Saturday 24 September 2016

DM-Codex Progress Report

My DM-Codex remake was getting a little too big (filesize) and I wanted to scale the whole map up a bit since it was starting to play a bit too tight after multiple in game changes to movement and player scale over several months.

I decided to redo the whole map from scratch, significantly reduced the filesize in the process and released that. Now I'm polishing it up and adding details. It's getting bigger again, but not as big as before, plus it's more detailed and looks better too.

Here are a few quick screenshots taken in the editor.

Note: There is something wrong with lighting builds in the current version of the editor. It seems like bounced lighting isn't being applied correctly and messing up the shadows. It'll look better once that's fixed (hopefully in the next version of the editor which rumour says is coming soon).

Wednesday 17 August 2016

UT4 Editor - Using Blueprint Skewmesh

Among the more useful new features in the UT4 Editor are skewmesh blueprints. There are 3 types of skewmesh blueprints, BP_SkewMeshX, BP_SkewMeshY and BP_SkewMeshZ.

What these blueprints do is take a mesh and allow you to move one end of it in any direction (up or down and to either side) around one of the 3 axis (X, Y or Z). Skews are extremely handy for aligning trim, wall meshes and other modular meshes along angles they weren't designed to fit. They don't solve every mesh alignment problem but they do help a lot.

Anyhow like they say a picture is worth a thousand words so here are several thousand words worth.

This first is a BP_SkewMeshY with the default mesh (a Liandri assets pillar/column) assigned to it.

You can change the mesh your skewmesh is operating on in the details panel. Here I changed it to use one of the Liandri assets floor trim meshes.

And here's another an example of that mesh zoomed in close so you can see the seam where the beveled edges of two meshes (one skewed,  one not) meet. The top part looks a little funny but that's a problem with material alignment on that particular mesh, not with mesh alignments which are perfectly lined up with each other.

Here are two instances of a floor panel mesh. The one on the left is by itself (not skewed). The one on the right is another instance of the same mesh inside a BP_SkewMeshY. Notice the transform handle named "End" to the right of the skewmesh. That's the transform gidget we use to move that end of the mesh around. This is quite similar to selecting and moving surfaces with the BSP editing tools.

Next, I've pulled the mesh upwards to make a ramp and added another instance of the mesh to the right. Notice how the edges of the skewed mesh align perfectly with the other meshes... Unlike when trying to get the same look by rotating and/or scaling the same mesh. They also light better and have fewer problems with z-fighting too.

Finally, here's the same skewmesh skewed to 45 degrees to one side rather than up. If I'd wanted an angled ramp, I could have skewed it both up and to the side at the same time.

There are some problems with various materials on skew meshes (they look fine in editor but show the default checkerboard grid material in game) but you can work around that by merging meshes. You can merge just a single skewed mesh or multiple meshes (both skewed and not skewed). Merging probably helps with performance too.

In case anyone wants to take a closer look at similar mesh alignment seams in-game, the map in the screenshots is DM-Nitro.

Saturday 23 July 2016

My Favourite UT4 Maps

Unreal Tournament 4 already has a large number of custom maps, remakes and ports out there. These are my top 3 personal favourite maps to play in UT4.

DM-Broken - by ConradJustin

"This is my shield, I dare you to try taking it from me!"

This one really stands out from the crowd. It looks good, plays great and seems to be made up entirely of custom content made specifically for the map.

Broken is a fairly large map with plenty of vertical action. Lots of ramps, stairs, elevated platforms and walkways, a few lifts and several well placed jumpads. It has good connectivity and sightlines without being over connected or having overpowered sniper camping spots. There are plenty of chokepoints and strong defensive positions for more strategic play. Most of the combat happens at short to medium range, there aren't a whole lot of really long sight lines.

Overall weapon and item placement is very good too though one thing I don't care for is the stream with a keg and a bunch of health vials all lined up. IMO that's just too much over health to have all in the same area.

