Machvergil Comic number 043

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Dear Windows Vista

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

On this the day I re-format in an effort to install Windows 7, I just wanted to let you (and the development team that made you) know that you were a wonderful operating system.

All the hype against you was way overstated.  I did not take the Vista plunge for almost a year after it came out so I avoided most of the “bad days” but once I did get you, I did not encounter any of the problems reported by the tech pundits and Apple’s TV ads. Sure, I had to buy a new wireless dongle because Netgear was lazy and never updated the drivers for Vista on my old one, and sure World of Warcraft didn’t work right at first because nVidia didn’t write good GeForce 8550 drivers at the time either.

Adobe also managed to find some way to make Dreamweaver 8 run like crap on you because it had custom UI elements that clashed with Aero.  Something they could of fixed with a patch, but they never did, just like how they never released a patch to fix DW8’s famous “I forgot all your FTP info after you update to IE7” bug for Vista.

That aside though you were wonderful to use.  The new start menu was great.  The new account-folders were well done, although I would have loved it if My Pictures didn’t forget how to sort by date modified.  At least you let me customize that back in.

As much as people griped about UAC, I actually liked the secure feeling it gave me when it asked before doing anything system critical.  I remember the first time I browsed to a site in search of fanart to some game or another and wound up seconds later having UAC warn me that the Javascript on the page was trying to write to a part of my hard drive it shouldn’t be.  That felt great.

Of course, many windows-based software developers, game developers specifically, don’t seem to understand that if everything has to run in administrator mode all the time then it kind of defeats the purpose of such security measures.  As a result, in order to play games like Mythic’s Warhammer Online and use Ventrillo at the same time, I ended up having to turn UAC off.  Yeah I don’t miss the permission messages too much, but I still felt safer with them on.

Most of all though I loved all the ways you were better than Windows XP.  You were more stable: I’ve seen fewer blue screens of death since I’ve installed you than any windows system I’ve installed before. Not only that but you recovered from application failure better than ever before.  Back in older versions of windows when a game crashed due to a graphics bug, my screen would freeze and I’d be lucky if I could get out of it even though the OS didn’t hang.  With Vista, a Control+Alt+Delete would actually reset my graphics card to bring up the full-screen dialog and when I hit task manager, I had the chance to close the game and not lose my entire Windows Session. The first time that happened and I was greeted by the task-bar message that my video card had recovered from a critical error, I was pleased.

You were better organized, although I still don’t understand why WoW:WotLK insisted in being installed in the c:/users/public/games/WorldofWarcraft folder when nothing else did.  And you came with a downloads folder out of the box which was great.

You ran faster, although some of that might be my 3.0GHz Core2Duo and 4 GBs of Ram talking.  Not that XP takes advantage of those as well as you do, if I read things right.

Last and definitely not least you were prettier.  Aero is a cool look and it was the first time since MacOSX came out that I was not envious of Apple users’ nicer and sleeker looking UI.  Sure there are still some things that MacOSX does that are a little prettier than you Vista, but for every one of those you earn points back with me for being more colorful, and letting me pick those colors if I want!

All these things explain why when I go to work every week and have to continue to web develop on a Windows XP machine, I feel like I’m working with antiquated software.  At least I work at the place where the IT guys are lenient enough to let me install the XP royal blue theme, because man I can’t stand the default XP theme anymore.  Still even Royal’s chrome elements like the title bar eat up way to much screen-real estate.

I still don’t know what was going on last night, with you crashing when I tried to access my recycle bin until I emptied it, and my burning software acting up.  At least once I emptied the recycle bin that stopped and your own built in DVD-RW writer backed up what I needed to back up. Maybe you knew what I was going to do today and got upset.

So Vista, it’s with that I want you know I do not regret buying you.  I in fact look forward to seeing you again someday, maybe when I reformat my older machine and try and put you on it.  I’m not 100% that’s a great idea since that machine only has a 1GB of ram, but at least it has a 64 bit processor so it will run Home Premium 64. Either way, don’t listen to what those mean tech pundits or Apple say to you, you were not the new Windows ME, you simply were a late bloomer, who became amazing once you did.

With that I bid you adieu.

Aion Vision Trailer

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

Now before you get all mad about Blade and Soul and say “Wait, why are they toting this game when Aion still needs all this work,” NCsoft did release a very cryptic, but very promising trailer they call the “Aion Vision Trailer.”  In case you don’t feel like watching the entire 9minute trailer, it promises such features as swimming (YES SWIMMING BITCHES), a customizable home, mounts, some new skills and gear for some of the classes, and absolutely stunning visual improvements.

Really the thing to watch in my opinion are the graphics.  While Aion is already arguably one of the best looking MMOs on the market right now, it still doesn’t look as good as a CryEngine game could.  If the graphical improvements shown here happened, then the game would finally look that good.  The weather effects especially here look amazing.

Of course, none of this means a thing if they can’t fix their broken 20-30 quest design.  I suppose they’re already working on that.  This is a very good thing.

Blade & Soul – now with 20% less clothing

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

For those of you who play Aion and feel like your heroine wears too much clothing, NCSoft has you covered with their upcoming title “Blade & Soul”.

Yes, I am being sarcastic.

Joking aside, the trailer makes the game look very well presented, especially in animation, graphics, and sound.  It’s extremely difficult to figure out what exactly game play will be like, if it’s a traditional MMO or some a more action-RPG kind of game, and if there’s PvP or if some of the monsters just look like player characters.  I’ll keep you posted if I learn more.  Fair warning, the whole trailer is 11minutes long, so unless you actually want to see all the class previews, you get the idea by the 2 minute mark.

Thank you Sega

Monday, November 16th, 2009

So a couple years ago I had to join some Sega online club in order to participate in the Universe At War: Earth Assault beta.  What I got out of it as giving Sega my contact info was a completely unplayable beta.  I would go on to not buy the game based off its very “meh” demo, even though it had an absolutely fantastic soundtrack by Frank Klepacki of Command & Conquer fame (a sound track that you can download for free by the way.  I recommend you do).

Anyway, much to my surprise I got an e-mail last weekend from Sega asking me if I’d like into the demo of Bayonetta early.  I don’t know how Sega figured out I had a 360, maybe I told them, but the answer to that is a gigantic yes.

So I’ve downloaded it, I’ve played it and let me tell you, it’s good.  While I still feel guilty for admitting my interest in the game since it features a curvy woman in a skin-tight outfit who gets more naked the more powerful her spells are, and whose ultimate attacks are called “climax moves”, the game play is momentously solid.  It is the same kind of over-the-top action you expect from a Devil May Cry game, but in a vastly different flavor.  The team has done a fantastic job of creating a unique fighting style for Bayonetta and I can already see there’s tons of depth to be explored with it in the full version of the game.  I can’t quite put my finger on it but for some reason the combat feels more fluid than it does in Devil May Cry 4, and it’s certainly much easier to dodge than it was in that game.

My only complaint so far is that I’m gonna need a better TV to play this game.  The camera likes to stay pretty far away from Bayonetta (surprising giving how much work the team put into her “assets” *ahem*), and that can make it hard to make out the white-colored baddies standing against stone-colored floors and backgrounds if they are more to the background.  This is an issue since dodging is just as important in this game as aiming your cross hairs on the target’s head in a FPS is.  Dodging unlocks a slow-mo “Witch Time” mechanic, during which you have a few seconds to just absolutely pound your foes and get bonus points for doing so.

So, long story short, thank you Sega for giving me early access to this game.  I can definitely add this one to the list of “Pick it up in January” titles this year.

Now quit screwing about and release a good Sonic game.

BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Trailer

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Can we say new BlazBlue? Can we say two new characters? Can we say I finally get to beat the ever-living piss out of Hazuma because he freakin’ deserves it?

Can I get a HELL YEAH?!

Starcraft II Battle report IV

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Oh hey look, I got a new online RPG!  Oh hey look the site stops getting updated regularly.  Surprise surprise! -_-

Right so wanted to call something to your attention: The fourth Starcraft II battle report.  If you haven’t been following along with these yet, do so.  It’s interesting to see one where siege tanks and thors are finally used to get a jist for just how effective they still are in the new game.  I’m still a bit worried that the Terrans are a bit OP in SCII so far, but that might again be because they have been in better hands in most of these battle reports.

Aion open beta gameplay part II

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

The other four classes get their own video – now with custom music so you don’t have to listen to the one-sided ventrilo conversations I accidentally recorded >.>

Watch more videos of Aion

Aion Open Beta – gameplay video part I

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Mostly speaks for itself.  Part II Coming soon.

Watch more videos of Aion

Aion Open Beta now actualy an Open Beta

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

So I’ve been playing in the Aion open  beta since Sunday, and while I was gonna wait to say anything about it until I had made some videos to go with, the one issue with the “open beta” is that it hasn’t really been open.  Rather, you had to either have already pre-ordered the game, or be a paying FilePlanet subscriber.

Now some of us were already planning on buying the game on day1, so we went ahead and pre-ordered to get in, but having such requirements is still poppycock for an “open beta” – which is why I’m happy to report they lifted them.  Open Beta is now open to the North American public, going on until this coming Sunday.

You can go here to sign up, here to get the client, here to learn more about the game’s basics and lore, and here’s a good thottbot/WoWHead style service to plug into.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

PS: For those of you wondering, it’s apparently pronounced “Ion,” like “Ion cannon.”  The A is silent I guess.  Signs of a foreign game clearly. update

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

Hey guys, just wanted to let you know I updated my portfolio again.  This time I’ve added two new sites I made with University Relations for you to look at.  Please take the time to check them out and tell me what you think! 🙂