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User information for Steve Wood

Real Name Steve Wood   
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Nickname Rockn-Roll
Email Concealed by request - Send Mail
ICQ None given.
Description Rock (Ibanez 7-string guitar into Marshall amp) and Roll (Corvette Stingray).

Computer Engineer for 28 years...mostly corporate applications, but some gaming. Have worked for/with Gamespy, Intel, IBM, Hewlett Packard, and People Soft.
Homepage None given.
Signed On Jun 25, 2004, 10:25
Total Comments 279 (Amateur)
User ID 21182
 
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News Comments > Deus Ex: Human Revolution DLC Details
22. Re: Deus Ex: Human Revolution DLC Details Sep 15, 2011, 05:43 Rockn-Roll
 
I'm looking forward to this...yes it's like a very short full-term Deus Ex: Human Revolution game...rebuilding everything from scratch. I wouldn't say that it gets stripped down again...because at the end of the DLC segment that part of the game figuratively ends. I suppose we could imagine that the pod itself has some sort of bio-electric functionality which, for safety reasons, disables the augmented circuitry while the passenger is in transit and stores the technological configuration for when the person wakes up at the end of the voyage. But, apparently Jensen wakes up before the voyage has completed and the pod can't restore Jensen's technology yet. He must then get some praxis kits on the ship and use them...then before the voyage ends he gets back into the pod and it restores his original augmentation. The only thing I don't like is another boss battle...running around shooting at the same enemy over and over and then later realize that there's a trick to ending it with less pain...not fun.

Uhm...though I would like to say that it's very strange for a developer to try to coax us into reading. I read mostly for relaxation or learning something that I can use...when it comes to having fun reading is the last thing on my mind.
 
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News Comments > Why Bethesda Turned Down A Song of Ice and Fire
11. Re: Why Bethesda Turned Down A Song of Ice and Fire Sep 15, 2011, 02:49 Rockn-Roll
 
I was wondering about this...it didn't seem like a good fit for Cyanide...makers of sports management software...to do an RTS game for A Game of Thrones. And, keep in mind that it's just the first book...there's already 4 more books of material available for 4 more games...Bethesda doesn't need to give up home.

But, I see their point...G.R.R.Martin puts a huge amount of details into his world...there's not much room for originality in the story or characters. The major task of a game based on A Song of Ice and Fire (ASOIAF) is figuring out what has to be left out, what can be left out, and what needs to be a scenematic because there's no way it can be left out, but that part of the story absolutely has to be told.

Battles? There are so many battles and fights and melees and such. Especially Storm of Swords, but also Clash of Kings. His next book Winds of Winter should be a huge battle with dragons fighting others literally with Ice against Fire. The intrigue and mind games are important, but I believe cut-scenes would suffice for most of that stuff i.e. the court banter is the reason for the battles, but the battles themselves and where they take place are what drives the story...even the tiny skirmishes.

But, what makes a game based on these books a very difficult project is that each battle must have a set outcome or else the rest of the story won't work. For example if Renly wins the battle of bywater then a whole different story would occur...especially where Southern Westeros was concerned. The events across the sea and Northern Westeros would still go as written, but a huge amount of story would fall away. And just think of what would have happened if Stannis had won? The wall would have been breached and all of the North would have fallen to the Others. I suppose it could be done, but I'm not sure if Martin would want it that way. I think Martin's vision of a game based on ASOIAF would be one where the player can take on the role of one or more of the major characters and spend days in the atmosphere of the book canon...not really a strategy...more of a story book rider than a game player. The problem is that all the characters lose some fights/arguments...and players don't like to lose...the game would have to "cheat" so that the player always lost when they were supposed to. Or, I suppose the player would have to jump from character to character so that they are always the one that wins.
 
