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1441  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Defcon preorders have started on Steam $9.95 on: September 20, 2006, 07:37:17 PM

Quote from: Turtle on September 18, 2006, 05:37:04 AM

I'd buy it from introversion for the box, not to mention the ability to install on multiple computer in my house so my friends and I can play big MP matches.

So, if I understand correctly, I can buy the boxed version and install multiple copies for LAN play? That would be cool and it would make it much easier to convince my friends to get the game. I imagine if multiplayer is good enough that they will give in and buy their own copies.
1442  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Hill 330, 2vs2 Ranked. Allied victory on: September 07, 2006, 04:55:00 PM
A Ranked 2Vs2 Company of Heroes Game After Action Report:

The map was Hill 330, which is normally a three player map, but in this case it was 2 vs 2. My partner was a random moe, which I'll call Moe. Our opponents were two random people as well, I'll call them Ratz and Saka. If you remember the map, and orient it so that Allies are bottom and Axis are the top, then what I refer to as VP1 is the victory point on the left, VP2 is the one on the Hill in the center, VP3 is the victory point on the right.

I sent my first engineer squad up the middle to capture VP 2, even before capturing anything else. This would put the Germans back on their heels to start and force them to come out and try to take VPs back from us. Ratz did so, sending up a motorbike-mg unit to strike at my engineers, forcing them to retreat.

My attempt to capture VP 1 didn't go so well. My engineer squad was outnumbered 2 to 1 and forced to retreat. I decided to come back with an infantry squad and found VP1 defended by two volksgrenadiers squads. One volks squad took cover behind a rusty pickup truck while we found cover behind a stack of firewood. Private Johnson threw a grenade, killing the volks squad in the open, but then the entire infantry squad was lost to a lucky panzerfaust shot by the remaining enemy unit. In the meantime VP 2 had fallen to the Germans. Moe and I got our act together, he sent up two MG teams and I sent an infantry unit. We capture VP2 and repelled the first counter-attack. A volks squad was moving up towards the hill in the open and my team, behind the wall, made short work of them.

Still, the midgame situation was critical. We were down on points and the Axis held VP 1 and VP 3. We needed to take at least another VP to change the points drain and make the axis lose points faster. On the right flank I was getting ready to take VP3 and had sent up a quad-50 halftrack along with some engineers and an airborne unit to take the objective. The infantry made its way up a path behind the MG bunker, while the quad-50 halftrack charged in from the front. The bunker, with its MG42 machine gun, was unable to damage the halftrack which lay down a hail of bullets from its 4 linked 50 caliber machine guns, killing the German defenders.

The Germans then tried an infantry assault on VP2, which was now lightly defended because Moe and I were busy taking VP3. He captured the point and held it for a brief while until the quad-50 halftrack was able to race to the objective. An paratroop airdrop came in and helped retake the point.

With the majority of the VPs controlled by our team, Moe decided to make a tank and vehicle advance against Ratz base. I let him go because I knew that keeping the VPs and draining the German victory points was far more important. Still, it served a purpose because it distracted Ratz enough to commit forces to defend against the advance instead of trying to take back the VPs 2 and 3. Meanwhile Saka was content to fortify his position on VP1 and didn't really venture out at all. I myself was trying to reinforce depleted infantry squads and figuring out how to attack and capture the last VP.

I carried out about 3 probing attacks with infantry, trying to figure out a way in, which is another way of saying I had 3 failed attempts at infantry assaults. VP1 was heavily defended, with an AT gun, mortar, heavy machine gun squad, two MG bunkers, and a grenadier squad. I was low on resources, and I decided I didn't have time to wait and build a tank factory then get some Shermans. So I snuck two infantry squads along path behind the defenses, which amazingly enough was left open. I radioed a P-51 to do a quick strafing run, killing the MG team and the anti-tank crew. Paratroops and an airdropped AT gun were brought in behind the defenses. After that, it was easy to pound the bunkers into dust with the AT gun and satchel charges.

Still, though, Moe's advance failed, and the Germans went on to capture VP3. The Germans were also slowly taking back territory as well, which was bad for us. German units require lots of ammo and fuel resources, which we had denied them up to this point. By taking back the ammo objectives the Germans would increase their ammo resource rate, allowing them to field more powerful units.

And then the Germans did what they do best - counter-attack. In the center at VP2 my meager airborne and AT gun faced a double whammy. A German tiger on the left flank and a German Panther coming up from behind. The defenders had no chance, and no survivors.

