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User information for Roger Norris

Real Name Roger Norris   
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Nickname The Pyro
Email Concealed by request - Send Mail
ICQ None given.
Description Software developer, long-time Blue's reader
Homepage None given.
Signed On Jul 10, 2000, 20:19
Total Comments 260 (Amateur)
User ID 6134
User comment history
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News Comments > Blizzard on Diablo III
29. Re: Blizzard on Diablo III Jul 19, 2012, 13:54 The Pyro
Admittedly I haven't played much D3 (open the open beta), but AH complaints remind me of several other multiplayer RPGs I've experienced. There's just too many items for sale. Too much supply forces prices downward, and the result is that players can buy items in the AH long before their characters could have found similar gear by just playing the game. Half the game is basically an item hunt, though, so half the enjoyment just evaporates as the player continues to get item drops that are consistently below the quality of stuff he can afford in the AH.

This sort of phenomenon is almost inevitable. You can't reduce the quantity of item drops, because that's half the "fun" of the game. But if you want to fix the AH system then somehow you've got to tackle the supply-side glut.

IMO there needs to be a more compelling item sink than the existing crafting system. Maybe crappy items could be used as material components for high-powered skills ?
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News Comments > Mass Effect 3 Earth DLC Released
8. Re: Mass Effect 3 Earth DLC Released Jul 18, 2012, 17:05 The Pyro
It's great BioWare continues to produce new content, but it's naive to think that pure altruism motivates BioWare's actions in this regard. Players can download the DLC for free, but all of the new weapons and classes must be unlocked before you can use them. Of course, you can unlock your free content faster by purchasing Premium Specter Packs in the store Maybe. If you get lucky.

The new maps are a nice immediate bonus, though. Gotta keep players interested in the game long enough to buy some extra Specter Packs after their hard-earned credits don't produce the desired new content on the first few tries.

Sorry if this post is a bit more cynical than usual for me! I'll be playing the new stuff quite a bit I'm sure.
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News Comments > Deus Ex: Human Revolution Film Plans
14. Re: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Film Plans Jul 10, 2012, 12:22 The Pyro
It could work. I'd say there's a 95% chance that it won't work, but Human Revolution certainly has interesting characters and ideas that could transition well. The plot would have to be streamlined, of course. The biggest challenge for the writers would be making the protagonist more interesting... they would need to give plenty of screen time to his inner struggles with augmentation (these are only alluded to in the game, by means of his apartment).

Unfortunately it's likely that this would turn into a tedious action flick with an hour or more of Adam hiding behind crates whacking bad guys over the head with augmentations.
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News Comments > Sunday Consolidation
2. Re: Sunday Consolidation Jul 1, 2012, 16:14 The Pyro
Silicon Avatar wrote on Jul 1, 2012, 14:49:
L4D2 needs a strong injection of new weapons and zombie variants.

Alas, the server browser sucks and is buried in the console, so playing mods is something that the average player only does infrequently. And even then they tend to hate modded servers because they get dumped into modded games without asking for it (i.e. via the Quick Match button).
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News Comments > More Mass Effect 3 DLC Details?
21. Re: More Mass Effect 3 DLC Details? Jun 27, 2012, 11:42 The Pyro
ME3 is a solid game despite the ending. Spoilery discussion of the ending is below:
I had two complaints about the ending:

1) There's no final boss fight unless I'm forgetting something. Granted, this is a minor complaint, but it just felt strange. ME1 had Saren, ME2 had the Reaper in the Collector base, but ME3 just has a big final fight vs. a bunch of Banshees and Brutes or something? I was expecting something... well, different.

2) *major spoilers* StarKid comes out of nowhere, and his motivations make no sense whatsoever. We're supposed to believe that the Reapers [synthetics] wipe out advanced organics in order to prevent other synthetics from wiping out organics? Why do they care? Why preserve primitive organics if you're just going to wipe them out later? Do the Reapers have some sort of free will, or are they just tools of StarKid? Where are the organics that created StarKid / Reapers, and what happened to them?

A revelation like the existence of StarKid is not something you can dump on the player in the final moments of the game. He creates more questions / plot holes than he fills.

And then there's the final "choice", which just feels bizarre. Once again there's no explanation for why the Crucible is even capable of all these disparate functions (it's supposed to be a weapon, right?) But I guess the worst of it is that in every ending someone gets screwed, so the player feels like he chose poorly no matter what.

I guess you could argue that in the Green ending it's only Shepard that gets screwed. Still feels bizzare, though... Deus Ex machina at its worst.
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News Comments > Mass Effect 3 Weekend Event
6. Re: Mass Effect 3 Weekend Event Jun 20, 2012, 22:32 The Pyro
I've had more fun with ME3 multiplayer than I expected I would. It reminds me Unreal Tournament's Invasion mode. The gameplay does get dull once you've tried most of the classes and you've unlocked some better guns. However, it's nice that they keep having these weekend events because not everyone purchased the game at launch. This way new players still get a shot at easy rares.
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News Comments > Diablo III Patched & Next Patch Notes
3. Re: Diablo III Patched & Next Patch Notes Jun 6, 2012, 21:46 The Pyro
JohnBirshire wrote on Jun 6, 2012, 21:36:
No mention of interface changes yet?

For a game that's been in development for more than a decade I would certainly hope the interface was ironed out by now.
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News Comments > Diablo III Hacking?
19. Re: Diablo III Hacking? May 21, 2012, 12:27 The Pyro
Speculation time! A botnet brute-forcing random account names w/ random passwords could account for some of this stuff. Blizzard might not even notice the extra traffic given the flood of people trying to log on after release. Having a strong password wouldn't necessarily help; it's just luck of the draw whether your account is compromised or not.  
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News Comments > Tribes: Ascend Passes 1M Downloads
20. Re: Tribes: Ascend Passes 1M Downloads May 16, 2012, 13:30 The Pyro
I have mixed feelings re: steamrolling. It sucks to be on the receiving end, but Tribes is a team-oriented game and it makes no sense to discourage friends from playing on the same team. Built-in VoIP would mitigate the issue IMO, as then it would be possible to achieve a similar level of coordination (if not skill) with a random group of pubs. Then again that might just be my L4D-inspired addition to voice support.

Fair criticism; the game performs VERY poorly for the level of eye candy that you get. This is literally the only game in my entire library that I run at a non-native resolution to get a decent framerate*. I wouldn't call it ugly, but the graphics are not groundbreaking in any way.

They seriously need to optimize this sucker. Smoke effects in particular are a major bottleneck.

* Performance is playable at native resolution, but when sniping I'm at a disadvantage due to low fps. Therefore I run it at a lower resolution to maintain 60 fps.

EDIT: My comments on performance may have been a little harsh. Performance isn't too bad if I'm just flying around the map; it's the explosions and smoke effects (mostly the smoke) that kill it. The issue is non-trivial, though, because smoke and explosions tend to occur at the times when you need good framerates the most.

This comment was edited on May 16, 2012, 13:38.
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News Comments > Tribes: Ascend Passes 1M Downloads
7. Re: Tribes: Ascend Passed 1M Downloads May 16, 2012, 12:10 The Pyro
I've been playing about 2 or 3 matches every night for the last couple weeks. I generally wait 30 to 60 seconds in the queue before joining a match, and almost every game has at least 20 players. Most matches are completely full.

Last night I tried out being a path/flag capper- it IS as easy as it looks. I don't even have the accelerator pack. It takes a whole crack team of flag defenders and only 1 or 2 competent cappers to win a match. It's getting kind of boring actually.

You might have gotten lucky with regards to the skill of your opponents. My experience so far has been that there's a high skill ceiling. The game is biased towards offense, certainly, but that goes both ways; you can't capture the enemy flag if the other team has yours. Exciting matches result when both teams are racing around the map trying to retrieve their own flag while at the same time defending their flag carrier. In those situations good chasers (i.e. dedicated flag-chasing light classes, usually pathfinders) are worth their weight in gold.

It's pretty easy to make some high-speed flag grabs without the thrust pack. The thrust pack really shines, though, when trying to chase down the enemy flag carrier.
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News Comments > etc.
1. Re: Ten Rules... May 14, 2012, 11:17 The Pyro
Re: Rule #1, IIRC Diablo 3 has a built-in clock. Hooray for adequate sleep!  
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News Comments > DOTA Trademark Settled
8. Re: DOTA Trademark Settled May 11, 2012, 17:39 The Pyro
Frijoles wrote on May 11, 2012, 16:53:
The sound you hear is hundreds of lawyers crying out in anguish.

Not necessarily. The announcement says nothing about whether money changed hands. Somebody may have gotten a big payday here.
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News Comments > Portal 2 Perpetual Testing Initiative Released
8. Re: Portal 2 Perpetual Testing Initiative Released May 8, 2012, 16:26 The Pyro
The low sale price must be effective, as I've seen Valve do the exact same thing with other games such as L4D2. The games will go on sale for 66% off on the same day that new (free) DLC is released.  
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News Comments > Diablo III Auctions Detailed
1. Re: Diablo III Auctions Detailed May 1, 2012, 21:13 The Pyro
15% off the top, plus another 15% to transfer money to PayPal, plus PayPal's cut on top of that? Wow... that's... brazen? I think that's the word I'm looking for...

Not that I'm interested in real-money transaction anyway, but if Blizzard's goal was to incentivize more legitimate channels for real-money transactions then these figures seem counter-productive.

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News Comments > Out of the Blue
5. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 25, 2012, 10:30 The Pyro
The only advice I'll offer is to carefully consider job stability before relocating! I've known too many people who packed everything up only to lose their jobs less than a year later. I personally made the mistake of buying a house to be close to the office. The office moved to the other side of town shortly thereafter.
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News Comments > Diablo III Beta Open to All Accounts?
17. Re: Diablo III Beta Open to All Accounts? Apr 18, 2012, 11:56 The Pyro
StarCraft 2 has a free starter edition as well. I'd appreciate it if Blizzard did something similar for Diablo III; I'm not ready to fork over $60 on release day but I'd definitely try a demo.

I think for me to enjoy D3 I'd need to play it with friends. But as my group of friends has gotten older, a free demo is almost a requirement to get them to try stuff Price is less of an issue than time commitment, TBH.
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News Comments > Valve Confirms Hardware Plans
30. Re: Valve Confirms Hardware Plans Apr 13, 2012, 12:58 The Pyro
I don't think a peripheral would make sense because hardware just isn't that profitable on its own, and it wouldn't strengthen Valve's core business.

The only way Valve can grow its revenue is by selling more games on Steam. Their existing customers already buy lots of games, so Valve needs to grow their customer base. That means increasing the number of gaming-capable machines. A bare-bones PC/SteamBox which connects to a TV is a logical choice.

Although hardware isn't profitable (Apple products excepted), Sony and Microsoft are unlikely partners; the PlayStation and XBOX platforms are direct competitors with a strong interest in controlling digital distribution. Therefore Valve needs their own box to ensure that they can control the digital distribution service (i.e. Steam), which is how they make all their money.

I doubt Valve would want to compete with Dell et al for sales of actual PCs. Therefore it's more likely that Valve is working on some sort of Steam-enabled console with a price point similar to the XBOX.
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News Comments > Tribes Ascend: Launches
51. Re: Tribes Ascend: Launches Apr 12, 2012, 20:49 The Pyro
Sounds to me like "free-to-play" is just a thinly veiled demo in this instance. I don't see why people have a problem with that; the full price for unlocking everything is very reasonable, and it's great that they even allow you to grind the unlocks if you don't want to pay for it. I was going to try the game but the website appears to be down at the moment.
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News Comments > The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Beta Patch
6. Re: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Beta Patch Mar 16, 2012, 10:47 The Pyro
Rhino wrote on Mar 16, 2012, 10:13:
As an archer I'm slightly curious to see just how many ways that there are to show "arrow slamming into a guy" in a cinematic fashion.

Our hero stoops in the cover of dense foliage and draws his bowstring taught. A dark hood shields his eyes from the high noon sun, casting his face in shadow as he lines up the shot.

With a gentle and almost casual precision, the string is released and the arrow springs from the bow.

We see now from the arrow's perspective as it races toward its mark. Only the target is in focus; all else is a blur. Caught completely unaware, the victim stands almost motionless until the arrow connects with his flesh. Then the pain hits him.

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News Comments > Out of the Blue
3. Re: Out of the Blue Mar 10, 2012, 13:39 The Pyro
I'd vote for year-round DST. I hate not having any daylight hours after getting home from work.  
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260 Comments. 13 pages. Viewing page 4.
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