Quotulatiousness

September 3, 2017

Battlefield 1 Historical Analysis – In The Name Of The Tsar – They Shall Not Pass I THE GREAT WAR

Filed under: Europe, France, Gaming, History, Military, Russia — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 06:00

Published on 2 Sep 2017

WW1 Armoured Trains: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5Jl5KdG-Tc
WW1 China: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TofCRaOBWZ0
Women’s Battalion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cndgoEd3fkk

Two new expansions for Battlefield 1 dropped in the past few months and they introduced two of the most important factions of World War 1: France and Russia. And since you guys liked our other trailer analysis videos, we decided to review the existing trailer footage and give you some background.

Please send your comments about the mistaken General Liu rifle to: allww1erarifleslookthesametous@thegreatwar.tv

August 22, 2017

How to Pronounce German Ship Names – World of Warships & Historical Background

Filed under: Gaming, Germany, History, Military — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Published on 8 Aug 2017

Pronunciation of German ship names from World of Warships with some background information on the person and location.

Military History Visualized provides a series of short narrative and visual presentations like documentaries based on academic literature or sometimes primary sources. Videos are intended as introduction to military history, but also contain a lot of details for history buffs. Since the aim is to keep the episodes short and comprehensive some details are often cut.

August 20, 2017

World of Warships – The Queen, God Bless Her! (Part 3)

Filed under: Britain, Gaming, History, Military — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Published on 18 Aug 2017

Took us long enough, but we finally arrived at tier 8, and here’s where the real fun begins.

Music in Conqueror segment – “In A World of Derp” by D1 of Aquavibe.

August 17, 2017

World of Warships – The Queen, God Bless Her! (Part Two)

Filed under: Britain, Gaming, History, Military — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Published on 16 Aug 2017

In which I attempt to cover the British tier 7 – 10 Battleships, but can’t stop running my mouth off about the King George V and Nelson so it looks like we’ll be back later this week to finish.

August 16, 2017

World of Warships – The Queen, God Bless her!

Filed under: Britain, Gaming, Military — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Published on 15 Aug 2017

Join me in the traditional Royal Navy toast to the Monarch, as I raise a glass to the long awaited British Battleships in World of Warships. Thank God they don’t suck!

Mostly.

August 14, 2017

The schizophrenic nature of gamer complaints over Guild Wars 2

Filed under: Gaming — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 03:00

I’ve been playing Guild Wars 2 from the very first demo weekend, but I’ve never really become an “expert” player … I’m just another one of the huge mass of “filthy casuals” that the really good players complain about. And people do complain about GW2:

It’s long puzzled me that GW2 can both have a reputation as one of the most casual mainstream MMOs, demanding a low level of player skill and little in the way of dedicated discipline and organization, while simultaneously being castigated for the unforgiving difficulty of almost all of its high-level open world content.

As soon as the first cohort of players started to trickle into Orr, five years ago, the complaints began: the mobs were too tough, there were too many of them, they didn’t play fair. Orr got a good few thumps with the nerf bat and the complaints quietened down, only to return with just about every new piece of max-level content or large-scale, open world set piece event we’ve seen since.

I haven’t played many other MMOs, so perhaps I’m taking the nature of GW2‘s combat for granted:

Talking about whether a particular MMO is or is not “casual friendly” isn’t going to get us far when we can never agree on a definition of “casual”. That’s always been a stumbling block to my own understanding of why it should have been that I, playing with what I would self-identify as a casual mindset, experienced Heart of Thorns [the first GW2 expansion] as a liberating, exhilarating explorer’s paradise, while others, similarly self-identifying, found it a constraining, frustrating turn-off.

UltrViolet, returning from a long sabbatical from the game to give the demo a run, found it confusing and frustrating in a whole number of ways, most of which I heartily endorse. As an advertisement for the game it has all the welcoming warmth of a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. What I found particularly interesting, however, was his description of the combat experience:

    “It is a typical GW2 fight – totally chaotic, a million bad guys throwing a million AoEs and other effects at you all simultaneously.”

Exactly, in other words, just what I love most about combat in GW2. It’s explosive, colorful, exuberant and above all utterly chaotic. It’s the kind of combat I think many of us dreamed about back when we were root-rotting treants in West Karana, standing motionless, casting a spell every thirty seconds or so then sitting down to meditate so we’d have enough mana to cast another thirty seconds later.

GW2‘s frenetic, rolling, dodging, mayhem, where everyone is healing herself and everyone else, where buffs last seconds and part of the gameplay relies on battle-rezzing anyone who goes down, is exactly the kind of free-rolling, liberating fun many of us could never even have dared to imagine, back when we were huddled together in the corner of a dank cave beneath the Crypt of Nadox, shaking with fear as we prayed our tank could hold agro and no roamers would wander along and add.

You mean other MMOs aren’t a blazing, eye-searing mass of particle effects as soon as combat begins?

So why isn’t everyone loving it the way I do? Jeromai can explain:

    “The number one killer of people used to other MMOs – staying stationary or facetanking mobs in GW2. Every time.

    You can observe this phenomenon on Twitch or if you watch newbies in the lowbie zones and so on. They lumber up and just STAND THERE because that’s what they do in other MMOs to attack. They expect a tank to deflect the aggro and a healer to take care of their health.

    You’re thinking, “OMG move move too much damage incoming you can’t heal that up with your self heal OMG red circle why u stand there still plz MOVE”

    Couple minutes later, they fall over. RIP.”

Well, no wonder. No wonder people are finding it hard. No wonder they aren’t enjoying themselves. I had no idea.

After all, why would I? Here’s my description of how I play, from my own comment at Why I Game:

    “My tactics, if you could flatter them with such a name, are to fire off every ability on my hotbar as often as it becomes available, while moving constantly. I don’t just dodge all the time, I run about, jump on objects, strafe and generally behave like a toddler on a sugar rush who just peed up against an electric fence”.

It’s a slight exaggeration. I don’t always do that. If the situation requires it, I can be more tactical and anyway I do have a few channeled skills that require me to stand still. In general, though, I like to keep moving.

August 11, 2017

World of Warships – Operation Killer Whale

Filed under: Gaming — Tags: — Nicholas @ 04:00

Published on 10 Aug 2017

Or how I survived the great Anthony and Cyclone Plague of 2017. If you’ve played, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

August 8, 2017

Mingles with Jingles Episode 209 – British Battleships in World of Warships

Filed under: Britain, Gaming — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Published on 7 Aug 2017

In which I get all excited about incoming British battleships in World of Warships, and then I see the provisional stats of the higher tier ones and read what it is that makes them “special” and start to get a little worried. I’ve stockpiled hundreds of thousands of free xp for these thing, please don’t let them be shit!

Actually you may be able to help me with that. And then I speculate on what happens when a game starts running out of things it can do to make new units different…

July 21, 2017

Behind the Scenes of Naval Legends – HMCS Haida

Filed under: Cancon, Gaming, History, Military — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Published on 19 Jul 2017

Curious about how the Naval Legends episodes are made? Want to know how the beauty shots are made? Then let me take you behind the scenes of Naval Legends HMCS Haida.

Filmed with the permission of Parks Canada, at HMCS Haida National Historic Site.

Special thanks to Nicholas Moran, WarGaming America.

July 12, 2017

World of Warships – Dunkirk

Filed under: Britain, Gaming, History, Military — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 06:00

Published on 11 Jul 2017

It’s all well and good for Churchill to promise to “Fight them on the beaches…”, but first he had to get them off the beaches of France to ensure he had anyone to fight them on the beaches of England with…

June 18, 2017

Sabres and Smoke: The War of 1812

Filed under: Business, Cancon, Gaming — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

Last month, Military History Now profiled a new game (and new Ontario-based game company): unusually for today, it’s not a computer game, but a board wargame:

MHN: Tell us about the game.

Sheppard: Sabres and Smoke: the War of 1812 is a two-player light strategy board game that allows players to relive 16 of the War of 1812’s most important battles. From Queenston Heights to Fort York, players command either the British or American armies in battles that shaped the future of North America.

MHN: Tell us about Hand 2 Hand Entertainment. Who are you guys? How did you get started?

Sheppard: We are based near Toronto, Canada and have been working on Sabres and Smoke: The War of 1812 since July of 2016. I founded Hand 2 Hand Entertainment in 2016, the summer after I finished Grade 12, because I although I was lucky enough to find a summer job, there were no hours available. So, I decided to spend my time combining two things that I really enjoy: history and board games. I started by visiting battle sites from the War of 1812 and doing extensive research to make my game historically accurate. From there I created the battle scenarios and the game rules. Hand 2 Hand Entertainment spent the fall and winter designing Sabres and Smoke: The War of 1812, and preparing to launch a Kickstarter campaign in the summer of 2017. This summer, I am running the company out of the Propel Summer Incubator (PSI) program with the Propel Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Western Ontario.

[…]

MHN: The computer wargaming market is enormously popular; what can tabletop games offer that computers can’t?

Sheppard: This is an interesting question. I think there is a certain satisfaction to physically moving units on a battlefield in board games like this. Although you can look at units and terrain from a commander’s perspective in video games, doing it on a board feels more real. Players can look at the board in the same way Generals would have looked at maps when commanding real battles throughout history. I think this is what makes light strategy board games special.

May 24, 2017

ESR presents Open Adventure

Filed under: Gaming, History — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Eric S. Raymond recently was entrusted with the original code for ADVENT, and he’s put it up on gitlab for anyone to access:

Colossal Cave Adventure was the origin of many things; the text adventure game, the dungeon-crawling D&D (computer) game, the MOO, the roguelike genre. Computer gaming as we know it would not exist without ADVENT (as it was known in its original PDP-10 incarnation).

Long ago, you might have played this game. Or maybe you’ve just heard stories about it, or vaguely know that “xyzzy” is a magic word, or have heard people say “You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike”,

Though there’s a C port of the original 1977 game in the BSD game package, and the original FORTRAN sources could be found if you knew where to dig, Crowther & Woods’s final version – Adventure 2.5 from 1995 – has never been packaged for modern systems and distributed under an open-source license.

Until now, that is.

With the approval of its authors, I bring you Open Adventure. And with it some thoughts about what it means to be respectful of an important historical artifact when it happens to be software.

This is code that fully deserves to be in any museum of the great artifacts of hacker history. But there’s a very basic question about an artifact like this: should a museum preserve it in a static form as close to the original as possible, or is it more in the right spirit to encourage the folk process to continue improving the code?

Modern version control makes this question easier; you can have it both ways, keeping a pristine archival version in the history and improving it. Anyway, I think the answer to the general question is clear; if heritage code like this is relevant at all, it’s as a living and functional artifact. We respect our history and the hackers of the past best by carrying on their work and their playfulness.

May 17, 2017

Sid Meier interview

Filed under: Business, Gaming, History — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 03:00

Last week, Chris Suellentrop talked to the legendary Sid Meier about the Civilization series and other games:

The first Civilization was released more than a quarter-century ago in 1991, after being developed by a team of two – Meier and Bruce Shelley – that grew to 10 at its largest. Meier estimated recently that the budget for the game was around $170,000. He did the programming, the design, and the artwork. “It was kind of an audacious game for us to make,” Meier said during a talk about the game’s development at this year’s Game Development Conference in San Francisco. “6,000 years of history in 640k.”

The Civilization series has now sold almost 40 million copies, according to Take Two, which owns Firaxis. Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, the most recent entry in the series, was released last year. (Even though Meier’s name is on it, the lead designer was Ed Beach.)

At GDC, Meier talked to Glixel for almost an hour with boyish enthusiasm about what makes Civilization work, why Firaxis turns to a new lead designer with almost every sequel, and that whole thing with having his name on the box.

How did it feel to deliver a postmortem on Civilization at the Game Developers Conference to mark the 25th anniversary of the game’s release?
In between the time Civ 1 came out and now, the Internet appeared, modding appeared, Reddit appeared, mobile appeared. So many things have happened in that time. But it’s all within a lifetime.

At Firaxis, Civ has been the pillar of what we do. We’re able to find a freshness in it by bringing in different designers. It’s one of the unique things about Civilization. Each iteration is led by a different person. There’s almost a Civ burnout. Once you’ve done a Civ, you’re kind of burned out and somebody else comes in with some fresh ideas.

[…]

What makes a good Civ game?
What happens in the player’s imagination. What we discovered afterwards, just by luck, kind of, was what fueled this “one more turn” phenomenon was the idea that, in your mind, you were always projecting what was going to happen next and what was going to happen three turns from now, what was going to happen eight turns from now. You had multiple irons in the fire. You were exploring this continent. You were dealing with troublesome neighbors. And you had this wonder that was always about to be built. So you were always anticipating what comes next.

A good Civ game has that quality, and it’s based in part on the turn-based nature of it. You have the time to imagine what’s going to happen next. You have the time to project your strategy, your ideas into the future. There’s also the anticipation not only of what you’re about to do but what the game’s about to do to you. Genghis Khan is going to show up. Or they’re going to finish the wonder before you. So there’s all those things that you are looking forward to and anticipating.

April 7, 2017

The art of Shakespeare … well, actually the art of Munchkin Shakespeare

Filed under: Gaming, Humour — Tags: — Nicholas @ 05:00

John Kovalic reflects on the now-complete artwork for Munchkin Shakespeare:

Munchkin Shakespeare is DONE!

At least my part.

Final tally: about 250 cards, bookmarks, covers, etc.

It was, without question, the largest single Munchkin project I’ve ever tackled at one sitting.

Well, several sittings, really. Over about a two-month period.

The final sitting was the best, though. In London at the time, I wandered around Southwark – Shake-dawg’s stomping grounds – and chose the bar at Shakespeare’s Globe to finish the last few drawings.

[…]

Munchkin Shakespeare was a hugely fun project – but it was also hugely huge, thanks to you monsters and all the stretch-goals you hit.

Would more time have been helpful? Yes. But then, that’s always the case. Point being, Munchkin Shakespeare is going to look fantastic. Most of that is due to the Steve Jackson Games Art Department, which always manages to make my silly little scribblings look great. Those folks are amazing.

Also? The cards are hilarious. I mean, truly madcap, green-eyed, bloodstained tremendous. Thanks to Steve Jackson, Andrew Hackard, and many contributors who threw in crazy ideas during a crowdsourcing braintrust info-dump that launched this too, too silly project.

Here are some first-looks at a few of the cards (Insert usual “Art Not Final” etc. things I’m supposed to say here)!

March 20, 2017

Towards a taxonomy of the tribes of the Alt-Right

Filed under: Gaming, Politics, USA — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

A guest post at Catallaxy Files tries to identify the various sub-groups of the larger Alt-Right movement:

The Alt-Right may be described as the group of people who have been cast out of polite, progressive society. It is not a particularly intellectual movement, but this is a characteristic of the mechanism of its formation: Intellectuals as a group largely have the capacity and inclination to avoid being kicked out of polite society. This is not to suggest that the typical member of the Alt-Right is brutish; far from it. One of the characteristics of the progressive movement is its tendency to attack the people for their privilege: the people who choose to become Alt-Right are both able and independently minded. These are people who get things done.

[…]

Who are they and what do they believe? Again, there isn’t exactly a formal list. Moreover, many loudly deny being part of the Alt-Right, while quietly indicating that they are somewhat aligned. There are some identifiable groupings. Among them there are degrees of acceptance of the truths that are colloquially called ‘red pills’ (as per the Matrix). To this end, Vox Day, one of the more intellectually capable individuals who is openly part of the Alt-Right, set out 16 points on which there is general agreement. A new person in the movement – either intellectually curious or recently cast out – may only agree with 3 or 4 of these points. These people are considered ‘Alt-Lite’. Anyone who agrees with the vast bulk of these points is ‘Alt-Right’. Those on the spectrum from White Nationalism to White Supremacy are a subgroup referred to as the ‘Alt-White’; those with a broader view that has scope for all nationalities and peoples as the ‘Alt-West’. Finally, there are a group of generally aligned intellectual strands which are referred to collectively as the Dark Enlightenment.

The Alt-White holds an interesting position within the Alt-Right. From one perspective, they have been cast out the longest, and were also the originators of the term ‘Alt-Right’, which lends them a touch of primacy. At the same time, they are inclined to a degree of overextension and the their intellectual output is targeted at a broader but less educated base than some other groups. There is a degree of tension, especially where white nationalism gives way to white supremacy. […]

The Alt-West seems to be where a lot of those who were cast out from a more liberal or libertarian position seem to end up. These people may have come to the Alt-Right out of Gamergate, out of the computing/technology industry, out of science fiction community, or a number of other incidents. […] Gamergate is a story in itself, starting with a personal feud on a gaming site and morphing into an acrimonious ideological confrontation between an “alt-right” group and the feral left.

The Alt-Lite is really about getting your toes wet. Its transitional. As such it described people in process more than a set community. That said, places like this expose people to a metered dose of this red-pill.

There is another faction that is roughly ‘men’s groups’, men trying to navigate a world that is hostile to them and to family formation. There is some deep stuff in there if you are looking into social interaction, but it’s largely not suitable for ‘polite company’. A number of the men who started that grouping have broadened out from that starting base. See this site or this one for something less given in to the hedonism and base tendencies of the age.

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