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The Weekly OT #5: Herandar’s BF1 Impressions, The Kevin Durant Trade, and Evolve Goes FtP

July 4, 2016

This week, right on time, and actually scheduled in advance, automatic-like. I figured it out, too. If I need to post early because the thread is getting to heavy, I can call it #4b for example. So, getting better at my job.

  1. July 4, 2016 12:31 am

    I cleaned up the Pages column on the right – deleted old ones and re-categorized mislabeled ones.

    Also, if you want to pull up all the Weekly OT threads in one click, just hit the link under the header image (in the “Let’s Game” box) after the Timezones and Live Status. Note: The “Let’s Game” box is only visible when you load up the blog on the top address:

    Cheers! Have at it!

  2. July 4, 2016 3:34 pm

    Holy Crap Durant went to the Warrios. S.A.S. is already calling it the weakest move by a superstar in the history of the NBA.

    The funny thing is that it made the “The Decision” not as bad now.

    I mean seriously, OKC almost did the biggest upset sequence in NBA history and i’m not gonna lie if they had faced the Cavs, they could have won too. So yeah Durant went from a feel good story just a few weeks ago to the lets ride the new Lakers-ish bandwagon with the Warriors.

    However this has just raised the “Choke” meter to new heights. I mean now it’s not only if they don’t win a championship is considered a failure. It’s multiple championships, break their reg. season record, and possibly set the record in the playoffs too.

    That’s just insane. I knew that the new cap would make things ridiculous, but pairing the last two MVPs?

    The NBA just got broken. That’s it, it will never be the same.

  3. Herandar permalink
    July 4, 2016 5:38 pm

    Ugh. Just read about Durant. Agree with everything Franko said above. That’s the move you make for cheap when you have one year left and you never got a championship before, a la Karl Malone.

    The Warriors are now the league’s most hated team, bar none. You thought the LeBron-era Heat were vilified?

    • July 4, 2016 6:32 pm

      I’m Still shocked.

      Yeah I mean Drexler did it. Karl tried it. Barkley tried it. Heck Pippen was not that far of his prime when he joined Barkley and Hakeem. Prior “The Decision” it was the Celtics that paved the way, but again those were players that were 30-ish. The Decision was mid-to late 20’s, but again what they were leaving?

      Lebron’s sidekick was Mo’ Williams with 15.8 ppg (Shaq was 4th in scoring on the team…), Bosh had Andrea Bargnani (his only good season ever!), and Wade has Michael Beasley.

      Russell 23.5 Ppg 7.8 rebounds 10.4 Assists 2.0 Steals during the regular season, and got about the same in the playoffs but more importantly was statistically better than Steph Curry. Heck his “sidekick” technically got a better year than him.

      The there’s the whole “let’s laugh at Steph Curry playing defense” during interviews, and now you are joining him? Let’s be all buddy buddy with Russell defending him from Mark Cuban, saying that he is a superstar, yet he wasn’t superstar enough to give it one more year?

      I mean theoretically that’s what he could have done. He could have signed for one year with a player option, coincide with Russell’s free agency, and give it a good honest run, if it didn’t work out no one could fault him to go anywhere.

      But he had to do it like this, and now, and THAT team.

      Hated is not going to even cover it. They are scheduled to move to San Francisco 2019. So the next two years, not only are they going to have the ghost of choking following them around, but they are possibly even alienating their core fan base, lol.

      The scary part is two fold. First that now a big market team can snatch an MVP caliber player on a Championship contender just by saying “You can win one by yourself, or make a dynasty with us! (and make tons of money on the side with the exposure)”

      This was the specific scenario that the last lockout was done to prevent when the league couldn’t “afford” to pay players more money.

      The second part is that any team can now carry a motto like “Strength in numbers” and parade that around through a record season and when they don’t win a championship. Guess what? Some of those numbers get traded or not renewed for an MVP. So much for that.

      I am guessing next years T-Shirt is “Strength in MVPs”…LMAO

    • Blankman permalink*
      July 4, 2016 11:18 pm

      Yeah, I’m also shocked that KD decided to go to the Warriors. Stephen A. Smith is a flat out troll & looks like one, too. He’s a nut hugger to certain players and criticizes others just to get more exposure for himself.

      I don’t blame Durant for wanting a title over the CBA money, but damn. Wow, his decision is astonishing. Perhaps Westbrook informed Durant that he was going to skip out during his free agency next year, and this prompted KD’s exodus. Other than a legit reason to secure his elusive ring, that’s the only thing that I could see justifying his decision.

      BTW: It was Jerry West who ultimately convinced KD to make the switch to the Warriors. His personal call essentially sealed the deal according to Durant’s inner circle. I’m not surprised at all about that revelation.

  4. July 4, 2016 6:48 pm

    I couldn’t believe it. I had to check several headlines from different sources before I realized it was true.

    I agree with almost everything you two are saying, especially the pressure and the vilification.

    I have a question. Didn’t Durant take a huge salary cut by leaving OKC?

    I think Durant left a lot of cash on the table to make that move. He certainly can expect all his restaurants and investments in Oklahoma to tank. As of today, there will be nobody going for food there, now. That will also be a huge financial hit.

