I have been following Fallout 76 a lot lately. The subsystems and graphics look amazing, but it also sounds like an exciting hybrid for Bethesda. While Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) does have some PvP elements, we have never seen a Fallout game with “MMO-esque” PvP. It feels like with the advertising for 76 that Bethesda is putting a lot into the PvP aspects and they are more than happy to talk about it. This isn’t “bolt on” PvP, this is legitimate, “built into the game” PvP.
As with any PvP system, the key in 76 is going to be able to balance the griefers with the people who want to partake in legitimate PvP, that’s why when I saw this quote from Todd Howard stuck out:
“[our PvP] turns assholes into interesting content.”
The plan is this:
1.) Johnny farms for hours and gets to be Mr. Badass when it comes to equipment.
2.) Johnny gets bored of regular PvP and wants to pwn some noobs, so he goes out into the game (note: weapons are on a normalized level curve, which makes it a little harder) and starts killing level 5 guys who just got flagged for PvP.
Here is where the magic happens:
3.) After killing the low-level players, Johnny now has a bounty on his head. When he is eventually put down, the player who puts him down will receive the (hefty?) bounty from Johnny’s caps (in-game currency).
4.) When he is marked for bounty, he is marked on all other players’ maps. Maybe marked is not the best word to use here, he is featured as a bountied player to all other players; however, he cannot see the other players on his map, and his bounty added silently to his character from his perspective.
I like the plan, and I think it ads an extra layer to anti-griefing. My thoughts are:
The silent bounty is key to this system.
This potentially could add an additional trophy for bounty players. For example, look at me - Not only am I powerful enough to kill noobs, but I also challenge anyone to ‘come at me.’ If this person is successful at holding people off, then Bethesda has just created an unofficial ladder for people to brag about on forums.
They need to make it hurt for the bountied player. Not only should they have to have caps removed, but they need destroy all armor, force repairs, do something to make it hard for them to bulk back up.
My favorite PvP system of all time was the original EQ on the original PvP servers. It came down to: you died, and the person could loot your entire body. If I recall right, SOE ended up making this just one item lootable eventually.
There were tons of griefers in that system, but also some cool unofficial community groups that would form when people banded together to take down people and loot all their stuff and split it between the group with the player’s eventual death. I am excited about this new system, but also just as excited to see how what game system organically comes from this.
Full interview about PvP at Quakecon can be seen here:
I am an avid Star Wars comics and book reader. I have had a few people ask me about starting to read SW comics and I have to give them this crazy rundown that usually sounds something like this:
“So Marvel started making comics back in the 70s when the movies came out, then a company named Dark Horse took over. Disney ended up buying the franchise and starting with a blank slate, tabula rasa. So, while they are some good stories, anything during that Dark Horse (DH) period isn’t canon. And actually, even though Marvel printed the original series, a lot of that isn’t canon either because they have what is called the “new continuity”. So just to be safe (and stay in canon) You want any Marvel comics after 2015 except for a few series like Son of Dathromir which is canon and is DH. “
Usually, their faces have folded in on themselves at this point and they just ask:
“Well, what should I start with?”
and my answer is ALWAYS:
The original Lando miniseries was brilliant. This was one of the early stories that one of my favorite new writers handled (Charles Soule) and he knocked it out of the park. The art by Alex Maleev is absolutely on point also. Probably some of my favorite comic art in all of SW. There are 5 issues in the series and it chronicles Lando and Lobot as the get out of one debt and fall into another.
One of the neater things about the series is not only the two alien creatures they accompany (the clones Aleksin and Pavol) but also that some of the things they find. Now, years later you can see how some of those things now tie into other parts of the canon especially in regards to the Sith and the lengths that they will go through to retain power. Also if you watch there are definitely some things on board the ship that you will see not only in other SW comics but also the movies.
It looks like the series is available digitally for Kindle/Comixology and also there is a really good Hardcover where you can get the full initial Lando, Leia and Chewy series all in one book. I can’t recommend this series enough and I love talking to people after they have read it and seeing if they thought it was as awesome as I did.
