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WowCraft Episode 1- Character Creation March 28, 2014

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Humor, World of Warcraft.

A new humor series about World of Warcraft is starting on YouTube.  Called WowCraft, it naturally opens with character creation.

I like the criteria presented for class selection.  Simple and direct.

On the other hand, I never have much problem with name selection.  I suspect my conventions for character naming are… different.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail – The Serious Trailer September 21, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Humor.

Somebody took the classic movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail and used clips from it to create a “coming attractions” style preview in order to imagine it as a serious movie.  This was the result.

(link to original)

It is still hard not to laugh when you are familiar with the scenes they used.

EVE Online – Atari 2600 Version September 14, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: ,
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Courtesy of Poetic Stanziel, who also rolled up box art for the game.

(direct link to video)

I have made a couple of Atari 2600 cartridge parodies before, but nothing like that.

EVE Online – Dumb Ways to Die August 4, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: , ,

This video is great and, as such, has been linked or posted just about everywhere in the EVE Online universe.

But, operating on the assumption that there is, at best, an imperfect overlap between the readership of this blog and the readership of every other EVE blog or news site, I present “Dumb Ways to Die,” created by Sindel Pellion and Rixx Javix.

(direct link to the video)

It is one of those EVE Online video that everybody can enjoy.  The song is light and happy, the animations are cute, and the references to events will make even bitter vets smile.

And for those who need to be brought up to speed, the video is a parody of the train safety Dumb Way to Die public service announcement video (actual video here) and its list of horrific ways to get killed.

Starfleet Dental – Star Citizen Propaganda Video of Strongly Beating Spirit August 2, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Humor, Star Citizen.
Tags: , ,

Starfleet Dental, having moved on from Star Trek Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Guild Wars 2, now has its sights set on Star Citizen.

And with such a change in focus, there must be propaganda.

(Direct link to video)

Another fine Starfleet Dental video.  Ample conditions and possibilities to realize national cooperation indeed!  It is like Dear Leader is speaking directly to ME.

But it made me think about Star Citizen, and all the more so since the game came up in corp coms the other night.

Up until then, the game had been something of a fuzzy blur in my peripheral vision.  When it came up on coms, I could just pull up some general information from my brain… space game… a Kickstarter campaignthe guy who made Wing Commander.  Somewhere along the line Gaff mentioned some people in EVE were invested in the idea of the game.

But when one of my corp mates said he pledged four figures to the project and that another guy in the corp was likewise invested in the high three figures, I was jolted upright thinking, “Is this even a ‘thing’ yet?”  I had to go look this up and figure out what was going on.

The Kickstarter finished up last November.  They asked for half a million dollars and got over two million through Kickstarter, along with even more through direct pledges.  The Kickstarter page says that they made it to the 5.5 million dollar stretch goal, though Wikipedia says they set a record by getting 4.2 million in funding.  Either way, a lot of money was thrown at this project.  And the money has continued to roll in, as you can apparently still get in on the action with a pledge, so that the current take appears to have topped 15 million dollars.

And Star Citizen certainly seems to promise a lot.  The game is a “rich universe focused on epic space adventure, trading and dogfighting in first person.”  It will be available as an MMO-like online form, a single player campaign, a private server version that is MOD-able, and as a floor wax if I read this right.  All with no subscription and no pay to win.

Is there a base left uncovered with that?

They were not done yet.  I am just going to list some of the key bullet points.

  • A huge universe to explore, trade and adventure in
  • Constantly expanding and evolving universe
  • Micro [weekly or bi-weekly] updates rule!
  • The conflict never ends
  • Actions of the players impact the universe and become part of its history and lore
  • Allowing user generated content is a key design goal
  • It’s about the gameplay and your interactions with others
  • Fully dynamic economy driven by player actions
  • Money isn’t everything
  • Space is empty but you’re never really alone
  • Bigger ships offer bigger multi-player action
  • Intelligent Flight Control System (IFCS)
  • Dynamic Ship Maneuverability
  • Ship Components matter!
  • 10X the detail of current AAA games
  • Everything you would imagine would move or articulate on a spaceship or a device – does!
  • Range of scale never seen before in a game
  • Really feel the scale of ships and space battles

And those just the ones that sort of made sense without the subsequent description.  And there is more information on the main site, some of which has be distilled into various wikis.

All of which sounds totally awesome.  A wondrous new dawn for the long neglected space sim genre may be upon us.  If you search for related videos on YouTube or just Google the name, you will find a relentless wave of enthusiasm out there for Star Citizen, to the point that it is almost difficult to find anything concrete about the game.

Which is enough to set off alarm bells in the back of my head.

So much pent up joy for a game that won’t be in anything like its final release state until some time in 2015 by current estimates.

