Tagged Gaming

Heroes of the Storm

I got into the Heroes of the Storm alpha recently, and had a chance to play the tutorial plus a game or two. My initial experience is that the game-play is extremely simplified. Instead of other games that have a strong focus on micromanagement (last hitting minions, item builds, etc.), Heroes focuses on the team-based bigger picture. Gold is shared between everyone, kills don’t reward one player above others, and reacting to team pings is the way to win.

I found it a little simplistic compared to games like League of Legends or DotA, but I think if Blizzard polishes the game some more (which they will), it should be a disrupting force in the MOBA segment. With the changes they’ve made to their flagship games like World of Warcraft, Blizzard seems to be banking on the casual segment of the gaming population, which is an interesting gamble to make.

I got my hands on a beta key for Curse Voice recently, and they passed along some more codes for me to give out:

  • 39392e8f-626b-4f5a-8b5f-58ad9e86de40
  • 90bf6fd7-da8f-416c-b06a-918631ed5312
  • 34556e67-d523-4f7f-b659-8b0085b26aba
  • bf329905-ed34-4a59-b672-131e778bea2a
  • 699d6133-2f4f-4ed9-bc07-92e7ecf6be45

Redeem them here.

Edit: Looks like they’ve all been redeemed. I’ll post again if I get some more.

Hot Hardware recently had an article about upgrading an old computer with a new GPU:

New video card launches from AMD and NVIDIA are almost always reviewed on hardware less than 12 months old. That’s not an arbitrary decision — it helps reviewers make certain that GPU performance isn’t held back by older CPUs and can be particularly important when evaluating the impact of new interfaces or bus designs.

The downside of this policy is that it leaves a gap in product coverage. Gamers with older systems often miss out on whether or not a new graphics card will be a meaningful upgrade for aging systems. That’s particularly important as the speed of the desktop replacement cycle has slowed.

I recently went through something similar when my EVGA GeForce 9800GTX KO died and I had to replace it. The GeForce GTX 660 Ti had just been released, and all reviews pointed to it being a great deal so I bought an EVGA SuperClocked GTX 660 Ti (which was the same price as the non-overclocked version at the time).

Here is my system apart from the video card:

After I swapped the cards out, I was able to turn the settings up in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. But, I ran into a problem: the bottleneck shifted to the CPU. I had to back the settings down a little because all 4 cores of my CPU were maxing out at 100%. I hate to think what would happen if I ran a game like Crysis or Battlefield 3.

The results from the Hot Hardware article were a little more optimistic, but they do show great results. It seems that their old system was still a much more modern setup than mine, which I built back in 2008.

Comcast has finally clarified their definition of “excessive use,” a term they use along with “excessive users” to justify cutting certain customers off.

Charlie Douglas, a spokesperson for Comcast Corporation, called back to clarify what “excessive usage” means and why the company’s actions to end its relationship with these customers is good for gamers. First, Douglas defines Comcast’s “excessive use” as any customer who downloads the equivalent of 30,000 songs, 250,000 pictures or 13 million emails in a month. #

It’s interesting how they measure it in terms of songs, pictures and emails, but specifically songs, because isn’t downloading music illegal, no matter how much you download? Also, it would be nice if they gave specific numbers, since “13 million emails” or “250,000 pictures” can be very different in size, depending on what your definition of “email” or “picture” is.

Douglas said that Comcast’s actions to cut ties with excessive users is a “great benefit to games and helps protect gamers and their game experience” due to their overuse of the network and thus “degrading the experience.” #

That’s just bureaucratic bullshit for saying that their infrastructure can’t handle excessive load, and they don’t want to change that because they would have to spend money and therefore cut into their profits.

(via Slashdot)