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10281  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Re: LF AGP video card on: February 01, 2008, 11:21:21 PM
fwiw I'm using an ATI 1650 Pro card these days (overpriced for its so-so performance but my fairly nice X800 Pro card's slot connector went sour, and I had to do something as an AGP stopgap).

I tried an ATI 2400HD and it was horrific (crashes, freezes, constant instability regardless of what revision drivers I used), although it actually had noticeably better frame rates than what I use now. But what's the point, if your PC locks up or shuts down randomly every other minute?  disgust

I've been blindly loyal to ATI for years for no particular reason but my new system most decidedly won't use one. I've had way too many driver issues with far too many games, and I'm just tired of it. mad

I think I have a 9800 Pro 256MB lying around as well fwiw (http://www.guru3d.com/article/Videocards/83/ is the one).

I'd be careful though if you play newer games. Many have extremely picky system requirements that specify a video card must be a certain model or higher; when I dug out my old 9800 Pro as an emergency card I found several new games and demos wouldn't run at all (including the Bioshock and Lost Planet demos, and Gears of War PC).
10282  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Re: Chipotle: free burrito on Feb 13/14 on: February 01, 2008, 09:19:46 PM
The first Chipotle opened in Denver, if I recall. For a while, a lot of people were in a panic that McDonald's bought stock in the company -- that's apparently what helped the chain grow so fast for a while, but my understanding is McDonald's divested itself from the company in 2006. Which is good -- I don't think their meat quality (Chipotle is excellent, McD's not so much) was in line with McDonald's thinking.  icon_lol

I remember once having to wait in a second line because they were a little backed up on keeping up with demand for chicken. I liked that I actually heard and saw the manager reminding the cook to grill the chicken meat all the way through and not rush it just cause the line was backed up a little (I don't think the cook was going to rush it, but when I was a kid I got really ill one night after an undercooked cheeseburger at a fast food joint - so it was just comforting to me, and we all waited patiently, nobody made a fuss).

The first few times I ate at Chipotle I usually got the crispy tacos. The mistake I kept making is I'd ask for the mild *and* the medium salsa -- I guess I thought the chopped tomatoes were just tomatoes. And then my mouth would always be burning off (I'm not big on the mega spicy stuff - for me it tends to blot out the flavor).

I've started having barbacoa now and then because of recommendations here. smile I like it, but they seem to be a little less generous in portions with it than with the other meats -- maybe it's more precious...

We have a growing chain here in N. Va. (it's in a few other eastern states too) called California Tortilla (http://www.californiatortilla.com/index.html). It's good, and has some very interesting concoctions, but I haven't so far found one with an easy drive of me.
10283  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Good photo management software? on: February 01, 2008, 06:16:17 PM
I actually liked Picasa more before Google gots its grubby meat hooks on it.  Tongue

I use Irfanview for viewing/cropping (any screenshots I've shared here, I used Irfanview for) though it isn't really photo management per se.

I would give some thought to whether you want to arrange photos chronologically, by subject matter, by event (trip, vacation, etc.). Some of the photo management software is better at arranging that stuff than others. Some of them save an original copy when you crop, so that your original photos remain intact.

These days I've given up on the whole managing idea. I just lump em under certain date folders in the MyDocuments/MyPictures folder, and backup them up to an external hard drive from time to time. Managing my photos just started to feel too much like a second job.  puke
10284  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 31, 2008, 08:24:17 PM
I would say TR delivers on points 1 (though many instances require or benefit from teammates, the vast majority of content is quite soloable, or you can sort of fight alongside the many AI AFS) and 3 (just imho).

Then again, we've had some philosphical discussions here (deep, man! smile) about whether attempting to be purposely "not addictive" (in theory meaning you can hop onto TR or say, Flagship's Mythos, for half an hour and feel you progressed and had fun) means that a game is more friendly to casual gamers, or is the fact that you don't feel the need to play until 3 a.m. every night mean that the game itself just isn't fun (i.e., additivve) enough? I'm OK with it, but if one is scraping the couch cushions for change every night, can one justify $15 a month for something that's not as maddeningly addictive as some other MMOs? confused

If by community (point 2) you mean fan sites, and message boards, then yes. If you mean some sense of community within the game itself, I don't really know. I am trying to get onto a larger guild (have to wait 7 days after leaving one). Most folks use the surplus store (auction house) so the Trading Channel is largely deserted. The NewPlayer channel is largely helpful and is maybe the lone chat channel where I feel an in-game sense of community. If/when crafting gets revamped into something more useful (making buffs that have a 40% or whatever chance of destroying the item I'm trying to modify isn't really my idea of fun crafting  disgust) I think that'll boost the in-game feeling of community if there's more useful stuff to share.

Hope that helps. I like the game, but if they're going to make it one where you can level so fast, they really have got to keep delivering L30-L50 content or impatient gamers will get tired of upper level grinding-groups (I find it ironic a game that's supposed to eliminate the need for grinding has so many people forming said grinding groups) and move on to other stuff.
10285  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 31, 2008, 06:19:54 PM
Injector's approaching 30. Now that the Mires lag is fixed (basically they seem to have reduced the number of lag-inducting protector robot drones, and masses of Bane in general there), I've discovered a whole, whole lot of missions there that my Grenadier missed out on.

I'm probably going to go with Biotechnician [think Diablo II's Necromancer in some ways] at 30 (which includes clone [a clone of yourself fighting alongside], corpse reanimation, corpse explosion, reanimation wave etc.

One of the stranger ones involved tagging along with a trained  (usually enemy but friendly) hound creature to "sniff out" a traitor.

In chat, people seemed to suggest that Biotech armor was now way more better than Hazmat (because of its armor regen rate adjustments and it always gave a modest squad health regen boost), though I still tend to wear a mix of things (Motor Assist, Hazmat and Biotech).

There was some grumbling that Mind (attribute) isn't worth much because it doesn't boost Logos attack powers unless they do direct-damage. If they're more of a debuff type damage (disease/contagion etc.), then the theory goes that Mind doesn't boost it. Something like lightning (which I do use quite a bit -- the upper pump version adds sonic damage, and arcs to multiple targets) would get a boost though. That was chat though, I don't have "empirical" data.  Tongue
10286  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: WoW makes 1 billion dollars last year on: January 31, 2008, 06:12:44 PM
I'd be curious what the operating costs are (servers, 24/7 employees etc.) to run WoW in all the various locations it's in now. I'm sure the actual operating profit is still quite substantial.  icon_biggrin

While the monthly fees vary according to regions, if you (just for sake of a vaguely ballpark number) multiply 10 million subscribers by $15 a month, that's about $150 million a month, so that's about $1.8 billion a year. So maybe the rest of Vivendi Games is losing $800 million a year.  icon_lol  Again, it's not really that simple because of the varying fees and the not exactly strong U.S. dollar right now. The dollar fluctuates wildly these days, so I doubt that Blizzard constantly adjusts overseas WoW-fee rates to always be a $15 equivalent.

What's interesting in MMO land these days is it seems like half the industry is at least marketing itself as widely different from WoW in an attempt to be fresher, and probably the other half is desperately trying to emulate it in hopes of achieving even 10% (any MMO publisher would sell its soul for just 1 million subscribers, much less 10M) of its success. I never warmed up to WoW (I did buy it just after launch), but I still find it odd to market a game with a "Hey, that game that 10 million people are playing is unimaginative and old school! Come play us instead!" mentality.  icon_confused

I can't help thinking that Funcom (Age of Conan) and EA-Mythic (Warhammer Online) are so intimidated by WoW (though they'll never say it) that they'll just keep delaying all the way to 2010 or later in hopes the WoW juggernaut will slow down enough for something else to get a large share of the market. But there'll be another WoW expansion by then, so it's probably a moot point.

That's the end of my deep thoughts with Jack Handey for the day... stirthepot
10287  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Hellgate: London jumps from 0.70 to 1.0 on: January 31, 2008, 01:53:08 PM
Gamespy took a look at Stonehenge and the update in general:
http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/hellgate-london/848484p1.html

They still don't have a shared stash for subscribers yet, and why they can't at least implement a simple "auto arrange inventory hotkey" solution as Iron Lore did with Immortal Throne for Titan Quest is beyond me. If they're going to flood you with loot (most of it junk), they could at least make it easier to work with.  disgust

I'm still keeping away for now. Wasn't able to get the update to complete installing properly and just didn't want to deal with the headache.
10288  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Any remedies for a cat who can't keep food down? on: January 30, 2008, 09:53:54 PM
I had this same problem. A couple weeks back I had tried some "all natural" cat treats, and my cat Molly reacted by turning into Linda Blair from the exercise that night (almost literally, her head spun around and vomit flew everywhere). I mean, she did that in probably 7 or 8 different places, and I was running around screaming, and running out of cat-puke cleaner. Lord knows what my neighbors thought. I guess I should've just put her in the bathtub (a friend of mine recommends that in emergency throw-up situations).

I threw out said treats, she stopped with the throwing up right away. Alas, last Thursday night (or possibly Friday morning) she was sick again in 3 or 4 spots. I took her into the vet on Friday.

They did a physical exam, took her temperature, didn't find anything. Did a blood test, I'm finding results of on Thursday. They had suggested not feeding her regular cat food for 24 hours after a throwing-up-fest, so I actually fed her Gerbers brand chicken baby food (you have to be careful, cause some baby foods contain peas, beans, pear juice etc. - Gerbers is just ground chicken, water and some corn starch) a few times for a day, while her stomach hopefully settled. She liked it, and there were no nasty side effects (I guess you could say she used her litter box a bit more often but nothing nasty).

The doctor did give her a hydration-shot (she was apparently quite dehyrdated, though whether that's from her being sick or whether that caused her to be sick, I don't know  icon_confused) and a temporary "anti-vomiting" shot, I have no idea what that is.  icon_confused

Molly's got an overactive thyroid, and I have to give her two pills a day (morning and evening) of a prescription medication called (I think) Tapizol. It hasn't had any adverse effects to this point, and we're hoping it's not causing her throw-up problems.

Anyway, a recent photo:


Dunno if it's worthy anything, but the vet was saying cats with sensitive stomachs sometimes have problems digesting seafood. Doesn't really help me (the Purina food I give her is supposedly mostly lamb and chicken), though I know Molly had some troubles with salmon flavor treats and wet food I gave her in the past.
10289  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 30, 2008, 07:01:04 PM
I can only preach patience. People start to differentiate quite a bit in 20s and 30s.  You'll notice more variety within the armor types at that point, plus the patch supposedly changed rewards for 800 some odd missions, which presumably means a lot of different armor.

This isn't really the kind of game where you use the same armor for 5-10 levels, I'm constantly changing. It can be frustrating when you get a look/set you like, and then suddenly you look like a backup catcher for a baseball team or something.  disgust Tongue

If costume uniqueness is your thing, you should try City of Heroes/Villains as it still  has the best character/costume creator in the biz (imho). Since it isn't a loot/equipment-focused game you can find a unique costume that suits you and not worry about changing it every other level to use new equipment/loot, but just changing it at the costume shop if you want a new look. And virtually no character ever looks exactly the same as someone else's in that.
10290  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 30, 2008, 05:56:02 AM
I think the verdict's in that people appreciate the "helmet viewable" option, and nobody wants to have their helmets visible.  icon_biggrin
I don't know if the folks that designed the helmet artwork are too happy right now though.  tear I spent a few moments hovering around other players trying to get closeups...








It's nice though. Not much point in the character creator if you have to run around the game with a bucket on your head all the time.
10291  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 30, 2008, 04:36:09 AM
You whiz through the lower levels so quickly, there's not much reason to team up other than the instances. I tend to describe it as the flipside of LOTORO, which is so team-focused that people who prefer to solo generally get turned off after a while. I'm still looking for a game that's somewhere between those types of extremes.

One teeny tiny change in 1.4 lets you disable helmet visuals so you can show off your character's face. It sounds like nothing, but it makes all the difference in terms of visual differences between player characters, like so...

While I like some of the helmets, many look like silly baseball caps, and I'd agree that too many people are wearing too many of the same helms (probably because all the quests give the same ones).

The new hybrid classes everyone seems to agree have truly hideous faces, so you may want to keep the helmet on if you decided to start one of those (there are now quests that unlock hybrid classes, though they've done little to inform players of that).

My main tips post-patch:
* Make sure to re-distribute *both* your skills *and* attribute points. You might want to sort of gradually redistribute stuff as you test the skills (many of which are revamped/redone) to see how effective they are.

* Again, don't forget to redistribute attribute points. I had 75 (!) undistributed, and played that way without realizing it, complaining about how the patch messed everything up so much. I think a lot of people were doing that because they didn't have the sen to prompt the players in-game that "HEY! Redistribute your points." There's no warning or tutorial in game prompting you about it, and if you didn't read the patch notes, you'd have no idea that had happened.

