March 6th, 2014 by Bone Head
I’m not competitive, I keep saying to those who will listen (not many) that its the playing the game that counts not the winning, all very British maybe but is it true?
Well if I sit down and really think about it if I don’t care who wins why do I feel my blood pressure rise when we are losing a game of CS:GO (not that I’m playing it much lately)? I get angry and some of us may even let the odd expletive out which is highly unusual! Well when I say unusual I mean regularly, well OK I do too, but surely it isn’t because I am competitive, is it?
We run stats for the IL2 Battle-Fields 1 server (IL2) and have done now for years. I did turn it all off at one point because to be fair they are a bit of a pain to maintain, but it wasn’t long before I got complaints. But why would they be so popular? Well you don’t have to be an analyst to work that out; people care about how they are performing. It matters that they are seen to be doing well or improving. We are competitive and the stats matter to even those who might try telling themselves they don’t.
Anyhow in a bid to try and keep the alpha males (or maybe females too) I have been polishing the database server for the IL2 stats and just in case you didn’t know we also have stats for our 128tick CS:GO server which is steadily becoming very popular!
I haven’t been looking at them honest!
February 13th, 2014 by Bone Head
Its been a hectic few days here at B-F for several reasons, not least trying to organise the legendary apathetic bunch that forms any B-F squad (of which there have been several over the years) into getting together on Tuesday night for a practice. Fox turned up with a note from his parents saying he wasn’t allowed to do any training because his dog had eaten his training shoes but I saw right though this and made him do it in his vest and pants just like the old days.
I have to admit though I found it a bit unnerving when the rest of the squad thought it was a good idea and all started stripping off, not a pretty sight.
As if that wasn’t enough though mummy nature decided to blow some power lines down near the server bunker and although we have a good backup system in place it wasn’t good enough. Each server has its own backup power supply of 3 AA batteries apart from the main webserver / TS server which has a PP3 and a DD (or am I just thinking about Bobi’s cup size again?
Anyhoo it was the main routers that suffered and even though the servers (well most of them as I had nicked the batteries from one for my bike lights) stayed up the router died after 40 minutes or so and when the power was restored they weren’t happy. So today has been spent cleaning up the mess. What about the generator backup I hear you ask, well as the fuel was in my truck and not in the tank for the genie it wouldn’t run.
Now this might all sound a bit gash, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t lying about the lies I had just said but I’m not lying entirely, you just have to work out what is the truth, or you can just get over it.
As it happens we had quite a bonding session last night, it was a little bit like sitting around a virtual campfire with some of the less sober ones spilling their guts … I mean pouring their hearts out about childhood disappointments failures with the opposite sex as well as one or two conquests including one quite famous ‘actress’. Anyhow guys your secrets are all safe with me! Right where is my blackmailing notebook?
February 8th, 2014 by Bone Head
One of our servers has been a bit poorly, in fact it was poorly when I bought it so it has been doing nothing other than taking up room on the office shelves.
It was suffering from a severe bout of full speed fans, which with modern servers is a sure sign that something is wrong, its not always that easy to work out what though. Anyhow after hours of probing (!?) I narrowed it down to the motherboard and when funds allowed I ordered another one which turned up today.
Apart from knocking a resistor of a memory module and failing to solder it back on cleanly all went well and the server is out of the woods and ready to perform duties in our rack.
Here is a photo of the patient on the operating table (you can see the old motherboard in the background.
February 2nd, 2014 by Bone Head
They say experience counts for everything (I’m not sure who says that but someone must do), they also say enthusiasm is infectious (but so is herpes) however; stand to one side Pyjama boys because here comes the oldest most infectious CS:GO clan on the planet!
Yes indeed lady and gentlemen, please give a round of applause (not too loud it interferes with my hearing aid) to BFs/c (delete as appropriate)!
With an average age of 57 and a total of 156 years of gaming experience between them (1) Battle-Fields.com’s professional gaming team are limbering up ready for a season of domination (well those who are into that kind of thing are) and virtual foe slaying and have been training hard in the B-F 128 ping CS:GO server for the last few months.
The management team have been going through stats and preparing the roster for the upcoming season and subject to Scif’s hip replacement and Fox’s colostomy bag extension (ready for the longer matches) there are still some doubts over transfer fees for some of the new signings.
Information is a bit thin on the ground as tactics are a closely guarded secret so I bought team masseuse Bobbi Fields a pint of Newcastle Brown Ale (other alcoholic beverages are available whilst ever N B A aren’t paying us for advertising) and asked her if she could maybe spill the beans. “I’m sworn to secrecy but buy me another pint and next time I’m working on Novotny’s thighs I’ll talk sweetly to him and see what comes up”.
