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Tag Archives: gaming

Origins


 

First they came for John Ringo,

but I said nothing,

for I was not John Ringo.

Next they came for Larry Correia,

but this time I spoke up,

for Larry is a brother to me,

and I will bleed for my brother,

and I will show no fear in the face of our enemy.

A few weeks back, I read that a convention in North Carolina (ConCarolinas) uninvited author John Ringo on grounds that they feared for his safety due to what was deemed to be “valid threats”. John graciously accepted their explanation and let it lie, though his fans were, well, pissed is the politest term one can use to describe their displeasure. Then someone decided to slander John on another website, and the feces really hit the rotary impeller. Pretty sure there’s going to be some legal issues for the individual who accused John of vile things in the near future.

However, outside of giving John and his editor a head’s up about what was brewing, I stayed out of it. I know quite a few people at the convention and felt that they, for the most part, handled it well. There were a few hiccups and horrible explanations along the way (sometimes at a convention the right hand isn’t aware of what the left is doing, and vice versa) but overall John was satisfied with their response.

Fast forward to today, when the Origins Convention in Ohio rescinded their GoH invitation to Larry Correia after some individuals (I typed out quite a few different descriptions before settling on the one that would remain PG) raised a huge ruckus and demanded that Larry be removed from programming. No doubt these “concern trolls” exhibited mannerisms which can only be described as “whining two year olds” in order to get their way.

The convention, instead of sticking to their guns and maintaining that they were a convention for all, decided to screw over my buddy. So I crafted the following letter to their Executive Director and fired it off.

Dear Sir,

It recently came to my attention that NYT bestselling author Larry Correia had been uninvited from your convention following an outcry from a few malcontents.

I can attest from personal experience of attending cons with Mr. Correia that, not only is he a gracious guest who loves interacting with all types of fans, is a huge gaming nerd who fits in with the stated mission and goals of Origins according to the website. This attack on his character is nothing more than a witch hunt, very similar to the one which was used on Mr. Correia’s coauthor, John Ringo, a few weeks prior at another convention.

Mr. Correia had always shown grace, been polite, and worked with the concom of every convention he has attended. Those who seek to discredit and destroy him are abusing the rules of your convention in a manner which they were not meant for and raising enough of an outcry that your convention, undoubtedly, feels compelled to respond to. Unfortunately, instead of speaking with Mr. Correia, it appears that you have reacted in a manner which can only be described as “knee-jerk”. You have allowed concern trolls to dictate your guest list while alienating you from a fan base which both pays to see their favorite author and supports other commercial endeavors at conventions as well.

Conventions such as Origins are supposed to be for all fans. However, with outward appearance of appeasement to the vocal minority who seek to undermine all of Mr. Correia’s hard work as well as alienate his fan base from any future conventions you might host, it behooves me to suggest that you are hurting nobody but yourselves with this move.

While I am not as big of a “name” as Mr. Correia, I still have developed quite a following as well, and I have already let my readers know that Origins is not a convention that I will consider in the future. Which is a shame, because literary and gaming are two of my biggest draws.

I do hope that you consider the ramifications of appeasement in your future endeavors. I understand that Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain tried your tactic as well, and history showed just how poorly it worked out.

Sincerely,

Jason Cordova

Now, I’m probably nothing more than a drop in the bucket, but money talks in the convention industry, and if nobody is at your convention spending money, no authors/vendors/artists are going to come.Now, I don’t like calling for boycotts of any convention, because it’s a tough industry. So I’m going to let the convention continue to be abused by those who would rather see a convention fold than simply dealing with someone they don’t like by, oh I don’t know, NOT ATTENDING HIS PANELS?! C’mon people, it’s not hard. You look at the schedule. You see he’s going to be at so-and-so panel. You DON’T GO. Easy peasey.

If you’re fragile enough that someone’s name who you’ve never met or interacted with before can cause you some sort of traumatic injury, you might want to avoid the crushing crowds of a con. I wouldn’t want anyone’s feelings to get hurt if there was an inadvertent apology tossed in there.

In honor of Larry, go out and preorder his latest book. The best way to give someone the middle finger is to support the one they want to shaft.

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World of Tanks and Me


Way back when they had different servers on World of Tanks, an East and a West. The East server was very popular and hosted anywhere from 20k-25k players per night, while the West was a little more sparsely populated, perhaps 6k-10k. It was good, if a little broken on quality of matches. You wanted competitive matches, you played East. You want to stat pad, go West young lad.

Then a new patch came out and suddenly the East server was bogged down with micro lag spikes. It did not matter where you were located in relation to the server, you suffered from micro spikes. This was probably due to packet dumps that occurred in-game (theory, not proven) but nonetheless it created an environment in the game that effectively neutered the quick-reactions needed for scout players. Instead of constantly moving to keep arty and bigger tanks from destroying you, a scout now had to rely on passive scouting only. It took aggressive scout players (hi! like me!!!) out of the game. It did not affect the heavy tanks and tank destroyers as much, and it did nothing to arty players sky cancer, but scouts and mediums almost became unplayable. I quit the game for about 3 months at this point.

Then one day I stumbled upon the fact that the West server did not suffer from the weird micro spikes. Even though I’m on the East Coast the ping rate was better tapping into the West server than it was in the East. World of Tanks became playable again and I was happy.

Then Wargaming decided, in its infinite wisdom (i.e., stupidity) to combine the West and East server into a single Central server. Irritated, I continued to play, though I knew that one day the micro spikes would return.

The new server worked well, however, though my ping rate went from a happy 30-35 to a solid 100. I was able to continue playing, but I noticed that a lot of the random matchmaking was hardcore borked. One team would be heavily stacked and the other be the “leftovers”. Nonetheless, while my Win Rate dropped, my Wn8 (personal statistical counter) continued to rise. I tolerated it, even though I constantly was the best player on a team full of window lickers.

This morning, Wargaming released Patch 9.20.1. I usually play World of Tanks in the morning before I begin to write, so I figured I would check it out before I finished Devastator. I played a match in the T28, my super-slow TD that is a hard camper, and didn’t notice any micro spikes. So I played a game in the T21, which I am arguably one of the best players in the game in this tank. Immediately I noticed that there was a massive amount of lag spikes and micro spikes, all of which led to me getting derped when I pretty much teleported out into the open and parked in front of an enemy KV-2.

I know that every player of the game just collectively winced and muttered “poor bastard”.

One derp shot later and I was turning off the game. Once more I am quitting World of Tanks until this micro spike issue is resolved. I’ve hung with the game for about 6 years now, played it professionally for a full year at one point, but I can’t play a game that bogs down like this. I’m going to quit the clan I’m in right now to create space for new players and will not touch the game until they release a micropatch to fix the lag spikes.

I try not to be too demanding, but when you invest as much time, effort, and money into something as I have, you expect a reasonable return on your investment and not a middle finger. Hell, we built a desktop gaming PC just for this game for competitive purposes!

Since they neutered the game once more, I guess it’s time to go back to Cities: Skylines and build crap until they fix it. The only problem with that is C:S is a time suck, unlike World of Tanks.

Fix the problem, Wargaming, and quit fucking with the game.

An Update of Sorts


An update, of sorts.

Amazon has gone ahead and put M.C.A. Hogarth’s Spots the Space Marine back up in their ebook section. Judging from what I’ve heard, this is a pretty good book that others should pick up to help support the author. Plus, she donates a percentage of book sales to the Wounded Warrior project, which is pretty cool in itself. I’m broke, which is why I haven’t bought a copy yet. However, as soon as I have funds, I’ll be buying it and eventually reviewing it over at SBR.

However, I have not been able to confirm that Games Workshop has (or will) back down from their trademark claim. Spurious it may be (and it is, it really is), somebody in their legal department believed that it was a viable claim, meaning that unless an some sort of injunction or ruling spelling out the exact terminology of what a “trademark” may cover for GW, I doubt that they’re backing off. What’s probably going to happen is they’ll wait a few months, until the internet forgets, then hit someone else over another term.

One potential course of action that Hogarth could take would be to claim protection under the First Amendment, since Amazon is a US company and she is in the US. The trademark fair use law (under US copyright law) actually allows for this, despite what GW claims. While not as easy to work within like the copyright fair use law is, it still allows some wiggle room, since she is not using the Space Marine as GW uses it. Otherwise Lucas (and now Disney) would have shut down Darths & Droids years ago. GW may think they’re the 800 pound gorilla in the room, but they’re nothing but an ant if the mouse stepped into the fight. And if the mouse is leaving Darths & Droids alone, well…

That’s one thing authors need to remember. Despite what fancy legal departments wish for you to think (on behalf of their clients, of course. No self-respecting law firm wants to screw over anybody… wow, I typed that with a straight face even), you have just as many rights (if not more) as corporations.

Somebody asked me via email if I was worried about burning my bridge with Black Library. A little bit, sure. Everybody is worried about burning bridges in their lives. But I can’t stand by and watch while an author gets trampled into the ground by an overbearing company armed with lawyers. If that means I cannot write for the Black Library, then so be it.

I’ll just work harder to get published by Baen. Toni knows how to treat her authors.

To Start Off With A Bang


Two of my major goals are to get Wraithkin and Wraithguard out. Not published, but merely out of my hands and into the hands of the Alpha Reader Squad. In order to accomplish this, I forced myself the other day to create a massive spreadsheet for word count. I think my word count goal (not including the blog or book reviews) was somewhere in the 370,000 range. It’s doable (in 2008 I cracked 500,000 words) but it is a lofty goal, primarily because of the dark and gritty undertones of both books. I’ve talked about Wraithkin before here, but I haven’t gone into too much detail about the subsequent books — Wraithguard and Wraithlord — because I only have them plotted with some notes about where they’re supposed to go. Of course, saying that, you just know that they’re going to go ever other way but that one.

Also, because I’m not sure the last title is going to stay as is.

So today was a 1,200 word day on Wraithkin. I hit the 1,000 daily goal (It’s a convoluted math score, involving certain days I don’t write, certain days where I need to write 3,000 words, others when it’s a measly 1,000), so we’re well on track to the 370,000 goal. I also added in about 700 words for a short story I’m writing called The Gods Anointed for an epic SF anthology, Not To Yield.  So almost 2,000 words (not counting the blog!) today. I’m happy with the progress and pace.

Now let’s see if I can keep it up. 2013 is starting off with a bang.