Sunday, February 28, 2010

The World

...Of Warcraft, at least.

I'll confess I've tried getting into it three times now, at the urging of a friend.

Never could. Lame, repetitive quests, bland character "customization" options, and guns not worthy of the name. We won't even talk about the other players you're forced to interact with.

(Here's a tip, Kiddies: if I was willing to deal with fucking idiots? I'd be out in the real world and not on my goddamned PC)

Still, I do pay some modicum of attention to the thing, mostly to marvel at just how stupidly large it is.

Apparently, there are far more easily amused people in the world than even my cynical ass thought.

It boggles the mind, truly.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Still Playing Dressup

Testing new armors, messing around, and generally shirking my modding duties.

What can I say, when I have to deal with people like the hilariously dubbed "Evil Lord Jackass", my urge to release new content falls off to zero for awhile.

So, while on an insomnia bender recently, I was playing with some Modern Warfare 2 armors, ported to FO3 (obviously). For player use, they suck. They fucking suck.

The armors are oversized, and helpfully cover your pip-boy screen so that you can't see to change inventory around.

But on Companions...

Wouldn't have warranted a screenshot so much... but when I saw her tail sticking out of that getup I was giggling so hard that I just had to get photographic evidence.

Also been playing with Ling's Finer Things, and the brilliant modular outfits. Piecing together boots, pants, top, spad, jacket... so much fun. Still deciding on what I like best, but the latest results aren't bad...

(and of course, another showing off the tail...)

You know, I wish someone would make just a nice, conservative outfit for male and female.

No stupid logos on a T shirt. No ammo belts or skulls or spikes. Just a long sleeved shirt, pants, and boots.

I may have to break down and texture the damned thing up myself out of another outfit.

On that note, I should also mention the backpacks are not downloadable anywhere. They're my personal retexture of Blackwolf backpacks. I couldn't stomach the patterns it came in, so I ran up one of my own in multicam.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Nos' Companions, Voiced

This is gonna take awhile.

Picked up some 250 sound clips already, and not even a solid quarter of the way through the first voice.

Granted, I'll weed the number down on subsequent passes... but the sheer number of these fucking things...

Fortunately, femaleadult01default seems to be the one with the lion's share of the random conversations. The other voices look considerably smaller.

Still, it's going to take days to sort through all this.

RR Companions Vault, Big Time?

I'd never have bet money on it, but today we hit 400 endorsements at the RR Companions Vault, putting us pretty much as far up the ladder as we're going to go.

We've got 400 endorsements, and more than a hundred thousand total downloads. Beyond here, it's pretty much the realm of gotta-have-it programs like FOMM. Aside from that, the top slots are mostly body replacers in various forms, with the occasional...

Huh. Wouldja lookit that shit? I was going to cite 20th Century Weapons as holding a top slot, but we've apparently eclipsed Ein's work in total endorsements.

Even Ling's Finer Things - a great mod - only has 200.

Some days, I have to stop and wonder if I'm not seeing the forest for the trees. Maybe Vault 1 is that big, that good...

Maybe it's worth not abandoning, after all.

Screenshot Break, 2-22

Got some new Vanilla Companions uploaded this morning.

Also did some testing on the game NPCs who use unique voices. Unfortunately, the quick fix isn't one at all. The only way to get them to work, and keep their original voices, is to extract the sound files from the voice BSA, and create new lines of dialog in the game to match, and add the sounds to them.

This is, needless to say, not real high on my list 'o stuff to do.

If I'm going to waste inordinate amounts of time voicing NPCs, I prefer they be my NPCs, and not cheap copies of vanilla folks.

And, speaking of... while testing, I saw another screenshot that I had to snap.

Maeva, as she looks in my game. Notice the horns. Wearing Nuke-something-or-other armor from Ling's. What you don't see is the spade tail she also has.

(You can also see where I was testing the latest iteration of the RR Amata Companion plugin in the background)

Some days, it's hard to believe I'm straight, as long as I spend making the girls play dress-up. Got almost as many sets of custom clothing and armor in Oblivion as the entire base game install, itself. Fallout 3 doesn't have that many good ones available yet, but it's getting interesting for sure.

Deeper and Deeper...

As in, "I keep digging myself..."

Figured out a couple fixes for the vanilla companions that use unique voices.

In the course of investigating, I also learned how to do the neat semi-custom voice thing done by Lox on Jessi and Kelsey, as well as that "Slave Raider Companion" floating about.

This is both good and bad.

Good, in that it opens me up to actually voice the girls in my companions pack.

Bad, in that voicing them also means custom writing every line of dialog, just for them, since it'll have to be ObjectID specific to keep the new dialog from running on other companions. This will amount to several hours' work each.

Probably longer, given that before I can begin cutting voices together, I have to listen to dozens of them to get a feel for the dialog and inflection, and see which ones fit which companions bestest.

Needless to say, I will not be doing this for the quick-and-dirty vanilla companions, nor the soul-less proof of concept companions from the RR master.

Why oh why do I have to be such a fucking overachiever?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sound in Gaming

Sound is, I think, one of the most overlooked aspects in many games.

Most developers think proper audio for a game means lossless 44khz effects, and a suitable movie-orchestra-esque soundtrack.

They are, of course, wrong. Most video games have shit for music. Me? I turn the stuff off ASAP. I don't feel it builds tension... it just makes things that are actually pertinent that much harder to discern.

What got me thinking about this today, is I screwed around and left my computer plugged into the aux jack of my obscenely powerful (and out of production for several years now) Rio 'executive shelf system'. Why they can't just call it a stereo anymore, I don't know.

This little bitch of a system can literally rattle windows, if fed a track with the proper bassline.

Normally, I'm an offender on ignoring a game's sounds, myself. I keep the stereo run into my XM receiver, and usually have that going in the background. A little while back, though, a friend turned me on to Grooveshark as an alternative to filesharing and such when suggesting songs to each other. Naturally, my PC speakers fucking suck - they're a set of cheapo Logitechs I grabbed four or five years ago when my previous set of shitty speakers went Tango Uniform.

Well, of course you can't listen to music like that... so I have to swap the jack over to run the PC into the Rio for music time.

Had been listening earlier, and forgot and left the computer jacked in when I fired up FO3 this evening to test the latest "TEH SKY IZ FALLZ0RING!" comment on the RR fucking Companions Vault (otherwise known as the bane of my modding existence... I swear every time I take ten minutes to work on something else, someone manages to break it in a new and ever more interesting fashion... you people remind me of the Private given a rubber mallet and locked in a room with an anvil, of metaphor lore).

I was floored by the difference in sounds. I'm so used to the flat, lifeless PC speakers that I had forgotten how much better gunfire sounds when piped through a pair of speakers that each have a 6" woofer built into the side. The crack of the suppressed M14 was almost... realistic.

Not completely, of course. A point for which I'm grateful - even suppressed gunshots throw out upwards of 100db; more than enough to permanently damage your hearing.

More than just that, though, was the ambient noise, and echoes. Oh, the echoes in the Access Tunnels... Gotta give props to Bethsoft for that detail, oh yes.

Got me thinking about old times. The last game that, to me, really had a complete, integrated aural experience was System Shock 2. Which not only did it, but did it in such a way that it would scare the fuck out of you.

Most of you kids probably never played it, being a Windows 95 game and all, but that one was scary game.

Not like FEAR. I picked up FEAR when it was new, and was bored from one end to the other. FEAR relied on lame movie theater tricks to "scare" people - it basically amounted to nothing more than creepy music and things jumping out and going BLARGH! Cheap twitch tactics, and nothing more.

System Shock 2 actually gave you the feeling - when playing with headphones especially - that you were alone on a dead ship, surrounded my cybernetic monsters who wanted nothing more than your head.

It really is a great shame, that games like that are relegated to the days of pixel-y graphics and 256 colors. What that would've been run with HDR, Shader 3.0, and Phys-X support...

DOOM 3 was another one that had potential, but in the end was just being "scary" by making it dark all the time. No atmosphere. I also find it hard to believe that they have interplanetary travel, but can't figure out how to duct-tape a fucking flashlight to a rifle.

I dunno, maybe it's because I'm older now, and have spent the last ten years having it hammered into my head to be aware of my surroundings at all times, but I just don't find modern games to be as immersing.

I'd chalk it up to base nostalgia, but the truth is most games were shit in the 90's, too. Doubly so in the 80's. I swear, the amount of time I spent on 8-bit NES games that were nothing but poorly laid out movie tie-ins...


Just seems like now everyone's about MMO, and doesn't even bother trying to put out a solid single player story-telling event.

Oblivion has its moments... but even it's mostly just the strategically placed sound of wind in the background of some caves.

I hear STALKER is supposed to be good about that sort of thing, but I never did get around to picking it up. Still see Clear Skies here and there on shelves from time to time, but I have a long standing hatred of Prequels. They tend to Retcon way too much. Probably too much exposure to that hack Roddenberry's work...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Screenshot Break

Uploaded RR Companions Vault v5.6 Beta 2 this morning, and am currently in final testing before uploading the first batch of the new 'Vanilla companions'.

Unfortunately, those with unique voices (the vanilla followers, Amata, a couple others) won't be in the first batch, as they're having a dialog conflict.

It seems Bethesda once again took the easy way out, and tied all quest dialog to the unique voices, rather than the specific NPCs' References.

This means that when I add Amata's voice to the Amata companion, she stops speaking; the RR dialog is conflicting with the vanilla quest dialog, greetings, and so forth. They'll have to wait, until I figure out how to fix it, short of just giving them another voice.

While testing, though, I had a scene happen that I had to capture and share.

Here we see Amata and Maeva's first meeting.

I don't need to be a mind reader to know they hate each other.

I tell you, Kiddies, some days I am sorely tempted to set up several companion factions, remove the essential tags, and let the catfighting commence.

Not that I have any doubt it would end in Maeva ripping off Amata's head and using it as a chamber pot, mind you.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Upcoming Mod: Vanilla NPC RR Companions, Part II

Okay, I've been at it for awhile now, and I'm knockin' off for today.

Still, progress has not been insubstantial.

I could type out the tally, but I feel like being a lazy bastard instead, so screenshot AHOY!

Upcoming Mod: Vanilla NPC RR Companions

Have you ever wanted to take an NPC in the game as a companion, or to live in Vault 1, or whatever; but you don't like SCC's limited follower functionality, or the nigh-uselessness of the vanilla followers?

Well, worry no more.

Soon, you'll be able to take a fair number of NPCs and all humanoid vanilla followers as RR companions, via a new series of plugins soon to be released by us here at NosCo.

At the moment, Amata, Angela Staley, Billy Creel, and Bittercup are completed. As I said, the list will eventually also include the vanilla followers (Clover, Charon, Paladin Cross and so forth), and several standard NPCs.

Companions will have their appearance taken from the non-companion NPC, so any beauty mods you run - Project Beauty, Ling's Pretty Things, etc - will carry over.

Total number will be somewhere between one and two dozen, with each having their own plugin; so you'll never be forced to run any that you don't want.

The new companions will get their own file entry, as I feel the RR masters entry is cluttered enough with 18 files as it is.

Screenshots will be posted when I'm finished, and a link will of course go here, as well as the Nexus.

If there's a specific NPC you want to see make the list, drop me a comment or PM to my Nexus profile.

Please also note: No mod-added NPCs will be considered for this project. No DLC NPCs either, please.

Vacation Photos

...Or at least, the sort I'm more prone to taking. Some screenshots to taunt you with.

Firstly, a couple taken here recently, in the course of testing v5.6.

I looked over and saw her in the access tunnels entryway, and couldn't help myself...

You gotta love a woman that packs an M14.

...I do, anyway. But I have issues, I know.

Also, some from Oblivion have been languishing in my directory, but not posted for your consumption. May as well rectify that now.

Here in these, you can see one of the prime reasons I still play Oblivion: the scenery.

Fallout 3 may technically have more advanced graphics, but they took the post apocalyptia schtick too far. No green, no sunsets, no pretty anything.

I live in the land of sand and scrub and neverending polluted skies, so from time to time I get sick of looking at it and need to see something endearing. What better than rain, a peaceful lake, and a hot redhead in body armor?

Yes, that is Astrianna - Montana's Sexy Companion II, modified to fit my tastes.

Are we seeing a pattern, yet?

Personally, I'm not as fond of the companion. She has to be worked over before being usable for me, as Astrianna starts with enough responsibility that she'll report you for committing crimes, which gets interesting.

When my CM companions are along, they take her betrayal personally and proceed to kick the holy living shit out of Astrianna and any guards that respond to her call.

But, Astrianna can travel between Cyrodiil and the Shivering Isles, which is something standard CM companions have trouble with. So she serves a purpose.

Here you see the latest iteration of my first two CM companions. You should have no trouble recognizing them if you've used my RR Companions pack at all. Recently reworked using what I've learned from Fallout 3 over the past 10 or so months, they've ended up pretty hot.

You'll notice a startling similarity to the Astrianna screenshot posted above. That's because I was lazy and copied this face over to Astrianna rather than go to the trouble of running up an entirely new one.

And one of the prime things I miss from Oblivion when in Fallout 3: the glowing eyes option. Not made by me; they're actually Nequam's excellent eyes. Made have to learn to do a glowmap dds myself, to add the capability to FO3.

Also: wouldn't that scare the hell out of ya? Waking up to such a scene...

Okay, that's it for this show 'n tell. More screenshots were taken, but didn't pass muster to actually upload.

I'm sure I'll take more soon, though.

RR Companions Vault v5.6, Upcoming

You see, this is the sort of thing that gets me so frustrated, working on this mod.

As I'd like to make this a semi-final version, I'm running error checks and trying to fix as much as possible.

There are a slew. I'm finding faction problems that were there months before I ever signed on. Two of the guard packages had invalid flags set.

I think - think mind you - I've managed to get the wasteland access points removed correctly, without fucking up the navmeshing.

Four of the five have been removed, along with the relevant sections of the tunnels.

I've left the Tenpenny access point, as it just fit too well, and doesn't seem to cause any problems.

Redone the tunnel navmeshing, resetup the patrol markers so that they should continue properly.

Cleaned out a few non-used factions, and some unused scripts here and there.

Packages are repaired; proper flags set.

Think I'm also going to reset some of the 'loot' packages, so that they don't take so blasted long to complete. Say... two sets of armor, two weapons, five pieces of food or meds, and a hundred caps. Won't necessarily take everything available, but should make the packages actually useful. Still, with the 1 game hour minimum package length, it's going to take awhile to run them all, regardless.

Also thinking I'm going to release 5.6 as a beta, until its stability can be fully tested.

Still have to do my internal testing, too.

I know people who don't mod think testing must be great. It's just playing the game, after all.

Truth is, it's tedious, boring, and often frustrating. You spend the entire time looking for problems, watching for errors, checking AI behavior. Very little actual playing involved.

Edit: Initial testing done. Reworked tunnels seem to be fine, no navmeshing or patrolling problems observed, and the game didn't crash - even on my 74 hour, level 20 game.

Still need to monkey with the loot packages, and make a couple companion modifications... but it looks like it's going to work.

Monday, February 15, 2010


Been an odd week now since I threw it in and disappeared from the Nexus.

Consequently, I doubt anyone's reading this blog anymore.

Still, on the off chance that someone is, I'm updating.

After some forced vacation, some sleep, and more than a few very nice tumbles... I'm feeling better.

I still loathe the RR Companions Vault and want it to be done with, however. V5.6 will likely be a final version. I have fixed all that I am capable of fixing, and as far as I can tell at this point any leftover bugs are either inherent to the engine, result from a dirty/corrupt savegame, or are mod interaction issues.

I can't fix those issues, and I'm done running myself ragged trying.

As it now stands, my owner tells me I'm within a week of my medical leave being up, at the outside; provided I promise to go easy on it and not pull any more all-nighters in the GECK from here on out.

As for the mentioned changes... I don't want to go into specifics until I'm sure what I can and can not pull off.

Fortunately, my work on 20th Century Weapons seems to be over, so my plate seems to have cleaned up enough to let me actually devote some time to one specific mod, rather than running in circles trying to keep six together at once.

Unfortunately, I'm also at a crossroads, where I'm not positive which direction I want things to go in. Because of this, I don't want to work too far ahead on anything that I may end up having to redo.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


As in: I am on one.

Not even technically supposed to be posting here, in fact; but I managed to get an agreement to let me do this one. Figured I should post here, too, for those of you who don't read my other blog.

Basically, it boils down to this: constant bug-fixing and answering the same questions over and over again for people who won't RTFM has not only burned me totally out on modding, but driven me to the edge, as well. Not sleeping, not eating, blood pressure dangerously high. Spending most of my free time fighting with the GECK, trying to fix problems that don't even exist in my game and scouring the internet for reliable bug reports relating to the weird stuff that keeps being reported to me...

Thus, my owner has made good on her old promise that the second my modding affected my health, it would stop.

Until and unless I can get my blood pressure and sleeping habits back under control, there will be no modding from Nos.

No opening of the GECK. No answering of comments on the Nexus. No even replying to PMs. If I get so many that my box threatens to get full, I may be able to wrangle a temporary exemption to that one, but I also may not bother even asking.

When and if I do come back to modding, there will be some changes.

However, that's then and not now.

Now? I go to my nice, faux fur blanket, and the new episode of White Collar.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Testing RR Companions Vault catastrophic bug #162443A1, also know as "That moron Sydney gets stuck in the access tunnels".

Attempting to test, I should say.

Even with three of my girls along, rocking their new experimental 'Operator' combat style, that stupid bitch Sydney can't keep her hide free of extra holes. She died. Of course.

Between her worthless combat performances, and the lackluster reward, I remember now why I haven't gone into the national archives in ten games.

Seriously. I am so fucking sick of this "every building should be a maze!" thing Bethesda is so fixated on.

Let me get this straight. I have a backpack full of thermo-nuclear-fucking-weapons, but yet I can't get past a wooden bookshelf that's blocking a doorway; that in real life I would be able to kick over and step across, barely breaking stride.

Goddamn I wish game designers would base things on the capabilities of people who are in shape and have some training, rather than what they, themselves are capable of.

So, now, I get to reload my last auto save, and try this AGAIN.

Also: 20th Century Weapons v5 is fun. I quite like the SOPMOD M4, even if it is useless at level 20.

MMM continues to be a colossal pain in the ass:

Annoying mobs aside, that many super mutants in one spot is hell on my fucking framerate.

There are days I seriously wonder about most of you Fallout players.

Oh, and Real Injuries is less annoying by a long shot once you reset the timescale to real time, instead of Bethsoft time lapse.

Down Again

Get up, go to check PMs... see I have two in my Gmail account.

Head over to the Nexus to read/respond... 'cannot establish connection'.

About ten fucking times now. Both TES and FO3 Nexuses.

Server upgrades, my ass. I still say they should've left Dragon Age the fuck alone. Universe forbid they let their existing userbase do their thing, rather than trying to capture an entirely new community.

Edit, later:

Just saw this: "TESNexus is currently down
Please bare with me..."

...I'm not sure I like where this is going... Wonder if I need a rape whistle?

New PC

Was in Best Buy earlier, and looked over some new PCs.

Amazing what a grand will buy you these days. Quad-core Intel with eight gigs of DDR3, a 1tb hard drive, and an ATI something or other superwhammyHD 1gb video card.

Seriously, I know three things about ATI cards:

1) It is not Nvidia.

2) Jack.

3) Shit.

The number of the card may as well have been made up of the atomic weights of the materials used to make the chipset for all the good it did me.

Would've been tempted... severely tempted, but I am not hearing good things about the quad cores getting along with certain programs. FO3 especially.

A similar system - dual core Intel with eight gigs of RAM - went for slightly over half the money. Considering I already own a good-ish video card, I'd have to say that one was way more tempting.

Also installing BF2 again. Had the urge to see how it played on my new GPU, since the last time I played it was on the 256mb 6200.

Fuck me I had forgotten how stupidly big EA patches are. the 1.50 patch is two fucking gigabytes. And I may have to get 1.41 on top of that to install first. Not sure, yet.

Oh, well; at least BF2 has integrated bot support.

Wonder if they ever got PRMM done? Have to check...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Nos' Tower Teaser

I've mentioned a few times in an oblique manner a secret project I've been working on.

Truth is, it's not really a secret, I'm just a dick.

I mention now and again burning out on modding Fallout 3. That's not strictly speaking true. I don't burn out on Fallout 3 itself, I burn out on trying to accommodate the whims of several dozen whiny children pertaining to the RR Companions Vault. After a week of trying to fix a bug that doesn't even exist in my game, I'm in no mood to listen to compatibility complaints from people who can't be bothered to read documentation, let alone mod themselves.

I enjoy modding, I really do. It's creation. Expression. Taking an idea from my head, and making it real - even if the "real" is only digital.

The conflict is, I enjoy modding for me. The companion system in the RR Companion Vault exists in a working form only because I needed it to work to make my girls viable. The access tunnels for Vault 1 exist because I wanted a quick and safe way to traverse the wasteland to get to Rivet City in the early game without spending hours sneaking out around super mutants and raiders.

Oftentimes, when I want to mod for me, I go back to Oblivion. Where my CM companions await me with smiles on their pretty faces, always willing to go on a cross-country adventure, or even just sit out on my favorite island in the Abacean Sea and watch the sun set.

I lamented the fact that there really are no good house mods for Fallout 3. They're all underground, and unless you like your scenery to include rock and/or steel wall paneling, you're SOL.

Tenpenny Tower has its moments... but I firmly believe all really pretty scenery should include water of some sort. Be it in the form of falls, river, or sea.

So I thought it over, and decided to put myself a house in the capital wasteland. Someplace that could be mine, where I won't have to worry about errors left from anyone else's work, where I won't have to care about anyone else's sensibilities.

I went looking. Any place high enough to have a view in the desert parts of the wasteland are hard as hell to get to. Most of the DC metro area is problematic for several reasons. I ended up wandering along the Potomac, down south where it's wide and open.

Tried building along the west bank, but the edges of the map stop me from setting the building up where I wanted it. Could go with a borderless requirement... but I wanted to avoid that, as FO3 has problems outside the playable worldspace borders.

I decided to do something a bit more supervillan-ish.

I put myself together a modified form of Tenpenny Tower, and erected it out in the middle of the river, south of the Jefferson Memorial.

I couldn't think of another mod that changes this area, and it does offer a view... insofar as there are views in the wasteland.

Now, for the promised teaser:

Lighting's not the best, as in Fallout - much as in my real life - the weather hates letting me take decent pictures.

Still, you can get a feel for it. The shots are taken from the 360 degree balcony on the top floor. The tower is set so that it rises up out of the water, with the bottom set into the dirt, and some rocks thrown around to make a passable foundation on the river bottom.

Access will be via an underground tunnel near Rivet City, as I didn't want to string a bridge out across there.

The exterior is almost done. Needs to be cluttered, but is already navmeshed and all the building parts lined up.

The interior is barely even started, and is currently planned to be made up of three levels: a basement/maintenance access level where the tunnel will lead into; a main floor/lobby with restaurant/cafeteria, pool, maybe a couple shops, a mess of guards, and quarters for all NPCs involved; and the penthouse floor, the player's suite - with four terrace access points (N,S,E,W), large well appointed bedroom, smaller pool, probably a waterfall, and full suite of amenities (infirmary, chemistry set, workbench, etc).

I can't promise it'll ever even be uploaded, depending on how it turns out. I haven't taken out a file entry yet or anything, as I hate it when people do "placeholder" files.

When and if I do upload it, I have no plans whatsoever to tie it into the RR Companions Vault in any way. This will be a totally stand-alone mod. Well, okay, maybe not totally stand alone. I think I may add Ling's Finer Things to it...

No plans to drop the RR series at the moment, but sometimes I just need to work on something that's mine.

More Updates

Should also note: I just renamed the Picasa albums themselves, to keep them more organized. So if you had one of them bookmarked for some odd reason, you'll need to update the link.

I also know I'm in serious need of cleaning out the Fallout 3 companions and guards album. A large number of the shots in there are old and no longer even remotely representative of what you'll see in the mods.

Lotta shots to go through, though, and I'm not sure how long it'll be before I get to it.

Blog Update

If you're a regular reader, you may notice I updated the blog a bit this morning.

Added a Facebook badge, cause hey; I actually use the thing sometimes now, and have two friends on there, one of which doesn't speak to me anymore.

I R so pathetic, I know.

Not begging, but if you wanna friend me or whatever I'm usually open to the idea; although one piece of warning: I generally ignore any request I get to play those "tag a friend" games.


Also added an official type link in the Picasa album listing on the right side to the new Oblivion Companions album, and actually went through and captioned the pictures.

Renamed the other album links, so that the titles include which game the folder is pertinent to.

Updated the 'Released Mods' links to their Nexus file entries, as my blog posts on the mods were all ridiculously outdated at this point, and I'm too lazy to do new writeups.

Can't make promises, but as you may notice from the MAG rant below this post, I'm going to try to spend more time talking about my thoughts on gaming in general, and less time bitching sociopathically about people who can't RTFM on the Nexus.


File this one under the "ain't happening" heading.

Finally decided to look into it, and it's a fucking PS3 game.

Hell, I could buy a new PC and Modern Warfare 2 for less than a PS3 with enough of the extras to make it usable. Plus, I've always hated trying to FPS with a D-Pad.

Strange people are obviously responsible for the marketing decisions on new games.

Plus, that flash "news report"?

Yeah, that shit wasn't amusing in C&C: Generals, and the idea hasn't aged well by any stretch.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New Games

Going to take a break from my usual psymi-psychotic rantings about people who won't RTFM, and pose a sorta-rhetorical question.

David's continued comments to my last post have got me thinking about gaming on a wider scale than I have been recently, and I'm beginning to wonder:

What happened to video games?

Oh, they're pretty now, sure... but where are the engaging titles? We on the PC only seem to get two or three game types.

1) the MMO. There are three of these that seem to keep coming up. One is exactly like WoW except for some minor detail. Two is the exact opposite of WoW, and goes out of its way to be hard on you and discourage casual players and mindless kiddies - WAR comes to mind here. Three uses the tried and true formula of "Look, dateless losers: Our MMO has TITS! You know you want to play when we have our NPCs show you their boobs!"

2) COMBAT SO REAL YOU'LL THINK YOU FUCKED UP AND JOINED THE MARINE CORPS DURING A DRUNKEN BENDER! Except for the minor detail that their damage models are invariably based on how cool they think a weapon is, and not the cartridge it actually chambers. CoD4:MW and MW2 are the worst offenders here, but in days gone by, Battlefield was a classic example of "playability" passed off as realism.

3) Generic horror-themed game #616A, with the plot stolen from several Sci-Fi channel 3am movies. This is stuff like FEAR; Resident Evil 17: The zombies are still coming, damn it; and Dead Space.