  5. July 5, 2016 12:47 am

    I don’t think Durant was a lifer on OKC. I mean yeah he had a unique situation that he was basically the face of the franchise when it moved to OKC. He had strong ties and the franchise was a good franchise. Only missed the playoffs 3 times.

    Oddly enough the James Harden trade might have something to do with it. They over payed Ibaka, because back then the belief was that you couldn’t get quality big men that easily, and last year they had three, lol. They certainly could have kept Harden if they had payed Ibaka a lot less. Then of course they dealt Ibaka before this whole mess started, to fill that spot at shooting guard that Harden could still be filling.

    So yeah management had all that core talent since they went to the finals in 11-12′, and have very little to show for and of course if you see someone like the warriors rise up from the bottom and get a ring in what… Steph’s third run in the playoffs?

    I mean that’s definitely not a situation to stick around. There’s very little chance that OKC can draft and develop that same core of Ibaka, Durant, Westbrook and Harden ever again.

    So yeah I get it a little bit more. They were never going to get that much talent, the clock is ticking and if you are going to move then move to the surest thing.

    Now Suns, he took a paycut on basketball money for sure. But here’s the thing these players the basketball money is crap compared to what they get from endorsements. He has a 10 year deal with Nike for several hundred million, which I am sure must have bonuses we don’t know about if he wins championships. More importantly is that he develops his name as a brand on a much bigger stage than OKC.

    I mean there’s a lot of people in California who threw away their Lakers fandom for the Warriors, so it’s a big shiny bandwagon for sure. He is represented by Jay-Z’s agency, so he can lose his small businesses in OKC, and I am pretty sure that his agency can turn it around… as long as he wins.

    That’s the only gamble in all this. If they choke and this becomes another Nash, Kobe, Gasol, Howard mess then he not only wasted a lifetime legacy in OKC, but he would burn his brand more than it already is.

    Blank, I don’t think Jerry West has that pull. Or at least the complete pull. I mean sure it is a big thing to have this huge recruitment process by everyone from Green, Steph, etc. all the way to the top with West. It will help if things go south that he can always tell them: Hey you came to me.

    But ultimately he will not admit it flatly, it is a business decision. You don’t go from 28ppg, 4 time scoring champion, to a second or even third option in the 4th quarter with the game on the line. Not even for a ring, because then even if you win you are just going to be one of those guys that only holds the trophy whenever the MVP doesn’t want to hold it, lol.

    Plus you will also be that guy that was given a championship. Heck LeBron had to go to the finals 6 times before he finally erased “The Decision” to some extent, and even posting all-time back-to-back numbers for consecutive finals, people still question if he is the best guy on the team, lol.

    No I think the biggest pull above everything else is that if he wins, he will win $$$ big, even while losing he will still win $$$ in terms of exposure. Warriors are going to be the most talked about team without being champions for the second straight year.

    It makes sense, win one or two rings potentially, then do this whole thing again and he will still be in his prime for the next contract, then with a few rings he can cash in and go anywhere else, and still be in decent shape to win another ring.

    Let’s not forget he will make 27mil still. His largest pay was 18mil. Two years from now if he has rings he will break the bank.

  6. July 5, 2016 10:21 pm

    Frenik, good point about the endorsements. Yes, that is where they make their real money.

    I don’t believe, however, that his move is a business decision. As you allude to above, what is a bunch more million? How many tens (hundreds?) of millions does a person need/want? I think after the choke this playoffs, he doesn’t have confidence in OKC for winning a title ever, doesn’t matter how many Triple Doubles his point guard buddy pulls.

    Interesting times, for sure.

    EDIT: I haven’t even finished reading this article, but it looks like it has lots of good info on the situation.

  7. July 6, 2016 7:10 am

    David West

    • July 6, 2016 9:23 am

      yeah now it’s getting more ridiculous. David West. David Lee expressed interest to return. Ray Allen now wants to comeback to the NBA and play for the warriors.

      That’s two more former all-stars.

      KD’s deal with nike alone was 10 year, 300 million. Still 8 years left but the detail is just like Curry’s deal with Under Armor, he can extend. It was never revealed how much Curry made for his extension.

      But just because they are on the same team and share the same future for two years, that alone will make a mini bidding war between underarmor and nike. If they stay together on the same deals they are both set to be free on 2024.

      I mean to put it in perspective Jordan I think still makes 40mil a year for his brand. The most he ever made on the court was 33mil. He pretty much made his fortune on endorsements, and now owns a team.

      Curry is right there in terms if exposure. He can have a crappy salary but because of his market his whole family is making money.

      Again that’s why I say this is business first.

      Durant is giving up basketball numbers, his rep and alpha status for this.

      The funny thing the rumor is that he was complaining about touches, lol. Right. Like he is going to get 19 shots a game with the Warriors.

      Dude wants to get paid. He is the MVP before Steph and he never got the same brand recognition as him, even before the championship. Again even as a 2nd or 3rd option on the biggest market of the league he is going to get more exposure than anywhere else.

      Heck all the teams that are not Cleveland or San Antonio are officially now just the away tickets for the Warriors. Lol.

      Anyways did the count the 2001 Blazers still had more All-Stars but no MVP. Warriors have 3, if you count Iggys playoffs MVP.

      No other team ever had two guys from the 50-40-90 club though.

    • July 6, 2016 4:30 pm

      Frenik, I am not saying that he won’t make a lot more coin (because for the reasons you state, I suppose he will, though I wonder if it isn’t better for your brand to have a franchise love you than hate you – on the Warriors, he is just another player. On OKC, he and Westbrook were basically the franchise – and they weren’t burning his jerseys.) My point is that, if he is already making 100s of millions with his current deals, where is the motivation to double (triple or quadruple) that? I guess, it may just be my personality that can’t comprehend that kind of greed, for lack of a better word.

      Anyway, fans will be deprived of an opportunity to see what “hungry”, “gave away a Championship” Warriors would have been like. They would have made it to the playoffs without these trades, and I would have liked to see if their loss this year matured them (same for OKC). Now, we don’t get to see that. That, for me, is the only disappointment in all this.

    • July 6, 2016 6:34 pm

      Well let me give you an example Nowitzki from the Mavs. A lifer, got a team of former all-stars assembled around him. They beat the Heat back then.

      Sure the team got gutted in the offseason, and has never had the same caliber of players around him, but he has pretty much no brand. He is probably the best international player in the history of the NBA, pretty much the closest thing to Larry Bird from the modern times in terms of play style.

      In two years he could retire and he probably not have any impact at all.

      That’s why I don’t buy the ring theory. The ring itself doesn’t give anything.

      I think for years he bought into that kind of win for his first ring, and after this year’s playoffs he gave into the Business.

      I don’t think it’s greed per se. It’s the status that the business side of basketball brings. Not being a pawn of the system, being courted by the best team, being on the biggest market possible.

      The Warriors just checked so many of those boxes, that it was a no-brainer.

      but yeah I agree that move screwed two franchises instantly. Like I said, if they choke this year, which even extends to their regular season record and playoff record, is just not even fair to them.

      Both teams could have waited one year before making the moves, and that’s what’s scary about this whole situation.

      I think the main guy that must be shaking his head right now is Kobe. He could have been playing with Chris Paul had Stern not vetoed the trade based on not making the Lakers too powerful.

      Also another note, this was also about making a franchise from the Warriors ownership side. I don’t think it was coincidence that the majority owner wanted to blow his own horn on the shoulders of the team and Steph last season.

      Is not only that KD is just another player on the team. He basically made Steph Curry another player as well. Even if he is a first option with the ball, he is not going to reach the same or better scoring averages. Which rolls downhill from there too because when Klay and Draymond start asking for money, they don’t have to pay them as much if they win and have everyone wanting to come over to the team.

      I think that’s the real end game from their viewpoint, they create the championship stage and just change the actors from now on.

    • July 6, 2016 7:06 pm

      Frenik, thanks for taking the time to write this and all the other comments. I knew nothing about Nowitzki, which kind of proves your point. LOL Didn’t know about the Chris Paul cock block either.

    • Blankman permalink*
      July 6, 2016 7:24 pm

      The CP3 cock block was ridiculous, and you wouldn’t have known about it because you’re kind of new to basketball, Suns. A lot of people clown Mitch Kupchack’s ability as the Lakers GM, but he’s been undermined several times with the CP3 debacle (I’m glad since my team is the Clippers) & the Howard/Nash diasastrous season because Howard is overrated & Nash’s health was done. People can only imagine what the combo of Kobe & CP3 could have been because those two possess killer instinct & never say attitude that often grates on their teammates’ nerves.

    • July 6, 2016 7:43 pm

      Thanks, Kenny.

      Hey Guys, I am just finishing that article I linked above and it is really a good read. I don’t mean read it for argument, but just for a bunch of interested info on Durant and the people involved in the trade, written in a narrative style. Here is the link again.

    • July 7, 2016 5:42 am

      Funny, talking about Nowitzki. Then D-Wade flipped the bird to Pat Riley and is having his home coming with the Bulls.

      I was watching “Any given Wednesday” on HBO and they had Chris Bosh on the show and they talked about Durant, etc. Again, the recurring topic keeps being the age and just absurd amount of people with talent on the team. Although Bosh did say it was a good thing for Durant.

      However something about the comparison with the Heat, when he was talking about that first year that hit me and is right in line with what you are saying Suns, they missed out on that hunger, on that re-tooling.

      Bosh made the comment that it was a good thing that Miami didn’t win that first year because it would have made them champions with a different attitude, and that they got humbled and reworked themselves to be better not just in the game, but in maturity.

      Oddly enough the coronation of the Heat and Lebron, came against another core of awesome talent with the Thunder, they talked about that too. They were the GSW that year. Which got me thinking what if the Thunder had won that year? What kind of champions would they have been?

      I think that’s why GSW mainly rubs me the wrong way. From a basketball standpoint I would have loved the Warriors at any era. But from a maturity standpoint, can’t stand them. They might be different in the confines of their homes, but how they carry themselves in the sport… not a fan at all.

      Oddly enough on the same show they were talking about UFC, and somehow that fit in to all this. Like they were saying in the show UFC has become a brand, it’s not about a specific fighter, and that it actually the brand becomes bigger and better because of the upsets.

      I hope the NBA figures out a way to combat this, otherwise this season and many more can become like the Harlem Globetrotters vs. the Washington Generals. : p

    • July 10, 2016 2:07 pm

      Another rumored player:

      Larry Sanders was a great athletic big for the bucks borderline 10ppg,10reb, 3blocks on his best year which lead to a nice extension back in the day, which later he wanted out of the team while struggling with substance abuse, etc.

