Long Commentary

http://www.barrysworld.com/news/columns.asp?Author=82&Category=6&Item=24488

Long Commentary | Comments (1)
Sunday, August 12, 2001, 23:01

Having just read Leviathon`s column over on QuakeNation I’ve got to admit that it got me thinking a bit more about admining in general and cheating on the whole. Now I am fully aware that cheating has been covered before and that nowadays, in terms of subject matter, it seems older and dryer than the Sahara Desert.

I`m also fully aware that everybody out there has an opinion on cheating and what does/doesn`t fit into that category so I`m not setting out to take chunks out of Leviathon or his perspective on cheating (so please don`t take this as such m8). Basically what I`m doing is making a comment that I thought was far too long to tack onto the bottom of his column, this way I can just leave a URL 😀

Here goes nothing…..

Everyone who plays a game adheres to the rules, and these rules are either part of the restrictions in the medium the game is set, or are enforced by knowledgeable officials. In CS the medium is the CS client, server and the bits that cause lag, with the officials being public or league admins. Anything that forcibly changes the game medium such that by doing so your interaction with the world is different to other peoples is cheating.

To start off with I must say that using Counter-Strike as an example wasn`t such a great idea for a couple of reasons. Firstly because these days I think everybody is to wound up about cheating in Counter-Strike. These days if you randomly picked 20 players, sat them down in front of 20 brand new identical PC`s with clean fresh installs of the game on them, all of which are made read only as to prevent tampering, all using the same config, each in its own sealed cubical and asked them to play for 30 minutes, my guess would be that within 15 minutes that at least one of them would start making cheat accusations.

Secondly anybody that knows Counter-Strike knows that the half-life engine upon which it runs is shit. We all know that the developers of Counter-Strike have said on
numerous occasions that it allows people to do things that they wish they could prevent, but haven’t been able too. We also know that the engine is never going to get any better and accept this because Counter-Strike is such a good a game just on paper that we won`t allow the backdated technology upon which it runs to keep us from playing it. No matter how good an engine is for a game it can never make up for gameplay *cough* Quake 3 *cough* 😉

So using this way of looking at cheating, what do I think of Bunny Hopping and Strafe Jumping. Well, I don`t consider them cheating, in fact I consider them a skill and good luck to anyone who can use them to their advantage
Why are they not cheating? It`s because they are allowed within the constraints of the medium, the CS client and server. Until such a time as the medium is changed, or the admins condemn it and police the servers, it is allowable.

I can`t ever agree with this argument I`m afraid as in my eyes it will always be flawed. Now what I`m about to say here I`ve probably already said before and will no doubt end up saying again at some point in time, that’s just the way life is I`m afraid.

How I follow the logic in the column is that it seems to state that `Anything you can do which the engine lets you is fine`. Now for Counter-Strike specifically this is just a no go area. Following this argument would make Hostage Jumping in the game allowable. Now this may seem like an extreme example and some of you might be saying `Bunny Hopping and Hostage Jumping aren`t the same thing` and to those of you I respond How?

Both give you an advantage, for Bunny Hopping its speed, for Hostage Jumping it’s a better position (generally). Both are skills, you can`t just spontaneously do either of these things, to be good takes practise. Both are things that the developers of Counter-Strike didn`t want anybody to do and finally but by no means least both are unrealistic.

Now I can both bunny (badly) and hostage jump, however I refrain from doing it in publics as it gives me an unfair advantage and in leagues I will always conform to the rules given out. My argument to counter doing either though is the core fact that they’re both bullshit. Counter-Strike is built on the premise that it`s supposed to be a Realistic Counter-Terrorism Mod. Now you know its not (and never will be) 100% realistic, I also know its not and those of us that play it accept this fact. However I won`t accept people that try and justify making the game any more unrealistic than it already is as that goes against the games essence.

Anybody wishing to counter this argument feel free to please e-mail me a photograph of either a member of a Counter-Terrorism organisation jumping from left to right whilst on a mission or a Terrorist standing atop a 20ft high stack of hostages.

Let`s move onto scripts. Are they cheating? Was Sujoy`s (I think) exploit of fast weapon switching in Quake cheating when he wrote a set of binds and aliases to make sure you never died with a decent weapon in your hand? Now we`re into the good stuff, this is what you should be debating about. Scripts to help bunnyhoping, cheating? Buy Scripts? Scripts for this, scripts for that, are they ALL cheating? Where do you draw the line?

With regards to scripting I`m divided. In leagues, if it were possible to enforce, I think scripts shouldn`t be used at all so the competition remains as level as possible. However since there is no method to put in place such a system other than asking people to enforce it themselves, which is hardly reliable, I concede that scripts will be used in competitive environments. In publics I`m not so fussed, although when people use announcing buy scripts I want to lop off their sexual organs because I just don`t see the point. (rant) Who cares that you bought a fucking MP5? You`re only going to live for all of 20 seconds before you die and lose it FFS (/rant)

As to where you draw the line its also hard to be specific. My personal guess is that scripts that do something you couldn’t do personally are a definite no no, for example Bunny Hopping scripts. Scripts that do things faster than you could I think are also a no no, for example Grenade spamming scripts. Scripts that do monotonous things that don`t truly affect the game are I believe ok, for example a round start buy script. I say this because I too get tired of having to ask for my AK47 to be delivered into my hands at the start of rounds. Also because I can always buy all the things I need quickly enough at the start of a round I`m not gaining any advantages over another player.

Makes sense?

MYstIC G

Time…..

http://www.barrysworld.com/news/columns.asp?Author=82&Category=6&Item=24431

Time….. | Post a comment..
Thursday, August 9, 2001, 01:02

Ok once again it’s probably been a little too long since I last updated this little ole column but I’ve got 5 minutes to spare so here goes.

TribesNation
I’m going to be working with Irn-Bru and Fergus to see if we can’t bring back some of TribesNation`s spark. In case you haven’t seen it already the post is here over on TribesNation

BWTL FunCup
Well HAI didn’t quite achieve their goals of world domination this time. Ah well always the Tribes 2 League 🙂

Comments
Well all I can say is “Ohhhhhh Shiny and New” nice one Trebz 🙂

Admins
#BWAdmins is now open for business on QuakeNET, expect to find me idling there as well now 🙂

Well unfortunately the 5 minutes are up so I’m going to have to mosey on along.
Today’s column was brought to you by the smiley 🙂 and the number 5

MYstIC G

Cool, Crap And Counter-strike

http://www.barrysworld.com/news/columns.asp?Author=82&Category=6&Item=24222

Cool, Crap and Counter-Strike | Comments (4)
Tuesday, July 24, 2001, 22:33

Ok I guess it’s been far too long since I last did an update so time to shift this brain outta neutral, although the way I’m feeling at the moment reverse would probably suit me.

Cool
Finally getting some seriously nice weather in this rotten little country.
Nuff Said

Crap
Watching morons/cunts/prats/retards get immunity. Deals like this benefit nobody.
Nuff Said

Counter-Strike
Hmm how to put this….. arrrrrraaaaaaaaggggggggggghhhhhh. This game is becoming more frustrating by the day. Firstly this new Half-Life “Patch” (1.1.0.7) comes along. Well sorry to say this but Sierra must be taking the piss now. Ohh look it has a new Auto-Updater….. oh wait Half-Life already had one of those, so onto Death Match Classic….. oh wait already downloaded that, so what about….. erm wait a minute, what the fuck is actually in this patch????? Answer – Sweet Fuck All

Now I know that patch 1.1.0.8 is supposedly just around the corner and that should be a good thing but its already bloody overdue….. ah fuck it I’m bored with trying to put this into a concise, clear, well thought out argument so here is my summary for Sierra
FIX THE FUCKING GAME ALREADY
Nuff Said

Wrestling
I’m fed up of all the crap that gets spouted every time this subject gets brought up, if all you do is watch it then you know fuck all so keep it buttoned.
Nuff Said

MYstIC G

The Future’s Bright, The Futures A Big Grey Cloud

http://www.barrysworld.com/news/columns.asp?Author=82&Category=6&Item=23971

The future’s bright, the futures a big grey cloud | Post a comment..
Saturday, July 7, 2001, 04:01

Today has been one of those days where I couldn’t help but think about what lies ahead. I don’t know why but today has been a random jumble of thoughts all about what lies ahead. Then whilst watching an episode (Season 1, Episode 1 to be exact) of The Sopranos, a totally excellent Mafia based TV series from the US based company HBO, there was a scene that struck home quite hard;

(Dr. Melfi): Have you ever had a prostate exam?
(Tony Soprano): Are you kidding? I don`t let anyone wag their finger in my FACE

Nah I’m only kidding that of course wasn’t the quote I was really talking about. The one that actually hit home is the one below;

(Tony Soprano): I don’t know… The morning on the day I got sick, I’ve been thinking. It’s good to be in something from the ground floor. I came too late for that. I know. But lately I’m getting the feeling that I came in at the end. The best is over.