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News Comments > Same-Gender Relationships a Post-Launch Feature in The Old Republic
18. Re: Same-Gender Relationships a Post-Launch Feature in The Old Republic Sep 13, 2011, 18:55 Rockn-Roll
 
This is the stupidest thing I've ever seen. What's next? Cross-species? Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Sandvich kill them all? Good idea! Sandvich make love to Jarate? Bad idea.  
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News Comments > 2013: the Year Digital Sales Will Pass Retail - DFC
4. Re: 2013: the Year Digital Sales Will Pass Retail - DFC Sep 7, 2011, 22:57 Rockn-Roll
 
I don't think this is the right place for this "news".
Games on Facebook
Are you serious? Has anyone reading bluesnews actually played a game on facebook? What are we talking about here? Card games? Dice? Jeoperdy? Wheel of fortune? How can that possibly effect purchases of games like Deus Ex, RAGE, etc?

This comment was edited on Sep 7, 2011, 23:39.
 
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News Comments > RAGE Specs
35. Re: RAGE Specs Sep 7, 2011, 07:59 Rockn-Roll
 
The download will be compressed and most likely be around 3/4 of the 25GB which means still 18 or 19 GB to download...even with my 20mb (verified) download speed Steam will cap it at around 2.0mbs...pulling out calculator...18,000,000,000 Bytes/(20,000,000 bits per second/8 bits per byte)=7200 seconds=1200 minutes=20 hours. So, it looks like an entire day and night even at max download speed...which it won't maintain. I think a lot of people will be buying the retail box...the bonus is that we will all have something to display on our game shelf.

I'm very suprised at the low Recommended specs too. I know that the code was optimized for low-end systems, but a Core 2 Quad with a 9800GTX? I had to replace my 9800 over 2 years ago because it couldn't handle the games back then. Of course I like running full screen at my desktop res of 5040x1050 so I would expect to need to upgrade my graphics before most gamers do. But, it sounds like I'll be able to max everything out and still get a smooth experience...nice...I'm running Deus Ex: Human Revolution maxed and it's jittery as a june bug and I've had to lower the features a bit to keep from getting sick.

Nobody should be running XP now...Microsoft support has ended so there won't be any more patches, and XP is notorious for a lot of bugs which can be exploited and it's very unstable. Anyone still using XP should upgrade to Vista or Win 7. The only way to keep XP from crashing is to load it down with anti-spyware, anti-virus, and anti-crash software...which means it will be almost unusably slow and still not 100% safe.
 
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News Comments > Quoteworthy - Avalanche on DRM
21. Re: Quoteworthy - Avalanche on DRM Sep 6, 2011, 20:42 Rockn-Roll
 
"If a DRM system constantly needs to be defended, something must be wrong"
That is the least wisest quote I think I've ever seen. My assessment is that nearly all the complaints about DRM come from pirates and cheaters, and the non-pirates and cheaters almost allways complain about it requiring an internet onnection which is something that is currently as necessary for life as a phone was half a century ago...and if the only services in the area are stoneage then it is unfortunate, but also very rare to not even have a phone line with which you can use a modem to connect to the internet.

If there were no pirates at all then great development studios like LookingGlass would still be in business and the Thief series would never have slumped like it did with Deadly Shadows. Pirates and cheaters are pure scum...I'd rather see stricter DRM and better quality games than the poor quality games we have had to endure for the past decade along with draconian DRM in an attempt to stop pirating. DRM will end only when pirating ends...guess when that will happen.
 
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News Comments > Valve Games on Origin
52. Re: Valve Games on Origin Sep 4, 2011, 06:22 Rockn-Roll
 
eunichron wrote on Sep 3, 2011, 14:17:
The SW:TOR pre-order thing; yes they charge you $5 to pre-order, but the price of the game when you pre-order $54.99, making the total price for a pre-order $59.99... the same price it will be at retail launch. Are you guys even trying anymore?

That is exactly the same pre-order model that gamestop and almost every sales model follows...you pay $5 for a small cardboard box, some advertising, and perhaps a bonus item or something...then when the game is released you pay $5 less than the full price. Nothing new there.
 
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News Comments > Valve Games on Origin
51. Re: Valve Games on Origin Sep 4, 2011, 06:16 Rockn-Roll
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Sep 3, 2011, 14:06:
I pay 30$ more on Steam if i pre-order... think about that

If Origin has no proxy-defense....

What? $30 more than where? And, for what? Every game that I have bought I have compared the retail store such as Fry's or Gamestop vs the Steam Store and the prices on Steam have always been the same or less.
 
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News Comments > Valve Games on Origin
50. Re: Valve Games on Origin Sep 4, 2011, 06:12 Rockn-Roll
 
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Sep 3, 2011, 13:57:
[VG]Reagle wrote on Sep 3, 2011, 13:40:
Misleading title. These games are electronic and require steam. So you can launch them through Origin but you need steam.
No, it's not misleading. All Steamworks titles - wherever they're bought - require Steam.

Steam is absolutely free and does not advertise or sell your personal information. I've used Steam ever since it started and not one game company has ever contacted me with a bulk mailer or anything that would lead me to believe my information had been sold. And, I've never paid anything to use Steam while they continue to provide updates and patches for every game that they support.

Thanks for providing this opportunity to see Steam as a value added product.
 
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News Comments > Deus Ex: Human Revolution "The Missing Link" DLC Next Month
40. Re: Deus Ex: Human Revolution Sep 4, 2011, 06:07 Rockn-Roll
 
ELITE wrote on Sep 4, 2011, 04:18:
Hey do you guys not spend your points on Augs until you need them?
I've been playing so far and not upgrading or selecting augs unless I get stuck.

I thought I needed them for the first boss but after several retrys with different augs - it turned out I didn't need them to beat'm

Some augs can help reduce the mundane boss fights...yeah I hate them...monotonously dumping ammo into the same body again and again just isn't my idea of fun...yeah some people like them I guess or they wouldn't put them in unless they are still copying Doom.

For example, in the first boss fight you mentioned:

Full Cloaking and all 5 cell augs greatly reduces the time spent killing the first boss...also collecting grenades helps.

In the second boss fight:

The dermal armor upgraded to protect against electrical shock and the increased sprint help...then all you need to do is follow her around until she stops and destroy the power node that she is next to or wait next to one until she attacks...emp grenades help too.

Yeah...you can save up the Praxis kits until you need them, but you can also decide at the start of the game what Jensen wants to do.

Do you want to be stealthy? Then buy all the hacking and cloaking augs.

Do you want to go rambo? Then buy the additional inventory slots to hold more weapons and ammo plus dermal armor.

There's also a goal of getting all the praxis kits available and buying all the augs...this may require several play throughs because you have to have certain augs before you can gain access to additional praxis kits. For example: in the final mission there is a LIMB clinic which can only be accessed by moving a heavy box...if you don't have the heavy lifting aug by then then you can't get those last two praxis kits.

This comment was edited on Sep 4, 2011, 06:48.
 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
22. Re: Out of the Blue Sep 3, 2011, 10:35 Rockn-Roll
 
This post is dengised to boggle your nimd. (I reversed the two gg's in the word boggle to distract you)  
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News Comments > Deus Ex: Human Revolution "The Missing Link" DLC Next Month
24. Re: Deus Ex: Human Revolution "The Missing Link" DLC Next Month Sep 3, 2011, 10:25 Rockn-Roll
 
I finished DX:HR and am doing a second play-through. I actually did think to myself, "...no ship mission like in the original". But, it looks like they actually did make it, but instead of being in the original release they made it a DLC...in order to get more money from those players that like the game no doubt, but at least it is available. I'm not sure I want it right now though...the original game really is complete and replayable for years to come. I think perhaps in a few months or so...after another four or five play throughs I might pony up the money for a DLC. But, you never know...I might get an itch and buy it right away...I'm spontaneous sometimes.  
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News Comments > Eidos Montreal on Deus Ex: Human Revolution AI
14. Re: Eidos Montreal on Deus Ex: Human Revolution AI Aug 24, 2011, 13:17 Rockn-Roll
 
Yeah...I did notice that the AI doesn't care if their buddies are missing. I've taken down a guard just 2 feet from another guard and he just stands there whistling if he was facing the other way.

But, I agree that overall the AI is fun...there's plenty of times that I've been caught sneaking.
 
