it persists in 2.4. Spawning on an SL in a tank and ending up inside the vehicle may result in a transparent vehicle.

This can happen both in TD passenger seats and tank hull gunner positions. Does not happen every time, though.

12
Bug Reporting / Flag icons disappear on map
« on: 01-08-2011, 00:08:35 »
Since 2.4, it can happen (usually after a lengthy play session) that your team's flag icons (the small flag that shows when you control a flag) disappear, both from the minimap and the full map display. Neutral flag icons and enemy flag icons show up correctly. Have encountered this both when playing as the US (Vossenack) and Canada (Totalize).

Exiting and restarting the game resolves the problem, though.

13
Suggestions / Suppresssion dependent on SL and commander
« on: 05-07-2011, 10:07:02 »
Alright, time to make a suggestion that is most likely impossible and quite certainly has been suggested in the n+1 topics covering suppression (because search-fu will only get you so far).

The other day I was reminiscing of good times with Steel Panthers series, when I remembered that in those games, incoming fire caused suppression, eventually rendering the unit incapable of fighting even if it didn't causes damage/casualties. (Not that SP series would be the only wargame, computer or board, which has a similar mechanic.) Now, each unit had its own leader, who could try to "rally" the men and reduce suppreession. However, if he failed, then his superior would try to rally, provided that there was contact (radio or shouting distance), which tended to promote unit cohesion.

Remembering the importance of maintaining contact with the superiors and thinking of each soldier as a "unit", I came up with this wonderful idea for FH2. If you aren't in a squad or are too far away from your SL, you suffer the much beloved, dearly missed suppression from 2.0. If you're in a squad AND within a certain distance of your SL, you only suffer slightly more suppression effects than you do now. If you're in a squad AND within a certain distance of your SL AND there is a commander on the radio (no doubt giving encouraging instructions to your SL, such as "Das war ein Befehl! Der Angriff Steiners war ein Befehl!" ;)), you "only" get the current suppression effects.

Thoughts/comments?

INB4 "not possible due to engine limitations" and/or "we don't want to enforce teamwork".

14
Didn't found a topic for this, so might be a known "feature", but...

In 1920*1080 resolution, Grant's gunsight view (especially the 75 mm, also 37 mm to a lesser extent) seems very small. It's as if it didn't scale with the resolution but would be fixed size - all the other tank, AT gun and arty sights I have tried since moving to modern hardware seem to be the same size they were on 1024*768. Plus there's awfully lot of empty black space in the sidebars... Is this intentional, dependent on the BF2 engine, or what? Screenshots attached.


15
Off-Topic / The Thousand Ways of Saying No
« on: 19-05-2010, 12:05:36 »
By popular request:

Let us hear some of those GTFO variations  :D

1. This being Finland, the most common variation (about half the time) is to awkwardly reply a few limes, then become mute and totally nonresponsive to any verbal communication.
2. This being Finland, the second most common variation is to emphasize the muteness by turning around so that suddenly you find yourself talking to the back of the head.
3. This being Finland, the third most common variation of "GTFO" is literally "GTFO".
4. "I have to go to the ladies' room"/"I just saw my friend there"/"I have to take this phonecall". This being Finland, this usual disappearance act is actually quite rare.

Bubbling under:

5. "I'm not single", well good that it doesn't stop you making out on the dancefloor with half the guys in the bar.
6. "I'm not single", well good that it didn't stop you making out on the dancefloor with me all night (and thus kinda ruining my chances in that bar with any other girl) before saying that.
7. "You're not my type."
8. "You're wasting your time." Indeed.
9. "We're having a discussion here, you're disturbing us."
10. "We're having a girls' night out, we are not looking for any boys."
11. "We're not single", too bad that your friend here told a couple minutes ago while you were away that you are both single.
12. "Can't you just go away?"
13. "Go away!"
14. "I want to be alone." Sure, a full bar at midnight on Saturday evening is the best place to be, then.
15. Me: "How do you do?" Her: "None of your business."
16. Me: "How's it going?" Her: "I'm waiting for my friend." Me: "Care to chat while you wait?" Her: "We don't have time, she should be here any minute." After this exchange, see 1)

Individual encounters, but still worth honorary mentions:

17. Dialogue even Tarantino would be proud of.
Me: Hi there!
Her: F--- you are ugly.
Me: Excuse me?
Her: F--- you are gay.

18. So I was dancing on the dancefloor, then along comes this girl, we start eyeing each other, she grabs my head, and soon we're kissing and groping. Suddenly, she pushes me away and half runs away, pausing only to push me back when I stated after her. I ask "What's wrong, did I do something?", she does not reply but she turns and pushes me back again before beelining to the coat check at warp 9.

19. So I was dancing on the dancefloor, then along comes this girl, we start eyeing each other, she grabs my hips, and soon she's dry-humping me. After a while, this gets the expected reaction from me, which in turn gets a quite unexpected reaction from her: she throws a pint of cider on my face, screaming at the top of her lungs "F--- YOU DISGUSTING PERV! GO TO HELL!"

20. So I was dancing on the dancefloor, had been there only a couple of minutes, not even trying to get eye contact until I got into party mood. Suddenly, a girl shoves me violently, screaming "F---ING WANKER, GO JACK OFF SOMEWHERE ELSE!"

20 down, 980 to go. Contributions welcome ;D

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