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41  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Elite: Dangerous on: February 06, 2015, 10:04:10 PM

Quote from: Lockdown on February 03, 2015, 04:23:35 PM

Quote from: Autistic Angel on February 02, 2015, 10:49:19 PM

One of the less advertised features of the heatsink launcher is that an ejected cartridge appears on sensors as ghost ship that disrupts security scans.  It's a handy trick when you need to slip into a Federation station without getting flagged as a criminal trespasser.

-Autistic Angel

Wait.... Wouldn't that also help in smuggling stolen goods into a station by not getting scanned!?!?

My character can neither confirm nor deny that forcibly resetting security scans by ejecting your ship's thermal signature into disposable heatsinks is a highly effective way to evade inspection on the way into secured stations. ninja

Quote from: Lockdown on February 03, 2015, 04:23:35 PM

Oh, and your story cracked me up.

Thanks!  The cat was pretty pleased with himself too, but I think that's because he'd rather journey aboard a ship named HapyKity.

I've saved up enough credits to afford a baseline Python, so now I'm just collecting enough to get it outfitted and get something in the cargo hold.  There's an odd quirk to the ship buying where your pilot gets back significantly more money if you sell or downgrade every ship component before selling the chassis.  With higher end components, the savings can measure in millions of credits.  You usually don't want to go the effort of stripping your current ship down for parts unless you're sure it's time to upgrade, so there's a bit of estimation in figuring out how much cash you'll have after a trade-in.

Nonetheless, my character is on track to transfer the Skinypupy transponder into a shiny new Python sometime this weekend thumbsup

-Autistic Angel
42  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Elite: Dangerous on: February 02, 2015, 10:49:19 PM
One of the less advertised features of the heatsink launcher is that an ejected cartridge appears on sensors as ghost ship that disrupts security scans.  It's a handy trick when you need to slip into a Federation station without getting flagged as a criminal trespasser.  One quick meeting with the federal security liaison later, and the Skinypupy is free to fly again!

Thanks again for the advice, TiLT!

My character has earned enough money to buy an Orca, but based on the spec sheet, I don't think it would be an upgrade.  The Orca is listed as a luxury passenger liner.  I assume this will someday be useful for ferrying passengers to and from tourism-based stations, but until those hypothetical features are added to the game, it is less capable at fighting or hauling cargo than less expensive models.

Fortunately, the price jump to a Python is pretty manageable at this stage of the game.  I'm hoping to have one within the next week or so. thumbsup

-Autistic Angel
43  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Wii U on: February 02, 2015, 06:28:58 PM

Quote from: Gratch on February 01, 2015, 09:00:31 PM

Spent this morning bouncing between Bayonetta 2 and the new Super Mario World game.

I knew I'd love Bayonetta, as nothing else matches the sheer insanity it brings to the table.  However, I'm about to say something I haven't said in over 20 years...this Mario game is really damn fun.   I'm actually quite shocked at how much I'm enjoying it. 

I'm not sure from this context whether you're playing New Super Mario Bros. for Wii U which is structured very much like the original Super Mario World on SNES, or Super Mario 3D World which actually has "World" in the title.  Whichever one it is, though, you should definitely play the other when you're done -- they're both stupendous games!

And don't forget to play some Nintendoland with MrsGratch and Little B!  Some of those multiplayer games are tons of fun!

-Autistic Angel[/i]
44  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Elite: Dangerous on: January 28, 2015, 10:26:27 PM

Quote from: TiLT on January 28, 2015, 05:40:04 AM

You've got a bounty on you that is paid separately from fines. You can see bounties against you through your own ship computer, on the screen to the left. AFAIK, you can only pay this bounty on a federation station. I recommend locating an outpost and paying it there, as you risk getting shot by patrols or even the station itself if you dock with a major federation station.

Thanks!  I thought I paid things off at a Federation station, but in retrospect, it may have been an independent outpost operating in Federation space.  I'll charter a taxi to take me out to the station where it happened and see if I can square things with the local security office.

One thing's for sure: the Skinypupy is staying in its berth until this legal matter is resolved.  My character can't afford to lose another shipment like that.

Quote from: jztemple2 on January 28, 2015, 01:07:53 AM

Give them the cat? (sorry, just couldn't resist icon_wink)

The trouble is that he is as black as a rumor and even harder to detect.  No visible light escapes his surface: you can see his eyes and a little bit of his ears if he happens to be looking directly at you, but otherwise you have to look for a cat-shaped silhouette against some lighter background and assume that's where he is.  If I tried to give him away, people would probably say, "Thanks, but I'm not really in the market for a spatial void right now."

-Autistic Angel
45  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Elite: Dangerous on: January 28, 2015, 12:59:05 AM
So, I have a problem.  A cat broke into the cockpit.  He jumped on the controls, flipping the headlamps on and off and transmitting "m,li;m n" to a nearby pilot.  He also tried to mash his face against the throttle, but I was already easing down so I could return him to the bunk.

Normally this wouldn't be a big problem, but this all happened moments after dropping out of supercruise near a station.  It was enough of a distraction that I wound up breaching the station's airlock without receiving clearance.  This provokes a lethal response.

So now my character is down 1.5 million credits for the insurance deductible, plus another million in lost cargo.  Oh, and a 600 credit fine for trespassing because death didn't quite cover the infraction.  No problem: I'll just rent a Sidewinder and head over to the nearest Federation outpost to pay the ticket.  Easy peasy.

