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1241  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Rise & Fall: Civilzations at War *STARFORCE ALERT* on: June 30, 2006, 09:08:44 PM
What? I don't think any of those are expansions.

Rise & Fall is a new hybrid RTS/Action game.

I think he meant Night Watch. It uses a modified Silent Storm engine, but is a stand alone game based on the movie.

Hard Truck: Apocolyse is, I believe, Hard Truck 3.  I'm pretty sure it's a stand alone game as well.

Of course any game would be better without Starforce.
1242  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dear Sony: please go screw yourselves.... on: June 29, 2006, 11:26:59 PM
No worries Andrew.  I'm not doing a very good job following my own advice.  If I really wanted to support the idea that we shouldn't encourage Sony's attention grabs, I wouldn't keep bumping this thread. :wink:

Let's just say that I hope I'm right, but I'm worried you are.
1243  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dear Sony: please go screw yourselves.... on: June 29, 2006, 10:12:52 PM
Quote from: "Andrew Mallon"
Quote from: "Hrothgar"
Quote from: "Andrew Mallon"

No, I got your point.
Hmm.  I can see how you  might  find insanity a more palatable option.

Listen, I got your point and disagreed with it. If you want to resort to one-liners rather than have an intelligent debate, fine.
I'm sorry. I was only referring to Kaz and choosing between the options you gave.   I didn't mean offense.

Sony's being consistently outlandish.  I'd rather hope they haven't lost their collective minds, but right now your theory is as plausible as mine.  I try to be optimistic.  Then again, I was sure they could hit the $400 price point.  What do I know?
1244  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dear Sony: please go screw yourselves.... on: June 29, 2006, 07:34:01 PM
Quote from: "Andrew Mallon"

No, I got your point.
Hmm.  I can see how you  might  find insanity a more palatable option.
1245  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dear Sony: please go screw yourselves.... on: June 29, 2006, 07:20:02 AM
Quote from: "Andrew Mallon"
Quote from: "Hrothgar"
It's a trial balloon.  They just want to see if there's any wiggle room.  Of course they want to have 'premium' pricing for their 'premium' console, but that's not the real reason for all this.

This is not a trial balloon. Companies float trial balloons to see how competitors react, not consumers. If they were trying to gauge how consumers react to various price points they would do that behind closed doors, through marketing surveys and focus groups.

Since Nintendo and Microsoft have already laid their cards on the table in terms of price points, the only reason they would bring this up is to start conditioning consumers for higher prices. Either that or Hirai's gone completely bat shit. Either possibility is just as likely.

I think you missed my point.
1246  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Dear Sony: please go screw yourselves.... on: June 28, 2006, 10:11:43 PM
It's a trial balloon.  They just want to see if there's any wiggle room.  Of course they want to have 'premium' pricing for their 'premium' console, but that's not the real reason for all this.

Why would they continue to make outrageous statements in a hail of negative response?  The only answer is that they want headlines.  More to the point, they don't want anyone else to get headlines.  If a wacky Sony exec is the big headline of the day or week, then nobody's talking about Nintendo's great E3 showing, 360 summer releases or their potentially big fall line up.  Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft have all put out about the same number of interviews and press releases since E3.  Sony's been the clear winner in press coverage.  

If they were doing all this on this forum, you'd call them a troll.  The appropriate response is the same.  (Just a hint, it's not outraged sputtering.) :wink:
1247  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / DS Lite for sale $100 shipped (Or trade for a PSP) on: June 25, 2006, 10:43:37 PM
I can understand that.  They do pretty much require access to your bank account if they are to be useful at all.  On the plus side, you can now have a personal account and receive up to $500 per month without fees.  Not too bad for small transactions and much better than they were.

