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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
Description Software developer, long-time Blue's reader
Homepage None given.
Signed On Jul 10, 2000, 20:19
Total Comments 346 (Amateur)
User ID 6134
 
User comment history
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News Comments > Robo Instructus Released
2. Re: Robo Instructus Released Jul 17, 2019, 19:11 The Pyro
 
This looks more polished than similar programming games I've tried in the past. Syntax highlighting and tab completion are a welcome addition. Snagged a copy for the kid - will write a review in a week or so once we've played beyond the simple stuff.  
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News Comments > Cyberpunk 2077 Getting Ray Tracing Support
15. Re: Cyberpunk 2077 Getting Ray Tracing Support Jun 12, 2019, 10:02 The Pyro
 
Nifty reflections on the floor. OK. If the game can still run at 60 fps then I might leave them turned on.  
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News Comments > Free QUAKE II RTX Next Week
18. Re: Free QUAKE II RTX Next Week May 28, 2019, 10:32 The Pyro
 
Gloom

Gloom! Wasted so many hours on that. Skipped classes to make custom maps (mines-1 was my fault, sorry about that). Alas, I doubt Gloom would work with the ray-tracing stuff. I think Gloom eventually went to its own standalone client? Or maybe I'm getting it mixed up with Tremulous...
 
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News Comments > Epic Mega Sale
29. Re: Epic Mega Sale May 16, 2019, 13:22 The Pyro
 
Midnight wrote on May 16, 2019, 12:02:
No categories, no tags, just a bunch of thumbnails which tell you nothing about what kind of games you're looking at.

Can you really call it a thumbnail when uses up more than half the vertical space in your browser window? Ugh, I hate modern web design sometimes. Can barely see more than 3 games on the screen at once.
 
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News Comments > Get Age of Wonders III for Free
4. Re: Get Age of Wonders III for Free May 9, 2019, 20:04 The Pyro
 
I already own it, but I figured I'd drop my endorsement 'cuz I enjoyed the game so much. It's a great little 4x with a strong focus on tactical combat. The graphics have aged remarkably well; the proceduraly-generated maps are quite attractive IMO.  
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News Comments > Gatherings & Competitions
1. Re: Gatherings & Competitions May 7, 2019, 08:42 The Pyro
 
BlizzCon 2019 tickets revolve around invasive, poorly reviewed smartphone app.

C'mon, guys, it's been hours since this story was posted. I was really hoping for some zingers! Too easy?
 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
22. Re: Out of the Blue Apr 29, 2019, 15:46 The Pyro
 
Unfortunately, for me GoT is wrapping up in about the same way as Lost. It's an ending, but it's not a very satisfying one because they haven't wrapped up all the various plot lines (the return of magic, birth of the dragons, the significance of the comet, the return of the others, R'hllor, why anyone should care about saving the three-eyed raven) in a way that makes sense. There are no new insights into why these things happened; it's like the writers just threw in a bunch of stuff that sounded cool.

Admittedly I've been spoiled lately by reading Sanderson novels. Endings are among the strongest qualities of his work.

EDIT: I enjoyed the opening scenes and the tension quite a bit. There was some good cinematography in there. The darkness complaints I also totally understand; streaming viewers got shafted by video compression at low bitrates. The compression algorithms turn dark stuff into a blotchy, muddy mess.
 
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News Comments > Chris Taylor Reveals Intergalactic Space Empire and Kanoogi Platform
3. Re: Chris Taylor Reveals Intergalactic Space Empire and Kanoogi Platform Apr 25, 2019, 11:33 The Pyro
 
After Dungeon Siege (of no loading screens fame) I have huge respect for his architectural prowess. I look forward to seeing how this turns out.

I'm also curious about which aspect of the processing takes place on the server. Traditionally RTS games have been lock-step peer-to-peer simulations to keep data transfer to a minimum. Perhaps that's no longer necessary with modern bandwidth capabilities?
 
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News Comments > Path of Exile Melee Change Plans
8. Re: Path of Exile Melee Change Plans Apr 16, 2019, 09:38 The Pyro
 
Melee attacks are in a tough spot because PoE has evolved into a game that's all about speed and avoiding huge attacks. Melee kinda sucks at both of those things. You need to be close to monsters to hit them, which means you waste a lot more time zig-zagging between packs rather than firing off one spell and melting the entire screen. Melee characters are constantly in-range of all the nastiest attacks that bosses can throw at them. Eventually you get locked into an attack animation at an unfortunate moment, eat a huge slam, get randomly crit, and die.

It doesn't help that GGG has released a number of non-melee skills (e.g. brands) that trivialize offensive mechanics to the point where you're literally just running past monsters to kill them. You've got all the time in the world to dodge or just keep going fast.

The most competitive form of the game tends to be races (i.e. first to level 90), and I don't think we've seen top racers go melee in quite a while. For good reason.
 
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News Comments > Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition and Borderlands 2/Pre-Sequel Ultra HD Textures Released
3. Re: Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition and Borderlands 2/Pre-Sequel Ultra HD Textures Releas Apr 3, 2019, 11:12 The Pyro
 
Given the game's cell-shaded art style, I never really felt like it was being held back by texture resolution. My main beef with BL2 was poor PhysX performance. For some reason I still have to turn off PhysX (via manual INI edits, no less!) to get acceptable framerates on a GTX 970. Slowdowns mainly happened in specific areas, like the whirlpool room in the Bloodshot's hideout. Runs smooth as silk once you turn off PhysX.  
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News Comments > Cyan Kickstarting Firmament
4. Re: Cyan Kickstarting Firmament Mar 26, 2019, 14:20 The Pyro
 
For what it's worth, Cyan's previous Kickstarter project was a few months late delivering some of the physical products, but the quality was top notch. They have a reputation for shipping fully-functional games, and they've even shipped a previous title with VR support. There's no reason to expect a total failure here.  
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News Comments > QUAKE II RTX
13. Re: QUAKE II RTX Mar 19, 2019, 17:06 The Pyro
 
I think the "grainy" quality of the software renderer could probably be duplicated in OpenGL by just disabling texture interpolation; it's been a while since I poked around in Q2, but there's probably a console command that can do it.

Personally I preferred OpenGL for performance reasons but also because it supported colored lighting.
 
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News Comments > QUAKE II RTX
1. Re: QUAKE II RTX Mar 19, 2019, 09:53 The Pyro
 
Perhaps my memory of Q2 is faulty, but it looks they (accidentally?) removed all of the particle effects. No blaster trail, no shotgun splash on the walls, no blood sprays. Bugged?  
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News Comments > Apex Legends Cheaters Hit With Permanent Hardware Bans
47. Re: Apex Legends Cheaters Hit With Permanent Hardware Bans Mar 18, 2019, 16:46 The Pyro
 
How are they able to cheat in the first place?

The three most common cheats in server-authoritative FPS games are:

1. Aimbots. These are modified client executables that aim for you. Sometimes they lock on to a particular target, and sometimes they just click the fire button at the right moment when your cursor passes over a target. Detecting these sorts of cheats is always a back-and-forth arms race because, at the end of the day, the server does not have a 100% foolproof method to validate the software you're running.

2. Wallhacks. These are a collection of cheats that allow you to see through walls and spot enemies hiding behind cover. These cheats can be problematic because cheaters don't always need to modify the original game; in some cases, external programs can snoop on network traffic and draw overlays on your screen. There are a variety of ways to accomplish wallhacks, from modifying specific shaders or game models, to actually editing the rendering code.

3. Speedhacks. Most server-authoritative games will, to some degree, trust the client's word when it comes to the exact positioning of your character - because when you don't trust the client, even small amounts of lag cause very unpleasant rubber-banding and displacement issues. Unfortunately, cheaters can abuse this trust by modifying the game client to allow them to move at higher-than-normal speeds.
 