Except that even after settling the debt, my character is still listed as Wanted in Federation space.  Not just the system where it happened -- every Federation system now has price on my head. icon_frown  Does anyone know if there's anything more I have to do to clear my character's name?

-Autistic Angel
46  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Elite: Dangerous on: January 25, 2015, 08:26:15 PM
The Skinypupy faced her first successful interdiction.  It went something like this.


Pirate:  Your cargo.  I want it nOH MY GOD NO!!


Wherein "PAFFF" is the sound of a Viper's hull crumpling inside a ring of proximity mines.

The bounty on the pirate's head wasn't enough to cover the spent ordinance, much less the stress damage of being yanked out of supercruise that way, but those costs were still a teeny tiny fraction of what it would have cost to replace my ship and the 200 tons of cargo inside.  My character tries to avoid conflict whenever possible, but if some burnout thinks a fancy interdiction tether makes him a real pirate, the Skinypupy is equipped to bite back.

-Autistic Angel
47  Non-Gaming / Political / Religious Nonsense / Re: Palin's Back on: January 25, 2015, 02:21:18 PM
Correct.  If Sarah Palin were interested in wielding political power, she wouldn't have resigned her governorship midway through the first term.

She is very interested in taking on television appearances and speaking engagements, snarking about liberals, and getting paid for the effort.  She's found a way to make a very comfortable living while doing something that she loves, and recognizes that occasionally making noise about running for office is an effective way to reinvigorate her brand.  She did the same thing ahead of the 2012 presidential race when she rented a bus and drove around aimlessly for a few days as part of a cheap publicity stunt.

Sarah Palin has put zero effort into readying herself for a presidential bid.  She has no financial backers, no support infrastructure, and even fewer policy credentials than she had as the vice-presidential candidate in 2008.  She is not "back"; she is not running for president.

-Autistic Angel
48  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Elite: Dangerous on: January 22, 2015, 06:34:48 PM
There's a new patch today that references fixing a major crash.  You may want to try it out before going to the effort of reinstalling your system.

-Autistic Angel
49  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Elite: Dangerous on: January 20, 2015, 10:13:16 PM
I saved up about 4.5 million more, though it took somewhat longer than I'd anticipated.  One of the more populous systems in my trade network got embroiled in a civil war which really screwed up the normal supply and demand rates, so I spent some time running non-confrontational missions to help sway the outcome.  Then I refitted my Asp for the long journey to LHS 3447 to take advantage of the 10% shipyard discount.

Now I own a Lakon T7 the way it was meant to be flown: top shelf internals, high capacity cargo racks, anti-turret and missile defenses in every utility slot, and quad-mine launchers to deter pursuers.  Fully loaded, it can clear 425,000 credits in round-trip profit along my usual trade routes.  Seems like a good ship to keep me moving towards an Orca and, someday, a T9.

I call it the Skinypupy because, while that isn't a very good name for a kid named Gratch, it is a pretty excellent name for a heavy space transport loaded with high-end consumer electronics. thumbsup

-Autistic Angel
50  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Elite: Dangerous on: January 17, 2015, 06:01:49 PM
I briefly tried out a Lakon T7 Transport.  One cargo run out and back convinced me that ship is going to require a *lot* more than the 17-million credit down payment to be a flyable ship.

First of all, the T7 is first ship that requires a Class 3 landing pad to dock.  This means it cannot dock with smaller outposts at all -- a fact they don't bother to mention in the sales brochure.  Better check your courier contracts real carefully before signing up!

Secondly, if the T6 handled like a shipping container bolted to an engine, the T7 flies like a cinder block tied to a paper airplane.  I bounce around a number of Federation and Alliance-owned systems, all relatively safe from serious criminals thanks to the frequent security patrols.  Nonetheless, I've been occasionally interdicted by some enterprising young hooligan who thought they picked an easy mark.  My T6 could run.  My Cobra or Asp could fight back.  The stock T7 is so slow and piggish that only a massive investment in turreted weapons, defensive systems, and heavy armor would enable it to survive even a half-hearted mugging.

Thirdly, with a 17-million sticker price, the insurance deductible on a stock T7 is almost 900,000 credits.  You can't insure your cargo, so that means that unless you're rolling with 2-million in reserve after filling your hold, losing your ship just once would be tantamount to deleting your save game.

The one shipment I completed in the T7 netted me almost 200k, and it was the most stressful gaming moment I've had since Fatal Frame II.  I flew it back to the dealership with the cargo racks 2/3rds empty and traded it back for my previous Asp.  Call me a coward, but that thing just felt like a Hardcore Mode deathtrap. paranoid

-Autistic Angel
51  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Wii U] Xenoblade Chronicles X on: January 16, 2015, 07:42:07 PM
The portable remake of Xenoblade Chronicles is one of the flagship releases for the New 3DS, taking advantage of the increased processor speed and extra analog input.  It would be surprising if Nintendo undercut their release by making the original available digitally.

Of course, it's surprising that Nintendo didn't integrate Dolphin-like upscaling and anti-aliasing for Wii games running on the Wii U, or produce enough Amiibos to profit from all the demand.  So who knows how they make their decisions?

-Autistic Angel
52  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [Wii U] Xenoblade Chronicles X on: January 15, 2015, 02:43:22 PM

Quote from: Gratch on January 15, 2015, 02:23:50 PM

Does the Wii have any sort of backwards compatibility with Wii games?  I actually wouldn't mind giving the original Xenoblade another look, and I never did give Last Story a fair shake.

For the record: yes, the Wii U is 100% backwards compatible with the original Wii, including all of the controllers and peripherals.

And if you think about it, at some point you're going to need a Wii U for the gratchlings to play anyway.  They're going to love games like Mario Kart, Smash Bros, Mario Party, and Splatoon!

-Autistic Angel
53  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Elite: Dangerous on: January 11, 2015, 06:41:44 PM
I traded my Lakon T6 Transport in for an Asp.  Though it's primarily intended for deep space exploration, it features better thrust, stronger bulkheads, and somewhat more cargo space than the T6.  It also sounds like a World War II bomber during normal cruise which is a natural plus.

It had an odd quirk during my first couple trade runs: spooling up the hyperdrive would immediately redline the temperature gauge.  Every interstellar jump I made had my heat levels at 115% - 125% capacity.  It wasn't causing any damage, but that would change real fast if I were ever interdicted near a star.  Turned out that jumping with a full hold was overtaxing the basic power plant, so upgrading to a higher grade core fixed things right up.

Does anyone know if there are any defensive modules against the more powerful interdiction tethers?  The ones that pump a feedback pulse through your systems and glitch out your HUD are proving to be really effective at yanking me out of supercruise and its just a matter of time before someone has enough firepower to back up their threats.

-Autistic Angel
54  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Elite: Dangerous on: January 02, 2015, 02:30:00 AM

Quote from: Lee on January 01, 2015, 11:15:56 PM

The exploring thing: I have seen in videos people say that some planets were already scanned. Wouldn't all the planets in the world be scanned by now so this is no longer a money maker? Probably a dumb question, just trying to figure out how the game works.

Star systems with a large enough population are considered settled and are completely mapped out for everyone, whether they've personally flown there or not.  Those systems represent a very small percentage of the 400 billion procedurally-generated systems that fill out the Milky Way galaxy.  The rest are available to be mapped by the player population.

When you collect survey data about a star system, you must travel to a station at least 20 light years away to sell it.  I guess the idea is that people who live nearby already have a general idea of where the planets are, even if they haven't taken the time to collect detailed readings about their orbital declinations.  Once a system has been completely mapped by a player and sold to the database, other players will have the option to buy the data instantly from the Galaxy Map.  They can still choose to map it out for profit themselves if they prefer, though I've heard that the first player to map an astronomic body gets a bonus.

Accurate map data isn't strictly required because stations and outposts are always visible in the Navigation tab of your ship's computer.  It is extremely helpful, however: mapped planets show their gravity wells as blue rings when you're in supercruise, and looping your flight path around those horizons allows you to reach your destinations *much* faster!

The developers have talked about plans to expand the exploration game by adding atmospheric flight and planetary landings in future updates.  Those will presumably be how "Detailed Level 2" and "Detailed Level 3" surveys are completed -- right now, those accomplishments are listed in your pilot's Statistics menu but are impossible to pursue.

-Autistic Angel
55  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Elite: Dangerous on: January 01, 2015, 07:44:01 PM

Quote from: Lockdown on January 01, 2015, 06:05:40 PM

OK, so here's a couple dumb questions I could use quick help with:

1.  I have about 150,000 credits banked.  I want to buy a ship to mine ore with to try it.  I'm thinking an Adder?  Any advice here?

I have not piloted an Adder.  I can say that mining requires a hard point with a mining laser, a refining module fitted to one of your internal bays, and cargo racks to hold the processed goods.

When you shop for a refinery module, you'll see them listed by how many "bins" they include.  This represents the number of different ores / metals you can be accumulating at one time.  The bins are not emptied until you collect one full ton of that element, at which point it moves into your cargo rack.  The fewer bins your refinery supports, the more selective you have to be about which asteroid chunks you scoop up.

Asteroid rings are rated in the System Map by their general composition.  "Metallic" rings, or ones listed with "Pristine Reserves" are the best places to try mining; "Rocky" and "Ice" rings are generally not worth your time.

Quote from: Lockdown on January 01, 2015, 06:05:40 PM

2.  Once I buy my second ship, does my free Sidewinder get turned in?  In other words, am I now only in possession of my 1 new ship?

You usually choose at the time of purchase: trade in your old ship towards the cost of the new one, with added credit for all of the upgrades you've added, or move your current ship into storage and pay the sticker price for the new ship.  I highly recommend taking advantage of the trade-in credit as you're working your way up -- you can always trade back later in if you decide you preferred your old ship.

The only exception: I don't believe your free Sidewinder has any trade-in value.  You still get credit for any components you've upgraded (anything that isn't listed as "Loaned" in the Outfitting screen), but the ship is treated like a free rental you are returning.

Quote from: Lockdown on January 01, 2015, 06:05:40 PM

3.  If #2 above is correct, than any ship I buy from that point forward gets added to my ship count, correct?  In other words, it's only the very first free ship that goes away?  I need some clarification.

Ships you put into drydock are held at that station free of charge.  Star systems with ships you own are marked on the Galaxy Map with a blue icon.  I believe they're also listed in the Shipyard interface at any station, but you cannot interact with them unless you are docked in the same station.  There are no options for remote piloting or having them towed to a different facility.

Quote from: Lockdown on January 01, 2015, 06:05:40 PM

Edit to add Question 5.   What about picking up illegal cannisters?  It is really bugging me how I get scanned about 75% of the time, and end up paying more in fines than my "stolen" cargo is worth at the Black Market.  Any tips for that?

You can try to evade scans by switching into Silent Running mode to seal your heat signature.  Unfortunately, this will cause rapid overheating unless you also power off nearly all of your systems.  Disabling Flight Assist and burning the engine just before powering off all your systems can allow inertia to carry you past a security patrol.  Better pilots than me can use this to glide right through a station airlock without being scanned, but you should make real sure you can afford the insurance rebuy before giving that a try.

