Software speed dating

Great deals for 11/23, including...tons and tons. Early Black Friday deals are crazy, so check these out

2020.11.23 16:42 MarkDMill Great deals for 11/23, including...tons and tons. Early Black Friday deals are crazy, so check these out

I looked through over 1020 deals and curated over $1,400 in savings for you. All in a day’s work. If I've saved you money, would you kick back a portion and support this site with a pledge on Patreon? Not only do you keep deals coming, but you'll unlock some great perks for yourself!
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2020.11.23 13:30 hollyJ999 Top 9 Best Practices to Speed Up Software/ Web Development in 2021

It might seem challenging when you are asked to enhance the pace of software development. But let me tell you, it is not that challenging how much it looks. To make your software development process faster, you must have to work in a planned way.
Your software is the digital face of your brand. You can’t be lenient with your work, although you have to think smarter to make your software development process faster.
We are praised with high cutting-edge trendsetting technology in this high-paced era, making everything feasible. The equivalent goes for your software development processes. Let us discover what’s the magic behind getting your software available quickly.

10 Ways To Speed Up Software Development

1. Customize Agile Processes:

Whenever you are willing to fasten your development processes, his/her first question would be, “what strategy can work”? If you have the same question in your mind, then the early and best strategy is customizing the Agile process.
Going with the best Agile process might increase the scope of having an early project in your hand. While working on customizing the Agile methodology, it can decrease the web development time and cost as well.
If your focus is delivering business solutions faster, then giving priority to Agile management is a must. It allows the development team to begin providing the first “testable-product,” early correction of mistakes, thus offering lasting massive customer solutions.

2. Operating with Smaller Team Members

It becomes easy to work with smaller teams. Sometimes increasing the team members for a particular project increases the complexity. At the same time, this might increase your delivery time. So if you want to avoid such mistakes, prefer working with a small component and small team. Breaking down the large project to chucks also breaks down the bigger problem. Hence, it becomes easy for your small group to accomplish their goals more quickly.

3. Automate The Testing Process

There are many technologies and tools that developers can access to increase the efficiency of the work. However, they can not afford to automate the coding, but there are activities in the development process that can be easily automated, like testing. To provide automation in the testing process, you mean, you are just using the resources (testing automation tool) that can work prominently in the different platforms.

4. Establish The MVP Strategy

MVP is a Minimum Viable Product, which can easily be described as an initial project release. This comprises only the center functionalities. You can give a try to this methodology, rather than trusting that the entire development will finish. This will let you know the essential or center features of the application. If you find everything is right at its place, then proceed with future actions. Afterward, keep thinking of the updates.

5. Keep Your team updated with the primary objective of the project

During the development process, you should keep all the team members updated with the changes you are making to the software. This will also help in the documentation process. This way, you don’t need to put effort into making the team clear about where you’re presently working and where it needs improvement. Updating gives you a progress report for your app.

6. Create Wireframes:

Making Wireframes is another acceptable methodology where you generally build up the screen as you need them to take a gander at the result. Furthermore, you can decide what connectivity should have different screens. Simultaneously, it also benefits with the goal that the planners or designers can get an app’s overall experience. It is essentially a visual portrayal of your application’s UI.
There are numerous wireframing tools available in the market. You can easily access such tools to make wireframes. After following such a methodology, your UI designer would have the option to precisely comprehend your necessities. Subsequently, wireframing spares a great deal of your time.

7. Regular code reviews and quality assurance:

Lead a QA after consummating each achievement instead of leaving it for later when the application is prepared to dispatch. The equivalent goes with Code audits. With standard checking, you can fix things as and when they occur. Else, you may even have more issues emerging because of existing ones when you are close to the starting date. This way, you are saving the time of development that might occur if you have code related errors in the future.

8. Use Third-Party Modules

Even though the vast majority of the organizations recommend you not utilize outsider devices, they think of specific limitations and impedance in your application. Yet picking great ones is justified, despite any trouble. Also, these types of modules show a contribution to time shortening and solve various problems.
Nowadays, there are various types of third-party modules available for developers and designers. Using those tools can satisfy the reason for investing time and money. A very much set outside module can help you convey a required quality while also lessening your development time.

9. Seek Outsourcing of Software Development

If you believe that your in-house assets are taking a lot of time, you can generally hire an outsource software development company to perform the task. It is there consistently to work, and thus they will think of a ton of ways on how you can rapidly dispatch your application. Read more at https://www.softwarefirms.co/blog/9-best-practices-to-speed-up-software-development-in-2021
submitted by hollyJ999 to Development [link] [comments]


2020.11.23 11:48 SuperHotUKDeals Samsung MZ-V7E1T0BW 970 EVO 1 TB NVMe M.2 Internal SSD (up to 3,300 MB/s) Black for £97.49 delivered @ Amazon Germany

The following description is not provided by this sub or any of it's contributors.
£97.49 - Amazon Germany
Think this is a good offer for this quality NVMe drive. :)
Lowest price.
£125.30 on Amazon UK
submitted by SuperHotUKDeals to SuperHotUKDeals [link] [comments]


2020.11.23 06:54 btlkhs [OWL WATCH] IOTA TIME 43;

Disclaimer: This is my own editing, so there could be some misunderstandings.
For the transparency and the spread of good spirits around IF...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4N6EmWL2oWg&feature=youtu.be

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1ifcn1dMlI&feature=youtu.be

https://blog.iota.org/iota-foundation-receives-tm-forum-award-as-enabler-for-digital-transformation-3e2811e2b777

IOTA Foundation receives TM Forum Award as an enabler for Digital Transformation
On this last day, TM Forum, the organization driving digital transformation in the telecommunication industry, recognized the work of…
blog.iota.org

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Charlie [IF]오늘 오전 2:16
u/Paul_SF🧢 The new wallet will be called Firefly.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hans Moog
Deadlines in crypto are usually not a good idea 📷I agree, that there is a 0 chance that the technology will not be ready but Coordicide on mainnet also depends on how fast exchanges will do the necessary upgrades and other 3rd parties like auditors.
Especially with corona still being a thing, I think we shouldn't rely on all of the involved parties to always move at maximum speed but tbh. I think that it also doesn't really matter that much.
Once the final version can be tested, it will become very obvious what kind of beast is about to be unleashed and what you can expect from the technology which should be more than enough to instill excitement even if the actual deployment takes a few more weeks.

[about only-IOTA-delay?]
That is very far from the truth my friend (especially with projects that don't use blockchain). Radix (emunie) was supposed to launch in 2013, lightning network is years behind schedule and even Ethereums transition to Proof of Stake was originally planned for 2019.
Chrysalis II is the biggest change in the protocol so far. It changes the TX layout, the way transactions are processed, the node API and so on. In contrast to previous updates where you only needed to update the node, here any software that uses the network needs to be updated.
This includes exchanges, customers and so on. And due to Corona a lot of these 3rd party "partners" are not working at full capacity and take longer to make these adjustments.
We tried to design the new API with Coordicide in mind so that the next transition from Chrysalis to Coordicide will be easier and faster. Everything that can already be done now should also be done and there will be more Chrysalis updates in the future that will get us closer and closer to the way Coordicide works. In the end it will most probably be a smooth transition.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

vrom어제 오후 6:00
I think the Tangle Explorer should also have the opportunity to show the QR code of an address. Would that be possible?

Antonio Nardella [IF]어제 오후 6:19
Thanks for the feedback. Let me add that to the feature request list!

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charlie [IF]오늘 오전 12:06
Also I kind of disagree with the whole "IF not delivering" narrative. We have assigned all resources which we realistically can/should to work on Chrysalis. Every team is working efficiently and extremely hard individually on their own projects. In terms of things you could blame the IF for, you might consider the self-induced technical debt in Trinary/WOTS etc. or perhaps that Chrysalis specifications could have arrived slightly earlier, but the former was an unavoidable decision and the latter would not have changed much in terms of delivery date.
Perhaps you could be critical of the aggressive/initially incorrect time estimations. But also, something I consider somewhat unavoidable.

Charlie [IF]오늘 오전 12:24
[every partnership starts with great interest but develops into nothing?]
for many of them, it's more a case of lack of further communication because the projects take time. I suspect(think) there will be news around some of those partnerships sooner or later

Charlie [IF]오늘 오전 12:26
All future innovation aside, for me IOTA's strongest selling point remains free, high throughput immutable data and value transfer. No other project can do that.

Charlie [IF]오늘 오전 12:29
u/Deep_Sea_Hopper Streams takes everything we learned from MAM and improves the original protocol significantly. The basic functionality provided by MAM is still there, alongside new functionalities
Same with Qubic and the new SC platform
If a project is terminated, it usually means it's being replaced with something more refined

Charlie [IF]오늘 오전 12:31
u/Octo yeah but you should also note we've learned from our past comms mistakes. We now wait to communicate until we have something tangible and substantial. Whereas you still see other projects (e.g. Ocean) communicating that they have signed an MOU
The hype language of 2017 is simply not acceptable

Charlie [IF]오늘 오전 12:35
[is JLR out of the picture for sure?]
No, they are still very much in the picture

Charlie [IF]오늘 오전 12:36
u/Deep_Sea_Hopper there is no reason why any partner currently or recently involved would abandon IOTA due to timeframes. With Chrysalis, the tech will as you say "support the ambitions of the builders". I am fully confident of that.

Charlie [IF]오늘 오전 12:38
u/ThomasQv I don't personally know what is happening on the VW front right now, but I do know we still have a good relationship with them

Charlie [IF]오늘 오전 12:59
I guess the point I'm ultimately getting at with with my posts here is that even though the price is total shite right now there are reasons to be hyped. Chrysalis is going to put us in a really good place as an ecosystem, with the streamlined protocol and new libraries. The wallet we are building is sick (if I do say so myself 📷**).And then it's just a countdown (metaphorical, not of the Q variety** 📷**) to Coordicide, which will be when IOTA becomes a very serious contender in the space and can challenge what are currently considered the golden projects. It's taken a while to get to this stage and there's a fuckload still to do but the promise IOTA has always had will, I think, come to fruition in the not so distant future.**

Bas오늘 오전 7:53
I’m excited for December 📷
I think it has serious price potential too, for those that are not interested in tech

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Mike Bennett
Well I have finally finished re-drafting the IOTA Standards blog post, hopefully it will go out soon. Meanwhile I'm interested to know what drives the considerable interest here and how standardization will help what you are working on.
[May you share the link to the blog post?]
Will do. I believe it's scheduled to come out early next week (there's a lot already planned to come out this week). I'll post a link as a reply to one of these tweets so it's easy to find for everyone who has been following.

----------------------------------------------------------------

shonuff오늘 오전 7:08
OMG has a membership. They work on living, working standards with their members.
They don't just churn out standards that they hope people will use. If people don't use a standard they've formally voted in, it doesn't stay active. You have to use it, maintain it.
This is a highly collaborative organization. Getting this far means people want to and are using it. They just want it formalized so other people can collectively work on it.

Antonio Nardella [IF]
If someone says that standardization is coming by EOY, that is baseless hype

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charlie [IF]2020.11.16.
https://github.com/iotaledgeiota.flash.js/
Well if you want to use pay per second, imo you'd first need to work on the flash channels library (to bring it upto parity with Chrysalis)
Then, it should be quite straightforward to link upto the wallet tbh. We have plans to add NFC support in the new wallet. So you could initiate the flash channel via NFC (with a predefined price per second), and then close the channel either on the wallet or on the vendor's end (car wash).
So in practice, you put your phone next to an NFC terminal, you see a message saying "Car wash would like to open a payment stream of X iota per second, confirm or cancel". Assuming you confirm, then you see the current total transferred on the phone with an option to terminate the payment stream
It would be a nice little project imo, and not very difficult

ricardosnow2020.11.16.
So I would have the possibility to see on the account the iotas sendings per second in real time and I would have the possibility to stop it, right?
That would be awesome

Charlie [IF]2020.11.16.
Yeah we could add that functionality to the wallet quite easily
Just depends on someone working on the flash channel lib

muXxer
This doesn't mean anyone is working on that lib.
He also says "you would first need to work on the flash channels lib".
This is not soon**...**

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Navin Ramachandran [IF]어제 오전 2:40
[Could you implement bitcoin in post coordicide iota?]
Yes

Navin Ramachandran [IF]오늘 오전 2:37
[But how are the BTC transactions validated?]
They would have to be burned or locked to run on IOTA
We will have more info soon

Deep_Sea_Hopper오늘 오후 1:44
Do we have to wait for Coordicide for this or can it be possible on Chrysallis Part II

Navin Ramachandran [IF]오늘 오후 2:37
Once you have colored tokens.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Krzysztof Taraszka [IF]오늘 오전 5:40
[tether over to iota network?]
u/ThomasQv why not? they did it once, no? if you give them "fee"-less network, man, it would save a lot of money
If they don’t switch to a fee-less network then some other company could take its place using IOTA

--------------------------------------------------------------
submitted by btlkhs to Iota [link] [comments]


2020.11.23 03:32 SuperHotUKDeals Samsung MZ-V7E1T0BW 970 EVO 1 TB NVMe M.2 Internal SSD (up to 3,300 MB/s) Black for £97.49 delivered @ Amazon Germany

The description of this deal was not provided by this subreddit and it's contributors.
£97.49 - Amazon Germany
Think this is a good offer for this quality NVMe drive. :)
Lowest price.
£125.30 on Amazon UK
submitted by SuperHotUKDeals to HotUKGamingDeals [link] [comments]


2020.11.22 23:50 krakrakra Supercharging your WaterRower (metrics, workouts & more)

So you got yourself a WaterRower, but you're looking for something more to enhance your journey?
Here are two options you can get and what they offer:
SmartRow It's a smart pulley combined with a mobile app (iOS & Android). It provides a more accurate way to measure your applied power & other metrics than the S4 monitor. It has some workouts (custom workouts coming soon, iOS only for now), async multiplayer, and a wealth of data that it can also push to Strava.
Costs: The pulley costs around $250-$300 flat and it's free - no need for a monthly subscription. Links: [Official site] [/SmartRow] [Strava SmartRow group]
Ergatta It's a tablet with an arm holder that's installed on the WaterRower and connects to the S4 monitor. You can get a WaterRower integrated with Ergatta or an upgrade kit if you already have a WaterRower. Ergatta offers a huge library of workouts (new ones added every week) that guide you in real-time on stroke rate, speed or both. It also has multiplayer races where you compete with other users, and monthly challenges for achievements. The software/platform is being actively developed with new features.
Costs: Ergatta-integrated WaterRower is around $2200, and the upgrade kit if you already have a WaterRower is around $550. (check website for accurate up-to-date prices and extra shipping/installation fees + taxes). Also, to use their platform there's a $29/mo ($290/yr) subscription. Links: [Official site] [/ErgattaRower] [Strava Ergatta group]

Feel free to post or PM me any similar offerings for WaterRowers. Note: the information here might get outdated, always check the official sites.
submitted by krakrakra to waterrower [link] [comments]


2020.11.22 22:49 S4yol $1000 USD budget for engineering work + games

What will you be doing with this PC? Be as specific as possible, and include specific games or programs you will be using.
What is your maximum budget before rebates/shipping/taxes?
When do you plan on building/buying the PC? Note: beyond a week or two from today means any build you receive will be out of date when you want to buy.
What, exactly, do you need included in the budget? (ToweOS/monitokeyboard/mouse/etc)
Which country (and state/province) will you be purchasing the parts in? If you're in US, do you have access to a Microcenter location?
If reusing any parts (including monitor(s)/keyboard/mouse/etc), what parts will you be reusing? Brands and models are appreciated.
Will you be overclocking? If yes, are you interested in overclocking right away, or down the line? CPU and/or GPU?
Are there any specific features or items you want/need in the build? (ex: SSD, large amount of storage or a RAID setup, CUDA or OpenCL support, etc)
What type of network connectivity do you need? (Wired and/or WiFi) If WiFi is needed and you would like to find the fastest match for your wireless router, please list any specifics.
Do you have any specific case preferences (Size like ITX/microATX/mid-towefull-tower, styles, colors, window or not, LED lighting, etc), or a particular color theme preference for the components?
Do you need a copy of Windows included in the budget? If you do need one included, do you have a preference?
Extra info or particulars:
submitted by S4yol to buildapcforme [link] [comments]


2020.11.22 15:28 ayatoilet Just sayin': In 2016, Dominion Voting Machines were used and probably hacked by Trump's campaign!

