Category Archives: Uncategorized

Thorin’s reflections with Rapha and Dahang

Shane “rapha” Hendrixson

Tim “DaHanG” Fogarty

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Nvidia and Intel both make me furious

Nvidia: Hey, we have now started supporting icc 17.0 since cuda 9.0, but we won’t tell you that this is what you would end up having for your c++11 code:

nvcc warning : The -std=c++11 flag is not supported with the configured host compiler. Flag will be ignored.

Intel: Hey, just want to let you know that we have removed support for Knights Corner accelerators since icc 18. Now you either keep using older icc, or buy a brand new server with our brand new Knights Landing CPU.

And AMD: Sorry that Vega is a let-down, but hey, ours are cheaper!

 

The legend continues

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Day 1 is pretty disappointing. rapha lost to cooller without landing a single round; Team Liquid was stomped by 2z; Quakecon venue lost internet connection.

Day 2 is full of amazing matches. rapha managed to win two matches in group stage, and then survived Raisy scare. However, in the quarter final, he lost to his self-effacing teammate dahang. I root for rapha, and hope he will come back stronger next year. cooller continued his invincible state, until surprisingly thwarted by the young talent clawz in the semi final.

Final day, clawz is remembered forever in quake history  as the first player to win the championship of both duel and sacrifice. Everybody was awed, mouth agape. Also being remembered is clawz’s extreme bad manner towards Vo0 and the way he talked in his interview. Guess the kid has a lot to learn.

Prey 2017

A pretty decent first person shooter of 2017. The combat is very challenging and requires appropriate strategies. Some of my tips:

  • In case of a sudden enemy encounter, press mouse wheel to go to the favorite wheel menu that pauses the game and gives you time to select the most suitable weapon or ability.
  • To fight mimic and regular phantom: use gloo gun to freeze them, use psychoscope to scan them, hit with pistol or kinetic blast.
  • In psychotronics there is a morgue with a locked door. An easy way to enter the room is: break the window, mimic a small object, and roll in.
  • After completing the side quest Psychic Water, drinking water from the fountains in office rooms increases a large amount of psi and a small amount of hp. Don’t forget to take advantage of this bonus.
  • The first half of the game is especially hard. Use a combination of silenced pistol, gloo gun, combat focus and kinetic blast.
  • The second half of the game is much easier. (Ab)use mindjack,  machine mind in tandem with psychoshock.
  • In a side request you can choose whether to kill Dahl or incapacitate him (removing his last neuromod). Use the stun gun to do the latter.
  • Enemies are regenerated each time the player reenters a map that has been cleared before. Do not try to eliminate all enemies as it will deplete the ammunition or psi points very quickly. This is especially true for the second half of the game. Instead, mind control them temporarily and run away.

I would rate this game 7/10.

  • Pro:
    • Careful thinking and combat strategies are required, which makes this game stand out.
    • Plenty of good ideas implemented by the development teams that allow the players to play in their own way. For instance, mimic matter ability and gloo gun.
    • A nod to Bioshock/system shock. They use my favorite font, Century Gothic, the same with Bioshock.
  • Con:
    • Graphics glitches such as flicking shadow, low quality texture in mid distance. In certain areas such as in the reactor room, the fps may drop abruptly to 20 or lower. The graphics is not very impressive even under the “very high” setting.
    • Hacking (particularly level 2) is a painful experience for PC gamers that use a regular keyboard. The control is simply bad.
    • The NPCs are not very well made. They lack facial expression. They are not good looking. The texture and shading is rather coarse.
    • Similar to Bioshock Infinite, when the player is sprinting, the mouse sensitivity is reduced by design, which I hate very much.
    • The ending is rather anticlimactic. I don’t find it satisfying. This is also similar to Bioshock Infinite, which I personally think is an overrated game.