I realize that probably won't change your mind, but it's something to keep in mind for the future.
1248  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / DS Lite for sale $100 shipped (Or trade for a PSP) on: June 25, 2006, 05:17:46 AM
Hmm. I saw this too late, and the no paypal thing would have been a killer for me anyway.  I am curious as to why you're not interested in paypal.   Their current policies seem much better than the ones a few years back.
1249  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / question about phpbb on: June 20, 2006, 06:17:01 PM
When I think of web portals, I think of Google and Yahoo, but it sounds like you mean something like Mambo, Joomla and Postnuke.  Of course, now there are wiki and blog options as well.  I use Postnuke and have messed around with Joomla.  Postnuke supports both PHPBB and PHPBB2 through PNforum and PNPHPBB respectively.

Is that what you were asking about?
1250  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Anyone need a Xbox live 2 month free trial card? on: June 19, 2006, 06:13:01 AM
And it's gone.
1251  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / Anyone need a Xbox live 2 month free trial card? on: June 19, 2006, 04:09:41 AM
I got one in a Xbox game recently.  It must be pretty old since it expires at the end of the month.  It says it can't be used for the Xbox 360.  Free to anyone who wants it.  I'll PM you the code.
1252  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Web Hosting on: June 19, 2006, 12:21:39 AM
Me three.  I've had good support from them.  They've resolved most issues quickly and easily.  A couple 'off the script' issues took some effort.  They just significantly increased my space and bandwidth for free.  Also note that many of their packages include domain names so that might figure into your calculations.  

Feel free to ask any questions.
1253  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Problems with my original Xbox on: June 15, 2006, 04:00:11 AM
I'd guess there's a loose connection between the plug for the A/V cable and the motherboard.  Whenever something jiggles the motherboard, like wiggling the power cable, you get intermittent contact.  If that's the case, you'd probably have to solder the connector back on.  I know if I tried that, I'd probably ruin the motherboard.

Another possibility is that there's a loose wire in the A/V cable itself.  Can you borrow one from a friend?  Have you tried the Xbox on another TV?
1254  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / NBA Finals on: June 14, 2006, 09:37:20 PM
So were you upset when Clyde the Glide won his ring, or were you happy that Shaq lost?

Of course Clyde was hardly a token player on that team.  It was also a "Dream" reunion. :wink:
1255  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / She's gonna blow! (360 woes) on: June 14, 2006, 03:51:10 AM
Count me among the early adopter casualties.  My 360 is on its way back to the Mothership for reeducation.  First the IR port (remote control) started cutting out.  Then it was disk read problems.  The CSR was friendly and got my box out right away.  Hopefully it won't be gone too long.
1256  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Rule of Rose = Atlus will publish on: June 09, 2006, 06:17:40 AM
Quote from: "Luke"
So, Atlus isn't still releasing this one in August?

Yes they are.  Sony's not publishing it first party, but they're not preventing it from being published.  Since it's not Take 2/Rockstar, people probably won't be too upset.  I don't have any problem with Sony trying to protect their public image.
1257  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / The Official GT Trader Feedback List (updated 7/30) on: June 07, 2006, 08:31:38 PM
+1 to depward for a quick, smooth transaction.  Highly recommended.
1258  Non-Gaming / Steals and Deals / Fry's Electronics Deals (6/5) on: June 06, 2006, 03:41:59 AM
Normally Fry's ad prices go like this:

Monday ad: prices good Monday & Tuesday
Wednesday ad: prices good Wednesday and Thursday
Friday ad: prices good Friday through Tuesday
Saturday ad: usually includes 1 day sale items and items from Friday's ad (good through Tuesday)
Sunday ad: usually includes 1 day sale items and items from Friday's ad (good through Tuesday)

Holiday or other sales can have 1 day sale items outside the normal schedule.  Some sales have limited hours on them.

So to answer your question, probably just good through tomorrow.
1259  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Stan sells what?!?!?! on: June 04, 2006, 03:04:23 AM
Automatic circumcisers?  Who would trust Stan that much?
1260  Gaming / Analog Gaming / Xiang Qi (chinese chess) anyone play and where to buy? on: June 03, 2006, 03:39:56 AM
I was a bit surprised that funagain didn't have anything.

There's always Amazon or Overstock.  Just from checking the ads on my website.  I'm sure there are others.

It looks interesting.  I'm afraid I've never learned to play though.  Perhaps when my son is older.
1261  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Cool Article - Strategy related sort of on: April 29, 2006, 04:58:01 PM
I think I've worn out my wouldn't it be cool if someone started a site for that sort of thing joke.  I'll just link to the game stories page.

See if you can find any stories you enjoy here.
1262  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Sword of the Stars..more info on: April 29, 2006, 03:26:36 AM
Quote from: "Lockdown"
Hrothgar - Read the impressions (all 3 parts).

Questions if you don't mind...

Q:  How are the decision making choices working?  Let's use GalCivII as a comparison here.  How you develop your economy, what you choose to build on planets, what bonuses you choose at the beginning of the game, what starbases you build and where, how much effort you put into technology/research, etc, etc... all have a big impact on how the game plays out for the user.  Choosing one thing forces you to sacrifice another.  Do you feel the same way about SotS?  Are there limited funds, in which you simply can not just pump out the research/building/etc.. as fast as you want?  Are you forced to make hard decisions turn by turn by turn in SotS?

Let's not use GalCiv 2.  That's probably the wrong perspective to come from it at.  The only thing you build on planets is 'infrastructure.'  Your economy is developed by balancing trade (producing revenue) with production (split between building infrastructure, terraforming and ship construction).  To maximize a planet's output, you need to grow its population to maximum (based on size), completely terraform it to your species needs, and fully develop its infrastructure.

You are constantly balancing limited resources.  If you build too many ships, you'll explore faster, but you might cripple your economy with fleet maintenance costs and planet development costs.  You can counter that some by cutting back on research, but you risk falling behind in the tech race.  In short, yes, there are tough decisions all the way through.  For instance, each time you colonize, you have to ask yourself, Do I overharvest and permanently reduce the resources of the planet to get it built up faster or do I not and leave it vulnerable longer or have to leave a fleet tied up there to defend it?

Q:  You mentioned you can pause in combat (and I assume give orders while paused).  Do you find yourself doing this?  Do you foresee yourself using the more micromanagement type of controlling everything, or using the more 'general' orders during combat?  Whatever your answer is, why do you think that is the case?  Do you think micromanaging the battles makes a difference?  Do you directly see an advantage to controlling your battles tightly?

I don't use it as often as you might think.  Of course, the goal in all battles is to have the superior force.  It's nice to be able to pause to check the escape vector of a retreating ship.  I also use it to see if someone is trying to sneak through my defense line in the confusion.  Why do I use it like that?  The auto firing works well.  I know my ships since I designed them.  It's usually pretty easy to sort out the order of enemy threats.

Micromanagement options seem most important in balanced battles and asymmetrical battles.  Balanced battles you're trying to maximize the effectiveness of your fire power.  Asymmetrical battles are those where you might have less ships, but an advantage in size or technology (or vice versa).  The other time is for special functions.  For instance, you might want your plague ship or assault shuttles to have their conventional weapons focused on the space battle but the special weapon firing on the planet.

Q: You mentioned "reasonably sized battles" can be decided in a 3 minute increment.  That seems insanely short to me.  Are the weapons so powerful that concentrated fire just wipes out enemy ships that quickly?  What are your thoughts on this?  It sounds nothing like Homeworld, which is sort of what I was expecting, perhaps unfairly, but still... 3 minutes to decide a reasonably sized space encounter?

I added a comment to the last article pointing out that the default is four minutes.  You can choose anything from 60 seconds to 10 minutes.  Let's use Homeworld for a minute.  Say you've sent out your assault fleet and it encounters a carrier battle group.  From the time the first shot is fired until the carrier blows up, how long is that?

You see the battles start with the enemies just outside of sensor range.  With decent engines your long range weapons can fire within 10 seconds of the battle starting.  Battles turn quickly.  Once you gain a couple ship advantage, things can cascade in your favor.  When you see things suddenly turn against you, it's usually best to beat a hasty retreat.  There's not a lot of down time in battles.  Remember, long lasting battles mean you probably didn't arrive with enough fire power.

Yes, I've run out of time in battles, but that's part of the strategy as well.

Q:  How do you like the pace of combat?  Does it seem about right, too slow, too fast, confusing, braindead, fun, monotonous, exciting, meaningful...?  I realize you are going over mechanics first in your impressions, but I would like to know more about what YOU think.

You have to take anything I say here with a grain of salt since I'm still going through the game.  I think the battles are addictively fun.  When you win, you want to launch the next assault wave.  When you lose, you want to tinker with your research, production and ship design to get back at them.  They tend to be relatively fast, but not too fast.

Q:  Does defense matter?  If I load up on point defense, will they stand a good chance of taking out most inbound missiles, or is it yet another game where offense rules the roost?  How do hardpoints work?  Am I limited to defensive vs. offensive hardpoints, or is it like GalCiv II where if I have the room, I can put whatever I want on any hardpoint I want?

Yes, defense matters quite a lot.  If you're dying too quickly, it's probably because your ships aren't designed to take on their weapons.  Point defense is the only defense that takes up a hard point.  There are some weapons that work against both ships and missiles.  Things like extra armor or reflective coatings are options that increase the cost of your ships.  Things like shields usually are a section (command or mission).  Those sections usually have less weapons than a more offensive minded section.

Q:  How is cloaking implemented, and does it give a significant or marginal tactical/strategic advantage?

You can't fire while cloaked.  You've reduced your overall fire power to add a cloak.  So generally you can use it to do something you don't want your opponent to see.  I mentioned plague ships and assault shuttles before.  Cloaking might  help you get in range of the planet undetected.  Minelayers are another good use.  So generally it's for special use.  How much of an advantage that is depends on your strategy.  Certain technologies can allow  you to detect cloaked ships.

Q:  I have seen what look like setup screens before battles start.  Using Total War as an example, there were times when how you set up your army before the tactical battles started could make a big difference, depending on a number of factors.  Do you feel the same about SotS?  Is it as simple as "glass cannons" in the back, meat shields up front, fast attack ships used as flankers, or it it more complex than that?

You don't get to set up formations at all unless you have command and control ships.  Each CNC ship grants you a number of command points for a fleet.  Anything beyond your command point limit is relegated to your reserves.  Obviously you don't want your support ships for the fleet in the main attack group.  That's the most important thing, making sure you get the assault ships in the assault group.  You might want deep scan ships or fire control ships toward the back since they're important to keep alive.  It's nice to have ships with the longest range weapons in the front so you can get the first hit in.  Beyond that I don't know if there are general rules about formations.  An assault group will look different than a hit and run group.  It all depends on your plans.  I hope that helps.
1263  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Sword of the Stars..more info on: April 28, 2006, 07:25:20 AM
I just put up

Part III - Combat

I'm still taking questions.  I'll let you know when I've posted some more in depth thoughts on the gameplay after more complete games.
1264  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Sword of the Stars..more info on: April 26, 2006, 08:38:08 PM
I've started my impressions articles:

Part I


As always, questions or comments are appreciated.

Lockdown, I think you'll find as much of an answer as I can give to your question in part II.
1265  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Sword of the Stars..more info on: April 21, 2006, 03:53:17 PM
Prime time?  Yes, the game is playable and fun.  It's not to a Blizzard level of polish yet, but most released games aren't.  I have some more thoughts on this, but I'm going to hold off until I've played more.

You have a lot of options in the real time battles.  Some are limited by your tech.  I believe each ship can fire on up to three targets.  If not specifically ordered otherwise, all weapons will fire on any target of opportunity in their range and arc.  So you can do anything from just throwing your ships at your enemies and letting the gunners do their jobs or you can manage formations, weapons groups, special abilities and multiple targets.  Obviously it's the closely matched battles that benefit most from using better tactics.  I'll report back after some bigger, more high tech battles.
1266  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Sword of the Stars..more info on: April 21, 2006, 05:23:02 AM

The main star map and tech tree are true 3D.  You can zoom in or out as you please.  Combine that with your focus point (the currently selected object, planet, fleet, tech, etc.) you have a great deal of control of your information.    I haven't found it overwhelming at all.


Think of the Total War series.  The management, research and building are all done in the turn based mode.  When fleets meet, the game switches to real time tactical battles.  Each battle gives you the option of simulating the results or fighting it yourself.
1267  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Sword of the Stars..more info on: April 21, 2006, 04:24:34 AM
I have a preview build and will happily answer any questions I can.  Now back to the game.
1268  Non-Gaming / Trading Forum / LF: MS Word or Office on: April 21, 2006, 04:20:54 AM
Crosspost OO

I know in the past people have had spare OEM versions available so I thought I'd check to see if anyone has a copy of Word or Office.  I would prefer to mostly trade games, but I can throw in some cash if necessary.

ELOG Entry
1269  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Turtle's Massive Civilization 4 Pitboss Game on: April 15, 2006, 12:01:51 AM
So are you going to roll back to 1.52?
1270  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Blazing Angels question. Stuck on: April 13, 2006, 02:03:35 AM
I don't know about the game, but when I was in the Air Force, taking out the runway meant literally making craters in the runway so there wasn't a long enough stretch for a plane to safely take off or land.  Of course, what do I know?  The closest I came to doing any of that was building and loading the bombs.  (Ammo!  IYAAYAS!)
1271  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Feeding Frenzy - Up on Live Arcade on: March 18, 2006, 03:45:22 AM
Are you perhaps thinking of Insaniquarium not Feeding Frenzy?
1272  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Feeding Frenzy - Up on Live Arcade on: March 17, 2006, 10:25:49 PM
Tried the demo.  I can't say I was impressed at all.  It seems like the weakest arcade entry thus far.
1273  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / The Outfit Demo is up on Live! on: March 08, 2006, 12:52:32 AM
I thought the whole game was 4vs.4 with the extra units coming from your troopers.
1274  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / In the mood for a RPG on: March 06, 2006, 03:48:31 AM
That was pretty decisive.  DQ8 it is.  Any non spoiler tips for starting out?
1275  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / In the mood for a RPG on: March 05, 2006, 02:05:16 AM
I think it's about time to set down Guitar Hero for a while before I get further behind on my RPG Backlog.  Something about having the guitar controller plugged in means that's all I play on the PS2.  Meanwhile, Dark Cloud 2, Digital Devil Saga 1 and Dragon Quest VIII sit ignored.

So, council of elders, which gauntlet shall I take up?  

RPG's I liked FFX, KoToR, Xenosaga and all my strategy RPG's.  I had difficulty getting into Baten Kaitos, Suikoden III (sorry Ron), and Skies of Arcadia.
1276  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Flag Dilemma on: March 04, 2006, 07:36:51 AM
Most Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion chapters take flags and dispose of them in a proper ceremony.
1277  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / One More PS2 Memory Question on: March 04, 2006, 12:27:51 AM
I posted a link to my review of the Datel 64 MB card a while back.

I'll do it again.

Still not a single read or write error.  I've had bad experiences with 3rd party cards in the past, but not this one.
1278  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Flag Dilemma on: March 02, 2006, 06:52:45 PM
The flag code only applies to the military and the government.  For individuals, you're asking them to honor it as a custom or out of respect.  Trying to impose customs or respect upon people rarely goes well.  

In your situation, I might mention to the neighbor that it's almost time to retire that flag.  You could even mention the local veterans group that does that.
1279  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Good "short" games? on: February 27, 2006, 03:56:27 AM
Have you tried Oasis?  It's a combination puzzle/strategy game that plays very fast.  The demo will give you a good feel.
1280  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Talk Strategy's Second Anniversary (& a Contest) on: February 24, 2006, 07:58:54 PM
Yes, my website is going into its third year.  It's hard to believe.  There have been a lot of people here who have helped out by contributing, linking or just visiting.  Thank you for all your support.  The CG/GT guys have been kind enough to link to my site on occasion (and I'm trying to rent Mike for the party).  It's been a big boost.

We're having a celebration contest.  It's no BC contest, but currently we have more prizes than entries so your odds of winning are hard to beat.  

Thanks again.  I'll see if I can keep the place growing for another couple of years.
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