A better option is to simply take your illicit cargo to an outpost where there are no system authority patrols to harass you.  You probably won't make nearly as much, but *some* profit is a lot better than taking a loss from hefty fines.

Finally, if you're about to get caught, you can keep a keybinding for "Jettison All Cargo."  Just make sure you don't have it next to your button for Boost or Deploy Hardpoints. Tongue

-Autistic Angel
56  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Elite: Dangerous on: January 01, 2015, 03:39:16 PM

Quote from: Lockdown on January 01, 2015, 12:49:30 PM

So, funny story:  I'm now really into exploring and last night I am out there jumping away, just having a blast.  Completely forgot about checking my fuel.  Ended up in God-knows-where with no fuel and absolutely nothing around.  I was toast.

If you enjoy exploring, aim to fit a Detailed Surface Scanner into one of your internal bays.  It doesn't take the place of your Discovery Scanner, but it significantly increases the value of the survey data you collect by aiming your nose at stars, planets, and moons and completing a full scan.  A detailed scan of a single star is often worth 1,200 - 1,500 credits all by itself; mapping out a complete star system with lots of astrological bodies can easily net you 50k.

I've also noticed that the DSS will scan asteroid fields many times.  I mean, scanning once will identify the field for cartographic purposes, but if you actually enter the belt, you'll see your scanning display cycle between scanning, analyzing, and scanning again.  I don't know if this is a bug or if letting this run for a while will produce better mining results, but it doesn't *seem* to affect the value of the map data.

Finally, once you can afford one, the Cobra Mk III is a superlative exploration ship.  Its default fuel tank lasts for days.

-Autistic Angel
57  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Elite: Dangerous on: January 01, 2015, 03:58:47 AM
Sorry: I meant trade runs to systems within 2 - 3 jumps of my home star. 

Generally speaking, you won't make much shipping goods to an adjacent star system.  Faction traders fill those needs on their own.  If you can locate a importing station a couple jumps away from the nearest supplier, however, they're usually willing to pay top dollar.  Keep an eye on the Commodities board for items with a High Demand rating and willing to pay significantly above the Galactic Average -- find an overstocked factory or refinery, and some of those things can earn you 1,000 credits per ton.

-Autistic Angel
58  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Elite: Dangerous on: January 01, 2015, 01:51:54 AM
I traded in my Cobra Mk III for a Transport Type 6.  It's basically a block of steel shipping containers bolted together with an engine attached to one end, and it handles exactly the way you'd expect.  But holy god: the trading you can do!  With 100+ tons of cargo space, my average profit I pull on cargo runs around my home system is 84,000 credits, including fuel and munitions.

I've also been filling out the map data for all the nearby systems.  The highest level Discovery Scanner can ping astrological objects several thousand light seconds away, effectively guaranteeing that I can locate everything in a star system for a Detailed Surface Scan flyby.  I finally found a good mining prospect around a bright yellow star too, so I'll get to give mining another shot. thumbsup

-Autistic Angel
59  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: My favorite cat in the world is dead on: December 28, 2014, 03:21:06 AM
I'm very sorry for your loss.  I had a favorite cat pass away some years ago, and it was incredibly painful. icon_frown

-Autistic Angel
60  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Elite: Dangerous on: December 27, 2014, 08:16:59 PM
I've been playing my way up as a space trucker, with a little bit of space cartographer on the side.  Charted one system that was worth a cool 75,000 credits all by itself -- thank you Detailed Surface Scanner!

Mostly, though, I ran courier jobs until I could trade the starter Sidewinder in for a light Hauler, then used that to fulfill special cargo orders until I could afford a Cobra Mk. III.  A few upgrades to the cargo racks gave this medium transport about four times the carrying capacity of the Hauler and really opened up opportunities for free trading my way around the galaxy.  My last run involved moving half a million credits worth of precious metals to a manufacturing complex five systems away.

The Cobra also makes a good mobile refinery for freelance mining.  I tried my hand at that for a while: pulled in about 150,000 credits of pure profit from a palladium-rich asteroid ring before some pirates took notice and I had to bug out.  The trouble is that the only "Metallic" mining site I've surveyed so far is orbiting a red dwarf that gives off so little light, the asteroids were completely invisible against the starfield.  I probably could have doubled my profits if I didn't need to fly out and locate their silhouettes against the sun.  I'll give it another try once I can find a resource site near a brighter star.

Otherwise, I've saved up enough money to afford a heavy transport...I just need a little more to make sure I can mount a good jump drive and put something in the cargo bay once I have it.

Quote from: Gratch on December 25, 2014, 06:46:12 PM

I'm alternately intrigued and intimidated by this game.  How do you think it fare for someone for someone with ZERO experience in this genre?

I don't have a joystick, not sure I can justify that for a game I'm not entirely sure I'll like.  However, I might not like it unless I have a joystick.  Conundrum...

I actually think Elite: Dangerous has a significantly lower learning curve than other games in its genre.  You can start making money in almost any way you like, whether its trading, bounty hunting, or checking the bulletin boards for jobs, and there's virtually no penalty for experimenting with your ship loadout.  Unless you die, of course.

That said, it's important to note that there is absolutely no story in this game at all.  There's no motivation to do anything except that you enjoy doing it, and want to earn money so you can do more of it.  My sense is that you prefer games with strong narratives to drive the action, and Elite is all about how your actions generate a unique narrative.

