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Wednesday, May 23 2018 @ 06:44 AM -08

TPU stats reset

The stats for TPU have been reset for the new year. As usual, the previous year's stats have been archived and can still be accessed by clicking the '2014' link in the left sidebar.

Another game developer screws its biggest fans

UPDATE 2015Jan31: After I originally posted this, my curiosity got the better of me and I bought the game. Wow. It's terrific. I particularly enjoy the 'solo' mode, where you're playing in the same universe as everyone else, but you never encounter other human players, only NPCs. Given the data storage requirements for a fully-populated Milky Way galaxy, the dynamic nature of the universe, and the fact that I can play without ever having to deal with griefers, I can totally live with the lack of an offline mode. It's a huge contrast with that griefer heaven, EVE Online. It's fun to see how EVE expats want desperately to play E:D, but are then turned off because they can't pick on less experienced players.

Say you're a game developer, and you need money. Step 1: promise your new game will have features people really want, like offline play. Step 2: rake in the dough via Kickstarter. Step 3: announce that the game won't have offline play after all. Step 4: refuse to give refunds to anyone who contributed money and actually played the early demo version. Step 5: face the wrath of gamers and the ridicule of the Internet.

This is exactly what David Braben did with the upcoming Elite:Dangerous. If this scenario sounds familiar, it's probably because EA did something very similar with SimCity 5. Except that EA never promised offline play or took money from people before disappointing them. They just said offline play wasn't possible, when in fact it was, and forcing online play was only done to prevent unauthorized copying (DRM).

What Braben has done is much worse. Why would anyone trust him or his projects in the future?

Minecraft 1.8.1 released

Minecraft 1.8.1 fixes 116 bugs and improves performance.

Other changes of note in 1.8.1:

  • Jack o'Lanterns - Can be used to create iron golems and snow golems again
  • Maps - Changed some colors
  • Mobs - No longer run from creepers
  • Potion of Leaping - Can now be extended with redstone
  • Witch huts - Newly generated witch huts can spawn witches on Y 64 to 71; this allows for three spawning floors in witch farms
  • Options - Renamed "Multiplayer Settings" to "Chat Settings". Off/fancy/fast clouds. Off/on entity shadows. Fast/fancy now only controls leaves and rain particles.
  • Dropped items - Now rotate on fast graphics

The main Minecraft page on this site has been updated with information about version 1.8.1. The JDRGaming Minecraft server will be updated to version 1.8.1 shortly.

Nintendo bricks Wii U consoles

It looks like the geniuses at Nintendo haven't learned anything, and are continuing to act like that console you purchased isn't actually yours. Nintendo recently changed the Terms of Service on its Wii U consoles, which in itself isn't a big deal, but in this case, choosing to disagree with the new ToS will cause your console to stop working. Exactly what Nintendo hopes to accomplish with this idiotic move is a mystery.

TPU stats formula changed

Several days ago I once again tweaked the formula used to calculate points in the TPU stats.

Note that you can ignore the points column completely and simply sort the stats by Score, Kills, Score per Round (S/R), Kill/Death Ratio (K/D), gold/silver/bronze stars - just click the associated heading.

The new formula places less emphasis on number of attacks and now includes team kills. Here's the formula:


Microsoft to buy Mojang?

According to rumour, Microsoft is planning to buy Mojang, the company that develops Minecraft. This would be kind of weird, since Markus "Notch" Persson - the creator of Minecraft - has been a vocal critic of Microsoft in the past. If the rumours are true, one wonders how long it will take Microsoft to mess up Minecraft.

Update 2014Sep15: It's confirmed. Microsoft is buying Mojang:

Minecraft 1.8 released

Minecraft 1.8 was released to the general public today. The new version fixes a ton of bugs, and adds numerous new block types (including several special blocks), new mobs, new mob behaviour, a spectator game mode, new stats, new server rules, and much more. Client performance has been improved, as has the server list.

You can find all the details about the new version on the Mojang blog, the Minecraft forum, and the Minecraft Tumblr page.

Your client should update itself to the latest version automatically. The JDRGaming Minecraft server will be updated to the new version later today. The Minecraft page will be updated at the same time.

Konami screws its biggest fans

By now most avid gamers are well aware of the attitudes of game producers towards anyone who dares to create work based on commercial games. Even if there's never any intention to make money from artwork, mods, game conversions, platform migrations, graphics updates, or any of the other millions of ways a game can be celebrated by its biggest fans, the lawyers almost inevitably step in and shut it all down.

But perhaps the worst case scenario for these hard-working and dedicated fans is when they have what appears to be approval from the game producer, only to have that approval pulled after a ton of work has already been completed. That's what happened to the people migrating the 1987 NES game Metal Gear to the Steam platform.

Perhaps the most annoying thing about these ridiculous take-downs is that the work being done by these fans is essentially free promotion for the original game and the company that produced it. The kind of thing big game companies pay other big (advertising) companies to do on a regular basis. Maybe this is part of the copyright mindset, in which if something is 'free' it should be regarded with suspicion. What a waste.

New BF2 server only fully works with FH2 and Project Reality

As you're by now hopefully aware, Gamespy recently kicked the bucket. Gamespy's master server and login/account servers for Battlefield 2 no longer exist. Anyone running Battlefield 2 will notice long delays as the game tries to contact these now-defunct servers, and attempts to log in will fail. You can still play the game, but only offline.

The good news is that the developers of the BF2 mods Forgotten Hope 2 and Project Reality created patched versions of the BF2 server and client. These programs have been modified to communicate with new, alternative master and account servers. The JDRGaming BF2 server was updated to use the modified server program on July 1. If you use the modified BF2 client program included with Forgotten Hope 2 2.47 (or higher), you won't see the delays, and you will be able to log in. You will also see servers listed on the Internet tab in the in-game server browser.

However: I just finished testing the new BF2 server - the modified server provided by the developers of Forgotten Hope 2 and Project Reality to get around Gamespy's demise - and found that the in-game server browser only shows FH2 and Project Reality servers. Vanilla BF2 servers are not listed, and neither are other mods such as Hard Justice and AIX2.

Because of this, the JDRGaming BF2 server will no longer run Hard Justice or AIX2, unless someone figures out how to get servers running those mods listed in the in-game server browser. Players would still be able to join directly using the server's IP address, but that's not a long-term solution.

I do plan to look at Project Reality, and if I like what I see, I may start running it on the JDRGaming BF2 server occasionally.

The Forgotten Hope 2 server list shows FH2 servers that use the new PR/FH2 master browser.

BF2 server upgraded to run FH2 2.48

The JDRGaming BF2 server is now running Forgotten Hope 2 version 2.48. The new version was pushed out on Monday in response to problems with the FH2 client launcher and main program that were causing long delays. The problems started when the Gamespy master server finally went offline a few days ago.

The FH2 client launcher should offer to download version 2.48 and update your client files automatically. You'll need to do that before trying to join the JDRGaming BF2 server.

The new version also includes some changes to maps and single-player/coop gameplay. Here are some links to the related announcements: