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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 411 (Amateur)
User ID 16008
 
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News Comments > Dishonored Reviews
61. Re: Dishonored Reviews Oct 8, 2012, 19:29 WaltC
 
Creston wrote on Oct 8, 2012, 11:26:
Yakubs wrote on Oct 8, 2012, 10:34:
Deus Ex: HR being a recent example.

Funny, I'd say DE:HR was one of the best games ever made.

Creston

OK, look--time to get serious. Everyone knows that the best game ever made was Might & Magic VI. Right? Right. 'Cause I'm like playing it through right now again for probably the 10th time...;)

Just thought we should should clear the air about this...M&M VI has yet to be surpassed. Tarzan and the Tree Monkeys from Mt. Doom came close--but no cigar.



 
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News Comments > Carrier Command: Gaea Mission Demo
14. Re: Carrier Command: Gaea Mission Demo Oct 5, 2012, 16:40 WaltC
 
Ludomancer wrote on Oct 5, 2012, 03:29:
I was a huge fan of the original on Amiga. I bought into the beta of this one because I really wanted to support it. Might be the last Bohemia Interactive game I buy. Who the FUCK do they have developing their games these days? Fucking piece of shit. Shit controls, shit gameplay, shit AI, shit everything. Fucking idiots..... Just idiots....

If you hadn't mentioned the Amiga version, I would have...;) Fond memories of the game--so so cool to get camera views from planes, the carrier, ground units, etc. I don't recall much more about it than that, really, except that it was fun and kind of unique. It's too bad this game doesn't measure up--ah, back in those days you had to low-level program to make anything happen--these days everything is so high-level it often seems like there's a mile between code command and the hardware...! Think they can patch it up by Christmas?

Edit: Tried to run it five times after install in Win7x64--installed in admin mode, btw. Tried to run in both normal and admin mode, in both Win7 & WinXP SP3 mode--locks up every time before opening the main campaign--have to alt-ctrl-dlt to get out of it as I can't even alt-TAB to get out of it when it locks. Tried changing the "W" in the key bindings twice, to the up-arrow key--locked up both times at that point. Yea, if the demo is this bad I shudder to think what the game must be like. How could they put something like this out for distribution? It's a real shame.

This comment was edited on Oct 5, 2012, 18:16.
 
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News Comments > Torchlight II and Demo Available; MMO Questions
71. Re: Torchlight II and Demo Available; MMO Questions Sep 22, 2012, 05:15 WaltC
 
RollinThundr wrote on Sep 22, 2012, 01:07:
I think a major reason TLII reminds people so much of Diablo 2 aside from the obvious being the same genre type of game, is it's like the ripped half the music and sound effects right from Diablo 2. Seriously listen to the musical arrangement during act 1, It's like a rearranged Diablo 2 Act 1 with some of the melody actually identical in spots.

Same thing with alot of the spell sounds/contact sounds, pretty much identical to Diablo 2. It's like after these guys got the axe at Blizz north they took the source code for D2 with em to reuse later.

At any rate for 20 bucks it's not bad. Visually it's terrible but eh it's a budget game.

You are exactly right! But what always seems to be forgotten in these discussions is that Runic consists of many developers who have already proven themselves by helping to create many games before T1 and T2. Runic may be an "indie" company, but it isn't staffed by "indie developers" by a long shot...;) The Runic developers include three developers, I believe, who originally founded Blizzard North and were on the development teams for both D1 and D2...! So, if anyone has the know-how and the ethical right to develop a game very similar spiritually to D2 and D2, it would be Runic, imo.

I really doubt there's a single song in the entire T2 sound track that directly copies and rips off a song or songs from the original games (that would be copyright infringement)--but what I think they've done is simply imitated the *style* of the music in D2 for T2, as opposed to the music itself, note for note. As for the sound effects--I noticed that they are similar, but certainly a bit different from the D2 sound effects. Even so, you are right in that both the sound track and sound effects scream "Diablo 2"!

It is very effective and it does put one in the "Diablo 2" mood...if such a thing actually exists..;) For some reason, D2 was perceived as a unique and highly original game at its release; so unique that lots of people who played T2 could instantly recognize the style of the music and sound effects as coming directly from the original two Diablo games. Considering how long it has been since I played Diablo 2, I think it's remarkable that we remember those games so well! There are dozens of good games I own or have owned and played over the years that I would be hard-pressed to identify by their sound tracks and sound effects, even though I may have loved the games! That's a great tribute to the earlier Diablo games--that we recall them so well.

I don't know what you mean about "terrible graphics"--they look very nice to me. The only graphics I did not care for were the cut-scenes (a different style from the game's art)--but at least they don't interfere with the gameplay. Aside from that it's the gameplay that I cherish most in a game--any game--and T2 brings that home dramatically. I think the game graphics are fine.

Four things I don't like about Diablo 3 that T2 handled far better:

*$20 is a great price for a new game--any game--if the game is any good, that is. (If a game is poor then even $20 MSRPs won't help it sell.) Not only is the cost light on our pocketbooks, it also will mean Runic will earn far more money than would have been true had they tried to get $60 a pop, because they will sell many more copies and also because of the very reasonable price tag, the game will be pirated far less than would have been the case at $60 a pop.

*Always-on Internet connection required even for the single-player version of Diablo 3. Terrible management strategy decision. T2 single player doesn't even look at the Internet...;)

*No modding allowed in D3--at all, whatsoever. Horrible management decision. As an example, Skyrim wouldn't be half the game that it is without the community mods that have flourished for the game. T2 will, of course, allow and encourage modders, but D3 will not allo community mods.

*the Auction Houses. In rpgs, even arpgs, the idea is to uncover special, really cool weapons and armor, among other things, in the very natural act of simply playing the game and exploring! The auction houses cheapen this concept if they do not downright hurt the game itself. I can't believe, knowing that, that some people would actually rather fork over *real money* to an AH to secure certain virtual items, instead of playing the game and finding them themselves--seems to me to be pretty much a kind of cheat that Blizzard has created in the game. Less objectionable is the second AH, because it only deals in in-game gold. But, no matter, it still takes exotic "loot" out of the game and puts in an Auction House. How can that not hurt the game?
 
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News Comments > Torchlight II and Demo Available; MMO Questions
69. Re: Torchlight II and Demo Available; MMO Questions Sep 22, 2012, 00:59 WaltC
 
Optional nickname wrote on Sep 21, 2012, 10:10:

Extremely polished, Extremely worth not $20, but $60.

Actually, I wish you wouldn't say that...;) It just shows how you've become conditioned to think that "$60" is "the right price" to pay for a game of decent to outstanding quality. I think Runic has got it right, though, because in charging $20 they are bound to sell many more copies than they would have sold at $60, and so they are bound to make a lot more money with the game than they would have at a $60 per-copy MSRP. Piracy will be greatly reduced, too, from what it would have been with a $60 MSRP. People have got to quit responding like Pavlov's dogs when they hear a bell...;) Runic is ahead of the curve with their pricing metrics--they've got the right approach where so many game developers don't have a clue--which is a pity for them and us.

The musical Soundtrack is so effing beautiful, it is actually overpowering to this cartoony like game, to a point, but I shall let it play in TL2, and never ever bring that into Diablo3, shame on those that consider this.

I was very pleased about the fact that the game itself doesn't look "cartoonish" at all! The cut-scenes are all cartoon, though, but thankfully they aren't worth our attention in the scheme of the game.

the isometric view is zoomed out a touch at 1080p, but it is a very welcomed change, albeit the small monster appearance, I haven't seen the rest, but so far they looked a little translucent

Use the mouse wheel and zoom in about as close as you like. Apparently, you haven't done that yet. I'm playing at 1920x1200 and the resolution *and* the UI scale beautifully--you can even scale the UI independently of the game--I found that at my resolution 80% scaling on the UI is perfect for me.


edit: Forgot to say my favorite part, this game is like Dungeon Seige 1 , but so much better! THANK YOU FOR THIS!

Dungeon Siege had far more of story than T2, and wasn't particularly Diablo1/2-like at all, but I love T2 because it reminds me so much of D2 which I thoroughly enjoyed on my 3dfx V3, IIRC...;) I love the music and the atmosphere of T2.

The one thing I recall about Dungeon Siege was that you could rotate the camera on the x axis 360-degrees around your character/party--you couldn't rotate on the Y axis completely--but it made Dungeon Siege seem a lot closer to a real 3d game than the frozen isometric view that T1 and T2, and probably D2, as well, are limited to.

Thanks for reminding me that the next "old" game I'll have to buy when it comes out--say on GoG.com--is the original Dungeon Siege. I think it was the best in the series, and that the franchise went downhill quickly after the first one.
 
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News Comments > Black Mesa Released
65. Re: Black Mesa Released Sep 14, 2012, 20:42 WaltC
 
Downloading at the moment, but am still confused on the qualitative/quantitative differences between Black Mesa and Half-Life Source...? Like, for instance, what makes this better than HL Source?

(Edited for clarity)



This comment was edited on Sep 14, 2012, 20:51.
 
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News Comments > Black Mesa Source This Month
53. Re: Black Mesa Source This Month Sep 2, 2012, 23:03 WaltC
 
Mad Max RW wrote on Sep 2, 2012, 13:42:
nin wrote on Sep 2, 2012, 13:38:
It's a free mod...try and sound a little more entitled, ok?


Typical apologist reply right there. Try to sound a little less cliched, ok? Next you're going to claim I know nothing about taking on a huge modding project. I dare you.

Eight years and it's not finished.

Apologist?...;) What are you smokin'? Like he said, this game mod is *free*--rather than complaining, you should be grateful they are developing it and allowing you to play it for absolutely nothing in return. Of course, you need not play it at all if you don't choose to.

I don't care if it's been 20 years and *not finished*...;) It's a friggin' mod, and it's *free.* What's not to like?

You'd be wise to learn meaning of ancient Chinese proverb: "He who look Gift Horse in Mouth Usually Is Eaten by Same" Here's another that goes with it, I think: "He who buys xBox has bitter mouth because he has no mods" And one more: "He who has no Steam account is like angry old woman with no shoes who walks on hot coals"...

Is that your particular problem? You sound pretty bitter about something--but somehow, complaining about a free game mod as if you'd paid a bundle for it and you'd like a refund is particularly unconvincing, strange, and bizarre.
 
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News Comments > Torchlight 2 Next Month
53. Re: Torchlight 2 Next Month Sep 1, 2012, 00:54 WaltC
 
WarpCrow wrote on Aug 31, 2012, 10:55:
InBlack wrote on Aug 31, 2012, 10:20:
I tried GW2 at my store today. Aside from the pretty graphics it plays and feels exactly like WoW. Somehow I thought it was going to be more Diablo-esque. Oh well.

I'm not sure how you got that impression. They're utterly different games in many ways; they just happen to belong to the same genre. It's a bit like saying BF3 and CoD feel exactly the same because they're both multiplayer FPS with a leveling system and a similar setting.

Torchlight surprised the heck out of me in how much like Diablo 2 it was/is--the music, the pacing, the voicing--almost everything--it's D2 down to its nubs...;) I liked Torchlight for that because it brought back great memories of D2 so long ago...I was very disappointed to see that D3 was Diablo in name only--didn't buy it and won't play it as I'm no pirate. There's only one thing I hate more than "always online" game designs (because Murphy's Law will always manage to screw things up), and that's...

Cartoon computer games! Argghghghghggjh! Aiyee-ee-e! Ugh-up-chuck! Eeeeeoooowwww!

From what little I've seen of T2 up to now I'm not sure if it's a cartoon or it isn't. T1 definitely wasn't. I did look at an early trailer for T2, and like Borderlands it looks (to me) ridiculously cartoonish--a style I really hate in computer games because it makes me feel as if I am being pandered to in the worst way: as if I am a baby doing a number in my swaddled diapers who still gets a kick out of the Cartoon Network, worships Sponge Bob, and sniffs his tightly clenched, fragrant "boo blanket" while sucking and gnawing his thumb down to the bone!...;)

That's a bit over the top, I know, but I really don't like the cartoon style in computer-game artwork--it very nearly offends me, and that's saying something because I am not easily offended at all. It's like "Wot? You want me to buy this tot's toy, this "play Army" cartoon crammed full of utterly unbelievable explosions in the name of pumping up 'PhysX' while deflating the player's gray matter--you want me to buy that? Wot's that? And you want me to pay $50 for the privilege?" "OK, tell you what...I think I can reach my shotgun in the den inside my locked gun display case in about...oh, 12.657 seconds, as mad as you've made me, because I have the key in my hand right now and the gun is loaded!" (Bad policy, I know.) "So I think if you start right now you can make the door and clear the yard before my artificially rusted and poisoned buckshot penetrates your--" (The guy is gone in a flash and I relax thinking how close I came to doing something really stoopid!)

So you see where I am on Borderlands. I hope that T2 is no cartoon and carries on in the inimitable style of D2 and Torchlight! I pray that Travis has resisted the urge to ruin his franchise by making it all "new and improved"! So new and improved, in fact, that it doesn't resemble his other games, which are sacred and revered.

Let us pray for sanity and depth among game developers. I curse thee, cartoon, and consign thee to the lowest level of hell's hottest dungeons where you shall dwell in great, steaming piles of baby poop until you are dead.

(Gosh, I'm emotional about this, I guess)
 
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News Comments > Broken Sword Kickstarter
20. Re: Broken Sword Kickstarter Aug 24, 2012, 12:43 WaltC
 
Cutter wrote on Aug 23, 2012, 15:50:
The hero is a lawyer? Pass.

It's OK. He's been disbarred.
 
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News Comments > I Am Alive PC Edition Lives
27. Re: I Am Alive PC Edition Lives Aug 24, 2012, 10:42 WaltC
 
I can go to GoG and buy ~20-year-old, AAA titles that require at least 50 hours to complete for $5-$10--damn good games--and these guys are peddling 3 hours of game play for $15? Are they insane? That's demo material! No wonder these Ubi folks are so screwed up when it comes to computer games--they have no clue. They have to be some of the dumbest adults in the industry--*are* they adults? It doesn't sound like that.



 
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News Comments > Project Copernicus Footage; Details
12. Re: Project Copernicus Footage; Details Aug 23, 2012, 10:16 WaltC
 
Agreed there was no fraud. The state invested money in a private company in a bid to bring in jobs and that is what the state got. There are no guarantees in business--just ask the Obama administration about Solyndra and solar power...;) (How would you like to have to own up to losing .5 billion dollars of Federal taxpayer money?) By contrast to what the Federal government throws away each year, 38 Studios was peanuts.

But there's the irony...there's no guarantee in business, but without successful business there is no money to pay the taxes that government itself needs to stay solvent--of course, our Federal government hasn't been exactly "solvent" in many decades. If you or I handled our finances the same way that government handles its finances, we'd be in jail, most likely. Why is it that government is able to write bad checks whenever it likes (called deficit spending in gov speak) but you and I cannot?

Anyway, I have to agree with those who see nothing in this trailer or any other trailer I've seen that would come close to justifying 38 Studio's existence. This is what happens when you pull together the money and resources to make a game before you have a concrete idea of the game you want to develop: you spend all of your time and money arguing about what kind of game you "ought" to make. Sadly enough, that should have been known before the company incorporated.

I feel sorry for Schiller. His heart was in the right place. He now knows through bitter experience that the gaming business is nowhere near as idealistic a place as he obviously thought it was. Whether it's game developers or NASA scientists, eating is priority #1--everything else runs a distant second. These folks strung Schiller along as far as possible, which was several years--right up until they closed the doors, turned out the lights and said goodnight.

Lesson learned: people who cannot cook should not open restaurants as their primary business. People who cannot develop game software should not open game development houses as their primary business. People who do these things ignorantly will more than likely just be lead down the primrose path to insolvency.
 
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News Comments > Jay Wilson Apologies for Diablo III Comment; Discusses Game's Future
40. Re: Jay Wilson Apologies for Diablo III Comment; Discusses Game's Future Aug 23, 2012, 09:37 WaltC
 
It's just too bad that Blizzard was able to use the name "Diablo III" in the first place, because that was the obvious driver behind the initial sales numbers, and for that Blizzard owes Brevik just about the whole enchilada; just about everything. It's obvious that the developers at Blizzard these days are egotistical shadows of original Diablo developers--get a load of those comments? Good grief, they sound like spoiled brats denied candy bars.

What Blizzard developers should have said is something more along the lines of, "Hey, if it wasn't for Brevik we wouldn't have this franchise to develop, and the earlier Diablo games were such smash successes that this one wouldn't have been possible in their absence. We need to consult with Brevik and get his input on how we can improve things still further."

Between the lines: The developers of Diablo III missed the boat with the game because they never understood the first Diablo games, especially Diablo 2. Loot? The game was about a hell of a lot more than loot. It was fun it was single-player and it was by turns both scary and exhilarating. It had just tons of atmosphere that was utterly unique to anything that had gone before. Did I mention how much fun it was in single player? There was no condescension to MMO mediocrity, there were no cheap, unworkable gimmicks like mob-based "loot auction houses" and so on. Because Diablo II completely lacked the core of Diablo III, it was very successful.

Blizzard could have done a hell of a lot better with this game if it had worried a lot more about game play than it worried about piracy, in the process ensuring a great title that would have sold extremely well no matter what. Bottom line is that if a game design will help frustrate pirates but alienates players while doing so it's a poor game design. The developers of Diablo III need to go back to school and let the developers of Diablo II show them how it's done. Diablo III was a cheap spin-off shadow of Diablo II, and looks and plays accordingly.
 
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News Comments > Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95%
118. Re: Ubisoft: PC Piracy Rate 93-95% Aug 22, 2012, 19:32 WaltC
 
spacecadet wrote on Aug 22, 2012, 12:01:
As someone who works in the gaming industry I have to say his numbers look about right. Once you start considering countries like China and Brazil the piracy rates shoot through the roof. The entire comment is about those countries, but everyone here takes it as an attack on western gamers, that is funny in so many ways.


Your own post is actually pretty funny...;) In the original article I don't recall seeing the words "China/Brazil" mentioned even once. Everyone knows that in China, especially, that per-capita income is a tiny fraction of what it is in the west, so, yes, if Ubisoft thinks to sell games in China for $60 US a pop--the company deserves all of the Chinese piracy it can get. Sheesh...The differences in the two markets are so vast that to lump them altogether in the same speech makes no sense at all--unless, as I suspect, UbiSoft's management is again trying to produce excuses for its poor management.

But UBIsoft's loony policy with respect to making PC games-- the categorical lie that they are 90%+ pirated--is reflected in almost every statement the company makes. Ubisoft makes no geographical distinctions while talking about these things. Everyone knows that isn't remotely true, with mega-seller after mega-seller topping the PC game charts in just the last two years alone--companies selling millions of copy's of PC games in 72 hours, etc. and doing press releases about the fact--recouping their entire game-development budget in a week, and so on.

But that happens when companies actually make PC games that PC gamers *want,* you see. Hanging out a sign and saying, "We are open for PC game sales" while selling game software that few people want has literally nothing to do with piracy. When movie studios spend $$$ making flops, the movies don't fail because of piracy, they fail because they are crappy movies few people want to go and see. It's the same with book publishing--exactly the same. Even celebrated authors who write duds take a shellacking.

And of course, anyone who publishes Free to Play games and thinks nobody "pays for them" because the FREE games are "pirated" is a dunce of the first order...;) Geez...who *hires* these morons?...;) Free to play games are supposed to bring in revenue by advertising and other such means--just like Free To Watch broadcast TV!

Game publishers have got to stop hiding behind the "piracy" lamentation, as any publisher who thinks his game is supposed to sell x-million copies simply because it ships, regardless of whether it's any good or not, is one of two things: a charlatan or an idiot. Ubisoft has been saying this for so long, in the face of dazzling PC game sales figures racked up by other companies on a regular basis, that I no longer believe the guy is an idiot--it's more likely he's just a petty crook out to fleece his investors with his perpetual whine about "piracy" to obscure the fact that his company doesn't know how to make a PC game that the market for PC games finds compelling enough to buy in massive quantities--like they do for companies like Blizzard, EA, Valve, and many, many other companies. The guy is seriously an idiot, though, if he believes that Microsoft became the largest software company in the world on the basis of 93% personal computer software piracy! What a first-class dunce! Doesn't he know that Microsoft also sells to Brazil and China?

Fact is, a publisher has no right to expect a customer in China to pay $50 US for a game when the per-capita disposable income is a fraction of what it is in the company's home country. Now maybe if the rank & file Chinese customer could buy the game for $5 US, or maybe even $.05 US, then maybe Chinese sales would go through the roof, too! The software publishing bizz has a lot of truly stupid people calling the shots, seems to me. With UBIsoft, it's nothing new at all.

Are there really people in finance who listen to some poor schmuck like this? Why is this guy in charge of a software publishing house? Do the investors in this company have a death wish? I mean, the "We're waiting on the next consoles" line--to do what, make a compelling game?--is as big a stall as Ubisoft's notion that they can't make a profitable PC title because of piracy. That's just so twisted since so many other companies manage to do it on a regular basis. There might not even be a "next console" at least as he expects it. These days you can buy a PC game platform powerful enough to blow the doors off a PS3 or a 360, for $399-$499, with user-upgradable components, too! Aside from that, console piracy is just as rampant despite propaganda that says otherwise. Ubisoft needs a major attitude adjustment if it wishes to survive, imo. PC gamers are not the enemy--*BAD SOFTWARE* is the bad guy here. Just because you hang out a sign, you aren't entitled to succeed, Ubisoft, and if you don't succeed it's *your fault*--the elusive, phantom "software pirate" is just your excuse for failing. It's really wearing thin, as so many other companies doing PC games are going gangbusters and doing great!




 
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News Comments > Steam Community Beta
15. Re: Steam Community Beta Aug 16, 2012, 16:55 WaltC
 
yuastnav wrote on Aug 16, 2012, 16:21:
A PC is a Personal Computer. A Macintosh is a PC. PC doesn’t automatically mean x86, damn it. Politically Correct.

A bit off topic, but I thought I would comment on this. While it is certainly true that "personal computers" don't have to be x86 to be "personal computers," or PCs, today's Mac is 100% x86 and has been for several years. The only substantive difference between a Dell and a "Mac" is the Operating System that ships with each. The Mac will natively run either of two x86 OSes ROOB, or both: Windows and OS X. The Dell runs Windows natively, too, and the only reason you won't find OS X on a Dell is because Apple has intentionally created that situation and has made it "illegal" (both in terms of law and software) to install OS X to any non Apple-branded x86 computer system. Again, Macs are 100% x86 today, so that quote is a tad out of date. (Not to mention the fact that today's "x86" is certainly not "your father's x86", either.)
 
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News Comments > Steam Adding Non-Gaming Titles
73. Re: Steam Adding Non-Gaming Titles Aug 8, 2012, 22:24 WaltC
 
DarkCntry wrote on Aug 8, 2012, 17:18:
It's really no less a piece of crap than, say, Win7. What is a problem is Metro, but alas, that's easily fixed.

As I see it, Gabe's whole rant on Win8 had to do solely with the 'walled garden' issue he had with the store Microsoft intended on adding, and thanks to this announcement, it makes plenty of sense why he's upset, it's direct competition.

I agree--I've been running the Win8x64 RP released in May alongside Win7x64 in a dual-boot config--and so far, so good.(Release Preview is much newer than the Customer Release build Microsoft released several months ago.) What I think is great is that Microsoft knows it's going to have somewhat of a tough sell for Win8 simply because Win7 is so good and people are a long way from being "tired" of Win7, and Win7 still has *years* of usefulness left in it--so therefore Microsoft will be selling the *top* version of Win8 (the Pro version), including the Win8 Media Player, for $39.95 in a direct download! For Microsoft, that price for a brand-new OS release is history in the making, so I'm in!

As far as Metro goes--for me it's simply that Win8 provides a start page instead of a start menu, and playing around with it I've found it to be much more flexible than the Win7 start menu--which I only use about 5% of the time, anyway. But as you say it is a moot point since there is already a freeware Start menu replacement package available for Win8 that reportedly works just fine. There will be a lot more of those fairly soon I'm sure. The standard Windows desktop in Win8 is just as available and useful as it is Win7, imo.

Gabe's Win8 apocalyptic rant was really over the top, even for Newell (who is frequently over the top.) It's funny how development companies love to build their multimillion dollar businesses on top of the platform that Microsoft provides in Windows, but just let Microsoft stick its nose in there and offer them a bit of competition--which always benefits consumers--and watch 'em bitch & moan & complain and even sometimes run to the government, tail between their legs. Even the folks you would think would have plenty of confidence get really rattled by the possibility of Microsoft competition--or, at least they act like it.

I think Newell is dead wrong--I think Microsoft will use the Microsoft store to close off the Windows phone and tablet software markets, mainly for security purposes, but unlike Apple, Microsoft is not going to insist that its general Windows PC software also be run through the Microsoft store. I think that for PCs it will pretty much be business as usual.

If developers want to channel their PC wares through the Microsoft store they'll have the option of doing that. Or, I'm sure they can channel their wares through Steam and the Microsoft store and retail outlets and any other direct-download services they may want to use, simultaneously. IE, nobody will be locked into the Windows store on the PC side of the fence, and I doubt developers much mind who they give their 30% to, be it retail outlet chains, Steam, or Microsoft, or all three. So I think that what Newell's worried about is the chance that Microsoft is going to offer developers some very attractive perks that their 30% will buy them through the Windows store in terms of services that directly benefit their software--services that it's very likely Valve, and maybe nobody else, is presently offering developers. Microsoft is indeed a tough competitor, but as I say, that kind of competition always benefits the consumer in both the short and long runs, imo.

I can understand Newell being afraid of Microsoft entering Steam's market segment as a competitor--but geez--I don't think I would have told the whole world just how afraid of Microsoft's competition I am! I mean, if he becomes even more frightened, will we have to hear about Gabe peeing his pants, too?



 
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News Comments > Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition in September
45. Re: Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition in September Jul 27, 2012, 09:35 WaltC
 
Dev wrote on Jul 27, 2012, 00:06:
Last I checked the biggest thing they were talking about was redoing the menu UI to run in higher res, in large part because of the resolution of the ipad. And redoing the interface to work with touch, again because of the ipad.

It might not be well known, but 2048x1536 was a popular screen resolution in 1999 (and possibly earlier.) I enjoyed it a lot with my 16mb 3dfx V3 and my 20" Sony CRT...;) Just FYI...

Touch screens...ugh. Want fried chicken & green beans seasoned with just the right dollop of fingernail grit served with your Baldur's Gate? I'll pass. Thanks, but I would much rather use my *clean* 2000-dpi mouse with perfect pointing accuracy as opposed to my generally clean but otherwise comparatively *fat* fingertips...;) (Actually, my fingers are svelte and streamlined, but that's beside the point.)


 
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News Comments > New AMD/ATI Catalyst Beta - Monthly Driver Releases Ending
6. Re: New AMD/ATI Catalyst Beta - Monthly Driver Releases Ending May 31, 2012, 23:06 WaltC
 
By far the most negative publicity ATi got in '11 was because a few very high-profile games were released, and for some reason, ATi failed to provide drivers for their products that would properly support those new games. In at least one occasion that I can recall, it took ATi at least three attempts before the driver support stabilized for one of those new releases last year.

Stopping the monthly WHQL driver releases--which ATi has by and large been very successful in orchestrating over the past several *years* (since 2002, I believe)--won't do anything to address that sort of issue at all. AMD will still have to release "hotfix" drivers--and maybe more than one in a month--if a new game is released which AMD's current drivers don't support very well (why that should ever be the case is beyond me!) The reason ATi went to monthly driver releases in the first place was because new games are being released each and every month of the calendar year, and a monthly scheduled release was supposedly giving ATi customers an advantage, because the monthly Catalyst release schedule was supposed to cover new game releases all throughout the year on a steady basis. Again, dropping the monthly releases does nothing at all to address that problem--and it was a big one for ATi last year.

As a steady ATi/AMD customer since 2002 when I bought an R300 (9700 Pro), I very much liked the monthly WHQL release! In fact, when ATI started that process and for several years thereafter they received little but praise for their driver policy--because the guys doing the drivers for ATi products at the time made those releases work!

I agree with the first poster here. The 3d-driver department is suffering because of cutbacks and this is just one result of what's happening. ATi watched some of its best graphics people walk off into the sunset over the last year or two, and apparently did little or nothing to stem the tide. That shows that the new AMD CEO is apparently deaf, dumb, and blind as to how important ATi is to AMD moving ahead. Even if AMD couldn't quite keep up with Intel cpus cycle for cycle, AMD's gpus demolished the best that Intel could bring to the table and their gpu performance and *reliability* has been a distinct advantage for AMD over Intel for several years now. I'm afraid that AMD is going to preside over the ultimate fall of its graphics division--but I surely hope I am wrong! I want very much to be wrong.

But this whole procedure stinks from a PR point of view--it is difficult to believe that AMD thought that a terse little note in the 12.6 "beta" (no less--when did *that* start?) read.me was enough to explain such a dramatic departure from a driver policy that AMD/ATi had actually executed quite successfully until last year! It was no coincidence that ATi started experiencing driver-related problems after its best people were transferred away inside the company to other positions, or simply left the company altogether, as Eric Dremers recently did (big loss for AMD there, imo.)

That read.me in the driver notes sounds as if it was written by a, pardon me, by a real dunce. The guy practically seems to be *gloating* that AMD is announcing the official degradation of its years-running ATI Catalyst WHQL driver release program. Yeah, and "changing the bug report form"--wow, what a major, major achievement that is! Jeepers--doesn't get any better'n that, does it? Heh...[sarcasm/off.]

I fear that none of this portends very good stuff for AMD's discrete graphics department. Next thing is we'll hear that some guy in charge of cell-phone graphics somewhere is being tapped to run AMD's discrete GPU program for desktops! Wouldn't surprise me a bit to see something as brain-dead as that actually take place.

I'm in the market for a new gpu for my desktop computer system, which I have no intention of ever abandoning. For the first time since 2002 I am seriously considering going with a nVidia card--and I haven't bought one of those in more than a decade. Here's hoping AMD can pull itself together and start making decisions that make some sense. ATI was far too successful with its monthly Catalyst release program, and executed it beautifully for *years*, for me to suddenly believe that they just can't do it anymore. I mean, is it that they've forgotten how to put out a great driver set? Does the guy who wrote the read.me in the 12.6 "beta" driver release have Alzheimer's? Is that it? (sarc/off.) Sheeee-e-e-e-esh.
 
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News Comments > Diablo III Patch
51. Re: Queue to play single player May 29, 2012, 17:45 WaltC
 
JohnnyRotten wrote on May 29, 2012, 16:32:
Holy crap, I'm in a queue to play single player.

That's gotta be a new low...

Nah...That's Blizzard's new security paradigm. Company figures if you are attempting to play single player, but are actually in a queue waiting to play single-player--you should be un-hackable. I think they may be on to something--if they suspend play for everyone, and put everyone in a perpetual queue--then it's barely possible that nobody would be getting hacked. Hmmmm.....

 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
6. Re: Out of the Blue May 24, 2012, 15:01 WaltC
 
Gosh, Blue--all of that frenetic activity! One would think you and Mrs. Blue were in your 20's instead of your 70's! You've got tons of energy for your age bracket. Don't forget your Life Alerts (TM) when you go out (because it really sucks when you fall and you can't get up, doesn't it?);P
 
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News Comments > Morning Safety Dance
3. Re: Morning Safety Dance May 24, 2012, 12:57 WaltC
 
Computer World is such an obvious anti-Microsoft shill these days that I never read their articles and opinions anymore. The article is deliberately misleading: Vista service pack 2 has been out for a long time, years, it's free like all of Microsoft's updates to its OSes, and according to CW's own chart, Vista sp2 has a lower infection rate than Windows XP sp3. And while CW mentions that Vista sp2 will be fully supported by Microsoft until 2017, the article ignores that fact (!) and talks up the expiration date of Vista sp1 support (last year) as if that is the only date that counts. Regardless of the OS, after Microsoft puts out an sp2, they drop support a short time later for sp1, because they want people to install the latest service pack. Just good sense on Microsoft's part. They did that for Win9x, Win2k, WinXP, Vista, and now for Win7.

What a bunch of half-wits...;) After this post I'm going back to the article and write the author a nasty little note as to how those of us who see what he's doing are not impressed. People didn't like Vista because it was so different from WinXP--just like they didn't like Win95 at first, and they didn't like WinXp at first, and so on. I used Vista x64 for 2.5 years prior to Win7 and never had a problem with it--but I *like* new things. It's almost comical the number of people who don't know that Windows 7 is simply Vista 2.0, renamed. That's why it's so funny--hilarious, even--to hear people trash Vista but praise Win7! Basically, Vista is to Win 7 as Win95 was to Win98, and Win 2k was to WinXP, etc.
 
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News Comments > Diablo III Claims Sales Record
106. Re: Diablo III Claims Sales Record May 23, 2012, 20:09 WaltC
 
Slippy wrote on May 23, 2012, 18:05:
Hey Walt,
Been thinking about purchasing Skyrim... Didn't have any time to game when it came out and then just never got around to it. Use Fallout 3 as a comparison... I love that game... do you think I would like Skyrim?

Thanks for your input in advance!

Warning--I really like this game! What follows is me trying to temper my emotions so that I can give you an objective read. As you can see, I failed!...;)

It's great, Skyrim is great--I liked F3, too, and I've modded that one extensively, as well. I think, however, that F3 doesn't hold a candle to Skyrim. (To be fair, though, F3 is a different story and hits many different themes accordingly.)

Skyrim surprised me on so many levels that I'm still tallying them up...;) Skyrim is sort of like...let's say, maybe, Morrowind or Oblivion, except that in Skyrim everything is done right! For instance, in Oblivion I always felt like I was traveling these vast distances to reach these tiny alcoves of human (and otherwise) activity, and that much of the game I spent ogling the scenery while fighting to stay awake...;) Skyrim is positively amazing in that in every single square acre of the game world, and it is huge!, there are, literally, several things of note to do, like cavern and cave explorations, lost treasure surprises, or battles with ferocious beasts or rogue sorcerers, hostile and friendly clans and tribes--the net affect is that compared with Morrowind/Oblivion, Skyrim is a virtual beehive of activity! You never get bored playing this game--I don't--a literally there's something new under every rock it seems! Even more remarkable for a computer game is the fact that the physical world inside Skyrim has differing geological features, depending on where you are--sort of like good 'ol earth, actually. Get ready for all kinds of marvelous terrain to travel.

The game is fairly non-linear in that you can decide where and how you want to play the main quests while exploring and taking on the seemingly endless array of secondary quests--and all of these generally involve a bit more than merely steppin' and fetchin'...

According to Steam, I've logged in 143 hours play, and I am not even 1/3 the way though the main quests and with still 3/4 of the world left to unroll and discover! Best news is that it hasn't bored me yet--not even once. This is the way I like to play--I don't lollygag (heh...;) If you don't already, you'll understand that slightly archaic word a bit better when you start playing) but I don't rush through it as though my britches were on fire, or because I have to take a really big "dump" and I need to finish the game a'fore it starts hurtin' bad!...;) I've never understood the mentality of rushing through a game by bypassing 70% of the content, simply to boast about "How fast I beat the game." I think in those circumstances it is clear that the game is beating its owner on or about the head, and quite severely, too.

Did I mention the mods? The game is very mod friendly and there are tons of cool mods, many of which definitely complement and improve upon the game play! The customization possible is remarkable.

The darn game is just fun, fun, fun...I don't know what else to say. It's a masterpiece--a definite classic in the making. It isn't "perfect"--but nothing is perfect. It's close, though.

If you like single-player role-playing games--Skyrim stands at the summit of them all at the moment, as far as I am concerned. If you don't buy another game this year--buy Skyrim (it has enough content to keep you hooked for the rest of the year, all by itself, if need be.)

I hope this is of some help to you even though I *did* try (somewhere in the above text) to present things coolly and dispassionately.
 
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