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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 270 (Amateur)
User ID 6134
User comment history
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News Comments > Morning Tech Bits
9. Re: Morning Tech Bits Aug 23, 2012, 12:26 The Pyro
I can't imagine having to run everything full-screen... I always keep my browser about 1100 pixels wide at most. Otherwise you can end up on websites without maximum widths for text and the resulting layout is nearly illegible. How does Metro handle that sort of use case? Is your browser forced to use the entire screen space?

I've got dual 23" monitors here, and I do *NOT* need 23" of browser space!
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News Comments > NVIDIA's Free Borderlands 2 Promotion
32. Re: NVIDIA's Free Borderlands 2 Promotion Aug 17, 2012, 09:02 The Pyro
Is it just me or are graphics cards a bit more expensive than they were a couple years ago (last time I upgraded)? I used to figure ~$250 was the price for decent current-generation video hardware. Now it's looking like $300+ is the entry point. Earthquakes in Taiwan or something?
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News Comments > Half-Life 3 at gamescom Denied
14. Re: Half-Life 3 at gamescom Denied Aug 14, 2012, 12:09 The Pyro
Due to budget overruns Half-Life 3 is being released as a 16-bit-style JRPG. Gordon, the PhD Physicist, will team up with allies such Barney the Security Guard, D0g the robot, and Dr. Judith Mossman. Fight epic battles with up to 4 characters in your party at once! Customize each of your characters with their own unique skill trees, such as Gordon's "Silent Protaganist!" Harness the power of the elements to destroy your enemies with Bullets, Fire, Explosions, and Alien Energy!
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News Comments > Security Breach
33. Re: Security Breach Aug 9, 2012, 22:58 The Pyro
Hashed and salted tables are useless

Unfortunately that's not entirely accurate. If the salting algorithm is known, or can be deduced from a few accounts with known passwords, then it becomes relatively easy to determine which accounts are using common passwords. You wouldn't be able to brute-force a specific account using this technique. But if you suspect that a lot of users have the password "zergling" then you can quickly calculate the hashes for that and compare them to the hashes in the database. That'll gain you access to several accounts.

The moral of the story is that you still need a strong password even if you know it's going to be hashed.
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News Comments > Free WOOT DLC for Magicka Released
5. Re: Free WOOT DLC for Magicka Released Aug 9, 2012, 16:49 The Pyro
Note: to really have fun with this title you need to play with mics. You must be able to hear your allies' screams of frustration as you (accidentally?) blast them to smithereens.
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
1. Re: Out of the Blue Aug 8, 2012, 10:03 The Pyro
Can't say I've ever had a restaurant burger that was as tasty as a good home-grilled burger. I'm sure somebody does it right, of course, I just haven't found such an establishment yet.

I like 'em without any additives whatsoever. Just slap yer 80/20 beef patty on the grill, use direct high heat, and flip it when it starts to sweat on top. When done correctly you get a deliciously juicy burger with a wonderful beef flavor; over-cooking the meat even a little bit tends to dry it out and suck out the flavor.
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News Comments > Source 2 Engine Hint
35. Re: Source 2 Engine Gravity Aug 7, 2012, 13:46 The Pyro
I suspect it's difficult to get grenades to feel right because human characters are modeled on a different scale than level geometry. Different scales are used in order to cope with the rigid player collision boxes that are used when moving around the level; if characters were modeled to the same scale as the environment then players would constantly be getting stuck on small obstacles and in doorways.

So either the gravity will feel wrong relative to level geometry or it will feel wrong relative to the character model sizes.

FYI, in HL2 I believe the gravity is roughly 50 ft/s relative to character models or 37.5 ft/s relative to level geometry. That's higher than "real" gravity in both cases, but high gravity values are pretty common in FPS games.

Also consider that the grenades themselves are usually modeled larger than life in order to make them more visible at small screen resolutions. The larger grenade models will visually give the impression of lower gravity, as your mind is subconsciously assuming the wrong size for the grenade.
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News Comments > Steam Top 10
16. Re: Steam Top 10 Aug 6, 2012, 09:34 The Pyro
RAGE back in the top 10! I guess $10 is a decent price point for it?

In honor of QuakeCon I played through Doom 3 again this weekend. With the high-res texture mods and other community graphics tweaks it actually looked very nice. And it certainly runs a lot smoother now than on my PC from years ago when it came out
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News Comments > Rise of the Triad Revival Announced
31. Re: Rise of the Triad Revival Announced Aug 2, 2012, 20:15 The Pyro
Using the UE3 engine? And announced at QuakeCon? That must be a bit embarrassing for id.  
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News Comments > GUNS and ROBOTS This Year
1. Re: GUNS and ROBOTS This Year Jul 31, 2012, 11:16 The Pyro
Different scenery? Movement all over the map? Wow, they really need some better marketing bullet points.  
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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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270 Comments. 14 pages. Viewing page 4.
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