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News Comments > On Origin Data-Mining
29. Re: On Origin Data-Mining Aug 24, 2011, 05:38 Rockn-Roll
 
What makes this so bad is that EA isn't allowing players to opt out. Steam gives you a choice...you don't have to allow Steam to collect any information if you won't want to. Also, Steam doesn't have any third party that they give information to...it's all kept in-house. EA is going to be selling information such as your email address, IP address, mailing address, and any other information that can be used for direct marketing...as long as it doesn't include anything personal i.e. your name, age, or birthdate. An email address is considered public just like a phone number or mailing address.

I'm glad EA doesn't make any games that I'm interested in.
 
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News Comments > Shoot Many Robots Ubisoft Deal, Trailer
3. Re: Shoot Many Robots Ubisoft Deal, Trailer Aug 23, 2011, 02:47 Rockn-Roll
 
A side-scrolling game? Then it's true...Ubisoft is caught in a time loop and de-evolving. I look forward (or is it backwards) to Ubisoft's next release of their text adventures followed closely by a board game and then finally a game drawn in sand with rocks and stones as the player's pieces.  
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News Comments > From Dust DRM to Change
26. Re: From Dust DRM to Change Aug 23, 2011, 01:13 Rockn-Roll
 
Good job people...you managed to de-evolve gaming.
those who have already started the game, and who’s progress is currently saved on our servers, will receive and save their game information locally
You do realize that because of the pirates and cheaters honest gamers will no longer be able to save their games online. If they travel while playing or their computer crashes during a game then they will lose all their progress. What next?...if enough gamers say they can't afford graphics cards so game developers remove that requirement and only release text games?

I would think twice about buying an Ubisoft game because they give in to pirates and cheaters...perhaps they are pirates and cheaters themselves and sypathize with their cohorts in crime.

I think the TF2 Heavy says it best, "Stupid. Stupid. Stupid."
 
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News Comments > Duke Reboot Planned?
25. Re: Duke Reboot Planned? Aug 22, 2011, 16:39 Rockn-Roll
 
It doesn't need a reboot. It just needs to be released while the technology is decent. Duke Nukem Forever would have been a great game...perhaps we would have been amazed...if it had only been released in 1999 when it was supposed to. It would have been a great money wagon IP for 3DRealms. They could have released a game every 2 or 3 years on newer and better technology.

There isn't really any need for a story...we didn't care...a testosterone enriched voice marveling at the bouncing babes and squashing alien attackers is all we cared about. X-Files should have had an episode where a game producer is taken over by aliens and delays the release of a game which would have trained millions of boys to fight aliens and entice girls...allowing a mix of The Sims and Leisure Suit Larry to turn them into workaholic fags so the aliens could take over without anyone knowing.
 
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News Comments > Valve: Counter-Strike Global Offensive Cross-Platform Play "Our Goal
59. Re: Valve: Counter-Strike Global Offensive Cross-Platform Play "Our Goal Aug 20, 2011, 03:32 Rockn-Roll
 
Keep in mind that when we compare controllers it's not just the objects that are at our hands, but also the technical details of how our manipulation of those objects translate into aiming. Keep in mind that the goal of the aiming control is to position a crosshair onto a target. The essential difference between a game controller and a mouse is:

* A game controller receives directional input from the object in our hands i.e. we press an array of buttons to indicate the direction in which to move...we must wait for when the point where we wanted to go has arrived then release the button.

* A mouse receives positional input from the object in our hands i.e. we simply move to the desired point.

Thus, a game controller has a built-in requirement for a set of complex steps in order to achieve aiming while a mouse is a direct aiming device. This doesn't mean that someone using a controller can't aim as well or better than someone using a mouse...there are some very talented FPS controller gamers that can do well against a mouse gamer. However, the average gamer will find it much easier to learn and play FPS games if they use a mouse for aiming. A fact that boggles my mind as to why game developers insist on designing FPS games for consoles when consoles are the worst platforms to play them on.

So, what will cross-platform do? Provide the developers with some technical challenges...that's all. The server configs will definitely want to include the ability to restrict games to players using game controller...and also restrict games to players that don't use auto-aim. Mixing games with players that use mice against players not using auto-aim with game controllers along with players that do use auto-aim will be a disaster for everyone...as it has before.

