Talk Amongst Yourselves

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    Mornin' all.

    How was everyone's weekend?

    I was all excited to go see Lagerstein next month in Brisbane, but I found out my coworker is on annual that weekend, and cause of that i'm doing Saturday night & Sunday.. Which rules out me even being able to go :( Sucks cause I had run into their bass player the other month and we got chatting about stuff in general & the upcoming tour & I was hoping to go. I was only chatting to him cause I knew him from school, god that was a life time ago now when I think about it. He also works at my mates bar, likewise the singer does, since he has an item on their breakfast menu named after him lol.

    Also speaking of Lagerstein, the CD's I ordered from them probably 6 months ago, finally came back in stock & turned up on Friday! They also sent me a signed band photo (though they spelt my name wrong lol) & a pack of their playing cards with drinking games haha. Cool fun band.

      Weekend was good! Saturday was all the boring, responsible adult stuff, like cleaning etc, but then took a walk down through Brunswick and Coburg, had lunch at a place called The Penny Black which appears to have a great looking beer garden out the back.

      Also stopped into a place a friend of mine recommended called "Blackhearts and Sparrows" (sounds like a Cradle of Filth/HIM/My Chemical Romance album title...) which I've always thought was a wine place, but has a great selection of beer in the fridge too. Unfortunately I'm on a self-imposed dry month this month (at least until the work christmas party this saturday...)

      Sunday I spent the entire day (11am to 830pm) playing a boardgame called Twilight Imperium with a bunch of friends. For me and my tastes, the game goes for waaaaaaaay too long, but it was enjoyable none the less.

        I've played multiple games of Twilight Imperium. Spent all day playing each time.

        I have also never finished a game of Twilight Imperium.

        Suggestion if that sort of space 4X style of game is interesting to you but 20-hour games are not: see if you can pick up Eclipse. It scratches the same itch but it's a bit more Euro-style, mechanics are polished and streamlined and it's much faster - it'll take an hour or so to set up and start playing the first time, but once you understand how it all works it's about 30-45 mins per player.

          Is Eclipse a board game or video game?

          NVM, it's a wonder what 30 seconds on Google will reveal!

          Last edited 23/11/17 1:41 pm

            It's a bored game. And this took forever to get approved?

            I said it was a 4X because games like it and Twilight Imperium seem very inspired by games like Master of Orion to me.

              Sorry, that "NVM" part was an edit on my behalf, I was meaning I should have searched instead of asking, wasn't meaning to be a snarky arsehole.

                I was meaning that I got the notification that you replied to me but couldn't see the reply until today - it was stuck in limbo because of the edit. :(

          That was a good morning at PAX when we tried it out

            Yeah, was a fantastic way to end our first PAX I think.

            Though the game of power grid where the lights slowly died as the game progressed was probably more memorable. :P

    So I'm pretty close to finishing collecting stuff in BotW. Is the first dlc pack worth it in your opinions?

      My friend was telling me about this the other day. New story stuff is promising, but guess it depends how much Tendy are charging for it.

    They say that no battle plan survives contact with the enemy. My plan was to knock off 3-4 games before Destiny 2's first DLC came out. A week into that plan, I heard about Warframe's Plains of Eidolon update, figured I'd hop in and see what had changed since I last played, and my battle plan went out the window. In the last two weeks, I've farmed and built 5-6 new frames, levelled 4-5 to max, and tracked down, unlocked and completed all but two quests in the Codex. PoE launches tonight or tomorrow... I think my preparations are almost complete.

      Yes, yes you have.

      I also have played some Warframe. I got to the part when you get in your ship and fly off.

      It's fun so far.

      And now I'm back in Elite: Dangerous, because it is my favourite place.

    Just have to say... I've being enjoying original xbox games on my xbox one. Just completed KOTOR and apart from a few crashes was reminded what an excellent game it was. Here's hoping they bring over KOTOR 2.

    So Telstra upgraded me to unlimited data on the NBN, which is cool. So I went & finally got a speed boost added onto my account 100/40 since I basically got 25/5 already, it was activated by the time I got home, only downside is it's at best 50/20.. Unless, the girl accidentally selected 50/20 & not 100/40.

    Though the modem is syncing at 57mbps down and 19mbps up, soo i'm not entirely sure. I mean i'd be more than happy moving down to tier 2 which is 50/20 anyway..

      Probably worth asking. My mate in Melbourne got put on the wrong profile for the first 2 weeks. He spent ages trying to figure it out, and after a couple of phone calls, they realized their mistake. (He's with Belong, but still pretty much the same thing.) Might as well ask em before dropping back just in case. Does sound as though you might be given the max speeds you've been posting in fb. Actual sync speed might not be a true indication.

        Well when I was on 25/5 the modem was reading sync speeds of 28 down & 7 up, so yeah.. I dunno.

          mm sounds very much like they didn't set the correct profile. Would be great if that's all it turns out to be, and you actually end up getting decent speeds :)

            Yeah. I kinda hope it is that lol. Just went into store and they're all "No we can't do that, you have to ring up" like ffs. Sometimes I don't get the point of the physical stores.

              hah yeah that doesn't surprise me at all. The stores are only really there for mobile sales and new signups these days. Same with Optus. Pretty much nothing they can do in store except that, or organize a repair for your phone if it's broken.

                They can do it for me if I push them to, I know because they have done other stuff before for me regarding my mobile. But this isn't much of an issue tbh anyway. So ringing is more than fine with me.

    Got .hack//G.U. Last Recode (clearly Bandai-Namco have since graduated from the same school as Square-Enix on video game naming) last week and finally sat down to play it.

    It was nice actually returning to the games I enjoyed back in the day. I got most of the way through Vol. 2 but never finished it nor started Vol. 3 but I still have all three as part of my collection.

    But it seems a lot of what I remember has been through rose coloured glasses. I had actually forgotten how much of a slow boil the start of Vol. 1 once and I have forgotten (to use a Yahtzee-ism) how much of a grind sandwich this game can be.

    Still, the story is well done and there are other elements that make for an enjoyable experience. I actually home the original four games get the same treatment.

      I never played the GU games but did play original .hack - were they an improvement? I have all four originals on PS2 (and I believe they're quite rare and valuable) but I never got far in the first game because it had some really awful player-hostile design decisions - IIRC if you wiped in a dungeon you lost all progress and it would make you play through the entire thing from the start because you could only save outside.

        I have all four originals on PS2 (and I believe they're quite rare and valuable)

        Same here. Funny how they are valuable now because back in the day it was an experiment that had mixed results. Sometimes the game was lacking while the manga and anime was good (as is the case of .hack//IMOQ) while the games were considered great while the anime and manga lacking (the .hack//G.U. collection with Roots, etc.).

        if you wiped in a dungeon you lost all progress and it would make you play through the entire thing from the start because you could only save outside.

        While harsh, I never saw that as being player hostile. The game was simulating an MMO after all and I think that rule is the same. Don't play MMO's myself so take what I just wrote with a grain of salt.

        I never played the GU games but did play original .hack - were they an improvement?

        It actually is an improvement. And I'll just keep to the games as it is also where I think the quality of .hack// bottomed out and we started getting these unwanted spin offs.

        In terms of story, it is a lot stronger and there is more depth to the characters themselves and there actually is a bit more focus on the social implications of online games. Especially how people seem to behave very differently online than they would in real life.

        The simulated experience is also way more fleshed out. Like the prior games, there are various forums but also simulations (then) deviant art and YouTube, including a "news" podcast with a presenter than I just want to feed feet first into a wood chipper.

        So yeah, .hack// predicted PewDiePie!

        Not to get too far off topic but some of the fiction in the "offline" lore eventual became fact in real life. In the game's lore, mobile phones are basically used for everything except calls, including acting as a wallet and key to get into ones' house.

        One simulated forum thread in the game had a character recount how his phone got run over by a truck rendering him without money nor being able to get into his own house.

        We're not there yet but we're damn close, haha!

        But enough about the lore, let's move to the game mechanics.

        This time around one plays as Haseo, an Adept Rogue in the games lore. While he may start off with twin blades, like Kite in the prior games, Haseo isn't limited to them.

        Adapt Rogues don't have a class boundary per se, that class can use various weapons, armour and skills dependant on the level of the character.

        In a way, this is an improvement. It gives the player a degree of customisation without having to take on the baggage of a full on character creator like in Fallout and other games.

        Don't get me wrong, I like creating my own character, but in .hack// where pretty much the story is all planned out, this simplistic approach its well.

        Unlike the Sword Art Online games where one can create a character only to have Kirito always in the cutscene leaving one to wonder what the point was!

        The battle mechanics have also been given an update.

        In terms of regular battles, there is now an new counter attack called a Ren Geki. Like Data Drain in the old games, dealing enough damage causes a “break” on the opponent. A Ren Geki is basically a special time when damage done via skills is increased.

        There are other additions but I’ll keep to the core most elements for now (as the battle system actually does get updated in Volume 2 and I’m assuming also Volume 3).

        Now, as for the “signature” attack, Data Drain, that is now reserved for the larger boss fights is sadly is my own first major frustration with the game.

        Like in the prior games, you have to wear the boss down to cause the “break” needed. Even then though, you have to hold the circle button down to charge the attack (yes, it is no longer a skill!) and you have to time the release because the attack is now a projectile.

        Yes, Data Drain is now a projectile attack. And yes, it easily misses and makes the boss battles longer than they need to be!

        I don’t know if that has been changed in the remastered version (I’m still on Volume 1 there). I hope so as those attacks were annoying!

        That frustration out of the way, let’s focus on the other mechanics.

        In the prior games, while an MMO was simulated there was not much in terms of quests (from memory). In fact, the bulk of the time in the root servers (Mac Anu, etc) was just to trade items with other characters (allies or otherwise).

        This is where I think the majority of the improvement for .hack//G.U. is. First, there is an actual quest shop for side tasks, some of which unlock other characters on the server that give rewards for competing various tasks.

        Trading though has become a bit laborious as more menus and button presses are needed now to conduct a trade. But if you are trading with (or giving something to) an ally, you see a status window that not only indicates if the ally can equip the item but how the item changes the character’s states.

        A welcome addition I will say as I remember once in the first .hack// game, I gave BlackRose a new sword and found out the hard way it was one fifth of the attack power her then current one was. And by the time I had realised this, she had already sold the old one off. Gah!

        Next, there is the story progression which is my final annoyance.

        In some cases, the game designers have decided that if certain events are in place, the player is forced to the next milestone. This is done by often making the other playable characters “offline” (meaning one cannot form a party and grind to get the level up easily) or just out right prevent the player form entering the keywords to warp to any other area.

        A minor annoyance I know, but the older games didn’t do that from memory!

        And finally the graphics.

        While a huge improvement over the prior games in detail and artistic creativity, there is a lot of inconsistency because each of the main characters actually has three versions and each having a different level of detail.

        There is the base version which one operates in battle, etc., and the faces are just static textures.

        There is the next level up where the level of detail is higher and the facial features are animated.

        And finally there is the “high res” version used in the pre-rendered cutscenes.

        This is the rub I have with these three levels though. Sometimes, a cutscene is made of a mix of all three! If the camera is a distance away, the base version is used. If the camera is close to the character, the detailed model with animated facial features is sometimes used (though this is not a guarantee).

        And finally for anything dramatic the pre-rendered animations are used.

        I know I’m nitpicking but this inconsistent mix only tells me they had performance issues with rendering the in-game cutscenes and simply took that route rather than further optimise the game.

        Anyhow, I think I’ve said enough about the games. Sorry about this being a wall of text, but I figured a full account would be better than just a quick short description.

          Cool. I actually picked up the re-release, just don't have time to play it with everything else going on. Intrigued though.

          I never bothered with GU because aside from the original .hack games being disappointing, the anime tie-in for GU (IIRC it was .hack//ROOTS) was atrociously bad aside from the music.

            I don't blame you for not bothering with G.U. if you started with the Roots anime.

            I never finished watching it myself because it was just all the characters moping around as the hormones kicked.

            The games are worth your time. Besides the grind and the frustrations I listed above, it is worth the play.

            Especially how there is a new forth Volume to tie up any remaining loose ends and the Terminal Disk is included, the latter being a exclusive only to the limited edition of Volume 1 which also came with a Haseo figurine.

    Anyone know when the Black Friday psn sales start for Oz?

      Double discounts ends friday, so they will probably put the banners up late thursday night.

    NXT Takeover: WarGames was fantastic.
    If you've got the WWE Network, go and watch it when you get the chance.

      I was incredibly sports entertained.

      I dropped off of WWE a few months ago because there was just too damned much to keep up with. Heard that the Velveteen Dream vs Aleister Black match was amazing and decided to check out War Games.

      Hot. Damn. I was sports entertained.

      Black and Dream put on a hell of a match. A narcissistic Prince knock-off demanding the attention of a stoic black metal kung fu wizard.

      It was one of that matches that show just how stupid wrestling is and, at the same time, how brilliant wrestling can be. If I ever need a match to introduce people to wrestling, this is it.

      Plus Dream had his and Black's faces painted on his tights.

      And then there was the War Games match. Killian wrecked everything. What a hoss. Everyone else was rad too but The Beast of Belfast kept throwing motherfuckers into other motherfuckers.

    Guys. Odyssey.
    I want to stop playing, but it keeps dragging me back.

    Bloody EA ruined Need For Speed Payback too. Anyone got any recommendations for a street racer arcadey type of game like the old Underground?

      Surprisingly, there aren't a whole lot of straight up street racing arcadey style games. Most of them these days either tend to have a more simulation angle, or alternatively, and action kind of angle.
      There are a few which no doubt you are aware of, like Burnout Paradise, and Forza Horizons, but I guess it depends on what you're looking for (and what platform)
      Perhaps something like Street Racing Syndicate? If you don't mind adding some weapons and destruction in to the mix, perhaps something like Crashday Redline Edition (http://store.steampowered.com/app/508980/Crashday_Redline_Edition/)?
      Grid 2 is pretty decent. It's a little bit sim like in a way, but also has a bit of an arcadey feel to it.

        I've heard good things about Forza Horizon 3. Having never had a Xbox but i have a gaming laptop (8 years old) if i but from the Microsoft store i can play it on pc right?

          Yeah I have a feeling you might be able to get it from either the Windows Store or Xbox app in Windows 10? Never actually looked though, so can't be 100% certain.

            Anything available on Xbox is also available for windows 10. I would probably look into the windows 10 store first.

              You can also buys keys for games and redeem them within Windows Store. I did this with GOW4 a while back, but beware, Win10 games tend to be BIG downloads.

      Forza Horizon games are probably the closest you'll find widely available.

      Street Racing Syndicate is on Steam if you're looking for something on PC.

      As for console, I can only think of The Crew.

    So my windows phone is slowly dying. I've been looking at other phones but I'm just so happy with my windows phone, I'm not sure I can replace it.
    I'm not a fan of the side swipe system, and prefer the ability to adjust the sizes and placement of the tiles on my phone.
    @negativezero couldn't persuade them to make a phone just for me, right?

      TBH I really liked Win Phone 7.5 but it really lost me with 8. Also the functionality was just never there. Basic things like not having good maps. I've mentioned this before but my tipping point was using mine in Japan. Middle of Osaka at a super busy intersection. Bring up maps on the phone, and all it had were two major roads for the entirety of the city.

      Also half the time the photos I took didn't save properly because the camera app crashed due to not being able to talk to OneDrive.

      Switched to Android (Xperia Z5 , replaced with ZX a couple months ago) and it's the happiest I've been with a phone.

      I liked the promise of Windows Phone and I really liked the live tile interface and stuff, the rest was just a letdown. If it was a bit more solid and stable and had been built on Android it would have been a huge winner.

        Oh also I couldn't use half the free wifi in Japan because my phone wouldn't bring up the captive portal to log into the service when I connected.

        I'm using 10 and aside from maybe 3 small things. I've had no issues.
        1. Web pages with embedded videos refresh 3 times before being stoped. I get that this is because of the videos slowly down the process and would make the phone freeze. Still annoying.
        2. My phone sometimes turns itself off and won't turn on without a hard reset.
        3. It sometimes pretends to take a photo, but hasn't actually taken one

          The takes-a-photo-but-doesn't-save-it goes way back to WP7 and it's a OneDrive integration thing, same as the crashing I mentioned. Stunned they haven't fixed that. :(

          Honestly, I'd look at a Oneplus phone (you should be able to get a 3T for a reasonable price now that the 5 has been and gone, and the 5T is out)

          It's Android, but it's about 99% stock android, not like a Galaxy/HTC/LG/Huawei.

          *EDIT*

          Honestly, the MS website has 1 Windows Phone, the HP X3, and it's almost $1000 outright. Switch to Android and don't look back.
          https://www.microsoft.com/en-au/store/b/mobile

          Last edited 23/11/17 1:48 pm

            I used to have android, Samsung. Had a lot of issues,

              Can I ask how long ago that was? Samsung's overlay on top of Android used to ridiculously, HORRIBLY bloated, but has slimmed down quite a lot in recent years. Added to that, as I mentioned, Pixel phone have "pure" or "vanilla" Android, and the OS on the OnePlus phones is about 99% the same.

                I think it was maybe 4-5 years ago? I also didn't like how fragile they were

                  That I'll agree with, Samsungs in particular I feel are more fragile now because of the edge to edge screen, there's less to hold onto. Plus they now have glass backs for the wireless charging function. On that, my Huawei Mate 9 (through Voda) has a metal frame all the way around and a solid back.

                  I can really only suggest heading into the Telstra store at Highpoint or something and checking out what's there. ( and don't pay attention to the guy trying to sell you stuff.)

            My local didn't have them.

            @poita maybe try supermarkets or online?

      I’m an Apple guy ... but heavily invested in MS services ... the Razer Phone with Microsoft Launcher seems to be the next best option ... I’m a touch tempted myself.

    It is a rare occurance

    So a busy weekend planned for us
    The very special kids fair and fashion sale is on. Mrs Tigs scored herself some early bird entry into the fashion sale so lord knows what that is going to do to my wallet
    Then we will check out the fair itself, maybe find some Christmas gifts. Then (Tiglet permitting) scooting off to Scree's b'day shenanigans.
    Then on Sunday we have Tiglet's daycare Christmas concert which should be nice

    @alexwalker any idea why the above comment went into moderation? I edited it, so I can only assume that's what did it.

      *sigh* yup

      Also, since we're on that comment, Oneplus 5T.

      Cannot wait for that phone to arrive in Australia. Looks like the hardware spec I want at not $1k+. Real keen.

    I know this is mostly just a signal boost (and sorry in advance if I somehow cross the guidelines) but here goes.

    If there are any fans of Sid Alpha here, this maybe already known.

    For those who have not heard the latest, game developer Andrew Watt has seemingly trying to take down Sid Alpha's channel under a privacy violation.

    For the initiated, here's the tl:dr version. Watt is a game developer who basically used pretty much any trick in the book to get his games on the Steam store back when Greenlight was still active.

    Regardless of the game being just poorly made or was an outright asset flip, it's Watt's response to criticism that put a bad taste in everyone's mouth.

    Not content with the usual banning of negative reviews, Watt basically verbally abused and threatened defamation law suits against anyone who spoke negatively of his game (or even himself).

    When Sid Alpha started covering the story, Watt started basically deleting his tweets, etc., and tried to call Sid Alpha's integrity into question. While not outright calling Sid Alpha a lier, Watt still pushed with the narrative that the screenshots Sid Alpha used had been doctored.

    Yes, Watt tried to cry defamation by deleting his comments after they have been screen capped and then tried to claim that the screen caps were fake.

    Needless to say the attempt didn't work. DMCA abuses didn't work. So now Watt is trying to take down Sid Alpha via a YouTube guideline violation.

    Basically, Watt is claiming that because Sid Alpha had stated Watt's own name (which also happens to be the name - for the most part - that he traded under), Watt's privacy had been violated.

    The worst part is, it seems this loop hole is actually holding water and Watt is starting to succeed where DMCAs and even trade mark violations had failed.

    In Watt's latest move, he has failed violations against four of Sid Alpha's videos. And it looks as though the same three strikes rule for DMCA's and Copyright strikes applies here.

    So if Sid Alpha's channel does disappear, we can thank Andrew Watt for putting more time into taking down a channel rather than learning from his own bad game.

    Putting Sid Alpha aside, the repercussions are concerning. Because if Watt succeeds, the pretty much any content creator on YouTube is in danger because Watt is setting a precedent that you basically can't name anyone.

    It basically means that the lively hoods of all YouTubers is at risk and might even kill YouTube itself given that there are already so many other complications that make posting to YouTube unviable.

    Again, I apologise if signal posting is out of bounds but YouTubers like Jim Sterling, Sid Alpha and even the run of the mill Let's Players are a vital part of the gaming community in keeping consumer awareness alive and keeping the consumer informed.

    And I do not feel that this vital avenue (especially given the likes of Bethesda and EA keeping blacklists and embargoes on journalists just to protect hyper inflated first day sales numbers) should not be burned to the ground by one irate developer who has been called out for what is: unprofessional.

    Last edited 27/11/17 9:18 am

      That sounds pretty bad, what can the people reading this do about it, if anything?

        The best we can do, get the word out.

        @campbellsimpson, @alexwalker, et. al. I know such an article would just be signal boosting but is there a chance this can be covered?

        Beside what I raised about, it is also implied that a precent set by Watt can be abused in other ways.

        One scenario being floated is Donald Trump having any video he doesn't like taken down based solely on his name being mentioned.

          Thanks for the heads up, I'll take a look into it.

      Just a follow up for everyone.

      According to Sid Alpha's later tweets, his videos have been back as of two hours ago (at least from what he can tell from his own account).

      https://twitter.com/SidAlpha/status/934933044971970560

      Even if Sid Alpha dodges a bullet it clearly shows there is a loop hole that is still waiting to be successfully exploited.

      Final follow-up (I'm treading a fine line here).

      Despite the privacy violation being over turned, Andrew Watt has filed the same bloody thing again, expecting a different outcome.

      And everyone's favourite composer has gotten in on the action as well, despite having her own complaint overturned last week.

        I appreciate the updates. Still keeping an eye on things from my end.

      I know I said I'd leave this alone but I just saw SidAlpha's tweet.

      Turns out, Andrew Watt's second spurious round has been successful. YouTube has sided with him and is removing some of Sid Alpha's videos.

      In the original version of this post I though it was more serious but no, it's just Watt putting Sid Alpha back in the cycle of having to dispute the claims again to get the videos back up.

      Will accept that egg on my face but my original comment stands.

      The does not seem to be a notation of case management in YouTube as clearly Watt simply filed an identical cause because he didn't like the original outcome.

      The video was taken down and put back up, now Watt is taking it down again. If I hadn't known better, I think Watt is trying the "repeat" approach to wear Sid Alpha down.

      Either way, I'm definitely making this my last comment and am leaving it to both the YouTubers subjected to this and professional journalists. I'm good at research but it's not my day job and I should keep my own energy for putting food on my table.

      Last edited 28/11/17 6:13 pm

    How is everyone this rainy Monday morning?
    I'm kicking myself for not picking up some Bitcoin a few months ago when I got a small payout :)

      I'm considering chucking $100 into ETH or something just for shits and giggles, hoping it's now at 2012-3 BTC days.

    Can anyone recommend some good PSVR games?
    Already have GT Sport, EVE Valyrie and Star Trek.
    Most are on sale for $20 at BigW, so am interested in what is rubbish and what is okay.

      Farpoint is okay if you don't mind having a bit of plastic around that only works in that one game.

    So a small update for you all.

    During my week off, I went in to play an inter-office soccer competition and solidly fractured my wrist. In multiple places, plus a bit of displacement.

    So I'm booked in for surgery next Monday (but it'll probably get bumped due to higher priority cases). As a result, I'll be having some time off to heal etc.

    Look after Adam while I'm gone!

      If it's any comfort, Freya says you look like you have an easy airway.

    I see that "gross anime thing" article's comments are gone too.

    Is this just gonna be a thing now?

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