Its strangely ironic and comical. Its the 'pot calling the kettle black', isn't it?
Dominion voting machines are not new. There were used in the past and specifically in the 2016 presidential elections. They counted over 70 million votes in 2016. Republicans said nothing then. If their software can be programmed to shift votes to Biden, they could have just as easily have been shifted to Trump in 2016 or even in 2020. That is a simple fact.
We also know now from endless indictments and convictions that the Trump campaign had illicit links to hackers and foreign intelligence. In deed the theft of Hillary's emails is merely an illustration, not the be-all, end-all of all the shenanigans pulled by the Trump campaign.
There are some serious clues that the Republican party had very close connections with Dominion and some knowledge in advance of the election of what they could do.
  1. Trump kept insisting that Republicans vote in person. This ONLY mattered, if they needed critical mass to add roughly 15% to Trump's vote totals (the most these machines can safely shift without being caught). If the volume of absentee votes 'grew' as a percentage of the vote, then the effectiveness of the machine vote shift was muted. And that is precisely what happened. He knew this was an issue and he maneuvered to shift the vote to in person voting.
  2. The SPEED with which Republicans have 'identified' Dominion as a potential culprit and the depth of their knowledge is stunning. They knew exactly where servers were. They MUST have known in advance. Basically this is a witch hunt on a company that 'failed' them. The talk of Dominion shifting the votes to Biden is a red-herring. If it had software that could have shifted votes to Biden, it could have just as easily been the reverse and even be shifted later to Biden after the election (as part of the Trump legal strategy).
  3. In most states and counties were Dominion machines were in use, the selection and purchasing of the machines was spearheaded by Republicans. And like I said before, they were used in 2016. In many cases, Republican election officials did NOT even show up in advance of the election to test, and confirm the operation of the machines. They had 'so' much confidence they would work!
Bottom-line, the Republicans lost having ACTIVELY tried to subvert the system with their own hacking schemes. And it bombed. It did NOT succeed.
Now they are trying to accuse the Biden campaign of what they actually did. They are angry because their plans to steal and subvert the election failed.
Lets not forget that the machine hacking is merely a small piece of their grand scheme to systematically subvert democracy and suppress the vote - removing voting drop off boxes, reducing the number of polling stations, reducing polling station hours, placing tough ID requirements, moving up closing dates on mail in ballots, etc. Republicans have a history of undermining democracy (Reagan's October Surprise, Bush's Hanging Chads, Mass Incarcerations in swing states, Gerrymandering, etc. etc.). Historically it has been Republicans that have proven out to be crooks.... not the other way around.
The lesson here, is that we need to re-evaluate whole election systems in this country and beef up laws and infrastructure to protect everyone's vote. This is a soft-coup by Trump - it can not succeed.
submitted by ayatoilet to conspiracy [link] [comments]


2020.11.22 14:50 posplaw PS5 release is a complete mess

TL;DR Don't buy one, and I'm deeply sorry for those who already own it
I'm more a reader here than a writer. But I'm full of emotions because what happened.
Since the very first PS I was in love with Sony, their ergonomics, experience I had. Loved every minute I spent with my consoles. Never switched my side to Xbox even though it was sometimes better, produced more numbers and so on. I was really tied to a PlayStation. But who could know that such thing may happen.
I've preordered my PS5 in September after I sold my PS4 Pro a year ago because I had literally no time for it and felt bad about it being covered with dust. With my first PS4 fat I had do to something when I don't play: at that time I had really laggy LG with 3D back in 2014, so I used my PS4 for YouTube, Netflix and other apps. But now I was really sure I'm going to spend more time on it, having fun with new titles with great graphics, get into skin of me 8 years old so mad about his first PS back into '98. So right after preorder I was hardly researching TV market to get a good fit after my '18 Samsung 4K I purchased specially for PS4 Pro with HDR10 support. This time I've decided to go even further: my findings led me to get brand new one Samsung Q95T of 75" size! Well, it looks great, so big TV I never had. Beloved TV series and shows now give better experience. It has single HDMI 2.1 port, so I couldn't wait anymore. Also, preordered second controller to have fun with my friends and girlfriend.
And so the day comes. 19th of November. Week later here in Russia than some parts of world. I'm already watching lots of videos about unboxing, first gaming experience, how cool is that new controller DualSense. Not so much titles yet, but yeah PS4 backward compatibility, got dozens of other games to play if everything new is finished at some moment. I'm at work, we have a really long meeting which is running nearly 3 times longer than usual, I'm secretly calling store where I've preordered my PS5 and they cannot say if I can get one. Local users write that they can receive their own only at 20th or even 22nd of November, 2-3 days past initial release date. I'm going all in and instead of having a lunch, getting a car and riding to a store. Though store managers thought I'm just a wanderer interesting about PS5 and telling they're not sure when I can purchase one, it turned out they have some in stock for preordered customers, and as I'm the one, I could get my box! So happy I took a ride at home to drop it off and get back to work. You know I couldn't work anymore and all of my thoughts were about how I come home and begin using it. Time was running very very slow so that I could hear my own heartbeat and breath. And when I've dealt with all work stuff I rushed to a home. 10 minutes ride to a grocery. I got some steaks, invited friend of mine. We prepared a food, poured drinks. Here it is! So big. So cool. Attached all cords, pressing the power button... oh that sound. Sound that tells you will have a fun now. On startup it offered to update software. Oh, cool, seems that launching it one week past release is good since Sony could prepare some bugfixes. Going on. Oops, it's stuck during update. All good, rebooting it. It launches, however, already updated, oookay. Login with PS app from iPhone, yeah, no more input of so long password without revealing it to others. Oh that controller, quick intro about it. Yes. Feels good. Got inside, renewed my PS+ subscription. Added new games, downloaded favorite ones, purchase some new, preordered some new that will launch soon! I'm happy. Trying out new demo app with this sort of robots. Not something extraordinary, but so fun. We're like kinds now again. The night went good. Really really good.
Next day, Friday. At work. Thinking about PS5. Working hard. Want to be really productive. At maximum of my possibilities. So I do deserve that late night play. Coming home, some home stuff, washing dishes, cooking food. Friends came along. Warming up with old PlayLink games. Having fun. Friend of mine offers to add his PS account and download other games. Played other ones. When we were about to finish the night, we've watched through all of his titles to decide what I would like to play. There are some games I loved, but previously had discs, so couldn't enjoy them anymore. Done with that. Pressing one of the games to see how fast it's downloading. Nice speed, seems I did good with my local network setup. And few moments later, damn. It turned off accidentally. Okaay. It is release I tell myself. Bugs, sort of things. It's made by people. People not perfect. Alright, turn it on again. Hum, not turning on. No sound, no light. Ooookay. I'm an engineer, let's think. First of all, google it. Oh, so many people have troubles with PS5. Looks I'm not the only one. Found some instructions on different websites, including Sony one. Trying everything. Injected power cord into different sockets, tried different rooms. No luck. Well, I have a bunch of cables, adaptors, let's figure out what do I have. Oh, same power cord, probably from one of old PS I had? Let's try it out. No luck again. Well, I read something about safe mode. Must be a help. Holding power button, nothing happens. It should beep for two times, bot not even single beep. Maybe plug in controller with shipped USB cable? Controller begins to light, probably seeking for a console. Nothing more happens. Ok, there were mentions about injecting a disc. I don't have any of PS discs at moment, but let's try some audio discs. They're physically the same. Aaand, as you can guess, no luck. Did same in combination of pressing PS button at controller, pressing power button, eject button. Even decided to write test cases to try everything possible. Couple of hours of googling, experiments, thoughts. Nothing. Maybe unplug power and let it rest for some time? Maybe something will reset because of it? Again didn't help. So I gave up and since it was too late yet I though I'll figure out tomorrow.
Saturday. Almost one day since Blackout. Asking my friend to get his PS4 power cord, and again no luck. Used my PS5 power cord with his PS5 and guess what? It worked like it supposed to. I have nothing more but to call Sony now. Calling tech support. Robot guides me through menu, choosing repair questions. >20 minutes wait tells robot! Wow. I am not alone. While waiting, watching videos on YouTube about PS5 launch issues. Damn, some glitches, boot loops, and few of people who cannot turn on their one same same as me! So I hear the voice and man answers me on the other side. I spend like 5 or 6 minutes explaining what happened. I was asked about model number, when I purchased it. Some other series of questions. Couple of times listening to music while being held on. And man says this. Unfortunately, my console cannot be fixed remotely and have to get it to do diagnostics. He asked for an address, so they can send courier to get my console. Since controller seems working fine I can only put console itself and power cord into the box, and I should put anything into the box to don't let PS be physically damage during delivery. Allowed diagnostics period is 30 calendar days! And if they can, they will fix it. And if not.. I'll get a note that it can't be fixed. This note I can use in store where I did preorder, and either get funds back or get new console. Wait. How do I get new console if they're out of stock already? I thought. Call ended with this. Then I called store where I preordered PS5 and explained situation. The girl on the other side was kind of friendly and condolatory about what happened. She mentioned if I get such a note I probably can get new console as they expect some arrival in 2-3 weeks from now. And also I could return it back to them, but they will send it the same to the Moscow to service centre, so probably if I do it myself this might be faster. Ok thank you bye. Little upset. Weekend is corrupted. Maybe I wouldn't be more upset this evening, but.. few hours later I got a notification that my 2nd PS5 DualSense controller is shipped to a store and I can get delivery. Good. At least they're stable with shipping and getting payments.
And now, Sunday. Nothing changed. Nothing literally. I even had no courier with latest 24+ hours. Who knows when he will arrive. Should I interrupt my work to get back to home? Should I carry it with me all day long? How much time will I wait until I get repaired console or a result of no repair. Knowing how things work in Russia, if they say 30 calendar days. This might be even more. This month or two I will enjoy two completely useless DualSense controllers, enjoy no possibility of playing new games, enjoy preordered titles that will release during this time, enjoy spent money on 12 months PS+ which I cannot use. I'm IT engineer, I know how things work. Yeah, we all do mistakes. There might be some software issues. I was completely ready from what I remember from PS4 release. I was ready to experience bugs, crashes, update issues. As long as I could investigate a bit and play again. Though it might not be good experience for regular players. Whom I so so condole with. How is that even possible in era when electronics getting more and more complicated and supporting devices becomes harder, to avoid simple old fashioned power supply? How can you put so much effort into cool design, great ergonomics, working shoulder to shoulder with game developers to improve experience, but don't give a heck about simplest hardware? I don't know now if I want to play this thing again. For latest 22 years PS was my choice #1 for gaming, I ignored PC gaming, Xbox gaming, being fellow PS fan. What if I get my PS5 repaired back? Do they change power parts with proper ones? Or was there hardware issue that they simply fixed with soldering iron? Will it break again sometime? Will I be out of warranty next time? If I get my PS5 replaced, how can I be sure it won't die the same?
I'm not sure if I should blame or shame Sony for that. It's engineers who manufactured bad device. It's engineers who designed bad hardware. I don't know for real. I don't know their names. But it doesn't matter honestly. I can only hope and wish you all luck who have not yet experienced any issues with their PS5. I wish you won't have same troubles as me.
UPD1: two days in a row, no courier appeared. Called Sony again. They say I didn't provide serial number, so my appeal is suspended. Cool, I told everything they asked last time. Support is great as console release.
Cheers, Alex.
submitted by posplaw to PS5 [link] [comments]


2020.11.22 08:14 itsetuhoinen [PI] A Demon From Earth (Ch 40)

Author's note: Break it down! Stop. Hammer time!
*gives the fourth wall the finger*
Enjoy!
Current location: Justin, TX. In a truck with a flatbed trailer full of giant rolls of heavy gauge electrical cable. Six of them at 5800 lbs each. :-D
So... it's technically Sunday morning here... ;-)
Make sure to check in on Friday this week, there's a special episode coming out that day, despite not being on the schedule.
Also, going to once a week was the right answer for now. I haven't written a godsdamned word since I started this gig on Monday. Hell, I'm like fifty seven chapters behind on just reading First Contact, or however 3 Ralts has written since last Sunday... ;-)
First / Previous / [Next]()
It's hard to say for certain which is worse. The anniversary of my wedding, or the anniversary of my divorce. They both sucked out loud in their own special way. Being three days apart didn't help either.
The crappy dream I'd had definitely didn't help. Somewhere rural I didn't recognize, but seemed familiar at the time, with friendly neighbors. Green grass and a stream. And my maternal grandparents were there, dead these past twenty years. Which all sounds like an odd setup for a dream that left me sobbing as I woke from it.
But when I'd gone to hug my grampa, I'd squeezed too hard, and hurt him. Like, severely. His bones had crumbled under my hands and arms, and he'd dropped into my arms, paralyzed from the chest down. Grammie had kept saying how it was her fault, she should have warned me, something like that.
Needless to say, it wasn't the best start to my day.
All in all, I wasn't sure what it meant, and wasn't even the dream I'd have expected to wake up crying from, today of all days. The one where my ex and I were out hiking at Arches, and when we went to jump over a little crack between two rocks, which turned out to be an infinite abyss, and she lost her footing, and I missed her hand, and she fell screaming forever and I woke up screaming her name and howling with tears? That's the one I would have been expecting. Though I actually hadn't had that one in a long time, which was nice. Maybe my subconscious was finally accepting that she was gone or some crap like that. It had been five years, after all.
Still, no clue where the dream of my grammie and grampa came from, or the events in it. It wasn't like I'd seen them recently. Or that I'd ever physically hurt either of them. I'm sure I caused them plenty of mental pain over the years.
I wasn't exactly what any of my family would have really preferred me to be. I dunno. Maybe it was just some generic "I always hurt the people I love" bullshit.
At any rate, the Master Carver and his crew had apparently been hard at work turning out spear shafts. The Smith had sent word that there was a stack of about a thousand of them already. So I decided to put some of my angst to work by smashing hot steel with a big hammer.
I grabbed Corey after breakfast, and we walked over to the forge. I had a bag over my shoulder with a cordless drill in it, a magnetic base drill press that it fit into, along with a couple of spare batteries, and a pair of 3 pound hammers. Since I knew that the truck wasn't going to be moving for a couple of days at least, I'd pulled the solar panel array out so that both halves of it were catching the sunlight. That kept the battery banks charged up, and let me do useful things like charging cordless tool packs. Always being effectively noon was also a bonus for their efficiency. I'd left the rivets with the Smith, so at least I didn't need to carry those.
I told him about my dreams as we walked.
"Wow. That's definitely a grade A nightmare. You want a hug?"
"Ironic, given the dream, but yes."
He wrapped me in his arms, and I just stood there for a while, my temple against his, leaning on my friend's strength. Fortunately for my sanity, his ribs didn't collapse under my return embrace. Eventually we started walking again.
We didn't have either of our translators with us, but I was pretty sure we could manage this one with pantomime. It's just a hammer, whatever the language.
When we arrived, I saw that he and one of his apprentices were working on something I recognized as part of my trebuchet design. Not wanting to get in the way of progress there, Corwin and I stood back until he'd finished hammering on it and stuck it back in the fire. He said something to the apprentice running the bellows which was presumably an order to take a break, because he didn't start pumping, and then looked at us expectantly.
I grabbed one of the shafts and a spear head, then walked over to him. After placing them in his hands, I pointed to Corwin and I, then to my eyes, then to him, and then to the forge. He seemed to get the idea.
Jamming the head onto the shaft so that it was snug against the place where it widened out to the outside diameter of the tubing, he grabbed a brace and bit type drill, and carefully bored holes in the shaft through the holes my nephew had made in the spearhead. While he was doing that, the younger elf working with him took a pair of the rivets and started heating the shop head end in the riveting furnace. Once it was hot, the Smith grabbed one with some short tongs, put it in the hole, tapped it through with the hammer, then set the shop end in the rivet set built into the anvil and started hammering on the factory head. Five blows later, he dunked the shaft in the quench bucket, then grabbed the other rivet and repeated the process.
I took a look at the finished product, and that was a very nicely done rivet job. The guy clearly knew what he was doing. I nodded at him, and then bowed. I grabbed another pair of spear parts, checked his drill to make sure it was the diameter I expected, then put a bit in the cordless drill. Heh, this should raise some eyebrows. I pointed at the kid, and held up two fingers.
Fitting the parts together, I drilled the holes in the shaft. The speed made everyone's jaw drop. After the rivets had heated, I grabbed one with my pliers, stuffed it in the hole, set it on the anvil and gave it a whack with my hammer before hitting the quench, grabbing the next one, and setting it with yet another single blow.
I also knew what I was doing.
He looked at me with a bit of actual respect for the first time. I gestured to Corwin and myself, to the drill, and to the pile of spear shafts. After that, I pointed to him, and to the trebuchet part in the fire, and then the anvil.
Corey and I headed over to the pile. I pulled the drill press out and magneted it to a secondary anvil. We started assembling spears and drilling holes. I would put a spearhead on a shaft, and holding the head tightly, smack the butt against the stone wall. Then I'd hand it to Corwin, who would put it in the press with the shaft sitting on a sort of sawhorse thing he'd put together out of wood for the furnace, quickly toe clamp it, drill the first hole, shift it, and drill the second. I'd brought the drill jig from back home so that the spearheads remained perpendicular to the drill.
Two and a half hours later, we had a huge pile of spears ready to rivet together. The Smith was looking at us in awe. Or maybe that was just at the drill. It was certainly much faster than the manual one he was using, although significantly less simple to fix in this environment.
He'd been banging on trebuchet pieces the whole time but seemed to have reached a stopping point about ten minutes before we got the last of the spears ready. When we started ferrying the pile over to a convenient location, he and his apprentice came over to help. Once that was done, I handed the kid the box of rivets, and pointed to the furnace. I snickered and Corwin asked me what was up.
"I just thought of the apprentice over there as a 'kid', and he's probably five times our age or something."
"Heh. Yeah, it's a bit weird thinking that most of these people are older than Jamestown. Elves, man. At least they're not literally immortal, like Elrond's bunch."
"True enough."
With a couple of gestures, I indicated that we should take turns riveting and quenching. At least, I hoped that I did. I suppose we'd see how successful I had been when we got started.
After a bit of apparent confusion, we got a pretty good rhythm going. It actually turned out to be a lot faster for the Smith to handle the rivets from the furnace while his apprentice kept them rotating through and working the bellows. He'd grab a rivet and stuff it in a hole, I'd hammer and quench it, then Corwin would do one, and quench it, before cycling through and doing the second one on each spear. He seemed to really like the parallel jaw needlenose pliers. There was another junior apprentice who took the finished product off our hands afterwards, while we grabbed a new one from the ready pile.
After three hours of riveting, we broke for lunch. The Smith was fascinated by our hammers. He didn't seem to have any idea what to make of the fiberglass handles or rubber grips, but looked like he wanted one really badly. Since I'd stolen his big hammer earlier, I figured I could probably let him have this one. After we were done.
A few more hours, and we had a stack of a thousand new spears, ready to go. I presented him with the hammer. I'd want to use it again once it was time to crank out the rest, but at this pace we'd be done even before the ten days he had originally estimated. And getting to smash things had kept my mind off stuff for a while.
I was feeling kinda stinky after all that banging around, so I scooped some of the fairly warm water out of the double boiler tank for the still into a camp shower bag and set up some curtains, then washed myself. I had a wooden pallet that I had sanded and varnished, split half lengthwise with a stainless piano hinge sort of arrangement, with grip tape on it, that lived in one of the external cubbies in the truck box most of the time. It wasn't as good as an actual hot shower, but it was a fuck of a lot better than the cold bath I'd taken just before my flogging and the fight against the trolls. And I'd needed to shampoo and condition my beard anyway.
After I was dry and dressed again, I offered the facilities, such as they were, to Corwin, since he'd been swinging a hammer the same as me. I was pretty pleased that I'd managed to forget so much of the day.
Ivy came up just as Corwin was getting dressed.
"Hey, Fess. I'm sure you're aware, but… it's Samhain. I was going to have a bit of a ritual. You want to be a part of it?"
"You know the answer is no, and you know why."
"Yeah. I still figured it was more polite to ask than not."
"I suppose you're not wrong. I guess I'm just not ready yet."
"I'll come," Corey said, which kinda surprised me. I didn't think that was really his thing. Still, this far out in the black, maybe a ceremony for the dead wasn't the worst option.
They walked off together as Friday came over. She had a big pile of the printer paper I'd given them in her hands.
"Ok, so that was fascinating, but you could have warned me that it was twelve hours long. My hand started cramping and I had to ask the High Wizard to help. I hope it's worthwhile. Also, I ended up needing his help with the stuff that was already in some other language, and written on the screen."
"Oh, crap. I forgot all about that. Wait, how did you manage that, anyway?"
"You taught me how to read your language yesterday."
"You… learned how to read English from one hour-long lesson?"
"You showed me what sounds the letters represent, and I wrote down the closest, simplest corresponding letter of ours, and then when I saw something on the screen, I stopped the play and wrote it down in our characters, and then said it out loud. There weren't too many words with the lunacy where the one spelling can sound three different ways. And if something didn't make any sense to the High Wizard, or something was clearly the wrong word, I tried a couple of different ways to pronounce things, until we agreed that we had it right. Although there were a lot of things that never made any sense, but I think those must have been names, so I just listened to them a couple of times and made something up that sounded right, with our script."
"That's actually kind of amazing, Friday. It usually takes people several months, at a minimum, to learn how to read."
"It helped that I can already read, just not your script. And speak your language, thanks to the magic having worked when we brought Anneke here. Have you never learned a different writing system? You mentioned that there were quite a few of them."
I thought back to Russian class my freshman year of college, and how I'd struggled to learn Cyrillic. The elves were clearly a lot sharper than I'd been giving them credit for. Or at least some of them, in some ways.
"I… have, but it still took me a long time. Though, I was also trying to read a language I didn't actually speak. Still, you've impressed me, for whatever that might mean to you."
"Well, thank you. So, what's the point of this anyway?"
"Well, you saw how the movie turned out. Men and elves working together to defeat a terrible enemy? I think that might be exactly what your people could stand to see. It might be a work of complete fiction… or at least I think it's fiction, who knows anymore, but it's pretty inspiring anyway, isn't it?"
"And the part where Aragorn ends up being crowned king?"
"Aragorn ends up king of the humans. Don't worry. I have no intention of ruling anything. It's not really my style."
"Hmm. And Aragorn's relationship with Arwen?"
"Like I said, it's fiction. Why, are you offering? You looking for some sweet, sweet demon lovin', Friday?"
She looked horrified. "No! Um. No offense, but, you're not… ah…"
I laughed. "Don't worry about it. I didn't figure. I was just poking fun at you. Sorry. You may have noticed that my sense of humor is a little strange."
She muttered something in elvish under her breath.
"So, now that you have all this written down, how does that actually help?" she continued.
"Ok. So, conveniently, both Corwin and I have the sort of knowledge about what makes these machines work. I'm going to take the sheet you made with all of your letters on it, and turn them into what's known as a character set. Basically, everything that happens inside the machine is all numbers, and the numbers can be used to represent letters, or colors in a grid, which is how the pictures appear. I'm going to assign each of your letters a number, and Corwin is going to draw a picture of the letter it represents inside the machine. Then I'm going to use what's called a scanner to read everything you and Oz wrote down, and it's going to take it and convert it all into numbers which will then be able to be displayed on the bottom of the screen, so that your people can read what the people in the movie are saying. Uh… your people can all read, right?"
"Of course! Can't yours?"
"For the most part. But back when we were at the stage of technological development you are, it was very common for only a very few people to be able to read. So I wasn't sure. It only just occurred to me to ask, because it's so common for my people to be literate now."
"All of our people can read, once they reach 200 seasons or so. Although, I'm not sure if the children should see this. It's kind of scary at points."
"Aaand you've just reinvented the rating system for movies. Heh."
"What's that?"
"My people label movies like this according to the age of people who they think it's appropriate for. Some parents pay attention, others don't. This version of the film is one that would probably be rated as suitable only for adults. So you're on the right track thinking that the kids maybe shouldn't see it, though possibly anyone who has gotten to the point where they've started an apprenticeship would be ok with it. I dunno, you know your people better than I do."
"I'll discuss it with the High Wizard. He has children, after all."
"Good idea. So what did you think? You like it? I have more movies."
"Your people have made many of these?"
"Oh gods yes. We started making them 130 years or so ago, and we've probably made several million of them by now. Everything from huge productions like the one you just saw, with lots of fancy effects, to short films made on a tiny budget by independents. I actually want to make one myself, eventually, using these vehicles I build, which are themselves based on stuff I saw in a bunch of different movies other people had made."
I waved a hand broadly at Mercury and War God. "These two were inspired by vehicles from different movies in a series about a war fought between humans and unstoppable killing machines from the future called Terminators. Although, it was only the future when the first couple were made. The date it was supposed to happen in the 'future' has actually passed now. Fortunately, that really was fiction."
"Your people are so weird."
"Yeah, we kinda are. There's another series about people living after a different huge disaster, only they just fight each other, and they use vehicles to do it. The genre is called carpocalypse, and I love it. I've got a setting all figured out, but I don't have an actual story yet. I'm not a very good writer. Maybe I'll write this stuff down. It's crazy enough that everyone will think it's fiction anyway. Elves on a ringworld and psychic dinosaurs. Actually, it might be too weird to be believable."
"Yet, here you are."
"And my life being stranger than fiction really sorta sums things up. Anyway, thanks for doing this, Friday. Please convey my thanks to Oz as well. I really appreciate you taking the time to make this happen."
"When do you think it will be done?"
"Not sure. I've never encoded a character set before. I'll have to figure out how to encode subtitles, too. But the programs that play the movies have instructions included, so I should be able to figure it out. Ivy's one of the best people I know at reverse engineering software stuff -- and I know a lot of them -- so if I get stuck she can probably help too. Could be next week, could be next season. It also depends on what else I have to work on. Propagandizing the troops is important, but probably less important than making sure our weapons are ready."
"I would think so, although morale is vastly important for battle."
"That's definitely true. Heh. Maybe I should go back to the troll capitol and use it to demoralize them. Think it would work?"
"I think they'd stab you to death long before you got them to watch it."
"You're probably right. Oh well."
"Would you like to join the queen and I for dinner tonight? Will Ivy and Corwin be joining us as well?"
"Uh, yeah, sure. I'll come. They've got something else going on."
Oh if I had a hammer, I'd hammer in the morning, I'd hammer in the evening, a whole bunch of trolls!
First / Previous / [Next]()
submitted by itsetuhoinen to HFY [link] [comments]