What’s known is as the training schedule has ramped up tension in the team has boiled over and Finn was seen throwing a hairdryer in the changing room, in the car park and also down A Long in Dust II. There is a strong rumour too that Smurfy has been brought out of retirement to look after team tactics and our spies have seen him trying to teach the uninitiated the benefits of wall staring and standing still in the hope that the enemy cant see him.
I have to report though no matter how much begging and pleading the management have done I have refused to come out of retirement, I feel my skills are better placed just lounging around and drinking heavily and anyhow I might have a better offer on the table from a certain squad, but I am sworn to secrecy, all I will say is it might involve night attire, but I didn’t say that!
(1) these figures wern’t plucked out of thin air (honest (2)) but they were based on an educated guess using my patented cardigan to hoody ratio algorithm where cardigans outnumber hoodies by 99% on the squad, a median slipper and pipe factor was also applied.
(2) Trust me I know a doctor.
January 30th, 2014 by Novotny
Bone may have only killed his first victim yesterday in Dayz but it wasn’t for want of trying. The Saline Bandit, however, has tried to venture through Chenarus actively assisting her fellow survivors. I’ve kind of done that too, in that I think heaven is a better place for us all when it comes down to it.
Incoming patcheroos too.
January 26th, 2014 by Bone Head
One of the most satisfying things about running Battle-Fields is learning from other people and watching others offer help and encouragement to complete strangers. So often people give their time and efforts for free and are happy to share the fruits of their labour.
Kang has very kindly sent me a ‘crib’ sheet in pdf format of lots of specific details for the aircraft in IL2. Its very professional too! So if you want to know what you are up against then it is highly recommended.
January 26th, 2014 by Bone Head
… but in a good way. The last week as been spent (see below) hacking away at servers and software to move all our servers (just one left to do) onto our new super fast and slippery network that is about 42% faster than it was, not that that will make any difference as to how the servers run as they had more than enough bandwidth anyhow but it gives us room for expansion.
Don’t forget if you are a syndicate member here at B-F and you want a particular server running let me know and we will do our best to fire one up.
Right that’s me done Im off to play games!
January 25th, 2014 by Bone Head
I thought I would post an update on here as I have the forums shut down right now;
You will be pleased to know I have had a couple of coffees so far which is starting to wake me up. To enable me to work with Linux which is what the server lives on I have put on an old wig and tied it back into a ponytail, put on some sandals with white socks and am wearing an old sweaty tee-shirt with a quake logo on it. I haven’t shaved for a week either and am making sure I don’t have any friends. I’ve ordered donuts too and Mountain Dew.
I would like to report that everything is going really well, ……. but I am an honest person and find it difficult to tell fibs, hang on I’ll try: its going really well. Was that convincing?
The fact that for some reason the virtual host cant see the rest of the internet isn’t really causing me too much concern, oh hang on my eye is starting to twitch. I am working on fixing that first then I will try and install a Linux distro (did that sound convincing?) onto the host before installing something else somewhere else and then uploading stuff from where I put it last night (I haven’t lost it honest, I just cant remember at the moment what it is I’m looking for). Once that’s done I will have pizza.
Obviously I am not finding any of this stressful, I mean I am only handling about 14 years of data after all, one slip and its all gone but hey, who cares? Bloody twitch!
I’m going to try pushing some pizza into the dvd drive on the server to see if that helps, I have also emptied the vacuum cleaner bag into it because there wasn’t much dust and fluff in there and my computer at home is always full of dust so I’m starting to think the server could just be short on fluff; and pizza obviously.
Oh hang on something’s happening ……….
January 13th, 2014 by Novotny
Yes I know it wasn’t released in 2013. I played it in 2013. So there.
Crusader Kings 2 is a grand strategy game about intrigue, vice, popes and plagues. Blackmail, subversion, plotting and arson. Madness, murder, adultery and torture. Treachery, demons… and so on and so forth. Crusader Kings 2, then, differs from other strategy titles as its emphasis lies firmly with family.
It’s all about your heirs and your dynasty.
A typical game start for me would be as Earl Blathmac of Ulster. The dude is 40 and unmarried, but also content, gregarious, paranoid, honest, and something of a scholarly theologian. Every character has varying traits dependent on events that occur randomly, or not-so-randomly, throughout their lives.
So all well and good – he’s not possessed or infirm – but he’s got no kids! It’s game over right away if we can’t have an heir of my lineage, so first things first: get this bloke a bint tout suite and start knocking out prodigious progeny.
So we scour Europe for a suitable betrothal. What do we want from this marriage? Well, primarily strong sons. But what of political alliance? And what sort of genes/traits should this lady possess? Wives, since time immemorial, have been serious business.
