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Friday, February 23 2018 @ 02:45 AM -08

EA adds useless modability and 'impossible' Offline mode to SimCity 5

Remember when SimCity 5 came out, and the gaming community uniformly rejected it? The game's problems included the lack of legitimate modding, and no way to play the game offline.

Well, EA has now fixed all those problems. EA has made some changes to SimCity 5 that they hope will boost its sales, but are in fact generating even more scorn. First, they've made modding possible. With caveats. Lots and lots of them. So many, in fact, that the only legitimate mods are changing the surface appearance of buildings. In other words, you can do all the modding you want, as long as it's boring and worthless. Second, despite earlier saying that offline mode is 'impossible', EA is enabling - guess what? - an offline mode for SimCity 5. Amazing that it took them so long, when it took only a week for someone else to do it after the game was released.

Here's a piece of advice, EA: fire all the lawyers and business school grads who run your business, and hire people who understand the software business, and gaming in particular. You are, after all a GAMING company.

TPU down for maintenance

TPU is currently down for maintenance and will remain down for up to an hour. It should be back up by 11am PST.

Password now required for playing on BF2 server

Anyone wishing to play on the JDRGaming BF2 server must first install both the FH2 mod and Coop Patch C. Both of these files are available in the Files and Downloads section of this site.

Unfortunately, despite the name of the server including "COOP Patch C", it looks like people are trying to join the server without first installing Coop Patch C. Normally, when you do that, your client will crash and the server won't be affected. But for some reason, when some players try to join, the server also crashes. In an attempt to avoid this, I have now added a password to the server. The password is "cooppatchc".

I'll publish the password in a couple of other places (GameTracker, XFire) to make it easier to find. I'm not trying to keep people out of the server, just trying to make sure they understand that there's no point joining if they don't have Coop Patch C installed.

Minecraft 1.7.4 released

Yesterday, Mojang released a new version of Minecraft: 1.7.4. They appear to have released 1.7.3 at the same time, but it's difficult to understand why anyone would want to upgrade to a version that's already out of date. As usual, there was no proper announcement of the new version.

The new version fixes a few bugs and adds the ability to broadcast gameplay via Twitch.tv.

The JDRGaming Minecraft server has been updated to version 1.7.4.

Internet outage

We've been experiencing intermittent Internet over the past day or so. It seems to be back up now, but it may still be intermittently down.

Update 2013Dec07: Another lengthy outage last night, and again it seems fine now. Shaw is sending a technician today.

Update 2013Dec11: Outages continue. Shaw is sending another technician today.

Your XBox One doesn't want you to swear

The XBox One makes it easy for players to create and upload gameplay videos using a feature called 'Upload Studio'. Uploaded videos are viewable by any XBox One user. This seems like a useful way for gamers to promote the games they play, but there's a catch. In making the process of publishing gameplay videos so simple, Microsoft also made it easy to inflict foul language on random, unsuspecting users. Apparently this prospect frightened Microsoft enough that they added a profanity detector, which will temporarily ban offending XBox Live accounts from uploading more videos. This restriction apparently doesn't appear in the console's Terms of Use, which has some XBox One owners understandably upset.

Update 2013Dec05: Techdirt has more about this.

Here we go again...

There are early indications that some new XBox One consoles have bad Bluray drives. The problem is immediately obvious: the drive can't read discs, and may produce abnormal knocking sounds.

Microsoft says that the problem is "affecting a very small number of Xbox One customers". Sound familiar? That's what Microsoft said about the classic "Red Ring Of Death" problem on the XBox 360. That problem led to at least one set of design changes for the 360.

Microsoft also says: "We're working directly with those affected to get a replacement console to them as soon as possible through our advance exchange program." So if you experience this problem, contact Microsoft support to get a replacement.

UPDATE: Apparently Microsoft is giving away free games to XBox One owners affected by this problem, and at least one person was able to fix their console through application of "percussive maintenance".

Your newly-unpacked XBox One is a brick

In a move that has baffled many observers, XBox One consoles will be useful only as expensive paperweights until they are connected to the Internet and a critical update installed. Once again Microsoft seems oddly biased against people with poor or no Internet access, and there will be many sad faces on Christmas morning as a result.