2020.11.21 18:26 Ran4 Workstation for (linux-based) software developer

What will you be doing with this PC? Be as specific as possible, and include specific games or programs you will be using.
I'm (among many things...) a software developer working at home. I don't like closing applications... I occasionally game (all sorts of titles really). I do have a 4k monitor, but I don't see myself 4k gaming anytime soon, and my screen is 60hz so as long as I can get 60hz at 1080p and 2x aa or something like that when playing current-ish games I'm a-ok.
I exclusively use Linux (Ubuntu 20.04 at the moment), and I don't dual boot.
A typical, daily "heavy load" situation would probably be running this all at once:
My ultimate goal is to never have the UI feel sluggish - the second goal is for everything to be as fast as possible when running single-threaded applications. Gaming performance comes third. But I'm not sure where I'll bottleneck:
What is your maximum budget before rebates/shipping/taxes?
1500-1700 euro - so around $1700-1900 USD if I were to buy the parts in the US.
When do you plan on building/buying the PC? Note: beyond a week or two from today means any build you receive will be out of date when you want to buy.
2-3 weeks. I'm more interested in what pieces to focus on (and the ratio between them) as opposed to the exact price of specific parts.
What, exactly, do you need included in the budget? (ToweOS/monitokeyboard/mouse/etc)
Only the computer itself. I already have a monitor, peripherals and I don't need a windows licence.
Which country (and state/province) will you be purchasing the parts in? If you're in US, do you have access to a Microcenter location?
Sweden.
Will you be overclocking? If yes, are you interested in overclocking right away, or down the line? CPU and/or GPU?
No.
Are there any specific features or items you want/need in the build? (ex: SSD, large amount of storage or a RAID setup, CUDA or OpenCL support, etc)
A total of 2 TB SSD or NVME storage. I'm thinking either a single "slower" ~2000 MB/s read/write speed NVME or one "fast" (3000 MBs) 1 TB drive and a 1 TB "slower" one.
Don't want any hard drives (to reduce overall noise).
What type of network connectivity do you need? (Wired and/or WiFi) If WiFi is needed and you would like to find the fastest match for your wireless router, please list any specifics.
I'd prefer to use a wifi dongle or wifi extension card. Preferably supporting 801.11ac or better. My home has 1000 mbit/s fiber which goes to some random $120 router I bought a year ago, no idea the specifics of it.
Do you have any specific case preferences (Size like ITX/microATX/mid-towefull-tower, styles, colors, window or not, LED lighting, etc), or a particular color theme preference for the components?
Nope. My computer remains hidden under my desk, so a regular black midi-tower without windows and a silent-ish fan is what I'm looking for.
Do you need a copy of Windows included in the budget? If you do need one included, do you have a preference?
Nope.
submitted by Ran4 to buildapcforme [link] [comments]


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submitted by SuperHotUKDeals to HotUKGamingDeals [link] [comments]


2020.11.20 20:51 sharingmyxp Final thoughts on Watch Dogs: Legion

I've played a lot of Watch Dogs: Legion the past few weeks (my final playtime clocked in at around 63 hours), and I'd like to share some of my final thoughts on the game while the thoughts are still fresh. Would love to hear yours as well.
If you prefer watching to reading, this video dives into the game in closer detail with gameplay footage examples.
Here are some of my thoughts (Spoiler Warning):
• The tutorial does a great job walking you through a lot of the core gameplay mechanics and gives you a nice opportunity to mess around with your controls and graphic settings. It's a really well-designed tutorial. Not to mention the phenomenal benchmark on the menu screen which I hope becomes a common practice in all triple-A games moving forward (recently bought AC Valhalla and it's in there, too, so it looks like Ubisoft is all-in with that feature, which is terrific).
I read in an interview with one of the lead developers where he said that they had specific intent to give the players a slew of non-lethal options, and I really do appreciate that. Because in a game where the idea is to essentially fight for the people, it would feel really weird to be gunning around the streets of London with an AK and a grenade launcher (though you can totally do that if that's how you want to play). I mean, I understand the lines are a little blurred when you have your spiderbot climbing up someone's leg, up their torso, then swaddling their face with all 8 of its metal legs and shocking every nerve in their body, but hey, the game says its non-lethal so at least I can sustain my disbelief for that reason. The only issue is that the non-lethal guns in the tech tree all feel WAY too weak. In fact, I was worried whenever I was about to do a main-story mission that the game was going to throw too many enemies at me to be able to handle effectively with the electric weapons, so I steered toward using characters with real guns only so I had some sort of self-defense, which I think hinders the game's design because that cuts out a large chunk of potential characters.
• The fact you cannot walk and listen to audio logs or podcasts is not only terrible for the player but a terrible disservice to the creative team who put a lot of work and effort into that material. I wanted to listen to them but could not justify sitting on the menu screen for minutes upon minutes on end -- even in real life I'm doing something while I listen to podcasts. The material I did listen to, though, was pretty well done. It's a real shame there wasn't better implementation for audio logs.
• I strongly believe how much you liked the people on your team heavily influenced how much you like the game overall. I made it a point to not recruit anybody I did not like and to even remove people who I didn't want on my team anymore, which included Mark, the guy I started with. The cast of characters I put together were people I cared about. People I would hate to see die. Playing on iron man mode, there was no more emotional moment in the game for me, including at the end of the game with Bagley, than when my recruit, Edmond, died in a super unexpected, unanticipated fashion. I played almost exclusively as Edmund the first 10 hours of the game since I got bonus ETO for every person he recruited, and I went HARD with recruiting at the start. So when he died in that super anti-cinematic, super unexpected, super sudden way… and I realized he was just gone -- the guy who I pretty much considered to be the main protagonist of my game… I don't know there's something about the fact that nobody knew the connection I had to that character more than me. Not the game, not the developers, not anyone. He was just some random NPC I grew to feel connected with and like that he was gone. That's a type of moment is unique to Watch Dogs: Legion and the way it's designed (though I have heard strategy games, like XCOM, have a lot of similarities in this regard).
• One big knock against the "play-as-anyone-you-meet" system in Watch Dogs Legion is that as your team grows, you realize that all the ops are pretty interchangeable. There are the few ops that standout like the spy, the drone expert, the beekeeper, the protest rallier… but they're too few and still too homogenous for my liking. In the midst of all of that you're going to have ops that feel pretty samey. Maybe one has shorter hack cooldowns. Maybe one has a car. Maybe one has a g36 or a really good shock rifle like the MPX. But there's still not enough differentiation at that point, especially considering how much voice acting gets reused in the game. The background bios are cool but almost assuredly procedurally generated, so there's no personal touch to those either. I just wish they had more distinct ops like the beekeeper or the anarchist. More distinct ops with standout unique abilities would've given each op on your team a more dissimilar, specific personality, even with everything else staying the way it is. Also would've added more gameplay variety, though I am pretty happy with the gameplay in its current state.
• The fact you can recruit anyone and everyone in the world is a neat thing to say in a marketing ad, but when you actually play the game and realize at what cost that scale comes with -- that being the loss of sense of touch to the characters you play as apart from your own "head cannon" you create for the character, like I had with Edmond, and not to mention the procedurally generated missions the game decides to put you through because the game wants you to do some sort of work to earn the reward of getting that member to join your team… then that's when you might start to skip the conversations, fast travel to the other side of the map where the character's recruitment mission is, and not feel any sense of impact or meaning behind the actions you're performing to help the potential recruit out. And that sucks. But the first 10 to 15 hours where each of those recruitment missions feel unique and tailored before you really realize what's going on under the hood -- those 10 to 15 hours are incredible. And to be fair, this game doesn't serve itself to be played for 60-plus hours. You can, and I did, but the best experience for this game to me without a doubt is a 15 to 35-hour experience. In that time span you get out just when you start to see the make-up fade but while the make-ups on, I think Watch Dogs: Legion is a great experience.
• Watch Dogs: Legion is one of the best looking games I have ever played. Is this in large part because of its technical capabilities compared to other games and because it's the first game I've played since I upgraded my PC? Yes. But nevertheless, playing this game with raytracing on is just eye candy. I'm not an expert on all the GPU technicalities, but if Watch Dogs: Legion is any indication of the next generation of gaming, I think this next generation of games are going to be a significant step visually. I never knew how much reflections mattered until I played this game. Thankfully, it's pretty rainy in London so the puddles were plenty, and boy did those puddles do a good job showing off just how much the new GPUs are capable of. I know better-looking puddles is a meme, and I was in the same camp… until I actually played a game with great looking puddles lol. I also remember flying a cargo drone around one of the big towers in the game, just completely in awe. If you get a new card or one of the new consoles and you want to see what your hardware is capable of -- Watch Dogs: Legion will not disappoint you. I used to think high framerate trumped all, and I still think that's the case in competitive multiplayer games, but for immersive single-player experiences, I'm not so sure anymore. Was it unpleasant to have the frames drop when turning on a busy street intersection? Yes, it was. But holy sh*t those reflections though.
• Aside from the graphics, the art and style of how Ubisoft designed near-future London is very impressive. My jaw dropped the first time I walked through Piccadilly Circus. And I was in awe when I came upon Chinatown and saw that AR dragon. The ferris wheel… Big Ben, the bridges, the river views. I loved flying above the city on top of a cargo drone, gawking at how beautiful nighttime London was. I loved walking down random London streets watching the cars zip to and from, and watching the parcel drones above my head fly towards their destinations to deliver the packages they were holding. Playing with a soccer ball at the local park while the radio played next to me -- all while I enjoyed the beautiful outdoors of the city. Of course, not everything is bright in jovial since London is in a surveillance state, so you see the protest rallies and the overly aggressive officers and the homeless people. It's an interesting clash of tones. But rarely is real-life either always happy or always depressing -- though I guess that depends on your own personal views of life. To me, both exist in the real world, and both can exist in the game -- so from that aspect I'm not shooting down the clashing tones the game has incorporated in it. Apparently, people from London have said that the game does a great job representing London and its boroughs, and that doesn't surprise me. Say what you will about Ubisoft, but they do a phenomenal job recreating real-life places with their own fictitious twists for you to immerse yourself in. I loved setting my car to auto-drive and watching the city breathe.
• Let's talk about the gameplay. So let me start off by saying that I think Ubisoft gets some unfair slack. Generally, I think the minute-to-minute action in Ubisoft games is at the very least enjoyable. The issue is that the mission design and other design elements take that enjoyable gameplay loop and copy-paste it over and over with little divergent characteristics from one gameplay sequence to another. I had an absolute blast with the main gameplay loop in Watch Dogs: Legion. It may not come off in its presentation but, depending on how you play the game, Watch Dogs: Legion's gameplay is an outstanding stealth game. It really rewards your creativity and intelligence as a player. Before infiltrating an area, you're often given an objective and it's up to you to piece together how you're going to accomplish it. This isn't anything new in Ubisoft games. In Assassin's Creed, it's the objective of assassinating a target. In Far Cry, it's killing all the enemies in an outpost. And in Watch Dogs: Legion, it's hacking some piece of software, destroying a vehicle, downloading some secure data, etc. But playing Watch Dogs: Legion made me realize why I enjoy Ubisoft games so much, despite the obvious repetition. It's because it rewards you for your ingenuity. It gives you an objective and constraints and says "figure it out." Watch Dogs: Legion in particular, however, fosters emergent gameplay better than the other two, where each element of the gameplay is relatively simple on its own, but can come together in really cool, complex ways that you yourself are head engineering as the hacker. I don't want to oversell it -- you do press Q and the enemy immediately looks at their phone for 10 seconds, but let me walk you through some of what I'm talking about.
The way you are hopping through the different cameras to survey the area… then hacking a shock drone to get within download range of the key you might need later. Then using that shock drone to zap one of the red control panels to unlock a door. Then using the AR cloak to get by a really busy part of the restricted area. Setting traps and blowing gas tanks to not only take out an enemy, but draw attention away from where you're heading. Coming up behind an enemy and choking them to sleep, drop-kicking them and even Stone Cold Stunning them. Or even just going the traditional route of putting a silencer on your pistol and taking enemies out silentily, one by one, then cloaking their body afterwards. Each time there's a mission to accomplish and you have to piece together a permutation of events using the weapons and electronics at your disposable to get the job done (and in a non-lethal way, if you're playing like that). I'll say it again because it's probably the main reason I enjoyed Watch Dogs: Legion as much as I did: I love how much Watch Dogs: Legion rewards you as the player for your creativity and your intelligence. Is the open mission design structure present in Watch Dogs: Legion anything new or anything we haven't seen before in other games? Absolutely not. In fact, it's probably a core design philosophy in Ubisoft games. But I don't think it works as good in those Ubisoft games as it works here in Watch Dogs: Legion. The way its executed in this near future setting where intelligence and information are crucial in your attack as you hop onto the cams and hack into the drones to scout ahead, planning your next move in real time. It's pretty tactical and can get very tense and exciting, especially if you're playing as a character you like and permadeath is on. One slip up and it's over. In a lot of ways and particularly in that respect, Watch Dogs: Legion reminds me most of Ubisoft's multiplayer shooter, Rainbow: Six Siege -- which is kind of weird to say.
The issue is that the gameplay doesn't hold up that ingenuity once you hit around the 20 hour mark. You start going to the same areas and seeing the same paths to completion. The challenge is lost and the novelty is worn. And that sucks. That's why when I recommend this game to other people I'm going to tell them -- hey, Watch Dogs: Legion is a really fun game but don't overstay your welcome with it. Because the game gets less and less pretty the longer you play it… but boy are those first 15 hours beautiful.
• The borough missions are a nice change of pace. It's a pretty gamey system -- accomplish three tasks in a borough and then you unlock a final mission that, once you beat, liberates that mission's respective sector of the map -- but the fact it's a gamey system is okay with me. I like the variety that the different borough missions bring. From scaling Big Ben with a spiderbot, to racing through the streets with a car in Tower Hamlets and with a high-speed modified drone in Islington & Hackney, to navigating a parcel drone through a 3D maze in Southwark. But fuck that mission where you have to defend the Millennium Wheel with that CT drone, oh my gosh.
• Melee combat was simple-but-crisp. The punching sound effect had a nice pop, and the slow-motion dodges added a cool cinematic effect. It's not Batman, but that's okay. Melee combat is the core of that game and it's a complementary gameplay system here. The fighting arena missions where the hand-to-hand combat is the central focus are a bit too long and not all that fun… but damn did they do a good job with the presentation in those missions. The gunplay isn't DOOM or Battlefield, but Watch Dogs: Legion also isn't a first-person shooter and I think gunplay is a lot harder to accomplish in a third-person shooter. So for a third-person shooter, I found the gunplay serviceable, except for the horrendous bullet damage dropoff on some guns and the bit-too-weak electric guns. I found all six of the gadgets to be very enjoyable to use. The electro-fist is frickin sick, the missile drone is badass, especially if you're playing as a drone expert and time the cooldowns in tandem with your drone dive bomb. And the electro-shock trap is a good general grenade option. You get to choose what I consider one of the two strongest gadgets from the outset in either the spiderbot or the AR cloak.
• With everything else there is to unlock in the tech store I'm sure a lot of players were content with using only the spiderbot or the AR cloak and ignoring the rest of the gadgets, which is another game design flaw. I didn't have too much of a problem with the weapons, the upgrades, and the hack unlocks in the tech store, but I also wasn't particularly excited to go out and grind for tech points. If I really enjoy the core gameplay in a game -- and I really enjoyed the core gameplay in Watch Dogs: Legion -- then usually I'll enjoy putting the time in to grind for unlockables. I spent an hour here or there riding a cargo drone around town and picking up tech points just to take a break from the action, but I truly had no desire to grind for any of those tech abilities. Sure the tech abilities helped but it's not like I needed any of them to progress through the game or had a burning desire to unlock any of them. They made the game easier, in some cases a lot easier -- which is arguably a good thing to a lot of players -- but for a system that's supposed to be the main source of the player's grind, I did not find the system captivating and I would have been all for grinding for those tech points if I found the unlocks to be more exciting. In Far Cry 2, a game designed by the same exact lead game designer as Watch Dogs: Legion, Clint Hocking, I grinded for those gems because I wanted the badass one-hit-kill sniper or the silenced MP5 or the stealth suit. Here, the grind is running around the city spamming your hack button to profile each individual and see if they have any abilities worth recruiting over. And that's not fun at all.
• Not only does the story have serious flaws, but so does the storytelling. Pressing Q and watching an AR reconstruction as Bagley and my character babble on for two minutes does not connect with me in any way. It's boring. It's void of life. The DedSec agent you track down, Angel -- you never see him apart from the AR reconstruction where he might as well be a Superhot NPC at that point. The only time you see him is when he's dead. Sure it sucks this former DedSec op is dead, but I don't know him and I don't have any connection to him, so that's going to limit how much I care. Why not have done something with Dalton -- a character you play as at the very start and have some connection with instead of killing him off and focusing on some random DedSec op named Angel? What a lost opportunity.
• I have to mention the final borough mission for Nine Elms where you go explore a dark, underground Power Plant. Personally, I loved how dark and atmospheric that mission was, and I will not forget that sick feeling I had when I walked into the hidden prison and found humans being caged in pitch black by Albion. It was easily one of the most stunning moments in all of the game and definitely a very emotional one. Fantastic stuff. But you can't interact with them. You can't talk to them. They might as well be chickens in a chicken coop. All you can do is kill the Albion security guard watching over them and then hack into his computer. Then fireworks start flying above the city and people are jumping and celebrating? Then you magically spawn outside again. What the fuck? Where are the people I just saved? Let me talk with one of them. Let them tell me "Thank you for saving my life" and let me say to them "Don't worry about it DedSec's job. Helping the people of London." But no. Instead, I teleport to the quest giver, and we both trade smiles and laughs. If that doesn't highlight the tonality issue in this game, then I don't know what will.
• From the get-go, Skye Larsen fascinated me. A being only present through a hologram, creator of my friend AI in the game, Bagley, and CEO of a neural mapping tech company with the potential to change the world -- seemingly for the better.
You hack into her house and meet her house AI, then power on the elevator that takes you to the basement which for some reason turns out to be The Hunter's Dream from Bloodborne but many, many years later? I just went with it. Proceeded into the house. And the events in the house were pretty much the only times I was fully engaged with the AR reconstruction and highly anticipating what was going to happen next in the mission. Both Skye and Sinead, her mother, were voiced incredibly well and the fact you're in their house, or what appears to be their house, standing between the same four walls those two were standing in… watching the AR reconstruction play out what had happened on her mother's deathbed as the sheets of blood still lay there wrinkled on the floor and while Skye's workbenches are still there set up adjacent to the bedstead. Realizing that spiderbots and descendants of Skye's dog… Then you enter her secret lab in the basement where you find that amazing table with the holographic map of London on it. Next to that, you see chambers holding people in them and you're left to guess what sick, twisted acts she's been up to. Then finally, you end Sinead's misery. It's a very well done segment of the game and I felt a tremendous amount of emotion playing through it. Some of Ubisoft's best storytelling to date.
Unfortunately, a lot of this quest is ruined for me because of its ending. Whether you kill Skye or not, the same thing happens. Nowt shows up at the safe house and proceeds to give you access to 404 side missions, even if you don't side with her. And either way Skye eventually dies, either by you killing her or Broca Tech shutting down her AI. So why is this decision in the game!? To make it feel like we, the player's, action's matter -- even though in reality they don't? I'm tempted to call it deceptive. Are you guys cool with this? This is something I'm really curious about your guys' take on.
I also think there's too little gray area in that decision to make it a tough choice. Which is fine -- there doesn't need to be gray area. It could be a Mass Effect thing where you're playing as a good guy or bad guy… except for the fact that no matter how you want to play, DedSec will always be referred to as the good guys in the game and so playing as the bad guy creates narrative dissonance. Does anyone really think siding with Skye is a reasonably humane choice? Sure, the technology could be used for the good of humanity, but with Skye as the CEO, it's obvious from going through her house that that's not the case and humanity is almost assuredly better off without Project Daybreak if Skye's history is any indication of the future. The decision to kill or side with Skye is just a weird inclusion by Ubisoft, to me.
• Let's discuss the epilogue with Bagley and Bradley. It was so messed up to see what Skye did to her own brother. It obviously made me hate Skye Larsen even more. It was awful what she did to her mom and her dog, but I knew who the third person was. He wasn't just another house member of Skye used to push the narrative forward. He was a friend I made over the course of the last 60-plus hours.
It did feel a bit rushed. It was a quick 3 or 4 minutes in and out of the hospital, and then things go back to normal. But it was the epilogue so I can't fault it for that too much. The photograph mission leading up to it wasn't bad, per se, but I think it should've given more of a hint for each picture. Part of me respects Ubisoft for not putting in objective markers and forcing you to really know the landscape of the world for the bonus material, but not all of the pictures were pictures of noticeable landmarks like the ferris wheel, and that made it really difficult.
So yes, the epilogue was good. And yes, it made me hate Skye Larsen even more. But let me propose something to you. Imagine if the Bagley epilogue quest, or some similar variation of it, was placed after you went through Skye Larsen's house but before you go off to kill her. Imagine how much more connected you would have felt with Bagley through the rest of that game. Imagine how much more you would have despised Skye Larsen and how much more satisfying it would have been to kill her. Your emotional amplitude would have been even higher than it already was from seeing her mom and dog turn into AI. Killing Skye is already a great moment, but if you had seen what she did to your AI friend before you went off to kill her, then killing Skye would have been incredibly emotional, incredibly affecting, and incredibly climactic. And instead of feeling much closer to Bagley right before you're about to say goodbye to the game, you feel closer to him all throughout the rest of the game and right up until the end. Which brings me to the ending. Now continuing on with that hypothetical scenario I've laid out (first Skye's house, then epilogue mission (or a variation), then kill Skye), imagine if when you pull the plug on Bagley at the end… he actually stayed dead and didn't come back to life 30 seconds later. How much better would the story have become just from those changes? Killing Bagley at the end of the game was heartbreaking. Like I said earlier, he was my favorite NPC in the game. If I would have played the epilogue prior to killing him, I'm guessing I would have borderline cried. That would have made the scene even more impactful than it already was. But the reason I really, really dislike the ending of the game is not because of anything it does in the ending -- it's because of what it does after what it does in the ending. Any emotion of sadness and loss I felt when I pressed E and finally said goodbye to Bagley completely disappeared when he popped back up on the safehouse screen moments later. It felt cheap. Extremely cheap. Let the character die. Let the game end. Put that epilogue earlier in the story. But no. This is purely reckless speculation and I hope… dear God I hope I'm being overly cynical here, but I feel like that's not possible because Ubisoft wants you to still be in the world after you finish the game to do the missions you missed so you can still have the opportunity to put money into the game's store, because your chances of putting money into the game's store if the game were to end after you pulled the plug on Bagley and returned to the title screen are close to zero. Is that why Bagley had to stay alive? I don't know. Either way, to me the ending of the game is tragic, but not in the way it was supposed to be tragic. It sucks. I feel robbed of my emotion.
• Nigel Cass falls into the issue I see way too often with antagonists in works of fiction, and something we see earlier with Mary Kelley -- he's too evil. To the point of absurdity. And he didn't have to be portrayed that way. His backstory is that his father was killed by gang members which put him on the path of revenge by taking the law into his own hands. An interesting backstory that unfortunately does not get developed at all and it could've really helped his characterization if it was delved into more. As it stands, he just comes off as another one-dimensional Saturday morning cartoon villain, which is a shame because, again, he had the potential to be a really interesting antagonist like Skye. At least his boss fight was somewhat enjoyable. Though, the game does rely on the network bypass puzzles a few times too many for my liking, along with the AR reconstructions and area defense missions. Also, I was hoping Nigel was a bit more of a juggernaut. You take him down in one clip.
• And finally, let's talk about Zero Day and Sabine Brandt. So Zero Day starts off the game with a big bang. Literally. But then pretty much goes without mention until the end of the game. They're brought up in the game every now and again, but I think I forgot about them for most of the playthrough until the very end when the big reveal happens. It's a reveal that I probably should have seen coming but didn't. You never see Sabine in person until after the reveal. She was the only one who stayed alive after the Zero Day attack. There are hints here and there in the main story. And she doesn't even show up at the team party… that's when it was clear.
Sabine's premise for why she's doing what she's doing does, at the very least, stop and make you think for a moment. Society is completely messed up right now because of harsh surveillance by Albion through the government, homelessness is widespread, and technology has become tyrannical. She wants to restart society from the ground up. Yes, she has to commit mass murder but to her the ends justify the means. And who are you to judge her for killing when you yourself have killed plenty in your playthrough? I really liked Sabine's ending. I just wish they had more Zero Day appearances throughout the game. Let me hear more of Zero Day talking about their philosophy of rebuilding London from the ground up and less of them talking with Mary Kelley about purchasing explosives just to move the story forward. Keep me interested in Zero Day instead of having me forget about them until the end. Keep me curious.
So those are my thoughts! Overall, I had a good time with the game. However, it definitely had some issues that I felt needed airing. And just to be clear, I did not try to slight the game just for the sake of criticizing it. These are my honest thoughts after reflecting on the time I spent with the game. Please do share your own thoughts!
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2020.11.20 20:23 sharingmyxp Final thoughts on Watch Dogs: Legion

