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By the light of alien stars: An Elite Dangerous combat guide.

I’m not a fighter, I’m a flier. Not for me the swoop and shoot of deadly combat, instead I like the Zen blur of star systems supercruising by.

But the universe is a cruel beast at times and a peaceful soul such as me is occasionally drawn into a brawl. At moments such as these it’s touch and go whether or not I survive which is why I appreciate the time and effort fellow players put into guides such as this:

http://barkandbyte.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/byte-elite-dangerous-combat-guide-or.html

If you, like me, are also struggling with fending off suicidal AI pilots or ganking jerks then you could do a whole heap worse than read Iain’s guide. At the very least you won’t make a tit of yourself by squeaking out a strangled “gnm!”  sound like me…

 
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Posted by on 29 August, 2014 in Elite Dangerous, Fun, Games, Video, YouTube

 

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Mobile Me… The Hunt for the Perfect Phone!

This is such a First World Problem but then, as this is a blog about wasting my life playing computer games, please feel free to register you vote of disgust here

My problem is that I can’t find a new phone.

There’s nothing really wrong with my current one except it’s old. It still does what I want it to – browse the web, send emails, take pictures, film stuff and make the occasional phone call – but I can’t shake the feeling I want a new one. Now partly this is down to the desire for a new toy to play with, but there is also the very real (1st World – see here if you’ve forgotten how to complain) problem that I running out of app space on it. I don’t have that many apps but the fact Google make all of theirs unable to move to the SD card means I’m constantly having to delete apps to install their updates.

But I can’t find a new bloody phone.

Oh, I can find a phone obviously, just not one I want and it’s really grating away at me (complain here). I don’t ever want an Apple anything in my life and I can’t bring myself to even consider a Windows phone. I’m an Android lad through and through but the choices in Android come down to the following:

  • Over-sized, over-priced, bloat-ware filled horrors from Samsung, HTC, etc.
  • Poxy under-powered pieces of crap from everyone and his dog
  • The Nexus line from Google which don’t have any bloody SD card slot. Ever. FFS.

Do I want the latest slab from Samsung that will try to monitor my very bowel movements before I’ve even had them? No. Do I want a tiny piece of crap that fell out of a cracker? Take a guess. Do I want a Google-experience only Nexus. Yes! With 16GB memory and no SD slot? What? NO! Stick it up your jacksie! Sideways!

After those options it all get’s a little pointless even looking.

So what do I want from a phone? Well it’s simple really. I have a Galaxy S2 and I like it a lot. It’s fast and light and feels good to use. I want a phone the shape and size of the S2 but with more power, a much, much better battery and none of the Samsung shite I never, ever use on there. And I want it to have the voice activation of the Moto X. And some fancy NFC capability like the Skip 2. And a whole heap more app space because I’m sick of deleting Maps, G+ and Chrome every time Google Now needs an update. Oh, and I want it for no more than £150. Now someone snap to it and make it so before I have to come out there and start slapping you all senseless.

bestphoneever

I’m the best phone ever. Stop whining and buy me, you loser.

 

Exploring the Big Black: The True Cost of Elite Dangerous…

Blimey! It’s costing me a fair bit and that’s for sure and I don’t mean because I bought into the premium beta.

Also because ED is a truly beautiful game it pays to have a decent system to run it with the highest settings you can manage but I’m lucky I bought a beast of a system a couple of years back sporting an i7 quad core processor with a crapton of RAM and a two-year-old-but-still good nVidia graphics card.

What I hadn’t taken into account  was that is need to upgrade my bloody external equipment quite so much!

  • A new monitor was needed as the old, small one just wasn’t cutting it. The first time I switched the new one on I found I could actually see the engine flares of the ships in the far distance!
  • New headset was required as the old stereo one fell apart and was, in all honesty, bloody uncomfortable. I had to remove it every 10-15 mins to get blood back into my ears! The new ones are super comfy and 7.1 virtual surround – I can now hear ships moving behind me, turn and pinpoint them every time.
  • Two new joysticks! I started with a Thrustmaster X but have replaced that with a Saitek X52 Pro. I don’t know how people play ED with a mouse and keyboard, all I know is I can’t…
  • EDTracker. So far this is my only “waste” of money. I bought the pre-built option but can not get it working at all despite many, many attempts and conversations with the lovely chaps who developed it. I’ve given up for now and am looking at going for…
  • HeadTrackNOIR instead. It’s free and seems to work, all I need to do is source a free/cheap (but good!) web cam and I can try it out. Hopefully that will work but if not then I’m looking at…
  • TrackIR – the beast of all head tracking solutions! The cost alone is off-putting but if I’m honest I don’t want to spend too much money on this when I could be waiting for the prefect…
  • VR Headset! Be it the Oculus Rift or the Sony Morpheus or something else, what almost every ED pilot wants is a high-def VR headset and that’s what I’m really holding our for :)

So far the damn game is costing me a small fortune and it hasn’t even launched yet!

 
 

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Whilst over in Minecraft… New World Order!

I haven’t played MCPE for a while, partly because of my recent reinvigorated Guilds Wars 2 obsession but largely because my lovely Nexus 7 is broken. Still, the kids have started playing it again on their tablets now that 0.9.0 is out and I’ve been feeling the old yearning to play it again

So I’ve downloaded it onto my phone :D

Ladies and gentlebumps, here is the very first view of Termite Canyon V2. Let the exploring begin!

image

 
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Posted by on 12 August, 2014 in Minecraft

 

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Exploring the Big Black: Amazing fan-made Elite Dangerous video

No words, just watch…

 
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Posted by on 26 July, 2014 in Elite Dangerous

 

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Exploring the Big Black: All that was left…

If you recall from my last post, I accidentally blew a ship up and not my ship either. Well here is a snap I quickly took of the wreckage… poor sod.

All that was left of the ship I unwittingly mass locked as it tried to jump to hyperspace...

All that was left of the ship I unwittingly mass locked as it tried to jump to hyperspace…

Just zoom in on the wreckage to see the detail given to even that part of the game. God I love this game!

I’ve uploaded all of my screenshots so far to here: https://plus.google.com/u/1/photos/+HeadBurroAntfarm/albums/6040051050572248497

 
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Posted by on 25 July, 2014 in Elite Dangerous

 

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Exploring the Big Black: Mystery ship explodes, Cmdr Gearwright scratches head.

So there I was, flitting between stations on the usual low-profit, low-risk trade runs when I saw a hauler lift off from a landing pad away up the curve to my right. I watched as it rose above the pad control tower and into the middle of the station’s traffic lane before slowly moving towards the exit. As I had been musing about what other ships looked like close up as they flew about and entered supercruise and hyperspace I decided to follow & shadow him.

This may have been a mistake.

Now I’m not saying that what eventually happened to this poor sod was my fault because I got the distinct impression from the way he/she smashed into the lip of the docking port and cart-wheeled arse-over-tit out of the station, through the entry ‘toast rack’ and into the docking lanes that basic piloting skills were still being practised. Although quite how they came to afford a hauler if they were that green is beyond me. Maybe it was a trainee pilot at the helm, in which case the owner was about to realise they had chosen a very costly training method indeed…

Once out of the station and away from the docking lanes leading into its (now dented) maw the pilot regained control and shot off at top speed in what I have come to recognise as the typical dash away from the mass-locking effect of the station to get to a point where the hyper drive could be engaged. He was faster than my wee Sidewinder and seemed to be getting away from me until I caught him up a few clicks away after he suddenly came to a full stop. I had a suspicion he’d noticed me following him and was panicking slightly but I figured if I kept my moves non-aggressive and stuck to plain ‘odd & nosey’ then he’d get the message I wasn’t trouble and everything would be ok. After all, all I really wanted was a ring-side seat for the moment he hyper-jumped out to see what it looked like from the outside.

I manoeuvred my ship close to his and spun it around so the top of my cockpit canopy was facing him and I could look out of the bubble free of distracting metal struts and holo-displays and it was at this point his shields went suddenly offline, their protective energy rippling back over the ship like rapidly melting ice. I had a second or two to wonder what the meaning of such a strange command decision was before the ship exploded right in front of me. Just plain exploded. Went *poof* right there as I was watching, wreckage of the hull and cockpit whooshing past me and cargo canisters tumbling away into the big black.

What the bloody hell? I mean, really. What. The. Bloody. Hell.

Did smashing into the station damage some subsystem leading to a catastrophic drive failure? Did he try to enter supercruise but tarry too long and allow his ship to fatally overheat? What he smuggling something nasty that proved prone to going *poof* without warning? I have absolutely no idea but the shocking display helped remind me just how dangerous space travel can be and I can promise you I made damn sure I repaired my hull and systems the very next time I docked in a station!

I mean… bloody hell, he just exploded.

UPDATE: After posting this on the Elite Dangerous Google+ fan community, one of the members pointed me to this Reddit thread. It looks like by being nosey I mass-locked the hauler as it tried to spin up its hyperdrive and his ship overheated and exploded as a result. I honestly feel really bad about this :(

 
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Posted by on 21 July, 2014 in Elite Dangerous

 

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