Sword Art Online Season I Review

Every few years I get sucked into watching an anime. This time I blame multiple corp mates in Eve for it. The show this time around is Sword Art Online. I finished season one, and am working on season two now. This piece is just about the first season, and not the second. I’m not going to go very in depth on the plot beyond a recap, but I will likely spoil things, so be forewarned. Premise / Plot The basic premise of the show is that a VR MMO, the eponymous SAO, is released, but on the first day the players are trapped in the game, and if they die or disconnect in-game the VR headset they are wearing will also kill them in real life. The goal of the game is to clear all 100 floors of the vitrual world. Doing so will release any remaining players from the game. The first half of the show deals with this setup and the hero, Kirito, gets the job done. The second half of the show involves the real life players coming to terms with what happened, and the main love interest, Asuna, being trapped in a coma in a second Continue Reading →

Skillpoints… What to Do?

CCP dropped a dev blog.  It’s a bit of a doozy, or nothing all that important.  Since I am writing today, you can safely assume I think it is a bit of a doozy.  At the core, the dev blog proposes that players be allowed, for a fee in Aurum, to take skillpoints out of their characters, and then sell the resulting skillpoints on the market for isk.  I am not a huge fan of this, and said so in the threadnaught.  But I want to explore the reasons behind my opinion.The image above is a bit of online gaming culture at this point.  The point is that Eve is really hard to learn.  That has not changed much in the last few years.  But that graph isn’t really relevant to the discussion of skillpoints (SP) in Eve.  A more appropriate image would be this: What this image shows is how many skillpoints a character can attain over a given time frame, at a few different rates of SP per hour.  I’ve given the time scale as 0 to 12 years, with pretty much encompasses the entire history of Eve.  This is relevant to buying SP because your maximum number Continue Reading →

DIY HOTAS Chair

Not too long ago I got Elite: Dangerous.  After a few days of playing the game I realized I wanted to play the game using a HOTAS setup.  I quickly ordered a Thrustmaster X-HOTAS to try out the interface.  A week later I had some birthday money and a desire to blow cash on trivial things, so I bought a Saitek x55 Rhino HOTAS.  It was great, but I realized my desk was not configured to use any HOTAS set up for any length of time.  The problem is that a conventional desk is built for the height of keyboard and mouse, not the height of a throttle and joystick.  Using a HOTAS with your arms at 45’ angle is just asking for neck, shoulder, and back pain.  After looking at how much various flight and racing sim seats cost, and other peoples’ approaches to custom cockpits, I decided to make my own custom HOTAS chair. Choosing a Throne A quick search of the internets showed that most home-brew HOTAS chairs use one of three approaches:  Clamps or brackets on armrests, clamps on desks, or a PVC “super-structure” to which a HOTAS is mounted and then you slide it under Continue Reading →

A New Fort: Ancientbrass Continues (Part Two)

A River Runs Through It The centerpiece of this fortress is the double tower straddling the river.  So the big challenge is getting through the river to create the central stairwell.  There are many way to do this, but I’ll cover two, because I used both. Dam It All When I started the map, I had no idea if the water would freeze, because I am terrible at using biomes.   I initially used a strategy that works, but is very CPU intensive:  Damming the river.  There are a few ways to do this, mostly variations of pumping out the river or causing a cave-in to block the river.  I like the pumping method, as it makes your dwarves stronger.  Take a look at this picture below to get a basic idea of how this works.  The pump bridge is at the bottom. You build a bridge across the river, followed by a bunch of screw pumps, set to pull water out of the downstream side of the river.  Then you build a receiveing channel, so to the water doesn’t just fall back in.  Finally, you tunnel out a chute to the edge of the map to drain water of into Continue Reading →

A New Fort: Dwarf Fortress 40 Playthrough Part 1

A New Fort With the release of Dwarf Fortress v40, or whatever, I decided to play through a new fort, and document it.  This is in part to learn the changes myself, and in part to help teach some friends how to get started in DF. A few notes:  I will assume you know how to use the interface to DF.  If not, check the DF wiki quickstart guide I link below, or look it up on the wiki.  Similarly, if I say to build or make things, look it up in that guide or the wiki.  The processes are simple once you understand them, but extremely tedious to write out every time.  Others have done this already, so I will let their work do the heavy lifting!  In a few places I may call out keystrokes to do things, but not often.  You’ll find that DF is game you rapidly learn to play with two hands on the keyboard. The format of these posts will be a big first post, where I lay some basic steps that are vital for the first few months of a fortress.  Then I will start to show pictures and follow the building of Continue Reading →

DMV Meetup

Sugar Kyle set up an event at the Dogfish Head pub in Arlington, VA last night.  It was a blast!  Head count came in around 50, with people from all parts of Eve coming out to have fun.  BRAVE, TEST, PL, Goons, Nulli, Low Sec, Wormholes, High Sec, it seemed like someone came from every corner of New Eden!  The best part was the fact that everyone was friendly, much beer was had, and a good time ensued.  I was worried when I told Lychton I was with ABA (we bagged a few of their guys a few nights ago), and Lychton, being a large fellow, gave me a look.  Then I got a hug.  I love Eve. I can’t say too much to how fun it was to meet a bunch of fellow Eve nerds and shoot the shit for a night.  I got to meet some fellow bloggers, got to talk to Sugar for a while.  I also got to try out the Gear VR, which a Goon kindly broke out and spent the night letting people use.  I saw an arctic water demo, and apparently I shouted “Fucking narwhals!” loud enough that half the bar looked at Continue Reading →

Hero Siege: Non Sequitur Fun

I’ve been playing this on a lark lately.  I must have gotten it during a Steam sale or a Humble Bundle.  At the core, Hero Siege is kind of a SmashTV meets Zelda-styled art rogue-like, with a side of Diablo.  It is quite fun, if not the most sophisticated rogue-like I have played. The game has 10 or so classes of heroes to choose from, and then you enter the world and face waves of enemies until you die.  You gain experience towards levels.  At each level you gain a skill point for the basic skill tree each hero posses, and a few attribute points.  Think Diablo-light attributes and a single four tier skill tree.  After death skills, attributes, and one item carry forward.  Every 6 waves you fight a boss then move on to a new map.  During play, various events like dungeons, statues, random potions and monster spawners appear.  Play sessions start out brutally short, and become progressively longer as your skills and attributes increase. The fun of the game comes from the quirky classes and odd events that combine in non sequitur fashion to amuse, kill, or empower you.   The classes include a sand flinging nomad, tower Continue Reading →