I've played a lot of Watch Dogs: Legion the past few weeks (my final playtime clocked in at around 63 hours), and I'd like to share some of my final thoughts on the game while the thoughts are still fresh. Would love to hear yours as well.
If you prefer watching to reading, this video dives into the game in closer detail with gameplay footage examples.
Here are some of my thoughts (Spoiler Warning):
• The tutorial does a great job walking you through a lot of the core gameplay mechanics and gives you a nice opportunity to mess around with your controls and graphic settings. It's a really well-designed tutorial. Not to mention the phenomenal benchmark on the menu screen which I hope becomes a common practice in all triple-A games moving forward (recently bought AC Valhalla and it's in there, too, so it looks like Ubisoft is all-in with that feature, which is terrific).
I read in an interview with one of the lead developers where he said that they had specific intent to give the players a slew of non-lethal options, and I really do appreciate that. Because in a game where the idea is to essentially fight for the people, it would feel really weird to be gunning around the streets of London with an AK and a grenade launcher (though you can totally do that if that's how you want to play). I mean, I understand the lines are a little blurred when you have your spiderbot climbing up someone's leg, up their torso, then swaddling their face with all 8 of its metal legs and shocking every nerve in their body, but hey, the game says its non-lethal so at least I can sustain my disbelief for that reason. The only issue is that the non-lethal guns in the tech tree all feel WAY too weak. In fact, I was worried whenever I was about to do a main-story mission that the game was going to throw too many enemies at me to be able to handle effectively with the electric weapons, so I steered toward using characters with real guns only so I had some sort of self-defense, which I think hinders the game's design because that cuts out a large chunk of potential characters.
• The fact you cannot walk and listen to audio logs or podcasts is not only terrible for the player but a terrible disservice to the creative team who put a lot of work and effort into that material. I wanted to listen to them but could not justify sitting on the menu screen for minutes upon minutes on end -- even in real life I'm doing something while I listen to podcasts. The material I did listen to, though, was pretty well done. It's a real shame there wasn't better implementation for audio logs.
• I strongly believe how much you liked the people on your team heavily influenced how much you like the game overall. I made it a point to not recruit anybody I did not like and to even remove people who I didn't want on my team anymore, which included Mark, the guy I started with. The cast of characters I put together were people I cared about. People I would hate to see die. Playing on iron man mode, there was no more emotional moment in the game for me, including at the end of the game with Bagley, than when my recruit, Edmond, died in a super unexpected, unanticipated fashion. I played almost exclusively as Edmund the first 10 hours of the game since I got bonus ETO for every person he recruited, and I went HARD with recruiting at the start. So when he died in that super anti-cinematic, super unexpected, super sudden way… and I realized he was just gone -- the guy who I pretty much considered to be the main protagonist of my game… I don't know there's something about the fact that nobody knew the connection I had to that character more than me. Not the game, not the developers, not anyone. He was just some random NPC I grew to feel connected with and like that he was gone. That's a type of moment is unique to Watch Dogs: Legion and the way it's designed (though I have heard strategy games, like XCOM, have a lot of similarities in this regard).
• One big knock against the "play-as-anyone-you-meet" system in Watch Dogs Legion is that as your team grows, you realize that all the ops are pretty interchangeable. There are the few ops that standout like the spy, the drone expert, the beekeeper, the protest rallier… but they're too few and still too homogenous for my liking. In the midst of all of that you're going to have ops that feel pretty samey. Maybe one has shorter hack cooldowns. Maybe one has a car. Maybe one has a g36 or a really good shock rifle like the MPX. But there's still not enough differentiation at that point, especially considering how much voice acting gets reused in the game. The background bios are cool but almost assuredly procedurally generated, so there's no personal touch to those either. I just wish they had more distinct ops like the beekeeper or the anarchist. More distinct ops with standout unique abilities would've given each op on your team a more dissimilar, specific personality, even with everything else staying the way it is. Also would've added more gameplay variety, though I am pretty happy with the gameplay in its current state.
• The fact you can recruit anyone and everyone in the world is a neat thing to say in a marketing ad, but when you actually play the game and realize at what cost that scale comes with -- that being the loss of sense of touch to the characters you play as apart from your own "head cannon" you create for the character, like I had with Edmond, and not to mention the procedurally generated missions the game decides to put you through because the game wants you to do some sort of work to earn the reward of getting that member to join your team… then that's when you might start to skip the conversations, fast travel to the other side of the map where the character's recruitment mission is, and not feel any sense of impact or meaning behind the actions you're performing to help the potential recruit out. And that sucks. But the first 10 to 15 hours where each of those recruitment missions feel unique and tailored before you really realize what's going on under the hood -- those 10 to 15 hours are incredible. And to be fair, this game doesn't serve itself to be played for 60-plus hours. You can, and I did, but the best experience for this game to me without a doubt is a 15 to 35-hour experience. In that time span you get out just when you start to see the make-up fade but while the make-ups on, I think Watch Dogs: Legion is a great experience.
• Watch Dogs: Legion is one of the best looking games I have ever played. Is this in large part because of its technical capabilities compared to other games and because it's the first game I've played since I upgraded my PC? Yes. But nevertheless, playing this game with raytracing on is just eye candy. I'm not an expert on all the GPU technicalities, but if Watch Dogs: Legion is any indication of the next generation of gaming, I think this next generation of games are going to be a significant step visually. I never knew how much reflections mattered until I played this game. Thankfully, it's pretty rainy in London so the puddles were plenty, and boy did those puddles do a good job showing off just how much the new GPUs are capable of. I know better-looking puddles is a meme, and I was in the same camp… until I actually played a game with great looking puddles lol. I also remember flying a cargo drone around one of the big towers in the game, just completely in awe. If you get a new card or one of the new consoles and you want to see what your hardware is capable of -- Watch Dogs: Legion will not disappoint you. I used to think high framerate trumped all, and I still think that's the case in competitive multiplayer games, but for immersive single-player experiences, I'm not so sure anymore. Was it unpleasant to have the frames drop when turning on a busy street intersection? Yes, it was. But holy sh*t those reflections though.
• Aside from the graphics, the art and style of how Ubisoft designed near-future London is very impressive. My jaw dropped the first time I walked through Piccadilly Circus. And I was in awe when I came upon Chinatown and saw that AR dragon. The ferris wheel… Big Ben, the bridges, the river views. I loved flying above the city on top of a cargo drone, gawking at how beautiful nighttime London was. I loved walking down random London streets watching the cars zip to and from, and watching the parcel drones above my head fly towards their destinations to deliver the packages they were holding. Playing with a soccer ball at the local park while the radio played next to me -- all while I enjoyed the beautiful outdoors of the city. Of course, not everything is bright in jovial since London is in a surveillance state, so you see the protest rallies and the overly aggressive officers and the homeless people. It's an interesting clash of tones. But rarely is real-life either always happy or always depressing -- though I guess that depends on your own personal views of life. To me, both exist in the real world, and both can exist in the game -- so from that aspect I'm not shooting down the clashing tones the game has incorporated in it. Apparently, people from London have said that the game does a great job representing London and its boroughs, and that doesn't surprise me. Say what you will about Ubisoft, but they do a phenomenal job recreating real-life places with their own fictitious twists for you to immerse yourself in. I loved setting my car to auto-drive and watching the city breathe.
• Let's talk about the gameplay. So let me start off by saying that I think Ubisoft gets some unfair slack. Generally, I think the minute-to-minute action in Ubisoft games is at the very least enjoyable. The issue is that the mission design and other design elements take that enjoyable gameplay loop and copy-paste it over and over with little divergent characteristics from one gameplay sequence to another. I had an absolute blast with the main gameplay loop in Watch Dogs: Legion. It may not come off in its presentation but, depending on how you play the game, Watch Dogs: Legion's gameplay is an outstanding stealth game. It really rewards your creativity and intelligence as a player. Before infiltrating an area, you're often given an objective and it's up to you to piece together how you're going to accomplish it. This isn't anything new in Ubisoft games. In Assassin's Creed, it's the objective of assassinating a target. In Far Cry, it's killing all the enemies in an outpost. And in Watch Dogs: Legion, it's hacking some piece of software, destroying a vehicle, downloading some secure data, etc. But playing Watch Dogs: Legion made me realize why I enjoy Ubisoft games so much, despite the obvious repetition. It's because it rewards you for your ingenuity. It gives you an objective and constraints and says "figure it out." Watch Dogs: Legion in particular, however, fosters emergent gameplay better than the other two, where each element of the gameplay is relatively simple on its own, but can come together in really cool, complex ways that you yourself are head engineering as the hacker. I don't want to oversell it -- you do press Q and the enemy immediately looks at their phone for 10 seconds, but let me walk you through some of what I'm talking about.
The way you are hopping through the different cameras to survey the area… then hacking a shock drone to get within download range of the key you might need later. Then using that shock drone to zap one of the red control panels to unlock a door. Then using the AR cloak to get by a really busy part of the restricted area. Setting traps and blowing gas tanks to not only take out an enemy, but draw attention away from where you're heading. Coming up behind an enemy and choking them to sleep, drop-kicking them and even Stone Cold Stunning them. Or even just going the traditional route of putting a silencer on your pistol and taking enemies out silentily, one by one, then cloaking their body afterwards. Each time there's a mission to accomplish and you have to piece together a permutation of events using the weapons and electronics at your disposable to get the job done (and in a non-lethal way, if you're playing like that). I'll say it again because it's probably the main reason I enjoyed Watch Dogs: Legion as much as I did: I love how much Watch Dogs: Legion rewards you as the player for your creativity and your intelligence. Is the open mission design structure present in Watch Dogs: Legion anything new or anything we haven't seen before in other games? Absolutely not. In fact, it's probably a core design philosophy in Ubisoft games. But I don't think it works as good in those Ubisoft games as it works here in Watch Dogs: Legion. The way its executed in this near future setting where intelligence and information are crucial in your attack as you hop onto the cams and hack into the drones to scout ahead, planning your next move in real time. It's pretty tactical and can get very tense and exciting, especially if you're playing as a character you like and permadeath is on. One slip up and it's over. In a lot of ways and particularly in that respect, Watch Dogs: Legion reminds me most of Ubisoft's multiplayer shooter, Rainbow: Six Siege -- which is kind of weird to say.
The issue is that the gameplay doesn't hold up that ingenuity once you hit around the 20 hour mark. You start going to the same areas and seeing the same paths to completion. The challenge is lost and the novelty is worn. And that sucks. That's why when I recommend this game to other people I'm going to tell them -- hey, Watch Dogs: Legion is a really fun game but don't overstay your welcome with it. Because the game gets less and less pretty the longer you play it… but boy are those first 15 hours beautiful.
• The borough missions are a nice change of pace. It's a pretty gamey system -- accomplish three tasks in a borough and then you unlock a final mission that, once you beat, liberates that mission's respective sector of the map -- but the fact it's a gamey system is okay with me. I like the variety that the different borough missions bring. From scaling Big Ben with a spiderbot, to racing through the streets with a car in Tower Hamlets and with a high-speed modified drone in Islington & Hackney, to navigating a parcel drone through a 3D maze in Southwark. But fuck that mission where you have to defend the Millennium Wheel with that CT drone, oh my gosh.
• Melee combat was simple-but-crisp. The punching sound effect had a nice pop, and the slow-motion dodges added a cool cinematic effect. It's not Batman, but that's okay. Melee combat is the core of that game and it's a complementary gameplay system here. The fighting arena missions where the hand-to-hand combat is the central focus are a bit too long and not all that fun… but damn did they do a good job with the presentation in those missions. The gunplay isn't DOOM or Battlefield, but Watch Dogs: Legion also isn't a first-person shooter and I think gunplay is a lot harder to accomplish in a third-person shooter. So for a third-person shooter, I found the gunplay serviceable, except for the horrendous bullet damage dropoff on some guns and the bit-too-weak electric guns. I found all six of the gadgets to be very enjoyable to use. The electro-fist is frickin sick, the missile drone is badass, especially if you're playing as a drone expert and time the cooldowns in tandem with your drone dive bomb. And the electro-shock trap is a good general grenade option. You get to choose what I consider one of the two strongest gadgets from the outset in either the spiderbot or the AR cloak.
• With everything else there is to unlock in the tech store I'm sure a lot of players were content with using only the spiderbot or the AR cloak and ignoring the rest of the gadgets, which is another game design flaw. I didn't have too much of a problem with the weapons, the upgrades, and the hack unlocks in the tech store, but I also wasn't particularly excited to go out and grind for tech points. If I really enjoy the core gameplay in a game -- and I really enjoyed the core gameplay in Watch Dogs: Legion -- then usually I'll enjoy putting the time in to grind for unlockables. I spent an hour here or there riding a cargo drone around town and picking up tech points just to take a break from the action, but I truly had no desire to grind for any of those tech abilities. Sure the tech abilities helped but it's not like I needed any of them to progress through the game or had a burning desire to unlock any of them. They made the game easier, in some cases a lot easier -- which is arguably a good thing to a lot of players -- but for a system that's supposed to be the main source of the player's grind, I did not find the system captivating and I would have been all for grinding for those tech points if I found the unlocks to be more exciting. In Far Cry 2, a game designed by the same exact lead game designer as Watch Dogs: Legion, Clint Hocking, I grinded for those gems because I wanted the badass one-hit-kill sniper or the silenced MP5 or the stealth suit. Here, the grind is running around the city spamming your hack button to profile each individual and see if they have any abilities worth recruiting over. And that's not fun at all.
• Not only does the story have serious flaws, but so does the storytelling. Pressing Q and watching an AR reconstruction as Bagley and my character babble on for two minutes does not connect with me in any way. It's boring. It's void of life. The DedSec agent you track down, Angel -- you never see him apart from the AR reconstruction where he might as well be a Superhot NPC at that point. The only time you see him is when he's dead. Sure it sucks this former DedSec op is dead, but I don't know him and I don't have any connection to him, so that's going to limit how much I care. Why not have done something with Dalton -- a character you play as at the very start and have some connection with instead of killing him off and focusing on some random DedSec op named Angel? What a lost opportunity.
• I have to mention the final borough mission for Nine Elms where you go explore a dark, underground Power Plant. Personally, I loved how dark and atmospheric that mission was, and I will not forget that sick feeling I had when I walked into the hidden prison and found humans being caged in pitch black by Albion. It was easily one of the most stunning moments in all of the game and definitely a very emotional one. Fantastic stuff. But you can't interact with them. You can't talk to them. They might as well be chickens in a chicken coop. All you can do is kill the Albion security guard watching over them and then hack into his computer. Then fireworks start flying above the city and people are jumping and celebrating? Then you magically spawn outside again. What the fuck? Where are the people I just saved? Let me talk with one of them. Let them tell me "Thank you for saving my life" and let me say to them "Don't worry about it DedSec's job. Helping the people of London." But no. Instead, I teleport to the quest giver, and we both trade smiles and laughs. If that doesn't highlight the tonality issue in this game, then I don't know what will.
• From the get-go, Skye Larsen fascinated me. A being only present through a hologram, creator of my friend AI in the game, Bagley, and CEO of a neural mapping tech company with the potential to change the world -- seemingly for the better.
You hack into her house and meet her house AI, then power on the elevator that takes you to the basement which for some reason turns out to be The Hunter's Dream from Bloodborne but many, many years later? I just went with it. Proceeded into the house. And the events in the house were pretty much the only times I was fully engaged with the AR reconstruction and highly anticipating what was going to happen next in the mission. Both Skye and Sinead, her mother, were voiced incredibly well and the fact you're in their house, or what appears to be their house, standing between the same four walls those two were standing in… watching the AR reconstruction play out what had happened on her mother's deathbed as the sheets of blood still lay there wrinkled on the floor and while Skye's workbenches are still there set up adjacent to the bedstead. Realizing that spiderbots and descendants of Skye's dog… Then you enter her secret lab in the basement where you find that amazing table with the holographic map of London on it. Next to that, you see chambers holding people in them and you're left to guess what sick, twisted acts she's been up to. Then finally, you end Sinead's misery. It's a very well done segment of the game and I felt a tremendous amount of emotion playing through it. Some of Ubisoft's best storytelling to date.
Unfortunately, a lot of this quest is ruined for me because of its ending. Whether you kill Skye or not, the same thing happens. Nowt shows up at the safe house and proceeds to give you access to 404 side missions, even if you don't side with her. And either way Skye eventually dies, either by you killing her or Broca Tech shutting down her AI. So why is this decision in the game!? To make it feel like we, the player's, action's matter -- even though in reality they don't? I'm tempted to call it deceptive. Are you guys cool with this? This is something I'm really curious about your guys' take on.
I also think there's too little gray area in that decision to make it a tough choice. Which is fine -- there doesn't need to be gray area. It could be a Mass Effect thing where you're playing as a good guy or bad guy… except for the fact that no matter how you want to play, DedSec will always be referred to as the good guys in the game and so playing as the bad guy creates narrative dissonance. Does anyone really think siding with Skye is a reasonably humane choice? Sure, the technology could be used for the good of humanity, but with Skye as the CEO, it's obvious from going through her house that that's not the case and humanity is almost assuredly better off without Project Daybreak if Skye's history is any indication of the future. The decision to kill or side with Skye is just a weird inclusion by Ubisoft, to me.
• Let's discuss the epilogue with Bagley and Bradley. It was so messed up to see what Skye did to her own brother. It obviously made me hate Skye Larsen even more. It was awful what she did to her mom and her dog, but I knew who the third person was. He wasn't just another house member of Skye used to push the narrative forward. He was a friend I made over the course of the last 60-plus hours.
It did feel a bit rushed. It was a quick 3 or 4 minutes in and out of the hospital, and then things go back to normal. But it was the epilogue so I can't fault it for that too much. The photograph mission leading up to it wasn't bad, per se, but I think it should've given more of a hint for each picture. Part of me respects Ubisoft for not putting in objective markers and forcing you to really know the landscape of the world for the bonus material, but not all of the pictures were pictures of noticeable landmarks like the ferris wheel, and that made it really difficult.
So yes, the epilogue was good. And yes, it made me hate Skye Larsen even more. But let me propose something to you. Imagine if the Bagley epilogue quest, or some similar variation of it, was placed after you went through Skye Larsen's house but before you go off to kill her. Imagine how much more connected you would have felt with Bagley through the rest of that game. Imagine how much more you would have despised Skye Larsen and how much more satisfying it would have been to kill her. Your emotional amplitude would have been even higher than it already was from seeing her mom and dog turn into AI. Killing Skye is already a great moment, but if you had seen what she did to your AI friend before you went off to kill her, then killing Skye would have been incredibly emotional, incredibly affecting, and incredibly climactic. And instead of feeling much closer to Bagley right before you're about to say goodbye to the game, you feel closer to him all throughout the rest of the game and right up until the end. Which brings me to the ending. Now continuing on with that hypothetical scenario I've laid out (first Skye's house, then epilogue mission (or a variation), then kill Skye), imagine if when you pull the plug on Bagley at the end… he actually stayed dead and didn't come back to life 30 seconds later. How much better would the story have become just from those changes? Killing Bagley at the end of the game was heartbreaking. Like I said earlier, he was my favorite NPC in the game. If I would have played the epilogue prior to killing him, I'm guessing I would have borderline cried. That would have made the scene even more impactful than it already was. But the reason I really, really dislike the ending of the game is not because of anything it does in the ending -- it's because of what it does after what it does in the ending. Any emotion of sadness and loss I felt when I pressed E and finally said goodbye to Bagley completely disappeared when he popped back up on the safehouse screen moments later. It felt cheap. Extremely cheap. Let the character die. Let the game end. Put that epilogue earlier in the story. But no. This is purely reckless speculation and I hope… dear God I hope I'm being overly cynical here, but I feel like that's not possible because Ubisoft wants you to still be in the world after you finish the game to do the missions you missed so you can still have the opportunity to put money into the game's store, because your chances of putting money into the game's store if the game were to end after you pulled the plug on Bagley and returned to the title screen are close to zero. Is that why Bagley had to stay alive? I don't know. Either way, to me the ending of the game is tragic, but not in the way it was supposed to be tragic. It sucks. I feel robbed of my emotion.
• Nigel Cass falls into the issue I see way too often with antagonists in works of fiction, and something we see earlier with Mary Kelley -- he's too evil. To the point of absurdity. And he didn't have to be portrayed that way. His backstory is that his father was killed by gang members which put him on the path of revenge by taking the law into his own hands. An interesting backstory that unfortunately does not get developed at all and it could've really helped his characterization if it was delved into more. As it stands, he just comes off as another one-dimensional Saturday morning cartoon villain, which is a shame because, again, he had the potential to be a really interesting antagonist like Skye. At least his boss fight was somewhat enjoyable. Though, the game does rely on the network bypass puzzles a few times too many for my liking, along with the AR reconstructions and area defense missions. Also, I was hoping Nigel was a bit more of a juggernaut. You take him down in one clip.
• And finally, let's talk about Zero Day and Sabine Brandt. So Zero Day starts off the game with a big bang. Literally. But then pretty much goes without mention until the end of the game. They're brought up in the game every now and again, but I think I forgot about them for most of the playthrough until the very end when the big reveal happens. It's a reveal that I probably should have seen coming but didn't. You never see Sabine in person until after the reveal. She was the only one who stayed alive after the Zero Day attack. There are hints here and there in the main story. And she doesn't even show up at the team party… that's when it was clear.
Sabine's premise for why she's doing what she's doing does, at the very least, stop and make you think for a moment. Society is completely messed up right now because of harsh surveillance by Albion through the government, homelessness is widespread, and technology has become tyrannical. She wants to restart society from the ground up. Yes, she has to commit mass murder but to her the ends justify the means. And who are you to judge her for killing when you yourself have killed plenty in your playthrough? I really liked Sabine's ending. I just wish they had more Zero Day appearances throughout the game. Let me hear more of Zero Day talking about their philosophy of rebuilding London from the ground up and less of them talking with Mary Kelley about purchasing explosives just to move the story forward. Keep me interested in Zero Day instead of having me forget about them until the end. Keep me curious.
So those are my thoughts! Overall, I had a good time with the game. However, it definitely had some issues that I felt needed airing. And just to be clear, I did not try to slight the game just for the sake of criticizing it. These are my honest thoughts after reflecting on the time I spent with the game. Please do share your own thoughts!
Edit: grammar & typos
submitted by sharingmyxp to truegaming [link] [comments]


