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User information for Myrddin Emrys

Real Name Myrddin Emrys   
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Nickname The Raven
Email Concealed by request - Send Mail
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Homepage http://
Signed On Nov 3, 2002, 04:27
Total Comments 239 (Novice)
User ID 15062
 
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News Comments > Evening Q&As
2. Re: UT2007 Dec 5, 2006, 14:18 The Raven
 
That was a... contentless post.

I'm somewhat interested in UT07. The Epic guys have the best engine architecture, in my opinion, though they don't have the best game. But theirs is the most fun to hack with.
 
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Dreaming Demon, formerly Tikatt, formerly The Raven
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News Comments > Saturday Q&A
4. Re: No subject Dec 3, 2006, 19:21 The Raven
 
I don't understand it either Bhruic. The only rational for rating short games higher is that they tend to be DENSER. There is more content per minute of gameplay, and thus they tend to have higher production values.

Kinda like the difference between a 2 hour movie, and a 13 hour miniseries. There might be a really deep, engrossing storyline in the miniseries... but if you don't HAVE 13 hours to watch it, you'll get more out of the 2 hour movie. And, minute per minute, the movie probably has higher production values, and more plot happening.

So I'd argue that the length of the game is irrelevant, except that the length of the game has a strong correlation with the density of its content. And some people perfer short, dense content (like, say, Knights of the Old Republic) to sprawling massive worlds (Oblivion). The massive world might have more content total, but the tight, short linear game has more content per minute of playing.

The Raven

 
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Dreaming Demon, formerly Tikatt, formerly The Raven
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News Comments > Morning Legal Briefs
2. Depressing Dec 1, 2006, 12:28 The Raven
 
Nothing really new here, but it's sad that once again money trumps common sense.

 
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Dreaming Demon, formerly Tikatt, formerly The Raven
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News Comments > Garry's Mod on Steam
21. Re: No subject Nov 30, 2006, 19:42 The Raven
 
I don't mind Gary's Mod at all, but I do have to say I don't think it's 'teh future!!11!'. Specifically, Gary's Mod servers have very little stability... you aren't sure what you're getting when you join a server, the gameplay can vary widely from server to server.

This makes it perfect for LANs and small groups of players, but not so optimal on the Internet where you're joining some anonymous server with some anonymous admin with some unknown rules. Some people like the surprise... more don't. To compare the relative popularity of 'same old' vs 'differenty every time' why don't you look at how many Counter Strike servers are running the same top 4 maps compared to the number of Counter Strike servers playing all the other maps combined. And that's ignoring the fact that a different map in CS isn't really different gameplay compared to two differently configured Gary's Mod servers.

The Raven

 
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Dreaming Demon, formerly Tikatt, formerly The Raven
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News Comments > DOOM 3 Engine Networking Mod
20. Re: Funny Nov 29, 2006, 19:01 The Raven
 
And on that day, you'll complain about how sucky the game is, because Doom 5 will have hugely better graphics, Planetside 2 will support 5 times the players, and some third game (because Tribes is dead) will have even faster gameplay.

We're never satisfied with what we have. And no game will ever be able to 'do it all' best, because some OTHER game that concentrated on one thing will do that one thing far better.

 
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Dreaming Demon, formerly Tikatt, formerly The Raven
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News Comments > DOOM 3 Engine Networking Mod
19. Re: Interesting Trivia Nov 29, 2006, 18:52 The Raven
 
I was a big fan of that netcode improvement Valve released, despite the fact that I generally play on servers I get under 50ms ping to (some as good as 12ms). And the 'high pinger gets the win' on a tie was wildly overblown... here's how it worked (possibly how it still works):

I pull the trigger. My 'shot' flies through the Internet, arriving at the server around 20ms later. The server holds that shot while it is calculating the current frame... say, about 15ms on a 30tick server (30 updates per second). If another person's 'shot' arrives during that same tick, and we're shooting each other, then the server looks at the ping of the two people.

I have a ping of about 40ms (20ms to the server, 20ms back), and the other guy has a ping of 200ms (100ms out, 100ms back). If the packet that contains his 'shot' arrives in the same tick that mine does, that means he actually fired it BEFORE I DID.

That is what Valve meant when they said 'high pingers win ties'. Only if a shot is within the same tick will this matter. On a 100tick server, that means the packets have to arrive within 10ms of each other. And the high ping player didn't really tie... he shot FIRST, it's just that his 'shot' took longer to arrive at the server.

if the high-ping players 'shot' arrives in a later tick than mine, even if he shot first, he is still going to lose because the server doesn't retroactively go back and not kill him when it learns he pulled the trigger first. The higher ping player will still lose in most cases when they pull the trigger first, unless their 'shot' arrives in the same tick as the lower-ping player's 'shot'.