I can only recall past promises from other games and myself and guild mates getting too invested, pinning too many hopes and dreams, on things that never quite came to pass.  Sitting in coms playing EverQuest II while gushing about how Vanguard was going to be the REAL successor to EverQuest.  Brad McQuaid would save us.  Or the whole cycle up to the launch or Warhammer Online.  And, as pointed out elsewhere, promises of an all encompassing space sim have failed us before.

Not that I am calling bullshit on Chris Roberts, or making a claim of equivalence with that last link.  The man has a enviable track record, which is a large part of what is building up the enthusiasm.  But there was Freelancer, which shipped late and ended up being a different bird than initially promised.  And the bar being set for Star Citizen seems unbelievably high to my skeptical eye.

But it is still tough to stifle the part of me that wants this all to be true and as good as described and that wants to throw money at my computer screen in the off chance that it might improve the likelihood of this dream coming to fruition.

Fortunately I am older and wiser than… well… younger and dumber me.

And I have other games to play while I wait for Star Citizen to come to pass in whatever form it ends up taking.

One of those games is, of course, EVE Online.  I have to imagine that a good chunk of subscribers to EVE play the game because it scratches the space sim itch for them.  That is certainly an aspect of the EVE package for me.  So the two games seems to be, if not in direct conflict, sharing a similar demographic.  I wonder what one will mean to the other when the time comes?

How about you?  Are you getting invested in Star Citizen yet?

And what is Starfleet Dental going between now and the launch of the game, currently expected in 2015?

TEST Invokes a Star Wars Metaphor, Casts The Mittani as Emperor July 27, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: , , ,

A new bit of video propaganda that cropped up this week, putting the war into very understandable nerd terms I suppose.

(Direct link here)

The best bit for me was at about 0:32 where the picture they used is one I took. (It is also the thumbnail picture.)

I’ll take that as a compliment.  I do wonder that comments and ratings have been turned off for that video.  That seems very un-Reddit.

We shall see how TEST and its plea fares.  What is assumed by some to be possibly the last big fight of the war, the battle for 6VDT-H, the capital system in Fountain for TEST, their VFK-IV, their Jerusalem, looms.  That battle is slated for tomorrow.  Last night ops ran unopposed.  CFC fleets roam, shooting structures while a TEST oracle fleet tried to distract.  The fight has gone out of them for the last few days.

But tomorrow will tell the tale.

Fountain Downfall

Fountain Downfall

Will TEST rise up and defend their capital, die heroically in the attempt, or just stand down and effectively cede the war?

The bluster so far is that they will fight.

Flood 6VDT

Flood 6VDT

And, frankly, if they won’t fight for this, what will they fight for?

Boat’s Oddity July 14, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Humor.
Tags: , , , ,

Music from Suas of Little Bees fame.

(direct link to video)

Suas actually did the music a while back, and it was great.  But then the in-game visuals were added by TerminatorV250 and it became a media spectacular.

That is the war in Fountain.  There are a couple of points where I swear that my ship has to be on screen.  My screen shots from the war seem to cover some of those very events.

Boatman of the song is, of course, Dabigredboat or DBRB, who forgot to update his clone after getting podded early in the war and lost the skill Fleet Command V.  I checked, and that skill would take me about 60 days to train.  Ouch.  And ‘throns are the Megathrons, the Gallente battleship that is prominent in both the war and the video.

Anyway, this is the song of the war for me so far.

Lyrics after the cut.  Happy Bastille Day.


The History of the Soviet Union Arranged to the Tetris Melody June 23, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment.
Tags: , ,

This is one of my daughter’s favorite videos at the moment.

(direct link)

Having spent time in the Soviet studies program and being a game, it is a meshing of experiences I am on board with.

And it gives me a break from having to correct history as she has seen it presented in Hetalia.

But at least we have some common subject about which to talk!

Fireworks in Amarr May 6, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: , ,
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A supplement to my post yesterday about the EVE Online 10 year birthday celebration in Amarr.  If screen shots of the fireworks were not enough, here is some video of them hitting Chribba’s Revelation dreadnaught and Widow black ops battleship.

(Direct link to video)

The video is probably best viewed over at YouTube in a larger window.  It is available at all resolutions up to 1080p, at which point the explosions are surprisingly detailed.

The video is running at 2x speed.  Time dilation was slowing things down to between 10 and 20% normal, but speeding up the video beyond 2x did not “feel” right, as things got very choppy.

The music is “Akat Mountains” from the EVE Online sound track (all of which you can find over at Sound Cloud), which I included because I had the sound off in EVE, so it would otherwise be a silent movie.

World of Tanks Anniversary – Crazy Battles and Comic Guns April 16, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, World of Tanks.
Tags: , , ,

The World of Tanks second anniversary event is now in the past.  And what an event it was.

When Wargaming.net offers 5x experience for first victories, people come out of the woodwork.  I thought I saw them tweet at one point that they set the concurrency record for the North American server, going beyond 40K simultaneous users.

And so the cast of regulars was joined by old vets and new blood all mixed together by the evil match maker into some battles of epic comedy.  I was in a lot of battles that ended with lopsided, 15 kills to 2 style results.  The only good thing was that I seemed to be on the winning side as often as the losing.

Not that they were all like that.  There were some epic, down to the wire, last two players standing finishes.  But overall, the theme seemed to be “bloodbaths.”

I took advantage of the 30% discount on tier VIII tanks to finally buy the KV-4 I have been primed to get for a while now.

Brand New KV-4

Brand New KV-4

A lot of the gear you train for on the KV-3 applies to the KV-4, so I was not driving it totally stock.  I had the radio fully upgraded and was able to mount the big gun from the KV-3.  However, the really big gun requires 44K of experience to unlock, more than I had sitting around.  So I had to head out of the barn with what I could train.

I also retrained my KV-2 crew and for the KV-4, having trained them up to ~95% towards their first skill/perk.

Equipment was on sale as well, marked down to half price, so I took the opportunity to purchase gun rammers and binocular periscopes and camo nets for a number of vehicles, including the KV-4, so I could avoid having to search and swap as much in the future.

My first outing with the KV-4 went pretty well.  A victory.  And I survived.  And I even got a mastery badge.

First Battle in the KV-4

First Battle in the KV-4

And, of course, the Steel Wall badge.  I expect I will see a bunch of those going forward.  When the KV-4 is at the top of the heap and I can position it right, it can bounce a lot of hits.

I found myself repeatedly tracked in one battle on the Airfield map, where I had take the route through the water between the two bases.  A Tiger and a Jagpanther were both under cover and pelting me.  However, I was angled just right, so aside from the track hits, they were doing almost no damage.  A dozen hits in and I was at 98% health.

That was another of those lopsided battles, and while I held the beach, stuck there in a sniping duel, the rest of the team went up the middle and eventually flanked my two opponents.  I was able to wander to within spitting distance of the cap before they hunted down the last guy.  Another Steel Wall badge.

By the end of the weekend I had finally accumulated enough experience to get the big gun upgrade on the KV-4, the 107mm ZiS-24.  The barrel for that gun may be my most comically over-sized yet.

Is that a ZiS-24 or are you fibbing again?

Is that a ZiS-24 or are you fibbing again?

Again, in the company I keep, it looks really long.

Want to compare barrel lengths? C'mon!

Want to compare barrel lengths? C’mon!

So far I am doing okay with my latest big tank.  It is a long grind to the next tank, my tier IX goal, and the ST-I.  I think I will finish upgrading the KV-4, getting the upgraded turret for the extra armor, though that will require the suspension upgrade as well.  And then the engine.  This thing needs a bigger engine.

It wasn’t all heavy tanks.  Saturday night saw the instance group reduced to just Potshot and I, so we went the tanks route for the evening.  That kept us at tier V and below for the most part.  We got out the BDR’s and ended up in a semi-comic slaughter at the beach resort on the South Coast map facing off against two more BDRs.  If that T-34 hadn’t shown up to help them, they would have been ours.

We also tried out the Luchs, newly upgraded to a tier IV light tank and now not in a dead-end branch of the German tree.  I tried out the new 3cm auto cannon that is available for it.

Luchs with the 3cm gun

Luchs with the 3cm gun

It is fun if you can circle around and get behind people, though you have to get in close as the accuracy is very bad.  I managed to circle around and take out one serious opponent before over extending and getting blown up.  That isn’t really my play style and I later opted for the new, top end 5cm gun.

Probably the most amusing match of the weekend saw my in a Cruiser Mk. IV, which represented the extent of my UK tank experimentation, and Potshot in his PzKpfw III Ausf. A on the Karelia map.  The match lineup included 8 of those Panzer I Ausf. C light tanks that featured in the video I posted on Sunday.  There were four on each side, and everybody headed for the hill… it is always a race to the hill… where a bloodbath ensued.  Watch the video.

(direct link to video)

It is available in larger sizes and quality up to 720p, and you can certainly pick out more detail viewing it in a larger format at highest quality than my blog can provide.

You get a sense of the comic amount of shells those little guys can spit out as they tear up the ground and each other.  You can also see that arty was having a go at us, as the sides both had three SPGs each.  Somehow I managed to survive that melee and was able to move on until I got a surprise of my own.

It was after that battle I decided I needed to turn my graphics settings down a notch or two.  I had everything cranked up to high, but I was starting to lag and get low FPS with that many tanks firing around me.  It became especially noticeable when I was getting hit.  It might be time to look into an upgrade for the GTS 450.

In the end I did not play as much as I thought I might.  Sunday saw me with a craving for something more slow paced, and I ended up playing more Civilization V than tanks. (I still haven’t found my Civ II disk.)  But all in all, it was good fun and I managed to stock up on equipment at lower prices.  Like Mrrx, I got almost every tank out of the barn and onto the field for at least one 5x win.

Now I have about 7 months left to make it to my end of year goal, driving a tier IX tank.