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Let's Game!

Omar: I'll do what I can to help y'all. But, the game's out there, and it's play or get played. That simple.

Dennis 'Cutty' Wise: The game done changed...
Slim Charles: Game's the same, just got more fierce.

The FOD Scheduler, Timezones, Live Status, Weekly OT

The OT: Ashes of Creation

June 6, 2017
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I heard about Ashes of Creation (Twitter) a couple of weeks ago, before the Kickstarter ended (feeling a twinge of regret that I didn’t support it). It is coming to Windows PC only, but it is for this kind of game, for this reason that Microsoft needs to break down the wall between their Xbox and their Windows OS. The developers have an incredible amount of experience in the MMORPG field and it looks, well, it kind of looks too good to be true. Except that they keep showing more and more fully fleshed out worlds and systems via actual gameplay videos (YouTube Channel).

The OT: BIG 3

June 2, 2017
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I don’t know how it passed by me until now.  Last time I heard about it on a podcast, I was thinking it was someone’s pipe dream.  I didn’t realize how close to realizing that dream they were.  Needless to say, it feels like Christmas. Eight teams, starting June 25th.

The OT: How MS Wins E3 (and future market share)

May 31, 2017
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We have been discussing for weeks now, how Microsoft needs games.  They need to secure exclusives, or at least timed exclusive content.  We have been scratching our heads, hoping against all current information and logic that Microsoft is suddenly going to pull these amazing games out of their butts and make the Xbox popular again.  New hardware doesn’t cut it, no matter how awesome it is.  Undoubtedly, the Scorpio is gorgeous even at a $500 “premium” price tag.  Still, if you are trying to play your favorite game and are stuck waiting for lobbies to fill, which never will, who wants it?  Not me.

So, yesterday, in my restless, not-feeling-well delirium, depressed that we still don’t have access to the (very) Early Access Battlegrounds, aka PUBG, I found my eyes wandering and I started searching for graphics cards.  After an hour or so of checking specs, prices, and my existing equipment, before I went the extra step to see whether or not controllers are even supported yet, I realized, nah, I don’t want to go down that road.

Then, this morning, I watched the trailer for Survive The Nights.  Admittedly, it looks a little too hardcore for me, but still it had me wishing I had access to the PC library.  And it dawned on me.  That is how Microsoft wins the “console” war and E3.  They make the Scorpio play any game that would play on Windows 10.  In other words, as I have mentioned before, allow us to toggle between the Xbox closed garden, and the Window 10 world.  That is all they have to do.  Us gamers will figure out the details.  We don’t need any more costly and risky exclusives.  No more looking over the fence at the hot babe tanning on her porch, or the awesome Porsche in the front driveway.  No more BBQs where a ton of food has to be thrown out because no one showed up.  24/7 games, at prices that the free market determines, communities that last for years, not weeks, and some of the best features and support that only Xbox provides.

I am not even saying that Microsoft has to make Steam, Origin, UPlay et al work on their machine.  Just the Windows 10 store and then court the developers to put their games there just as they do in those other “stores”.

That is how they have everyone in the room cheering their praises.  That is how they get millions of people to buy their system.

 

EDIT:  This post has received no recognition, either positive or negative, and I suspect that is because everyone assumes Microsoft won’t do it.  Not an unreasonable assumption.

So, I have been thinking more about this, and I realized, if MS is genuine about their “Done with generations” stuff and truly moving towards hardware refreshes a la Apple’s iPhone model, then allow me to highlight this opportunity.  Why not sell yet a third SKU that has two HDs, one with Xbox OS and one with Windows 10?  The price could be higher than that of the Scorpio to cover costs.  The power button takes the gamer to the bootstrap and allows them to choose which HD (OS) for that session, the other drive then being left “off”.  This would prevent any “virus” transference from the Win 10 drive to the Xbox closed garden.  And it would allow the customer to use the power of the Scorpio for both PC and Xbox gaming.  For 750, which would more than cover the extra drive and also gain MS another license for Win10 sale.

The OT: The Finals

May 30, 2017
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Time for a new thread. E3 won’t be here for a little while yet, so I can probably squeeze in one more basketball post before new info on video games starts busting out all over. So, here we go: the NBA Finals.

I have no interest in predicting who is going to win. People with far more knowledge and experience in that role have (been wrong and) lost millions. I do, however, have some thoughts I want to share: concerns and hopes for the 2017 series.

First, I am concerned about all of the athletes playing their heart out (or not), especially when their team is being beaten. All of those Ballin’ finalists have either spun out for lack of durability (injury), lack of courage, or lack of self-control at one point or another. So, I want to see if this time, they can go the distance. If they are being beaten, do they get up and grab the stick from their oppressor and in turn, beat them with it? Or do they put their towel over their bowed head and let the minutes run out? If they do the former and not the latter, then as a paying fan, this will be the best Finals series that I have ever seen.

As for my hopes, what I want, as opposed to expect, is for the Golden State Warriors to sweep the Cavaliers. Going 16-0 is the only way they can take the Championship and shut up their critics. Taking the Championship any other way will give naysayers all sorts of “Yeah, but…” room for complaint. (EDIT: Since I first wrote this, the Clowns from Undisputed argued that Steph has more to lose from a loss and LeBron has more to gain from a win – and I agree, hence their need to sweep.)

Similarly, I want Stephan Curry and Durant to play so out of their minds that the voters don’t know who to choose for MVP. Playing so consistently well that you never get behind is different than making big plays when down; it doesn’t earn a person the “clutch” moniker. However, it has to count for something. What if a player is so great, he doesn’t have to be clutch? That is the kind of thing I am talking about.

Anyway, this is a huge series that will have a great impact on the legacy of all these players, far more so than in some of the years past. The best thing about it is, though there will be a winner and a loser, it does not have to be a zero sum result. Individual and team performances, regardless of the outcome (and that even includes being on the winning team) will determine to what extent each player buffs or tarnishes his legacy.

And since we always have to have art, this is one of the better “Preview” videos out there: much less basketball porn, and much more what is possible in the sport. I recommend turning the volume down or off.

The OT: Friday the 13th Weekend

May 24, 2017
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rED is guaranteeing that The Blankman is going to play this more than anyone else. I will guarantee that watching The Blankman BEAM his game while he plays with randoms, who are by definition, unpredictable and stupid, may well be one of the greatest entertainment events of the year. It will be an actual horror event beyond the imaginations of John Carpenter and Sean Cunningham. There will be no acting involved. Be warned, however, to turn the volume down. In fact, feel free to turn it right off because no matter where you are, you will be able to hear him playing. You won’t even need to open your windows.

(The videos I have embedded here are some of the more informative and recent videos. The first step to surviving is “Know your enemy!”)

The OT: Destiny’s Child

May 18, 2017
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“Nobody expected that Light could be taken away?!” Oh, noes!!!

I did not realize this until now. Nathan Fillion, of Firefly fame, is from Edmonton, Alberta. Being slightly older, I would have graduated university just before he started. I recognize the voices of both him and Gina Torres, also from Firefly, in the trailer below. And I can’t be sure, but I think I even hear Lance Reddick from The Wire. As it is the sequel of a widely embraced game, published by the loud, brash, and spendy Activision, Destiny 2 (official site) will almost certainly be the best seller of Autumn 2017. Xbox gamers get the delayed DLC version.

Several gamers that we love and respect, one of whom just recently had his nuts polished, swear by the multiplayer modes, including the 6 player co-op “Raids”. The art direction is sufficiently different from the original that I am being open-minded to the idea of playing it.


(Clever, aping Blade Runner in the thumbnail.)

22 (more) Minutes of Gameplay and Dev Interviews

NOTE: I edited one sentence because I believe Nathan et al were also in the original game, and I implied that they were not.

The OT: Privilege

May 12, 2017
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The previous OT is getting pretty heavy and it is time to start a new one. First of all, I was right about James Harden. Within an hour of having arguably the worst game in his career (and honestly, I DID NOT KNOW THIS), he was seen with Ms. Jenner of K family fame, partying. It isn’t even possible that his mind wasn’t all on her from the night before, her finger stirring his brain. Witches. Actually, I might even have been doubly correct. He may well have deliberately thrown the game. He didn’t even attempt a shot for the first 18 minutes. Beyond WTF?!

And the greatest news in the NFL today is that the GOAT CQOAT (Cheating-est Quarterback Of All Time), Tom Brady, is going on the cover of Madden football. Love me some hubris.

This may be my favorite gif of the past 6 months. That is how I feel every time I get home from work.

And speaking of Zzzs, before grabbin’ some last night, I stopped by Cornie’s room to watch him play a round of Duel, and I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. Four straight brilliant goals followed by a breath-taking save from an end-to-end rush. The opposition immediately forfeit and after Cornie texted “gg”, the reply was just “Wow!”. Taifu reached a new plateau in Rocket League and I know this because after the round, he didn’t even save it. Like that happens every time he plays now. Seriously, I can’t wait to watch him again. When we play doubles, I make my one pass about half way through the match, and then just tell him, with two guys between him and the goal, “Ok, just put it in.”

Lastly, I am now old enough that I can exercise the privilege of claiming that 95% of the young generation’s music is unoriginal, unendurable garbage. I watched a trailer for Home Again and at the end Just What I Needed by The Cars busted in and blew my mind, and I was reminded once again that I need to say that.

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