For example, the first time I got interdicted in my Hauler, I thought a mine launcher might be a good way to deter pursuers in the future.  It turned out I was wrong: the very first time I deployed it, the poor SOB that yanked me out of hyperspace tried plowing right through my impromptu minefield and got himself killed, awarding me a 5,400 credit bounty in the process.  Now I'm sporting quad mine launchers, and I like to think that my pilot spends the off-hours stenciling the ordinance with friendly fuck-yous like "Please Don't Tailgate!" and "How's My Flying?  Call 1-800-EAT-MINE".

Quote from: dback99 on December 25, 2014, 10:09:02 PM

So is this game like the X spacesim games? Is there dialog with other aliens you run into or just mainly trading and fighting?  

The X games are mostly about building up an economic empire: building yourself up from a pilot with one ship to a factory owner with a fleet of AI-controlled ships trucking your products around the galaxy.  Elite is very much about being an individual pilot doing your own thing: exploring, hunting, trading, and pirating in a galaxy filled with other players.

This may sound less ambitious, but I also think Elite's flight model blows the X games completely away.  There's very little incentive to fly anywhere in the X games I've played -- I mostly just selected my destination from a menu and then sped up time until I was automatically docked.  In Elite, you need to actually fly your ship, managing the flight path and throttle yourself, and be ready to evade interdiction when someone pulls up on your tail.

Even the manual docking is a good time.  Once, I was running behind schedule on a courier run so I hit an engine boost on my way out of the station airlock...ramming straight into the heavy transport that was coming in the other way.  My Hauler ricocheted into one of the pylons, shattering the canopy and venting the cockpit into open space.  This is how I learned about the emergency life support system, as well as how to navigate by sensor readouts alone.  Turns out those HUD projectors don't work if there's no glass there to catch the holograms eek

-Autistic Angel
61  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS4/XB1/PC] Assassin's Creed Unity on: December 17, 2014, 01:10:57 AM

Quote from: Jimmy the Fish on December 16, 2014, 10:06:34 PM

Did anything noticeable change on the map? Are there still treasure chests that require the stupid mobile app to unlock?

My understanding is that the map *appears* completely unchanged its earlier form.  All of the changes are below the surface, fixing invisible flags on environmental objects and other structural flaws that were causing the worst of the technical problems.

So yes: treasure chests that require free-to-play meta-content to access.  I have not played AC: Unity yet, but I have every intention of ignoring that garbage.

-Autistic Angel
62  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Elite: Dangerous on: December 16, 2014, 01:06:23 AM

Quote from: wonderpug on December 11, 2014, 07:47:47 PM

I haven't played in a patch or two -- didn't they add some kind of way to track people in hyperspace and intercept them?

Yes.  In order to interdict other ships, you need a Hyperspace Wake Scanner and an Interdiction Tether.  Pirates would also do well to invest in a Cargo Scanner, allowing them to assess the contents of a target ship, and some Hatch Limpets which can be used to forcibly jettison their cargo.

When a target ship jumps into supercruise, use the Wake Scanner to identify its destination system and lay in a pursuit course.  Closing to within interdiction range and activating the tether will initiate a mini-game where you must align your ship on a sheering angle faster than the target ship can zero in on an escape vector.  A successful escape will drop your ship into normal space alone; a successful interdiction will bring both ships out of supercruise together.

It will typically take a significant amount of time for either ship's supercruise drive to recharge for another jump.  This opens the door for some spirited negotiations:

CMDR TaylorSwiftNo1Fan: And what is it, eh?  Is it a smuggler far off the
CMDR TaylorSwiftNo1Fan: normal space lanes?  Maybe a BAD smuggler
CMDR TaylorSwiftNo1Fan: with some nice contraband!  Heh heh heh!

CMDR TiLT: stop it

CMDR TaylorSwiftNo1Fan: Just a tourist with a fragged nav console, you
CMDR TaylorSwiftNo1Fan: say?  Then you're deep in trouble, little
CMDR TaylorSwiftNo1Fan: tourist.  Prepare to be boarded.


You cannot steal TiLT's hard-earned cargo until his shields are down, so apply laser fire liberally to the exterior of his ship until parts start coming off.  Disabling his weapons systems has obvious benefits, but damaging his engines can make it much easier to lock a Hatch Limpet onto his cargo bay doors.  It is not enough for the Limpet to simply strike his ship, so use the subsystem scanner to highlight his cargo bay and strike from the correct angle.

In the event that he turns the tables on your ambush and punctures your canopy -- which, let's face it, is more likely than not -- be sure to save enough O2 to transmit out, "Who are you that flies so good??  Are you insane?!?" and "You shouldn't kill me just for attackin' ya!"  He loves that.

-Autistic Angel
63  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: The end of a gaming era on: December 09, 2014, 03:40:35 AM

Quote from: Dante Rising on December 09, 2014, 02:26:09 AM

Harcore gamers will obviously own all 3 eventually, and I'm guessing a few years from now Gratch will grab an Xbox One. By then it will be $199 and have a better supply of exclusives.

In fact, I'm putting money on it. By the end of Black Friday 2016, Gratch owns an XB1.  icon_biggrin

Well, before putting your money where, keyboard is, you might want to consider that Gratch has always been pretty accurate in planning out his life.  Just check out this post:

Quote from: Gratch on March 11, 2005, 01:47:42 PM

Oh man, this just looks like it could be all kinds of awesome.  In a kiddie sort of way, I'm sure, but the cool potential is through the roof if you ask me.

