Tuesday, 24 November 2015

WarThunder - Server Patchy

I was going to come today and say WarThunder server, all is forgiven, I was literally putting my thoughts together during one of the best Realistic Flyouts in my new BF109E4.

I'd had two kills, an assist, I'd landed and rearmed, returning to altitude, was just about to take out perhaps all three AI spotter aircraft... and I got the message....

"has disconnected from the server."

Foolishly, I thought "who?"

Of course, it meant me... I spotted I had a ping of zero, and I was returned to the menu, neither of my kills, were awarded, zero credits, zero progress... From THE BEST GAME I'VE HAD IN AGES....

So frustrating, I have my internet connection permanently monitored, it's up and running, so why was I disconnected from their end?... I could only guess, so I'm not going to bother.

Monday, 23 November 2015

WarThunder - Hit Detection/Reporting in 1.53

I've been having some issues with hit and damage reporting on WarThunder, and I wondered whether I should take this to the public forum or not for a few days...

Firstly, I was having issues with my Tiger H1, I'd get hits, and find them be glancing blows or they'd penetrate knock out crew, but never ignite fuel or ammunition, then I'd get hit and find my ammo burning so fast as to make me look like a zippo.  This discrepancy was not resolved for me with any change of ammunition, and as I changed to other vehicles the effects became more or less pronounced, but were always there.

Switching to aircraft, I found hits were registered a lot, however, many were sparks... But more annoyingly were hits reported to me as critical, or even pilot kills, which had no effect for the opponent... Here is my coverage of just one such instance, I swing into the path of a TBD, I aim for the cock-pit and get a report of the pilot unconscious.... Gun camera footage style, we can see this from the replay:

Clearly, I heard the ding of the critical, and the reported pilot unconscious.

So, at tree-top level, pilot unconscious, in a left banking turn... How did this TBD fair?...

Well, it flew on, and indeed on the return of the circle was firing it's .50 cal, main armament in the wings.

Unfortunately, I collided with it, whilst staring in disbelief, but this is getting typical, that aircraft should have gone out of control, that should have been a crash, my aim was true, and intentionally on the cockpit, both rifle calibre and 20mm munitions struck that area from my point of view.

From his point of view however, they only struck the left wing!

This is clearly something of the server-side, the WarThunder clients don't make decisions as to whom as shot whom, else they'd be open to external influence; we know they're not.  But clearly the server informed my client that I'd knocked the pilot out, when clearly he was still there flying.


Saturday, 14 November 2015

Human Resource Machine - Review

Another game I've been looking at, and enjoying, is one I saw Jacksepticeye playing abysmally on YouTube, I'd been aware of the developers of this game for a while, through their game "World of Goo", though I missed their second title.

So I was happy to pick up this, the third, the first game I've seen being a puzzle style game, based around what is essentially programming.  It's a form of assembler almost, as you have to really think hard to move values to registers, and jump for the comparisons, this is not your higher level language style thing at all... I'm about 1/3 of the way through, and enjoying it immensely.

The premise is to complete the task, so initially this is just to carry everything from left to right, "input -> output" over and over... So level 1 is easy, but then you can "optimise" it, using less commands might be "Start:   Input  ->  Output:  Jump to Start".

You run this, and it take just those three commands, but it takes lots more steps than just going "input -> output, Input -> output"... Giving you the end result challenges...


You can step through the "program" for your little man, and you debug what you're doing, and it does actually teach some very good lessons, I've had to teach myself to be ruthless, as I find myself very much programming verbosely, copying to place to place to compare things, when I could just hold one copy and compare to a value already stored etc, it's hard work to get things right, but then it's even harder to get the optimised number of instructions, but then sometimes harder still to get the right number of optimised steps, you literally (like a compiler) optimised for speed, or optimise for size...

At £7, this has been a great buy, and the music is nice too.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

WarThunder : Enduring Confrontation Thoughts & Tiger H1

In WarThunder, I've had a bit of re-grind to do, after months of absence from the game, I logged back in a few weeks ago to take part in the Enduring Confrontation test, they did two back to back, first was an EC with a set battle rating bracket, you chose your line up and the game put you into your battle bracket based on the maximum Battle Rating of the vehicle line up you selected, I only played air.

My immediate feel for this was, that I spent an eternity in my reserve bi-plane flying to a target, half way to which the timer for a better plane would be up, so I was stuck with trying to farm a ground kill or two before bailing for the better plane, or just being hunted by already airborne opponents, whom had fudged their battle ratings to overwhelm.

Now, the test was German versus Russian, and the Russian sides, in my experience dominated this and it was not very fun to play.  More fun than sitting in the Simulated Battle queue for 12-15 minutes without getting a game, but still not as fun as the next test.

The next battle test Gaijin undertook was an EC with a fixed set of historically accurate aircraft for the line up.  And you had the timers based on Battle rating for this.  I played both the Russian and German sides in this test, and I found it to be much more accessible, you understood much more quickly the tactical situation, you knew what the opponents would be flying, and as such you flew accordingly, it felt like you were more "there" in the moment, and you had a feel for what to expect and do.

For instance, in the first test, it was overwhelmingly, fly at each other, or over each others bases.

In the second, we have bombers, escorts, interdiction, interception, we even had some players flying to distant locations to kill convoys and targets, whilst others did diversions, we saw proper employment of the fighter-bomber role, we saw good use of fighters, and all in all it was a much better experience.

Whether gaijin took these same lessons away with them is unknown, becuase it's been weeks since that test, and there's been no sign of it, the forum post opened up for feedback is a whining nagging, rambling mess, which I can't make head nor tail of, there just seems to be great ideas for game modes from Gaijin, but then they ask the audience for feedback, and the feedback; as with everything on the internet; is so garbled they can't get a clear picture.

This echoes the tests some six months ago, of combined arms, where one selected tanks and an airframe or two and off you went, I remember playing excellent games with my BF110 flying close air support, I saw MagzTV publish videos in the same vein, showing how good close air support and working together is... You know what, not heard a peep about it since, can't find it in the game, can't get a simulated battle, can't play in those fun, real, ways.

So, I've spent sometime in Arcade Tank battles.  I can't stand arcade air battles, but I suffered them in this re-grind, to ace out all the lower planes again.  For some reason all the engine injection system perks were removed, and I had to re-earn them... Having done so, I then went into arcade tank battles, and set about levelling the new tanks in there up.

So, the Pz35(t) was brand new, and then I had to max out all the AA gun platforms.

The end result however, was my opening up the Hetzer and this baby....

As you can see, she's a beauty...

And that's where I stand with WarThunder, I wish Enduring Confrontation would come out.... I really do.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Big Catch Up - Gaming, Programming, Model Railways

Well, I've not been around here for a while... So, where have I been for over a month?...

Just busy... But that doesn't mean I don't have a bunch of stuff to share with you all, I think this break from posting started with the wife and I going on Holiday.  We went to Wales just as the Rugby World Cup started, have you ever been English in Wales as the Welsh beat England at Twickenham?... Not a good vibe towards the English, that's all I'll say.

But Wales was great, so great, we're going back next year.

One thing that struck me however, was that I heard people speaking Welsh, and not just on touristy things, down the coop, people speaking Welsh.  I've not been to Wales since the late 80's, back then as a kid I don't remember hearing anyone speak Welsh, it sort of wasn't done, at least not done in front of us English, lest the Welsh themselves feel self conscious or they avoided trying to make it look like they were talking about us.

Luckily now, speaking Welsh seems to be in vogue, and so I heard that strange, lyrical, twitter a lot.  Down the pub, down the shop, at the chippy... We only had one place where I was conscious that we were being talked about and they took the piss, and that was the chippy, where they over charged the wife for cod & chips, and were commenting on it in Welsh.

For you see there are some words, which just translate, and whatever the woman actually said, what I heard was "how much shall I add onto this English fish?"  And the reply was "double it"...  Hey ho.  She paid, she enjoyed the meal, whatever.

In programming circles, I've continued to be using Python in anger, moving from an Android based app to creating a new website for the company using Apache and mod_python.  This has been a learning experience for me, and I have lots of tutorials in mind to add to the blog.

Gaming I've been playing two major titles, Payday 2 and WarThunder, the later of which I finally bought a premium set the German 109 G2 and some little tank, so there, finally a premium owner, more about that later.

And I've been playing a game called "Human Resource Machine", again more about that later.

Finally, I've been helping the father-in-law debug his model railway track... I have a series of videos and a few pictures here for you all now:

Origami shunting sheds, with Christmas lights inside, then the diesel shunters and to the right one of the diesel (maybe a Deltic) loco's and just pulling out of the station on the right, one of the steam loco's.

Here we see the Pinkston and Bestwood colliery trains on the inner, tight, circles.  Then the Queen of Scots (Mallard class) coming on the outer radius, before we get a de-railment on the far side.

We also see the DCC sound loco struggling to move with the power needs.

A view of the seven station circumferences.

Some movement along the station side, pictured previously.

More footage of the outer radius.

Coronation Class (I think) on the back straight, with DCC Sound playing.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Personal Update: Network In Action

Today, well tonight, has been the first time I've put any stress onto my new network infrastructure.  Going form a wireless N solution to a true wired 1Gbps solution has been like night and day, and of course, unlike the office network this is 1Gbps where I know exactly what is going on.

So, I've had my old Pentium 4 based server, done a stream of 30mbps from it, whilst pulling 50mbps down from EA online (the Star Wars battlefront Beta), and I've also been streaming HD video from YouTube.

It has been an extremely lush experience.

Playing Payday 2 I've also been enjoying that, with the added stability of the network,

Unfortunately, my workstation needs a lot of work, and I think this weekend it's going to have to be a down time, I need to clean the PC, I've got a fan squeaking, and I've also got one of the mechanical HDD's making a real noise.

I am thinking of sneaking an order for a £30 120GB SSD from Amazon into the mix, and the same next month, to sort something better out for my Stream storage drive, unfortunately, I have two sets of car tax to buy, so this maybe nothing more than a pipe dream.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Personal Update: Networking the House

About six months ago, I told you all I'd bought some really nice shielded cat 5 cable, and I planned to install this between the router in the living room and the office, well today I've finally taken that leap, drilling through victorian ceiling and soot, missing twentieth century power lines and an awkwardly placed floor joist....

My ping which was round 83ms TTL is now 7ms, I have my full download speed from my supplier, and indeed I am.  But it was a bloody messy process.

I have sacrificed a few ethernet plugs to the gods getting the wire down and through, the first wire I pushed through just disappeared, I think along the back of the victorian cornice in the living room; one day I may find it.

My eventual trick was to use a 20mm polymer pipe to encase the wire, and also to guide it down the wall in the lower room, this resulted in the wire being out of sight (least colourwise) against the light coloured walls.