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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 316 (Amateur)
User ID 6134
 
User comment history
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News Comments > Neverwinter Announced
7. Re: Neverwinter Announced Aug 23, 2010, 12:55 The Pyro
 
Seriously - with all the cults, demons, plagues, and undead attacks I'm surprised that people keep moving back into Neverwinter. Is the city sitting on a gold mine or something?  
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News Comments > L4D2 DLC Announcement Nears?
9. Re: L4D2 DLC Announcement Nears? Aug 20, 2010, 10:13 The Pyro
 
Unfortunately high-quality community content is hard to come by. A few years ago I made several Quake 2 / 3 maps, and it was incredibly time-consuming even then. A good Left 4 Dead campaign must have 100x more detail than the stuff I did.  
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News Comments > QuakeCon Done Quick
4. Re: QuakeCon Done Quick Aug 3, 2010, 08:32 The Pyro
 
QuakeCon has always been free thanks to generous sponsors. It's probably a good deal for the sponsors also; you've got several thousand hard-core gamers crammed into one venue, and for a sponsor like NVIDIA you can be sure that nearly 100% are interested in purchasing a GPU, either now or in the near future.
 
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News Comments > On StarCraft II Anti-aliasing
16. Re: On StarCraft II Anti-aliasing Jul 27, 2010, 12:25 The Pyro
 
Funny, I've become accustomed to manually disabling AA in newer games. The visual difference to me is minimal, while the performance gains can be huge.  
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News Comments > RAGE Trailers
51. Re: RAGE Trailers Jun 18, 2010, 08:51 The Pyro
 
I enjoyed Doom 3 thoroughly, despite the monster closets. Nightmare mode is the way the game is meant to be played: fast, and almost always near death. I think a lot of people got bored with the game because they played it too "safely" (ie slow).

Install one of the flashlight mods (if you have to) and try doing a speed run. It's a blast But by all means, make do without a flashlight as much as possible. Just aim for the glowing red eyes. Constantly swapping between a flashlight and your gun is not how the game's intended to be played, IMO. You gotta learn to fight in the dark.

 
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News Comments > RAGE Trailers
2. Re: RAGE Trailers Jun 17, 2010, 10:28 The Pyro
 
Nice. These are the first RAGE videos that have actually piqued my interest in the game.  
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News Comments > Why Didn't You Buy GSB?
63. Re: Why Didn't You Buy GSB? Jun 6, 2010, 09:07 The Pyro
 
I liked the concept - it sounded exactly like a game that I would have written myself. I even tried the demo. The demo, however, did not leave me wanting more. It wasn't as much fun as I thought it would be.

I not certain why this is, but I can speculate.

First of all, I think the pace of battles was a too slow for me. The ships appear to move very slowly across the battlefield (even the fast ones) and it takes forever for something to die (especially as the battle drags on and half your fleet is damaged). I do understand, though, that the relatively slow movement puts more emphasis on the strategy of your initial fleet deployment.

Secondly, as another posted mentioned, there was very little to do once a battle started. And while the graphics were beautiful, it was also difficult for me to visually understand why certain ships were performing so well or poorly.

Finally, at some point during the demo (while trying to achieve more honor) I got to the point where I didn't even care about watching the battle. I just wanted to click the "run" button and then immediately find out if I won.

I did like a few things:
1) The humor was great. I laughed out loud several times. After hearing all of the jokes, though, this was no longer a selling point.
2) The graphics were indeed beautiful, especially the progressive ship damage.

 
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News Comments > Portal 2 Surprise Planned
36. Re: Portal 2 Surprise Planned Jun 2, 2010, 10:54 The Pyro
 
Creston wrote on Jun 2, 2010, 10:09:
while 877 billion Seekers (IIRC) are continuously destroying that ball

That's why you're supposed to kill the Hunters *before* launching a ball at a Stalker I quite enjoyed the final battle.
 
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News Comments > Dwarf Fortress Makes Money
2. Re: Dwarf Fortress Makes Money May 17, 2010, 22:55 The Pyro
 
I wish Tarn all the best, but $3200 per month is only about $38k a year *before taxes*, and comes with *no benefits* (ie health insurance, which by law he'll soon be required to purchase if he doesn't have it already). I assume he must also share some of the money with his brother, who helps him out quite a bit. His revenue stream is extremely erratic and self-employment taxes are much higher than what a salaried employee would pay. In short, he may be scraping by, but I wouldn't call it "making money."

He must be happy doing what he's doing, though, because I'm sure someone with his education and talents could be making much better money doing almost anything else. Like writing ultra-detailed stock market simulations with insane, 3 foot tall, booze-guzzling investors scrambling to become millionaires.
 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
28. Re: Out of the Blue May 13, 2010, 16:42 The Pyro
 
Seriously, how the **** do people get infected?

Normally I'm completely paranoid about security, but one of my machines was infected about a year ago. I'm pretty certain I know how; it was a malicious PDF file which was embedded in an ad. The PDF file took advantage of a zero-day exploit in Adobe Reader and proceeded to own my system.

All of this could have been prevented if I had turned off Javascript in Acrobat and configured Firefox to always save PDFs instead of opening them in the browser. Even better, I could have been using a 3rd-party PDF reader instead of Adobe's.

