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Real Name WaltC   
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Nickname WaltC
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Signed On Jan 31, 2003, 04:03
Total Comments 526 (Apprentice)
User ID 16008
 
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News Comments > CDPR on Witcher 3 Graphics Downgrades
14. Re: CDPR on Witcher 3 Graphics Downgrades May 21, 2015, 09:47 WaltC
 
Verno wrote on May 21, 2015, 09:28:
Marketing is a tough balancing act as Ubisoft has found out recently with backlash over their displayed vs actual products. In the case of The Witcher 3 I find the game overall to be so nice looking that I don't mind any downgrades.

That's just it--there aren't any downgrades...;) The game is far, far better looking (on the PC) than all of those fake "downgrade" screen shots we saw a couple of days before launch.

Contrasting the released game with the state of the game two years ago makes no sense at all...for more than one reason, too.

1) Nobody, but nobody, would have thought much of this game had it been released in 2013 in the state it was in...;) The released game is infinitely better.

2) There are going to be many improvements made for the PC version as time goes on, as CDPR has already said and as the company has done with every Witcher release to date.

Big brouhaha over nothing, essentially!
 
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News Comments > Morning Metaverse
2. Re: Morning Metaverse May 18, 2015, 11:40 WaltC
 
Ozmodan wrote on May 18, 2015, 10:36:
Oh course the US is down near the bottom when it comes to internet speeds as the cable monopolies limit their investment in more infrastructure. And people wonder why the FCC acts the way they do.

Yeah, gosh, that must be why in a US city where I can choose between AT&T and Comcast that I was able to choose a third alternative (a Cogent ISP) that is providing me with ~50Mb/s down and up for less than what Comcast was charging me for 6Mb/s d/512k u in 2010. It must be because "the cable monopolies are deliberately holding me hostage to the slowest Internet on the planet," of course...;)

The FCC is such a sharp cookie, in fact, that it is trying to apply a century-old law (Title II) meant for telcos way back then, laws which allowed the Federal government to grant AT&T a legal long-distance phone service monopoly in the US for decades--to the Internet, today. Wheeler is so sharp that he has announced that he is going to single-handedly change the Title II specifications to make them fit ISPs because at the moment they don't--for all of the obvious reasons. The only problem, of course, is that neither Wheeler nor the FCC has the authority to rewrite the Title II laws--only Congress has that authority. Just like the last time, the FCC will regrettably have to be shown that in court. They know it, though.

So what is really going on? You are observing a pristine example of "political grandstanding." Obama, Wheeler, and other Democrats know full well that Congress (since they lost it to the Republicans) will never pass a "Title III" specifically aimed at the ISPs who gave us the Internet as we know it (government had nothing to do with it--except laying off of taxing it for a while.) They also know they are going to have to explain in court why the FCC has already legally classified the Internet as an "Information service" and not a "Communications service" of the kind that might be regulated under the Title II provisions.

The real aim here is that ultimately the government wants to be able to tax and control the entire Internet--they also want to use it as a political football just like the Democrats are using it at the moment. There's not a single thing the FCC has mandated that will improve the lot of any Internet ISP customer in the US today...;) Not one...! You can't provide any anecdotes as to "how much better things are now than they were" on the Internet because no such situations exist...! It's all really funny. The national Democrats in the country think the voters are stupidos who require a ruling elite to "guide" them. It's all a sham, though, to disguise their naked, never-ending lust for more and more political power, imo. It's going to be very entertaining to see how all of this grandstanding and posturing plays out...;)
 
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News Comments > NVIDIA Drivers for The Witcher 3
7. Re: NVIDIA Drivers for The Witcher 3 May 18, 2015, 10:57 WaltC
 
qsto wrote on May 18, 2015, 10:36:

Anyhow, I fail to understand how new set of drivers could have anything to do with "marketing", please enlighten me.