Saka took a Tiger tank and grenadiers against my forces on VP1 with the same result. In minutes we went from holding 3 VP locations to holding none. To add injury to injury Saka took that same Tiger and headed for my base, destroying the barracks and threatening to destroy all my other buildings. The timely airdrop of an AT gun and Moe sending up an M10 tank destroyer helped to eliminate that threat. As a final note in the German attack plan, a rocked-equipped German halftrack shot 6 salvos against my base, damaging some of my buildings before being driven off by the M10.

For the next 15 minutes Moe and I scrambled to build an assault force, first to attack VP2 in the center, and stop the bleed of victory points. We were up 255 to 5 but by capturing all three victory locations the Germans could bleed us straight down to zero with no loss to their own point total. Our points bled down to 197 before we were able to stop the bleeding, capturing VP2 in the center. Then, after two failed assaults on VP3, we managed to get infantry and airborne in with the help of some Allied armor. We captured it just in time, as German armor had defeated the infantry holding VP2 and the grenadiers were just about to recapture it when we won. The final score was 187 to 0.
1443  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Company of Heroes (beta) Multiplayer Tactics&AARs on: September 03, 2006, 06:05:55 AM

Quote from: Kobra on September 03, 2006, 05:43:53 AM

I am STILL finding the pace with this game far too hectic.  It totally rewards rushers and to me, it seems like it boils down to who can put the best mix at the most capture points, the fastest. I played 4-5 games tonight, and found it far too quick and not being very satisfactory with the speed of things.   


In one game for example, I run 3 engineer squads out ASAP to grab the right victory point.  So the other guy rushes them with 2 motorcyles, and 3 engineer squads.  So I go back with 2 engineer squads, and 1 jeep, and a MG team to setup.  So he counters with  5 Motorcycles and rips apart my shit.  That seems a bit "Spammy" to me, and I absolutely hate unit spam bullshit.

Another game, I swear to god, he put an OST flak tank in my base within 5 minutes of the match starting.  I barely was even done working on base defenses by that point, and unless I ALSO rushed to tanks or AT guns, I was hopeless to defend this since infantry is useless against them (as are MG nests).

It just seems like other people force how I play the game.  I like games where I can build a battle plan, then execute it, and it might not work, but at least I put up a good fight and had time to contemplate how the plan was going.  In this game, I don't even have time to make battle plans, let alone execute them, because within minutes, I have Ost's driving through my base.

50% reduction in game speed.. STAT!

I find games also depend a LOT on timing and proper deployment. I am finding that, if I presume to rush,rush,rush to VPs and objectives, that more often than not I'll be ripped to pieces by units already there or not be able to hold them. In contrast, I've seen people who take a little bit of time, set up sandbags and barbed wire just outside visual range of the VP, and build up their units there. Set up MGs and jeeps behind the sand bags and then send up the infantry as bait. If he takes the bait, then pull the infantry back and the MGs on the jeep and the unit MGs will open up. I'm guessing the 5 motorcycle dude just circle strafed all your stuff so he couldn't get hit by the MGs or the jeeps. one or 2 lengths of tank traps on either side of the sand bags and it makes it a lot harder for the cycles to outflank.

I've also taken to putting tank obstacles up as priority 1 in multiplayer games. Put them up along the obvious entrances so it at least delays the timing for vehicle rushes. The second engineer unit goes out and captures objectives. the delay in resources is almost negligible for the amount of grief that it saves. In addition that sort of rush tactic is a gamble that is easy to counter and make fail, paving the way for an early offensive.

Of course, the above is only in 2v2 or 3v3 games. I never play 1v1 anymore because I can't handle being offense, defense, and builder all at the same time.


1444  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Company of Heroes (beta) Multiplayer Tactics&AARs on: September 03, 2006, 05:56:44 AM

Quote from: greeneggsnham on September 02, 2006, 09:00:10 PM

Just wondering, anyone up for some games sometime? Any way to get in touch with you guys online?

I've tried the automatch, but it pretty much seems to be an autodefeat, since I'm coming in green here. I'd rather get a 2vs2 against some computers, but I can't seem to get any luck in people joining the games I've tried to start.

