Nov 11 2013

War Thunder – Frustrations of an Arcade Bomber

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The more I play War Thunder the more tired I get of flying out fighters. I’ve racked up about 9,600 aircraft kills. It gets a little boring. So I’ve decided to spend more time in my bombers. I’ve got about 5,600 ground kills. It’s a decent amount.

The decision to go after ground targets or air targets is always a tough choice. Air targets are generally easier to get if you’re in a fighter, but in a lot of matches, you win by eliminating all of the ground targets (tanks, pillboxes, armored cars, etc).

The most frustrating thing about flying bombers, however, is you almost never get any air support from your allies. Everyone in a fighter gets tunnel vision and focuses on whatever enemy plane is closest to them. It’s shocking to see the number of planes that will get on just one enemy plane and try to take it down. It’s not uncommon to see more than half a dozen planes trying to take down one fighter. All because everyone wants the kill. The more kills you get, the bigger in-game rewards.

With everyone trying to get the easiest kill, a lot of people won’t go out of their way to cover an enemy bomber. They know the bomber is going to attract multiple enemies. Any good fighter knows that shooting down a bomber is a good way to win the game because the team will eventually run out of bombers, which will in turn allow for more ground forces to stay alive.

I just got out of a match which took place on one of the newer maps. It’s got a huge ravine that is filled with ground targets. Tanks, AAA, armored cars, and pillboxes line the ravine’s base. It’s ripe with targets, more than thirty for both teams.

I didn’t do that well in the match. I racked up ten ground kills and one aircraft kill (haha, bomber shot you down) between two bombers. Both times I had a single LaGG-3 on my butt the entire time. My apparently cross-eyed rear gunners can’t hit anyone despite having five experienced gunners. I maxed out their vitality to give them a fighting chance.

Cover your bombers, fighters. You should know where the bombers are. Over the ground targets. Give them a hand.

I never got a hand and both my Havok and B-25 bit the dust in that Arcade match. It’s amazing how much of a beating both planes can take. With even one fighter escort, I bet I would have stayed alive the entire time.

Gaijin should also work on the economy. Bombers don’t get nearly enough lions and XP for killing ground targets. It’s more lucrative to get in a fighter and shoot down whatever fighters you come into contact with.

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Nov 01 2013

War Thunder Celebrates 1 Year Anniversary

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After launching on November 1st, 2012, War Thunder announced it’s one-year anniversary today. I haven’t played it right from the very start, but I believe I’ve played it for at least six months. It’s been a LOT of fun.

War Thunder has had a lot of success. There are millions of registered players right now and I suspect that mark will jump significantly this month. War Thunder will be releasing its much-anticipated tanks expansion soon. The game will also be playable on the soon-to-be-released PlayStation 4.

I don’t intend to buy the PS4, but the tanks expansion looks to be a lot of fun.

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Sep 04 2013

New Modem

Published by under Technology

I’ve had my own modem for quite some time. My ISP, Charter, has insisted on charging monthly fees so I opted to buy my own and save money in the long run.

I got a letter offering a free modem a few months ago. The documentation said there would be no monthly fees. So I went ahead and signed up for it.

The modem arrived about a month ago and I finally plugged it in today. I wish I could see a difference in speeds, but the old DOCSIS 2.0 modem worked just fine. My hope is Charter won’t insist on charging a monthly fee again at some point and will let me use this modem for free. I suspect they’ll change their mind at some point.

I’ve used Motorola modems for as long as I’ve had broadband. I was surprised when Charter sent me a Cisco modem. I wasn’t aware they made modems, only routers and switches.

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Sep 04 2013

War Thunder – New Best Game

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I get incrementally better each day in War Thunder. Twenty kills in Arcade is still my goal. I managed to down 18 enemy planes the other day in my Beaufighter Mk. VLC. I also got three ground kills. I never got shot down.

Perhaps the most important part is my team did win the game. I don’t know about other War Thunder players but it’s frustrating when you play well and your team still ends up losing because you didn’t target enough ground units.

Of course with that model Beaufighter, you’re not going to get very many ground kills. It has cannons, but no bombs or rockets. Killing tanks and pillboxes is impossible without heavier weapons. As far as ground units go, 20mm cannons are only good for taking out AAA, Armored Cars, and Howitzers.

18 air kills is nice but it really comes up short compared to what I saw Akeera upload on Youtube the other day. 33 air kills! Holy cow!

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Aug 31 2013

7 Days to Die Clusterf****

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Truth be told, I’m getting a little tired of War Thunder. It was added to Steam, bringing in quite a few new players. It was great for a week or so but the game itself is getting a little old now. Gaijin won’t be rolling out the tanks expansion for a few more months (November, I think) so the airplanes portion of the game gets a little repetitive. Maybe I’ve been playing it too much.

So I began looking for another game to play. 7 Days to Die was the first game I found that I found intriguing. It’s a combination of games. Some say it’s a combination of Minecraft and DayZ. Essentially, you’re a guy (or girl) who is trying to survive a zombie-infested world. And you have to scavenge, build (craft), or grow everything you need to survive.

The zombies are slower-moving during the day, eventually becoming faster and more aggressive after the sun goes down. So you have to find or make shelter each night. There are abandoned towns, factories, warehouses, and farm houses on the map, all of which will provide you with a place to hold up for the night or scavenge food, water, weapons, etc.

I found some YouTube videos featuring actual gameplay and I was hooked on it. I’ve been watching a few guys as they build ridiculously elaborate fortresses to keep the zombies out.

I wanted to buy the game. It’s $35. For a game still in the first Alpha build. Yeah, it’s a lot of money for a game that’s not even close to being finished. However, that $35 also guarantees a final version of the game, along with each update in between. So it’s not too bad of a deal.

The problem is the developers, The Fun Pimps, have had a disastrous time dealing with the orders. They’ve had to take down their “Buy” page because of technical problems. They ordered a new server for their site and they can’t seem to get anything to work. Customers are complaining about not getting a copy of the game despite paying for the game more than a week ago. Yeah, talk about a total clusterf***, right?

I haven’t figured out why they didn’t just go with a reputable company like Steam and let them handle all of the business regarding the release of the game. Let their servers handle the stress. Let their customer service deal with dissatisfied customers. And let your relatively small staff focus on the development of the game.

As much as I like the game, 7 Days to Die has a long way to go before it’s a finished, polished game. the game is suffering from a plethora of bugs, including memory leaks, graphical glitches, and some crafting recipes don’t work.

After watching some of the YouTube videos, I’m becoming more reluctant about buying 7 Days to Die. It’s not the bugs, it’s the fact that there’s a limit to how much you can do right now. I’ve seen guys do a lot of work, making seemingly impenetrable forces and now have little to nothing to do.

I know the developers intend to add flying enemies and climbing zombies, but I wonder how long some people will actually play the game. Theoretically, you can do just about anything you can think of in this sandbox. It’s just a matter of whether or not you’re going to have fun doing it. I suspect the game will have to rely on multiplayer and PVP modes to keep it interesting for some.

That is if you’ll ever be able to buy the darn game. Seriously, The Fun Pimps. Get on it. Fix your site and get your customers the game they paid for. And get it on Steam. Like I said, let them handle the game orders and customer service.

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Aug 21 2013

War Thunder – To Pay or Not To Pay

Published by under Gaming

I’ve been having a blast with War Thunder. It’s a terrific game. Gaijin Entertainment just showcased the game for its eventual PlayStation 4 debut with a terrific trailer. But right now I’m wondering whether or not it’s time to spend some money on the game.

War Thunder is clearly worth it. Of all the games I’ve played in the last five years (free or otherwise), I’d say I’ve gotten the most bang for the buck from War Thunder.

However I’m strapped for cash. I probably will spend money on the game at some point, likely for the premium planes. Specifically, I’m intrigued by the Boomerangs that were built by the Australians but flown by the RAF (Royal Air Force).

The more I fly the British lineup of planes, the more I like them. The Spitfire Mk II is especially a favorite of mine.

However, the Boomerangs are just tier 4 and have basic cannons. There aren’t very many planes that early in the game that have cannons. Most are just your basic machine gun.

Youtuber eNtaK recently took out the Boomerang for a spin and did very well in this video. He did get a little lucky, however. Often that side of the map gets swarmed by fighters trying to protect bombers. He didn’t get a whole lot of resistance until the very end of the game. I’m usually fighting off half a dozen Yaks and BF 190s.

That being said, the Boomerang proved to provide plenty of punch to bring down planes once the cannons were reloaded. The RAF machine guns aren’t particularly good at bringing down planes. They’ll light planes on fire sometimes, but often those fires will be extinguished because of self-sealing fuel tanks.

All and all, I’d say that unless Gaijin changes the pricing at some point, I’ll be opening my wallet at some point. Even if it’s just to try out one of the Boomerangs. Most of the other premium planes don’t interest me. A lot of them are either too highly tiered or don’t suit my playing style.

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Aug 06 2013

Another Big War Thunder Update Coming

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War Thunder‘s changing again. More changes are coming in a soon-to-be-released patch. It’ll include more planes, of course. However, the changes that intrigue me the most have to do with plane upgrades.

We’ll have additional customization options at-hand when it comes to weapons, engines, air frame, etc.

As of today, the number of options is about half of what could come to be when Gaijin releases the next major patch.

What is potentially worrying about this coming patch is actually the nickle and diming that would take place. Although the dizzying number of customizations is a nice thing, it could be costly for players. Silver Lions and Golden Eagles will be spent at a record pace on the new upgrades.