2020.11.20 20:05 sharingmyxp Final thoughts on Watch Dogs: Legion (SPOILERS)

Like many of you, I've spent the past few weeks playing a ton of Watch Dogs: Legion (my final playtime clocked in at around 63 hours), and also like many of you, I have a lot of thoughts about the game. Going to share mine here, but would love to hear yours as well.
If you prefer watching to reading, this video dives into the game in closer detail with gameplay footage examples.
Here are some of my thoughts (Spoiler Warning):
• The tutorial does a great job walking you through a lot of the core gameplay mechanics and gives you a nice opportunity to mess around with your controls and graphic settings. It's a really well-designed tutorial. Not to mention the phenomenal benchmark on the menu screen which I hope becomes a common practice in all triple-A games moving forward (recently bought AC Valhalla and it's in there, too, so it looks like Ubisoft is all-in with that feature, which is terrific).
I read in an interview with one of the lead developers where he said that they had specific intent to give the players a slew of non-lethal options, and I really do appreciate that. Because in a game where the idea is to essentially fight for the people, it would feel really weird to be gunning around the streets of London with an AK and a grenade launcher (though you can totally do that if that's how you want to play). I mean, I understand the lines are a little blurred when you have your spiderbot climbing up someone's leg, up their torso, then swaddling their face with all 8 of its metal legs and shocking every nerve in their body, but hey, the game says its non-lethal so at least I can sustain my disbelief for that reason. The only issue is that the non-lethal guns in the tech tree all feel WAY too weak. In fact, I was worried whenever I was about to do a main-story mission that the game was going to throw too many enemies at me to be able to handle effectively with the electric weapons, so I steered toward using characters with real guns only so I had some sort of self-defense, which I think hinders the game's design because that cuts out a large chunk of potential characters.
• The fact you cannot walk and listen to audio logs or podcasts is not only terrible for the player but a terrible disservice to the creative team who put a lot of work and effort into that material. I wanted to listen to them but could not justify sitting on the menu screen for minutes upon minutes on end -- even in real life I'm doing something while I listen to podcasts. The material I did listen to, though, was pretty well done. It's a real shame there wasn't better implementation for audio logs.
• I strongly believe how much you liked the people on your team heavily influenced how much you like the game overall. I made it a point to not recruit anybody I did not like and to even remove people who I didn't want on my team anymore, which included Mark, the guy I started with. The cast of characters I put together were people I cared about. People I would hate to see die. Playing on iron man mode, there was no more emotional moment in the game for me, including at the end of the game with Bagley, than when my recruit, Edmond, died in a super unexpected, unanticipated fashion. I played almost exclusively as Edmund the first 10 hours of the game since I got bonus ETO for every person he recruited, and I went HARD with recruiting at the start. So when he died in that super anti-cinematic, super unexpected, super sudden way… and I realized he was just gone -- the guy who I pretty much considered to be the main protagonist of my game… I don't know there's something about the fact that nobody knew the connection I had to that character more than me. Not the game, not the developers, not anyone. He was just some random NPC I grew to feel connected with and like that he was gone. That's a type of moment is unique to Watch Dogs: Legion and the way it's designed (though I have heard strategy games, like XCOM, have a lot of similarities in this regard).
• One big knock against the "play-as-anyone-you-meet" system in Watch Dogs Legion is that as your team grows, you realize that all the ops are pretty interchangeable. There are the few ops that standout like the spy, the drone expert, the beekeeper, the protest rallier… but they're too few and still too homogenous for my liking. In the midst of all of that you're going to have ops that feel pretty samey. Maybe one has shorter hack cooldowns. Maybe one has a car. Maybe one has a g36 or a really good shock rifle like the MPX. But there's still not enough differentiation at that point, especially considering how much voice acting gets reused in the game. The background bios are cool but almost assuredly procedurally generated, so there's no personal touch to those either. I just wish they had more distinct ops like the beekeeper or the anarchist. More distinct ops with standout unique abilities would've given each op on your team a more dissimilar, specific personality, even with everything else staying the way it is. Also would've added more gameplay variety, though I am pretty happy with the gameplay in its current state.
• The fact you can recruit anyone and everyone in the world is a neat thing to say in a marketing ad, but when you actually play the game and realize at what cost that scale comes with -- that being the loss of sense of touch to the characters you play as apart from your own "head cannon" you create for the character, like I had with Edmond, and not to mention the procedurally generated missions the game decides to put you through because the game wants you to do some sort of work to earn the reward of getting that member to join your team… then that's when you might start to skip the conversations, fast travel to the other side of the map where the character's recruitment mission is, and not feel any sense of impact or meaning behind the actions you're performing to help the potential recruit out. And that sucks. But the first 10 to 15 hours where each of those recruitment missions feel unique and tailored before you really realize what's going on under the hood -- those 10 to 15 hours are incredible. And to be fair, this game doesn't serve itself to be played for 60-plus hours. You can, and I did, but the best experience for this game to me without a doubt is a 15 to 35-hour experience. In that time span you get out just when you start to see the make-up fade but while the make-ups on, I think Watch Dogs: Legion is a great experience.
• Watch Dogs: Legion is one of the best looking games I have ever played. Is this in large part because of its technical capabilities compared to other games and because it's the first game I've played since I upgraded my PC? Yes. But nevertheless, playing this game with raytracing on is just eye candy. I'm not an expert on all the GPU technicalities, but if Watch Dogs: Legion is any indication of the next generation of gaming, I think this next generation of games are going to be a significant step visually. I never knew how much reflections mattered until I played this game. Thankfully, it's pretty rainy in London so the puddles were plenty, and boy did those puddles do a good job showing off just how much the new GPUs are capable of. I know better-looking puddles is a meme, and I was in the same camp… until I actually played a game with great looking puddles lol. I also remember flying a cargo drone around one of the big towers in the game, just completely in awe. If you get a new card or one of the new consoles and you want to see what your hardware is capable of -- Watch Dogs: Legion will not disappoint you. I used to think high framerate trumped all, and I still think that's the case in competitive multiplayer games, but for immersive single-player experiences, I'm not so sure anymore. Was it unpleasant to have the frames drop when turning on a busy street intersection? Yes, it was. But holy sh*t those reflections though.
• Aside from the graphics, the art and style of how Ubisoft designed near-future London is very impressive. My jaw dropped the first time I walked through Piccadilly Circus. And I was in awe when I came upon Chinatown and saw that AR dragon. The ferris wheel… Big Ben, the bridges, the river views. I loved flying above the city on top of a cargo drone, gawking at how beautiful nighttime London was. I loved walking down random London streets watching the cars zip to and from, and watching the parcel drones above my head fly towards their destinations to deliver the packages they were holding. Playing with a soccer ball at the local park while the radio played next to me -- all while I enjoyed the beautiful outdoors of the city. Of course, not everything is bright in jovial since London is in a surveillance state, so you see the protest rallies and the overly aggressive officers and the homeless people. It's an interesting clash of tones. But rarely is real-life either always happy or always depressing -- though I guess that depends on your own personal views of life. To me, both exist in the real world, and both can exist in the game -- so from that aspect I'm not shooting down the clashing tones the game has incorporated in it. Apparently, people from London have said that the game does a great job representing London and its boroughs, and that doesn't surprise me. Say what you will about Ubisoft, but they do a phenomenal job recreating real-life places with their own fictitious twists for you to immerse yourself in. I loved setting my car to auto-drive and watching the city breathe.
• Let's talk about the gameplay. So let me start off by saying that I think Ubisoft gets some unfair slack. Generally, I think the minute-to-minute action in Ubisoft games is at the very least enjoyable. The issue is that the mission design and other design elements take that enjoyable gameplay loop and copy-paste it over and over with little divergent characteristics from one gameplay sequence to another. I had an absolute blast with the main gameplay loop in Watch Dogs: Legion. It may not come off in its presentation but, depending on how you play the game, Watch Dogs: Legion's gameplay is an outstanding stealth game. It really rewards your creativity and intelligence as a player. Before infiltrating an area, you're often given an objective and it's up to you to piece together how you're going to accomplish it. This isn't anything new in Ubisoft games. In Assassin's Creed, it's the objective of assassinating a target. In Far Cry, it's killing all the enemies in an outpost. And in Watch Dogs: Legion, it's hacking some piece of software, destroying a vehicle, downloading some secure data, etc. But playing Watch Dogs: Legion made me realize why I enjoy Ubisoft games so much, despite the obvious repetition. It's because it rewards you for your ingenuity. It gives you an objective and constraints and says "figure it out." Watch Dogs: Legion in particular, however, fosters emergent gameplay better than the other two, where each element of the gameplay is relatively simple on its own, but can come together in really cool, complex ways that you yourself are head engineering as the hacker. I don't want to oversell it -- you do press Q and the enemy immediately looks at their phone for 10 seconds, but let me walk you through some of what I'm talking about.
The way you are hopping through the different cameras to survey the area… then hacking a shock drone to get within download range of the key you might need later. Then using that shock drone to zap one of the red control panels to unlock a door. Then using the AR cloak to get by a really busy part of the restricted area. Setting traps and blowing gas tanks to not only take out an enemy, but draw attention away from where you're heading. Coming up behind an enemy and choking them to sleep, drop-kicking them and even Stone Cold Stunning them. Or even just going the traditional route of putting a silencer on your pistol and taking enemies out silentily, one by one, then cloaking their body afterwards. Each time there's a mission to accomplish and you have to piece together a permutation of events using the weapons and electronics at your disposable to get the job done (and in a non-lethal way, if you're playing like that). I'll say it again because it's probably the main reason I enjoyed Watch Dogs: Legion as much as I did: I love how much Watch Dogs: Legion rewards you as the player for your creativity and your intelligence. Is the open mission design structure present in Watch Dogs: Legion anything new or anything we haven't seen before in other games? Absolutely not. In fact, it's probably a core design philosophy in Ubisoft games. But I don't think it works as good in those Ubisoft games as it works here in Watch Dogs: Legion. The way its executed in this near future setting where intelligence and information are crucial in your attack as you hop onto the cams and hack into the drones to scout ahead, planning your next move in real time. It's pretty tactical and can get very tense and exciting, especially if you're playing as a character you like and permadeath is on. One slip up and it's over. In a lot of ways and particularly in that respect, Watch Dogs: Legion reminds me most of Ubisoft's multiplayer shooter, Rainbow: Six Siege -- which is kind of weird to say.
The issue is that the gameplay doesn't hold up that ingenuity once you hit around the 20 hour mark. You start going to the same areas and seeing the same paths to completion. The challenge is lost and the novelty is worn. And that sucks. That's why when I recommend this game to other people I'm going to tell them -- hey, Watch Dogs: Legion is a really fun game but don't overstay your welcome with it. Because the game gets less and less pretty the longer you play it… but boy are those first 15 hours beautiful.
• The borough missions are a nice change of pace. It's a pretty gamey system -- accomplish three tasks in a borough and then you unlock a final mission that, once you beat, liberates that mission's respective sector of the map -- but the fact it's a gamey system is okay with me. I like the variety that the different borough missions bring. From scaling Big Ben with a spiderbot, to racing through the streets with a car in Tower Hamlets and with a high-speed modified drone in Islington & Hackney, to navigating a parcel drone through a 3D maze in Southwark. But fuck that mission where you have to defend the Millennium Wheel with that CT drone, oh my gosh.
• Melee combat was simple-but-crisp. The punching sound effect had a nice pop, and the slow-motion dodges added a cool cinematic effect. It's not Batman, but that's okay. Melee combat is the core of that game and it's a complementary gameplay system here. The fighting arena missions where the hand-to-hand combat is the central focus are a bit too long and not all that fun… but damn did they do a good job with the presentation in those missions. The gunplay isn't DOOM or Battlefield, but Watch Dogs: Legion also isn't a first-person shooter and I think gunplay is a lot harder to accomplish in a third-person shooter. So for a third-person shooter, I found the gunplay serviceable, except for the horrendous bullet damage dropoff on some guns and the bit-too-weak electric guns. I found all six of the gadgets to be very enjoyable to use. The electro-fist is frickin sick, the missile drone is badass, especially if you're playing as a drone expert and time the cooldowns in tandem with your drone dive bomb. And the electro-shock trap is a good general grenade option. You get to choose what I consider one of the two strongest gadgets from the outset in either the spiderbot or the AR cloak.
• With everything else there is to unlock in the tech store I'm sure a lot of players were content with using only the spiderbot or the AR cloak and ignoring the rest of the gadgets, which is another game design flaw. I didn't have too much of a problem with the weapons, the upgrades, and the hack unlocks in the tech store, but I also wasn't particularly excited to go out and grind for tech points. If I really enjoy the core gameplay in a game -- and I really enjoyed the core gameplay in Watch Dogs: Legion -- then usually I'll enjoy putting the time in to grind for unlockables. I spent an hour here or there riding a cargo drone around town and picking up tech points just to take a break from the action, but I truly had no desire to grind for any of those tech abilities. Sure the tech abilities helped but it's not like I needed any of them to progress through the game or had a burning desire to unlock any of them. They made the game easier, in some cases a lot easier -- which is arguably a good thing to a lot of players -- but for a system that's supposed to be the main source of the player's grind, I did not find the system captivating and I would have been all for grinding for those tech points if I found the unlocks to be more exciting. In Far Cry 2, a game designed by the same exact lead game designer as Watch Dogs: Legion, Clint Hocking, I grinded for those gems because I wanted the badass one-hit-kill sniper or the silenced MP5 or the stealth suit. Here, the grind is running around the city spamming your hack button to profile each individual and see if they have any abilities worth recruiting over. And that's not fun at all.
• Not only does the story have serious flaws, but so does the storytelling. Pressing Q and watching an AR reconstruction as Bagley and my character babble on for two minutes does not connect with me in any way. It's boring. It's void of life. The DedSec agent you track down, Angel -- you never see him apart from the AR reconstruction where he might as well be a Superhot NPC at that point. The only time you see him is when he's dead. Sure it sucks this former DedSec op is dead, but I don't know him and I don't have any connection to him, so that's going to limit how much I care. Why not have done something with Dalton -- a character you play as at the very start and have some connection with instead of killing him off and focusing on some random DedSec op named Angel? What a lost opportunity.
• I have to mention the final borough mission for Nine Elms where you go explore a dark, underground Power Plant. Personally, I loved how dark and atmospheric that mission was, and I will not forget that sick feeling I had when I walked into the hidden prison and found humans being caged in pitch black by Albion. It was easily one of the most stunning moments in all of the game and definitely a very emotional one. Fantastic stuff. But you can't interact with them. You can't talk to them. They might as well be chickens in a chicken coop. All you can do is kill the Albion security guard watching over them and then hack into his computer. Then fireworks start flying above the city and people are jumping and celebrating? Then you magically spawn outside again. What the fuck? Where are the people I just saved? Let me talk with one of them. Let them tell me "Thank you for saving my life" and let me say to them "Don't worry about it DedSec's job. Helping the people of London." But no. Instead, I teleport to the quest giver, and we both trade smiles and laughs. If that doesn't highlight the tonality issue in this game, then I don't know what will.
• From the get-go, Skye Larsen fascinated me. A being only present through a hologram, creator of my friend AI in the game, Bagley, and CEO of a neural mapping tech company with the potential to change the world -- seemingly for the better.
You hack into her house and meet her house AI, then power on the elevator that takes you to the basement which for some reason turns out to be The Hunter's Dream from Bloodborne but many, many years later? I just went with it. Proceeded into the house. And the events in the house were pretty much the only times I was fully engaged with the AR reconstruction and highly anticipating what was going to happen next in the mission. Both Skye and Sinead, her mother, were voiced incredibly well and the fact you're in their house, or what appears to be their house, standing between the same four walls those two were standing in… watching the AR reconstruction play out what had happened on her mother's deathbed as the sheets of blood still lay there wrinkled on the floor and while Skye's workbenches are still there set up adjacent to the bedstead. Realizing that spiderbots and descendants of Skye's dog… Then you enter her secret lab in the basement where you find that amazing table with the holographic map of London on it. Next to that, you see chambers holding people in them and you're left to guess what sick, twisted acts she's been up to. Then finally, you end Sinead's misery. It's a very well done segment of the game and I felt a tremendous amount of emotion playing through it. Some of Ubisoft's best storytelling to date.
Unfortunately, a lot of this quest is ruined for me because of its ending. Whether you kill Skye or not, the same thing happens. Nowt shows up at the safe house and proceeds to give you access to 404 side missions, even if you don't side with her. And either way Skye eventually dies, either by you killing her or Broca Tech shutting down her AI. So why is this decision in the game!? To make it feel like we, the player's, action's matter -- even though in reality they don't? I'm tempted to call it deceptive. Are you guys cool with this? This is something I'm really curious about your guys' take on.
I also think there's too little gray area in that decision to make it a tough choice. Which is fine -- there doesn't need to be gray area. It could be a Mass Effect thing where you're playing as a good guy or bad guy… except for the fact that no matter how you want to play, DedSec will always be referred to as the good guys in the game and so playing as the bad guy creates narrative dissonance. Does anyone really think siding with Skye is a reasonably humane choice? Sure, the technology could be used for the good of humanity, but with Skye as the CEO, it's obvious from going through her house that that's not the case and humanity is almost assuredly better off without Project Daybreak if Skye's history is any indication of the future. The decision to kill or side with Skye is just a weird inclusion by Ubisoft, to me.
• Let's discuss the epilogue with Bagley and Bradley. It was so messed up to see what Skye did to her own brother. It obviously made me hate Skye Larsen even more. It was awful what she did to her mom and her dog, but I knew who the third person was. He wasn't just another house member of Skye used to push the narrative forward. He was a friend I made over the course of the last 60-plus hours.
It did feel a bit rushed. It was a quick 3 or 4 minutes in and out of the hospital, and then things go back to normal. But it was the epilogue so I can't fault it for that too much. The photograph mission leading up to it wasn't bad, per se, but I think it should've given more of a hint for each picture. Part of me respects Ubisoft for not putting in objective markers and forcing you to really know the landscape of the world for the bonus material, but not all of the pictures were pictures of noticeable landmarks like the ferris wheel, and that made it really difficult.
So yes, the epilogue was good. And yes, it made me hate Skye Larsen even more. But let me propose something to you. Imagine if the Bagley epilogue quest, or some similar variation of it, was placed after you went through Skye Larsen's house but before you go off to kill her. Imagine how much more connected you would have felt with Bagley through the rest of that game. Imagine how much more you would have despised Skye Larsen and how much more satisfying it would have been to kill her. Your emotional amplitude would have been even higher than it already was from seeing her mom and dog turn into AI. Killing Skye is already a great moment, but if you had seen what she did to your AI friend before you went off to kill her, then killing Skye would have been incredibly emotional, incredibly affecting, and incredibly climactic. And instead of feeling much closer to Bagley right before you're about to say goodbye to the game, you feel closer to him all throughout the rest of the game and right up until the end. Which brings me to the ending. Now continuing on with that hypothetical scenario I've laid out (first Skye's house, then epilogue mission (or a variation), then kill Skye), imagine if when you pull the plug on Bagley at the end… he actually stayed dead and didn't come back to life 30 seconds later. How much better would the story have become just from those changes? Killing Bagley at the end of the game was heartbreaking. Like I said earlier, he was my favorite NPC in the game. If I would have played the epilogue prior to killing him, I'm guessing I would have borderline cried. That would have made the scene even more impactful than it already was. But the reason I really, really dislike the ending of the game is not because of anything it does in the ending -- it's because of what it does after what it does in the ending. Any emotion of sadness and loss I felt when I pressed E and finally said goodbye to Bagley completely disappeared when he popped back up on the safehouse screen moments later. It felt cheap. Extremely cheap. Let the character die. Let the game end. Put that epilogue earlier in the story. But no. This is purely reckless speculation and I hope… dear God I hope I'm being overly cynical here, but I feel like that's not possible because Ubisoft wants you to still be in the world after you finish the game to do the missions you missed so you can still have the opportunity to put money into the game's store, because your chances of putting money into the game's store if the game were to end after you pulled the plug on Bagley and returned to the title screen are close to zero. Is that why Bagley had to stay alive? I don't know. Either way, to me the ending of the game is tragic, but not in the way it was supposed to be tragic. It sucks. I feel robbed of my emotion.
• Nigel Cass falls into the issue I see way too often with antagonists in works of fiction, and something we see earlier with Mary Kelley -- he's too evil. To the point of absurdity. And he didn't have to be portrayed that way. His backstory is that his father was killed by gang members which put him on the path of revenge by taking the law into his own hands. An interesting backstory that unfortunately does not get developed at all and it could've really helped his characterization if it was delved into more. As it stands, he just comes off as another one-dimensional Saturday morning cartoon villain, which is a shame because, again, he had the potential to be a really interesting antagonist like Skye. At least his boss fight was somewhat enjoyable. Though, the game does rely on the network bypass puzzles a few times too many for my liking, along with the AR reconstructions and area defense missions. Also, I was hoping Nigel was a bit more of a juggernaut. You take him down in one clip.
• And finally, let's talk about Zero Day and Sabine Brandt. So Zero Day starts off the game with a big bang. Literally. But then pretty much goes without mention until the end of the game. They're brought up in the game every now and again, but I think I forgot about them for most of the playthrough until the very end when the big reveal happens. It's a reveal that I probably should have seen coming but didn't. You never see Sabine in person until after the reveal. She was the only one who stayed alive after the Zero Day attack. There are hints here and there in the main story. And she doesn't even show up at the team party… that's when it was clear.
Sabine's premise for why she's doing what she's doing does, at the very least, stop and make you think for a moment. Society is completely messed up right now because of harsh surveillance by Albion through the government, homelessness is widespread, and technology has become tyrannical. She wants to restart society from the ground up. Yes, she has to commit mass murder but to her the ends justify the means. And who are you to judge her for killing when you yourself have killed plenty in your playthrough? I really liked Sabine's ending. I just wish they had more Zero Day appearances throughout the game. Let me hear more of Zero Day talking about their philosophy of rebuilding London from the ground up and less of them talking with Mary Kelley about purchasing explosives just to move the story forward. Keep me interested in Zero Day instead of having me forget about them until the end. Keep me curious.
So those are my thoughts! Overall, I had a good time with the game. However, it definitely had some issues that I felt needed airing. And just to be clear, I did not try to slight the game just for the sake of criticizing it. These are my honest thoughts after reflecting on the time I spent with the game. Please do share your own thoughts!
Edit: grammar & typos
submitted by sharingmyxp to WatchDogs_Legion [link] [comments]