Glad to...;) nVidia has a long and glorious history (some would say inglorious) of hyping driver releases that essentially don't do much of anything differently than the last driver set. Many, many years ago, nVidia launched for the first time (not the last!) a set of drivers it explosively named "Detonators"...;) According to nVidia, these drivers provided "up to 50%" performance increases in some games. It got a lot of press at the time because no one could find the 50% anywhere--it being very difficult to find even 5% in most cases. That was around the the general time frame in which nVidia was also discovered to have optimized its drivers to substitute a camera on rails event in a popular 3dMark benchmark at the time (detecting that the bench was being run and then changing things), in which the whole idea of the benchmark was that the *benchmark* controlled the camera--not the IHV videocard driver (for obvious reasons)...;) nVidia took a while denying it all before they finally said "Uncle!" and copped to the whole thing. But anyway...you asked...;)

I rather doubt any of that applies here, though...;) Both IHVs use the event of a new game launch to hype a drivers' release--whether it really does much of anything differently is unknown, of course. It's just a way for both IHVs to get some free PR on the back of a big game launch--or even a little one, for that matter. This is supposedly a TWIMTBP nVidia-sponsored title, so nVidia should have refined its drivers to optimally run W3 code weeks if not months ago, already. But sometimes the game developer will change something at the last minute that requires something new from the 3d-card IHV. "Only your IHV knows for sure"...;)
 
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News Comments > Project CARS Livery Pack Released; AMD Optimizations Coming
15. Re: Project CARS Livery Pack Released; AMD Optimizations Coming May 8, 2015, 12:34 WaltC
 
Any game developer whose game doesn't run decently on one of the two IHV's 3d gpus, and who is blaming the hardware IHV for that situation, is simply trying to cover up the fact that as the game developer he didn't use [in this case] AMD hardware when he was developing the game. Had they been doing so they'd have seen the problems and reached out to AMD to correct the situation *before* the game shipped. That's only what smart, high-quality developers do because it makes so much sense: as a game developer your goal is to sell as many copies of your game as you can, and that means that your game needs to run well on as wide a latitude of hardware as is possible. Blaming AMD or nVidia because of the work you didn't do as the developer, and trying to pass the buck to either of them is the mark of a sub-standard developer, imo.

It's the game developer's responsibility to ensure that his game runs well everywhere, and if it doesn't, it's the game developer's responsibility to reach out to the IHV concerned to find out why. That's just common sense.

In this case, it doesn't appear that the developers even used AMD hardware for testing during development, and that they think it's up to AMD to "reach out to them" as opposed to them reaching out to AMD before the game ships in order to get such problems solved before they start negatively cutting into your game sales. Not doing that is either lazy or stupid or both. Not pleasant, but there it is.
 
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News Comments > Morning Metaverse
9. Re: Morning Metaverse May 8, 2015, 12:16 WaltC
 
He
She
It

I think that covers the bases these days...;)

Amazon should be the first to boldly bring "It" out of the closet, as in, "Look at these fine toys for the It in your family!"

The 1% of weirdophiles are ruining public schools for the 99% of sane humanity. (Get your kids out of public schools, now, because a mind is a terrible thing to waste!)
 
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News Comments > Evening Consolidation
4. Re: Evening Consolidation May 7, 2015, 21:04 WaltC
 
Does anyone alive actually *believe* the nonsense the marketers spew about game consoles? It's unreal...;) It's hilarious! What buffoons...!

 
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News Comments > Morning Tech Bits
4. Re: Morning Tech Bits May 7, 2015, 12:56 WaltC
 
Yea, gosh, AMD will soon be releasing a new high-end gpu with HBM...so "disappointing"...[not]...;)

 
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News Comments > Steam Ending Paid Mods; Providing Refunds
21. Re: Steam Ending Paid Mods; Providing Refunds Apr 27, 2015, 22:46 WaltC
 
Creston wrote on Apr 27, 2015, 22:02:
Yeah, it'll be interesting to see what Beth's attitude becomes to simple things such as "cleaning" your mods. They refuse to do so for their DLCs, because they don't support modding, and cleaning mods is only an issue if you use mods/extra content.

So what, Beth, are you going to keep releasing dirty DLCs that will fuck up massively with other mods installed, when those mods have been paid for and you took your fucking ridiculous 66% cut?

(Actually, I already know the answer to this, it's yes. They still won't give a shit.)

Creston,

If Beth doesn't want modding they wouldn't include the modding tools that they do with their games...;) I don't think there's any doubt that they support the idea of modding, and that they recognize the enormous impact it's had on the sales of Skyrim--but of course they can't support individual mods they themselves didn't create/code. I wouldn't expect them to.
 
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News Comments > Steam Ending Paid Mods; Providing Refunds
19. Re: Steam Ending Paid Mods; Providing Refunds Apr 27, 2015, 22:37 WaltC
 
Unexpectedly rapid and proper response, Valve. Everybody makes mistakes, but as me pappy used to say, it takes a big man to admit them (pun intended.) Good call.

I have absolutely no quarrel with modders asking for voluntary contributions--as they've always done when they felt right asking for contributions. It's true: the chances are far better that modders make more money that way than taking 25% of a set price from Valve--bad move. The idea of monetizing sword-sheath skins and other petty cosmetic like that things like that really stinks...;) Let's keep PC gaming untouched by the nickel & dime degradation that has hit other so-called "gaming" markets.
 
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News Comments > Morning Legal Briefs
2. Re: Morning Legal Briefs Apr 27, 2015, 10:57 WaltC
 
The present administration in Washington will likely go down in history as one of the dumbest, most backwards-looking administrations in U.S. history. The problem is that whenever the government steps in and interferes with private business on whatever pretext it uses, it's always for the sake of "the consumer." However, rarely can it be shown that the consumer benefits. How the TWC customers are supposed to benefit from continuing on as TWC customers beats me. I've not seen anything to support that position come out of Washington. What I have seen is the government acting on anti-Comcast sentiment that is 100% emotional/political--so it was not "the consumer" who benefited here: it was the anti-Comcast crowd. Makes me feels sorry for the ailing TWC's customer base.

Comcast could do better, though, in upgrading its own Internet
infrastructure to a minimum of 25Mbs/sec down for the rates it presently supplies 6Mb/sec down. Had the company done that first and then sought the merger--it's likely it would have been greenlighted from the get-go. Resisting universally higher broadband connection speeds will not help Comcast in any way.
 
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News Comments > Steam Launches Paid Mod Support
39. Re: Steam Launches Paid Mod Support Apr 23, 2015, 16:38 WaltC
 
jimnms wrote on Apr 23, 2015, 14:38:
Fuck you Valve! Nexus Mods has had a donate button forever, and I'm OK with that. Steam should have just added a donate button or a pay what you want or not at all model. I don't see any good coming out of this.

I disagree...I don't think Valve should have even a "donate" button because (as Gabe likes to brag so much) Valve is a large & profitable company, making its money from the resale of other people's work--like Windows and the various game developers who put their games on Steam where Valve makes 30% of the gross proceeds.

(If it weren't for Microsoft's Windows, and the gigantic market Microsoft has spent 30 years and many billions of dollars building, billions that Valve will never earn, Valve would have closed shop years ago, due to lack of interest. But Newell had the gall to go hysterical about Microsoft just because they opened an online store. Earth to Newell: Valve doesn't own the Internet and never will.)

But Nexus has always been struggling and what the Nexus guys have done over the years is pretty much legendary. (I remember many years ago when I thought "the Nexus" was some weird Chinese web site, or something...;)) Donating to Nexus makes sense for me--I derive a lot from the site; donating to Valve makes no sense at all for me.

I don't use Steam Workshop for mods anyway because of its auto update system. Skyrim is especially sensitive to mod changes. Some mods require you to go through specific steps before updating to a newer version, and I've even seen some mod updates require a new game.

That's exactly why I haven't used it. Those auto-updates are ridiculous, especially if the mod is a large one!...;) I've wondered why Valve can't see how loony-tunes that is. It may be a bit different for games--but still, Valve has fallen down on that, too--because often their game updates will be GBs in size whereas the same update on Gog is 10% as large and does exactly the same thing.

Even though it has been a while since I played Skyrim, I just checked out three random mods that I use that appeared in the pay list on Steam. All three of those mods are now pay what you want, with a 99 cent minimum, and are no longer available on the Nexus. It looks like users aren't happy about it either based on the bad ratings and comments being posted.

That's ridiculous! 99 cents? With Valve getting 75% of *that*! The modders who think that's wonderful will be amazed at how quickly their mods tank in popularity and use--maybe they can eat out once or twice (At McDonald's?) on the money this brain-dead move will make them...;)

If I paid 99 cents for every mod I use right now, it would cost more than I paid for the fucking game at release.

Valve has made the greed mistake. Yeah, I think hogging 75% of the mod proceeds is extremely greedy--because the better modded games will sell more games for Valve! That's the whole idea of mods--it gives modders a chance to express themselves for some positive notoriety in the community.

I'm sure Valve sold this line to its prospective victims: "Hey, look at all the work you've done...don't you think you *deserve* some money for your efforts?" Well, gee, apparently when the mods were created--pocket-change money was the last thing on these people's minds. But I keep coming back to how greedy 75% of the proceeds is. Developers don't pay Valve 75% of their money--they'd laugh in Newell's face if he so much as suggested it. So why should modders?

Modding isn't game development--usually there aren't 40 people working on a mod and modders aren't spending millions of dollars to create them. Modding is something far different--modding is for individuals who want to make a mark but don't want to spend millions of dollars they don't have. Trying to monetize modding seems like a fool's errand to me for a lot of reasons: if game developers (who often do spend millions) thought that free mods ate into their DLC business (they don't)--wait 'til they get a load of this...;)

 
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News Comments > Steam Launches Paid Mod Support
28. Re: Steam Launches Paid Mod Support Apr 23, 2015, 15:49 WaltC
 
I don't like this one bit. It's going to ruin modding--maybe. OTOH, Nexus is still there and will continue hosting mods for the community, and I think a lot of modders are going to resist getting locked into Steam--I mean, that's a lot of work to do just to give Valve 75% of your proceeds. This actually has the real potential to drive people away from Steam, imo. Bad Move.

OTOH, there exist stupid developers who simply don't understand that providing great modding tools with your game will wildly accelerate the number of people who buy your game. Bethesda saw that with Skyrim, in spades: the PC version is still the version to own, and it's partly because of the modding community.

Every day the PC as a platform is getting the recognition it has long deserved. Consoles are a bad hangover from the years (long ago) when powerful gaming rigs cost $5k-$10k...;) Consoles looked great at the $400-$600 levels, comparatively. But today you can smoke either the PS4 or the xBone with a PC that costs just a wee bit more! And, you can put it together yourself and cherry-pick the components. Building your own box today is a no-brainer, imo. (I've been doing that since 1995, so, yes, I'm prejudiced. But it's the only way to go.) The fact is that no hardware OEM knows as much about what you like as you do, which is why "rolling your own" gaming box makes so much sense. Let's tell Valve, "Thanks, but we'll pass."
 
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News Comments > Saturday Legal Briefs
4. Re: Saturday Legal Briefs Apr 18, 2015, 22:29 WaltC
 
The really crazy thing is that if the FBI had put under-cover agents into the illegal betting pool then that would have been allowed (as a routine under-cover operation.) But the government's argument that these agents were "invited" in is spurious in the extreme: nobody invited any FBI agents in--they invited the cable-guys in to fix the cable without "fixing" anything else...;)

Anyway I find it highly amusing that the casinos call the cops on some guy who is "taking bets without a license"--one gambling house sicking the cops on another group of gamblers. Those Las Vegas casinos want to make sure that *nobody* cuts into what they see as "their action"...;) That's why the casinos fight so hard to keep Internet poker illegal and out of business. Lol...;) Here we've got the government posing as cable guys to bust an illegal gambling operation at the behest of legal gambling operations. You can't make this stuff up...:)
 
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News Comments > New Mass Effect Details?
8. Re: New Mass Effect Details? Apr 18, 2015, 22:14 WaltC
 
I'd dearly love to see someone come along with a graphically renovated, up-to-date version of StarFlight. Taking wormholes to distant star systems (or just traveling there while consuming a lot more fuel), mapping solar systems, orbiting planets and then scanning them for life and/or mineral deposits, landing and then taking an ATV out to look at the alien scenery in person--to start mining operations and capturing and/or battling the native lifeforms...;) I'm constantly surprised year after year that nobody's done that yet. The possibilities are endless...!

