You are viewing _quinn

_Quinn's journal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Uncertainty [Dec. 10th, 2008|09:44 pm]
[mood |Sky Girls]

So I'm not sure if my response should be 'THIS, ZOMG!one!11, THIS', or to send ninjas to check on Fred, because he did a Ping strip and managed to get it right.
link13 comments|post comment

*sigh* Az-chan down again. [Nov. 26th, 2008|08:25 pm]
I'm thinking it's an I/O issue. 'egrep '80\d\d\d\d' *' shouldn't do much of anything else...
link2 comments|post comment

I should mention, [Nov. 21st, 2008|06:11 pm]
seeing three Az-chan related posts in a row, that Youmacon was tasty. (Although sad for Chad.) I've beaten Half-Life 2. Terrible last level. And Half-Life Ep 1, and I'm half-way through Ep 2. Ep 1 was a good way to kill some time, but deeply unsatisfying. (Yay! I've escaped the city! When does the game start? Oh, look, the closing is an ad for Ep 2. Woo.) Episode 2 has actually been pretty enjoyable so far. I think "Lost Coast" is the next down in my column of icons, and then Portal.

All this after I decided to put HoI 2 down for good a week ago. After annexing Germany playing as the Polish, I figured I'd kind of pwned the game. (I'm resisting the temptation to play out my previous game and have the French conquer the world.) (Why did I try? I'd just finished rereading a book by John Mosier, "The Blitzkreig Myth"; it's flawed in a lot of ways, but Mosier's analysis of the fall of Poland matches up well with what you actually end up doing in wargames. He also said something about Poland not having a prayer against both Russia and Germany (true) and that the Polish defense plan was to buy time for the French to save them (true, but in hindsight, rather foolish). However, he also mentioned that the Russians only occupied their half of Poland /after/ Germany announced its victory (and the Allies had done nothing), leading me to believe that the same would happen in HoI 2, especially if Poland joined the Allies /before/ the war. Turns out this is true -- Poland only has to fight Germany... and I had a challenge. :)) Installed Supreme Ruler 2020 afterwards, before going back to Half Life 2. (HL2 is almost as addicitive of HoI2, but has more natural stopping places, so it's less distruptive. I was actually looking for something even more "episodic", in the sense of a bunch of hour-or-so segments to play through, so I could work on my campaign, but whatever.) I didn't actually play it though; just trying to figure out what was going on proved to be damn near impossible. I don't mind a lot of detail and what game reviewers call "micromanagent", usually, but the more you put in, the better your UI has to be. Battlegoats didn't have a UI I would've been happy with trying to play HoI 2, much less the more-complicated[-looking] SL 2020. Come on... individual battalions? For a game where your goal is to reunite the states of America? At least let me group them into divisions...

Was really irritated by this week's Terminator. Not sure why.
link4 comments|post comment

Lament [Nov. 21st, 2008|05:57 pm]
[mood |Sky Girls]

Az-chan has a new CPU fan and I replaced and reactivated a case fan. Also sent half the software RAID back to Samsung. *sigh* Maybe Az-chan will stay up for more than a day now.
linkpost comment

*sigh* [Nov. 2nd, 2008|04:49 pm]
udevd crapped itself and blew the kernel away (bad page table) just after I crossed the border into Illinois. WTF?
linkpost comment

Az-chan's PSU thermal diode failed... [Jun. 25th, 2008|05:23 pm]
... so don't be surprised if she yo-yos for the next few days.

(I base my diagnosis on the fact that the exhaust coming out of the PSU is both cool and much harder than usual, and that the case fans plugged into the thermally-controlled "fan-only" leads from the PSU are also working at full speed. I certainly hope it's not a sign of impending PSU death, since I'm leaving Az-chan on.)
linkpost comment

(no subject) [Jun. 23rd, 2008|01:33 pm]
[mood |Macross Frontier]