Of course, you can’t see all the characteristics of your new love until you’ve actually got them home with you. It’s always a bummer to discover that your beautiful, vivacious new filly is also completely barking and given to deceit. They covered that up at the court of Brittany quite well, as per usual. Still, we now have a possible ally.
And so to the kids, apples of your eye each and every one. Well, maybe not. ‘Give me a child until he is seven, and I will give you the man,’ said St Francis Xavier. In CK2 their education begins at six. But who do you trust to educate your offspring? Your brother? Your mother? Barry the Bishop? Should your mother have always preferred your brother for the throne, don’t be surprised if ickle Blathmac suddenly develops an interest in sadism. Or other blokes. Or cowardice. You can of course educate them yourself, but only a maximum of two at a time.
So the lineage is (kind-of) safe. You have a son, but he’s quite dozy. And then you have another one, and this guy’s a bit sharper. But he’s, er, second-in-line to the throne. Hmmm. I think you can see what sort of options are developing here. Should we make the first-borne a priest? Marry him off matrilineally? Change the succession laws? Or just, you know… bump him off?
So much to think about.
Meanwhile, you have a court to run. And they’re all, for the most part, utter barstewards. Everyone in CK2 is out for them and theirs, as I think Kissinger once put it. Oh, they’ll suck up when you wield power, but should that iron grip start to seem too effeminate, expect the plotting to commence. What’s your brother been doing recently? Or more importantly, his wife?
CK2 is from the masters of map-staring, Paradox Interactive, and so naturally we’ll be wanting to expand our fiefdom. Get a few counties in the North of Ireland, and we can form Ulster, with my bad boy Blathmac as the Duke. Maybe we’ll keep Ulster too, and allow the earls of Tyrone, Oriel and the other one to attend our court. So long as they toe the line. We’ll watch them closely for signs of ambition, greed or other concerning traits. As your court grows, so too does the quality of your advisers and the determination of your rivals. Will you make them love you, or fear you? A bit of both, perhaps?
Whatever way you manage it, keep them in line. We’re going to try and form the country of Ireland and in doing so, we’ll have contenders in that Englander place who are currently much more powerful. Maybe we should see if those Picts could be encouraged to break a few windows… I could marry one of their daughters. The current wife has started boring me, after all, and she’s nearing forty…
As I said at the start, it’s all about family. So If you can’t face another evening of telly with the missus, why not start a virtual one in Crusader Kings 2.
January 8th, 2014 by Novotny
Happy New Year. I hope you are all fully recovered from our festive break and productively pursuing our eternal goals for 2014 and every other year: lashings and lashings of ginger beer and far too many pork pies.
I’m just getting over a rather difficult bout of writer’s blocked, a malady that afflicts those of us with a thirst for ginger beer – or any beer, really. So unsuitably unrefreshed, I hack at this keyboard like the grey ghost I am.
I said I’d say something about some games I’d said something about, and one of those games is Papers Please, the indie title released in August. If you ever come home from the office and think to yourself ‘omg where did the day go? I really could do with some more work’ then this is the title for you.
It’s quite a novel premise: we’re in 1982, and you have been randomly selected from the good citizens of Arstotzka, a fictional communist country of Eastern Europe, to be an inspector at a border checkpoint which has just reopened after a war. This is good news for your family as you get the opportunity to live in a slightly upgraded apartment and be meaningfully employed.
Your first day at work is simple enough: Check passports and deny any foreigners entry to glorious Arstotzka. You get paid for the number of successful processes you perform. Take away your rent, living costs etc and you have hopefully a little left over. Go to sleep.
The next day adds a level of complexity; we’re letting in foreigners now, but they must have valid passports. You need to be checking where the passport was issued, names etc. Miss something and you will receive a citation – and too many of those and you start to get fined. Go bankrupt and you get jailed. Each day adds a level of complexity in some manner, as different rules are applied to who gets in and who doesn’t, what papers they must have, interesting characters you are told to watch out for and so on.
So is this just unpaid work – it doesn’t sound like fun, does it? Well, little things start happening, and soon you find a story revealing itself though your engagements with those passing through the checkpoint, guards, your bosses and others too. You become an arbiter in people’s lives, and more. What starts as a sort of crazy minesweeper/tetris mash-up soon starts to take on interesting moralistic undertones. Or maybe overtones. Or maybe not, if you have no morals. At any rate, morality or not, it gets interesting.
There are twenty possible endings, but I’ve only seen one so far: I’ve made too many errors and been jailed for being unable to pay the rent. However in my current game, I’ve got way further than previously and so many things are happening. I fully expect to mess up shortly but I’m sure I’ll see a different ending this time.
The graphics are, wonderfully, a throwback to 1982 too. The atmosphere is bleak and slightly oppressive, aided by a superb musical score. Papers Please is almost certainly the most intriguing game I’ve played in 2013 and you should play it too.