Friday, October 09, 2015

CivCraft noob thoughts

Because this is a PvP server, there are a lot of ways to get griefed.  One of the latest abuses NameLayer and the auto-accept group invites feature.  Unfortunately, the command "/nltaai" that turns auto-accept off is a toggle, so you have to be careful in using it.

The server is having a bit of a TPS problem (command "tps"), so there's some hand-wringing and witch-hunting and bans for introducing lag.

Another observer's report from about 10 months ago.  A political map from about 9 months ago.  A map of SQPR territory linked from their Reddit.

Botting is huge on CivCraft; it seems to be a frequent topic of hate in the CivCraft Reddit and makes the server very hostile to new players.  Seems like most of the economy has collapsed at this point due to the over-supply from botted accounts.

CivCraft isolated road

Many parts of CivCraft are just long stretches of nowhere.  And this area is not that far from the origin point of the map.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

That Minecraft itch

I've been getting the Minecraft itch lately, but not sure what server I want to go back to.  So for the moment, I'm probably going to just do a bit of touring.

The most infamous sever out there is apparently 2builders2tools, which is a complete free-for-all, ganking and griefing paradise.  I'm not quite ready for that, mostly because you always spawn at near the 0,0 coordinates.  If it would randomize your respawn to a much larger radius it would be more interseting.

So I'm looking into poking around Civcraft's 2.0 server instead.  The server is semi-vanilla, but has some different rules like "Prison Pearls", randomized spawning anywhere within the 15,000 block radius, and the ability to reinforce placed blocks using iron or diamonds.  Last night there were 30-40 people online, but in my two hours of wandering, I never saw a soul.

For those looking for human contact, I have the following notes (hopefully current as of Oct 2015).  But I make no guarantee of their veracity or whether the situation has changed.
  • Go in expecting to get ganked, pearled, and griefed.
  • Thule is an underwater city around -8000,+4000
  • Mount Augusta is the current "big" city, which draws both good and bad, down around +2600,+2100
  • NOX and Carson (-4400,+1500) seem to be in conflict
  • Icenia is up near -6500,-6500
  • The supposed map of claimed areas (moderately out of date).
  • Libra, Arran, Athens, Yoahtl, Kaiserinreich, SPQR are possibly places to visit
  • Avoid Mises and probably Carson and  the area Northeast of Kappi (so avoid +1800,-1100)

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Games I'm playing lately

Still playing Planetside 2 at least 2-3 evenings per week for a few hours on one of my numerous ScrapyardXYZ incarnations.  Usually on the Emerald server, but sometimes on Connery.  Which server and which faction I play depends on my mood, what the fights are like, what corp members are online and whether there is a good outfit platoon running.

About 3/4 through Batman: Arkham Asylum on easy mode.  It's interesting, wasn't sure I'd like it, but the only bit I don't like are the Scarecrow levels.  My primary complaint with the Scarecrow levels is that it's a hard-fail if you get spotted.  Other bosses and fights are more forgiving where you can make a few minor mistakes but still come out on top.  But then I also hated hard-fail things in WoW raiding as well where you had to be 100% perfect in order to down the boss.

Been too busy to pickup EQ2 again or login to Wildstar.  Finally changing jobs after 15 years as I got tired of working 60-80 hour weeks and still making what I made 15 years ago.  So a bit of topsy-turvy over the next two months as I sort out a new place to live and get settled in.

Waiting on KSP 1.0 to stabilize.  There are still major outstanding bugs in 1.0.2 that need fixing before it is worth picking up.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

ME1: List of the best armors, weapons, amps and tools

Playing Mass Effect 1 again this past week.  One of the useful things to know is "what should I keep"?

Tier 4+ unlocks around level 18, tier 7+ unlocks around level 36.

Ammo upgrades: Around level 36 you should start keeping as many of the Tungsten VII and Shredder VII ammo upgrades as you can find.  They stop dropping after that point, but are still the best anti-synthetic and anti-organic rounds.

Armor: Predator (green camo) 7+, Colossus (red/black) 7+, Phantom (turian only) 7+. Note that there are also the Geth Armory armors in the tier 7-10 range, but I don't care for their look.
Biotic amps: Savant is pretty much the only game in town starting at tier 7.  Polaris at tier 4+ is okay.

Omni-Tools: Savant is best for 7+, Nexus or Logic Arrest Tool for tiers 4+

Pistols: HWMP Master VII or X, Karpov, Razer, Brawler, Raikou (tier 4+)

Sniper: Punisher 7+, Harpoon 7+, Volkov 7+, HMWSR Master VII or X

Assault Rifle: Geth Pulse 7+, HMWA Master VII or X, Raptor 4+, Tsunami 4+

Shotgun: Katana 4+, Avalanche 7+, Tornado 1+, Sokolov 7+, HMWSG Master VII or X

Thursday, April 02, 2015

KSP 0.90: Building rockets in orbit (using MKS/OKS and EPL)

With the MKS/OKS and EPL mods (or just EPL alone), it's possible to build rockets in orbit instead of launching them from KSC on Kerbin.  Or you can build on the surface of a different world.

Approximate cost to LKO (90km orbit above Kerbin's surface) for 9600 RocketParts is about 105k funds or about 10.9 funds/part.  I'm using the StageRecovery mod to recover the boosters, otherwise you'd have to use a spaceplane to get costs that low.  It's possible that I could drive costs lower by launching even more RocketParts in a single launch (maybe 10/part).

You also have to ship up any consumable supplies, like rocket fuel, RCS fuel, life support as they are not included in the EPL construction process.

Another requirement is that you need engineer kerbals with at least 2 stars of experience.  Preferably with only low-medium stupidity levels.  Plus life support if you use TAC-LS.

A single RocketPart weighs 2.5kg and costs 5 funds.

Update #1: Tested out a 495k gross funds launch vehicle, capable of putting 28.8k of RocketParts into LKO (17.2 funds/part).  That should be about 144k cost for the raw RocketParts with the rest of the cost for the booster and infrastructure.  StageRecovery results in about a 225k refund for a net launch cost of 270k or about 9.375 funds/RocketPart.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

KSP 0.90: MKS/OKS miscellaneous notes

I've been trying to wrap my head around the MKS/OKS mod which allows you to build surface bases / orbital stations which have closed or nearly closed recycling systems.  It also provides for resource extraction from the surface and construction of vessels outside of Kerbin's Space Center complex.  Some information is available on the MKS wiki, while other information is buried in the KSP forum thread.

The bare minimum for a colony is:
  • C3 (produces punch cards)
  • Kerbitat (maximum of one per base)
  • Aeroponic (maximum of one per base)
  • Inflated living space (required by Kerbitat, may need multiple)
  • Inflated greenhouse (required by Aeroponic module, may need multiple)
  • Storage space 
  • Power
For a surface colony, that is enough to support 2 kerbals.  For an orbital colony, it will support up to 10 kerbals if you use 2x inflated greenhouses per inflated habitation ring.  You also need storage space for food/water/oxygen, waste / waste water / carbon dioxide, biomass / compost, excess machinery, and spare parts.

Note: Spare parts cannot be transferred from point A to point B without EVA'ing kerbals.  All other resources can be moved around using the stock method for moving LF/Ox fuel or monoprop fuel.  Or with mods like Ship Manifest. Spare Parts (and Machinery) get consumed over (a long) time of facilities operations.

Design Note: You never need more then one Aeroponic module and one Kerbitat module per base/station. If your food/water/oxygen production is falling behind, then you need more storage for inputs/outputs and/or more inflatables to boost production.

EPL Note: When using EPL (Extraplanetary Launchpads), you must have kerbals with a medium to low stupidity rating and at least two stars of experience along with an adequate supply of Rocket Parts.  MKS/OKS also hides a lot of the stock EPL parts and substitutes its own versions as well as changes the manufacturing chain for production of Rocket Parts.

One possible flow chart for MKS/OKS manufacturing:

One way to make 3-star kerbals is to (plan on 60-80 mission days):
  1. Orbit the Mun
  2. Land on Minmus
  3. Leave Kerbin's SoI and orbit Kerbol
  4. Land back on Kerbin and recover the kerbals
RareMetals and ExoticMinerals come from the refining module and are good sources of funds if sent back to Kerbin for recovery (~700 funds/unit?).  Chemicals and Polymers may also be suitable for returning to Kerbin for funds.

Design note: The minimum MKS/OKS base crew is enough engineers to get the Kerbitat/Aeroponics lab to 50% efficiency.  They do not have to be located specifically in a particular module, but you may wish to do so because putting the right kerbal into the module has an impact on efficiency.  Engineers are preferred over Pilots/Scientists for most modules (Engineers are best, Scientists are second-best and Pilots are worst).  Experience stars matter a lot for efficiency (2-stars is probably the minimum viable, but 1-star kerbals can work in a pinch).

Design note: Biolabs require Substrate as a working material.  So you will need to harvest or ship in Substrate in order to get useful outputs from the Biolab.

Note: The Orbital Shipyard part requires that EPL be installed - otherwise it does nothing.  This also applies to the other ship construction part, the Mobile Launchpad.

Operation note: If you are going to turn on Dampeners, only turn it on for one of your modules.  This feature can help you reduce the bouncing, but turning on multiple dampeners tends to cause bad things to happen.  The Dampener is designed to clamp the craft to the surface and disable physics for the rest of the base.  Anchors, OTOH, increase the mass of the module by 2-3 tons and help with CoM (center of mass) issues.

Design note: The heaviest modules should be at the center of the base.