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User information for Evil Timmy

Real Name Evil Timmy   
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Nickname None given.
Email Concealed by request - Send Mail
ICQ 109217332
Description I'm an electro/glitch/bmore/breaks DJ and long-time avid gamer from Hong Kong. BitTorrent is another one of my hobbies, and I've been an active part of the community since early 2003.
Homepage None given.
Signed On Nov 22, 2003, 10:24
Total Comments 437 (Amateur)
User ID 19465
 
User comment history
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News Comments > Free SW Galaxies Trial
64. MMORPGs Jun 3, 2004, 22:44 Evil Timmy
 
I've been a long-time gamer, starting with text adventures and games whose graphics were barely past experimental (Qix, King's Quest III). And I still play MUDs, and interactive fiction games. But, to be honest, MMORPGs have always felt a lot like the ugly offspring of a MUD. They've got graphics to dress it up, but the gameplay is the core of the most boring stuff out there, without any of the most interesting features. In a MUD, you really had the opportunity to shape your world, largely because it was a text-based environment. If you were assigned as such by the guildmaster, you could rewrite the descriptions for your guildhall/area. And, if you were good enough, the wizards would message you and ask you to start writing for them.

MMORPGs, on the other hand, are rather inflexible worlds. You push, and they just sit there. Yes, there are occasional events where stuff changes, but these are generally on a regular schedule and almost always an A or B choice as provided by the devs. The gameplay itself is generally dull, mostly due to the nature of MMORPGs and internet connections in general.

What might work is a sort of standard multiplayer mixed with MMO aspects. The devs'd run a network of smaller servers, with a master server cluster that deals with their results and sends out new content for redistribution to the end users. And each server is a small 'slice' of the world, but one that affects the whole. If it ran on a subscription basis, servers could be reimbursed in terms of player load per hour, to compensate them for running a stable server and providing the devs/publisher with a valuable service. There would probably be a need for occasional larger servers (for example, each area would have a central 'town', with each major town representing a real-world geographical area and server), but since most of the gameplay should be expedition-and-quest-related, a small server should be able to handle a few smaller parties, or one large one. And, because it's a low-latency local server, more action- and skill-based gameplay elements could come into the picture. Getting this set up initially would probably be a nightmare, but once it's up and running, I think it could significantly change the MMORPG and MP markets.

 
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News Comments > Alexander the Great
2. Re: 9 Months? Good luck. May 29, 2004, 02:24 Evil Timmy
 
Oh, look, another RTS/RPG hybrid. From a team with two games that might have been good, but were pretty flawed in execution and really lacked in producing any sense of fun. Rushed out the door as a movie tie-in.

Pass.

 
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News Comments > Specter of a Spector Departure?
49. The real problem is May 29, 2004, 02:18 Evil Timmy
 
The real problem is, you get months of previews, screenshots, videos, that sort of thing, up until the release. Reviews are generally from gaming rags that have some sort of arragement with the publisher, and of course have the caveat of 'this is a review copy, all the bugs will be gone by release' to nudge them away from some negative points. And, as most games sell when they're new and have premium shelf space for their shiny new boxes, the majority of sales occur before many of the independent reviews are released. This is all assuming that people even bother to look into the quality of the games, instead of just looking at the back of the box and saying 'Ooh, that looks pretty!' and taking it home. I'd guess that console gamers are more guility of this than PC gamers, on average, because most of the real discussion goes on in online forums and gaming news sites. PC gamers are already at a PC, and generally have to keep up with the online community for new patches, mods, info from the developer, or whatever. Console gamers, on the other hand, expect their shrink-wrapped game to be perfect out of the DVD case.

Thief 3 (I'm not going to use the stupid marketing name, that's what it is) isn't a bad game, but it could have been much better. It suffers from many of the same performance problems as DX2, especially at higher (read: PC) resolutions. If they'd have given the PC port team a month to optimize it and make the interface better, I think it'd turn out to be a much better game, or at least the mistakes would be more forgivable. There's also a fair few places where you can get stuck, especially if you're the play-on-expert, get-all-the-loot, explore-everywhere type like myself. I would have also appreciated a checkpoint-based save system, or even multiple cycling quicksave slots, so you can skip back a bit earlier in the level without restarting or having to manually create and overwrite a save game every single time.

This comment was edited on May 29, 02:20.
 
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News Comments > Xbox 2 & PC Hybrid?
13. Dumbed down? May 27, 2004, 12:31 Evil Timmy
 
On the first read-through, this seemed like a stupid idea, but after thinking about it, this really doesn't seem all that bad. First of all the 'dumbed down graphics'. If you've seen the Xbox Next tech demos (especially the car crash one), the graphics are pretty amazing. And an HDTV in 720p mode runs at 1280x720, which means higer resolution than a standard 1024x768 desktop (921600 vs 786432 pixels). Also, they mentioned that it'd have both keyboard/mouse (Logitech wireless, anyone?) along with an Xbox controller. While this may not appeal to the hardcore PC gaming audience, I could definitely see it appealing to a broad spectrum of home users. The cost of ownership would be very competitive when compared to a home PC, with higher stability and no driver/upgrade issues. As for typing something up...many of the older people I know would appreciate having Word on a huge screen, rather than a small monitor, which is pretty harsh on the eyes. Since it'd undoubtedly be a secure platform (Palladium-esque, if nothing else), hopefully movie studios would hop on and offer Xvid/Divx movies via the broadband connection, which could be another draw for general audiences.

However, this is still a bit too forward-thinking. HDTVs are only in a small percentage of homes, and while broadband is becoming more prevalent, it's still not everywhere yet. You'd also have to have a broad software package to appeal to all sorts of consumers, not just gamers. The idea is good, people may just not be ready for it. And note that I've been building my own computers since my 486-33, have a GNU/Linux desktop in my room, and don't own any consoles: if anything, I'd have a bias against this. I think it _could_ succeed, but at the moment, probably wouldn't.

 
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News Comments > Morning Screenshots
11. This is a real upgrade... May 24, 2004, 20:25 Evil Timmy
 
I'd still like to see character physics for something other than death. For example, shotguns that, depending on where they hit a monster and from what range, may gib it, take off an arm, knock it down, or just cause damage/blood. The ragdoll system would work fine, you'd just have to have set force pushing it back towards vertical and standing. If that gets exceeded by too much for too long, the character falls over, otherwise they just lean a bit.

 
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News Comments > Game Reviews
12. This is a real upgrade... May 24, 2004, 20:09 Evil Timmy
 
Even the worst graphics engine can be made up for with inspired artwork, texturing, and architecture. Alas, these too are conspicuously missing in Deadly Shadows.

This is what annoys me: not only did it suffer from being based on the Xbox version, but they didn't have the quality going into it in the first place. This is a series with fans going back a long ways and created by a stunningly good and oft-reminisced-about developer (RIP Looking Glass), and they couldn't hire a halfway decent art team? It just seems a bit disrespectful to the franchise and the fans.

Also, I've never really understood the reason for making a multiplatform game and reusing crap Xbox textures and models for the PC version. Is it really all that hard to export them from 3ds/Softimage/whatever at a higher quality for the PC? Or do you just not want Xbox users to feel they're getting stiffed, since apparently it's about pleasing them? PC gamers are generally much pickier than console gamers (probably because of the nature of consoles: you pop a disc in, play, and yank it back out, while PCs require you to install a game and meet all the requirements for it). Having higher-resolution displays and more precise controllers means little details and small errors are much more obvious. So why not START on the platform that requires the highest level of quality, and downsample your work from there?

*sigh* In an industry gone mad...

 
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News Comments > Site Seeing - NFS: Underground 2
28. Rubberbanding May 18, 2004, 11:17 Evil Timmy
 
Rubberbanding is a gameplay element, where the cars in front of you have similar or lower speed to you, but when they drop more than a few seconds behind you, their speed and acceleration increase sharply. Most people find it annoying because, even if they're driving perfectly, a single crash is usually enough to drop them out of first place. Even if you've earned a fair lead over the competition, there's such a slim margin that all the laps and all your skills feel somewhat pointless. However, it is a decent deal for new players, because they have a chance even if their driving skills are fairly poor. It really should be an option, so those who have gotten past the early learning curve can really get an advantage from their improved skills.

 
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News Comments > Site Seeing - NFS: Underground 2
19. This is a real upgrade... May 18, 2004, 02:13 Evil Timmy
 
The NFS series will go through an evolutionary step with NFS:U 2. Not only will it be filled with cars you'll never own, now they're promoting it with a girl who wouldn't give you the time of day. Aah, progress.

On a slightly more serious note, I'd agree with most of the suggestions here. I'd especially agree with rubber-banding...at the very least, it should be an option, as it does make things a bit easier for new players (not having other racers be waaay ahead of you). However, for skilled players who've earned what should be a 45sec gap, or have worked to finish all the tracks on Hard (which should be a viable route: if you play against tougher opponents, you get better gear) they should be able to enjoy their lead and not worry about hyper-accelerating computer players who are always dogging their bumper.

I still love the pure racing goodness that was NFS:SE, to be honest. While the cops vs speeders thing was great for multiplayer, it could get annoying when you just wanted to race. That and it has the most enjoyable incarnation of the Dodge Viper I've ever had the pleasure of driving. NFS2 was a good game (I got it with my 3dfx Voodoo2 ), but more of the same. The career mode from NFS:HS sucked, and HP2 was just lacking in direction. Porsche Unleashed was a great game, but lacked the interesting variety in vehicles (unsurprisingly) that I liked. Underground is a different direction, and one that I'm not all too fond of. While all the games were arcadey, this seems to be taking it too far, and foregoing an interesting racing game for flash and glimmer. Hopefully they'll add more of the most-loved and most-requested features from the other NFS games (aren't they supposed to IMPROVE with time?), along with more variety and more real choices throughout the game.

 
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News Comments > Still More Game Movies
23. Re: All new huge HL2 video May 13, 2004, 00:09 Evil Timmy
 
It appears that, while CS:S is going to be the multiplayer component of HL2, it won't be tossed in for no extra charge. The wording in the ShackNews quote gives this away... 'will be available at the same time'. If so, it'd make more sense to sign up for a month (or two) of the Steam HL2 subscription and pay $9.95 to finish the game, and get a standard retail version of CS:S that won't have a monthly fee attached. This, of course, depending on the community support. The Steam survey results aren't encouraging when it comes to CS players' systems being able to support this quality of graphics. A pretty MP game with nobody playing (Far Cry, anyone?) is pretty pointless.

 
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News Comments > New Catalyst Drivers
2. Re: What? May 12, 2004, 22:51 Evil Timmy
 
Splinter Cell / Pandoras Box

Err, Pandora Tomorrow, maybe? Someone wrote this too early in the morning.

 
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News Comments > Alienware's Video Array
38. Re: No subject May 12, 2004, 19:58 Evil Timmy
 
As quite a few benchmarks of the high-end cards showed, most graphics cards today are being held back by the CPU, not their own processing power. Buying a system like this would be a monumental waste of money and graphics power. Save the $500 on an extra card, or put it into some other component (maybe a set of Logitech Z-680 speakers, and a Logitech Cordless Desktop MX? It's not that I'm Logitech's bitch, it's just they've put out so much good stuff). Maybe in a few months, when CPU speeds have continued to ramp up but graphics cards are still awaiting further updates, this will be a more attractive powergaming option. But, until then, don't bother.

 
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News Comments > Morning Previews
13. cs_rubegoldberg will be > * May 11, 2004, 04:58 Evil Timmy
 
20 hours is pretty good for an FPS...10 hours has been the standard for a long while, with a few games (Max Payne 2) even going under that. It's largely because the same areas don't get reused, as in adventure games/RPGs...the whole similar hallway syndrome has dropped the reviewer's scores of FPSes for years. 20 hours was about what Far Cry took also, and that certainly felt like a long game for an FPS. Hopefully HL2 will be as or more replayable.

Scottish Martial Arts: The leaked copy had a demo level showing squad controls; basically, they'll follow you, but you can use a laser pointer-type thing to send them ahead or leave them behind, or do any number of context-appropriate actions. Hopefully it's been refined further from there, but even as it was it was pretty impressive and worked well.

Yes, co-op would be sweet. But, to be honest, I'd rather a mod team work on it with Valve's support, rather than Valve doing it themselves. They've done a great job with CS and DoD so far, in terms of removing some of the more strategic elements, and I'd prefer they not do the same for a co-op mod. I'm really looking forward to CS2, though. With a better interface and physics systems playing a real part in the gameplay, you could add both interesting physics-based portions of gameplay to serious maps, and have some obscenely enjoyable funmaps. I look forward to cs_rubegoldberg immensely.

 
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News Comments > ATI/Counter-Strike 2 Bundle?
57. Re: No subject May 10, 2004, 20:15 Evil Timmy
 
"Which boggles my mind because as many comparisons have stated the shader engine on the 6800u is far superior to that of the x800, offering not only shader 3.0 support but DX9c support AND virtually unlimited shader programing." -Fion

http://www.nordichardware.se/Recensioner/?page=13&skrivelse=223

And you make a later point about the performance difference; the games have to be coded specifically to take advantage of these features. In just about every review out there, they mention that nV has the 3.0 shaders while ATi doesn't, but the only real difference is a performance one, and even that may not be realized significantly or any time soon.

"FYI for those having problems with the ATI-HL2 bundle deal, many companies have opted out of it in spite of some legal issue. I think only cards made by ATI specificly support the deal now." -Fion

"So I may not be getting a confirmation number cuz my activation code is no longer valid?" -Ironman

It's true that some companies have stopped offering the coupons; however, if you recieved a coupon, it is and will be valid. If you're dropping a few hundred dollars for a video card that's supposed to last you at least a year and may last much longer, a freebie game that may last a month should be a minor concern. I'd be doubtful of the whole thing; while it's pretty widely assumed that CS2 is in production, there'd probably have been an announcement followed by a boatload of promotion, rather than one article with no confirmation from an already unreliable news source.

 
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News Comments > Monolith Screenshot
87. Re: No subject May 8, 2004, 21:09 Evil Timmy
 
Has anyone else noticed that strap-on spelled backwards is 'no parts'?

 
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News Comments > Monolith Screenshot
70. Re: No subject May 8, 2004, 12:59 Evil Timmy
 
If this is a sequel to Contract JACK, heads will roll.

And, while this screenshot is pretty, screenshots stopped meaning much a long time ago. Videos give a better picture, and demos are actually useful. While it does look undeniably good, it also has a rather generic shooter feel to it. Great graphics and poor art direction make for rather dull games after the first two dozen rooms filled with crates, lockers, and steel-tubing crossbeams that look the same. The gun looks pretty ugly to me, but maybe I've just been spoiled by Far Cry's guns, with dappled shadowing, full lighting, and scopes that actually show a distorted but proper image. And, of course, the tagline is absolutely horrible. Their marketing department/agency needs to be locked up somewhere far, far away from any hope of working in product promotions ever again. The blurb, too, seems a bit weak, like they're dropping names of 'cool' stuff to increase interest in their product. Hopefully I'll be pleasantly surprised by this game, but I'd by no means pin my hopes on it being anything special.

 
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News Comments > Thief: Deadly Shadows Gold
6. Re: PC Gamer May 5, 2004, 13:52 Evil Timmy
 
I've found gaming rags to be solidly untrustworthy over the years. Dunno if it's the long lead time or what, but they've generally had a higher margin of error than I find acceptable. Also, you don't see much in the way of post-patch updates from them. Give me a bevy of online articles and discussion that I can interact with, then I'll be willing to make my purchasing decision.

However, the Deus Ex 2-style small corridors style works rather well in the Thief universe...as long as they didn't screw the pooch with their implementation of gameplay (please tell me they got their performance problems ironed out, as Far Cry runs better than DX2 ever did). Eagerly awaiting the Game Reviews update with the Thief reviews @ Blues.

Edit: and graphics for which Ion Storm is famous for.
This makes me wonder who's writing their press releases these days...
This comment was edited on May 5, 13:54.
 
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News Comments > It Came from E3, Part 0
68. Re: No subject May 4, 2004, 03:52 Evil Timmy
 
ID: Yep. We've been done with the game since February. We just wanted to go to E3 again. It's fun.

You owe me a mouthful of Pepsi over that line. Let's say, two ounces? Okay, good.

Personally, I stopped caring about game release dates and pre-release hype and all that a long time ago. For some of these people, it seems like they feel delaying, say, Half-Life 2, is equivalent to Gabe Newell personally running over their dog, then pissing on it and tossing it on their front porch. It's a reality of the gaming industry: things often take longer than was originally planned. And yes, Valve screwed up with their incredibly late delay announcement. However, if you weren't following it that closely, it wasn't anything to get upset about. It also leaves you more open to the option of other games; Halo, Etherlords II, Jedi Academy, Homeworld 2 and MOH:AA Breakthrough were all worthy of your time and came out in September 2003.