* Armor does seem to peel away faster now, and health holds up longer. I'm still inclined to panic when my armor drops, but there's a bit more reason to heal and use healing skills now.
10292  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: LOTRO - State of the game on: January 29, 2008, 10:17:39 PM

Quote from: Scraper on January 26, 2008, 06:14:26 PM

I saw the collector's addition of this game for $20 yesterday and I almost bought it. I tend to play MMORPGs for about 3 months before I get bored with them. The one thing that will keep me playing longer is solo-ability. So is this game solo friendly or after say lvl 15 do I need to constantly be grouped to have fun?
Although I canceled a while back (I had the pre-order Founder's Fee $9.99 monthly price but after not playing for 3 months, there didn't seem much point), I quite enjoyed a couple run throughs into the level 40s.

I guess I'm inclined to say that while there is a good bit of solo content in the game, many of the instances (varies depending on what type character you play) require groups (sometimes carefully configured, competent groups -- this is not a "rush-in and zap everything in sight" kind of game) and much of the game requires some sort of teamwork to survive. I don't really recommend it to anyone who wants to solo most or all of the time. But I dunno -- you should still try it. If you get wrapped up in the stories and environment, you might find yourself enjoying teaming up in spite of your own preferences. smile

Socially I enjoyed the heck out of the game, and I found the chat system and LFG system well designed. And I loved the "group maneuvers" (I forgot what they're called already). I did find that most groups were "one night stand" things. People teamed, the moment it was done, poof. Over in CoX I generally found people more interested in teaming up again later if the group went well. In LOTORO it was more "slam bam thank you maa'm" though perhaps that's because so much of the content is team-focused (i.e., they just wanted help cracking the walnut, and then it was off to the races).

While I'm currently more happy with the "whack a mole" nature of Tabula Rasa, there are times I miss the more strategic, deliberately paced combat in LOTORO.
10293  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Tiberium on: January 29, 2008, 08:10:14 PM
Gamespy got a peek (but no hands-on time) with the XBox360 version. They said it has frame rate problems in its current state. The fact they won't let anyone play it yet suggests that it ... SUCKS!  icon_surprised Nah, I mean they are presumably still a looooong ways from a solid, playable form.

I'll be skeptical about the PC version unless they do like Infinity Ward did with COD4 in terms of having separate development teams on each version. Otherwise my "console game poorly ported to PC" Spider Sense will start beeping... disgust

I'll see if I can dig up the issue (Game Informer) when I get home and I'll share some bits from that. I like the concept.
10294  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Question about my system's bottleneck on: January 29, 2008, 08:05:32 PM
Based on my own miserable experience (you can still see my tears on the walls of the Gears of War PC thread here) I would stay far away from Gears of War PC with that card/system. It's the worst kind of system hawg. Perhaps something like an 8500 or 8600 could run it.

You at least won't have my problem of requiring some strange AMD "CPU driver" to run the game. I believe it also requires a video driver so updated that it's actually from the future (2009 I think). I'm kidding on that last part. I think...  saywhat
10295  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 29, 2008, 06:21:39 PM
Although it's not a huge content update, it mentions several new missions, including 16 in the Marshes (I haven't played there yet, I think it's for mid to upper 30s?):
Quote
855 missions have had their rewards re-evaluated and replaced with new items. Items previously obtained through these missions will not be changed, but will no longer be available to future players.

38 Instances now have a Portable Waypoint at the beginning of them, making it easier for players with Portable Waypoints to go back to the beginning of the instance.

Added 16 new missions to Marshes.

New mission: The Infesus Garrison Directive

New mission: Infiltrate Infesus Garrison

New mission: Rock and Rumble

New mission: Supply Pass

New mission: Tough Translating

New mission: Scientific Salvage

New mission: Taking the Pills

New mission: Arming the Brann

New mission: Incursion Investigation

10296  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 29, 2008, 06:06:14 PM
Aye, they do do regular daily maintenance each morning, thanks for the heads up about the patch going live.
Quote
Maintenance is being extended on this morning as we apply the 1.4 Patch to the servers. We apologize for the extended downtime.
Exciting news though I do think this is where the lack of one official forum to see if other players are having problems becomes a drawback.

***Note: They are resetting *ALL* attribute AND skill points on all characters, because the patch changes so many things. You might want to read the patch notes thoroughly before re-divvying the points out. Health/HP should be a lot more important now.

The final patch notes/known issues for 1.4 be here:
http://www.rgtr.com/news/patch_notes/patch_notes_and_known_issues_01292008.html
The notes would probably take multiple posts to paste here. Creature changes should really impact basic gameplay, so here be those (I underlined a few things that seem to make enemies tougher or do more damage):
Quote
Creatures:

Boss creatures are now immune to fear effects.

All boss and large bane creatures are no longer susceptible to confusion-type abilities such as Hack and Traitor.

Add fear Immunity to all boss variants that recently received confusion immunity.

Overseer Skeev will now have a unique appearance.

Flaregashers will now do significantly more damage in close combat, but their melee attack will no longer be completely armor piercing.

Flaregashers can now spit fireballs while pursuing their target.

Infected foreans will now do significantly more damage with their lightning attacks.

Infected foreans will now heal more effectively.

Hunters are no longer immune to electric damage, but are now immune to sonic damage.

The Hunter net ability is now considered electric damage.

Hunters will now use their net ability more often.

Hunter names now vary based on level range.

The hunter net ability is now considered electric damage. {previously physical}
Hunters will now use their net ability more often.

Hunters have learned how to use their energy shields to absorb a portion of incoming damage, instantly convert it into electricity and reflect it back to the attacker. They are unable to do so with virulent based attacks however.

Nitroglazers are now immune to ice based attacks.

Juggernaughts founds in mission instances will be more difficult than their battlefield map counterparts.

Juggernaughts have learned how to use their cannons to generate a massive shockwave.

Xanx will now fully regain their health from feasting on their fallen brethren.

Xanx names in instances will now scale with level.

Linkers and Howlers can no longer be killed purely by EMP damage. There was an issue causing them not to be flagged as biological creatures, which has now been corrected.

There are now less Striders terrorizing the plains of Howling Maw.

Reduced Miasma cold debuff.

Reduced Miasma hitpoints.

Reduced Miasma phase-in AoE dps.

There are now more Warnet Spawns on Howling Maw to facilitate completion of the Howling Maw Targets of Opportunity.

There are now more Filchers on Howling Maw to facilitate completion of the Howling Maw Targets of Opportunity.

There are now more Infected Miasma on Howling Maw to facilitate completion of the Howling Maw Targets of Opportunity.

Increased the overall spawn amounts in the southern portion of Howling Maw.

Increased the overall spawn scale in Magma Caverns.

Thrax Grenadiers now share the same resistances and vulnerabilities as all of their Thrax brethren.

The Brann of the Phanin Research Center have received appropriate resistances and vulnerabilities.

The Warden Bot Bosses of the Ruins of Tampeii will now hit like bosses.

The Brann of the Ruins of Tampeii have received appropriate resistances and vulnerabilities.

Strider Overseer Gorko on Torden Plains is no longer bright red.

Destroyed objects in Devilís Den should no longer respawn.

Penumbra operatives in Magma Caverns will now display correctly as instanced enemies in the target window.
Despite all that, the patch claims to have rebalanced the game to be a little easier at all levels.  icon_confused So we'll see.
10297  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Re: Chipotle: free burrito on Feb 13/14 on: January 29, 2008, 05:55:12 PM
I was so happy when two more Chipotles opened in Virginia, one near where I work; and one to the west of where I live. Now I'm in the Chipotle Triangle. biggrin

I'm partial to the chicken, but I did try the barbacoa the other day, ending a streak of about 193 straight chicken orders there...

I had this amusing moment when I went by a Moe's Mexican Grill on Friday (I like them but I think Chipotle's ingredients and meats are better quality). One of the women working behind the counter kept looking up at me like she recognized me. It was only when I left that I realized, "Hey, she used to work at Chipotle!"  saywhat My dining world here is truly too small...
10298  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Tiberium on: January 29, 2008, 04:36:06 PM
Game Informer had a big cover story on it. I still have a copy of C&C: Renegade rotting on my shelves (I wave it around whenever someone claims a Starcraft FPS would be "awesome!" disgust), and I don't plan to be a C&C Lemming again. There are a lot of shabby shooters bragging about using the Unreal engine so they'll have to "show me."   paranoid
10299  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 29, 2008, 04:00:19 AM
Teamed up with a couple 30ish engineers for a Mires instance. Some peeks:


The mighty, if not terribly durable, MultiBot engineer construct:


10300  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 28, 2008, 08:53:34 PM
Driver Heaven has an interesting "describe a unique monster for Tabula Rasa contest." Grand prize is an ATI 3870 X2 video card:
http://www.driverheaven.net/competitions/amdX2-3870/index.php

10301  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Hellgate: London jumps from 0.70 to 1.0 on: January 28, 2008, 07:42:41 PM
Gah, look what my throw-away comment started.  icon_biggrin

As far as patch 1.0 goes, I'm still afraid of it. I'm afraid it'll morph my OS into Windows Vista... paranoid
10302  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 28, 2008, 06:14:54 PM
Just keep in mind they are temporary and don't last an exceptionally long time (they can be destroyed before the timer runs out too). I think by the time the guy got the 5th type turret down, the 1st one was fading away.   icon_biggrin I guess the limit is that you can only have one of the five different pump level type turrets up at a given time. So you can have 5 different ones, but you can't drop 5 laser turrets, 3 EMP turrets etc.

It's fun to watch how people use these when they're soloing in the L30ish zones. I'd say it's a little busier to use than other classes, esp. since you probably have to set up the turrets on another secondary hotkey tray and do some switching back and forth in combat.

My Biotechnician's at 26 now. I'll have to work my clone to the Engineer stuff at some point.
10303  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Pirates of the Burning Sea open stress test on: January 28, 2008, 06:12:50 PM
I bought this over the weekend (had a Best Buy discount coupon). Not sure when I will set sail. smile
10304  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 27, 2008, 07:30:15 PM
Was defending a CP alongside an engineer last night and at one point he had all 5 turret types up. Couple glimpses...
10305  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Name and Server List on: January 26, 2008, 09:16:33 PM
Oh I think I'm going to disband the fledgling GT clan due to lack of members and interest, and also because I've gotten a couple of invites to active clans (and after you leave a clan you have to wait 7 days before joining another). So I'd rather set my characters free to join something active.

I still got most people here on the friends list and feel free to add me, keep in touch, team up with me, etc. Au revoir. smile
10306  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 26, 2008, 02:51:09 PM
Here's another Creature Closeup, the Bane Technician (he repairs Bane via a funky group radiation-looking skill, and can drop turrets, I think):
10307  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 26, 2008, 02:48:27 PM
The 1.4 patch on test was updated, with various bug fixes and stability improvement:
http://www.rgtr.com/news/patch_notes_public_test/patch_notes_125_test_server.html

Right now the splash page takes you to a news item (can't find the link right now) where they talk about doing smaller updates rather than one quarterly big roll-up update. Hopefully, once 1.4 goes live and has the kinks worked out, they can start doing that.
10308  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Hellgate: London jumps from 0.70 to 1.0 on: January 25, 2008, 10:16:58 PM
This reminds me, the other week there was this "blog flame war" between Romero and former Gathering of Developers CEO Mike Wilson. Nothing more amusing than two irrelevant people hollering at each other.  icon_razz
10309  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Pirates of the Burning Sea open stress test on: January 24, 2008, 08:23:09 PM
I'm told:
http://www.burningsea.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3099
Is a good place to find info for new players and the "things you wish you knew when you started playing" sort of stuff, at the official forums.

10310  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Perpetual Entertainment cancels Star Trek: Online (sorta) on: January 24, 2008, 05:48:01 PM
Kohnke settled its lawsuit with Perpetual
http://www.bluesnews.com/cgi-bin/board.pl?action=postmessage&boardid=1&id=0&threadid=84449

Although, given that Perpetual seems to be like the Titanic and Hindenburg rolled together, perhaps they realized there was no money to be gotten from a sinking company.  Roll Eyes

As far as Cryptic, the jump in speculation logic was that Marvel Universe appears to be dead (Microsoft won't even comment about the game much less hype it, or so news sites say). I think it was telling that when a bunch of news sites speculated MU was kaput, I didn't see a bunch of PR flaks from MS coming down off the mountain to say "no no no! We're still working on it!" Maybe I missed something but it seemed like the only response was crickets chirping.  Tongue

Although Cryptic had other unannounced projects, the speculation was maybe they might be interested in another established IP, though I don't think Jack Emmert is a trekkie per se.

I would more think they'd look for another comics company whose characters they could work on (Dark Horse? Image?). I think DC had a separate MMO project with someone else lined up though I haven't heard anything more on that in ages either.

If in fact MU is dead, then Cryptic selling off the CoX franchise (and letting virtually the entire CoX team move over to NCSoft) doesn't really look so smart. icon_confused I would be happy if Statesman, er, the artist formerly known as Statesman, showed up here and said, "You are WRONG, garbanzo beans breath! Marvel Universe is going to ROCK YOUR WORLD!" I don't see that happening...
10311  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa beta on: January 24, 2008, 02:08:14 PM
IGN has a dev diary about the new Fault Lever (for level 50 players) instance, which I think is part of patch 1.4 that's on the test server:
http://rpgvault.ign.com/articles/847/847077p1.html

Also, if you're dying for charcoal black plaint dye, they have a limited test server thing where if you put in a total of 2 hours on the test server, you'll get some free black paint dyes automatically (which you can use on the live servers).
10312  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Rambo on: January 24, 2008, 04:38:27 AM
People who only remember the II and III relatively lunk-headed Rambo movies should watch the original, more ambigous First Blood (1982), which really is a terrific action film with a dark view of how America treated Vietnam vets upon their return, and has Brian Dennehy as a great counterpart to Stallone. Or dig up David Morrell's original First Blood book, a far, far nastier story where the character basically goes on a rampaging killing spree at the end (toned down considerably for the movie, understandably so, which went more for pyrotechnics at the end instead of body count).

In retrospect, Stallone mumbling, "We just want... our country... to love us... as much as we... love it" was like Oscar material compared to some of his dialogue in later movies in the '80s. Just didn't appreciate it at the time. smile

I still remember in my American Studies class in college in about 1986, we watched Rambo: First Blood Part II (I think on Betamax videotape  icon_lol) and analyzed the politics and also did a body count. The body count was ridiculous. I think by the time we were done counting, everyone was laughing sort of with a mixture of horror and amusement.
10313  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 2008 Oscar Nominations are in on: January 23, 2008, 11:17:54 PM
I just feel sad that I literally haven't seen anything that was nominated for *anything* this year. Not even for technical awards afik. Partly I'm too busy gaming, but I've found fewer and fewer movies that interest me at all. The few that do aren't awards-like stuff.

Last year I went to a pretty cool AMC Best Picture Showcase all-day movie marathon on Saturday, Feb. 24. It was pretty fun. For a reasonable one time fee, you got this special Best Picture Showcase ID pass (so you could come in and out of the theater between showings), and starting at 11 a.m., you could watch the 5 Best Picture nominees in succession. Most locations it was in the biggest, best theater in the multiplex. Last year it was:
-Babel
-The Queen
-The Departed
-Letters From Iwo Jima
-Little Miss Sunshine

I gave up during Sunshine only because I'd seen it on DVD, and I was trying to beat an incoming snowstorm home.

Each person also got free coupons for soda and popcorn, and you could get free refills all day long (they even let us go to the food court and bring sandwiches in for lunch and dinner). I had a lot of fun (I took my retired mom and she was a real trooper for such a long event:)), and it was a great way to catch up on the best picture nominees in a good size theater, and play catchup. I hope they do it again this year - everyone who attended seemed to love the idea. smile

Oh, I forgot, I took photos of my pass from the Showcase event:



fwiw, I found Letters From Iwo Jima the most affecting of the movies even if it was a hopeless movie to try to market, and it was perhaps too long for its own good. I couldn't really compare it to anything except maybe Peckinpah's 1977 film "Cross of Iron."

While I could appreciate The Departed's style, I'm just way past the point of being impressed by people using the C, F, MF, CS etc. other words every 3 words. I was impressed with 48 Hours when it had that kind of dialogue in 1982 when I was 17. Now that I'm an old fart, it just strikes me as unimaginative screenwriting. ***K!!!!!!!  disgust Tongue
10314  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tips, Tricks, and Automobiles..Tabula Rasa.... on: January 23, 2008, 10:11:20 PM
Belatedly, I noticed mmodb.com has added a Tabula Rasa sub-site, at:
http://tr.mmodb.com/

I like the idea but it's very much a work in progress, and I'm not sure it's as helpful as it wants to be - yet, anyway.
10315  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Hellgate: London jumps from 0.70 to 1.0 on: January 23, 2008, 05:02:55 PM
I've read that if you try to install the 1.0 patch, your hair falls out; you become impotent (or infertile if you're a woman); Flagship snares all of the money out of your savings, checkings and 401K accounts so that Bill Roper can go on his monthly Tahiti vacations, and then they give the remainder to WoW gold farmers in China so that they can get better mattresses for their bunkbeds; and publishers greenlight massive new PC game projects for John Romero and Derek Smart.