Check out the multiplayer forum for the CoH names list: http://www.gamingtrend.com/forums/index.php/topic,14145.0.html
Add your name there and we'll all invite you as a friend. So, once you're a friend you'll hear a ringing sound and be able to tell when other friends are online. You can then invite friends into matches, even into password protected ones. Perfect for when you want to do a 2v2 or 3v3 against AI with some friends.
1445  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Company of Heroes (beta) Multiplayer Tactics&AARs on: September 01, 2006, 05:35:10 PM
A little off topic (but not much):
A new single player company of heroes demo to be released in a few days. Including SKIRMISH MODE   nod thumbsup
http://www.gamespot.com/promos/2006/companyofheroes-demo/index.html?tag=coh_csbox_hp
1446  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: 83 pages of MySpace hotties..nsfw most likely on: August 31, 2006, 08:31:00 PM
Somewhere around the 60-70 page mark he starts putting labels on the pictures where the labels seem to be short comments tying the pictures together. He focuses on one red headed girl who has a lot of pictures and does this little bit with "where is the girl inside the woman". It got a little creepy and lolita-ish for me, so I bailed out.
1447  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What the hell is Fat Momma still doing on Super Hero? on: August 31, 2006, 11:22:37 AM
I was sorta kinda following this up until Lemuria got booted. Then I was thinking that Major Victory, while fun to watch, didn't make up for Fat Momma being the only female left on the show. My personal pick would have been Lemuria for super hottie.
1448  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Company of Heroes (beta) Multiplayer Tactics&AARs on: August 30, 2006, 06:46:23 PM
I look at it this way:

Most of my gaming friends didn't even try to get the free multiplayer client, but they love Dawn of War so it should be a cinch to get them to play this. That's 4-5 new people to play with. And new people always come up with new and different ways of playing, so that should be fun. Ditto more fun at the next lan party.

Then there's the other 16 or so multiplayer maps which are not in the beta, but will be in the full game - including maybe a few 4 vs 4 ones.  Then there's the modding and mapping utilities, and already some people are clamoring to make a "realistic" mod - so who knows where that will go. Then there's the single player game campaign.

So I'm playing my heart out whenever I can smile.
1449  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Company of Heroes (beta) Multiplayer Tactics&AARs on: August 30, 2006, 01:52:46 PM

Quote from: Calvin on August 30, 2006, 01:36:09 PM

I still don't like snipers and think they are grossly overpowered, both in terms of damage and the fact that they can hide themselves so easily and quickly after a shot and go back to camo so quickly. I still dont have a particularly great way to deal with them early on, and I don't think the jeep is very good at it-and frankly I think its a mediocre unit included mainly to be a counter to snipers-and I think its a stupid reason for that unit to exist. Anyways, I just dont like snipers. I don't like the design, I don't like the play mechanics.

In anything above a 1vs1 game all it takes is one person to invest in two jeeps or two motorbikes and hold them in reserve near the front lines but far enough back that you can leave them alone while you do more important things. Then, once the sniper comes, have both units attack in. I find that it is easier to just click on the ground near the sniper and the units will engage. This way even if the sniper retreats I just click on the ground behind the sniper and the jeeps will keep pace with it, all the time shooting at the sniper until he's dead.

Then just bring the jeeps back behind the lines ASAP! If you have time, you can repair them, if not, put them in a safe place for the next snipe hunt.

But like I said, you only need one guy to do this. The other teammates can go merrily on their way while you go on temporary sniper-killing duty. Or I should say, while I go on sniper killing duty smile.
1450  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: StuG found in 100% preserved in the mud. on: August 28, 2006, 02:26:56 PM

Quote from: Kobra on August 28, 2006, 01:51:19 AM

Quote from: Knightshade Dragon on August 28, 2006, 01:07:42 AM

Holy crap!  That is awesome.  I just lost my entire fleet of these in CoH.  (Man I suck)

Stu H/G's got the nerf bat in the last patch.  Despite being one of the most prolific tank killers in WWII, they are mincemeat in COH.  I remember reading about one battle during WWII where 1 StuG was credited with nearly 100 T-34 kills.  By most accounts, StuH and G's accounted for over 20,000 enemy tank kills. Fast as hell, lotsa firepower, nice low profile.

Good color video of StuG's moving into action here;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dA0eQBI9l8Y&search=wehrmacht%20

Fast, I like how that one Nazi ducks when they smash the tree.  icon_lol

The one found in the mud, note the winter markings, and widetrack modifications, my guess, it was ditched during the Nazi retreat during winter.

Most of those kills are on the eastern front. While on paper it only looks like a case of superior equipment there is a tendency to forget it is superior skill and training on the part of the Germans and inferior communications on the part of the Russians.

When a platoon of T-34s has no radios, and your subordinate tank commanders have to watch, physically watch, with eyeballs, the hand signals of the platoon leader, what do you think will happen when they have to button up? Tank A gets blown up, none of the other tanks can see it. Tank B gets blown up, maybe the platoon leader sees it, but he can't radio the other tanks to back up. Tank C gets blown up. Then Tank D sees all these and FINALLY starts backing up.

Its no secret, the Soviet army had sprinkles of veteran units in and among the majority of average and below-average ones. But, once they penetrate your lines, their concept of deep battle is what kills you. The Germans couldn't afford to defend in depth because of the sheer vastness of the Russian front. So, once they penetrate the line they don't encounter as many ambushes and their territorial gains of hundreds of miles are quite amazing.

