I’ve been sporting a nice Microsoft Sidewinder X6 for years, but every good thing comes to an end. To be faire there was nothing wrong with it, it still works and all but I wanted something more, something different.
The Cherry MX Speed switches used in this keyboard are actually surprising. No pressure is required to push them down. Since the switches are linear there’s no resistance at all thus making me type faster, but not by much.
The switches are quiet but the keycaps are noisy without adding any rubber rings.
The iCUE is the essential tool that you will need to manager your keyboard settings, macros and lighting. I’m skipping this part since I didn’t test it much but it missing some things.
Oh boy where do I start?
The Cherry Speed switches are too sensitive for me, if I hover a key or rest a finger on it will trigger a keystroke. After a week of use I wasn’t used to them at all.
The iCUE software isn’t bad, but I would love to be able to add multiple programs to the same profile, it would make life easier for keeping similar profiles together like for example the regular Overwatch profile and the PTR one.
I sent it back after a week. I don’t like Cherry MX Speed switches. This post isn’t even worth calling a review, it’s more of a rant and I’m actually pissed about it because I wanted to love this keyboard but was dreaming about my old Sidewinder X6…
We all know by now that Ninja has signed up for Mixer and will be streaming exclusively over there. I also don’t care about Fortnite but I thought it was interesting to see the number 1 move over to a competitor.
I’ve actually tried this new platform and I like it.
What is Mixer?
Mixer is a streaming platform just like Twitch but with a much cleaner and modern UI than Twitch.
Reactions and effects can be sent to the streamer through the chat with the Sparks and Embers, a digital currency that can be bought or accumulated for watching streams.
A developer website is available for creating bots and integrating features into games or apps with Mixer: https://dev.mixer.com/
Stream Faster Than Light
Mixer uses the FTL technology that permits the streamer sub-second latency.
This technology exists on other streaming services but I’ve tried it with Mixer and I can’t live without it. I’m done waiting for my viewers to see what I was talking about and getting delayed reactions to me failing at the most basic things.
Isn’t exclusivity bad?
Unlike games being products, streamers are more like performers and they usually need to consolidate a fanbase somewhere so following is easy and communicating with followers is too.
It’s possible to stream to multiple services with a bit of setting up but interactions would be hard to handle well.
Okay so let’s be real for a second. Even though I’d support Mixer over Twitch it still isn’t perfect and I have had multiple issues with my channel not showing the stream or the FTL streaming not performing correctly.
The settings page is actually quite easy to understand and helps setting up the encoder correctly. But there’s no way to debug stream errors for now.
Twitch is bad
Twitch also experimented with Ninja’s channel, since he’s not streaming on it anymore, to recommend other Fortnite streamers… Without validating the streams or notifying him. It obviously when wrong when someone was streaming porn instead of Fortnite. Ninja has addressed this on Twitter:
While Ninja’s channel could be seen as belonging to Twitch, attacking his brand by advertising other streamers, especially without hand picking the content, is scummy at best and is a blatant attack on his brand.
Take a stand for cats & please remove Alinity from @Twitch immediately. She is using the platform to post animal abuse, which sends a dangerous message to anyone watching her videos. Cats are not props to abuse for more views 🐱pic.twitter.com/EsIsB5o6Tf
Long story short – Twitch was built and designed solely for the purpose of gaming… Twitch has been adding categories and features outside of gaming…
Non-gamer female streamers started growing in popularity VERY QUICKLY. This made many serious gamers upset because it feels like their ‘safe space’ gaming environment is being taken over by girls who don’t play games, thus resulting in ‘ruining’ Twitch (or their safe-space/home)…
The rest of MagamanDS’ response is also very interesting and you should read it.
Let’s finish by saying that Twitch isn’t only about gaming anymore, which is not a bad thing in itself. But what is bad is having content that belongs on camshow websites such as body painting and having people exposing their bodies.
I want Mixer to become the major streaming platform that YouTube Gaming never became, I want it to be able to compete with Twitch on its own and deliver a great user experience.
Right now getting partnered isn’t easy due to the goals being set very high for the random nobody but I’m willing to ignore that.
Whenever a Steam sale happens nowadays it’s always the same thing: people whine about the sale being worse than before.
But is it true? No it’s not.