If you get your hopes up based on pre-release hype, there's little you can be but disappointed. However, if you stick largely to games that have garnered good feedback from reviewers and the gaming public, you're likely to have an overall much more enjoyable experience, and to play games that may not have huge marketing and PR teams, but that are more worth your time than half a dozen lame sequels.

Edit: Fixed formatting. Thanks for using completely non-standard tags, to mess with my php/webdesign habits and sensibilities!
This comment was edited on May 4, 03:53.
 
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News Comments > City of Heroes Live
60. $15? Pocket change! Apr 28, 2004, 23:26 Evil Timmy
 
$15 really isn't all that much, unless you're on an allowance from your parents. For people actually working jobs, even a part-time job at a fast food place (not me, thankfully), it's rather minimal. However, I'm still reluctant to pay, because I haven't found the gameplay itself to be nearly as enjoyable as many of the single-player experiences you can get.

Far Cry was mentioned above...it was good for 25 hours of gameplay or so even a single time through, so playing 90 minutes a day Monday-Thursday (weekends are for friends and going out, not sitting in front of a computer getting a CRT tan) means it took me about a month to finish the game. And, if I want to stop playing and pick it up at any time, I can without having it cost me a dime. I don't have to wait for friends to come online, nor do I have to deal with other players exploiting, griefing, or making nuisances of themselves.

While I have no clue how well it'd work, I'd love to see a distributed-server-based MMO game, even as a limited experiment. Give individual admins the power to shape a part of the world, and should it be deemed a good-quality, consistent addition to the world, a master server would attach it to the network. The traffic of people to the server would determine the chunk of the subscription fee, which would cover the rising server costs and reward those who make an interesting part of the game world. Players also get the option of choice; if they don't like a section of the world, they don't go there, and it withers and dies, while those they enjoy grow and flourish.

There's also a much smaller outlay necessary for the initial developer. A few Lego-style set pieces and good terrain generation features, along with the ability to define more via a 3ds / Maya / Softimage / preferred modelling app plugin, would give those interested both a good starting point for continuity's sake and the ability to extend the world as far as their imagination and talent allow. Hopefully, these same creators would allow some of their art/models/terrains to be reused by others, and at the same time be allowed to suggest modifications to existing resources or rules. Think of it as a US-style representation scenario, except even more free. Imagine if the admins on your favorite multiplayer server could suggest additions and changes to the game overall, how much better it could be. Of course, this is all pure imagination, and I don't have the bursting-at-the-seams bank account to fund even the inital costs of a project like this. But I'd certainly be interested if anything resembling it popped up in the market.

 
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News Comments > KOTOR 2 Details
39. My long lost fourth cousin, or something Apr 27, 2004, 19:56 Evil Timmy
 
my ancestor, Noah Webster

Wow, Blue, we're vaguely related. My great-grandmother's great uncle was Noah Webster. You're like a very distant relative I never knew I had, because you are! Weird how these things show up.

And the whole American vs British thing is something I have first-hand experience with. I lived largely in the States up until three years ago, when I moved to Hong Kong. It's still rather British (seeing as it was a British colony for a century and a half), so I've had to learn a fair few new terms for things so I'm not lost when locals (even those who speak English well) are talking. To be honest, I prefer the metric system and many of the expressions, and I've gotten used to cars driving on the other side of the road. Oh, and massive crowds of people who are 6 or more inches shorter than I am (I'm 6'3"...sorry, 1.1 BlueYards). I also weigh 1.25 BlueTons. All hail El Presidente!

This comment was edited on Apr 27, 19:59.
 
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News Comments > Shellshock Nam '67 Movie
8. Dear sweet Jesus... Apr 25, 2004, 02:39 Evil Timmy
 
Learn from your mistakes, devs! Vietcong was nearly as painful as the war itself. Either you're making an accurate and terribly annoying game, or you've got a generic tropical game that you say is in Vietnam but could be in any tropical location, real or imagined. Why don't we get more moderately-in-the-future games in the style of Deus Ex? It gives you the freedom to add whatever you need for plot devices while still having a fairly firm grounding in reality. Old wars seen from a largely American perspective are overdone, so unless you're really doing something stunningly unique, you'll be drowned out by all the other games set in the same period (and you'll face the inevitable comparisons).

And, an appropriate joke...how many Vietnam vets does it take to change a lightbulb?
You don't know 'cause you weren't there man!

 
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