One cannot apply the same logic to the Western front. While most US forces were facing combat for the first time, their communication was excellent. And the US forces learned fast how to deal with and counter German tanks. It is there that the Stug/h is met on more even terms by the Allies.
1451  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: What to play - end up playing nothing? on: August 27, 2006, 03:20:45 PM
Times like those I fire up a turn in a PBEM game. Like Combat Mission: Afrika Korps or something. Anyone wanna play?
1452  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Company of Heroes Beta Going Public ? on: August 24, 2006, 05:47:42 PM

Quote from: Kobra on August 24, 2006, 04:00:53 PM

I will play CM with you, I just loaded up Afrika Korps last night in fact, COH made me hungry for it.

Excellent. PM has been sent. Good luck.
1453  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Supreme Commander - Um.. I'll take one. on: August 24, 2006, 02:23:48 PM

Quote from: Lockdown on August 24, 2006, 02:09:40 PM

Ahh....  Looking closer at the pic myself, it does appear the streams are locked onto the balancing mechanism for the gun itself, so you may be correct on option 4.  (which would be fine from a visual standpoint, but a bummer from my option 3 standpoint).

I also like your idea regarding the field of fire arc.  Hmmm.... that would be somewhat like what you get with Company of Heroes, which would be quite cool.  Oh well... guess we just need to wait and see how it all works out.  I can also see where ray is coming from, and not having it locked down is understandable.  Maybe they will make it really slow to turn...   icon_wink

Actually, if you look at the "shield" pic you see a zoomed out view of the base. There are more of the "stream" boxes shooting streams to two other buildings. It doesn't look like those buildings need balance, so I'm leaning more towards some sort of power supply.

And actually, with the latest patch of CoH the howitzers can now turn to change facing. So even the simulated ww2 guys know a thing about not having fixed turrets smile.
1454  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Supreme Commander - Um.. I'll take one. on: August 24, 2006, 02:07:54 PM

Quote from: wonderpug on August 24, 2006, 01:55:03 PM

When I first saw that pic I thought it looked like the cannon was locked down into a certain facing direction.  That would be a cool balancing mechanic, you've got an uber-gun, but it will always be limited to a set field of fire.  Great for devastating a known enemy stonghold or covering a chokepoint, but useless if the enemy relocates to a secondary base or if they land ground units to the cannon's flank to stop it...unless you've got a second cannon they don't know about built further back covering the first.

Sadly, upon closer inspection it looks like the cannon can rotate 360 degrees, ah well.

I'm actually glad that the cannon does NOT look like its locked down in a set direction. I would hope that in a futuristic setting warring societies would not forget about rotating turrets and how much better, cheaper, and more efficient it would be to let a gun turret rotate to change direction of fire than it would be to build multiple turrets with immovable guns.
1455  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Company of Heroes Beta Going Public ? on: August 24, 2006, 01:58:33 PM

Quote from: Tals on August 24, 2006, 06:07:25 AM

The purists signed out on the first iteration. I highlighted the game to my WWiiO group - its lack of realism just didn't work for them.
Tals

Personally I feel that there's a difference between realism and realistic elements. Its hard to put realism into a game and have it be fun for most people. Heck, I'm still trying to get my friends to play Combat Mission with me, and no one here or at OO seems to want to play with me either. The most one can hope for (IMHO) in a mass-market RTS is realistic elements. In the case of COH:

1. Engagement ranges are not realistic. Possibly a technical or design limitation. You'd need map sizes on the order of the ones in Supreme Commander to approach realistic engagement ranges. But:
   -the realistic element is that relative engagement ranges feel right. AT guns can engage tanks at long range. MG teams can engage infantry and pin them down beyond range of rifle fire. Indirect fire artillery can engage beyond range of rifles and MGs.

2. There is no realistic concept of supply. Ammo for guns and gas for vehicles never runs out. They can keep firing and reloading for hours and hours.
   -the realistic element is the concept of taking and securing sectors before pushing forward. In real life a division, battalion, or company would never advance along a narrow path, making a straight beeline for the enemy HQ. They would take the high ground first, to prevent enemy observation of friendly movement and permit observation of enemy movement. They would secure likely assembly areas where the enemy could mass for counter-attack. In CoH you have a reason for taking a given sector. And a reason for securing a path from that sector back to HQ. Ditto you now have a reason for sneaking way out in enemy territory and denying the enemy a crucial sector.

