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Holy Bot

Bedroom music production, gaming and random shit

Month

September 2014

Joining the Losing Team

In most PvP first person shooters there’s this mechanic that every so often place you on the losing team. Especially if you’re playing with three or more friends in a squad.

That has to do with more player slots being free on the losing team due to a high quit frequency on that team before you join. The game’s matchmaking is then trying to balance the teams by filling up the empty slots.

This is very annoying and discouraging.

Still, I don’t really see how it could be fixed; not being able to join matches in progress would have you waiting a thousand years.

The problem is that noobs quit when their team is losing.

And I’m no better. If I’m playing on a team that loses three matches in a row by 600 tickets or so (Conquest in Battlefield), I would rather quit and scan for another server than to play on. That’s wrong but also some form of self-preservation.

To lose a few matches in multiplayer is of course fine. Reasons could simply be you and your team being properly pwned for sucking. But that’s not what I’m talking about.

It’s just that joining a losing match in progress isn’t that fun. And this is much more common than joining the winning team. Actually, one could argue that this situation is in the nature of PvP – helping your team to turn the tide. Although I doubt the average and casual player is that noble to willingly join a bad team to do so.

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Correction of Audio Quality

Here’s an update, or a rethink, of an old post that claimed that a high-resolution sample rate is better for audio quality.

Well, it’s wrong.

192 kHz digital music files offer no advantages over 48 kHz. Sampling rates over 48 kHz have some nasty side effects, like ultrasonics that cause intermodulation distortion. You still get all the fidelity benefits – smooth frequency response, low aliasing – at the 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz rates.

But do go ahead and set your music project in 24-bit. Though 24-bit is irrelevant to playback, this bit depth does offer a larger dynamic range, is useful for multiple processing in series, headroom and noise floor. 16-bit linear PCM audio doesn’t cover the entire theoretical dynamic range.

It’s useless to distribute music as 24-bit (remember the dynamic range of most types of music is usually less than 12 dB). But nowadays most players can handle 24-bit files, and they don’t harm fidelity. Therefore it’s possible to skip dither solutions to reduce your music project to fit distribution at 16-bit files.

Destiny: Fight the Good Fight

When I first got Destiny I wasn’t sure about many things. I didn’t know whom the Traveler was or what the Darkness was, but I was eager to learn. Hell, I was starving for a new next-gen game.

Unfortunately I still don’t know. The Traveler could be a philosophy, a technology or that giant sphere hovering over the Tower. It seems to have some self-proclaimed protectors called the Guardians, but how the Traveler is communicating with them is still not known to me.

There are three different playable species: Human, Exo and Awoken. It doesn’t matter what you chose, they pretty much play the same. In the beginning of the story, your assistant drone called Ghost, re-activates you from being dead. It says much has changed since you were alive, and that’s that.

There’s no story arc to build a narrative or dramaturgy. You live your second life like it was your first, no questions asked – and still nothing’s clear why you do anything at all.

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Anyway, you fight your way to the Tower – which is a lifeless hub where you can do almost nothing – and then the game starts. Or had it already started? (I’m now on level 20 and still waiting for something to happen.)

There’s this mysterious Stranger that appears a few time during the story, but nothing is revealed about her, and she still seems strange to me.

And who the hell is Rasputin? An AI? What is its legacy, how do we benefit from it?

In a cutscene, halfway through the game, the Awoken are conspiring against you, saying something like: why reveal our true purpose, well by the end of the campaign story this is still a secret.

The Vex is so evil it despises other evil – very cliché, but this doesn’t bring anything in terms of storytelling or even harder enemies. It’s all for nothing.

In brief, I don’t get the story. I think the mythology is weak and there are no motives for doing shit, and all shit works the same way: go to a planet kill aliens, headshot a boss, hijack a network, find coordinates for a new location, repeat.

And the world of Destiny is small, only a handful of planets and moons. It’s a world where nothing ever happens. A pseudo-sandbox game with nothing to do in it. And stay long enough at one place and the enemies will spawn forever like life means nothing at all.

You fight the Fallen and the Hive, Cabal and Vex, and sometimes they fight each other. You fight with friends and random players online, and sometimes you fight solo. You fight without a cause.

Fighting with friends is fun for a bit, but usually ends up in competing over kills, and steal kills your friends will.

The voice acting is really the worst I’ve heard, even though Bungie claims to have rework the much mocked Peter Dinklage recording on the public alpha release.

But on the better side of things, Destiny looks good, that is, if you like non-realistic, heavy saturated matte paintings with sci-fi fantasy touch; you look Boba Fett, riding an Imperial Speeder Bike at dawn. Also the game mechanics works great. This is a first person shooter that feels good.

Verdict: this game had potential once (read: on alpha) but has been abused and badly misconducted.

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