I really like the shield area. The upper platforms around the shield are a great camping spot but not so great nobody can knock you out of there (especially not if they gang up on you). It works out to a sort of king of the hill style game. Sure it's a strong spot to hold, but if you're up there you aren't getting much overhealth, armor and probably not the jumpboots or anything else either, all of which make a successful counterattack more likely.

I really like playing this map King of the Hill style, controlling the shield, the area around / below it and daring anyone to try taking it away from me.

Not wishing to give anything away, but let's just say it's well worth your time to search every nook and cranny looking for hidden secrets.

DM-Nitro - by me

You might think I'm biased with this choice since I remade Nitro for UT4. It's not that I like Nitro so much because I remade it, just the opposite, I remade Nitro because I like it so much.

The map is appropriately scaled up (2.5 times larger), with proper UT4 lighting, materials and reflection environment. It's mostly meshed now, though a lot of the large floor, wall and ceiling surfaces are still BSP.

Layout is the same as in the original, item placement is mostly the same with a few changes and additions to address the problem with one side of the map being so much stronger than the other.

Whether the game is DM, TDM or Duel, it plays great in UT4.

DM-CurseII - by MetalFist

An old favourite from UT99 this one's more of a port than a remake, appropriately scaled up by the same 2.5x factor but still using the old UT99 textures.

Other than not having a Ripper, layout and item placement are identical to the original. Gameplay is about as good as it gets, it plays great!

Curse was never one of my favourites in UT99 but it certainly is now in UT4. I love playing it now, maybe that's because I'm more of a shock ho now than I used to be and the top of Curse is a great place for shock ho'ing.

Sunday 3 July 2016

Lightmass Swarm Farm Growing

I picked up a used Dell Optiplex 790 SFF for $140 CDN to add to my UT4 Lightmass farm today.

The machine came with an i5 2400, 4G of RAM (2x2G) and a 360G HDD. I added a another set of 2x2G RAM I had lying around to give it 8G total RAM. That's probably overkill, 1G per core or 4G in total should be plenty but since I already had the RAM anyhow, better safe than sorry.

That gives me a 3rd machine with a little over 6100  passmark performance test cpu benchmark score to add to 6300 from my i5 4690 main computer (the main machine actually scores 8400 on all 4 cores but only uses 3 cores to build lighting, so 8400 x 0.75 = 6300) and 4600 from a 3rd machine with a Phenom II B93.

That gives me very nearly 2.7 times as much multi-threaded processing power to build lighting with as with just the main machine alone (again only 6300 since it only uses 3 cores).

6300 + 6100 + +4600 = 17000
17000 / 6300 = 2.698...

IOW, my longest build time (DM-Eliminator with production lighting quality) is about 2.5 hours with just the main computer (6300 cpu benchmark score) working on it and 1.5 hours with both the main computer and the Phenom II working on it (6300 + 4600 = 10900 cpu benchmark score). With the new machine added to the farm bumping the total available processing power to 17000 cpu marks it'll take just under 1 hour (55.6 minutes according to the math) on production lighting quality.

Edit: Rebuilding Eliminator with all 3 machines came out to 57.5 minutes, within 2 minutes of what the math above predicted.

Now just imagine what oh say four OC'd 5960X machines with ~80k cpu benchmarks would do to build times. =)

Saturday 11 June 2016

DM-Nitro Progress

I've been working on DM-Nitro lately.

I did quite a bit of meshing, another lighting pass and some optimization too (cut the filesize nearly in half).

I'm mostly using stock assets in Nitro to keep things simple, clean and readable for visual clarity and performance. I'm making heavy use of skewmesh splines and merged meshes too.


Wednesday 25 May 2016

If It Ain't Broke Don't Fix it!

Why is it practically every new build Epic has to make changes to materials and meshes that mess up all maps using them?

Here's a recent example where for some reason they just had to screw with M_Chill_StoneWall_05 in the May 24 build.