I watch a lot of sportscar enduro, F1 and pretty much anything under the sun that goes fast and let me tell you unless that video is sped up a bit - that car is going faster than 99% of the cars I have seen in my life.
After doing a little research here is what I discovered:
This was a stunt designed by a guy named Ken Carter that wanted to jump the St. Lawrence River in Canada. This jump was going to be over one mile and was going to shatter any previous record by a long shot.
The car was a rocket-powered Lincoln Continental.
The ramp was a 1400 ft monstrosity.
ABC paid $250k for the rights to show it along with the National Film Board of Canada.
I used the word “designed by” above because up until the day of the stunt Ken Carter was supposed to do the stunt but had to cancel the first attempt at the stunt because of mechanical reasons. It looks like he was kinda nervous about a second attempt, and it sounds like the people that had put backing into the feat didn’t want to lose any money if Carter backed out, so it seems they secretly hired another stunt driver Kenny Powers (no, not that Kenny Powers) to do the stunt while they lured Carter to another city.
Powers was in the car when the above tweet’s movie took place. There were bumps on the ramp, the car shook and pretty much melted away at the pinnacle of the slope, however the parachutes did deploy and Powers came down with only 8 broken vertebrae and 3 broken ribs. The car was supposed to get up to 270, however, bumps on the ramp caused Powers to lose acceleration. He was getting thrown around in the car so much he couldn’t keep his foot on the gas and only launched at a mere 180 mph.
The entire five years of making the jump were chronicled by the above mentioned National Film Board of Canada in The Devil at Your Heels. If you fast forward to about 1:32:00 you can see Powers getting pumped up and honestly looking at the body language of everyone it seems like he is really trying (and failing?) to pump himself up while everyone around him has a look about them of “this shit ain’t going to work”.
In search of a universal distance algo to support a generic model for Nearest Neighbor Problems (of which there are tons in Computer Sci/Data Modeling). note: after reading this, it doesn’t sound like anything was specifically found? Universal Method to Sort Complex Information Found.
90s R&B Writers find new life in Korea and K-Pop:.
“K-pop’s willingness to acknowledge its debts to R&B leads to an odd phenomenon for the genre’s ace writers – a feeling more familiar to American jazz musicians, who have long been valorized overseas and overlooked in their homeland. “It’s almost like you get more honor outside of your own country for what you do sometimes,” Kelly admits.”
My style of news consumption has changed a bit as of late. Twitter has been a bit ‘off’ for me for the past year or so. I have a few rules with Twitter:
1.) Never go off the timeline. Don’t willingly wade into the mire.
2.) Be liberal with unfollowing/blocking/muting.
3.) Use the ‘muted words’ option - it is your weapon against ‘what are we mad at today?’ type stuff.
Even using these rules over the past year, Twitter is sometimes reaching upwards of 15-20% garbage for me. Part of it is Twitter showing the likes of people I follow. Not a single person I have ever conversed with about Twitter enjoys that feature. Just get rid of it. I think in a few years that “feature” may be the looked upon as the start of the downfall.
That being said, Twitter is still handy as a channel for finding interesting things. So I have come up with a solution that cuts away most of that 20%, and it involves just good old RSS.
Here is the summary of how I am doing most of my news consumption over coffee in the mornings. Most of this is kludged together via a Feedbin account:
Ignore collective/non-breathing Twitter accounts. Anytime I want to follow a website, first look for an RSS feed. If they don’t have an RSS feed, then fuck’em.
Feedbin has a neat option to allow for just showing tweets that contain a link on your news list. To subscribe to people using this method via Feedbin, turn on ‘link only’ (Subscription Options → Twitter options → Media Only) for those that post interesting links.
Move all mail list subs to Feedbin via their account email proxy. This is an excellent and underlooked feature of Feedbin. Look under ‘Settings → Newsletter Address’ and resub to all your mailing lists and have each email come in as a feed element.
Monitor the sparklines on your subs and don’t be afraid to drop people. Blogs get stale (hey look at this one!). If someone starts reposting in the future, you will eventually come across it again.