Lego Star Wars.  There's a movie and a PC demo on that site.  I haven't played the demo yet (work computer wouldn't be able to run it), but will try it when I get home.  Wish the house weren't so empty though.  Maybe it's time I get married and have three kids.

Unfortunately, some people weren't always so nice to him.

Quote from: Autistic Angel on March 24, 2005, 07:12:28 PM

Yeah right, "Gratch."  If that is your real name, SKINYPUPY!  That's right, I know who you are: you're that punk who thinks he knows everything about JRPGs on OO!

I'll tell you what: if you're married and have more than two kids within the next ten years, I will personally buy you a Xbox 720

Whew!  Dodged a bullet on that one-

Quote from: Autistic Angel on March 24, 2005, 07:12:28 PM

...or whatever they wind up calling it.

-Autistic Angel


-Autistic Angel
64  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Far Cry 4 on: December 08, 2014, 01:56:13 AM
Brandon Cackowski-Schnell from No High Scores just put up this video where he grenades a jeep so hard, it gets impaled on a tree branch and barfs out the driver.  Is this sort of thing common...because, if so, I'm not playing enough of this game.

-Autistic Angel
65  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Squenix, the ultimate troll on: December 07, 2014, 02:25:14 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on December 06, 2014, 08:58:59 PM

Sigh.  I'm sure they only change they've made is to add IAP, somehow.

"Summoning Animation Time Remaining - 2:03

-OR- Press Circle to Purchase 10 Summoning Skips ($4.99 US)!"

-Autistic Angel
66  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Re: Steam Deals Thread: Daily, Weekly, Midweek, Weekend and all other sales! on: December 02, 2014, 08:48:25 PM

Quote from: Caine on December 02, 2014, 06:06:08 PM

Midweek Madness
Offer Ends Friday at 10am Pacific Time.

$23.99 Metacritic n/a
Steam user score - n/a

That price appears to have been updated: Steam is currently showing it for $8.99.

-Autistic Angel
67  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (12/2) on: December 02, 2014, 08:44:58 PM

Quote from: Destructor on December 02, 2014, 07:32:06 PM

I bought Dragon Age: Inquisition for way too little (yay for making Origin think that I'm in Mexico instead of the US by using a proxy, thus saving $25 on the 'digital collectors edition'), so I'm off playing that. I'd wish they'd patch it though - the 'cinema scenes' look so jumpy and low FPS.

In the short term, that is fixable with a quick command line switch.  The only known side effects are that you have to add the command line *after* you've finished creating your character, and you'll have to remove it before playing any multiplayer.

-Autistic Angel
68  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: It's Almost Thanksgiving (USA! USA!), What's your GOTY? on: December 01, 2014, 10:43:00 PM

Quote from: Kvothe on November 29, 2014, 07:58:09 PM

Quote from: siege on November 29, 2014, 05:34:32 PM

I've put away Far Cry 4 in favor of Dragon Age inquisition and haven't looked back. Around 18 hours in I'm ready to give it the nod for the best I've played this year, if not in a few years.

I'm having a hard time resisting the forum effect for this one.  GTA V is getting all my playing time right now, maybe I'll hold out and trade GTA V for it once I beat it...

It is just a download away though...

I passed the 40-hour mark in Inquisition this weekend, and I think it's a strong contender for the Bioware's best game.  That's not to say it's the best game they *could* make -- there's some occasional "open world jank" and I think the combat pacing could use a good balance pass -- but the sheer scope of their ambition makes it feel like the culmination of everything they've learned about making great games.

This may have been posted elsewhere, but Amazon has a Cyber Monday sale on the digital editions for 25% off.  Looks like it applies to the PC, XB1, 360, and PS3 versions -- the PS4 may have sold out its allotment because it's currently $59.99.

-Autistic Angel
69  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS4/XB1/PC] Assassin's Creed Unity on: November 28, 2014, 11:23:30 AM

Quote from: Crawley on November 28, 2014, 05:17:16 AM

Played a bit on the PC with patch 3. Performance does seem a bit better but nothing earth shattering. I did have a funny moment during a cut sequence where I was talking with Napoleon in a cut sequence when all of a sudden a random npc from the street appeared in the room. He was gesturing and making some comments towards me. But we didn't pay him any heed.

Yeah, I've seen that one.  It's one of my favorite glitches of all time. icon_biggrin
-Autistic Angel
70  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Re: Steam Deals Thread: Daily, Weekly, Midweek, Weekend and all other sales! on: November 27, 2014, 02:18:30 PM
If you just purchase Brave New World, you will still get all of the gameplay mechanics that were introduced in Gods & Kings.  The only missing elements would be the self-contained scenarios, and approximately eight civilizations from G&K.

The expanded version of Civ V is hugely improved over the patched vanilla release.  Religion, trade routes, social ideologies, a greatly expanded role for the World Congress, a complete redesign for the cultural victory -- I've had a great time with it!

-Autistic Angel
71  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/360/XB1/Ps3/Ps4] Dragon Age: Inquisition on: November 27, 2014, 01:31:59 PM

Quote from: naednek on November 27, 2014, 06:07:17 AM

ok, you have to right click on him.

For what it's worth, I always jump into Tactical Cam mode and survey enemy levels that way.  It's a simple matter of moving the cursor over them, and because time is stopped, there's no risk of them getting agitated by your presence.

Quote from: Turtle on November 27, 2014, 09:46:41 AM

Alright guys, it's confirmed. Party banter, and player cued random banter, is bugged for a large number of people.