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News Comments > Funcom Inks DUNE Gaming Deal
33. Re: Funcom Inks DUNE Gaming Deal Feb 27, 2019, 09:27 The Pyro
 
For someone who has never seen Dune (1984) before... do you recommend a specific version? I hear there are a few different cuts out there.

The 1984 Dune movie and the SciFi mini-series are both enjoyable but flawed.

Stylistically, I probably prefer Lynch's version (1984). But it also cuts out a lot of material from the book, and makes some odd changes (weirding modules?) which detract from the series's underlying theme of human evolution. These changes don't work well when considering the plots of later books, but of course Lynch's Dune didn't get a sequel. The plot isn't explained as well in this version, so non-readers may get lost.

SciFi's mini-series follows the book very closely, and it does a better job, overall, handling plot issues in the latter half of the book. Some of the costumes are ridiculous, though, and the acting ranges from pretty decent to cringe-worthy. The Children of Dune follow-up series has a great soundtrack; I'd almost say the series is worth watching just for the Inama Nushif montage

Overall I enjoyed both of them for different reasons.

EDIT: I do wonder how a more modern audience will react to Baron Harkonnen's sexuality. It's certainly not portrayed in a positive light. Maybe they'll cut that part out?
 
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News Comments > More PUBG Anti-Cheat Efforts
18. Re: More PUBG Anti-Cheat Efforts Feb 26, 2019, 13:53 The Pyro
 
Presumably Tencent has close ties to the Chinese government, so no big surprises here.  
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News Comments > Morning Metaverse
56. Re: Morning Metaverse Jan 23, 2019, 08:39 The Pyro
 
Well, there goes every charitable organization. They're done.

To be fair, we've already reached the point where more than half of American households can't feasibly get a tax writeoff for charitable donations. Median income is ~61k, while the 2019 standard deduction is either 18k or 24k for families. That's like 30% to 40% of your entire income. The only way most people are going to hit that is by taking a huge hit on mortgage interest and/or health care expenses, which isn't exactly charity.

Donations never improve your finances anyway; it's a subsidized gift, but it still costs you money. Unless, of course, you donate to your own organization and then skim off the top somehow...
 
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News Comments > Can You Actually See Ray Tracing?
17. Re: Can You Actually See Ray Tracing? Jan 15, 2019, 15:31 The Pyro
 
I would only expect to see a major difference when looking at large reflective surfaces (e.g. glass, water). Without ray-tracing, the reflections will be drawn using something like a static environment map. They're reasonably good at fooling your brain, so the player still feels immersed.

With ray-tracing turned on, however, you ought to see a reflection of the actual environment including any dynamic objects such as player characters, etc... Depending on how maps are designed, this might even confer a competitive advantage to players who can use ray-traced reflections to see around corners.

I wouldn't expect a night-and-day difference in overall visual quality, though, because of course a huge AAA game isn't going to blow half their art budget on a rendering pipeline that's unusable by 99% of their customers. The game needs to look great on the majority of systems.
 
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News Comments > DMCA Notice Freezes Star Control Origins in Carbonite
51. Re: DMCA Notice Freezes Star Control Origins in Carbonite Jan 2, 2019, 09:45 The Pyro
 
EDIT: comment removed because I probably don't know what I'm talking about

This comment was edited on Jan 2, 2019, 15:04.
 
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News Comments > Op Ed
3. Re: Op Ed Dec 11, 2018, 12:30 The Pyro
 
Not to worry, I'm sure the Epic launcher will be bloated with unwanted features soon enough. This is just a rush to get that extra revenue coming in as quickly as possible...

Steam itself was unwelcome at launch; most gamers wouldn't have touched it with a 10-foot pole if not for the eagerly anticipated Half-Life 2. Epic's recent success with Fortnite is exactly what they need to get a foot in the door. Time will tell if they manage to expand their library enough to stay installed; I haven't launched Origin again since I finished ME3.
 
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346 Comments. 18 pages. Viewing page 1.
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