The Steam Grand Prix event on the other hand sucks and is the worst event we have had.
Why do sales suck?
I said they don’t. The problem isn’t actually the sale, it’s the player’s library.
This is a supply and demand problem.
Every year new games come out, some get their prices lowered while other will go on a nice sale. If you buy a game you want, then during the next sale you will not buy it again, unless you are generous and gift it to someone.
When a new sale happens but you are neither interested in a game or willing to pay a price that seems to high, you will not buy anything. By not buying anything most players will think that there’s nothing of interest and therefore the sale sucks hard.
The sale is actually fine, just not particularly interesting.
Please don’t say this sale sucks, you already have everything you want. The event minigame on the other hand is really bad and actually quite predatory and we should call out Valve for this.
There’s nothing to apologize about, I know I could be writing easy stuff like report news or finally working on a personal project in Rust… But at the same time I also feel like I don’t have much time.
I’m thinking about maybe trying to talking about gaming news, A.K.A. blogging on cruise control.
I’ve actually enjoyed streaming and interacting with people recently so I might actually get a bit more into, we’ll see.
Since E3 ended with Microsoft and Nintendo being awesome, here’s my latest attempt at making a funny video:
I’ll try to write about E3, especially about Nintendo and Microsoft. They did well this year and actually put a smile on my face.
Rogue Squadron 3D is my very first Star Wars game. I’ve played countless hours trying to get all gold medals in every mission in the past, today I’ve gotten them in under 7 hours.
I’ve played this game.
During the “May the 4th be with you” Steam sale I decided it was time to get it. But it’s an old game.
First of all you’ll need Windows and then you’ll need nGlide. We will not be using DirectX since we want to achieve 1080p (even though we’ll have that 4:3 aspect ratio).
Once it is installed you’ll want to open the nGlide configuration to set up the game for your resolution:
My main screen is 1080p, but I’ll want to preserve the original aspect ratio. I’ve set the refreshed rate to the desktop, if you get weird issues you can try locking it to 60FPS.
Vertical synchronization might be required.
Do not forget to apply the settings.
The game will now need to use nGlide, to do so we need to set it in the launcher and then in the registry.
Click “Hardware Configuration” then “Change 3D Video Card”. You’ll be prompted to select a video driver, select “Voodoo Card (Driver: GLIDE)” then apply.
Close the launcher once everything is set.
Run regedit by opening the Start menu, the navigate to right key:
Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC\Rogue Squadron\v1.0
Here we’ll have to create a String value called VDEVICE and set with the value:
This will force the game to use nGlide.
The game will now play in 1080p and your windows will not longer be moved due to the resolution change. But there’s sadly no way to play it in windowed mode and leaving the focus might crash the game.
If you wish to try playing in windowed mode just hit ALT + Enter.
This is the only game of the Rogue Squadron series you can play on PC natively and it’s a shame since Rogue Leader is clearly a very good game too, Rebel Strike on the other hand has some issues.
The game has been release for PC, XBox One, Nintendo Switch and will be available on Playstation 4. I’m running the PC version and have purchased the game on Steam.
Are you familiar with Advance Wars? This game works in the same way but let’s not be lazy and let’s elaborate on that.
This is a turn based strategy game where you control units and building, you have a base and/or a commander and you must not lose either of them.
There are villages you can capture to increase your income. With your income you will craft units in barracks.
The game features a campaign, an arcade mode, a puzzle mode and multiplayer with crossplay. The game also features a built-in map and campaign editor.
Full mouse, keyboard and controller support is available. There are also accessibility settings for color blindness. So much care has been put in the game.
Each commander has an ultimate move called the “groove”. For example this move heals Mercia and all surrounding units by 50% when used, or Valder can summon a skeleton from the dead.
These moves can make quite the difference but are not necessarily game changers, unlike ultimates in Overwatch for example.
The tutorial does a great job explaining where to get information and how to advance but most of the work will be done by the player and it’s a challenging game. I have yet to get 3 stars in a mission that is not a tutorial during the campaign while playing on the normal difficulty. I am not a smart person maybe.
No need to be smart to have fun.
I would like to personaly thank Chucklefish for bringing this game on multiple platforms and not making it exclusive to any store and also because of crossplay enabling games from everywhere, with every kind of hardware, to connect and play together.