In Editor...

Though the reddish wood looks different (brighter, more saturated color) than before, the wall material looks pretty much the same as it always has. It looks good.

But load the map in game and it's a different story altogether...

It looks like complete crap... A material I've been using for months, that's looked fine, and still looks fine in the editor, looks terrible in game. Making matters worse, I tried fixing this by using another material, but it has the same problem!

Of course it's possible it's an obscure new bug rather than an actual change to the materials but still, why do they constantly keep changing and breaking things like this?

If it ain't broke, don't fix it!


I found several materials (mostly variations on 3 wall materials in the Chill assets) doing this. Affected maps include Codex, Malevolence and Gothic.

I might start using more custom (non-stock that is) materials and meshes like the ones from various UT4 tech demos simply because there aren't any problems with them changing and breaking maps every 2nd build! Yes, the pak files will be larger but at least they won't break every time someone at Epic arbitrarily decides to change things that weren't broken.

Wednesday 18 May 2016

UT4 Quote of the Week

Maybe I was a little quick declaring a UT4 forum quote of the year recently... Found another good one today!
Im gonna be alittle harsh, what good is a crosshair if you cant hit whats directly under it anyway *mic drop* 
- MonsOlympus

Monday 16 May 2016

UT4 Performance Fix

There's a lot of complaining about performance in the latest Unreal Tournament 4 build. Much of it from players who didn't have (or didn't notice) any performance issues before. Some have big freezes lasting several seconds, others have some less severe combination of stuttering, input lag and large FPS drops.

For still others (I was one of these) the game feels like they're playing a couple seconds behind everyone else. Typically it's far more noticeable online than offline and gets progressively worse with time.

I think I know what's behind most of these performance problems. Its your sound card, or rather your lack of a sound card.

I'm guessing most of those with performance issues are, like I was until recently, using onboard audio. In other words, you don't have a soundcard. And it's probably a Realtek chip too (by far the most commonly used mb audio chips).

Myself, I have MSI H81M-E33 motherboard with Realtek ALC887 audio. I've been having UT4 performance issues all along (going on 1.5 years with this mb) until a couple weeks ago (before the latest game build). I got a Kingston HyperX Cloud II headset a few months ago, which has it's own built in 7.1 sound, but I didn't turn off the onboard audio until recently.

The game never played very well for me online. In fact it was pretty much unplayable with anything much over 40 ms ping. Even with 40 or less ping, it wasn't great, but it wasn't too bad either... At least for a little while, but the longer my play session lasted, the worse it got. And it kept getting worse with each new build too. The last couple builds it was rarely playable for an entire 10 minute match.

Then, a couple weeks ago I turned off the onboard audio in the bios, started a local (offline) match and immediately noticed a big difference. The game felt much smoother and more responsive. I added a few bots, the bots were way slower to react than ever before, much easier to kill them and much easier to avoid their fire.

After a couple minutes I realized I could see rockets coming... I could react after they were fired and consistently dodge them... Even at quite close range...  Unbelievable!

So I went online with similar results. That was a couple weeks ago, since then playing online has been far more enjoyable. It's not perfect, but there's a whole lot less warping, hit registration is more reliable and though rockets are still difficult to dodge online (I blame the netcode, prediction and time rewind on that), I can play ok with higher ping too. 70 ping isn't bad now and even 90-100 is mostly playable as long as the other guys aren't all pretty good.

So for all of you having performance issues, especially those with Realtek audio chips, try turning off onboard audio in your motherboard bios and see if that helps. I bet in most cases it either solves the performance problems or at least makes a very noticeable improvement.

Whether it's the sound chips and/or drivers from a specific vendor (Realtek) or from multiple vendors and whether it's a problem with the actual chips/drivers or just a problem with how Epic uses them, I can't say for sure. But it sure seems like onboard audio has an awful lot to do with performance issues in UT4.

I would post this on the official UT4 forums... Except I can't.

Sunday 15 May 2016

UT4 Quote of the Year

One of the best comments I've ever seen on the Unreal Tournament 4 forums and certainly the best in a year or more..
Please reduce rocket speed and damage.
Everyone just spamming with rox. Or remove the other weapons-.- it make no sense to have other weapons if everyone just spamming with rocket launcher. 
- c0x 

Thursday 12 May 2016

DM-Phobos for Unreal Tournament 4

DM-Phobos - version Alpha 1 (A1) released 12 May 2016

This map is based upon the original DM-Phobos for Unreal Tournament. The UT99 version that is, not the 2kx version, which is very different from the original.

It's scaled up 2.5 times larger, with UT4 materials and a CTF-Face style "skybox" (the only space sky assets in game right now).

There are (so far) no custom assets and very few meshes so the download is very small, roughly 9M.

The original map had no pulse gun (aka link gun) though there were 2 ammo packs for it and did have 2 rippers with 4 ammo packs for them. I've reversed that in this version. The rippers and their ammo packs have been replaced with link guns and ammo for them while the link ammo packs have been replaced with ripper ammo packs (there is no ripper weapon).

Besides that item placement is the same as in the original map.

There is no secret door in front of the alcove with invis and jumpboots (one of two jumpboots on the map). That's temporary until I make a proper door for it.

- Added UTGenericObjectivePoints for Showdown.
- Added blocking volumes to smooth out the stairs. All but the curved stairs which are a real pain to do, that can wait until it's meshed.
- Added killzone beneath the station.
- Did an initial lighting pass.

Bots are supported. The navmesh was working fine yesterday but it looks really funky in the new version of the editor, I hope they didn't break it!

The latest versions of all my maps can be found here:

I'm in the process of updating all the maps for the latest game build. 4 are already up now and working on getting the rest built and pak'd.

Feedback is always welcome!

Wednesday 11 May 2016

New Remake Shell

Teaser screenshot of new shell remake/port I started on last night for Unreal Tournament 4.

It's pretty basic atm, just a BSP shell with basic lighting, materials, reflections, bot support (navmesh) and the "skybox" from CTF-Face (pretty much the only "space" skybox assets in the game right now). Most pickups except ripper and ammo for a couple other weapons are in.

I'll do some more and likely release a first playable version for the next game build (expected sometime this week).

Monday 2 May 2016

Mapping Progress

Yup, I'm still alive and I haven't quit UT4.

Most of the maps I'm working on are getting quite large though and I don't want to subject players to constantly having to download large new paks all the time. So while I've slowed down on uploading new paks I am still working on the maps.

Lately I've been doing a lot of work on my DM-Bishop remake. Mesh work, showdown support, cleaning up the navmesh, collision, lighting and so on.

A couple progress screenshots:

Wednesday 20 April 2016

DM-Codex for Unreal Tournament 4

DM-Codex-A6 - Released 20 Apr 2016

Remake based upon Cliff (CliffyB) Blezinski's original map from UT99. Codex is a smaller, fast paced map with lots of vertical action.

Server Info:




  • Changed, replaced and/or rescaled many materials.
  • Added physical materials properties to blocking volumes so when you walk on a wooden surface it sounds like you're walking on wood.
  • Completely reworked the lighting (again).
  • Added a few new light sources and removed several unsourced fill lights.
  • Added several windows to bring in more ambient light.
  • Made the outdoor lighting a fair bit darker, changed sun and skylight colour to suit the sunset on an overcast day look of the sky.
  • Added atmospheric details like water, rocky cliffs and castle/fortress type walls to the outdoor (not playable) part of the map.
  • Raised ceilings and/or roof beams in several places to better facilitate movement.
  • Redid the dripping water sounds in the lowest parts of the map.
  • Added more trim and decorative bits.
  • Added several new meshes.
  • Replaced some old placeholder meshes with meshes that fit the theme better, removed a few meshes entirely and added many more mesh instances.
  • Added 3x UTGenericObjectivePoint for Showdown.

The assets (meshes, materials, emitters, etc.) in this map are mostly a mix of stock assets that come with the UT4 Editor and assets from the UE4 Infinity Blade Firelands pack (free on the UE4 marketplace), along with a few assets from other UE4 demos and a few self made assets.

Feedback is always welcome!

Thursday 7 April 2016

DM-Eliminator for Unreal Tournament 4

DM-Eliminator V18 - 07 Apr 2016

A medium sized original map that plays well in FFA and Duel (assuming powerups off in Duel). Untested in TDM and Showdown (feedback would be greatly appreciated). Previous versions (1-17) were named DM-Octagon.

Many of the meshes and materials in this map are from the UE4 Infiltrator Demo.

Version changes:

- Removed Redeemer
- Removed Invisibility
- Added 3x UTGenericObjectivePoints for Showdown
- Added 1x sniper ammo and 1x rocket launcher ammo

- Many (mostly minor) tweaks to geometry and blocking volumes (collision).
- A great many cosmetic changes, more meshes, materials changes, lighting tweaks, etc.
- Lots of finicky little details, polishing, fit and finish...

Server Configuration Info (goes in Game.ini):



Additional Notes:

A full list containing links to the most recently released versions of all maps I'm working on can be found here:

Feedback is welcome!

Wednesday 23 March 2016

Connection Issues Fixed

I've been having some issues with my internet for quite a while. For browsing, email and other routine things everything seemed to work fine. There was the odd time where I noticed my internet connection dropped for a few minutes but I figured that was just minor ISP trouble.  It never lasted for very long and I didn't worry about it since it wasn't really affecting me.

But since I started playing Unreal Tournament 4 pre-alpha I noticed a couple problems.

1. I run my own UT4 LAN server on a 2nd machine at home. In the in-game server browser my server would show up listed in red for other machines on the LAN but worked fine for remote users connecting from the internet  (not on the same LAN). The only way to connect to the server from the LAN was connecting by IP.

I figured that was just a problem with the game. After all it is pre-alpha and quite buggy.

2. When uploading large map files to rushbase, the upload would timeout after a while and just stop. It was difficult uploading maps much over 100M, often having to restart the upload multiple times before it finally uploaded successfully. The larger the file the more difficult it was to upload, once a map got around 200M it was impossible.

That definitely should not be happening and I was certain it wasn't my computer. Not hardware, software, nor drivers. I'd checked and rechecked everything (configuration issues, driver versions, etc.) many times looking for something, anything wrong with my computer that could potentially be causing connection issues.

I also noticed when a file upload failed my internet connection would often go down for several minutes. Later I realized during that time I couldn't even login to the modem's built-in router which made me start to suspect it might be a problem with the modem... But I'd already replaced the modem twice.

After doing a lot of searches on Google I finally found some information about others fixing similar connection problems by replacing the built-in router in their ISP provided modem with their own router and a plain modem (one without a built-in router).

Getting my own router to replace the built-in router in my ISP's Hitron modem might help with the file upload problem.

I did some research on routers hoping to find a decent router in the $50-125 range and see if that helps. I read a whole bunch of "best" router reviews and articles, most of them on reputable technical sites. I noticed one particular router kept getting mentioned as a really good cheap router.

TP-Link TL-WR841N

Practically all of the reviews mentioned this router and the ones that did all had really good things to say about it. It's also the best selling router on Amazon and gets great reviews from buyers there too.

It's really cheap too, around $30.00 CDN regular price, $25.00 when on sale. I figured at that price I might as well just grab one and see if it fixes the upload problem... If nothing else, it'll make a good cheap backup.

I got one the next day, got a plain modem (with no built-in router) from the ISP to replace the Hitron modem and hooked everything up.

And it worked!

It solved my upload problem, now I can upload large files without trouble. Uploads work on the first try, every time now! :)

Even better and completely unexpected... When playing UT4 my LAN server is now listed white in the server browser list and I can join it just like any other server in the list without having to use "Join by IP".

All in all it's the best 33 bucks (the local price was a little high) I've spent in a while. I'm very pleased with this router and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good but cheap router.

Saturday 19 March 2016

Unreal Tournament 4 Dumb and Dumber

UT4's rAgetard is still at it, constantly posting garbage "statistics" in his never ending crusade to somehow "prove" the incredibly versatile shock rifle is gimped and most other weapons (but especially the flak cannon) are far more powerful than shock.

 As always he separates shock combos from shock primary and secondary fire while combining damage from all firing modes for other weapons. If we add up the damage for shock primary and combos too we get.

450 + 431 =881 damage

1205 + 850 = 2055 damage

2055 total damage from shock on Erase very nearly double that of the next closest weapon, the rocket launcher. Flak is in 4th place.

Damage from shock secondary (which wasn't included at all) would push total damage from shock up even further though probably not a whole lot.

What the idiot actually just proved is that the shock combo alone (completely disregarding all other damage from shock rifle) is super efficient. On Erase it was better than all firing modes combined for any other weapon. When taking all damage from shock rifle into account (including primary, secondary and combos rather than just combos alone) shock was twice as good as the next best weapon (Rockets).

Sure shock isn't tops on Coma but Coma is a tighter map and flak is strictly a short ranged weapon, while shock is more of a medium and long ranged weapon, so that's pretty much how it should be.

Here he takes damage values from single hits with combos, comparing individual combos to what he calls "highest damage dealt by" all the other weapons "in one fight" coming up with values like 144 for link and 224 for mini. Considering mini and link don't do anywhere near that kind of damage from a single hit (single flak and rocket hits don't do 258 and 220 damage either) he's obviously adding up damage from all hits during "one fight" for everything except shock.

As always he's not even counting shock primary or secondary fire at all. Only combos and just one combo at a time.

And what's "one fight" anyhow?

- A single engagement, counting all damage until one player manages to break off and escape?
- A longer period of time counting all damage taken between deaths, which in a duel between top players engaging, disengaging, topping up health and armor repeatedly, might be several minutes?
- Something else altogether?

The numbers in this second screenshot are completely meaningless. The only thing it proves is the instantaneous damage from a single hit with one weapon (even a powerful hit like a shock combo) doesn't match sustained damage over time from multiple hits with even the lightest hitting weapons.

Hardly an objective comparison at all, these so-called "statistics" are about as biased as it gets, totally misleading and painting a completely inaccurate picture of what actually happened.

But hey, this clown is allowed to keep spewing lying, misleading bullshit like this all over the UT forums, while disagreeing with and debunking his garbage will get you banned from the forums just like that (snap fingers)... Go figure!

Saturday 12 March 2016

DM-Chill Visual Clarity

There's been a lot of gnashing of teeth and throwing of tantrums over visual clarity on the newly released fully meshed version of DM-Chill.

While it's not nearly as bad as some players claim, there are a few minor problems with seeing other players in some spots. Especially necris characters with their white skin and nano black camo clothing blending into the predominately dark grey stone and white snow background.

In addition the shadows are so dark in some spots it's nearly pitch black, making necris practically invisible and other character models very difficult to see, especially if they aren't moving.

But instead of complaining about it, why don't these players who think they know everything and keep trying to tell everyone else how to do everything "properly" (their way that is) just fix it themselves?

It's not like it's difficult to do or takes a whole lot of time...

Here's what I managed in about 20 minutes of editing time (not counting build time).

1. Trees. A lot of players don't like the moving, swaying trees in the background.

- There are only 2 different tree meshes in the map with multiple instances of each. I selected one tree, then used right mouse button menu to select all matching meshes and hit delete.
- Rinse and repeat for the other tree mesh.

No more trees... That took about 5 seconds.

With a few seconds more one could easily do the same for those dangling rope meshes or anything else considered unnecessary eyecandy that hurts visual clarity or performance... Or you could leave them in and set LoD on such items so they only show on the highest settings but not on lower settings.

2. There are many instances of a decal on the floor for shiny, highly reflective ice (actually I think it's supposed to be frozen mud).

- I removed all instances of that decal. Since we can't use select all on decals to find decals with matching materials I had to find and delete them 1 at a time and there were a lot of them.

That took a while, maybe 10 minutes in total. Longer than any other single thing.

3. Lighting, brightening up the dark spots and changing PPV settings to make eye adaptation transitions to/from inside to outside and dark to light parts of the map as unobtrusive as possible.

- The map has 5 active (enabled) Post Processing Volumes (PPVs) and a 6th redundant PPV that is disabled.
- There are a real lot of disabled ("affects world" unchecked) fill lights all over the place.

First I tweaked the PPV settings.

- I set Auto Exposure minimum and maximum brightness to 1 in all PPVs. Effectively (sort of anyhow) turning Auto Exposure off and minimizing eye adaptation when moving between bright and dark areas.
- Then I tweaked AE Exposure Bias in all PPVs to brighten up the inside areas and darken the outside area. In the the unbound PPV I turned it down from 0.5 to 0 making the outside part of the map a little darker. I turned it up in the other PPVs, setting a couple to 1, a couple to 2 and one to 0.7.
- One of the PPVs had AE Blendables causing some really bright odd looking shiny spots. I removed the blendables to fix that.

Then I turned on 2 or 3 of the disabled fill lights and tweaked the intensity setting on one of them to brighten up a few of the darkest spots left in corners, doorways and beneath ledges.

That all took another 10 minutes or so.

Roughly 20 minutes in total not counting build time. Building with lighting quality set to production takes about 40 minutes but that's afk time so I'm not counting it.

And here's the result:

DM-Chill VC

The lighting could still use more tweaking in some spots but this isn't intended as a be-all, end-all, visual clarity version. It's simply intended to show those who want a version of Chill with better visual clarity just how easy it is to do it themselves.

Edit: While FPS wasn't a factor in my reasoning for making this version, I have been informed by several players they see a 15-20 FPS improvement on this version over the unedited map.

Sunday 6 March 2016

Unreal Tournament 4 and the Village Idiot

There are a lot of bickering idiots pushing hidden agendas on the UT4 forums. Posting ridiculous bullshit and in some cases even outright lies in an attempt to convince Epic to change the game to favour their preferred playstyle to the detriment of everyone else.

But UT4 has it's "special" problem child, constantly posting ridiculously contrived scenarios, laughable "proofs" and other nonsense while crying for weapon nerfs just about everytime someone kills him.

The village idiot likes posting what he calls statistics, taking small carefully selected samples and manipulating the numbers to make it seem like:

1. The Flak Cannon is the best weapon in the game, extremely overpowered and in dire need of nerfs.
2. The best, most versatile and one of the most used weapons in the game (Shock Rifle) is severely underpowered and in dire need of buffs.

For example his latest idiot "Statistics" post:

This raging lunatic puts Flak as the number 2 killing weapon on his list after adding up the deaths from both Flak firing modes. But for Shock he splits it up into primary fire and combos as if they were completely different weapons and just leaves Shock secondary firing mode out altogether to make Shock look much less powerful than it actually is.

234 deaths from Shock combos + another 180 from Shock primary fire = 414 already slightly more than from Flak and that's not counting deaths from Shock secondary fire which would bump it up even further ahead of Flak.

Busted again!

And of course like always he makes absolutely no mention of rockets which are pretty much always the number 1 killer. It's difficult to find a scenario where rockets aren't number 1 even when trying to manufacture one. You can look at virtually any player's stats and clearly see everyone both gets the most kills with rockets and dies the most to rockets.

The village idiot's solution to overpowered rockets?

Nerf flak! Then once Flak has been turned into a Marshmallow Cannon, nerf Enforcer, Link and Mini... Probably Bio too for good measure.

Basically he wants to nerf everything except Shock, Snipe and Rockets... Can you guess which weapons are his favourites?

Note to Epic:

Stop reacting to idiots, just remove the collision radius from projectiles (mainly rockets and flak) and see how that changes things.

Then take a long, hard look at the netcode (ping compensation in particular) and fix it so more players can actually see incoming fire, where the other guy is, what he's doing and react skillfully rather than just randomly hopping about and praying the ping comp gods favour them.

A server side option to turn ping compensation completely off would be a great start. Then we could find out how much of the so-called weapons balance problems are actually ping compensation problems. Beyond that an option to set how much ping is compensated for (from 0 to say 120) would be nice too.

Oh, and don't you think it's way past time to set default player count numbers to reasonable values so everything besides duels aren't just giant spamfests?

8 players for DM/TDM
10 players for CTF

Saturday 5 March 2016

DM-Bishop A5

DM-Bishop A5 - Released 03 Mar 2016

Repacked for the latest build of Unreal Tournament. Also includes a number of changes, some new meshes, lighting changes and more polishing.

Remake of DM-Bishop from the original UT (aka UT99). Bishop is a fairly large map that IMO plays extemely well in UT4. There are all kinds of shortcuts and trick jumps made possible with UT4 movement. Plus there are 2 shock rifles with plenty of ammo and all kinds of great places to drop combos... Need I say more?

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Thursday 3 March 2016

Great Expectations

When I first started playing Eve Online I had a lot of expectations. Many of my expectations were based upon science and science fiction, others based on articles I'd read about Eve Online in particular, still others based on what's usual in most games and based on what's "right", "proper", "fair", or "balanced".

- I was expecting the universe and the environment the game is set in to be more like that found in popular science fiction novels like David Weber's "Honor Universe".

- I expected Wormholes to be a method of faster than light travel, similar to how Gates are implemented. Difficult to protect, control or deny access to without a large, strong, permanent fleet... Shortcuts between different parts of normal space, not just entrances to and between small pockets of inter-dimensional space that isn't accessible in any other way.

- I expected futuristic technology based on real science, physics and realistic, believable science fiction. Not a horribly mismatched collection of unrealistic, unbelievable technology with absurd capabilities, equally absurd limitations, contrived rules and bandaid "fixes" all cobbled together into one gigantic immersion killing mess.

They like to tell us the Eve Universe is this huge massive universe with vast swaths of uninhabited space to explore. Really it isn't very big at all, you can travel across the entire Eve universe in less time than it takes to drive across a moderately sized city in real life.

That isn't massive or uninhabited, that's small and crowded. And that's flying manually without using Jump Drives or portals, with them the Eve Universe is even smaller.

They like to tell us about the massive battles in Eve Online and try to make it sound exciting. What they forget to mention is those battles happen rarely and involve massive purposely induced lag (called Time Dilation or TIDI for short).

They also forget to mention the individual pilot is practically irrelevant in such battles. Big sov wars in Eve are really just RISK in space with modified rules allowing for unlimited air drops. IOW, the biggest blob wins virtually all the time.

The big battles aren't at all exciting, what they are is incredibly boring.

They like to tell us Eve is such a great PvP game, yet most of what they call PvP in Eve would be considered griefing, ganking and harassment in most other games. Bannable offenses in many games.

They like to tell us Eve is a sandbox "you can do anything you want and play however you want". Then they try to force everyone to play the way certain players and the power blocs they control want us to play. Which basically boils down to if you aren't a member of one of the giant power blocs and won't do what the blocs want you to do, then you should be easy prey for them.

Note: This is an article that's been sitting here on the blog in unfinished draft form for a long time. I don't play Eve Online anymore because I got fed up and bored with it. Consider this more of a goodbye to Eve statement than anything else.