Saturday, August 30, 2008

Finally, Some TF2 Content

I know my readers have been dying to hear more about TF2 on the blog, and I live to please. Have you ever checked out the TF2 Statistics page that Valve maintains? Some things are immediately obvious: If only 58% of players have the most common achievement, and not even 50% have the next most common, we can safely assume that most people who own TF2 haven't played it all that much. For purposes of determining Achievement frequencies, I'd double the percentage of people who have earned the particular Achievement to determine the number of people who have earned it that have played for more than a few minutes.

Despite this adjustment, we find that only 50% of people, (adjusted from 25%), have earned possibly the easiest achievement ever: Surgical Prep. A weight on the left mouse button can charge a full über before the round starts, yet more people have killed 1.000 people than have held down the heal button for about 40 seconds.

The first achievement in frequency that I don't have is Sentry Gunner. I just don't play the "safe" locations for sentries, and when I do, some über comes in and rocks my base. The thing is, people have gotten better at dealing with sentries over time. If I had played engineer at the very beginning of TF2, I could have walked away from a level 1 sentry and earned the achievement in the first round.

Everyone loves the unlockable alternate weapons for the classes, and I've thought of one that could be cool. You know how Solid Snake can plant C4 on people's backs, then set it off later? I think it'd be neat if a spy could put a bomb on someone's back instead of backstabbing them. It might not drop disguise, since there would be several penalties:
  • The bomb would have some sort of countdown, and would have a beeping noise, or something to that effect. Medics could activate übers, or overheal the target, bringing them outside of the fatal range.
  • There would be limited ammo, so a spy couldn't bomb everyone on a team all at once.
I don't know how practical this would be, but it seems like it could be fun. I'm sure there are balance issues that I'm not anticipating, but I don't imagine it would have a huge game-changing effect.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Venture Bros is at it Again

Did you see the Venture Bros Season finale? More show than most have in an entire season.

I don't want to spoil it, so I'll just say that there are at least three things that I never would have expected.

I have a feeling that there is something very important hidden in the statue of Jonas Venture in front of the Venture compound. If this turns out to be true, then I am awesome. If it turns out to be Jonas himself, somehow sealed in carbonite, then I get bonus points.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Russian Georgia

This entire "Russia invading Georgia" thing just drives me crazy. If the US did have most of its military bogged down in the middle east, and had not annihilated its international reputation, there's no way that Russia would have tried to pull this garbage. This is clearly a political move, timed to coincide with the media attention on the Olympics, then pulling back to make concessions, but still keeping what they want.

I don't like talking about political type things in this blog, but I had to get this off my chest.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Review

While watching Star Wars: The Clone Wars, I came up with a variety of reviews. For the first half hour or so, I had settled on a review that said simply "Sh*te".

After the first hour, I had settled on, "varies from 'so bad it's good', to 'so bad it's terrible'.

Now that I've had time to consider the entire movie, I have a review:

"There is a Hutt who is apparently based on Truman Capote."

I don't think there's anything else to say.

It turns out there is something else to say: "Ziro was originally going to speak Huttese. George Lucas stepped in and specifically asked for Ziro to sound like Truman Capote."

From the Wookiepedia.

Screw you George Lucas, please leave Star Wars alone.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My Computer Sucks

So, the heavy update comes out, and I get the sandvich, which, by the way, is awesome, then my computer decides to pee itself.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008


You may have seen the latest part of the Heavy Update: Arena Mode. I'm going to give it a chance, but my initial reaction is negative. The last thing that I want to see is Team Fortress: Counter Strike, and I have a feeling that that's what this will dissolve into, especially in random public games.

One thing I do like: With a more open, less structured map, with only one key point that isn't necessarily important, scouts will have a chance to really shine.

They've also revealed an alpine environment. Not too exciting for me. I'm going to give that a chance too, though.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Half Life 2 Ep 1: Gnome of Your Business

So a friend of mine had an extra copy of Half Life Two, Episode One, and gave it to me. I realized that I would have to either play it or look for a job, and the course became clear: I have to get the achievement for launching the gnome into space. That's right, I'm going to get one of the harder achievements in video games, and I'm not going to use a guide. I'll have updates of my progress as I go.

Yes, I know that people that are more interesting than me have done this months, or even years, ago. I don't need your sass.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Heavy Update

If you're me, you've been looking at the Heavy Update page eagerly. They've announced two of the alternate weapons, and a new map.

A common thread runs through each of the updates. The primary item for each class, (the flamethrower, the medigun, and now, Sasha), have poor replacements. The Kritzkrieg is almost universally mocked, the Backburner was only an improvement when it gave +50 HP, and Natascha's slowing effect probably won't compensate for the -25% damage.

I think keeping the primary weapon the same makes the classes more predictable. I approve.

The Achievements are laid out. They've cut short the tradition of getting a million "whatevers" for each class. Instead, the Heavy needs to get 1.000 assists. I wonder if the focus on getting assists for the achievements is due to the nature of the heavy, or due to the designers wanting to make it less rewarding to play like an idiot to earn achievements. If you're going for an assist, you need to 1. Be near allies, and 2. Shoot the enemy. If an ally of mine was grinding achievements like that, I honestly wouldn't mind.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I'm off!

I'm going to be away at the boundary waters for the week starting monday, so good luck getting a game going without me, losers!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Boxey To Perched

The map that I've been making for TF2 has gone through a bunch of iterations, and I give each one a new name. This is boxey.

I know you're saying, "carsonist, how could someone possibly improve on this?" Well, shut your filthy word-hole, because there's a lot of work that I did to make it even more awesome, if that's possible. Here's Expanded, almost the most recent draft. I've added more expansive windows in the current version, but it still looks basically like this.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Map Making In TF2

I haven't updated in a while. I was hoping that someone would solve my character contest before I did another post. This one isn't nearly as hard as my other unsolved character.

Anyway, I've been making a map in TF2 lately, as anyone that I regularly talk to knows. It's been improving to the point where soon the entire thing will have to be scrapped and replaced with a new map. Next post, I'll get some screen shots showing the progress my map has taken. It's pretty drastic.