Homesteading and Survivalism

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Tag: valve software

Evolve Gameplay Preview

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From the same people who brought us Left 4 Dead and Counter-Strike comes the next evolution in multiplayer gaming. Rather than the typical team-vs-team gameplay, Evolve is team-vs-monster, and the monster is a human controlled creature.

In what looks like a copy from the Left 4 Dead series there are 3 men and 1 woman. But is a shift from Left 4 Dead each character in Evolve has a special skill – assault, tracker, medic and support.

The monster evolves be eating other creatures on the planet. The more he eats the more he grows. The more he grows the more skills he gets. When the game starts the monster tries to avoid the hunters until he has evolved enough to defeat them. This puts pressure on the hunters to kill the monster before he evolves into something stronger.

Evolve is in the Steam store, but is not available for pre-purchase. I plan on ordering the game as soon as it becomes available. The release date is estimated to be 3rd quarter 2014, which is around July – September. I suspect Evolve will be postponed until the holidays 2014, maybe early November.

Regardless when Evolve becomes available on the Steam store I plan on getting my pre-order in.

Gamers Life

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boogie2988 made a nice rhyme about what its like to be a gamer.

Non-gamers would not understand what its like to play an online video game, or even a single player role playing game.  Modern video games open up a whole new world.  Games like Left 4 Dead, New Vegas, Skyrim, Left 4 Dead 2 open up whole new worlds to gamers.

If nothing else, video games are a great way to relieve stress.

My first PC video game was Command & Conquer for DOS, but it also ran on Windows 3.11.

My second PC video game was Doom.

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How To Spot A Cheater In Left 4 Dead 2

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How can you tell the difference between a cheater and a legit player with real skill? Honesty, its not that difficult.

The first thing you want to do is look at their steam profile. In game its shift + tab – view players – view profile.

1. If the persons profile is private, we have to assume they have something to hide.

2. How old is the account? If the account is less then 2 years old, then we have to assume they are creating new accounts after their old account received a VAC ban.

3. Only 2 or 3 games on their account. When the hacker receives a steam ban, they create a new steam account, buy the game again, and keep on cheating.

4. VAC ban registered on their account. The VAC ban will be listed on the top right of the steam profile. VAC bans are visible if their account is private or public.

5. High win rate. This is one of the main reasons why we want to look at the steam profile. Click on “view stats” under the game name, then click versus stats, then look at the win rate. A win rate above 60% or 65% is above average. A win rate above 70% rate is outrageously high. There is no way someone can have a win rate of 60% – 70% by playing random public games. Either they only play with stacked teams, or they are cheating.

6. Spectate the player while you are waiting to respawn as the special infected. If the player is tracking infected through walls, then you know something is wrong.

7. Skill level way above their playing time. Skill comes with experience. If someone has 100 hours and playing like a pro, chances are they have multiple accounts. Why do they have multiple accounts? Because their other accounts have a VAC ban.

8. If you have someone on your team that you think is cheating, ask. Some cheaters are proud they cheat and like to brag.

VAC = Valve Anti-cheat. Its a program that is ran on secure servers. If a cheat is detected, the person is banned from playing on VAC secure servers.

Taking a break from Left 4 Dead 2

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After playing Left 4 Dead 2 for almost 3 years, I think its past time for a break. L4D2 was released October 17, 2009, then it took Valve another week – 2 weeks to get the crash to desktop fixed.

Its been a fun 3 years, but the time has come to move onto something else.

On Columbus day I tried playing a few games. The games went terrible. There seem to be more noobs then skilled players. Unless you are playing with friends the game usually turns into a pub stomp.

During a sale a few months ago I bought Skyrim. I probably need to go play something like Skyrim and get away from the Left 4 Dead series for a little while.

Borderlands 2 was just released, but I do not want to pay $40 – $60 for a game. I usually wait until a game goes on deep discount before I buy it. I preordered portal 2 and was a little disappointed.

Left 4 Dead 2 is an awesome game, but its not for everyone.  In games like Team Fortress 2 and Counter-Strike people can break off from the team and do pretty much what they want.  Due to the small team size in Left 4 Dead 1 & 2, one playing doing their own thing can seriously impact the game.

Its gotten to where L4D2 is no fun anymore.  Its the same maps over and over and over and over,,,,,.  Its the same attack points and choke points in the same maps over and over.  How many times can you get pulled going over the dumpster in Dead Center before it starts to get boring?

Do you have a steam account?  If so, join the Survivalist Boards Steam Community.

My time with Left 4 Dead 2 has been fun, just as much fun as Diablo, Diablo II, QuakeWorld, Team Fortress Classic and a few other games.