Why do lame, old-fashioned scf-fi themed corridor shooters when so much more is possible? An honest-to-goodness single-player sci-fi RPG would open up an exciting new landscape of the imagination. Somebody is going to do it I'm sure...and they're going to hit a big pot of gold at the end of the rainbow when they do! Something fresh and original--something no one is familiar with and new (unlike the tired Star Wars, or the overworked Mass Effect universe--yawn.) It's only a matter of time.
 
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News Comments > 2K Australia Closing
10. Re: 2K Australia Closing Apr 16, 2015, 21:54 WaltC
 
It all boils down to it costing too much money to develop games at present--maybe I can phrase that better: developer management doesn't need 40 people working round the clock to develop 6-8 titles and DLC extensions simultaneously. Ten to fifteen skilled developers working on *one game at a time* is what's needed. Pretty much, the current business model for game development is broken badly--companies that succeed do so despite the bad management of personnel and resources--not because of it. It's why really great AAA titles take 2-3 years to hit the market, and then the patch cycle begins: development studios need to be focused on *1* title at a time instead of often having teams of people working at cross purposes on 4-6 differing projects.

Wherever there is waste and inefficiency you'll find bad management. It's not much more complicated than that. The size of today's PC game software market (not even counting consoles) is giganormous (orders of magnitude larger than it was in 1990) and if a company does things even half-right it can succeed wildly. When a company does well and still winds up shuttered--you can thank the management for that, entirely.
 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
5. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 10, 2015, 15:14 WaltC
 
The government has appropriated far too much of the people's land for itself--which means the people in the country can't do anything but look at it, and only under certain conditions. It's gratifying to see a small percentage of it returned to the people so they can make decisions on how to use it. The environmentalists have just about parched California dry with their "no new reservoir" policy of the last few decades--and the current administration would prefer that oil cost $5 a gallon as opposed to building new refineries/pipelines--even though the US population has doubled over the last 30 years. If there's a policy guaranteed to take the country backwards, you can be sure the Democrats are out front leading the way back--I often think they'd prefer we all went back to caves, lived by fire, and hunted mammoths and fish with stone spears...;)  
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News Comments > The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Speedrun ~25 Hours
17. Re: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Speedrun ~25 Hours Apr 10, 2015, 15:03 WaltC
 
Speedrun: skipping 80% of everything the game offers. Why anyone would wish to do that is beyond me. Fastest speedrun possible: don't play the game at all...;) Or you could watch the intro and then roll the ending credits, I guess. How profound.

 
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News Comments > Morning Mobilization
8. Re: Morning Mobilization Apr 7, 2015, 12:23 WaltC
 
While iPad sales continue to decline, sales of ~$200 Windows notebooks (netbooks + 1) and Android Chromebooks (strangely enough, Netbooks -1) continue to soar. The iPad is a fad already waning (as I thought it would from iPad day 1.)

Poor Peter Bright...;) Did you see the Interview he did with Thurrott? All I could think of was: "Peter Bright looks a fright!" Heh..;) Aside from having lost most of his teeth, he's about 50 lbs. heavier than his Ars picture. I can't stomach Ars anymore...bunch of elitist whiners and scaremongers...which is too bad, considering the potential the site had at one time.
 
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News Comments > The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt Video
5. Re: The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt Video Apr 6, 2015, 21:30 WaltC
 
Incredible...this clip was beautiful...The game itself must be gorgeous...loved the breeze blowing through the trees--had to keep reminding myself I wasn't watching a movie...;) We are in all likelihood looking Game of the Year, 2015. This one is a must-have.  
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News Comments > Morning Legal Briefs
2. Re: Morning Legal Briefs Mar 31, 2015, 12:18 WaltC
 
Cook is the dangerous party, imo...If I discover a business doesn't want my business for whatever the reason, do I...

a) Find another business run by someone who appreciates my business and will value it

or

b) Take the businessman who doesn't want my business to court to force him to do business with me...?

If you said "B" you can join Tim Cook in the corner with his dunce cap in place...;)

According to the GLBT alliance, the only group in the US that does not have the right to be offended is the 98%-99% heterosexual majority.
 
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