So my battlestation is fully... er, gaming rig if fully operational. I've already forgotten the name of the motherboard, but it's a Gigabyte P35-based system with both RF and optical SPDIF out. The CPU is an Intel E8400 (3.0GHz Core 2 Duo); the retail HSF for new Intel chips is now quite impressive: the fan is kind of open-framed, and the heatsink is kind of twisted into a spiral, presumambly to minimize drag. The case is a P182B, and the system as a whole is I think quieter than my Antec Sonata, which is kind of surprising, and orders of magnitude quieter than the jet engine it's replacing. GT8800 512MB video card and 4x1GB of Ballistix DDDR2 1066, and a Samsung F1 750 GB SATA2 HD. It flies. :)

Half-Life 2 is gorgeous, and the physics are impressive (if, occasionally, completely bizarre). It's kind of addictive to play, but I'm also kind of unhappy with it. I don't like the vehicle sequences, and they take much too long. The linearity of the game is generally really artificial, especially once you have the gravity gun, and becuase the physics and destructability is quite good, that's very annoying. (Why are so many of the windows in the game unbreakable? About half of them are because they didn't feel like mapping or matteing in the rest of the map, and about half because that would let you do cool things that they didn't think of.) This also shows up in how you get past some of the obstacles; it's never "think of something clever" like in Deus Ex, but always "what did the designer want me to do /this/ time?" (This is especially noticeable in places with crates and the legendary invincible fencing. Sometimes they let you get over it; other times, they don't.) The scarcity of suit recharge compared to the surplus of health is also annoying, especially because the maps are designed such that sometimes you just have to suck a lot of damage. (Also, maybe I'm going blind, but sometimes it's surprisingly hard to tell, given how linear the game really is, where you're supposed to be goind. Losing a bunch of health because you unexpectedly hit a dead-end sucks.)

What do I like? The fights themselves are generally really excellent. (Sometimes, though, and I hate this, there's not really a way to survive your first time through an area. But usually you can do well.) And the nonfighting scripted scenes are very, very nice. It's the tremendous amount of slogging between them that really gets on my nerves. (Literal slogging: there's far too much long-distance travel that you the player have to spend time on. I think that's because Valve developed a hatred for more location-based map design, but saying "it's OK that the travel bits of the game are linear" isn't really what you want to do. Even Ravenholm, which was an awesome opportunity to let you pick your style of play (straight up the middle, along the alleys, over the roofs, through the big buildings, etc), was generally linear, just folded in on itself. (Awesome set-pieces, though.) And like the train station at the beginning: was there any reason /not/ to have modelled the whole station? Even just exploring the place and discovering that all the exits were guarded would have had a better feel of player freedom than "this is the railroad".) Heck, for that matter, why can't you climb chain-link fence?
link4 comments|post comment

Mostly offline until Wednesday. [May. 28th, 2008|10:14 pm]
[mood |Macross Frontier]

In these wired times
true ephemerality
is hotel wireless
link1 comment|post comment

A Long (Parenthetical) Remark [Apr. 1st, 2008|08:58 am]
[mood |Wolf and Spice]

Got my hands on a copy of the Hearts of Iron II anthology. Good game, but it would be much better with only a fair amount of UI work. And enemies that were more willing to give up. Grr. (So I played a few years of two games as the French to get a feel for the game, and then conquered Germany in the third. Managed to smite them before the Russians stuck their nose in, which was rewarding. Then switched to playing the Germans and am trying to take over the world. Conquered the Netherlands without anybody seeming to even notice (...), then decided to try and see if anyone would care too much about Belgium. That didn't go over so well. I took two weeks longer than Germany had historically to smash Poland, but two weeks after that, finished off all of continental France. (Which may have been a mistake. Apparently, they get all snooty if you refuse the Vichy settlement and refuse to surrender later. So the larger part of the army, by manpower, is squatting around in France, keeping the marquis under control. *sigh*) Italy, bizarrely, joined the Allies after I bypassed the Maginot Line, and was promptly beaten soundly for its troubles, also losing all its continental territory (and also, bizarrely, refusing to surrender). The plan, I'd guess, had been that Italy would attack into Austria, well behind the front in France, and force the German armies to turn around and go home to chase them back out again. Seems they'd forgotten about the rest of the Axis, somehow... which held them off in the mountains until the armies in France finished up and turned east. (IIRC, the Axis at that point included Hungary, Bulgaria, and Romania. Yugoslavia joined up shortly after Italy joined the allies, and Greece after they declared war on Russia after it declared war on Germany. (Huh?) More on that later. There's also no Slovakia, primarily because the country was totally useless to the Axis, if not an actual detriment, when I was playing as France.) Then I waited around for my paratrooper divisions to recover from their drops in France and the Luftwaffe to win the Battle of Britain. (The key is to hit each of the airfields in southern England as hard as possible in turn, leaving one bomber group behind each time to prevent repairs. Then your interceptors win the war of attrition, since England's can't get repaired.) I paradropped six divisions into Plymouth and Dover, and tried sneaking six divisions across the Channel by sea. The Home Fleet sank two (both panzer divisions!), but the U-boats distracted them for long enough for the others to make it ashore. After that, it was just a matter of time. The English, of course, are still harassing me from their bases in India and Egypt, but unlike the French and the Italians, retain enough of an industrial base to be problematic. Specifically, enough of a base to keep the Royal Navy in supply, which means I couldn't go chase them. So the spring of 1940 was very quiet, with Germany trying to build a fleet and an air force to get its army to Africa (and a bunch of annoying little islands in the Med). Then Russia decided it actually had really wanted half of Poland after all, and attacked.)