Let this horrible rumor die.

 
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Dreaming Demon, formerly Tikatt, formerly The Raven
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News Comments > Half-Life 2: Episode Two Delayed
55. Re: No subject Nov 13, 2006, 22:45 The Raven
 
Historically the video game industry as a whole does a very poor job of keeping older titles available for sale.

Given the expense it is highly unlikely that earlier episodes will be updated to conform to the quality and features found in later episodes

I'm not talking about the industry as a whole... I'm talking about Valve and Half Life episodes. If you want to generalize this off into some rant about episodes in general, fine, but that really has nothing to do with what I'm discussing.

Valve has an excellent track record of bundling related products, keeping older products available, and updating aging games to keep them relevant and up-to-date. Digital distribution in general will be a huge enabler for this... limited shelf space caused limited game availability. This is no longer a factor.

First, people tolerate the delay with television episodes because it is free.

I know of several people who PAY iTunes $2.99 per tv show episode. I've heard that iTunes' TV section is doing brisk business. So people tolerate getting one episode at a time pretty well, as far as I can see.

Second, with television shows the viewer usually only waits a week for the next one. With video games the wait is many months or even a year or more between episodes.

This is a valid point. However, since you own the first episode nothing prevents you from having fun playing it again just before episode 2 comes out. Unlike TV you can enjoy it whenever you want, because you own it.

Third, the video game playing experience takes longer than that of a television show. Thirty minutes or an hour into a television show and you have seen the plot develop and conclude. So, the wait is more tolerable because the viewer is left with a sense of completion after the episode.

This is a valid criticism of Sin Episodes, since they ended with a cliffhanger after a very short and unfullfilling plot. This is not a good criticism of Ep1 (in my opinion) because Episode 1 had a longer and more involved plot and a more satisfying ending.

Perhaps a better comparison than TV shows might be movie series. Episodic games are similar to the LotR movies, or the second and third Matrix sequals. There are many months between the releases, but that's a ton faster than the typical hollywood schedule, which gave us series like "Star Wars" with three years between each part.

Movies are a two hour experience... episodic games run 4-6 hours. Movies in 'fast release' (LotR, Matrix 2 & 3) are six months to a year apart... episodic games are an unknown, but the developers are shooting for the same target. Each part of a movie series has a satisfying ending, but also obvious open threads that lead to the next episode... ditto for episodic games.

I think we just don't see eye to eye on this. I have no problem with the concept of episodic games, as long as they're worth my money. You seem to object to the idea entirely, assuming that it will be done poorly, and therefor it is a horrible idea. That's a rather silly reason to object to an idea.

"Bah, that wheel isn't even CLOSE to round. Wheels are a stupid invention, we'll never be able to make them better, we should go back to using sledges."

 
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Dreaming Demon, formerly Tikatt, formerly The Raven
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News Comments > Half-Life 2: Episode Two Delayed
53. Re: No subject Nov 13, 2006, 13:43 The Raven
 
Sorry JaZeeL about my misunderstanding. You're right, I did pull that number out of my ass. But having read many developer diaries and followed the creation of games over the years, I think it's a pretty good back of the napkin value for a typical full-length game (as compared to a B title, like the typical movie tie in).

 
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Dreaming Demon, formerly Tikatt, formerly The Raven
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News Comments > Half-Life 2: Episode Two Delayed
52. Re: No subject Nov 13, 2006, 13:41 The Raven
 
You complain that the consumer "has to take really long breaks just to see all of it so there is no continuity in the gameplay experience." I disagree. You have the OPTION of taking long breaks between the content... or, you could just buy all 3 episodes as a combo deal (which you know will happen) when they're all released. You get the entire story at once, with the first parts of the story having the advantage of having been bugfixed and improved since they were first released, at the price of about a normal full length game, after waiting about as long as a normal full length game.

Episodic releases give you choices. You can watch one show per week, or you can buy the DVD or watch the weekend marathon after the whole series is out... your choice. Don't bitch at game makers because they're offering an alternative delivery mechanism... any more than you'd whine at TV shows for only giving you a single episode per week. If you prefer to get whole seaosons on DVD (like me), then just wait.

 
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Dreaming Demon, formerly Tikatt, formerly The Raven
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News Comments > Half-Life 2: Episode Two Delayed
47. Re: No subject Nov 11, 2006, 13:03 The Raven
 
Where's the 3 years thing coming from?

QuakeWorld came out in 1997, just after Quake (in mid '96). Before Quake, there were no fully 3d games, so no fully 3d map makers. And I said 'two' years, not 3, because the TF community started to decline around mid '98, two years after Quake was released. At the peak of the community, then, 3d map making had been around for two years.

I admit that I had forgotten QW allowed dynamic downloading. It took so long that I always quit out and found the map on a website instead.

And the maps nowadays are far better than the crap made then... even the simplistic ones. There are a ton of Counter Strike: Source maps that are only marginally more detailed than an old Quake map. But even those maps are far better designed (usually) as far as gameplay is concerned than the crap that we often put up with way back when.

Raven

 
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News Comments > Half-Life 2: Episode Two Delayed
46. Re: Bleh. Nov 11, 2006, 12:57 The Raven
 
Source is not obsolete. What they did was ignore certain video card features (like native HDR support) and use shaders to calculate the same math in the shader portion of the video card. Essentially, Valve kept themselves from being dependant on the hardware and drivers by using shader programming instead.

That does not make them obsolete, it makes them flexible. For nearly a year they were the only HDR game that could have anti-aliasing AND HDR on at the same time because of their approach... not till the newest video card drivers were released did HDR and FSAA become possible at the same time.

Their shadows are behind the times, as well as their decal technology. Other games have different tradeoffs... there is no 'one true way', and anyone who claims otherwise is selling something (or is a fanboy).

Raven

 
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News Comments > Half-Life 2: Episode Two Delayed
44. Re: No subject Nov 11, 2006, 12:48 The Raven
 
Valve thought the episodes would be a cash-cow for them but if they cant release episodes every 4 months, it is not gonna work out for them.

An episode every 9 months, with $15 profit, is better than a game every 3 years, with $40 profit. Regular money, regular engine upgrades, they stay in the news... there's a ton of benefits.

I was mildly disappointed with Ep1, but not very... as Tycho of Penny-Arcade says, anything under $20 is effectively free as far as my primitive impulse-buy brain is concerned.

This comment was edited on Nov 11, 12:48.
 
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News Comments > Half-Life 2: Episode Two Delayed
43. Re: No subject Nov 11, 2006, 12:34 The Raven
 
Speaking as a longtime fan of QWTF (I was in the clan Dark Vengenace), I have to say that you're completely wrong.

First, way back when maps could not be downloaded dynamically. If a server put up a new map, you had to quit the game, find their website, download the map pack, and then rejoin... so very few people even bothered, and they just played on the same 6 maps.

Second, the quality of the maps was horrendously spotty. Not that maps are so much better now, but there is a vastly larger community of mapmakers, paid and hobby, who now have years of experience under their belts. In 1997 and '98, when TF was at its peak, 3d map making tools had been available for a grand total of TWO years.

Third, having two professionally made, extremely balanced, beautifully decorated maps per year is about 2 more than most games get 3 years after they are released. Most games are lucky to get a patch for a critical bug 3 years after the developer has moved on.

I'm sorry, but while I too am uncertain whether TF2 will be worthwhile, I think your reasons for distrusting it are specious at best.

 
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News Comments > X3: Reunion 2.0 Patches
4. Re: No subject Nov 11, 2006, 11:09 The Raven
 
The 1.4 patch, several months ago, pretty much nixed all the 'it's still broken' type bugs. It's still a quirky game with a hideous UI, but there aren't any showstopper bugs that I'm aware of. I was able to play it through a couple times without problems.

 
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News Comments > Counter-Strike: Source Update
5. Re: No subject Nov 7, 2006, 02:50 The Raven
 
Valve is nearly unique in keeping their properties alive, for free, for many many years after the fact. I know of no other A title game that supports their products for 5+ years after you've paid for it, with new features, improved graphics, new content, etc.

I have bought every Valve game (or licensed property) ever released, for the simple reason that they are A) worth it out of the box, and usually B) vastly improved over the following years.

Heck, Counter Strike was free if you had a copy of Half Life. They boxed it, sold it, but it was still free if you owned HL. Then they released HL2... yeah, you had to buy a new one, but as long as you got the more expensive copy (HL2 Gold) you got all the sub-properties as well. And once again, they're trying to improve it... nearly two YEARS later. How can you not like that?

They're paying people wages to work on a two year old game, so that the people playing it can have more fun. Maybe you don't always like the changes, but it's a far sight better than most other places, which dump the old in favor of making you buy the new version every year or two (*cough*ElectronicArts*cough*UnrealTournament*cough*) with minor updates that aren't really worth a full boxed version.

Valve bought my loyalty long ago. Yes, I'm a fanboy. :-)

 
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Dreaming Demon, formerly Tikatt, formerly The Raven
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News Comments > Steamships Ahoy - Dark Messiah of Might and Magic
8. Can't Lose It Oct 25, 2006, 16:56 The Raven
 
I think Steam games should cost less than the brick & mortar versions too. I do like the fact that I can't lose my Steam games though. My computer could fry, my house could burn down, and I could move to Nicaragua... but as long as I have Internet, I can go online and download every game I've ever bought from them.

Very handy.

 
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Dreaming Demon, formerly Tikatt, formerly The Raven
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News Comments > Source Does a 360
18. Source vs Unreal vs Doom Oct 16, 2006, 19:33 The Raven
 
The three major FPS engines have very different focuses.

I have the least familiarity with the Doom engine, but as far as I understand it, the Doom engine is heavily reliant on modeling apps like 3dsmax; the pipline is create model -> render low poly version of model with normal maps to make up for polycount -> insert many many models into very low detail BSP terrain. Even the walls started out as models, and were then rendered down to normal maps. This is very detailed, but very art intensive.

Unreal is based on subtractive geometry. Rather than building boxes inside a vast empty space, you carve out holes in a vast blob of rock. While technically very similar to normal BSP terrain, conceptually it's easier, and it TENDS to be simpler to do. Unreal also tends to have simple world geometry made pretty with use of lots of models. The unreal engine is also very good at wide open areas due to their lighting engine being a tad less CPU intensive.

Finally, we have Steam. Steam relies on BSP constructed boxes (like Doom), but their textures are not designed to emulate geometry as much as Dooms textures. In addition, HDR is implemented via shaders rather than on the card hardware, which means that it performs a bit slower than hardware HDR, but almost all cards can also have anti-aliasing, which only a few can do with hardware HDR. Models are used more for physics objects and detail (like railings, windows) rather than for big structural features.

There are big behind the scene differences between the engines which are way over my head. Source games TEND to run the fastest on DX9 hardware, in part due to the simpler lighting model. Quake engine games can ratchet up the dark ambiance due to the fast directional lighting and unified lighting pipeline. And Unreal is a happy middle ground, more graphics card intensive than Source, but better at wide open spaces than Doom.

None of them are inherently better than the others. My personal preference lies towards Unreal, because I really like the well integrated IDE, but I tend to prefer the games made with the Source engine. Whether that's because of the developers behind it, or the engine itself, I cannot say.

Raven

 
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Dreaming Demon, formerly Tikatt, formerly The Raven
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News Comments > Counter-Strike Beta Test Plans
1. Counter Strike Economy Oct 7, 2006, 23:24 The Raven
 
I'm looking forward to the new economy. It should encourage more weapon variety by making the popular weapons more expensive, and the unpopular ones cheaper.

I may even need to rethink my 'nothing but full armor, a deagle, and a flashbang' setup.

 
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Dreaming Demon, formerly Tikatt, formerly The Raven
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News Comments > Enemy Territory: Quake Wars Update
18. Re: No subject Oct 7, 2006, 23:20 The Raven
 
quake world sucks

I think you're showing your age there. Quake World is a bit... old. Like, 1997 type 'old'.

For you young'uns, Quake World was a version of the original Quake with newer networking grafted on, so that it was playable online even with a higher than 50ms ping. Quake World (and GL Quake) were also some of the earliest examples of 'major free improvement after release', a mentality that continues today in companies like Valve, but otherwise is sorely missed in the games market.

This comment was edited on Oct 7, 23:21.
 
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Dreaming Demon, formerly Tikatt, formerly The Raven
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News Comments > Enemy Territory: Quake Wars Update
17. Money Talks Oct 7, 2006, 23:15 The Raven
 
I won't buy another version of BF until at least a month of good critical reviews convince me otherwise. But (while I hate EA's internal politics), it's not because it is published by EA.

It's because it's developed by Dice. From the BEGINNING, Dice has released buggy, problematic games. They had a great design, and they've ground it into the dirt for 5 years with their shoddy programming. It's sad.

But, back to ET:QW... I'm definitely looking forward to it. I like ET quite a bit, I'll be interested to see if they are able to make maps a bit easier on noobs to learn.

 
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239 Comments. 12 pages. Viewing page 9.
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