3. Weapons performance is not realistic. A Tiger should be able to do a one-shot kill on a Sherman.
    -the realistic element is that weapons performance has been tweaked to encourage combined arms. On BOTH sides. Tigers were never sent out alone in WW2 because the Germans knew the value of combined arms. CoH should be able to teach you that same lesson. Lone Tiger getting killed? Think - What would Klaus Do? A-HA! Send the Tiger out with infantry support and maybe even a flakpanzer. German tanks getting you down? What would Lt. Winters do? Yeah, bring up AT guns and mortars for support. Find cover and get fire superiority then flank the bastards.
1456  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Company of Heroes Beta Going Public ? on: August 24, 2006, 01:39:00 PM

Quote from: Turtle on August 24, 2006, 05:46:14 AM

Actually, the tiger still mows through shermans and M10s alike, it's just that with the cap changes, unless you bring support I'll have more shermans to surround the tiger and blow it up before you can kill a second one.

Which brings to mind what people forget about the Germans in WW2 and why they were a tough opponent. It wasn't that their tanks were so much better. It was that their use of combined arms, tactics, and mix of defense and counter-attack was still top-notch when the US invaded in 1944. No German officer in his right mind would send a Tiger out by itself, just because it was "so much better than Allied Tanks". He'd back it up a supporting cast - infantry, other tanks, and mortars. Neither would he send it out into the unknown. Scouts would recon first and from their reports and knowledge of the surrounding terrain, the Germans would make an educated guess about where the Allied line was weakest. Usually that guess was right.

One can use the same principles in CoH to great effect. Send a supporting cast along with the Tiger. Scout early, scout often (use the sniper in cammo and hold fire to see what the enemy is doing). Make an educated guess - "hmmm, I don't see too many allied infantry, therefore he must be teching to tanks. Gotta send out some AT guns along these routes here and here."

Yeah, its hard to do in the chaos that is RTS. But its a goal to strive for. And man, it feels great when it all comes together like that and your counterattack marches along like a tidal wave of death smile.
1457  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Company of Heroes Beta Going Public ? on: August 21, 2006, 01:29:17 PM

Quote from: Turtle on August 20, 2006, 11:55:43 PM

I wouldn't know, I haven't downloaded it.  I suspect skirmish mode is disabled since that might give a little too much of the game away.

Confirmed, single player demo on PC Gamer DVD does NOT have skirmish mode. Only 2 single player missions.

Quote
I found an interesting bit of information today.  Early on in the game there's still an incentive to build outposts on things, even on low resource points.  Not only do you get extra resources and help prevent quick captures of the point, but building an outpost gives you a lot of XP used to unlock your command branch abilities.  This can give you enough of an edge to make a come-back, even if you're losing battles (and thus not gaining much XP).  It'll also surprise your enemies by how quickly you get your later command abilities.

Good to know! There's a brief period in mid-game when I find myself with a lot of manpower but no units I'd really like to spend it on. Plus, like you said, losing battles means you're not gaining XP. So there are dicey situations when I'm losing and I still only have 1 special ability.

What I also noticed was that it seems you can build structures in your allies base. At least I saw the AI doing that in the replay. That would be nice for limiting the defensive emplacements to one base area or to coordinate launching assaults on a given half of the map.
1458  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Company of Heroes Beta Going Public ? on: August 18, 2006, 05:33:16 PM

Quote from: Turtle on August 18, 2006, 03:52:30 PM

What was the officer bug anyway?

There is supposed to be a limit of 1 officer per player. In a 2v2 or 3v3 match each player can only build one officer. The bug lets you get around that by queing multiple officers in the build queue. Thus, you can put 5 officers in the queue as long as you have the manpower to purchase all five.

Also, I believe the bug extends to having multiple officers stack on one resource point. The supervise ability allows the officer to help extract more resource out of a point. But I don't think it was intended for multiple officers to stack their supervise ability on one point.
1459  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Changing Martial Arts on: August 17, 2006, 05:33:42 PM
I think the advice given by others is spot on. You respected your instructor so just tell him the truth.

I will add that I'm glad you decided to move on to something a little less "money oriented". That's why I'm glad the organization I'm in is made up entirely of instructors who hold regular jobs. Teaching martial arts is something they do on the side and none of them gets paid a dime for teaching. Our monthly fees go towards renting the space and a little extra that goes into the coffers for the time when we can lease our own space and have more control over class schedules.
1460  Gaming / Multiplayer Madness (MMO or otherwise) / Relic Online (Company of Heroes beta) name list on: August 07, 2006, 02:14:46 PM
raydude
1461  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Has next-gen DVD already failed? on: June 27, 2006, 03:16:23 PM
Same here. I still have my 8 yr old 32" TV. I must have an anti "keep up with the Joneses gene".
1462  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Any bubble tea fans in the house? on: June 08, 2006, 06:17:50 PM
First time I had it was at a place called St. Alps Teahouse in Chinatown NYC. That was 5 years ago. I've had it both cold (in the summertime) and warm (in the wintertime) and both are excellent, IMHO.