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submitted by SuperHotUKDeals to HotUKGamingDeals [link] [comments]


2020.11.20 11:30 tecraspace TecraCoin blockchain upgraded to Bitcoin Core 14

TecraCoin blockchain upgraded to Bitcoin Core 14
https://preview.redd.it/4iwi9nk0hd061.jpg?width=1466&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=7c36a9cd89a6c21539ef132d208820e7a79a20cc

Bitcoin core 14

The main point of this article - what exactly is bitcoin core 14 and what does the upgrade mean for TecraCoin?
Upgrading from Core 0.12.0 to Bitcoin Core 0.14.0 will bring major improvements to the functioning of our blockchain. The most notable change of the core update is performance enhancement and ability to implement Delegated Proof of Work (dPoW).
More specifically, syncing and initial block download will take up much less time. The new Bitcoin Core 0.14.0 client will allow the process of synchronization with the blockchain to be sped up by as much as 40-48% compared to the previous version. Improved Initial Block Download (IBD) performance means that a full node that has been started for the first time can now validate all blocks up until the present much quicker than before. The increase in IBD speed is possible thanks to two improvements introduced in the new core version: assumed valid blocks and memory-sharing between mempool and UTXO DB cache.
In Bitcoin Core 0.14.0, unused mempool memory is shared with the UTXO database cache, which increases the number of Unspent Transaction Outputs (UTXOs) that can be cached in fast memory rather than needing to be stored and retrieved from a much slower disk drive.
Next, faster new block validation and relay is great news especially for miners and other users who need to receive and process new blocks as fast as possible. The BIP152 CompactBlocks implementation will now relay some blocks before they’ve been fully validated, allowing those blocks to propagate across the peer-to-peer (P2P) network much quicker than in previous versions. The P2P network code has also generally been refactored to allow multiple actions to happen simultaneously (concurrency) as well as to increase throughput, eliminating many potential delays in processing new blocks. Finally, unconfirmed transactions in each node’s mempool can now be saved to and restored from disk when the node is restarted. Network operations are no longer bottlenecked by validation and, as a result, block fetching is several times faster than previous releases in many cases.
The new version sees an improved signature cache. The new signature cache will use cuckoo cache, which will allow more signatures to be cached and faster lookups. As signature verification is typically the most computationally-expensive part of processing a new block, using the signature cache significantly improves the speed at which new blocks can be processed by nodes that have a longer online presence.
However, one of the most important changes of the upgrade is that Tecra at last will be able to implement dPoW. That means we will be able to facilitate an integration with Komodo, a pioneer of multi-chain architecture in the blockchain space.
https://www.newsbtc.com/news/bitcoin/bitcoin-core-0-14-0-speeds-blockchain-syncing-48/

What is Bitcoin Core?

An integral part of the Bitcoin network is a software called Bitcoin Core. This program is designed to validate and verify all blocks in the blockchain and all transactions in those blocks. This program is also used as secure wallets.
Using this program helps the Bitcoin blockchain stay completely decentralized and distinguish this blockchain from other bitcoin blockchain blocks (Hardforks); For example, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold are two hard-forked branches (They should die because of low PoW hashrate, but because there is Bitmain that uses BCH exclusively for buying miners... it is still alive -with under 2% of BTC hash rate) of Bitcoin. It should be noted that not all Bitcoin network nodes use this program.
Code of Bitcoin Core is used in many other blockchains, and it is updated, forked, and merged on a daily basis. Many of these forks have networks very similar to Bitcoin, but may differ from Bitcoin in some parameters, which is why these currencies are not actually Bitcoin!
The main Bitcoin network was launched in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto. Therefore, the Bitcoin Core program helps to distinguish the original blockchain blocks from other blocks. There was one Bitcoin network, Code was forked i.e. for Namecoin (to use decentralized DNS) and Litecoin (for faster transactions and different mining) and so on. It is more than thousand of different coins based on Bitcoin code, but only a handful forks based on Bitcoin blockchain (BCH was the first one, BSV forked from BCH, BTG, and other *coins directly from BTC)

History of Bitcoin Core

The program was originally written under the name Bitcoin-Qt by Wladimir van der Laan referring to the source code that Satoshi Nakamoto published on the Internet. In the first versions, it needed bitcoin daemon (bitcoind) running separately, later on, it was incorporated into one program (daemon + GUI).
This program can be used to create transactions and other payment services. The source code of this program is available on the GitHub site.
Features One of the main features of the Bitcoin Core is the high security of this software. Bitcoin Core is a digital wallet software used in the Bitcoin blockchain network, and if you use this digital wallet, your bitcoins will be stored directly on the blockchain. In fact, this makes the bitcoin core have a high level of security.
  • The most important reason to use this program is because it is the most popular program for running Full Node. (Allows full nodes to follow Bitcoin network rules)
  • The RPC (Remote Procedure Call) interface allows developers to easily communicate with the application.
  • It has a user-friendly interface that also allows ordinary users to create and validate transactions.
  • Compatibility with various operating systems such as Linux, Windows, and Mac.
  • Perform transactions very quickly
  • Requires confirmation from the user before creating any transaction.
  • Low transaction costs
  • Has a list of transactions with the status icon in Real-Time (live)
  • Has a progress bar confirming the download of the blockchain
  • Has different languages such as German, Chinese, etc.
  • Use different units to split bitcoins such as Milli, Micro
Bitcoin Core is a great application and has become one of the most important components of the Bitcoin blockchain.

Strengths and weaknesses of Bitcoin Core

Pros
  • This is open-source software; This means that any user can contribute to the development of the software and even make changes by analyzing it.
  • This software is the safest and best Node available for Bitcoin. With Bitcoin Core, you can stay in touch with blockchain and keep up to date with all the important and new developments.
  • There is good support for this software. The behind-the-scenes team of this software is always working on it and you can talk to their experts 24 hours a day and solve your problems with Bitcoin Core.
Cons
  • Bitcoin Core is a full node, so it downloads the entire blockchain network completely. The data in the blockchain is so large that you need 330GB of free space on your device, which is increasing day by day.
  • Long Sync: Keep in mind that Bitcoin Core is connected to the entire bitcoin network, so it takes even a week (on magnetic HDD) to synchronize with the massive bitcoin network. After this period, you will be able to use it. Using a fast SSD can cut this time to less than a day.
  • If you not use if frequently (ie in daily/weekly basis) it take some time (minutes-hours) to sync blockchain to current state
We have given all these explanations about Bitcoin Core to find out the importance of this software and why Tecra is using it in its own code. Let’s take a more comprehensive look into what Tecra has in store.
Simply explained, TecraCoin code is forked from Zcoin code, which is forked from Dash, and Dash is forked from Bitcoin. So, we use the Bitcoin Core CODE.
TecraCoin is a free open source peer-to-peer electronic cash system that is completely decentralized, without the need for a central server or trusted parties. Users hold the crypto keys to their own money and transact directly with each other, with the help of a P2P network to check for double-spending.
TecraCoin Core is the original TecraCoin client. It builds the backbone of the network. However, it downloads and stores the entire history of TecraCoin transactions (which is currently about 12GBs); depending on the speed of your computer and network connection, the synchronization process can take anywhere from a hour s to a day (rarely more).
The following are some helpful notes on how to run TecraCoin on your native platform.
Download binary from github: https://github.com/tecracoin/tecracoin/releases
  • For MacOS (installer) tecracoin-1.7.0-osx-*.dmg
  • For Linux (gzipped binaries) tecracoin-1.7.0-x86_64-linux-gnu.tar.gz
  • For Windows (installer) tecracoin-1.7.0-win64-setup-*.exe
  • For Windows (zipped binaries) tecracoin-1.7.0-win64.zip
  • For Linux Masternode (console only) tnode.tar.gz
If you are already familiar with Docker, then running TecraCoin with Docker might be an easier method for you. To run TecraCoin using this method, first install Docker. After this, you may continue with the following instructions.
Please note that we currently don‘t support the GUI when running with Docker. Therefore, you can only use RPC (via HTTP or the tecracoin-cli utility) to interact with TecraCoin via this method.
  1. Pull our latest official Docker image: - docker pull tecracoin/tecranode-mainnet
  2. Start TecraCoin daemon: - docker run --detach --name tecracoind tecracoin/tecranode-mainnet
  3. View current block count (this might take a while since the daemon needs to find other nodes and download blocks first): - docker exec tecracoind tecracoin-cli getblockcount
  4. View connected nodes: - docker exec tecracoind tecracoin-cli getpeerinfo
  5. Stop daemon: - docker stop tecracoind
  6. Backup wallet: - docker cp tecracoind:/home/tecracoind/.tecracoin/wallet.dat .
  7. Start daemon again: - docker start tecracoind
Dependencies
  1. Update packages - sudo apt-get update
  2. Install required packages - sudo apt-get install build-essential libtool autotools-dev automake pkg-config - libssl-dev libevent-dev bsdmainutils libboost-all-dev libgmp-dev cmake
  3. Install Berkeley DB 4.8 - sudo apt-get install software-properties-common - sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bitcoin/bitcoin - sudo apt-get update - sudo apt-get install libdb4.8-dev libdb4.8++-dev
  4. Install QT 5 - sudo apt-get install libminiupnpc-dev libzmq3-dev - sudo apt-get install libqt5gui5 libqt5core5a libqt5dbus5 qttools5-dev qttools5-dev-tools libprotobuf-dev protobuf-compiler libqrencode-dev
Build
  1. Clone the source: - git clone https://github.com/tecracoin/tecracoin
  2. Build TecraCoin-core: - Configure and build the headless TecraCoin binaries as well as the GUI (if Qt is found). You can disable the GUI build by passing --without-gui to configure. ./autogen.sh ./configure
make
  1. To build and run all the unit tests: - ./autogen.sh - ./configure --enable-tests --enable-gui --enable-elysium - cd src
submitted by tecraspace to u/tecraspace [link] [comments]


2020.11.20 07:51 aswaterhad A new computer from a i3 3200(from a long time ago) computer and a Pentium laptop. Any advice?

What will you be doing with this PC? Be as specific as possible, and include specific games or programs you will be using.
Playing Fortnite, some xbox game pass ultimate games (specifically Rocket Arena and Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare. Probably will be listening to youtube simultaneously. Also some video editing software (will probably use Filmora 9).
What is your maximum budget before rebates/shipping/taxes?
£1500, but I'll accept a bit more because of Black Friday.
When do you plan on building/buying the PC? Note: beyond a week or two from today means any build you receive will be out of date when you want to buy.
Buying on Black Friday, might be earlier because of Amazon's early Black Friday deals.
**What, exactly, do you need included in the budget?
Monitor, as my current one is grainy as heck.
Which country (and state/province) will you be purchasing the parts in? If you're in US, do you have access to a Microcenter location?
London, England
If reusing any parts (including monitor(s)/keyboard/mouse/etc), what parts will you be reusing? Brands and models are appreciated.
Keyboard and mouse
Will you be overclocking? If yes, are you interested in overclocking right away, or down the line? CPU and/or GPU?
I have no idea what this is.
Are there any specific features or items you want/need in the build? (ex: SSD, large amount of storage or a RAID setup, CUDA or OpenCL support, etc)
1 TB of storage, with average download speeds.
Do you have any specific case preferences (Size like ITX/microATX/mid-towefull-tower, styles, colors, window or not, LED lighting, etc), or a particular color theme preference for the components?
No RBM lights, as this(most likely) will be under my table.
Do you need a copy of Windows included in the budget? If you do need one included, do you have a preference?
No
submitted by aswaterhad to buildapcforme [link] [comments]


2020.11.20 00:53 abrasivestepfather Linux computer for research and light gaming ($2000 CAD)

>**What will you be doing with this PC? Be as specific as possible, and include specific games or programs you will be using.**

I will be using it to run Machine Learning experiments for my research. Currently my software only uses only the CPU but in the future I may want to use neural networks in which case I'd want to take advantage of a GPU.
I will also do light gaming, borderlands 3 is the only game I currently plan on playing, but likely I'll play others.
I also plan on only running Manjaro Linux, so compatibility is very important.