Thank you for making Wargroove the way it is.
I’m not very good but I’m willing to learn from my mistakes. The game looks good and I do enjoy it very much.
Metro Exodus, part of the Metro series, was up for preorder on Steam. But then it was taken down because Epic slapped lightly Deep Silver with dollars bills. While the early preorder will be honored this is bad for PC gaming as a whole.
Exclusivity is not competition
When the Epic Games store had been announced they promised a much bigger share of the sales to the developers and even promoted exclusivity deals.
Being able to earn 88% of a sale instead of 70% is good for the developer, especially the one that wants to maximize its revenue for less sales. But is it consumer friendly ? It’s not when it can’t be bought everywhere.
This exclusivity is unfair and unhealthy to the PC gaming community.
The Epic Games store has the advantage of giving a larger share of each sale to the developers/publishers than Steam, this is good for developers, but making the game available on Steam and then pulling out for a one year exclusivity deal is unfair to players who have preordered and to those who were planning on buying it.
While I’m not concerned about spoilers and I actually have my own opinion about the value of spoilers and how I experience media, I can wholeheartedly say that I will not care about a game striking an exclusivity deal like that.
I made the decision to protest this by not getting the game (legally or not) and I will probably not even bother once it’s out on Steam.
The Steam store page currently has a notice posted:
Notice: Sales of Metro Exodus have been discontinued on Steam due to a publisher decision to make the game exclusive to another PC store.
The developer and publisher have assured us that all prior sales of the game on Steam will be fulfilled on Steam, and Steam owners will be able to access the game and any future updates or DLC through Steam.
We think the decision to remove the game is unfair to Steam customers, especially after a long pre-sale period. We apologize to Steam customers that were expecting it to be available for sale through the February 15th release date, but we were only recently informed of the decision and given limited time to let everyone know.
Source: Steam store page
Even Mike Ybarra, XBox Vice President, has something to say about it:
What a time to be alive. Is this how this great platform ends?
Steam isn’t getting killed, it’s actually not even dying, but PC gaming is hurting.
We already knew for The Division 2 being exclusive to Epic, but having Metro Exodus advertised on Steam during a long preorder period and then making it unavailable for purchase for a whole year is scummy at best.
Time to vote
It’s time to vote with our wallets.
I will personally not stand for this. Games that will be exclusive (or even time exclusive) will not get my attention. I take pride in my Steam library.
GOG and Steam are both much more consumer friendly than what is Epic now, and even when Epic will become friendlier I will still not support it. The only thing I might use the launcher for is the engine since I’ve always wanted to try making some games, but I’m still quite turned off.
The Epic Games Store
While it can sell games and microtransations for Fortnite it lacks forums, players are encourages to go to the Steam forums for interaction. It also lacks groups, wishlists, user profiles, user reviews and Linux support.
We have seen recently that user reviews have been used to review bomb, or protest, the lack of user reviews hurts consumers. When a bad or broken game comes out we can usually get an idea about what it’s like with user review in the store but this isn’t the case here.
While we could search for reviews on YouTube or on any famous gaming news website, there’s no guarantee you will get the whole picture and avoid spoilers (if you care about that), unlike store reviews that can be moderated and voted as useful.
Epic will most certainly not offer any better DRM than Denuevo.
GOG and Origin
GOG and Origin are currently the two other stores that work pretty well.
GOG is great for having DRM free games and older games adapted to run on modern systems. They have a few first party games with the Witcher series and will be getting Cyberpunk 2077 (hopefully not a timed exclusive).
They have a service used to add games to your GOG account depending on the games you own on Steam: GOG Connect.
Let’s give credit where it’s due, EA has many first party games to build their store with exclusives such as Star Wars, FIFA, Battlefield, Dragon Age and many more. They are not poaching any other stores (at the time of writing). While exclusives are still bad they still produce many first party games.
Epic Games doesn’t have the perfect record they should have, for a couple of months prior to this post, I’ve been receiving emails about failed login attempts and the recent account theft vulnerability triggers some many red flags when launching their own store that I have no interest in giving it a try.
I’ve invested time and money into Steam and I’m happy about it.
I’m sad to see PC gaming becoming like console, where we all run x86_64 code but not the same software. They would be a great competitor if they were not aggressively pushing exclusivity like that. You can read more here: