Sunday, October 21, 2007

Just shut up and play...

If you know me at all, you know I'm a huge fan of the Halo series. Well, its also First Person Shooters in General that I love. I find I have the most fun playing those, and Halo 3, I gotta say gave me an amazing gaming experience. Single-player, and Online Multiplayer...

Now with EVERY game you play online, you are going to run into the dingbats who semi-ruin the experience for you. Let me give you some examples of people who just aren't fun to play with online:

Minors who think they are funny and can cuss with the worst of them.

People who are in general jerks, and from the beginning of the game try to tell you, you are a noob or try to tell you how to play. (Same team or opposing team.)

Perverts. (I shouldn't have to explain this...)

Ect...

If you have played a game online before, you know what I'm talking about. These people can be annoying...

Well, I ran into a little blog, that kind of annoyed the ever living hell out of me.

You can find it here.

If you don't want to read it, I will summarize it for you. He basically talks about "People who ruin Halo 3." Which as I've stated above, there are people who can semi-ruin your experience, but the term "ruin" is a bit of an over statement. Considering there are several ways to eliminate the problems, or deal with them.

Let me go through the list JW has compiled for us.

1) Swordsmen
"... Are classified as those people who use SOLELY the sword..."
"The worst of these punks are those who hang around near the sword’s spawn point, camping like a little pansy ass until it spawns."


Now the sword is a Power Weapon. It's good for short range attacks. All you need to do is get your reticule to turn red, and hit the right trigger and BLAM! Beat down. Instant kill. This can be agitating if it happens to you a lot, but that means you are rushing in to quick, or need to change your strategy.

How do you stop this "sward" wielding d00d who keeps owning you every time you get near him? Stop getting so close... Use a midrange weapon. A few bursts of the battle rifle to someones head takes care of them quite quickly. Maybe a few bursts and a grenade? How about a sniper? Rockets work great. Hell, I've killed them with an Assault rifle. If you can't figure out how to get past a sword, then you still got a lot of experience to gain, because you apparently are still a n00b.

2) Rocket Whores
"They use rockets. Only rockets. All the time."
"... The rocket whores in Halo 3 are of a special breed, known as “intercourseius remediali”, or in lamens terms, “fucking retards”."


It saddens me that JW has to get upset about someone taking control of a weapon. The fact of the matter is, the Rocket launcher is a Power Weapon. Much like the sword where it can be one shot, one kill. People who know how to use them, typically have a good idea on how to avoid getting killed by them as well. So if someone is rocketing the crap out of you, find a way to avoid getting rocketed. Kill or be killed n00b. To bitch about something legitimate is completely useless. It just makes you sound like you are a sore loser. Rockets, just like the sword can be defeated. Try to anticipate where they are going to fire. Keep the rocket whore at a distance and it won't be nearly as hard to stay alive. Stay away from corners and walls, because rockets tend to blow up when they hit something. I find grenades, and running behind things tend to get a rocket whore double-shotting at you, which means after two shots, they need to reload, which is when you need to take action. How you do this is up to you, because the reload time on rockets are slow, so you have more then enough time to do the damage you need to do in order to kill them. Silly n00b.

3) Laser Lovers
"These are the ones who’ll take the Spartan Laser and try to use it as a standard weapon… seeminly forgetting that it takes a good five or six seconds to charge and fire..."
"... They’re just… well, stupid, for a lack of better terminology."


So what? They don't know how to use the damn thing. Practice makes perfect you know? Why are you whining. In a Team based game, it tends to be a good idea to watch each others backs. So if you see your buddy getting messed up because he sucks with the laser, maybe you should help him out. If you're better with the Spartan laser, why not try to ask him if you can use it? If you're polite, people tend to respond better.

4) Children
"IT MEANS IT’S M FOR MATURE! On the back of the damn box, lower right-hand corner..."
"So, when your kid snaps and goes on a murderous rampage through his high school because the cheerleader turns him down for the “Enchantment Under the Sea” dance because she had a date with that new, hip Calvin Klein kid, maybe you should look in the mirror and blame yourselves for not stepping in and being a damn PARENT!

Of course, considering most of the children I come across in that game, I wouldn’t doubt that these parents have failed in every facet of life. I shouldn’t be out-cursed by a ten-year-old."


Yes, children will be annoying when they can, and I got to say, this is the most ignorant thing this guy has said so far. Kids are stupid, immature, and can be little shit-heads. This I understand, but because a kid finds he can swear and get away with it, or be a little shit-head, doesn't mean the parents failed. Kids act out. Also to say that the kid is going to go on a murderous rampage is quite ridiculous. You know what I do when there is someone of any age being obnoxious on their microphone. I use this neat option called mute. Don't listen to it if you don't have to. Also, if you report them for it, eventually they will get in trouble for it, and possibly have their Gamertag banned. Be proactive, don't whine about it and act like it's the parents fault that the 10 year old who knows right from wrong has a foul mouth.

5) Campers
"Campers, as I’m sure we all know, are those who stand perfectly still in a single spot, waiting for someone to come across their paths before engaging in combat."
"Some (mostly campers, themselves) consider this a “viable tactic”, but I just find it to be laziness on a level unmatched by normal human beings."
"However, when you kill a camper, it is one of the most rewarding feelings on this Earth."


I can agree that killing a camper is oh-so-satisfying. Although, camping IS a viable tactic. If you are dumb enough to just run into the same person in the same spot over and over again, you deserve to be killed over and over again. If you get killed in the same spot twice, then you can be sure they are camping, so go throw a couple grenades where they are and watch them panic as you kill them. Campers are easy. Don't whine because they are kicking your ass, because you fall for the same thing over and over again.

6) Hip-Slingin' Snipers
"This one is just bizarre. There are some people who will go through hell and high water to get their hands on the sniper rifle. Once they get the weapon, rather than going to a high spot and picking people off as, say, a sniper would, they go all gunslinger with the damn thing. I don’t have any real complaints about it, and it doesn’t really take away from the game experience… it’s just odd."

Why would you whine about this? They are easy to kill and it can get you a Power Weapon. Also, if you're good enough, you can snipe someone who is running right towards you. It's called practice. A sniper should never sit in one spot for too long either, for fear of being found and teamed up on. You need to be able to move. Normally I grab me a Battle Rifle with the sniper, make sure I have a few grenades, snipe a few people from one spot, and move, and typically, people who you have sniped previously, will go to where you once were, and you snipe them unexpectedly from somewhere else. It's called strategy...

7) Achievement Whores
"Look, people. When a developer puts an achievement into the game, they do so expecting you to earn these feats. So when you get into a lobby and ask “hey, do you want to do achievements?”, you’re inadvertantly undermining the efforts of the development team who went through the trouble of creating these achievements. Also, you support terrorism and the drowning of kitties in burlap sacks.

I normally don’t care about whether or not people cheat to get achievements in online games. Usually, when I hear people talking about it, I exit out of that games lobby and find a new game. Unfortulately, with Halo 3, you can’t do that. Once you’re in a game, the only way to exit out of it (without penalty) is to exit all the way back to your damn dashboard. If only Bungie would have included the option of exiting out of a game before it began (I.E. USE THE B BUTTON!) this wouldn’t even be mentioned. But alas, Bungie wanted to force feed us matchmaking, so now we get stuck with this crap. Fantabulous."


I think it is lame to not obtain achievements like you are suppose to, but if that is what people want to do, let them do it. Now, if you stay in the game, and you just try to play anyways, people will get frustrated and start fighting back.
Don't drop the game if you care about your experience. You lose experience if you drop from a game for any reason. If you lose, it doesn't hurt your experience. That is why it was set up this way. So if you have morons who "De-ranked" in Halo 2, you don't de-rank because of it, that's what makes the Halo 3 ranking system better. This sucks when you run into groups like this, and there is no real way to avoid these people if they catch you in a group, but oh well, it isn't going to hurt you either. Can't win them all. Quit whining about it...

8) Deserters
"You, those people who exit out of a game the moment it begins simply for shits and giggles. I’m not going to name any names of people who do this, because frankly I’m above that… thankfully, A1PRIMA and dannte1971 are Xbox LIVE handles, and I have no problem pointing out to all the world that you two are schmucks."
There is no excuse for this. There simply isn’t. If you get online, and get into a match, just shut up and play. Exiting out of the map (especially in team games) only hurts your ranking, and hurts the team as a whole… of course, if you exited out, you didn’t care about the team in the first place. You only go about pissing off people…"


Deserters suck. It's true. They do screw you over in ranked games if you lose, but the beauty of Halo 3 is, you don't lose experience if you lose the match. You may lose skill level, but that is easy to make up. I also like how JW first states how he is above naming names, and posts two GamerTags. Who is the schmuck here?
There is no excuse? Maybe their connection dropped? Maybe their dog caught a network cable or power cable? Maybe a kid brother or sister accidentally spilled something on the X-box 360. RROD? There are a number of genuine excuses, or maybe they just didn't want to play with your whiny-ass because you were being a whiny-bitch in the lobby? Shut up and get over it... Practice what you preach and play the damn game.

9) Heavy Breathers
"This is easily the most annoying of the groups, because they are easily the most distracting. Every two seconds you hear the heavy breathing sounds of someone who, if you heard said breathing at random, would think they just ran the Boston Marathon. I would be able to at least partially forgive it if, you know, they actually talked during the game. But 99.99478675309% of the time, they don’t. They just breathe… and breathe… and breathe…"

I do believe I already mentioned that neat little option called Mute. Try it. Or why don't you send them a message, or try letting them know they are breathing into their microphone. Politeness goes a long way.

There you have it, my break down, of what makes JW whiny, and lets me know he probably needs to find a new hobby other then Halo 3. I find it sad when people have to whine about shit that can be beaten, or completely avoided. The real fact of the matter is, it's just a game, and if you find yourself getting pissed off, maybe you should turn it off for awhile...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Working in the IT Department

So, I've been working in a "Help Desk" IT department for about 6 months now. It's been a good job. I'm going to school, and currently studying for my CCNA. Which is perfect with this job because I'm getting experience in the process. Basically, this job is perfect for me, and I'm loving every minute of it. Well, I haven't loved every minute of being at my job per say, but the job itself is awesome.

//note
If you want to view the full size image you may do so by clicking on it.
//note


When I say, "I haven't loved every minute of being at my job per say..." I mean for about 2 and a half months I worked with a dingbat, dumbass, stupid-fuck, annoying, cocksuckin', motherfuckin', douche-bag. Or Danager. (Potato-head if you prefer that!). This guy annoyed everybody. I'm not just saying me, I mean the whole damn building. People wanted him to go away. It didn't matter if it was management or just some worker, they didn't like him from the start. (He was lazy too!) Although I worked with an idiot, this blog is not about him.

This blog is about the wonders of working on Night-shift crew of two, in an environment that is incredibly laid back, and when we aren't getting calls to change a toner for somebody, we have an inordinate amount of free-time.

With this free time, and with enough boredom, we start getting creative...

There was a time when I was mostly by myself, and the crimes were committed could only be enjoyed mostly by myself. Which is still gratifying, but not quite as much as having someone else to enjoy those memories with. Such as tying your Day-shift co-workers chair to his desk, or changing the source destination to the shortcut for Firefox on your supervisors computer so that every time he clicks on the shortcut it shuts down his PC instantly. Yeah, I did it. Luckily my Supervisor is the coolest guy every, along with my other co-workers.

One of my favorite pranks was re-arranging the keys on my co-workers keyboard. Here was the result.







Yeah, type-o, I know, but I don't care, the prank was priceless.

Now, here are a few images of other pranks by my co-conspirator and I.







The above image is of my Supervisor's cube. We filled it with boxes and styrofoam and lined the walls with bubble wrap. It was good, but not good enough, so we wrote the following note to go along with it.







In case you can't read the above sign we made it says:

"Brain Lee we (Heart) you!!!

We have chosen to express our love for you through the placement of bubble-wrap, styrofoam and cardboard.

Who are you to say that's wrong!"

Now the next picture, well this prank, it kind of just fell into how it is. It started out just with the face drawn onto the styrofoam, and was set into our Supervisor cube. Not amazing, nothing to brag about, but then I had made the comment that it looks like another co-worker, and the ideas just sparked. Originally, we were just going to draw everything on the foam. I decided to be more creative and make a hat. Then we made an talk-bubble, and added some comments. With the hat and the talk-bubble, it really made it clear who it represented, and made for a good laugh in the whole department. The best part is, is that this co-worker has left it and it's still there. It's been there for about a week now...







It says:

*grumble, grumble, grumble*
...Dennis...
*grumble, grumble, grumble*
...Nightshift...

Well, I would like to inform all of you that yes, we do spend some time screwing off, but that is mostly time that we are aloud to do these things. When work needs to be done, we get it done, no questions asked, but like I said, we get an inordinate amount of free time. Although, when we aren't pranking, or playing jokes, we find neat little projects for ourselves.

This would be one of them.



Isn't it great. We used a 9 volt battery, two paper clips, some scotch tape, and a piece of wire from a CAT-5e cable. On top of that, we had a bad hard-drive, so I took it apart, and used the magnet inside of it, and there you have it. A working motor.

I just want to say, my job kicks ass.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Oh Halo 3, how I love thee, let me count the ways...

So, I just did a pretty solid Halo 3 Marathon. I got to say, it was fuckin' awesome. So basically, I came home, watched some TV with my girlfriend, then around 1AM, I started playing. I didn't stop, until about 8AM the next day, (After an argument with the significant other...), and slept until about 2:30PM, and got up, played some more, until the Girlfriend came home, then I consumed some food, watched some TV, then played some more.

My Roommate thinks I'm nuts, considering he got up for work, and I was still playing, and when he got home from work, I was still playing. I stopped about an hour ago, my eyes aren't to happy with me right now. I guess that happens after concentrating on a television for several hours at a time. If I could use this LCD on my computer as opposed to my piece'o'shit TV I would probably be writing in between games right now. Ha ha...

Either way, I figured I would share with you people why I can do this.

Campaign was fun, with added elements, and new Easter eggs, there is plenty to keep me busy with out any kind of Network connection, but considering I was a huge Halo2 nut when it came to XBL, I couldn't resist plugging in as soon as I beat Campaign on Normal.

The new interface is nice. Choose the type of matches is easy, and the fact that there are more options for Guest players, (Like if you have a friend who doesn't have an X-Box Live Tag.), you can play pretty much any ranked game in an un-ranked fashion.

For of those of you who are unfamilar with Halo 2/3 on XBL, I'm not going to bother giving you all the Matchmade game types. If you really want to know, check it out for yourself. If you know me personally, and I like you, I'm sure I wouldn't mind takin' you online with my own account to show you the ropes...

You have your Un-ranked list, which consists of things like Social Slayer, Social Skirmish, and things of the sort. The options you have now to play online with a friend next to you is so much better now, you have more of a variety.

Then you have the Ranked games, such as Team Slayer, or Lone Wolves. They have all the regular ranked stuff, just in a separate list. These are the games that get you a reputation in Halo 2, but in Halo 3, I've found that I myself have ran into someone with a much higher rank than myself, and I was able to walk all over them.

The ranking system is good in that I believe it is starting to work now that Halo 3 has been on Live for awhile, but it seemed very off when everyone started at the bottom. Not only do you have a rank, but you have a Skill number too, (mine is about 12 or 13 right now), and to be honest, I don't know how the games are sorted, by skill, or by rank. I'm assuming skill, considering that would make the most sense. Either way, it seems to be a good idea... For now...

The maps on this game are simply gorgeous. The water is amazing! I'm totally impressed, although I got over it quickly after I had a sniper bullet ricochet off my helmet. I've only seen about 5 maps on XBL being repeated over and over again, although, I really only play Slayer most of the time, so I would really like to see more Maps. They all seem pretty big. Guardian and Narrows seem to be the small ones for the most part, but they never had the kind of atmosphere that maps like Lockout or Foundation, or even Warlock had from Halo 2. I wish I could see a little more of that in Halo 3. Just more Chaos. So as of now, I do love the maps, I just feel there are just too few. (Can't wait for the first Map pack!!!)

Next, the online experience is just fun. I love being able to interact with real people virtually. Given, if you play on Live often, you will run into morons, or stupid loudmouth kids, but when you run into people that make a decent team slayer team, you make friends, and your experience is better 10 fold. In the last 24 hours I've probably added a good 5 or 6 people onto my list to play with in the future. With their help, my Skill Level was at 8, and now is at 12 or 13. On top of that, when playing Ranked, my Rank is now a Grade 2 Sargent!

I recommend before hopping online and trying to play, actually play through the game. It's an awesome FPS, and if you haven't played the first one, WTF is wrong with you? No but seriously, if you haven't play Halo: Combat Evolved, or Halo 2, then the Campaign isn't going to make any sense to you at all. If you just want to have the skillz well, I still recommend beating the game on Solo, and then hopping online, because it will help some, but there is a huge difference when you play artificial intelligence and actual intelligence.

So between the added features, like new weapons, new customizations, speaking of those, I can SAVE entire games, or take Video clips from games and share them with people on XBL through Halo 3. I'm a little disappointed I can't pull it off of Bnet, and have it on my PC, but meh, I'm sure if they did that, the game wouldn't have released when it did. Although, I wouldn't doubt if it gets brought up, and made possible. It's pretty sweet though, on my Halo service Record, if you look under my file share, I have two short clips, one is me almost taking out an entire team of 5 on Last Resort, and the other is a kick as double kill on Snowbound. Totally sweet. If you want to check them out, you need a Gamer Tag for XBL, and my Gamer Tag which is Th4t 0n3 6uy. (The "0" in "0n3" is indeed a zero, not an ohh. ) If you don't have a tag, and want to check out my stats on Halo 3, go to Bungie.net and go to my stats, and on the drop-down menu click on Find a Player, on the right side of that screen type in my Gamer Tag Th4t 0n3 6uy, and you can check out all of the games I've every played on Halo 3, what place I came in, the game type, the map, everything. It's cool. You even get a snapshot of what my character looks like.

If you have any questions about the game, let me know, I'm still in a learning process, but feel free to ask me! I love this game.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Anti-piracy in the classroom?

When I was a young lad, (Grades K-5.), I was learning about animals, the environment, arithmetic, reading, Social Studies, and I even remember a class called Counseling. All important things to make me a functioning person in society, (Even though my counselor was convinced I was going to end up in prison when I was only in Second grade!), yet, the idea of kids as young as 5 or 6 learning about Intellectual property seems like a waste of tax dollars to me.

The Entertainment Software Association is a company that is all about protecting the rights of Intellectual property. For the sake of time, and effort, if you want to know more about the company, just go to their website here.

The ESA has decided that because they can't teach my generation about Copyrights, they are going to start getting them while they are young. As in K through 5. They have an entire website for the curriculum.

I have a couple problems with this. First being that it isn't shown in a light as to why it's a problem, and nextly, it seems to me that it is presented as a "This is the way it is, accept it."
No only that, but I don't think it should be put into a class room. I understand that today, technology is integrated with everything, whether it be school, or a brand new car, but the fact of the matter is, is they have proxies and firewalls and blocks at schools to prevent kids to getting to things they shouldn't be. So if a school is concerned with Copyrights, then block sites like Youtube, and MetaCafe and the like. Hell, don't even give the tots internet access if you are worried about it, because I'm telling you, there is always that part of every generation, who rebels and does what society considers wrong. Have you looked at how crowded the Prison system is today?

My point being is, this sort of thing doesn't belong in the classroom. There are better things to be teaching our future generations then why you shouldn't copy a movie or a video game, because no matter what, it will be inevitable that some percentile of people will be breaking those rules.