As you can tell, I'm having a ball with this game. :)

(The Russians were mostly held at the border by Axis infantry, probably saved by the otherwise-idle bombers of the Luftwaffe. The German army was stooging around in southwest France, getting ready to smash Republican Spain (yeah. The Nationalist Chinese beat the communists, too, before getting smashed by Japan.) so as to take Gibraltar and gain a bridge to Africa. Within hours of the declaration of war, the French rail system was in chaos, as tanks and men were loaded to be shuttled east, to retake Memel and Konigsberg and counterattack in the broad Kazakh plains. (Actually, I had to back and redo that -- the first time the tanks went to Konigsberg, but northwest Russia, southwest of Leningrad, Moscow, and Smolensk, is a maze of swamp and forest; the tanks, they did nothing.) Before the first snows fell, the Axis had trapped and obliterated fifty Soviet divisions, and captured Minsk, Smolensk, Kiev and Kharkhov. With the Soviet army in disarray, a slow drive through the snow to the east captured Stalingrad with minimal fighting. There the war froze for a few months, as I tried to redress my lines, which were stretched thin over to Stalingrad, mostly held by tank divisions I would need for the assault in spring. But the Russians rebuilt their shattered army while I waited, not wanting to attack into the snow across the rivers I'd established as my primary defensive lines in the north and center. They attack in Januarary, and a very slow-motion war developed, in which I lost a great deal of territory I'd speculatively taken in the direction of Baku (a major oil center), but took Moscow in two weeks of heavy slogging and captured Leningrad with another combined air- and sea- borne assault. As the situation stands when the spring muds of 1941 arrive, the German army holds all of Russia's major cities, although Leningrad can still only be supplied by sea. However, much of Russia's industry had been relocated east of the Caucus Mountains before the war began, and much of her legendary reserves of manpower remain. It's going to be a long slog to victory.)

(Bizarrely enough, sometime during this, Portugal joined the Axis. I'm still not quite sure why, but that got me close enough to Gibraltar for my paratroopers to take it. In response, England invaded and almost conquered Portugal; I had to rush the invasion reserves in England down to save them. Luckily, closing the Straights of Heracles made life hard enough on the Royal Navy that I didn't lose anyone doing so. Unfortunately, since then, the French fleet has sailed from Casablanca and begun intercepting any vessel venturing in or out of Gibraltar; the Baltic Fleet was obliterated discovering this. Because of this, my plan at the moment is to drive on Baku; the Soviet Union has a border with Iraq near there, which is a British puppet ... and connects through some French colonies to, you guessed it, Egypt.)
linkpost comment

(no subject) [Mar. 3rd, 2008|09:03 pm]
[mood |Terminator: the TV]

Sometimes, I really like what happens when budgetary limits force you to get creative.

Aside from that: forced cliff-hanger much?

Fortune cookie: pay attention to the future. The present will reward you.
link2 comments|post comment

[ viewing | 10 entries back ]
[ go | earlier/later ]