I've gotta say, FEAR was one of the biggest gaming let downs for me, ever. Bought it a few days after release, dropped fifty bucks, and it was crap. Unscary, unrealistic weapons, done-to-death characters, and that bullet-time thing wasn't interesting when Max Payne did it in 2001. The entire scariness of the game consisted of scary-little-devil-girl appearing out of nowhere to give knee-jerk "scary" moments. Also: the ending? Total shit.

Now, System Shock 2, that was a creepy goddamned game. Even had the RPG aspects to make your character somewhat unique.

At least #2 has moved on to the modern battlefield. I don't know if I could play Omaha Beach again.

You know what we need? Another Mechwarrior game. I know a lot of people didn't like the 4 series, because Microsoft toned down the sim aspect, and made it more action-y, but I liked it.

There's little as satisfying as loading up 100 ton robot and laying waste to everything in sight with particle accelerators and rail guns.

What I've been saying for years is that we need a Mechwarrior MMO.

Dig this: open up the entire inner sphere as playable territory. You start as a mercenary with a lone dropship and one or two mechs (or C-Bill equivalent thereof), and you travel from world to world, taking contracts. Planetary defense, raids, auxiliary forces for a major house, whatever. Be sorta like MW4: Mercs, except that all the other mechs would be piloted by real people, too.

You run it as a persistent galaxy, where players' winning or losing battles shifts who controls the world.

You could have the ranks filled in with computer-driven mechs, but obviously live people would be preferred to fill out your unit.

Could eventually even work up to a standing contract with one of the house militaries for garrison duty or the like.

Bonus points for opening up the Solaris VII arena. Make the Grand Championship way more interesting, I'd wager. Even go so far as to allow broadcasting a stream of the weekly (or even daily) matches; get a real announcer to comment...

The technology has advanced far enough to allow all kinds of interesting options to turn it into a virtual, persistent galaxy.

Maybe even have computer driven Clan incursions that player units have to defend against.

It would be so cool.

I always wanted a realistic FPS like that. Something like ARMA, except persistent. Where players would assault and defend territory, that would stay took or lost until players did something about it.

Planetside's original model was supposed to be a sci-fi version of this, but for some reason it flopped. Didn't have enough half-naked blue elf chicks or something, I guess.

Even Joint Ops would have been decent, had they polished it a bit more.

I'd also like to see weapon selection realism instituted in an online game. I don't care how laid-back your CO is, people in the US Army do not traditionally get to carry AKM's, let alone RPG-7's, and I really can't see any other country carrying the M25.

This is another area CoD4 really pissed me off in. They had USMC able to carry the SVD, AKM, G36C, and RPG-fucking-7.

This was sheer laziness. Really, how much longer would it have taken to run up an M72 LAW model for the US forces?

We won't even talk about the Desert Eagle and StGW44.

I dunno. I was never extraordinarily good at online FPS games - save Starsiege: Tribes, where my innate ability to think in three dimensions let me rule the fucking battlefield while the Quake and UT refugees stood on the ground bitching - but I still miss getting to play. Joint Ops was especially interesting, as it had not only realistic weapons (with fire mode selectors, no less) but also had Co-op mode.

Moving along in a traveling overwatch with six other players, putting concentrated fire on insurgents that tried to ambush from the jungle... all very fun and exciting. Of course, that was a game that rewarded stealth and aiming, and didn't even give you the provision of bunny-hopping.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Cup Runeth Over

"I tried to install your latest update 5.5 but my game will not even start. It opens the title page which starts to scroll but you never get control of the screen so you can’t start the game. The curser never appears. I had to go back to the previous version to get the game running again.
I think it may have been too much of a shock to the game, removing and replacing the Guards and all the prisoner stuff at once.
I don’t mind as I said before having one naked guard in the tunnels, the thing that worries me is I cannot install any new RR updates in the future if they are based on the 5.5 one as my game won’t start."

They bitch when I don't fix something. Then they bitch when I do fix it, and all because no one will clean their damned save.

You know what? Hell with it. I'm gonna go play something else.

Also: my prediction of having a week before the bitching started? Yeah, seems I was off by about six and a half days.