As with everything else in life, all good things must come to an end.  I think its time to sever my relationship with Left 4 Dead 1 & 2.

QuakeWorld came to an end.
Quake Team Fortress came to an end.
Diablo came to an end.
Diablo II came to an end.
Warcraft II came to an end.
Team Fortress Classic came to an end, at least my time with TFC did.
Command & Conquer came to and end.

As with all of the epic games before it, my time with Left 4 Dead 1 & 2 must come to an end.

Also, its not just that Left 4 Dead 2 is getting old, I am getting tired of all of the trolling, such as team switching and team killing.

A few weeks ago I was in a game where the opposing team threw every round.  On the finale the team switched sides while my team was loading, which put us on the losing team.  The developers never added a way to mute other players, or to stop team switching until everyone was loaded.

Then there are the bugs in L4D2 that have not been fixed in 3 years, such as the tank spawning at the bottom of the elevator on Dead Center 1.

Black Mesa finally gets a release date

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For those of you that have not been keeping with the Black Mesa, its a fan made modification that runs on the Valve Source engine.

Its more then just a fan made modification, Black Mesa is supposed to be a remake of the original Half-Life.

Black Mesa is scheduled to be released September 14th. Download servers will be announced shortly before the download goes live.

My only hope is that Black Mesa lives up to the hype.

Half-Life was released in November 2004. Development on Black Mesa started around January 2005. I hope the game shows 7 1/2 years of quality.

When Half-Life was released in November of 1998 it was revolutionary for the time. Half-Life used a heavily modified version of the id Quake engine, improved graphics, and a real story plot. The introduction scene of HL is probably one of the best cut scenes in all of gaming history.

Then came all of the modifications, such as Counter-Strike and Team Fortress classic.

Quake started the online multiplayer revolution, but Half-Life refined it.

When HL was released I was playing Quakeworld Deathmatch. Quake 2 had been released, it did not live up to my expectations, so I went back to the original Quake. The HL was released, and everything changed.

Half-Life was revolutionary in a number of ways. For one, the player did not have to find any keys to advance in the map. There were side quest that had to be completed, such as turning on a generator to open a door. Which was a nice break from Doom and Quake where the player had to find various colored keys to advance.

When Black Mesa source is available for download I will get it installed. From there I will post some screen shots and first impressions.

Why I play Left 4 Dead

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What makes the Left 4 Dead series so awesome? Just about everything. I have over 1,600 hours in Left 4 Dead 2, and almost 700 hours in the original Left 4 Dead.

When the original Left 4 Dead was released I put off buying it until it went on sale. The first place that had it on sale was Best Buy in Beaumont Texas. I think best Buy had Left 4 Dead on sale for something like $10 off.

Got Left 4 Dead home, installed it, steam updated the game to the newest version. From the first couple of minutes I understood why people were raving about Left 4 Dead. It is a perfect mix of atmosphere and teamwork.

In most multiplayer games people can run off and do their own thing. In Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2, one person can affect the outcome of the game.

The storyline of the Left 4 Dead series is quit simple. A virus has turned mankind stark raving mad.

The virus has been compared to rabies, in that people lose the capability of higher thought.  I compare it to the rage virus of 28 days later.

Survivors start at a certain area, then have to work they way to a rescue point. In the map No Mercy, the survivors start on a roof top. They work their way through various maps such as alleyways, subway, warehouse, streets, hospital, then to the rooftop rescue point.

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What happened to the PC gaming industry

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I dont know what it is, but over the past 4 or 5 years, I have not been impressed with the PC games coming out, and to be honest I am getting a little bored.

During the mid-week madness and weekend sales I have been buying games at discounted prices. Over the past year I have bought maybe a dozen games, and almost none of them make me say “wow”, or even grab my attention.

Where are the games like Doom, or even something new like what half-life was. Is it “really” that difficult for developers to come up with new ideas?

For the past 2 1/2 years I have been mainly playing the left 4 dead series. But the lack of timely updates (as compared to tf2) has left me with a game that has little interest anymore.

The whole battlefield genre of games is of no interest to me.

Not interested in tf2, much prefer Fortress Forever, but the FF community leaves a lot to be desired.

About a month ago I bought fallout new vegas, it seems like a lot of fun so I might try playing it a little bit more.

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The Left 4 Dead 2 Boycotters Were Right

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As we approach the 2 year anniversary of l4d2, in retrospect, I think the boycotters were right.   The presales L4D2 hype failed to live up to a lot of things.

Dynamic paths – removed
Dynamic weather – removed
Dynamic night and day – removed
Some of the best versus maps ruined due to glitches, bugs and a buffet bar of health kits and pills.
Why has it taken Valve almost 2 years to fix the tank glitch in Dead Center 1?
Why doesn’t the tank spawn in No Mercy 1?
Why doesn’t the tank spawn in No Mercy hospital map?
Why does the charger move around survivors instead of hitting them?
Why is the walking witch so difficult to set off?
Why hasn’t the one melee kill of the jockey been fixed?
How can some survivors see when they are boomed?

The list goes on and on.

Just as Valve dropped left 4 dead after the release of l4d2, so has l4d2 fallen to the wayside in favor of tf2 updates.

I just want the product valve told us l4d2 would be like. When you buy a product, you expect it to be like what was advertised, right?

Would you buy a car under the same conditions? If you were told your new car could drive 70mph, but later you found out it only drove 70mph on interstate highways, on state highways it only went 55 mph, would you be happy with that bait and switch.

I bought a product that was not the same as it was advertised to be. If a company representative says a product is going to have certain features, then the product should have those features.

Some people say that Valve is being slow because they are working on good quality fixes. How much slower can Valve be? Are we supposed to be led to believe it takes 2 years to add a ladder to the elevator of Dead Center 1?

Maybe Valve updates should be Duke Nukem Forever slow, and take 10 years to fix something?

Or maybe Black Mesa slow, where Valve talks about the patches, shows videos of the patches, but nothing is released for years, if ever?

Valve pulled a last second bait-and-switch with l4d2. We were told one thing, and got something else.

Open letter to Valve software

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I had originally posted this the Steam forums, but I wanted to post it here as well. There was a question about Valve being the greatest developer in the world.

Here is my answer:

At this time – maybe so.

In the 1990s – No. Before November 1998, the best software developer was ID software. For those of you that do not know, Half-Life was released in November 1998.

My top 4 FPS games of all time are:

Ultimate Doom
Final Doom (this is really 2 games – The Plutonia Experiment and TNT: Evilution)
Half-Life
Left 4 Dead

Even though the Half-Life series has been great, it’s lacked the dark overbearing atmosphere that Doom had. The one time that Valve came close to capturing the title, was with the original Left 4 Dead. If Doom II Hell on Earth was remade, it hope it would be something very close to L4D.

Valve is a great company, and they come up with some great ideas. But over the past few years I think they have taken a turn towards “fun” games instead of “serious” games. Compare tf2 to L4D. Both games attract a totally different type of player. Valve seems to cater more towards the “fun” player, and less towards the “serious” player.

Why is No Mercy the most played map in L4D2? Because l4d2 players yearn for the return of a dark, serious game with an overbearing atmosphere – like what L4D has.

Now lets go back to the 1990s. Why was Doom so great? Because it created a great atmosphere and attracted a certain type of player. Valve has done a poor job of creating dark games – with the exception of L4D.

When L4D was released, it looked like Valve was going to develop a series of dark games, which would help them become a well rounded company. But instead, they made L4D2, and tried to make it less dark then L4D.

For Valve to take the title of “worlds best developer”, I think they need to offer a wider range of games. The games need to target players looking for “fun” games like tf2, and players that want a serious game with a dark atmosphere like what Left 4 Dead was.

Happy Birthday Half-Life

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Happy Birthday Half Life, your 12 years old today, November 19th 1998 – November 19th 2010. I still remember the first time I saw you, it was at a LAN party in Little Cypress with my buddy Revy.

It was a cold, wet, typical winter day in southeast Texas. I had been invited to a LAN party to play some Quake Deathmatch. While we were taking a short break from the intense action, Revy called me over to his computer and asked if I wanted to see this new game called Half-Life. Revy fired up a new game and showed me the intro scene where Gordon Freeman is taking the tram ride into Black Mesa.

When I got home I told my wife about Half-Life and she bought me the game a few days later. It was a sad time in my life. My sister-in-law at the time was going through a divorce with her husband. On the day she left, my wife took her to the bus station while I stayed at home and play Half-Life.

Half-Life was a turning point in my gaming, as I played Quakeworld and Diablo less and less. When Team Fortress Classic (TFC) was released, it seemed brighter and more fresh then the dark maps of Quakeworld Team Fortress. There was Quake II, but HL seemed to handle better then QII, and the maps of HL were easier to follow then the maps of QII.

When Half-Life was released, a whole new phase in PC gaming started – we just did not realize it at the time. Shortly after the release of HL came TFC and Counter-Strike. From the release of TFC and CS, the Quakeworld servers dried up, and things would never be the same.

I still have that original Half-Life cd on my computer desk. But instead of playing with the CD version, I got Half-Life on Steam as well.

Happy birthday Half-Life, its been a fun 12 years.

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