In other words, if you install the patch, it's the end of the world as we know it. I read this on an Internet blog, so I know it's true!  paranoid
10316  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 23, 2008, 04:44:50 PM
Thanks much. smile A bud at another message board suggested I do a blog about TR, but every blog I've tried has no audience (marketing is not my strong point, at least not since my late 1990s fan site days). What's the point of stringing some screenies and videos about the game together if there's no audience?  icon_confused Here at least I know we have a decent size, mostly receptive audience and it makes it more fun to share those things.

I hope others will still share stuff now and then. I didn't mean to monopolize this thread -- I just try to post some fresh stuff now and then. I kinda wish we could embed videos here, but I'm sure there's a security or bandwidth reason not to enable that, so that's cool. I'm OK with using Putfile, but their Flash conversion process blurs my videos more than I would like.

I know the patch is bringing the ability to disable your helmet visuals (so you can share one's flying golden locks  icon_lol) so you can run around bare-headed. I almost wish they'd let you "lock in" an armor look that you like. You upgrade armor so often in the game, it's next to impossible to keep the same fixed look (as you would in City of Heroes).
10317  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: My coffin arrives tomorrow on: January 23, 2008, 04:40:20 PM
Aw, man, I thought you really had a coffin on the way. I'm disappointed.  icon_frown icon_smile

About 3 years ago my often gloomy retired 70ish mom tried to convince me to buy a cemetary plot next to hers (which is next to where my late father is buried). It was like, "MOM! I'm just not READY for this conversation!"  saywhat
10318  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Battlefield Heroes...its a free Battlefield game on: January 23, 2008, 02:28:18 PM
Oh, as someone tired of FPS motion sickness problems, apparently this is a 3rd-person only game (presumably to show off the cartoonish character models more) with no FPS option:
http://www.bluesnews.com/cgi-bin/board.pl?action=viewthread&threadid=84387
10319  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Re: Tabula Rasa Screenshots (dial-ups beware) on: January 23, 2008, 05:55:56 AM
Another Creature Closeup (I believe this is a Lightbender Sniper):


Around level 22 finally got some armor that looked like something I'd keep if I could, style wise smile


I also belatedly figured out the collector's edition yellow can be adjusted to look sort of gold. Better injector guns started falling like confetti around that level (including Incendiary, Ice and higher damage models all around).
10320  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Hellgate: London jumps from 0.70 to 1.0 on: January 23, 2008, 01:34:36 AM
Ok the boards are awash with complaints. What's new.  Roll Eyes Anyway, everyone is pretty much prompted after much updating to go to Hellgate site and download the 1.0 Stone Henge patch (you seem to need it to play online even if you're not a subscriber). Hellgate site is getting pounded so the files are downloading like molasses. Read some recommendations to look for it at File Front, and here's that link:

1.0 Hellgate patch at Filefront:
http://files.filefront.com/Hellgate+London+v10+Patch/;9487425;/fileinfo.html

It's about a 390MB patch. It isn't blinding at Filefront speed wise, but it's saying about half hour for me on Cable vs. 2 hours plus at Hellgate site.  disgust

Fileplanet sometimes has HG patches but so far not this one.

Reading a lot of reports like this one that said mega patch is not installing properly (forum links only work if you've got a Hellgate account):
http://forums.hellgatelondon.com/showthread.php?t=70010

In fact, reading the various threads today is making me not want to even try this right now... (see below)
===================
Problems downloading patch

"Uploading error report to server" at startup

Game doesn't load after patch

Patch 1.0 Error: Cannot find Hellgate: London

Cannot find Hellgate:london after install

unable to play after new patch

stonehenge patch messed up my characters
==================================
OK I think it's back to TR for me. I'll let someone else be the brave guinea pig. To be fair, not *everybody* is reporting these problems, some claim to be playing but finding today's lag awful.
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