Archive for June, 2002

More NWN stuff

By K2 on June 23rd, 2002 at 3:06 am EST

Welp, I just completed Chapter One about thirty minutes ago, got my dorf fighter to level eight… woot! :-) The single player campaign has been hella fun so far, I’m playing the game on difficulty level 3 (hardcore) so it’s a bit more of a challenge than default but it’s definitely worth it… been in some battles that literally lasted 15 minutes solid. A part of it is point and click of course (like what game isn’t?) but there’s definitely an added element for tactical thought. Attacking the first group of monsters one may my be totally the wrong thing to do the next round, even if they’re the same type of monster. If you haven’t gotten this game yet, go get it now or at least order it, it’s a lot of fun and looks/sounds incredible.

On NWN server stuff – I’ve learned quite a bit about the dedicated server console over the past couple of days. I thought I had detected a slow memory leak with the server console executable but I may have spoken too soon… memory usage (and any leaks associated with it) appear to be more dependant on the module loaded than anything. Like before – the test server I have up was running Chapter Two of the single player campaign, which in hindsight was a bad idea… that very first room is FULL of NPC’s and that in turn with a lot of people joining just makes the game skip like crazy. As of today I’m running the first official custom module for NWN released by Bioware, called Contest of Champions, and it’s specifically geared for team-based PvP. You can grab the module here – http://nwn.bioware.com/downloads/modules.html – just download it and unzip the files into your ..\nwn\modules folder, you’re good to go. I had fourteen people on at the same time with this module with eight that stays for a good amount of time… no memory leak (we had a lot of fun too, by the way). I also noticed that since this is a smaller module, the initial memory used by the NWN server console is less… and that goes against the norm as far as what I’ve experienced running CounterStrike and Quake3 servers. Another thing that I’m sure the rest of ya will be happy to hear about… I’ve recently setup the NWN server port to run as a service, and therefore it will restart itself in the event of a crash, and I also figured out how to get it to load up the right module during startup. Hands off is a good thing :-) So if you’re playing and the port crashes, just wait about five seconds and reconnect, done deal.

I’ll have my own PvP module up and running soon. Writing my first campaign will take some time I think, to do this right. I’m also gonna have to think about how to accommodate everyone that wants to play, because I obviously cant have everyone play the same campaign at the same time, or have them try and play ‘catch up’ with whatever becomes the main group. I got some ideas to make this work… I’ll fill ya all in on that later. That .asp calendar I coded into the site here may actually start getting some use… ;-) Just be sure to keep checkin’ back here often, I’ll let ya’ll know when things are gonna happen and how.

In closing – I got some more screenshots for ya to mull over, especially for those who haven’t gotten the game yet. Got some nice eye-candy for ya :-P Here ya go…

G’nite gang, see ya online.

K2

First impressions, Hardfought LAN party news

By K2 on June 20th, 2002 at 1:59 pm EST

Woot!! I got Neverwinter Nights yesterday, loaded her up and without reading the manual hardly at all, jumped right in and had at it. So what do I think of NWN so far? Read on…

From a player standpoint, it’s *very* nice on a lot of fronts. The graphics and textures are very well done, you can tell there was a lot of attention to detail when the tilesets were created. I have my video settings set as high as they can go… I love seeing multiple shadows, reflective surfaces, realistic dynamic lighting… *drool* ;-) And the SOUND… NWN comes with full support for EAX 2/3, so anyone out there with a SoundBlaster Audigy card is really going to be in for a treat… be sure to enable that functionality in the game setup. The single player module isn’t as exciting as I thought it would be, but I’m barely into the first chapter. So far it looks promising.

From a server operator standpoint… wow. This is by far the most stable and efficient dedicated server console I’ve ever worked with. Any of you old-time HF regs will remember the headaches we had with the CS console… had to write a script auto-restart the port because of constant crashing, and don’t even get me started on the tons of unnecessary overhead the console generated. This is a refreshing change to say the least. CPU, memory and network resources used are a bit lower than what I initially expected. That’s a good thing ;-) I think I may be able to host an extra 10-12 people total on my servers once they go live. Overall I’m very impressed with the work Bioware has done, both from a player and server op perspective. I should have my main PvP arena server up and going sometime next week. Expect it to be a work in progress as well… and any feedback/ideas/suggestions you all have, send ’em my way please. Oh yeah… here’s three pics from my first ten minutes into the single player campaign. Introducing my newbie dorf fighter, Garth – so named from the very first AD&D fighter I ever rolled, way back in 1983 :-)

One more thing… I have a test NWN port open right now, mainly just to gather CPU load/memory and network usage stats. If ya wanna jump in and just mess around, feel free, the IP is 66.166.128.98 or just look for ‘Hardfought Test’ in the in-game browser. PvP is on and you can import your local characters… so go have some fun, and lemme know what kind of ping ya get and how smooth (or not so smooth) the play is.

OK, let’s touch base about the next Hardfought LAN party that’s about to happen. Some official data about the facility that will be hosting us – check out The Gaming Center. They have a brand new facility made specifically for LAN gaming. They support a multitude of game titles, you can play on their in-game systems if you can’t provide your own (our LAN is BYOC however) and they also have an outside connection to the internet. Take a look at their pictures on their site, you can tell it was made to be a gaming center from the ground-up. Now, we’ve got about 16 people signed up so far, with only three that have pre-paid. I know it’s normal for people to procrastinate until the last minute, but if you know you’re going to attend, please sign up via the ‘LAN registration’ link to the left here as soon as ya can. Spudboy is gonna cook out (we’re bringing in a BBQ pit) and you definitely don’t wanna miss his cooking… he gets paid well to do this kinda thing :-) The event is exactly one month away so please sign up or lemme know your intentions, etc – soon. It’s gonna be a blast, you don’t wanna miss this if you can help it.

Alright… back to NWN ;-P See you all soon.

K2

Neverwinter Nights is out today…

By K2 on June 18th, 2002 at 6:53 pm EST

Except in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area! GAH!!! :-P Ah well… we’ve waited this long, we can wait another day right? HELL NO… I want my copy now dammit! LOL… heh :-) I feel for ya folks, I do… I went ahead and pre-ordered from Best Buy and paid extra for same day shipping so I would get it as soon as possible. I just don’t feel like fighting the hordes at the store for this game… I can wait an extra day. The booze helps, too.

OK, gonna recap a lil here. The Hardfought guild on the Guinevere server for DAoC is no more. After I retired, everyone else either 1) did the same, 2) decided to make Albion/Nimue their permanent home or 3) join the guild known as Obliteration. So ends another chapter of Hardfought… it was a good run while it lasted. Many thanks to all of the players on Midgard/Guinevere who grouped with us and gave us a helping hand when we needed it… and good luck to ya that decide to stick it out.

Now, on to Chapter Three for Hardfought – Neverwinter Nights. Plans have changed a lil bit, and new ideas have sprung forth. I wont be hosting one NWN server, but TWO :-) The first one will be the main server, which will be by invite/sign-up only and will reside on my dualie p3-800 machine. NOTICE – I don’t have a sign-up form for that server made YET… just email me or hang out in our IRC channel on gamesnet.net (#hardfought) if you’re interested. The second will be open to the public 24/7 as a PvP (player vs. player) arena, complete with a bar/tavern, food and ale to be purchased, a grumpy bartender, a slow but VERY large bouncer who will kick your arse if you get out of line, and a small patch of land outside the arena where things can also get a bit… interesting ;-) This arena will work as such – inside the tavern will be the arena, where players can come to battle each other 1vs1 – anything goes *inside* the arena. Built around the arena is a tavern/pub where players can come to watch others battle it out, and also to socialize with each other. You’ll be safe from monsters and other players in the tavern… but watch who you threaten, the bouncer has eyes and ears everywhere, and the bartender, while informative if you catch ’em at the right moment, is a grump. If I can pull it off, I’ll script in a betting/gambling system so everyone can wager on fights. Now, outside the tavern will be a small patch of land, where *team-based* PvP will be possible. Say your party or guild stops by and wants to rumble with another group. Try and start it in the pub, the bouncer will kick you out… no big fights inside please, take it outside ;-) I may occasionally throw in the random dragon or three to keep things interesting :-) This server will go live before the main one (it will take me longer to write a full campaign) and if any other server ops wanna portal to the arena, just lemme know, my contact info is up at the top right of the page here.

I’m kinda hoping we can generate a group of NWN ‘regulars’ like what we had before with CounterStrike… dunno, we’ll see I suppose. If you have any comments you wanna make, suggestions, stuff about how you wanan roll your first NWN character, whatever – head on over to our msg forum and have at it. Oh yeah, Maverick (Geat to all you DAoC’ers out there) started pimpin’ Hardfought on the Bioware forums, so welcome to all of the DFW Neverwinter Nights player and anyone else who happens to stumble along here ;-)

I’ll post in the next couple days, give ya first impressions of the game and also on setting up a dedicated server. Catch ya later gang.

K2

Neverwinter Nights has gone GOLD!!

By K2 on June 12th, 2002 at 11:27 pm EST

Damn straight baby… one of THE most anticipated games of the 21st century, Neverwinter Nights, went gold yesterday. It’ll hit store shelves at or around the 18th of this month… muhahah!! :-P I’ve already pre-ordered the game from Best Buy, so I should have it the day or the day after release. I WILL be hosting a Hardfought NWN server for sure… dual P3-800 w/512 megs of ram. That may be enough horsepower to run 2-3 dedicated ports on that box and portal them together… could make my own decent sized persistent world for about sixteen or more players (I’m shooting for 32). I dunno… wont know what will be possible until I get the game in-hand and play around with it. NWN will run in console-mode just like Quake3 and CounterStrike does (but hopefully a lot more stable and less CPU intensive ;-) ) so I should be in familiar territory. Just so ya know, I wont bring up a server right away… I wanna play the single-player campaign first and get familiar with everything. During that time I’ll be working on a rough draft for my first campaign/module and also the backbone for the entire storyline so each campaign I make ties in with each other. Already got some ideas :-) Be sure to check back here regularly, I’ll post news as it happens concerning Neverwinter Nights.

Now, concerning DAoC – I’m officially retired from that mess. Qiand will take over as Hardfought guilds GM for the duration. However, a lot of Hardfought have gone over to play on the Albion realm on the Nimue server… plus a few others in our guild are retiring as well because of NWN being released (as well as other things). I saw on the Herald today that the next patch has some much-needed class balancing for spell-casters in all realms… but it’s just too little to late. At the pace Mythic has set for themselves… DAoC will never be ‘finished’. Ah well… any of ya that know me know that I’ve been waiting for NWN for a very long time, I probably woulda left anyways. Only reason I stayed as long as I did with DAoC was because of my guildmates and other friends in the game. It was an honor to fight along side/against you. If ya wanna jump ship and give NWN a round or two, just lemme know, I’m sure I can squeeze ya in ;-) Oh yeah… the Guinevere ‘Who’s Who’ picture page will remain up and active, and I’ll still continue to post pictures as they’re sent in. I wont drop the DAoC XML scripts on the right hand side here until our guild officially ends there, which may or may not happen… we’ll see.

G’nite gang.

K2

Is it June already?

By K2 on June 10th, 2002 at 6:46 pm EST

Yeah it is… this year has gone by super-fast so far. I suppose the older ya get, the faster the years whiz by. Gah…

Well let’s see what we got goin’ on here… the Hardfought LAN party is still a go. The date hasn’t changed (July 19th – 21st) and a decent number of people have signed up for the event so far. If ya didn’t already notice, there’s a ‘LAN registration’ link to the left there… use it! :-P If you can pay ahead of time, great… if not, that’s cool too, just lemme know. I’ll have more detailed news about the LAN as we get closer to the actual date. This party is gonna be a helluva lot of fun, you don’t wanna miss this one if you can help it…

DAoC news – bleh. Nothing new to report really, other than the fact that after Mythic took the time to go over the majority of their player bases suggestions to help make the game better, they give us the ability to play dice and cards in-game. And stealth-nerf a couple classes to boot. I’m so overjoyed about this fact that I could spit. For those of you that aren’t noticing the heavy layer of sarcasm in this new paragraph – this is a very bad thing. I am beginning to believe (along with quite a few others) that Mythic doesn’t have a friggin’ clue about their own game and could give a shit about what their player base really has to say. Ah well… maybe they’ll wake up when they find three-quarters of their players leaving permanently when games like Star Wars: Galaxies and Asheron’s Call 2 come out. I dunno… my account is set to expire here in a few weeks, and I am *seriously* debating on whether to renew it or not. If Neverwinter Nights comes out within that time frame… well, you can put two and two together I imagine ;-)

By the way… there’s a new voting poll at the bottom right of the page here, fielding some somewhat serious questions regarding DAoC and the current state it’s in. If ya play the game, vote and make your opinion known. Go go go! :-)

Other Stuff – the shoutcast I had mentioned earlier in last month’s news post never happened, due to 1) not enough public interest and 2) the shoutcast server-side software is buggy as all-get-out. As in causing my web server to reboot itself at random. Bleh. Maybe I’ll mess with it again a few months from now. Also… did anyone happen to catch the Lewis/Tyson fight on pay-per-view? Can you say ‘crap’? I knew you could! In a nutshell – Tyson has no business whatsoever fighting in the ring against professional boxers. He’s gotten *that bad* :-/ Was a pretty pathetic fight to watch, lemme tell ya. Tyson was KO’ed in the middle of the 8th round, but it was really over by about the 3rd. Double-bleh.

Well, I am off work for the next few days, so I think I will work on getting a much-needed tan, do some swimming, etc. I posted quite a few more pictures in the ‘Guinevere Who’s Who’ section so go check ’em out. And to my friend Diana who found this page and couldn’t understand a damn thing about it – send me those pics we took! I’ll post ’em, then I can talk about something you can relate to :-P

Good thing not everyone plays DAoC, eh? See ya online folks…

K2