 

Witcher 3 tips

  • My favorite alchemy abilities
    • acquired tolerance
    • heightened tolerance
    • poisoned blades
  • My favorite decoction
    • ekhidna: actions consuming stamina increases vitality.
    • ancient leshen: sign cast increases stamina regeneration.
    • foglet: increase sign intensity in cloudy weather.
    • ekimmara: damages to foes increases vitality.
  • My favorite potion
    • tawny:  increase stamina regeneration speed. superior version never expires at night!
    • thunderbold: increase attack power.
    • golen oriole: immune to poison.
  • My favorite bomb:
    • devil’s puffball: releases poisonous gas. When used together with golen oriole, fight against a group of human enemies will become a piece of cake.
  • Other important tips
    • Burning and poison effect damages enemies by an amount proportional to their health.
    • Some monsters, such as werewolf, can regenerate vitality with great amount and fast pace. A green number rising above them indicates the recovered health. If further attack is found in vain, the player should not take this quest on the current level even if it is close to the suggested one. Simply level up and make the slash more deadly.

My 2017 wishes

  • CD Projekt Red releases gameplay clips of Cyberpunk 2077.
  • John Romero shows clips of Blackroom.
  • There is some news about Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
  • Flying wild hog shows something new, perhaps Shadow Warrior 3 WIP.
  • Unreal Engine supports runtime, per-camera near and far clip planes. (This has now come true for scene capture 2D!!)
  • The new AAA game Prey to be unlocked in May is not a letdown.
  • Valve crack down on cheaters in CS:GO.
  • Valve officially announce that Half Life 3 is an abandoned project.

Today’s PC games

How many times have we seen AAA games with upgraded graphics today turn out a pile of hyped garbage, a horrendous ripoff? To name a few of this year:

  • No man’s sky (perhaps the worst game, the most notorious scam of all time in human history)
  • Quantum break
  • The Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • Street Fighter V
  • Far Cry Primal

Behind these worthless craps are game studios who are only here to siphon off hard-earned money from us gamers ruthlessly and rabidly, and do not give a single damn about their games.

Fortunately, Polish game studios are an exception, an opposite. They care about us. Their games give me strength and warmth, and touch my soul.

  • Witcher by CD Projekt Red (Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is doubtless the best RPG game, a legendary masterpiece)
  • Shadow warrior by Flying Wild Hog

To toast Polish developers and designers, who restore my faith in humanity.

 

 

 

Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015)
The game has shown significant improvements over its 2013 predecessor. I am very much looking forward to the sequel.
rating: 8/10
pro

  • The graphics including in-game and cutscene is perfect by 2016 standards, although it is GPU demanding as expected (On a Titan GPU at high setting, the game is at 60 fps most of the time, but a complex, large scene with massive grass or snowflakes can quickly drop it to 30~40).
  • Good map design, offers quite a number of tombs to raid (although still pretty simple to solve) and vast areas to explore.
  • New game element: Lara can receive mission request from NPCs, although all missions are simple to accomplish.

con

  • AI is simplistic.
  • The last chapter is too short. The final boss (the helicopter) is too easy to defeat.
  • The main storyline is still somewhat short.
  • The NPC dialogue system is pretty simplistic.

Tomb Raider (2013)
rating: 7/10
pro

  • The graphics is really amazing.
  • Lara is well portrayed, with a strong, real personality and an attractive appearance that stresses less on sexuality.

con

  • The game is too easy to break.
  • There are too few tombs with overly simple puzzles.
  • The story is too short.
  • Lara makes unpleasant, loud grunt when putting out the torch

Tomb Raider: Legend (2006)
rating: 5/10
pro

  • good graphics of the time
  • new (but simple) elements such as motor drive
  • the Japan level is exceptionally well designed

con

  • annoyingly buggy game control
  • occasional, horrible level design. I would have ranked the game 7/10 without those levels.
    • waterfall consecutive jump at Ghana
    • motor chase at Kazakhstan (worst of all)
    • final boss fight at Kazakhstan (the boss is unbeatable; Lara has to take to flight — seriously?)
    • final boss fight at Bolivia