What’s Next?

•November 21, 2013 • 1 Comment

I’ve been neglecting this blog a little of late.  In an effort to get myself used to using it again I am going to just post my thoughts from time to time.  What is a blog if not a diary that you let other people read.  There’s a tonne of new games on the horizon and I am having trouble deciding what to play.  Do I continue in a game I have a large investment in or start from the bottom in a new one?

EverQuest Next (Landmark)

Minecraft isn’t really a game, it’s a toolset.  EverQuest Next Landmark looks like it’s a gamified version of Minecraft and I am very interested to see how it plays.  EverQuest Next is looking to be a fairly typical MMORPG and does not seem to have a lot in common with Landmark other than some asset crossover.


World of Warcraft

Reading the news about the upcoming WoW expansion (Warlords of Draenor) has got me playing WoW again.  It’s the same skinner box + progress bars as it was and arguably less ashamedly so with inclusions like the Isle of Loot (not the real name) where you will literally find upgrades all over the ground.  After a 10 month absense I was able to take my mage into the last raid of the current expansion with only 10 days prep work.

EVE Online

EVE’s new expansion (Rubicon) looks really nice.  I logged in after patching and helped a two month old player do a level 2 mission.  He was just slightly over his head and my help was overkill.  I gave him an assault frigate so he has something to work towards.  I had the most fun in EVE in a small tough ship and I hope he finds it rewarding.  When I was new in EVE (over 9 years ago!) I had questions and veteran players at the time helped me out.  It was nice to be able to return the favour.


After overhauling FireCRaFT for a second time I decided that the Multi Document Interface (MDI) model didn’t really suit my goals.  In EFT you are often comparing one ship fitting with another, but you only look at one battle frame at a time in Firefall.  So I started over witha Single Form application and then got distracted with WoW.  I think I needed a break from Firefall, to be honest.  Siha and I have been doing nothing but that for 13 months now and we started to miss our friends who were all still playing SWTOR or WoW.  I’m sure we’ll be back and I will finish this software.

ooh, turns out this is my 100th post!




Complete overhauls

•November 1, 2013 • 1 Comment

There’s an awesome application for EVE Online called the EVE Fitting Tool or EFT. This lets you try out ship fittings from outside the game and can save you a heap of in-game cash. I am making a similar tool for Firefall which we’ve named the Firefall Crafting Resource and Fitting Tool or FireCRaFT. Unlike S.H.I.E.L.D. we didn’t try real hard to make that acronym work, it just sort of happened. Originally it was going to be FFT in homage to my inspiration.


Just after that screenshot was taken I decided I was not happy with how I was managing the items. In EVE every item is the same – every Medium Pulse Laser II is the exact same item as every other Medium Pulse Laser II. While in Firefall each item is unique because it can be created with components of different quality. If I make a Plasma Cannon with a high quality Receiver then it’ll have a higher Damage Per Round than one with a low quality Receiver.

So I found that the way I was managing the items was not conducive to variable qualities the way I needed it to be and I started an overhaul. This meant starting a whole new blank project and copying over the parts from the first attempt that I could use and creating the new parts as required. Tonight I finally got the application back to about the same point as the image and decided it still wasn’t what I needed.

In EFT you are often comparing two ships with different fittings while in Firefall you only have one of each battleframe and it’s item-level comparisons that you will be making. Should I swap out a low quality ability for a high quality one and drop some other ability off alltogether etc. So rather than using the Multi Document Interface model I am going to go back to a Single Document Model and try the rag doll/character sheet approach instead.

One good thing from the 2nd iteration however was a pretty splash screen:


I’m going to animate the title and make it all flamey – it’ll be awesome.

Testing PHP in an IFRAME

•August 26, 2013 • Leave a Comment

We do this on Astrek for the calculators, this is just a quick test to see if it works on a native wordpress blog.

ok, looks like it doesn’t work… maybe that’s one of the “premium” features…

New website!

•May 14, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Siha (from Siha Games) and I are running a Firefall fansite at AstrekAssociation.com.  Astrek is the name of one of the in-game corporations involved with the creation of battleframes and weapons.

Originally I had an idea to make up a spoof website for the company including advertising for the various items that Astrek make in-game but in the end we decided to make an actual useful site for Firefall.  There’s guides, cheatsheets and calculators at the moment and we have plans for videos and other useful stuff in future.  The game is still in a state of flux and it’s more work than I realised maintaining a fansite!

Multiboxing in Firefall

•May 14, 2013 • Leave a Comment

So I’ve been playing Firefall almost exclusively since August last year.  It’s still in closed beta but I have plenty of Keys if anyone wants in.  The game really is a beta too, there’s changes all over the place and the entire core of the game has changed in just the few months I’ve been playing.  It’s refreshing and unnerving to have so much change right under your feet.

Firefall’s resource gathering is more like EVE than it is like WoW.  You drop down a Thumper which draws material out of the world.  While it’s running mobs attack the thumper and you need to protect it.  Certain battleframes have strengths in this kind of encounter compared to others and it’s possible to essentially AFK some thumpers in some places.

So, multiboxing Firefall is more about managing a number of AFK resource gatherers than having characters interacting with each other.  The Bastion battleframe is the best for AFK thumping at this time with its four placeable turrets and a repair module.  There’s no trading in the game yet so your alts will just have a collection of resources you can’t use.  The upside to this is those resources are likely the nice ones – not going to logon all the alts for middle-of-the-road resources.

Not much multiboxing of late

•January 19, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Still testing FireFall and still actually enjoying it.  Reverse engineering their formulas and then having them change them and doing it all over again – I love this!


Lots of new betas too, but NDAs prevent me discussing them at this point, check back later…


I will add this though – Final Fantasy XIV take 2 is not shit.  It’s actually so amazingly “normal” that I’ve played all of 20 minutes.  Before it was ‘have you guys ever even played an MMO’ and now it’s ‘this is just like every other MMO’ – I’m hard to please:)


•November 14, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Have been playing FireFall almost exclusively for a few months now.  Have lots of spreadsheets and half way though an app which relates to the crafting system.  I recommend looking it up on Youtube and keeping an eye on the official site if you like what you see.


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