Subject: General Tech | July 7, 2014 - 05:13 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: riot games, moba, lol, free to play
MOBAs are known to be intricate, unforgiving PC games. League of Legends is one of the most popular at the moment (#1 PC game in terms of hours played for May 2014 according to Raptr). It is free to install and play, with small purchases to unlock more content ("microtransaction"). The free-to-play business model is quite interesting, albeit polarizing, because your commitment starts when your users installs your title, not ends. This often leads to one of two outcomes: abusers of human psychology or constantly developed, great games that strive to never get boring.
Now you can see why it is polarizing (or just read our impending comments).
The business model does permit games that are deep in gameplay mechanics, however, if it keeps a core user base playing (and buying additional content) forever. Unfortunately, this also makes it difficult for new players to join -- especially when it is competitive and multiplayer.
Riot Games noted that they were uncomfortable with how many of their players lose "Battle Training", which is supposed to be a tutorial. Some even prove to have significant skill later on. They interpret this as the problem being how they educate new players. There is high complexity that is fair, and then there is just bad user experience.
"Intro Bots" is designed to be a mode which adjusts its difficulty to match the player currently, and as they progress. Hopefully it works. Obviously that is the limiting factor. It does seem to be designed reasonably. It teaches with repetition and in realistic scenarios.
Intro Bots is coming soon, after a brief stop in public beta. Ironically, the public beta realm was refered to as "PBE"... in a press release for a feature intended to be easier for new players. You know, the people who might not know the game's vocabulary. Just saying.
Subject: Cases and Cooling | July 8, 2014 - 05:47 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: PSU, antec, 750w, 80 Plus Gold, TruePower Classic
[H]ard|OCP reviewed the highest powered model of the new TruePower Classic lineup, the 750W non-modular 80 Plus Gold rated PSU which has a lot of advertising hype to live up to. Inside it is a highly modified Seasonic G-Series with quality capacitors, though the fan is only of middling quality. This PSU did pass every test that was thrown at it bit did not quite provide the same high performance as other PSUs [H] tested that used the same design. On the other hand at $103 it does not cost as much either making it a good example of compromise between extreme performance and extreme cost.
"Antec comes to us today with a mid-level 750 watt enthusiast computer power supply that touts Gold efficiency. This PSU is somewhat light on marketing and heavy on features such as Japanese capacitors, "unprecedented tight voltage regulation," and low ripple and noise to "maximize your system's performance."
Here are some more Cases & Cooling reviews from around the web:
- Antec High Current Pro Platinum 850 W @ techPowerUp
- be quiet! TFX Power 2 300W Gold @ Kitguru
- Seasonic Platinum-1200 @ [H]ard|OCP
- Deepcool Quanta DQ1250 1250 W @ techPowerUp
- eXtreme Power Supply Calculator Update
Subject: General Tech | July 8, 2014 - 01:40 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: SoC, Panasonic, Intel, arm
Intel has been fabbing ARM chips for Altera since the end of last year after their unprecedented move of allowing non-Intel designs into their fabs. This decision allowed Intel to increase the percentage of time the fabs were active, as they are no longer able to keep them at full capacity with their own chips and have even mothballed the new Fab 42 in Arizona. Altera is a good customer, as are Tabula, Netronome and Microsemi but together they are still not enough to bring Intel's capacity close to 100%. The Register has reported on a new contract with the ink still wet from signing; Panasonic will now be using Intel's Fabs for their ARM based SoCs. The immense size of Panasonic should keep Intel busy and ensure that they continue to make mountains of money licensing their 14nm-process tri-Gate transistors as well as the Fab time.
"Intel has notched up another customer for its fledgling Foundry business as it tries to make money out of its manufacturing and engineering expertise besides x86 processor sales.
The world's most valuable chip manufacturer said on Monday that Panasonic's audio-visual gear will make future system-on-chips (SoCs) in Intel's factories."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Fridge hacked. Car hacked. Next up, your LIGHT BULBS @ The Register
- RS Components shows off 3D printer line-up @ The Inquirer
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 reaches general release @ The Inquirer
- Meet Xiki, the Revolutionary Command Shell for Linux and Mac OS X @ Linux.com
- Anime Expo 2014 – Part 3: Next-Level Cosplays @ Legit Reviews
Subject: Shows and Expos | July 9, 2014 - 05:27 PM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: workshop, quakecon, contest, byoc
Are you interested in attending Quakecon 2014 next weekend in Dallas, TX but just can't swing the BYOC spot? Well, thanks to our friends at Quakecon and at PC Part Picker, we have two BYOC spots up for grabs for fans of PC Perspective!
While we are excited to be hosting our PC Perspective Hardware Workshop with thousands of dollars in giveaways to pass out on Saturday the 19th, I know that the big draw is the chance to spend Thursday, Friday and Saturday at North America's largest LAN Party.
The giveaway is simple.
- Fill out the form below with your name and email address.
- Make sure you are able and willing to attend Quakecon from July 17th - July 20th. There is no point in winning a free BYOC spot that you cannot use!
- We'll pick a winner on Friday, July 11th so you'll have enough time to make plans.
There you have it. Get it to it guys and we'll see you in Dallas!
Subject: General Tech | July 9, 2014 - 01:38 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: cellphone, lcd, quantum dots
Research into using quantum dots in LCDs has been ongoing and several breakthroughs at research laboratories have proven that they can provide much a much wider and more accurate colour spectrum than conventional backlit LCDs. The size of the dot effects the colour, with larger dots fluoresce red, mid-sized dots green and the smallest blue, emulating the familiar spectrum of pixels at a lower energy cost and greater accuracy. DigiTimes is reporting on the predictions of DisplaySearch which feel that quantum dots will be the next step forward for LCD technology and could represent up to a quarter of the smartphone display market by 2020.
The technology to incorporate quantum dots into displays is currently available but there are several hurdles which need to be overcome before you can expect to see them in your next mobile device. First and foremost is the price of manufacturing, as with any new process the first generations are quite expensive to manufacture, even if it is ways to molecularly seed a panel with a tailored particles to produce quantum dots succeeds in large quantities. Current mass production relies mostly on heavy metals such as Cadmium which are strictly regulated when used in commercial products and would likely not be approved for use in the production of mobile phones in the amounts currently required. It won't happen in the next few generations of phones but keep your eyes peeled for greatly enhanced LCD panels by the end of the decade.
"The firm said that the penetration of quantum dots in smartphone TFT LCDs will be 3% in 2015, growing to 26% in 2020. Penetration in tablets will also be relatively high, with nearly 2% penetration in 2015, growing to 15% in 2020. The quantum dot penetration in LCD TVs is expected to be lower, due to the large area of TV displays. DisplaySearch forecasts that less than 1% of LCD TV screens will use quantum dots in 2015, growing to 9% in 2020."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- TSMC to speed up development of 10nm process @ DigiTimes
- Break Your Frames? Print Some New Ones! @ Hack a Day
- Adobe issues critical Flash Player update for Windows and Mac @ The Inquirer
- Teensy card skimmers found in gullets of ATMs @ The Register
- It's finally happened: Bloke builds BOFH-style goofing-off cattle prod @ The Register
- Panic like it's 1999: MS Office macro viruses are BACK @ The Register
Subject: General Tech | July 9, 2014 - 02:45 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: skywind, skyrim, morrowind, gaming, elder scrolls, !console
It has been a long time coming and unfortunately it isn't quite here yet but sometime in the not too distant future Skywind will be opened up to the public for testing. If you do not own Skyrm then you probably have no interest in this mod but you may need to ensure you have a copy of Morrowind, including both Tribunal and Bloodmoon addons. You will need both games installed as well as the soon to be released assets from TESRenewal.com to try out Skywind for yourself. If your head is about to explode from the excitement and anticipation you probably shouldn't watch the video below nor read more about it at the equally excited Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN.
"Skywind, the total rebuild of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind in Skyrim’s engine, continues to play sweet melodies on my heart strings. They’re nostalgic tunes that lull me like the most charming of snake charmers. There’s a new trailer out, and I can practically feel the Balmoran cliff racers pecking at my back, making me invent new deities just so I can use their names as curse words."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Civilization: Beyond Earth Making Planetfall In October @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Dwarf Fortress Gets Biggest Update In Years @ Slashdot
- Custom Controllers For Kerbal Space Program @ Hack a Day
- Battle ready: Valiant Hearts and Company of Heroes: Western Front @ The Register
- Penny For Your BioShocks: The Humble 2K Bundle Is A Steal @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
- Demo Forces Us To Accept Meridian: New World Is Real @ Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN
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