That phrase The best is over started wandering through my twisted psyche over and over again, so much so that it became so very annoying that I decided that somehow I needed to get the phrase out of my head. So basically this is going to be my salvation, a column about the future of gaming (hopefully).

So what’s to come?
Well to be totally honest I’m not really sure. People have come up with various suggestions of how playing games will change in the future. Some speculated that we would all be using Virtual Reality to get our gaming kicks, but that hasn’t happened. I personally wouldn’t like to speculate how people will be playing games 10 years from now but if it’s similar to how we were all playing 10 years ago then I’m not sure that I want to.

I think what I’m getting at is What’s New? What these days is any different than it was 10 years ago? Sure graphics have improved, sure detail levels have risen, and sure games can have more players, etc. but what in essence is new? Well I’m sorry to say it boys and girls but the conclusion that I’ve come to is;

nothing

Sucks doesn’t it? But like I was saying earlier the more I think about it the more it seems like The best is over. I was looking through my, not especially varied, collection of computer games and as I flicked through this list the number of sequels just seemed to mount up. The most obvious series to use here of course it the Quake series. 3 games that are essentially identical. Now before somebody out there decided to e-mail me the exact differences between every version of Quake this is just a generalisation. But it’s an accurate one.

Today the games industry churns out FPS Shooter after FPS shooter after FPS shooter. At least 10 years ago there were still better things to come on the horizon, a FPS shooter may be blasé these days but 10 years ago we were still on platform games. But what have we got to look forward too today? Doom 3???

Of course there are exceptions. Every now and then somebody somewhere has a spark of creative genius and brings us a fantastic title. Recently the most obvious example of this is the excellent Black & White. This game is, in my humble opinion, a masterpiece. It’s a beautifully designed and crafted game that deserves nothing but your full attention.

But in the context of this column it’s just another line in a long line of God games. Can anybody say Populous or perhaps Sim City. Now like I said I love Black & White. But it’s nothing new.

Well it’s creeping up on 4am now so I’m going to wrap this one up whilst I’m still awake. Developers Please work on something new. Anything at all as long as it’s new. Contrary to the phrase that sparked this column I refuse to believe that The best is over. I don’t want to believe it, there has to be a genre out there that somebody hasn’t stumbled across yet. So I implore you;

Please find it. Please find a new genre. Please

And now onto other things…..

Wimbledon
Yeah I know, not exactly anything remarkably interesting but once again it seems good ole England has pinned all its hopes on one man, of course that man is Tim Henman. Being honest I personally don’t follow Tennis, or this man’s career but I’ve got to admit that it would be nice if somebody from this country won this tournament for a change so;

/me crosses fingers & hopes for the best

It’s so true
This little gem has been in my Internet Explorer favourites for quite a while now so I thought I’d finally be generous and share.

Real Life Comics.com is basically about a group of gamers drawn by a gamer called Greg this is definitely worth a look so click, click, click

OK that’s about it once again, as usual I’ve opened a Forum Thread so you guys can let me know what you think.

Until the next time…..
MYstIC G

Is Conflict The Key?

http://www.barrysworld.com/news/columns.asp?Author=82&Category=6&Item=23907

Is Conflict the Key? | Post a comment..
Saturday, June 30, 2001, 18:07

I`ve never really sat down and thought about this at any great length before but today this question has been running around my head over and over

Why do we all play computer games???

So for the past couple of days I`ve been sitting here trying to figure out why it is we all play computer games or at the very least trying to figure out why the hell I`m so addicted to playing them.
Me, Myself and I

Personally I`ve been playing computer games as far back as I can remember, —Warning Entering Flashback— ahhh my trusty old Sinclair Spectrum and Rolling Thunder —Flashback Ends—. Console gaming was where it truly kicked up a gear for me though. The first time I saw the “To be this good takes SEGA -> AGES” adverts I knew that was for me. My love affair with Sega began shortly afterward. Watching as I made Alex Kidd run around the screen of my TV all thanks to a little ole 8-bit Sega Master System filled me with glee. Then in what seemed a remarkably short time it happened, looking back on it now I didn`t even notice, I was hooked on games.

Then, as it always was in the good old days, Sega kept up there reputation for being able to do no wrong and the MegaDrive was born along with their most famous character ever Sonic the Hedgehog. In November 1990 I, along with no doubt many of you, drooled as that little blue hedgehog started running around. Sega churned out top quality game after top quality game with it looking as though there was no end in sight. The Sonic games went from strength to strength with Sonic 2, Sonic 3 and the worlds first plug through game ever, Sonic and Knuckles.

Of course Sonic wasn`t the only things I played. I picked up rakes of great games including Streets of Rage 1 – 3, Atomic Bomberman, Mortal Kombat 1 & 2 but my favourite game was, like most peoples at the time, Street Fighter 2. SF2 is a totally classic title that I still occasionally play to this day, smelly Vega doing that screechy Dooooooooooooooooo followed by a body slam rubbish on me again

After the Immense success of the MegaDrive Sega decided that it was calling off the love affair with its fans. The company lost the plot completely releasing a number of bad machines which all served as nails in the coffins of Sega`s console business. First came the MegaCD then the 32x and lastly and most fatally the Saturn. Sega`s inability to provide a decent follow-up to the MegaDrive is what turned me onto PC gaming.

PC games started for me with the classic Wolfestein 3D by the boys at ID Software. Then of course onward through Doom, Doom II & Quake until we finally arrive at Quake II (I know that`s a bit of a fat leap but I don`t want to bore you all to tears if I can avoid it). Quake II, for a bloody long time, was my all time favourite game. Nothing was more impressive than grabbing the flag in a CTF (my personal favourite being Lokis Minions) game and using that grappling hook to drag your ass back across the level as fast as you could.

Today I`m a Counter-Strike junkie. Today the fun comes from driving that AM bullet right through the head of my opponent from half way across the map. Along with Counter-Strike I also regularly play Tribes 2 and sometimes Quake 3 gets my attention (but compared to Q2 its a piss poor substitute). My Nintendo 64 also receives its share of attention at times, with WWF: No Mercy being the current title I cant put down.

So ok by now I`m sure your thinking “So what? Who cares? What`s this got to do with why we play computer games” and a few days ago I was also uncertain. The common link between Sonic 2`s ring grabbing antics and firing off a Rocket at somebody in Quake 2 evaded me for quite some time but now I believe they all have a common theme.
Conflict

Yes I know, it seemed silly to me at first as well. The thing is though the more you think about it the easier it becomes to understand why such a simple thing as Conflict can be the driving force behind me picking up my AM and you maybe picking up a Spinfusor. In games like Sonic you fought to grab those, which now seem so ridiculously named the more I think about it, Chaos Emeralds.

In games like Wolfestein 3D and Doom you were at conflict with the Nazi`s and the Demons from Hell. I`m still not sure that those two groups aren`t one and the same. Either way you ran around with your gun playing the hero in a “your the last hope” style.

In Quake the level`s were cranked up a notch. Now you got to kick the shit out of your mates properly. Ahhh the joy of using that good ole shotgun to decapitate your best mate. Is there any sweeter feeling? Well probably, but doing that still feels damn good. Online gaming takes the conflict to another level, now its not just you versus some computer AI. It`s you against everybody else you can find. Online gaming allows people to get there adrenalin pumping by not only kicking one persons ass but maybe 2, 5, 10 or more all at once. And that, for me, is the kick. Getting one up on as many people as you can lay your hands on.

It gets better now though as with sites like Csports.net you can actually know just how good you are. Below is my personal ranking bar provided for free by the guys at Csports.net knowing my luck by the time I finish this column my rating will have dropped from 59,063 all the way down to like 15,000,000 or something, I guess if I don`t play for a bit it cant get any worse though

To get one of those for yourself click here and read what is says. You will obviously have to register with the chaps there but in my personal opinion this site is far better than any of the alternatives out there. Anyways if you like you can stick your score for all to see in the forum thread that I`ve started by clicking here and following the instructions that I`ve given there

So peeps go out there and let conflict bring you together in harmony and please post your thoughts / opinions / flames in the forums over here

And now for something completely different…..
Music

On Monday I finally decided to grab myself some new CD`s and so picked up a copy of Dido`s album No Angel which I totally recommend to anybody who hasn`t already got a copy, apart from being stunningly beautiful this lady is also stunningly talented so go pick this one up now. Whilst your there I must also recommend that you get the new Muse album Origin of Symmetry. As with pretty much every other artist on Mushroom Records these guys rock
Admin

As some of you may or may not have guessed I have now joined the ranks as a new Counter-Strike admin. I`m around loads so you guys have no excuse not to pop into IRC and find me if you spot something going on. I`m also quite a night owl so don`t forget to check before you say there are no admins at 2am in the morning
Apologies

Finally I`d like to apologise for my past few updates not really being all that good. I shouldn`t have let them slip as this column is something that I enjoy doing. Hopefully now they will pick up in terms of quality again as I get back into the routine of once again trying to write them regularly.

Right I think that`s covered everything as always feel free to drop me a line.

Until the next time…..

MYstIC G