Fireworks in Amarr May 6, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online.
Tags: Amarr, EVE has sound?, YouTube
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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.
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, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, World of Tanks.
Tags: KV-4, Luchs, Panzer I Ausf. C, YouTube
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.
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.
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.
Again, in the company I keep, it looks really long.
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.
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.
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.
Too Many Words and Pictures about Need for Speed: World April 15, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Need for Speed World.
Tags: Achievements, Nissan GT-R, YouTube
I fade in and out of Need for Speed: World.
In a way, that represents the upside of free to play.
As it tends to go, I start playing, have a run at it, tire, and move on for a while. I think I am at the end of the cycle again. The current run started on a new server when Potshot and Earl got into the game for a bit. We had a really fun evening of races and goofing around and then never quite went back to it, except for a bit of holiday cheer.
I managed to get myself hooked on the NFSW version of the daily quest mechanic, then gem hunt. This was primarily due to the explicit promise that the game has at the end of each such hunt.
Each consecutive day gives better rewards! That is what it says. So I decided to test that theory. As you can see, I made it past the 100 day mark. So I should have been getting some pretty awesome rewards, right?
Well, I will tell you about that, plus some other aspects of the game as I see them at this point after the cut.
Pesky Panzer I Ausf. Cs Attack April 14, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, World of Tanks.
Tags: Hetzer, Panzer I Ausf. C, YouTube
The Panzer I Ausf. C was introduced as part of the German light tank tree re-org, which also saw the Luchs pushed up a tier and given some new options. (That 3cm auto cannon is murder… but the nearly 20 second reload time is painful.)
These little beasties seem to have become something of the piranha platoon tank of choice. I haven’t played much below tier VI of late, but last night Potshot were down in tier V and below and these things were all over the place.
At one point we were out in the Arctic Region map and a pair of them took a run at my Hetzer in what turned out to be a less than optimum attack.
The first guy roars past but does not do much damage. He attempts to circle around the rock failing to notice the big pit on the other side. His pal catches me in the rear and flank and does do a lot of damage. But he slows down and gets popped by a team member pretty quickly. (You can see tracer rounds from the team mate early in the video flying past me.) Then I try to crush the first guy, who avoids my bulk. But a 75mm round into him finishes him off.
The video is available at up to 720p. In larger format you can see the first driver comment, “epic fail!”
Churchill Slap Fight March 17, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, World of Tanks.
Tags: Churchill III, YouTube
Back when I first bought the Churchill III in World of Tanks, I was figuring out how I should fight it when I came up against opposing heavy tanks.
Here, in one of my early battles, I try to come to grips with a Churchill I.
(Direct link to the video to view larger versions.)
Clearly, going head to head wasn’t the best solution.
Going around the back though…
KV-1 Circle of Death February 24, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, World of Tanks.
Tags: KV-1, YouTube
Another silly World of Tanks video. This time, the durability of the KV-1 demonstrated.
On the Westfield map, I committed one of my usual errors and got too far ahead of the pack. I was going to run down an impertinent T-28. Instead I found myself getting flanked by a Hetzer and a Stuart who seemed determined to run around my back side.
Direct link to the video, so you can view it in a larger window.
That Wolverine that rammed the Hetzer about half way through… and died… helped me out some, though I am not sure why he didn’t just hang back and pop my two friends as they came around the circle.
In the end, I got the two kills and went on to get three more in the match, including that T-28 and a Grille.
However, my comrades in arms were not doing very well and I ended up getting swamped by the other team.
I’m Crushing Your VK! February 12, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, World of Tanks.
Tags: KV-2, RCpack, VK3001P, YouTube
Another comedy moment in World of Tanks, again on the Dragon Ridge map.
A VK3001P attempts to evade my KV-2 and a Black Prince by hiding in a gully. I show him what I think of that idea. Sure, our guns won’t depress that far, but gravity is on my side.
Direct link here. Again, probably best watched in a larger format.
You might be able to see in the text when I turn on the UI after the kill the VK’s response to this turn of events. (Jerk!)
This video was made possible by the RCpack for World of Tanks 8.3, a utility set that lets you watch replays from older versions of the game. Without it you are stuck watching only movies from the current release.
Kill of the Day – The Cliff Diving BDR G1B February 10, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, World of Tanks.
Tags: BDR G1B, Les Chars de Combustion, YouTube
The match maker frowned upon us, and put Earl, myself, and Potshot at the bottom of the list on everybody’s favorite map, Dragon Ridge.
Earl, in his Grille, could hang back. But Potshot and I were rolling in BDR G1Bs and needed to get into the thick of things to make a contribution.
We followed a T29 down one flank, hoping that we could use him as cover to get in our own shots. However we ended up facing a host of enemies, and things did not end well.
Direct link here. Best watched in a larger format. Available up to 720p.
At the 15 second mark you can see my BDR exploding vigorously.
And then what appears to be a Chinese T-34-1 comes around and sends Potshot (who tanks under the nom de guerre 9Ball) to his demise.
The most dramatic death yet for Les Chars de Combustion. No fire, just lots of water.
Sayonara Fippy Darkpaw January 12, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EverQuest.
Tags: Fippy Darkpaw, Progression Server, YouTube
An homage to the Fippy Darkpaw server.
Meant to evoke the spirit of the Sayonara Norrath video.
Not quite there for me, but still full of fun sights.
20 Games that Defined the Apple II January 3, 2013Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in Ancient Gaming, entertainment.
Tags: Apple II, YouTube
A little video my friend Scott sent me.
The games shown are, in chronological order:
- Ultima I
- Castle Wolfenstein
- Lode Runner
- Cavern Creatures
- King’s Quest
- Impossible Mission
- The Oregon Trail
- The Bard’s Tale
- Might and Magic
- California Games
- Maniac Mansion
- Prince of Persia
- Battle Chess
Not a bad list. A lot of the games on it were on multiple systems, so I think they more define computer games in the 1980s rather than the Apple II specifically. But not bad. I played most of them.
If I were making the list I would probably strike Battle Chess and California Games from the list, as they came so late in the the cycle. Prince of Persia is a bit questionable for me as well, as I played it on the Mac much later on. But Wasteland was the last Apple II game I ever bought, so that plays into it. What defined Apple II games for me came much earlier in the life of the platform
Instead I would add Aztec and probably Autoduel. I would also substitute in Epoch (which doesn’t even have a Wikipedia entry) for Elite, Ultima III in for Ultima I (which I think was just a better, more popular game), and probably Seven Cities of Gold for one of the over-represented-on-the-list RPGs. And I would have a strong desire to get F-15 Strike Eagle in there somewhere. And Pinball Construction Set. And Taipan! as well.
There is the problem with making such lists. I can look at all those Apple II games and pull out quite a few great ones.
And, as a side note, Oregon Trail is one of the games in the video I never played.
At least not on the computer.
Instead, that was a game we played as a teacher driven role playing game when I was in 7th grade. True to the spirit however, when people refer to playing the video game version it sounds exactly like our role play version. As young boys, my friends and I all loaded up our wagon with guns and as much ammo as possible and most of us went on to die of dysentery.