I fell victim to the above incident for a few other reasons:

1) The ad with the exploit was embedded on a site that I visit almost daily. I've never had problems with the site before. Unfortunately the owner of the site apparently didn't have much control over which ads were inserted by the ad network.

2) I didn't have to click on anything because Firefox, in its default configuration, automatically opens PDF files in the browser.

3) I was already running the latest version of Acrobat and Firefox. This was a zero-day exploit, meaning that there was no patch available yet.

4) I wasn't running live antivirus at the time, but I don't think it would have helped. Antivirus software is awful in general at catching new exploits (before they are analyzed by the company). Also, in my experience none of the antivirus programs out there can successfully clean a machine that's been infected with several of the common, nastier types of malware. When cleaning malware off of others' computers, I frequently have to try three or four different antivirus vendors before all the crud is cleaned off.

 
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News Comments > Steam Bestsellers
4. Re: Steam Bestsellers May 9, 2010, 18:16 The Pyro
 
But what's the point of pre-ordering a digital download? It's not like they're going to run out of copies in the first week.  
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News Comments > StarCraft II Day One Patch Plans
6. Re: StarCraft II Day One Patch Plans Mar 9, 2010, 13:24 The Pyro
 
If they're already planning a day one patch then I would hazard a guess that either the Battle.net team is way behind schedule or Blizzard expects the game to go gold in the very near future. Why else would they assume the issues won't be fixed before going gold?

Just my opinion, though
 
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News Comments > Final The Old Republic Classes Revealed
17. Re: Final The Old Republic Classes Revealed Nov 24, 2009, 11:08 The Pyro
 
No Bothan spy? :(

Bothan Spy
Slightly incompetent, Bothan Spies make up for their shortcomings with sheer numbers and stubborn persistence.

Skills
Die Repeatedly: This skill allows a Bothan Spy to die over and over again in order to gain information. Bothan spies may also use this skill collectively, distributing the deaths among a larger pool of spies in order to gain the information more quickly.
 
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News Comments > Diablo 3 Skill Trees Cut Down?
5. Re: Diablo III Skill Trees Cut Down? Nov 24, 2009, 11:00 The Pyro
 
Sounds like Torchlight. None of the Torchlight skills have prerequisites, but they are divided into different "paths".  
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News Comments > Ships Ahoy - PC Resident Evil 5
17. Re: Ships Ahoy - PC Resident Evil 5 Sep 16, 2009, 08:39 The Pyro
 
Those 3-D glasses from NVidia seem like rip-off to me. Shutter glasses have been on the market for years; I payed $70 for mine almost 5 years ago, and they worked extremely well with almost all the games I owned. Why does NVidia believe their glasses are worth $150?  
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News Comments > GPU Flocking Movie
10. Re: GPU AI Movie Sep 3, 2009, 23:09 The Pyro
 
It's impressive, but I wouldn't call it groundbreaking. I wrote a flocking demo a couple years ago that could handle 1000 bots at a decent framerate. The bots could avoid each other, fly in groups, etc... My demo, however, used octrees to reduce the number of computations needed.

From the video, it sounds like their demo uses brute force rather than octrees in order manage collisions between bots (they mentioned having 4 million collision tests per frame). If so, that much is extremely impressive. You definitely couldn't do that with a traditional CPU.

It's hard to tell whether their approach has significant technical drawbacks that weren't discussed.
 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
14. Re: Out of the Blue Aug 13, 2009, 16:57 The Pyro
 
94 F, 97 F, 94 F, and 95 F

I don't know what you're complaining about... that's a bona-fide cold front here in Dallas! Temperatures of 100+ are not unusual in August (I believe we hit 107 recently, in fact).
 
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News Comments > Out of the Blue
6. UPS Batteries Aug 1, 2009, 19:38 The Pyro
 
In all of the UPS's I've owned, the batteries never last much more than 2 years.  
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News Comments > StarCraft II LAN Dropped Due to Piracy
36. Re: StarCraft II LAN Dropped Due to Piracy Jun 30, 2009, 13:07 The Pyro
 
It's a shame that we won't be able to play Starcraft II at conventions such as QuakeCon, where outside bandwidth is limited or non-existent.

It's a shame that we won't be able to play Starcraft II from multiple computers on a shared Internet connection, since I doubt DSL is sufficient to handle more than one Battle.net connection at once.

I guess if I want to play SC2 with my friends then they'll all have to go home to use separate Internet connections instead of being in the same room
 
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News Comments > id on Engine Licensing
26. Re: id on Engine Licensing May 13, 2009, 13:17 The Pyro
 
id has done some fine work in the past, but their engines seem to lack versatility. I would guess that id is just not motivated to put forth the tedious effort required to make an engine as complete as the Unreal engine. Granted, I don't work in the industry, but my impression of id's engines has been that they focus on one or two gimmicks in each version, and everything else is done to the minimum level needed for whatever FPS they release as the tech demo.

Quake 1 Gimmick: Full 3D
Quake 2 Gimmick: 3D accelerator support
Quake 3 Gimmick: Shaders
Doom 3 Gimmick: Unified lighting
RAGE Gimmick: Megatexture

Although the engines perform flawlessly, they don't come across as complete solutions. Meanwhile the Unreal engine throws in everything *including* the kitchen sink.

Yeah, yeah, I'm probably over-simplifying things a bit... but that's my general impression of how things have developed.
 
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316 Comments. 16 pages. Viewing page 10.
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