I have no doubt Gaijin sees this as a potential windfall in terms of profit. A lot of players will undoubtedly whip out their credit card or log into their Paypal account to transfer money over to buy the upgrades.

I can honestly say that as of August 6th, I have yet to spend a single penny on the game and I don’t see that changing. I’ve spent money on other free games (namely Battle Pirates) that had premium upgrades and ended up regretting it eventually.

War Thunder is a far better game than Battle Pirates however. If I had the money, I probably would spend some on the game. It’s definitely a game worth supporting. This game is worth the $40+ you’d normally spend on a good PC title.

Gaijin has an invite system for War Thunder. If you join by clicking on this link, we both get free in-game money (Golden Eagles). So if you’re considering playing, give it a shot. The game is totally free and a blast to play.

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Jun 25 2013

War Thunder – Still Plugging Away

Published by under Gaming

I haven’t talked about War Thunder since April. It’s been almost three entire months. I’m still playing it. I still love it. The developer continues to play with the flight models and game economy as they try to please people, but there’s still a ways to go.

For me the most frustrating thing about the game is the lack of players. Since I began playing War Thunder, the number of active gamers hasn’t increased by very many. I’m not going according to what the company’s internal numbers may say. I’m just going by the number of active users I see whenever I’m on.

One other thing I find myself doing is continuing to play the lower tier planes. Well, actually they’re mid-tier, now that I think about it. The game has tiers up to 20. I’m no higher than 9 in any of the nations. The highest tier plane I fly on a regular basis is 7.

Why, you may ask? Well, anything higher is very expensive to buy. Even though Gaijin, the game’s developer and publisher, recently lowered the prices on a lot of aircraft, the prices can still be high. This is especially true when there are multiple variants of a particular plane and in order to fly the one you want, you have to buy the six previous variants. LOL.

Also, there’s repair costs. The higher the tier, it seems the longer it takes for the planes to repair as you crash/get shot down. It costs a lot of Lions to repair them. And if you want to wait for a free repair, it will literally take a week or so for some planes. It’s just stupid. I can’t imagine waiting a week for a plane to repair itself. One of the reasons I quit playing Battle Pirates was the insanely long build times (weeks for single ships). War Thunder had better see that as a cautionary tale.

I find myself playing the Germans most of the time. I love the BF 109 variants. Their engines give them plenty of power. They’re fast and reasonably agile. Their guns are very nice. They make for a great boom-and-zoom plane.

You’d think I’d love the Americans because the bulk of their plane inventory is of the boom-and-zoom variety, but I don’t care for their flight models or their guns.

The flight models are atrocious. The Kittyhawk, for example, is unflyable in my opinion. How do you aim that thing?! It’s like the pilot had an all-night bender and you’re waiting for him to sober up.

And the guns are weak. Despite there being a lot of 50-caliber guns on the American side of the war, the guns seem rather weak in Arcade Battles. Their bark is much worse than their bite. They sound serious, but it’s like a peashooter.

Also the American cannons that I’ve encountered just don’t do it for me. They fire really slowly. I much prefer the faster-firing German 20mm cannons.

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Jun 25 2013

Roboform Incompatible with Firefox 22 (UPDATED)

Published by under Technology

I was pretty disappointed today when I noticed Roboform, my favorite password manager, didn’t work anymore when Firefox updated itself today. The toolbar disappeared. Damn!

Now it looks like I’ll have to use my installation of Chrome in the meantime. I’m not that big of a fan of Chrome. Firefox became my favorite browser years ago.

From what I’ve read, it may be one to two weeks before Roboform gets an update out to deal with the changes Mozilla made to Firefox 22. I really wish Roboform’s developers would get this solved in a quicker fashion. Roboform, get your butts in gear!

Update: June 27th, 2013. Roboform has released a new version (v7.9.0.0) to fix the incompatibility issue with Firefox v22. Roboform can be downloaded from

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Apr 01 2013

War Thunder April Fools Day Joke

Published by under Gaming

Gaijin Entertainment got us all today. They released a new video preview showing flying ponies in the game. You know the “My Little Pony” ponies? Yeah, those ponies. Here’s the kicker. They actually put the ponies in the game!

I couldn’t believe it. For a game company to go to that level, it blew me away.

Now the Ponyland Air Force are all made of the same ponies, just in a variety of colors. They’re remarkably fast. They’re essentially jets, something I haven’t actually reached amongst the regular aircraft in the game. They don’t turn particularly well. Also, shooting down a pony can be difficult since they’re so small.

I took my Ponyland Air Force out for a spin this morning, playing about six games. My best one resulted in getting shot down four times, while shooting down eight enemies.

The games don’t tend to last very long. On groundstrike matches, the game is generally over in just a few minutes because you can kill the ground targets pretty quickly with your two bombs, eight rockets, and four cannons.

Taking out low tier planes right now would be suicide. These little ponies will own your behind! Fortunately, these will only be in the game for today. So have fun, kids.

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