Final Fantasy XIV has done something I have never seen a game do before – At least for an MMO. They have provided a DEMO of their new expansion. They are calling it a “Benchmark”, but it is really a demo of their new maps, job skill animations and character classes.
You don’t need an account, or to sign up for an account. Just download the demo and give it a try. You don’t play it, you just watch it. But it’s the real game engine running the real game content on your machine. And you get to create a new character to watch in it. It’s not a video, but the actual game engine. And you can run it as many times as you like with different choices.
How They Did It?
Cut scenes in FFXIV are scripted game footage that the engine renders with your character in the mix. Unlike some other games the cut scenes are not pre-rendered as videos for FFXIV.
I just saw this on SlashDot. And then I did some searches.
Ok. The asteroid belt is pretty small, compared with, say, the Moon. But do we get how mind bogglingly big these things are?
The reason that I did a search for Titan is that I remember a movie Outland, from way back in 1981, with Sean Connery, that included the premise that humans were mining on Titan. Not sure it was ever clear what they were mining out there.
I’ve been watching some Youtube channels that talk about the Demise or just Problems of a few games recently and wondering what’s up. And then I saw a video about “Games as a Service is Fraud” and finally something has clicked for me. Here’s my theory about what’s happening in parts of the Game Industry.
Game Studios want to be like Movie Studios. Games have not, traditionally, been like movies. When games come out, they have been designed to be played for years, and that’s not surprising because making a good game takes years. Leave aside MMOs for the moment which take much longer, but there is a lot of person hours in creating a game. If you watch the credits for movies, you see 1000s of names, but not nearly that many folks are marshaled together to build a game, so it in the past making games has taken longer. Movie studios and the surrounding special effects and catering etc etc services are all geared up to put massive effort into a movie for a short time. Game Studios [Art and Software folks] don’t work like that obviously.
But this is a problem for Game Publishers – the ones doing the Business, not the ones doing the Art, Story and Software.
I just saw a review for the new Alienware Aurora R8 and I was shocked. This is a premium system. At least it has a Premium Price and is touted as having Premium Specs. Here’s the review.
Ok. So it’s a mid tower case. Not just a square box, but not like the Alienware Designs of Old to be sure. This case has as few angles as possible, and still have anything but 90 degree angles. Not very exciting. Slightly Trapaziod on some sort of “Stand”.
But things have changed out there since 10 years ago when it was ok to not powder coat your case metal. Everyone is coating “Premium Cases” in black these days. But look at the back of the new Alienware Case!
Cheap Tin is no longer a Thing DELL. Get with it. Your metal should be powder coated BLACK not just galvanized Tin. Or bare Aluminum? A while back I built a new computer using a Glass case and it cost about $1000 less than this new thing from Alienware. All the parts of the case were coated black. That build cost about $1400 with a nice graphics card, a sweet processor and a nice lit up motherboard and lit up RAM modules. There is no way to show off the interior of this Aurora R8 case since the power supply is folded over the motherboard, which makes the case fatter of course.
But, they can’t even powder coat what shows in the back? Sigh. Why have a black motherboard connection surround if you are going to leave bare metal all around it?
Looks like Alienware is just a meaningless name now. A Brand without Distinction of any kind. Nice going Dell.
I keep tripping across this flawed thinking in the Marvel Universe. And with the new movie coming out recently, maybe it’s time to remind us of the flaws. I’m not rushing out to the movie. I’ll see it when it comes to Netflix. But, as far as I can tell, Thanos is an idiot with no math or astronomy skills. Here are some of the reasons I say this:
If you HALVE the population of any critter in a constrained environment – and apparently Thanos’ “snap” halved the population of all critters in the universe, according to this account – then it doesn’t really take that long for the population to recover. Most populations follow a Leaning “S” curve, this is because growth slows as resources are depleted. So, if the population is suddenly reduced by half, it will make a sudden jump in growth rate to compensate and if the resources available are the same, it will recover to the same level. So snapping only has a short term effect. And I’m not even talking about the Avengers returning from the Phantom Zone or wherever they went. But then what?
There are no images in this post, since that might cause an Article 13 Copyright Violation and prevent my readers in the EU from being able to see this. [Satire Intended]
In case you missed it, here is an article that summarizes Article 13. I will not quote any of the article here, since that might awaken the Copyright Dragon.
Under Article 13, the hosting service – WordPress, Youtube, Facebook, you know. Those guys? will be held libel, with big fines, for hosting any content that infringes on anybody’s copyright. So this is the “Old Guard” media companies – Movie studios, Record Labels, Newspapers, etc etc. You know who they are too. – trying to protect their last vestiges of “rights” from the Old World.
These “Old Guard” have, as Old Guards always do, missed the point of the New World. The new world is about “Exposure that Captures the Hearts and Minds”. Let me give you some examples.
Part of the Stormblood expansion, this is a multi-stage quest with a fight and then a run through the city to find your friends. The problem is that there are no pointers along the way, although at some point a “curious Kojin” shows up to guide you.
Part of the issue is that you are doing this quest at Night – At least I was and I assume based on the description of the quest, that everyone does it in the dark. The only Youtube walk throughs that I found were done by first timers who didn’t go back on an Alt to show the best way. I think I’ve found the best way by scouting it out in the daylight.
So to review.
- You meet your fishy friend on the bridge at night.
- He leads you to the docks and there betrays you to the Imperial Forces. Lyse beats up the fishy friend and holds him while you and Alisaie kill the imperials. The fight is easy. Just kill them all.
- The Local Samurai show up and want to arrest you, but you have 9 smoke bombs.
- Notice as you face East away from the water up the ramp a shimmering wall on your left. It’s not a barrier. Run through it. Use a smoke bomb here if you must.
- Then follow the map to the East, up and over and then down in an alleyway to find your friends. You don’t need to go through the market place.
I got lost and didn’t see the message about following the Kojin until I had found my friends. So you are likely to have plenty of smoke bombs. I didn’t use them until I was trapped. That’s fine too. You don’t need to avoid being trapped.
I wrote this up to remind me for when I do it on my Alts, but you might find it useful too.
Neverwinter is a Free to Play MMO published by ARC Games. Lately I’ve been looking for something to play in the evening that’s less intense. Something different to try between sessions with FFXIV and GW2.
I remember trying Neverwinter years ago and being so unimpressed that I only made one character, got it to about level 4 and gave up. Well, a lot has changed since then.
Neverwinter is not a modern game. So be prepared for some nostalgia. But it’s not a clunker either. It’s a real 3D Game. Not a TOP DOWN ISO camera game. It is WASD movement. Those are requirements for me. I need to be able to look at the sky and move around with my muscle memory that I’ve trained after years of playing.
- The graphics is better than the old parts of World of Warcraft, but not as nice as Tera or GW2 or FFXIV.
- But the combat is very nice. It’s Action Combat, not TAB targeting. So you need to place the little circle on your target.
- There are a ton of Races and Classes to choose from. Follow the Wiki link above.
- All of the classes I’ve played are completely survivable, at least through the tutorial and first few instances.
- There are only a few buttons to push. Unlike Wow and FFXIV, the goal for skills has not been to fill the entire keyboard with skills. 5 or 6 will do you.
As a minor downside, no Hot Key mapping is provided. So you need to manually edit some ini file or other to change Inventory to Bags if you want to do that. I haven’t bothered yet. But they keyboard layout is well designed and works fine with my Left Hand game keypad. This game works on consoles too, if you are of a mind to play it that way. Update: Keybinds do exist. I just missed them.
Just got the Warclaw this afternoon after grinding about Five Hours in WvW to
So the process is to Get all the items in the Warclaw Achievement by grinding WvW stuff, enable the Warclaw in the Bottom Left area of the WvW panel. Then Activate the Warclaw Reward Track and grind that bar all the way to the end to get the Warclaw Helmet. Then the Warclaw Certificate shows up in the Vendor for 8 Gold. Buy that and use it. And Voila, you have the Warclaw mount. Sigh.
Hiding Files in Images?
I’ve known about Stenganography for some time. And no, it’s not spelled wrong. That’s not Stenography, but Steganography. Two different things. I’ve been thinking recently about all the news items that are talking about privacy erosion and governments around the world passing or about to pass laws to break into your private messages of any kind. And then the above video popped up in my Youtube suggestions. From 2 Feb 2019 no less. Quite Recent. I’ll provide a link at the end of this post, but it’s not the main point of the video. I’m going to take that primitive program’s idea and show how it can be extended, a lot. I’m saying primitive and if you don’t believe that, watch the video. Sigh.
Steganography ( (listen) STEG-ə-NOG-rə-fee) is the practice of concealing a file, message, image, or video within another file, message, image, or video. The word steganography combines the Greek words steganos (στεγανός), meaning “covered, concealed, or protected”, and graphein (γράφειν) meaning “writing”.
I’m not mentioning anything the NSA does not know, but apparently the lawmakers around the world have not called in an expert who has mentioned the science of Steganography to them in their hearings for their new lawmaking regarding Privacy.
Let’s look at what’s happening to Privacy / Encryption around the world.