What really needs to happen is for game consoles to standardize better game controllers.
 
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News Comments > From Dust DRM Dust Up - Refunds Offered? [Updated]
39. Re: From Dust DRM Dust Up - Refunds Offered? [Updated] Aug 19, 2011, 12:56 Rockn-Roll
 
I really wasn't interested in Dust...mostly because it does look like a console game. But, I hope it's obvious that an internet connection has become a standard fixture. All new buildings...both home and business...are wired for electricity (110 or 220), phone (RJ11), and network (RJ45). In the vast majority of livable areas in the world an internet connection is available and affordable (though about 1/2 of those connections don't have high speed yet) and sometimes cheaper than a phone.

Software has to have some sort of DRM and currently the least problematic is to validate through the internet. And, the internet has a great feature of allowing the software to save game progress and achievements online...a win/win scenario. However, what I don't understand is why they don't simply use Steam which allows a completely offline mode...for some reason some game companies spend extra time to develop their own DRM scheme...most likely 100 hours. Which is really dumb because it only takes about 1 hour for a hacker to bypass it.

All a DRM needs to do is set limits on how the software is used...typically requiring that every computer running an instance of the software have a unique license.

However, in the case of ubisoft, it looks like UBI is dumping PC support, for example Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is not going to be ported to the PC at all and Ghost Recon Online will be 3rd person only.

Plus, I took a look at the ubisoft forum and it does look like Dust has been ported to the PC without any decent testing. One of the most telling and obvious indications of a bad port is crashing due to graphics problems at startup because the initial default graphics setting is to force full-screen using invalid uncommon full-screen settings for PC systems. Windowed is the most stable PC graphics setting and allows the most variety of settings while full-screen requires that the settings match the limited settings available for the user's hardware and software. It looks like Dust is crashing on startup for a lot of users and ubisoft is trying to claim that it's because their PC doesn't have good enough hardware.

Good PC ports will popup a small graphics settings application before launching the game which allows the user to specify what settings their system will work best. But, it doesn't even need that...all that a port needs to do is start the game windowed and the initial crashes would stop. That's been true for the last 5 years, but game companies have yet to catch on...indicating that they totally ignore PC support problems otherwise they would have listened to us and fixed that situation. There is nothing worse that a game that flat will not start at all.

I think one of the reasons game companies don't do something to fix PC support out of the box is that they convince users to update their drivers...when drivers are installed the graphics are set to a default configuration and then the game works OK. Ever since I started running a triple monitor setup I get a crash on startup from every game that was ported to the PC...when that happens I add "-windowed" to the command line options or find the configuration file and set the initial graphics to windowed then the game starts up OK.

 
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News Comments > Gabe Newell on EA vs. Steam
107. Re: Gabe Newell on EA vs. Steam Aug 19, 2011, 02:18 Rockn-Roll
 
I'd like to focus on the fact that Steam has been delivering an excellent service for over a decade now. Some of you weren't around or forget when there was finally a decent online gaming service where we could hang out and play games together for free...and it being free was very unusual at that time. That's why some of us are fans of Steam...not only because they are providing a decent service now, but because they came through for gamers when we were struggling to pay the $15 per month for some of the services on top of purchasing the required games.

EA is the one that's causing the problems...trying to make it look like Steam is bad. EA most likely did as much as they could to hurt Valve...which means that they couldn't find much wrong with Steam which left them with the simple message of selling their own games only on Origin and making us login to our EA accounts or lose our nicks as well as any products that we have registered with EA. Which happens to have been the worst thing they could have done...gamers don't react well to threats...especially not direct threats to take our games away. I'm glad I only own retail boxes for all my EA games...if I had purchased any through EA's digital delivery then I'd probably lose them at some point because I simply forgot to login to my account every year.

History indicates that Steam is a product made by people who care about providing the best free service for gamers. EA's Origin is a product made by people who don't care about providing a free service for gamers and only in it for the money.
 
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