My wife and I were so into the bubble tea thing at one point that we ordered a kit online and started making our own. Those were good too - although the tapioca pearls start getting a little hard after 4-5 days of being in the freezer. So we would essentially have bubble tea for dessert 5 nights in a row.

Here in VA I haven't found a bubble tea chain that makes good bubble tea yet. The stuff from teavana stucks.
1463  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / 2 more C&C Screenshots for ya... on: June 08, 2006, 01:52:38 PM
Looking more closely at the 2nd screenshot I can see an individual infantryman's head. So it does look like he's in a gigantic armored suit. And to my untrained eye it looks like that head is in the right proportion to the hatch on the top of the tank. Thus, I would guess that the relative sizes are more a function of design than an issue of "fudging" the scale. Or perhaps a design feature so one doesn't have to "fudge" the scale.
1464  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / 9/11 conspiracy video on: May 31, 2006, 06:26:56 PM
Quote from: "jament"
True.  And the conductive properties of steel would require temperatures that the burning jet fuel could not possible have produced to either "soften" or "melt" the steel infrastructure of the towers.


From what little I know of civil engineering, engineers typically do not design to an 'absolute' melting point for many reasons. One of them being that the fatigue level of materials cannot be absolutely pinpointed down to an exact temperature or lifetime.  Hence engineers insert 'safety factors' where they multiply the maximum weight by N and overdesign a structure.  

Even so, there are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to answering 'why' a particular material fails. A spectacular case in point is the failure of the "O-Rings" for the Challenger disaster. The O-Rings were judged as "good enough" based on inspection for the shuttle to be able to fly. There simply was no magic "sensor" that one could use that would have predicted the failure of the rings, especially after previous launches showed that the rings were able to withstand the cold temperatures before launch.

Back to the WTC, I have no doubt that the steel did NOT melt or soften. However, those are NOT the only ways that steel fails or fatigues. Steel can expand under heat and if that expansion is blocked or diverted in some way it can generate stress at a given point. Too much stress and you have   structural failure. Too many of those and you have catastrophic failure.

These same unknowns as far as metal fatigue are the reasons why we have military jets or helicopters just 'seizing up' and failing. If we knew all there was to know about materials then we could prevent such failures altogether. At least the ones due to metal fatigue.
1465  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / MGS2: Sons of Liberty... I tried on: May 31, 2006, 01:44:35 PM
snakes and ocelots and mullets, oh my!  smile
1466  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / 9/11 conspiracy video on: May 31, 2006, 01:40:55 PM
Quote from: "Dafones"
And so the heat spread out evenly through the buildings, along each floor, down each floor, from top to bottom?

But I don't know anything. I'm not an engineer. Maybe once the ball gets rolling, so to speak, as the tops of the buildings start to come down where the internal structure is weakest, it really doesn't matter how strong or weak the lower levels are - they just get sandwiched, compressed, and add to the mass coming down, keeping the "clean", vertical destruction going.


Even if one is not an engineer it is still easier to educate oneself now more than ever. Rather than sitting back and saying "hmmmm, it does seem rather strange that the building collapsed straight down" one could go out and do a wikipedia search on "steel", do a search on steel and heat, jp4 jet fuel, etc. Theres really no excuse now for just sitting back and taking a conspiracy theory at face value.

If one thinks that even one or two conspiracy points are valid because "one is not an engineer" then it would seem logical to seek out the truth and try to draw one's own conclusions. The worst that could happen is that one learns more about the conductive properties of steel.
1467  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / 9/11 conspiracy video on: May 30, 2006, 07:17:39 PM
Quote from: "Dafones"

But, if there is one thing that has always bugged me about 9/11, right from day one, is that the collapse of the two towers has always struck me as odd. Not that I have anything to compare it to - nothing at all - but the way both towers fell has always seemed very, I don't know, precise. Very controlled. Very clean. I would just naturally assume that there would be more chaos to their destruction if they were to fall after being struck as they were.


To what would you attribute this assumption? You said it yourself that you have nothing to compare it to. Let me try to find the connection. Its Hollywood, isn't it? Hollywood tells us that buildings shouldn't collapse cleanly or without a big fireball. To which I say, that's Hollywood, and it almost never gets reality right because reality is a little too "boring".