      Key point about this guy is that he is rested. I don’t recall any major leg injuries, and he is yet to hit his prime (27). He didn’t play a ton of minutes so he is used to coming from the bench which can be a big plus.

      Lasty Superteams underachieve:

      again that analysis above doesn’t have the full roster yet, so who knows how they end up being.

    • July 10, 2016 6:25 pm

      Yes, their championship next year is by no means set in stone. There are so many things that could prove challenging, most of which revolve around ego and dare I say wives/girlfriends. All it takes is one whisper, “you aren’t getting yours” for a significant other to destroy a great locker room friendship.

  8. Herandar permalink
    July 6, 2016 8:18 am

    This is probably an ON-Topic post, but whatevs: I’m pretty sure the NDA means I’m not allowed to definitively say whether or not I played Battlefield 1 last night for a couple of hours. So you’ll just need to figure that out.

    Sadly, none of my usual squadmates were invited.

    • July 6, 2016 3:57 pm


    • July 6, 2016 4:31 pm

      So, because of the NDA, you would not be able to say whether or not you liked it. But hypothetically, if you were to have gotten in on some BF1 play, and you hadn’t signed an NDA do you think:

      A) you would have liked it as much or more than previous BF games (1= yes, 2=no)?

      Or do you think, hypothetically, that nah, it is too “hardcore” and not as much fun as
      B) BF:BC2 (1= agree, 2=disagree),
      C) BF3 (1= agree, 2=disagree), and
      D) BF4 (1= agree, 2=disagree)

      Hypothetical Answer Sheet


    • July 7, 2016 1:14 am

      Nuff said

    • July 7, 2016 6:27 pm

      Since BF3 DICE has had, hands down, the best animations (and some of the prettiest graphics) in the industry.

      EDIT: Apparently (YouTube), the tanks are easily dealt with (i.e., better balanced with the infantry) than they were in BF3.

    • Herandar permalink
      July 7, 2016 10:28 pm

      A^2 + B^2 = C^2??

      It’s hard to determine all of that from one map, no? And, dammit, they lifted the NDA yesterday at 4:00 PM. I could’ve recorded clips last night!

      Okay, so, to gauge how well this relates to you, we need to examine my credentials. I started with Bad Company 2, and loved it. Borderlands was my first stay up until 3 AM 360 game, and BC2 replaced that. I played it every night for hours for months on end. I got a gold star with *every* weapon and ended up with 581 hours played. ( I started out playing rush all the time but grew to enjoy the wide-open play of conquest by the end.

      Then came Battlefield 3, and I was disappointed by it. I think the lack of destructibility was what bothered me the most. I’m not even sure if I remember what else I felt it missed, but it was also probably map design. BC2 you could play the same map multiple times and really alter your strategy and gameplay each time. Operation Metro has very little strategy. It’s just shooting down an assortment of hallways. I only ended up playing for 195 hours by the time the sequel launched.

      I didn’t even get BF4 on the 360 (my brother picked up a copy and I did play it) but I always intended to play it on the new generation. 32 vs 32 is very different from 12 v 12. I’m up to 411 hours on BF4. I probably will never get near to my BC2 numbers, but I do enjoy BF4 a lot and I know how to score points and compete in conquest. I also intend to keep playing it after BF1 launches. I joined the Xbox One CTE

      NOW, BF1. It is a Battlefield game, but it is different in many small details from what we are used to. It’s still on the Frostbite engine, so most of the core mechanics (running, shooting, aiming, etc.) are mostly unchanged. (Bullet physics have been changed The one core mechanic that IS different is spotting. This is probably a good change. I personally have been guilty of just taking pot shots under the floating Dorito in the past, and occasionally getting a kill because of it. Enemies are not automatically spotted by firing their weapons, and I don’t think spotted enemy information is shared the same way, except perhaps by snipers. The mini-map does not show nearly as much information about where your enemies are. This will help squads that use voice-chat to communicate, while making sense thematically. It also makes flanking a much more feasible gambit.

      The major major difference in the infantry gameplay is the relative simplicity of the weapons/gear. In the Alpha especially, there are only two gadgets for each class, so those medics that didn’t revive me really ARE dicks. There are no optional weapon attachments to be seen. The rifle with the scope is considered to be a separate weapon from the rifle without. Weapon unlocks currently are a simplified version of the unlock system from Hardline. You get war bonds when you level up, and can then buy whichever weapon variant/gadget you want. Weapons do function differently, as I’m sure you’ve seen on the Youtubes already. LMGs and SMGs function worse (aim-wise) when you tap or burst. It is better to go full auto with both. Rifles work better at medium range, and sniper rifles are best at long range. (But not super long.) There is no M16A3 that is good in all situations. There is scope glint.

      Vehicles have many changes. They don’t have variable loadouts. The Armored cars drive like cars in Hardline (a good thing) and seat five. The tanks are fun, and effective. There are three variants on the St. Quintin Scar map, the small one person tank that is probably the closest to traditional tanks in BF. The other two really do require teamwork to excel, since the driver doesn’t have a rotating turret. The landship has the driver looking forward between the projecting treads, and machine gunners on either side. The Heavy tank almost functions like the Amtrac, as a mobile spawn point that seats six (one [driver] forward, one gunner covering the rear, and two gunners on either side.) I was only in planes for about a minute (made one strafing run and crashed after turning around when flying), and never managed to snag a seat on the blimp fortress. Hope they have motorcycles with sidecars with mounted MGs.

      The teamwork initiatives. Health regeneration is significantly slower unless there’s a medpack. Medics are much more important for that. Revives might actually be less helpful than they used to be, because, there is a button you can press when killed that hurries up your deployment. Dumbasses kept on respawning in seconds when I was only a few meters away and looking to revive. When you are dead, it shows on your screen the name and distance of any nearby friendly medics, and you can press another button when killed that in theory notifies a medic that you want to be revived. (I don’t think I ever saw anyone use it while I was a medic, but I might just not know what to look for.) These two things will be helpful once people realize that it might be to their advantage to be revived instead of a quick respawn.

      Haven’t run out of ammo yet, not sure if support is as important, because most weapons fire slower. I don’t think you can grab a medpack/ammo off of a friendly medic/support (a nice addition from Hardline.) When you first spawn into the game, it lists all of the squads so you can choose one. K/D is never emphasized, but is listed on the final scoreboard. Got my first MVP last night going 6-6. (My squadmate did NOT follow my orders…)

      Capturing objectives in conquest (in the Alpha) is worth at least five kills (if you only show up at the last second), and kills don’t affect game score. Scoring is highlighted:

      This particular map, St Quintin Scar, reminds me mostly of the BC2 map White Pass, but it’s more open (White Pass was rather linear, but you could easily go around the flags) and has no forest. There are a few separate areas with clumps of buildings where the flags tend to be located. Much of the map can be demolished, but there are strategically located indestructible walls. Wish they were more obviously indicated. Look up JackFrags recent video on destruction for more details on that. This really is the best solution. The destruction is widespread, but no level can end up being a flat killing field devoid of cover.

      Okay, I think I touched on nearly everything that I wanted to. The weather is better than levelution. It’s random, and affects your playstyle. There aren’t going to be many snipers when the entire town is shrouded in fog. I played one extra game last night merely because it was raining when the new session loaded up. Not sure if it changes much mid-match. I did see the Death Blimp get called in for the other team within five minutes once though.

      The UI is very polished, and you can tweak your crosshairs/hit indicators.. Love the zoom in when joining a server and spawning in. It also looks like it will be easy to party up, and I hope to confirm with my brother tonight.

      Random thoughts: **FOV is adjustable in the Alpha. I maxed mine out, so any clips I record will look a bit weird, especially on the edges of my screen. **I got 60 war bonds the first time I leveled up. Gear unlocks cost 30-40 each. (subject to change, obviously.) **Only fell through the ground once so far. **I think exp is being doubled for the Alpha, both of the above screenshots are from the same game. **No sort of ribbons/dog tags in the alpha. I imagine they will be added later, but… There aren’t going to be that many unlocks, so no need for 150 levels of progression. I’m sure there will be dog tags, but wouldn’t be entirely surprised if there aren’t ribbons/patches. **Game runs pretty damn smooth. Not really a surprise, given BF4/BFH history. I’ve had some graphical glitches with gas masks, but that’s about it.

  9. July 6, 2016 7:18 pm

    I call BS on the “Ultimate Game Sale”. 250 deals? A bunch are just repeat free-to-play items. Then most do not have season pass on the deals. So if you bought the regular game and want to get the dlc you have to pay the full price, then weirdly enough they have the gold/ultimate/GOTY/Deluxe editions on discount.

    Then I go to the PC side and it’s absolute crap.

    The other thing is that the games with the higher discount have already been given for free, or been featured in discounts a gazillion times by now. Then they have 360 games like LFD2 at $10??? In steam they had it for $4, could buy 1 and 2 for $8.

    I would think if MS is behind in sales by double the amount, they would aggressively go after it’s fans and show them why they should stick around with tons of games. I mean that’s mainly what made me stay on the xbox, a big library of digital games, but weirdly when they were ahead on the 360 they had better deals than now.

  10. July 7, 2016 12:11 pm

    Evolve is back!

    Free to Play, and it sounds like a lot of changes. Previous owners get a golden ticket as well. Being a game of a lot of solid ideas, this new execution could be fun.

    • July 7, 2016 12:12 pm

      DOH!!!! PC Only. Studio head says they will bring to console if it is successful on PC.

    • July 7, 2016 7:20 pm

      Evolve. Disastrous marketing, and game breaking bugs for the first month, crucial gameplay fixes like “choose Monster/choose Hunter” not provided until 6+ months after release – that they STILL haven’t put out new maps since the first pack after promising this new model of DLC, rubs me the wrong way (to put it mildly). The Hunters are CRAZY expensive for a game that has only two new, lousy maps. Not even installed anymore. It is actually a brilliant idea and a solid game now, but there is just too much other goodness on the tray – and all of the innovative weapons I get to use in Overwatch, which I am still playing as often as I can. Competitive Level 53 for me! Been learning Mercy lately, and she and Lucio, Junkrat, and Reinhardt are all I need.

    • July 8, 2016 2:23 am

      yep 19gb download.


      Major changes include a renewed focus on the signature 4v1 Hunt mode, with rejigged classes to lighten the load for inexperienced Medics and Trappers:

      The MOBILE ARENA is now a shared ability that always centers on the Monster, and all four hunter classes have been redesigned to be more easily accessible and have better team synergy even when you’re not playing with friends.
      TRAPPER – With the mobile arena a shared ability, all Trapper class hunters now come equipped with a PLANET SCANNER ability that tells the hunters generally which direction the monster is located within the map. Trappers also get a speed boost when activating the ability to help them close the distance and Dome the Monster.
      MEDIC – All Hunter classes now have passive health regeneration that automatically heals players when they aren’t taking damage.
      SUPPORT – All Support class hunters now have a SHIELD BURST ability that automatically charges the shields of teammates that are close enough to the Support.
      All Assault class hunters now have a DEFENSE MATRIX ability that replaces the personal shield’s invulnerability and instead provides damage reduction to the Assault character.
      MONSTER – All Monsters now have more health and start with enough skill points to activate all four abilities at the start of a match. Alongside new found power and speed, the Monsters are back to terrorize Shear.
      VISUAL FX and UI have been redesigned to provide a cleaner, more easily understandable experience for players of all skill levels.
      MAPS have been redesigned specifically for HUNT using countless hours of gameplay data and player feedback since launch, resulting in maps that create consistently fair fights for Hunters and Monsters.


      I think the free-to-play change is huge. That’s something I have noticed about the PC change for me. Why in the world would I pay for games that have a lowering install base?

      The other change is that you no longer have to rationalize a purchase, you don’t feel like you have to commit to a specific game because you spent X amount of dollars, and best of all you can experiment and play for fun rather than get stuck in something that many times doesn’t have fresh content and it’s more out of habit.

      I think it’s going to work now. It’s already climbing on the streams in Twitch, just behind WoW.

    • July 8, 2016 3:31 am

      Very interesting changes. It is like taking the game from “Alien” to “Aliens”. More action and encounter, less mystery and hunt. Also, if comparing to L4D, like going from Realism to silhouettes. It might be that once people get used to the game and the community builds (because again, it is a brilliant idea marketed horrifically), they may (or at least could) revert. Definitely noobified.

      Good for them. TR has some brillliant minds, and the Monster movie was always a great idea.

    • July 8, 2016 1:59 pm

      Holy crap it’s awesome! Ok so now everything is unlocked based on an in-game currency. It’s easy to unlock stuff because after each game you a get a good amount of it. Plus you get currency by login in consecutively and by doing challenges. You also directly unlock other stuff just by login in.

      The new dome shared ability is perfect. If you are an skilled assault, now you can start trapping and attacking the monster with the shield, and since you have health regen passively by default, and can put more as a perk (you also have 3 perks now), you can go toe-to-toe with the big guy.

      The other thing is that the drop ship comes quicker. If you die, within a minute you can come back up.

      The maps are now smaller, and more about learning how to cut through it, rather than just taking long trips all around.

      To offset all this I think they made the monsters quicker and stronger, they really feel like hulking beasts not just slow bullet sponges.

      Finally I just love it on PC. It looks really good, I am shocked at how bad the xbox version looks in comparison, no screen tears, no dropped frames. Heck I remember the xbox had trouble just playing the intro scene.

      I was worried about how it would play with mouse and keyboard, and it’s so easy to keep the aim up on the monster with a mouse, plus my mouse has like 6 buttons on my right thumb alone, i pretty much customized all the weapon swapping there, so it’s insanely quick.

      I still got the bad taste of spending full price plus dlc on this game on the xbox, that now I will definitely never play again (good thing I got %100 achievements on it), but now it’s free, it has a bigger player base and more importantly the game mechanics work!

    • July 8, 2016 3:58 pm

      Hope they bring ALL those changes to the Xbox version so I can try it out again someday with a decent community to play against. Thanks for the impressions!

  11. Herandar permalink
    July 7, 2016 10:37 pm

    Full-size images from my long BF1 post above:

  12. July 7, 2016 11:32 pm

    Herandar, thank you very much for taking the time to write all that up! It is so much more meaningful reading your impressions than just some random reviewer or player (including JackFrags, LevelCap et al.)

    Sounds like a pre-order to me. Not going to do it now, but I will be jumping in soon. My biggest gripes with the games after BC2 were: lack of destructability and the unfair nature of unlocks along with the respective complexity. Remember getting owned by the USAS because someone was able to get to Level 44 in the first couple of days? BF3 was bad. BF4 is just plain stupid (for me). Need an encyclopedia and mouse and keyboard just to pick a gun. And those who don’t have the good stuff unlocked, die. Utter rubbish game design, imo.

    Also, when you mentioned White Pass, my heart leapt. I forgot how many, and how great, the BC2 maps were! I have so many fantastic memories of playing on that one map alone – the buildings, flank routes. Yes, it was narrow, but there was never a time when you couldn’t get around unseen. And there was legitimate smoke to help conceal you even if the map had been flattened, which it sometimes was. BF3 and BF4 had no maps that even came close to the worst maps of BC2.

    NICE accolades! Nice score! Well done!

    Autumn is BF1, Winter is Sea of Thieves. RL, PvZ:GW2, and Overwatch to tide me over until then.

  13. July 7, 2016 11:57 pm

    More on Durant. I found some interesting quotes and possible insight on USA Today (emphasis added). This is at least what Durant is saying of the trade, and I fully concede that people like to control how others view these kinds of things. What he says, however, rings true with the Koolaid I drink daily. 😉 Cheers!

    For all the talk of the various different X-factors, from his Saturday phone call with Warriors executive Jerry West to the Russell Westbrook component, those who know Durant best say this never would have happened if not for the amazing performance that was put on by the Warriors players in that Hamptons meeting. One wrong comment from Curry, Green, Iguodala or Thompson, or one uncomfortable vibe, and this may have all ended differently.

    Durant had dreamed of playing a more free-flowing brand of basketball for quite some time, and his attraction to the Warriors as a free agency option grew as the season wore on. They played with joy. They played with a genuine love for one another. On most nights, they had fun. And he wanted that.

    But Durant didn’t believe that they wanted him until they sat face to face in that meeting. As several attendees remember it, his agent from Roc Nation Sports, Rich Kleiman, asked tough questions that Durant had to have answered. The last thing they wanted was to find out after the fact that there was even an ounce of resentment inside whichever locker room he would choose.

    “Why the hell would you guys want Kevin?” Kleiman asked the players. “Why would you be OK with it?”

    With Kleiman pressing, Thompson joked that Durant’s agent was, in fact, his defense attorney. But Green, who one attendee joked could have gotten this deal done by himself, was extremely convincing. Iguodala made his mark, too.

    And Durant, who joked that they all “walked in and it looked like they were holding hands,” walked away knowing what he wanted. The only question was whether he was willing to deal with the backlash that would come from the choice.

    “A lot of people talk about how tight they are, and how much they enjoy each other … but to see them together – you could tell that it was true,” Durant said. “I asked them, ‘How is it? How is it there? How is the culture? How do guys work? How is film session? How is being on the plane? That stuff, stuff that you don’t really see that goes into the product you put on the court.

    “I try to look at this as a game. It’s not life or death. We play basketball for a living. We get to take care of our families. I want to enjoy every day. That’s all it is.”

  14. July 8, 2016 3:49 am

    Planet that orbits 3 suns 😛

  15. July 8, 2016 4:56 am

    One of the smartest videos that unfortunately draws the dumbest conclusion at the end.

    Here’s the thing Warriors wouldn’t have been even close to the regular season record. They would have lost the Western Conference finals.

    The other thing this video overly simplifies is offense and defense.

    Taking for example the Warriors offense: because of the high screens and the danger of defending too late, it often created a scramble that either led any of the pick and roll players open or anyone else spreading the floor.

    If you take out the three, there’s no real danger and no mad scramble to open guys because they are worth the same and have a lot less probability. There would be no demoralizing threes.

    That last bit is huge because as Steph himself has said it, they do many times wait for a knockout punch rather than go for the easy bucket because it does demoralize the other team. The other team in turn is baited into taking a high risk shot in order to tie the game.

    That right there is something the chart doesn’t count, because it’s o ne thing to shoot playing your style of basketball, it’s a whole different thjng when you are playing catch-up.

    • July 8, 2016 8:29 am

      Thanks for the heads-up on the video. Fun stuff, and I agree with all your conclusions, the impact on many aspects of the game cannot be overstated..

      One thing that I haven’t heard mention anywhere is that the 3 point shot must have a huge appeal to compulsive gamblers – a 50% greater possible return on your “bet”. That alone is why it is more “exciting” for some people, I am sure.

      One other nit pick. While the arc is not uniform, the shots from the corners don’t have the backboard for reference or banking. I have always thought of that as offsetting the shorter distance.

      EDIT: (LOL at the planet orbiting 3 Suns) 😀

    • July 8, 2016 1:15 pm

      Yeah I thought it was mentioned here, but somewhere else I have read that the you only need to shoot %36 from 3pt to beat %50 from 2pt range.

      I remember %36 used to be an ok percentage for any player, but by today’s standards it’s considered crap. So yeah you now have entire teams like the Warriors that shoot %42 percent, while their overall shooting is just a little bit higher.

      That was a revelation when against the Cavs on game 4 they were shooting like 45% from 3, only 36% from 2. Yet they won.

      The other thing I mentioned on the website where I got the video from is that the added benefit of shooting 3s is that you get back quicker on defense. It’s not like the Allen Iverson days, where he had to penetrate for almost every single possession, if he got lucky and either scored or got fouled, if not he had to haul back to the other side of the court.

      The other thing is that back in the day the drawback from shooting the ball was that the bigs had to scramble for offensive rebounds. However if like now you are basically playing with small forwards that can set a screen and quickly dash for the rebound there’s almost no penalty.

      About the corner threes here’s the thing. Most good shooters don’t use the backboard. You have to basically shoot thousands of times a day to create the shot from how you gather your feet to how you release the ball. You specifically aim for the rim at all times, for consistency. Some players like Dennis Scott from the 94′ Orlando Magics actually preferred the corner 3 to anything else. Not just because of the distance between the rim and the line, but because if you camp it, and your defender for any reason leaves you open by running towards the center of the court, it’s a long way to stop you from there.

      It’s a very sweet spot, for spot up shooters. You are forgotten easily, and back when stretch 4s were getting into the 3pt game changer, is just an easy shot to make because you release quicker because of the distance.

    • July 8, 2016 4:02 pm

      Preachin’ to the choir! Love the three and all the ways in which it can change the game.

      Interesting about the corner shot, thanks. I will add this, one thing is if you miss, it wiffs past the other side with no rebound or shot clock restart.

  16. Herandar permalink
    July 8, 2016 8:50 am

    OT: One thing I don’t like about the new Xbox Win 10 OS is that you can’t save clips anymore, and all of my old clips were just erased. Only the few that I uploaded to OneDrive are still accessible.

    BF1: Spent most of last night in a tank. The light tank specifically:

    I enjoyed it, tremendously. I did get stuck in trenches twice (managed to work it out once after a few minutes of precision work in a trench that didn’t have 90 degree turns). All tanks can drop a gas grenade as a defensive ability. In the above clip, I drop one at 0:17, because you can also use it as an offensive attack. Gas goes through walls, and everyone has a gas mask, but they don’t expect it when they are hiding in indestructible buildings.

    I also single-handedly captured a few bases against enemy squads, and survived for a surprisingly long time. Most likely because it is an Alpha, and people are just experimenting, but still, when I was in a bad situation and another vehicle blew up near me, I just remained in the tank, waited until they stopped shooting at me, and then repaired the tank,

    I killed the last enemy that spawned on the windmill base and the tank was down to 1 health. I then repaired the tank fully from the inside, while getting points for finishing the flag capture. Repairing doesn’t seem to be mapped correctly on the controller, though.

    Segmented damage on vehicles also changes how you interact with vehicles. I lost mobility several times as they took out my tracks, but I managed to survive most of these encounters and eventually repair. In the below clip, I take out the right sponson and track fairly quickly, and the driver bails.

    More later.

  17. Herandar permalink
    July 8, 2016 8:57 am

    Suns, I should’ve made a new thread for BF1. Sorry. I don’t think I can edit to fix.

    • July 8, 2016 4:04 pm

      No worries. I had already decided earlier this week to start naming our OT threads *after* the fact. Mention the themes for easy searching in the future. Sometimes it is just a grab bag of random, but this week, it has been three very focused conversations. The beauty of doing it this way, is that the link doesn’t change, just the title of the post. Thank you very much for letting us know about BF1 (and for the videos!).

      By the way, how the heck did you get to play it all this time?

    • Herandar permalink
      July 9, 2016 11:00 am

      If you read my long post carefully, you’ll see that there was one sentence that wasn’t finished. I wrote the thing over a full work day, so I wrote in bits and pieces… Anyway, let me rewrite and finish that sentence now: “I got the Xbox Preview Program specifically so I could play the BF4 CTE. My XBL BFF, Lab Rat, didn’t respond to the preview program invite quickly enough, and so I was always running solo in the CTE. I’m pretty sure my participation in the CTE led directly to my Alpha invite.

    • July 9, 2016 2:53 pm

      There you go! I am actually a Preview Program and BF4 CTE member as well, but never play BF4, so I am pretty sure that led to me not being invited. 😉 Good stuff. Reward loyalty. It is as it should be!

      I was talking to Zos in party chat last night and we agreed that our pants are on fire for this game. Who knows, maybe there will be a bunch of people on your FL that will be playing this come October.

    • Herandar permalink
      July 11, 2016 8:45 am

      Clarification: There is weapon customization in the game, just not in the Alpha. I’m not sure if it is purely cosmetic. The dead-end blurb screen in the Alpha sorta implies that it is mostly cosmetic.

    • July 11, 2016 3:17 pm

      Yep. Understood. At least it won’t be as extensive as in BF4. (It can’t be unless they want to add a bunch of anachronism to the game.)

    • July 8, 2016 5:43 pm

      Fantastic Clips. Dat destruction. I’m so ready.

  18. July 8, 2016 2:09 pm

    Red Dead Redemption is available for xbox one backwards compatibility! I almost feel like watching Hell on Wheels and playing this all weekend. Almost…

  19. July 8, 2016 10:44 pm

    I thought of you, Zos.

  20. July 10, 2016 1:53 pm

    No Man’s Sky

    GTA meets Mass Effect, lol.There’s destruction elements about 9mins in. Just getting in and taking off to different planets, that’s when the I was clicking the pre-order for PC… When they said this is the most open world game of all time, and corrected to open universe… 😮

    I know I’m in the minority here, but I always wondered how to use a ps4 controller on a PC.

    advantage is that you can customize the light, use it via BT, etc.

    Anyways, speaking of WW shooters, I came across with Heroes and Generals. It’s an FPS that becomes and MMO at some point and then an simple RTS as a general. It’s free-to-play, so yeah graphically is rough.

    Now the RTS portion is more like the old Chromehounds on the 360, that you pretty much control an area for a certain time, other players around the world control other areas and you are pretty much fighting for control until the war is done. You can then switch factions and go at it again.

  21. July 17, 2016 3:28 pm

    Overcooked. Comes in august, and watched a long gameplay session that was hilarious.

    • July 17, 2016 3:29 pm

      Scratch that! Local co-op only (no online). Why??? Seems to be a persistent occurrence in indy games like this. Must be difficulty in developing online?

    • July 17, 2016 7:06 pm

      Very unfortunate, but will probably still pick it up for when Cornie has his friends over.


  1. The Weekly OT #6 | The Stranded

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