a little this, turning to that over high ground

Thanks to Doks newly crafted blog http://oneoutnumbered.blogspot.com I now feel the urge to keep up with my writing efforts, well for at least a few weeks into 2010.

2010 the year that I mostly feel a mixture of happiness and exhaustion, I’m still adjusting to mangining my time in a new manner. Gone are those 6 hours gaming stints, I appear to just grab smaller chunks of time here and there as my gameplay charts shows and it’s easy to see what my major time sink has been recently.

I recently spotted that there is a Dawn of War II expansion (addon) called Chaos Rising due out at the beinging of March, which is rather cool as I’ve started replaying the game while reading the novel. The book is very enjoyable if you are a fan of the 40k universe and details alot of the backstory that isn’t in the game.

Well that is enough ramblings for now.

Now Playing  : VNV Nation – Standing

IWNet, another nail in PC gamings coffin

So Modern Warfare 2 has been out for some time now and I thought I’d jot down some of my thoughts on how I’ve found the multi-player portion of the game, PC version of course.

IWNet

I am unsure if Infinity Ward were just being lazy or they truly believed that their IWNet system was going to change the face of PC gaming. For those of you unfamiliar with how the system works it functions like a Console match making system.

I believe that from the outset their were three flaws in the plan to give PC gamers IWNet:

  1. The player numbers for match making won’t be there for the PC version and players could end up waiting and having to re-check for available matches repeatedly and slowly get bored and go and play another game.
  2. PC gamers will go for the servers with better pings and can generally expect all players on that server to have a similar ping (else the server will forcibly remove those high ping players), being placed in a match with player that aren’t in the same hemisphere is not good
  3. PC gamers won’t play the new big thing if they perceive it to be flawed and looking at the figures on Xfire (yes it’s not the be-all and end-all of stats I know) the original Modern Warfare  is still being played by more people than the sequel.

OK so it may not seem like much but combine those with the fact that there is no functionality to add clan tags the whole thing really doesn’t seek to give the PC any benefits.

So perhaps they didn’t plan ahead and think things through but the result is a poorly functioning system when the total number of players is less than 150,000. Finding and remaining in a match is nearly impossible, sometimes you end up with various message that all stop you searching for a match and force you to retry over and over.

If you haven’t been exposed to the match making system that is IWNet you should watch at least some of this video to get an idea of the frustration that faces players  http://www.wegame.com/watch/iwnet-why-do-we-bother/

Hackers

link – There is a darker element to the way in which the IWNet system runs and that is the number of hackers in the game. One of the reasons for the gaming using Steam was to use the VAC system and combined with the IWNet system reduce the number of hackers. Sadly this doesn’t work and there appears to be no way of reporting hackers or their exploits and as soon as a fix is make they start on a new one.
Without dedicated servers with admins these players continually ruin the game for other players and against force more people to cease playing through frustration.

Result

The multi-player element of the game isn’t what I or thousands of other player expected compared to COD4, of course we are now the minority and aren’t the focus of developers like Infinity Ward. Very sad but true.

PC Upgrade

We’ll I’ve finally got my new hard drives installed with a fresh version of XP too.

My old SATA discs were a little old and both had snapped the plastic support for the data cable off. This meant they were a little flaky at times and the one drive hadn’t work for the last 3 months.

I planned on cloning the OS and migrating the whole lot over to the new discs this would have been fine, only due too my partitions things weren’t going to be so easy.

Happily I have discovered that there are 2 great benefits to how I game.

MMOs – all my mmo games that I moved over worked off the bat, which is rather good considering their size and the potential downloading that could have been required to re-install them. (LoTRo was a game that didn’t like this last upgrade but It wasn’t installed this time around)

Steam – Horrah for Steam, well nearly. You see my steam installation wasn’t exactly the same as the one described in the Steam Knowledge base. They assumed my steamapps folder was under the main steam folder (steam\steamapps) when in fact it was located at steam\config\steamapps.
This resulted in a bit of a headache because moving the apps folder to that new location resulted in Steam not loading up. But after some trial and error I found that I needed to boot Steam up without the apps folder and it would be created, then keep the files that it generated as they held the correct path. A little awkward but worth it as downloading 43GB of game data wasn’t as appealing as you’d think.

So I’ve now got my shiny Christmas presents installed and a massive 500gb Free 🙂