So lets think about the reality of the tower collapsing. One support beam ruptures, causing catastrophic failure of a floor, which causes the whole floor to fall to the floor below it. Granted, it doesn't all fall at the same time, but its close enough to make the entire floor below it fail at almost the same time. And each time the floor beneath gets closer and closer to collapsing all at once because at a certain point it doesn't matter if mass X arrives at the north side 0.5 seconds before mass Y arrives at the south side.

To the human eye it looks like the entire floor is collapsing in a neat, orderly manner, because it is, because of physics, because that's the way the building was meant to fail.

To say one expected the building to fail otherwise is an insult to the architecht and engineers who built it. I mean, if I were building a skyscraper I'd make damn sure it failed catastrophically inward, rather than falling outward and damaging other buildings.
1468  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / System Exclusives - Who wins? on: May 11, 2006, 07:27:09 PM
Quote from: "Scott"

I think, at the end of the day, that software will sell the systems, and the price of the systems won't mean a lot in the end.  I also think that it is the exclusives to each system that really tip the balance.


Personally, as a PC gamer who also plays consoles, price of hardware makes a huge difference. I don't go out and buy video cards over $200, and I only buy a new CPU every 2 years. That kind of cheapness transfers over to the consoles where I don't see myself spending $600 on a game system.

Maybe its just me, but my wallet can't afford buying PC games AND buying a new console AND buying games for both.
1469  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / [ps3] Metal Gear Solid 4 - 15 min. full trailer out! on: May 11, 2006, 03:24:47 PM
So wow, I haven't been this excited about a mullet since Joe Dirt smile.
1470  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Pot, Coke, Heroin, Extacy + Legal in Mexico = New Drug War on: May 09, 2006, 03:42:34 PM
Quote from: "Little Raven"
No biggie. Simply allow insurance companies to void the policies of anyone found with illegal drugs in their system, and allow hospitals to cease treatment on anyone found with said drugs in their system. Problem solved.


You make it sound oh so simple, especially from the doctor's viewpoint. Maybe doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel are that callous where you are, but I know from what my wife tells me (nurse practitioner) that she takes it pretty hard when she can't help someone adequately because of HMO bullshit.

You are basically saying that we should rewrite the Hippocratic Oath and let doctors only practice on patients who "deserve" saving. That's bad, and I don't want those kinds of doctors working on me.
1471  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / If you are a ninja... on: April 14, 2006, 01:09:46 PM
I would cry pirate bias. If he was coming from a nina vs. pirates event then surely one or more pirates were also jogging around campus. No mention of any pirates getting stopped by the Feds.
1472  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Geometry Wars on the PC? on: March 15, 2006, 02:05:13 PM
Quote from: "Destructor"
Quote from: "disarm"
Quote from: "stiffler"
Oddly enough I was strolling through the mouse/keyboard section of Best Buy the other day and saw the wired 360 controller in the joystick section.  It has different packaging than the regular console version.  I guess the difference is that the PC-marketed version (in red packaging) comes with a driver disc?

you are correct...the controller is identical, but they give you a disc in the package.  if you buy one without the disc, you can just download the drivers from the MS website.  i still can't believe BestBuy has the nerve to sell the "Windows version" for $45...an extra $5 just for a driver disc  :roll:

Wait...so if I buy the wired 360 controller, it works just fine on the PC?

I figured it would work, but didn't know for sure.


This is correct. I bought the genuine wired controller for the Xbox360 - NOT the PC-marketed version. I know because the packaging was green/white, NOT red, and because I was in the console section of Target.

I plugged my controller into the USB port and windows started searching for drivers for it. It must have gone out to the internet because I didn't have a driver disk but after 30 seconds windows recognized it as the "Xbox360 controller".  I verified it by going into Control Panel/properties/game controllers and sure enough I could test and calibrate both sticks, the buttons, triggers, etc.
1473  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Geometry Wars on the PC? on: March 14, 2006, 09:55:22 PM
I bought the wired xbox360 controller and it works really well with gridwars. Its sooo much better than what I was using before - keyboard for movement and firing.
1474  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Good PBEM Games? on: February 24, 2006, 02:37:31 PM
There's also People's Tactics: http://www.peoplestactics.com. A review of it here: http://www.wargamer.com/reviews/peoples_tactics/. I'd be up for playing that as well.
1475  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Good PBEM Games? on: February 23, 2006, 09:34:39 PM
ATB,

Do you have anything in mind? If not, I would suggest:

Combat Mission: Afrika Korps

or any of the other combat mission games if you have them. If not I would suggest getting the above smile.

I would be up for a game with you. Probably expect for me to get in about 3-4 turns per week, max.
1476  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Geometry Wars on the PC? on: February 23, 2006, 07:26:42 PM
Wow this game is amazing!! So, what changes are there from the 360 version? Is the music better on Xbox live?