Apparently, if you're like me and have wandered about a lot, only to have it silent most of the time, the reality is that party members should be talking quite a bit.

And as I mentioned above, there should be moments where, as part of some banter, a prompt comes up that lets you respond to question. I think this happens once if you're exploring in the prologue. It has not happened for me again since then.

Interesting.  My party members chat among themselves pretty frequently, but I've seen exactly one "Speak Up" prompt for my own character and it was in response to a solved side quest.  Never saw it once during the prologue, and believe me: I went through it enough times to know.

If you hadn't mentioned it, I'd have never known it was missing.  I hope the regular party banter doesn't glitch out too -- I've really enjoyed some of their exchanges.

-Autistic Angel
72  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS4/XB1/PC] Assassin's Creed Unity on: November 27, 2014, 01:18:02 PM

Quote from: YellowKing on November 27, 2014, 12:34:50 PM

I wound up getting this as a birthday present. Not sure if I want to keep it and give it a whirl once the patches hit, or just go ahead and trade it in for GTA V or something that I know is really good.

Trade it.  I believe Unity will eventually be patched into an acceptable state, but it's only going to get less expensive between now and then.

GTA V on the PS4, however, is a phenomenal game right now.  And frankly, the people who made it deserve your gaming dollars more than the people who shoved Unity out the door in such a deplorable condition.

-Autistic Angel
73  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS4/XB1/PC] Assassin's Creed Unity on: November 26, 2014, 09:06:53 PM
Well, I hope TiLT is happy: Ubisoft is cancelling the Season Pass for Unity:

Quote from: Ubisoft CEO Yannis Mallat
To show our appreciation for your continued support, we’re making the upcoming Assassin’s Creed Unity Dead Kings DLC free for everyone. For Season Pass holders, we will also offer the choice of one additional game from a selection of Ubisoft titles for free. More details on the offer for Season Pass holders can be found here: AC Unity FAQ

Specifically, I hope TiLT is one of the Season Pass holders and is therefore happy because he will now receive a free game.  That would be neat!  EDIT: And here's the list of games he could choose from:

Quote from: AC Unity FAQ
If you purchased the Season Pass or Assassin’s Creed Unity Gold Edition (which includes the Season Pass), you are eligible to choose one free game from among a select list of Ubisoft titles.* These are:

- The Crew
- Far Cry 4
- Watch Dogs
- Assassin’s Creed Black Flag
- Rayman Legends
- Just Dance 2015

We are currently setting up the system to process this offer. We will provide an update on how to claim your free game soon.

In other news, "Patch 3" is due out any time now:

Quote from: Ubisoft
Detailed Release Notes for Patch 3 (all platforms)
Patch 3 includes over three hundred fixes designed to improve your Assassin’s Creed Unity experience. While you might notice some improvements to framerate as a result of Patch 3, we still have a future patch planned to further address framerate concerns.

The rollout itself will be staggered across platforms and will come to PlayStation 4 tomorrow (Wednesday November 26th) and continue on to PC and Xbox One later in the week (though not necessarily releasing on a daily basis).

-Autistic Angel
74  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PS4/XB1/PC] Assassin's Creed Unity on: November 25, 2014, 11:50:20 AM
Not directly Assassin's Creed related, but Ubisoft is warning fans not to trust any day one reviews for their new driving game, The Crew:

Quote from: Game Informer
In its statement, Ubisoft goes so far to warn against early reviews of The Crew. “While we fully anticipate that you might see some reviews immediately at launch – largely built around the preview sessions we facilitated during the past months or the limited content of the closed and open betas – they won’t be based on optimal conditions or reflect the finished game,” the company writes.

"We've had game critics out to try our new game.  Ignore anything they might say about it; just buy it and experience the finished product for yourself!"

No further updates on those Unity patches, though.

-Autistic Angel
75  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What are you buying this week? (11/25) on: November 25, 2014, 11:36:43 AM
I've been looking forward to Tales from the Borderlands, but my policy of waiting to play episodic games until they're completely released has worked out pretty well so far.  Bugs get patched, prices drop, and waiting a week between chapters works out a lot better for me than trying to remember what happened a couple months back.

Persona Q is a different story.  Game Informer gave it a glowing review, saying that it combines the best features of the Persona and Etrian Odyssey games, and Atlus games have notoriously limited production runs.  I'll probably pick it up sometime this week, even if it'll wait in the backlog until I break from Pokemon Alpha Sapphire.

-Autistic Angel
76  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/360/XB1/Ps3/Ps4] Dragon Age: Inquisition on: November 24, 2014, 11:25:22 PM

Quote from: Zinfan on November 24, 2014, 03:00:55 PM

Ok ok I'll head out of the Hinterlands but if the refugees freeze or starve be it on your heads!

Not me!  I'm a firm believer in the Brandon Cackowski-Schnell doctrine of completionism.  If there are trees that need to be painted, I need to go paint those trees.

I finished all the quests in The Hinterlands and the Ancient Swamp of No Homers, and tonight I expect to finish up the last of the tasks on the Sword Coast.  Only then can I journey to Val Royeux to continue the story. Truthiness!

-Autistic Angel
77  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/360/XB1/Ps3/Ps4] Dragon Age: Inquisition on: November 23, 2014, 06:21:50 PM

Quote from: MonkeyFinger on November 23, 2014, 02:42:38 PM

Stumbled across this Public Service Announcement: If You're Playing Dragon Age, Leave The Hinterlands.  icon_biggrin


Actually, I did leave The Hinterlands to rescue some lost soldiers in, Swamp of No Homers?  I'm pretty sure that was it.