Btw, thanks for the heads up. I was actually going to get a 360 in part because of Geometry Wars. At least now I can hold off the part of me that wants one - until perhaps Gears of War comes out smile.
1477  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Lets talk about AI on: February 15, 2006, 01:52:05 PM
Quote from: "corruptrelic"
ray, I'll have to check that out, never really paid much attention to wargames (since I prefer real-time strategy) but I'll definitely be looking up HTTR.

I think it's still safe to say though that the majority of all gamers are still playing singleplayer.
I didn't realize it, but according to Epic, less than 25% of the people who bought Unreal Tournament 2004 are even playing it online.

And Age of Empires 3.. with what, a million copies sold (I'm too tired to look it up) and only 5,000 at most online at any given time?


Just so you know, HTTR is heavy on gameplay but light in the graphics and sound department. Actually the maps are nice looking and the counters are well-designed. I like how you can change the counter display so you can get graphic feedback on the morale, ammo load, fatigue of your units. Still, don't expect anything on the order of Battle for Middle Earth 2 or even Kohan graphics for the units. And they don't even give "acknowledgement" voice responses when you click the units.

Still, its cool to give a brigade an order to move to a nearby town and assault it and then watch as the brigade HQ gives orders to each of the subordinate units. If you tell them to march quickly to the town they'll form up in column formation, with scouts leading, HQ in the middle and mortars to the rear. Then once they're at the assault "form up" point they'll transition to a line formation (infantry in line, mortars behind) and start attacking.

HTTR also has the concept of an "orders delay" which I think is long overdue for RTS games. In real life there is a lag between when a general gives an order and when units actually start moving out. In HTTR, if you set the game to "painfully realistic delay" you'll see that constantly changing orders or micromanaging your units is actually detrimental to the battle.

Come to think of it, madminutegames, the makers of Take Command: Bull Run and upcoming Take Command: 2nd Manassas, also do orders delay. They visually show you a runner (guy on horseback carrying your orders) leaving your commander and heading for the HQ to give orders to. They've also implemented the ability for the runner to get shot at or intercepted and perhaps not even reach the HQ in a timely manner. You might want to look at these games as well, since they are more "graphically pleasing" to look at; a la Sid Meier's Gettysburg.

I think the main point that distinguishes wargames from the other genres is that its a niche genre. A developer who makes a wargame knows that his audience limits the product to make only 1% of the money he could earn if he made a vanilla RTS. Thus, every sale counts. So, if this niche market demands quality AI and they vote with their dollars you can bet the developer will try to satisfy that demand.
1478  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Starting out with stocks. on: February 14, 2006, 08:43:36 PM
Zero debt. The only allowable debt (IMHO) is mortgage, car loan, and student loan. Any credit card debt must be paid off in full every month.
1479  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Starting out with stocks. on: February 14, 2006, 08:35:55 PM
With that small an initial investment I'd actually go with a dividend-reinvestment-plan (DRIP). Check out dripcentral.com for more info. Basically you buy 1 or more shares of a particular stock that has a DRIP plan (not all do). Then the dividends from that stock go into buying more of that same stock.

I could be wrong but I would go with the above because the initial costs to get into the plan are so low, unlike with mutual funds which may require initial investments of $1000 or more. Typically its the price of 1 stock share plus some initial fee like $10. Depending on the stock there may be no initial fee at all.

The other nice thing is that this really is a nice way to enter the stock market and actually follow a given stock which represents a given company. You also get nice snazzy looking annual reports every year, which for some companies actually is worth looking through. I personally like the Coke reports and Exxon's little (quarterly?) pamphlet.

As for keeping it for 30 years or more, I personally own Coke and Exxon-Mobil DriPs, and have owned them for about 10 years now. Do I think they'll be around in 20 years? Hell yeah. But research on dripcentral.com and draw your own conclusions smile.
1480  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / You are outbid! on: February 14, 2006, 08:27:03 PM
I usually bid first thing I see an item I'm looking for on ebay. I don't really care if it drives up the price as long as its below my max buying price. Which is really my max anyway.

For example, I was looking for a rare out of print wargame the other day. The first bid on there was like $10.00. So I went and put in my max price of $55.00. I immediately won high bid at $12.00. Then, over the remaining 5 days in the auction I saw some occasional attempts, never more than a few bucks. I figured that the main action was going to be in the final seconds.

And sure enough it was. Still, the sniper never found my max before he ran out of time. He kept going in $5.00 increments and never found my max price. End result, I win. Would I have gotten it for cheaper if I sniped it? Maybe. Do I really care as long as its below my absolute max? Not at all.
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