What a stunning game this is!  Part of me is a bummed there's no day / night cycle or dynamic weather so far, but the benefit to locking those things in for each zone is that the developers absolutely nailed the atmospherics.  And the effects are gorgeous: when my rogue does her Twin Blades strike, there's a snap of violet light that refracts off the water and flickers through the sheets of rain.

I know graphics don't make the game, but exploring these worlds is pretty enjoyable when you're constantly impressed by what you're seeing.

-Autistic Angel
78  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/360/XB1/Ps3/Ps4] Dragon Age: Inquisition on: November 23, 2014, 01:30:41 PM
By the way, I can't imagine this will be surprising to anyone here, but Gratch is absolutely right about how great this game is.  My savegame clock is already at 12-hours, and the majority of that time has been spent mapping out The Hinterlands, exploring dungeons and ancient ruins, and swaying people to support the Inquisition.

This game constantly rewards your curiosity.  The closest comparison point would be Fallout 3, where every time something on the horizon looked like it could be interesting, it was.  Landmarks, resource nodes, arcane devices, puzzles, ambushes, story vignettes -- all of these elements come together to create a highly detailed sense of place, shaped by generations of events leading right up to your arrival. 

I started by prioritizing the most urgent requests for food, blankets, and medicine, and have just been spiraling my search pattern out since then.  It helps a lot that there's more environmental variety in the first three hours of Inquisition than in all of Dragon Age II.  That game was built entirely out of right angles and flat surfaces.  This first area in Inquisition is practically a complete biome, with big sections of plains, foothills, canyons, caves, and rivers that define different areas of the map.  I particularly like that it's all seamless -- I've only encountered one dungeon that loaded into a new area, while every other structure is just part of the map.

Exploration and quest completion is not only rewarded with RPG standards like XP and gold for your party; you're also gaining Power and Influence that level up the Inquisition faction itself.  It feels a lot like preparing the galaxy for war in Mass Effect 3 except with customizable benefits that unlock as you go.  XP boosts, inventory upgrades, shop improvements, all presented as the perks of expanding your faction's operations in the world.

Dialogue and combat are designed more like Dragon Age II than Origins, but *much* better implemented.  Rather than winning fights by mashing one palm down on the hot keys and doing a crossword puzzle with your other hand, you'll really want to watch your foe's movements to anticipate their attacks.  Properly timed interrupts, dodges, and ripostes are really useful in taking down the tougher bruisers.  It's also nice that when I select a dialogue option like "Sorry for your loss," my character isn't a dipshit like Hawke who snarks, "Gosh, sounds rough.  Bet you wish you'd spent more time together HAR HAR HAR thanks for the gold!"

There are some niggling interface elements I'd like to see changed.  Toggling between characters in the Tactical View is needlessly cumbersome, so I'm looking forward to the upgrades that Scoop20906 mentioned above.  Unresearched enemy items should have a different inventory slot than "Valuables," and "Valuables" would be better named "Trinkets" to make it clear that it's all your useless, saleable junk.  I'd rather not have to return to Haven once an hour to queue up new missions or unlock perks at the War Table.

Those, however, are minor quibbles.  My early impression is that Inquisition is the most ambitious and carefully crafted game that Bioware has done in a long time, and I am absolutely hooked!

-Autistic Angel
79  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [PC/360/XB1/Ps3/Ps4] Dragon Age: Inquisition on: November 23, 2014, 11:50:22 AM

Quote from: Travis on November 19, 2014, 05:09:14 PM

Quote from: Autistic Angel on November 19, 2014, 04:45:20 PM

all the gameplay and exploration sections run at a solid 60 fps on Ultra-everything

What hardware do you have?  I have a i5 2400 with a GTX 770 card and 8 GB of ram.  I am not seeing 60 FPS on Ultra everything at all.  I have to knock shadows to Medium and turn off the MM something antialiasing while setting the other AA to low to get around 60 FPS in non open areas.  In the Hinterlands I get about 30-40 while battles are going.  I honestly thought my hardware would do better with the game.

Yeah, I need to amend my earlier statement.  It turns out that my computer can run a steady 60 fps with Ultra-everything in areas which are not The Hinterlands.  All the dense vegetation over such an enormous draw distance brings the framerate down to a steady 45 *after* the MSAA anti-aliasing is turned off, and Vegetation is ticked down to High.

I also got a bump in smoothness by disabling the camera motion blur.  Previously, panning the camera at sub-60 framerates seemed jerky and, no matter how I set the Post-Processing setting, I could not perceive any motion blurring.  The effect doesn't appear to be rendering at all.  I finally followed these steps to disable motion blurring in the engine:

So, step by step to create a user.cgf file

1. Open Notepad
2. Copy Paste this:

WorldRender.MotionBlurEnable 0
WorldRender.MotionBlurQuality 0
WorldRender.MotionBlurMaxSampleCount 0
PerfOverlay.DrawFps 1

3. save file as user.cfg and put it into the DA: Inquisition main install directory (the one with the executable)

This has not done much to boost the FPS, but it has made a noticeable improvement to how smoothly the camera rotates.

To answer your question, my current system has
a Intel Core i7 2600k processor
16-gigs DDR RAM
GeForce 790 with the latest nVidia drivers
Two SSD hard drives in a RAID-0 array

-Autistic Angel
80  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: [WiiU] Super Smash Bros. on: November 22, 2014, 10:06:47 PM
I am.  Is there going to be a GamingTrend tournament?

-Autistic Angel
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