>**What is your maximum budget before rebates/shipping/taxes?**

$2000 CAD
Because I have included a monitor and stand I am willing to push it up.

>**When do you plan on building/buying the PC? Note: beyond a week or two from today means any build you receive will be out of date when you want to buy.**

Within a week.

>**What, exactly, do you need included in the budget? (ToweOS/monitokeyboard/mouse/etc\)**

The computer itself and a monitor (1440p or higher) along with a stand I can use attach to a desk (ideally some kind of arm to minimise desk footprint, I don't have much desk space so I need something to handle that).

>**Which country (and state/province) will you be purchasing the parts in? If you're in US, do you have access to a Microcenter location?**

Alberta Canada, I am close to Memory Express.

>**If reusing any parts (including monitor(s)/keyboard/mouse/etc), what parts will you be reusing? Brands and models are appreciated.**

Keyboard (Corsair vengeance k70)
Mouse (MSI interceptor DS B1)
Microphone (Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB)
Webcam (no clue what the brand is)

>**Will you be overclocking? If yes, are you interested in overclocking right away, or down the line? CPU and/or GPU?**

No and have no plans in the future.

>**Are there any specific features or items you want/need in the build? (ex: SSD, large amount of storage or a RAID setup, CUDA or OpenCL support, etc)**

A large number of cores for parallel computing, I care more about parallel performance than single threaded. I have been using my laptop which has 6 cores (Intel i7-8750H) and do not want a computer with less.

I want to boot off a 2 TB nvme drive.
I also want a separate drive to store results and other files I may want to keep, I'm not sure if I should go with a ssd or hard disk, I'm not sure about the speed and price difference.

>**Do you have any specific case preferences (Size like ITX/microATX/mid-towefull-tower, styles, colors, window or not, LED lighting, etc), or a particular color theme preference for the components?**

I would like a simple looking case, smaller is better but I assume that it should probably not be to small for proper cooling. It will be sitting under my desk.

>**Do you need a copy of Windows included in the budget? If you do need one included, do you have a preference?**

No I wont be using Windows and if I want to in the future I don't want it considered in this budget.

>**Extra info or particulars:**
submitted by abrasivestepfather to buildapcforme [link] [comments]


2020.11.19 15:54 MarkDMill Great deals for 11/19, including new M1 MacBook Pro & Mac Mini, iPad Air, Samsung T7, & Korg music apps

I looked through over 670 deals and curated over $730 in savings for you. You’re welcome. If I've saved you money, would you kick back a portion and support this site on Patreon (and get some bonuses for you too!)?
Amazon Tech Deals for 11/19 ⠀ - Today's Amazon tech deals include:
submitted by MarkDMill to MDMDeals [link] [comments]


2020.11.19 13:40 malchik23 SEO is easy. The EXACT process we use to scale our clients' SEO from 0 to 200k monthly traffic and beyond

Hey guys!
There's a TON of content out there on SEO - guides, articles, courses, videos, scams, people yelling about it on online forums, etc etc..
Most of it, however, is super impractical. If you want to start doing SEO TODAY and start getting results ASAP, you'll need to do a TON of digging to figure out what's important and what's not.
So we wanted to make everyone's lives super easy and distill our EXACT process of working w/ clients into a stupid-simple, step-by-step practical guide. And so we did. Here we are.
P.S: startups, and seo loved the guide, so I thought you guys might like it too.

A bit of backstory:

If you guys haven't seen any of my previous posts, me and my co-founder own an SEO/digital marketing agency, and we've worked w/ a ton of clients helping them go from 0 to 200k+ monthly organic traffic. We've also helped some quite big companies grow their organic traffic (from 1M to over 1.8M monthly organic), using the exact same process.
So without further ado, grab your popcorn, and be prepared to stick to the screen for a while, cause this is going to be a long post. Here's everything I am going to cover:

Step #1 - Technical Optimization and On-Page SEO

Step #1 to any SEO initiative is getting your technical SEO right.
Now, some of this is going to be a bit technical, so you might just forward this part to your tech team and just skip ahead to "Step #2 - Keyword Research."
If you DON'T have a tech team and want a super easy tl;dr, do this:
If you’re a bit more tech-savvy, though, read on!

Technical SEO Basics

Sitemap.xml file. A good sitemap shows Google how to easily navigate your website (and how to find all your content!). If your site runs on WordPress, all you have to do is install YoastSEO or Rankmath SEO, and they’ll create a sitemap for you. Otherwise, you can use an online XML Sitemap generation tool.
Proper website architecture. The crawl depth of any page should be lower than 4 (i.e: any given page should be reached with no more than 3 clicks from the homepage). To fix this, you should improve your interlinking (check Step #6 of this guide to learn more).
Serve images in next-gen format. Next-gen image formats (JPEG 2000, JPEG XR, and WebP) can be compressed a lot better than JPG or PNG images. Using WordPress? Just use Smush and it’ll do ALL the work for you. Otherwise, you can manually compress all images and re-upload them.
Remove duplicate content. Google hates duplicate content and will penalize you for it. If you have any duplicate pages, just merge them (by doing a 301 redirect) or delete one or the other.
Update your ‘robots.txt’ file. Hide the pages you don’t want Google to index (e.g: non-public, or unimportant pages). If you’re a SaaS, this would be most of your in-app pages. ]
Optimize all your pages by best practice. There’s a bunch of general best practices that Google wants you to follow for your web pages (maintain keyword density, have an adequate # of outbound links, etc.). Install YoastSEO or RankMath and use them to optimize all of your web pages.
If you DON’T have any pages that you don’t want to be displayed on Google, you DON’T need robots.txt.

Advanced Technical SEO

Now, this is where this gets a bit more web-devvy. Other than just optimizing your website for SEO, you should also focus on optimizing your website speed.
Here’s how to do that:
Both for Mobile and PC, your website should load in under 2-3 seconds. While load speed isn’t a DIRECT ranking factor, it does have a very serious impact on your rankings.
After all, if your website doesn’t load for 5 seconds, a bunch of your visitors might drop off.
So, to measure your website speed performance, you can use Pagespeed Insights. Some of the most common issues we have seen clients facing when it comes to website speed and loading time, are the following:
Want to make your life easier AND fix up all these issues and more? Use WP Rocket. The tool basically does all your optimization for you (if you’re using WordPress, of course).
Lastly, if you want to validate the website speed optimization changes you've made, or if you simply want to test how your current site is performing, you can use Google Page Speed Insights*.*
In May 2020, Google rolled out its Core Web Vitals update, which in layman terms means starting next May (2021), the three most important website load speed metrics you will need to worry for ranking will be:
  1. LCP - Largest Contentful Paint -> under 2.5s
  2. FID - First Input Delay -> under 100ms
  3. CLS - Cumulative Layout Shift -> under 0.1

Step #2 - Keyword Research

Once your website is 100% optimized, it’s time to define your SEO strategy.
The best way to get started with this is by doing keyword research.
First off, you want to create a keyword research sheet. This is going to be your main hub for all your content operations.
You can use the sheet to:
  1. Prioritize content
  2. Keep track of the publishing process
  3. Get a top-down view of your web pages
And here’s what it covers:
Now that you have your sheet (and understand how it works), let’s talk about the “how” of keyword research.

How to do Keyword Research (Step-by-Step Guide)

There are a ton of different ways to do that (check the “further readings” at the end of this section for a detailed rundown).
Our favorite method, however, is as follows…
Start off by listing out your top 5 SEO competitors.
The key here is SEO competitors - competing companies that have a strong SEO presence in the same niche.
Not sure who’s a good SEO competitor? Google the top keywords that describe your product and find your top-ranking competitors.
Run them through SEMrush (or your favorite SEO tool), and you’ll see how well, exactly, they’re doing with their SEO.
Once you have a list of 5 competitors, run each of them through “Organic Research” on SEMrush, and you'll get a complete list of all the keywords they rank on.
Now, go through these keywords one by one and extract all the relevant ones and add them to your sheet.
Once you go through the top SEO competitors, your keyword research should be around 80%+ done.
Now to put some finishing touches on your keyword research, run your top keywords through UberSuggest and let it do its magic. It's going to give you a bunch of keywords associated with the keywords you input.
Go through all the results it's going to give you, extract anything that’s relevant, and your keyword research should be 90% done.
At this point, you can call it a day and move on to the next step. Chances are, over time, you’ll uncover new keywords to add to your sheet and get you to that sweet 100%.

Step #3 - Create SEO Landing Pages

Remember how we collected a bunch of landing page keywords in step #2? Now it’s time to build the right page for each of them! This step is a lot more straightforward than you’d think. First off, you create a custom landing page based on the keyword. Depending on your niche, this can be done in 2 ways:
  1. Create a general template landing page. Pretty much copy-paste your landing page, alter the sub-headings, paraphrase it a bit, and add relevant images to the use-case. You’d go with this option if the keywords you’re targeting are very similar to your main use-case (e.g. “project management software” “project management system”).
  2. Create a unique landing page for each use-case. You should do this if each use-case is unique. For example, if your software doubles as project management software and workflow management software. In this case, you’ll need two completely new landing pages for each keyword.
Once you have a bunch of these pages ready, you should optimize them for their respective keywords.
You can do this by running the page content through an SEO tool. If you’re using WordPress, you can do this through RankMath or Yoast SEO.
Both tools will give you exact instructions on how to optimize your page for the keyword.
If you’re not using WordPress, you can use SurferSEO. Just copy-paste your web page content, and it’s going to give you instructions on how to optimize it.
Once your new landing pages are live, you need to pick where you want to place them on your website. We usually recommend adding these pages to your website’s navigation menu (header) or footer.
Finally, once you have all these new landing pages up, you might be thinking “Now what? How, and when, are these pages going to rank?”
Generally, landing pages are a tad harder to rank than content. See, with content, quality plays a huge part. Write better, longer, and more informative content than your competition, and you’re going to eventually outrank them even if they have more links.
With landing pages, things aren’t as cut and dry. More often than not, you can’t just “create a better landing page.”
What determines rankings for landing page keywords are backlinks. If your competitors have 400 links on their landing pages, while yours has 40, chances are, you’re not going to outrank them.

Step #4 - Create SEO Blog Content

Now, let’s talk about the other side of the coin: content keywords, and how to create content that ranks.
As we mentioned before, these keywords aren’t direct-intent (the Googler isn’t SPECIFICALLY looking for your product), but they can still convert pretty well. For example, if you’re a digital marketing agency, you could rank on keywords like…
After all, anyone looking to learn about lead gen techniques might also be willing to pay you to do it for them.
On top of this, blog post keywords are way easier to rank for than your landing pages - you can beat competition simply by creating significantly better content without turning it into a backlink war.In order to create good SEO content, you need to do 2 things right:
  1. Create a comprehensive content outline
  2. Get the writing part right
Here’s how each of these work...

How to Create a Content Outline for SEO

A content outline is a document that has all the info on what type of information the article should contain Usually, this includes:
Outlines are useful if you’re working with a writing team that isn’t 100% familiar with SEO, allowing them to write content that ranks without any SEO know-how.
At the same time, even if you’re the one doing the writing, an outline can help you get a top-down idea of what you should cover in the article.
So, how do you create an outline? Here’s a simplified step-by-step process…
  1. Determine the target word count. Rule of thumb: aim for 1.5x - 2x whatever your competitor wrote. You can disregard this if your competition was super comprehensive with their content, and just go for the same length instead.
  2. Create a similar header structure as your competition. Indicate for the writer which headers should be h2, which ones h3.
  3. For each header, mention what it’s about. Pro tip - you can borrow ideas from the top 5 ranking articles.
  4. For each header, explain what, exactly, should the writer mention (in simple words).
  5. Finally, do some first-hand research on Reddit and Quora. What are the questions your target audience has around your topic? What else could you add to the article that would be super valuable for your customers?

How to Write Well

There’s a lot more to good content than giving an outline to a writer. Sure, they can hit all the right points, but if the writing itself is mediocre, no one’s going to stick around to read your article.
Here are some essential tips you should keep in mind for writing content (or managing a team of writers):
  1. Write for your audience. Are you a B2B enterprise SaaS? Your blog posts should be more formal and professional. B2C, super-consumer product? Talk in a more casual, relaxed fashion. Sprinkle your content with pop culture references for bonus points!
  2. Avoid fluff. Every single sentence should have some sort of value (conveying information, cracking a joke, etc.). Avoid beating around the bush, and be as straightforward as possible.
  3. Keep your audience’s knowledge in mind. For example, if your audience is a bunch of rocket scientists, you don’t have to explain to them how 1+1=2.
  4. Create a writer guideline (or just steal ours! -> edit: sorry had to remove link due to posting guidelines)
  5. Use Grammarly and Hemingway. The first is like your personal pocket editor, and the latter helps make your content easier to read.
  6. Hire the right writers. Chances are, you’re too busy to write your own content. We usually recommend using ProBlogger or Cult of Copy Job Board (Facebook Group) to source top writing talent.

Step #5 - Start Link-Building Operations

Links are essential if you want your content or web pages to rank.
If you’re in a competitive niche, links are going to be the final deciding factor on what ranks and what doesn’t.
In the VPN niche, for example, everyone has good content. That’s just the baseline. The real competition is in the backlinks.
To better illustrate this example, if you Google “best VPN,” you’ll see that all top-ranking content pieces are almost the same thing. They’re all:
So, the determining factor is links. If you check all the top-ranking articles with the Moz Toolbar Extension, you’ll see that on average, each page has a minimum of 300 links (and some over 100,000!).
Meaning, to compete, you’ll really need to double-down on your link-building effort.
In fact, in the most competitive SEO niches, it’s not uncommon to spend $20,000 per month on link-building efforts alone.

Pro Tip
Got scared by the high $$$ some companies spend on link-building? Well, worry not!
Only the most ever-green niches are so competitive. Think, VPN, make money online, health and fitness, dating, CBD, gambling, etc. So you know, the usual culprits.
For most other niches, you can even rank with minimal links, as long as you have top-tier SEO content.
Now, let’s ask the million-dollar question: “how do you do link-building?”

4 Evergreen Link Building Strategies for Any Website

There are a TON of different link building strategies on the web. Broken link building, scholarship link building, stealing competitor links, and so on and so on and so on.
We’re not going to list every single link building strategy out there (mainly because Backlinko already did that in their link building guide).
What we are going to do, though, is list out some of our favorite strategies, and link you to resources where you can learn more:
  1. Broken link building. You find dead pages with a lot of backlinks, reach out to websites that linked to them, and pitch them something like “hey, you linked to this article, but it’s dead. We thought you’d want to fix that. You can use our recent article if you think it’s cool enough.”
  2. Guest posting. Probably the most popular link building strategy. Find blogs that accept guest posts, and send them a pitch! They usually let you include 1-2 do-follow links back to your website.
  3. Linkable asset” link building. A linkable asset is a resource that is so AWESOME that you just can’t help but link to. Think, infographics, online calculators, first-hand studies or research, stuff like that. The tl;dr here is, you create an awesome resource, and promote the hell out of it on the web.
  4. Skyscraper technique. The skyscraper technique is a term coined by Backlinko. The gist of it is, you find link-worthy content on the web, create something even better, and reach out to the right people.
Most of these strategies work, and you can find a ton of resources on the web if you want to learn more.
However, if you’re looking for something a bit different, oh boy we have a treat for you! We’re going to teach you a link-building strategy that got us around:
...And so much more, all through a single blog post.

Link-Building Case Study: SaaS Marketing

“So, what’s this ancient link-building tactic?”
I hear you asking. It must be something super secretive and esoteric, right?
Secrets learned straight from the link-building monks at an ancient SEO temple…
“Right?”
Well, not quite.
The tactic isn’t something too unusual - it’s pretty famous on the web. This tactic comes in 2 steps:
  1. Figure out where your target audience hangs out (create a list of the channels)
  2. Research the type of content your audience loves
  3. Create EPIC content based on that research (give TONS of value)
  4. Promote the HELL out of it in the channels from step 1
Nothing too new, right?
Well, you’d be surprised how many people don’t use it.
Now, before you start throwing stones at us for overhyping something so simple, let’s dive into the case study:
How we PR’d the hell out of our guide to SaaS marketing (can't add a link, but it's on our blog and it's 14k words long), and got 10k+ traffic as a result.
A few months back when we launched our blog, we were deciding on what our initial content should be about.
Since we specialize in helping SaaS companies acquire new users, we decided to create a mega-authority guide to SaaS marketing (AND try to get it to rank for its respective keyword).
We went through the top-ranking content pieces, and saw that none of them was anything too impressive.
Most of them were about general startup marketing strategies - how to validate your MVP, find a product-market fit, etc.
Pretty “meh,” if you ask us. We believe that the #1 thing founders are looking for when Googling “saas marketing” are practical channels and tactics you can use to acquire new users.
So, it all started off with an idea: create a listicle of the top SaaS marketing tactics out there:
  1. How to create good content to drive users
  2. Promote your content
  3. Rank on Google
  4. Create viral infographics
  5. Create a micro-site
...and we ended up overdoing it, covering 41+ different tactics and case studies and hitting around 14k+ words.
On one hand, oops! On the other hand, we had some pretty epic content on our hands. We even added the Smart Content Filter to make the article much easier to navigate.
Once the article was up, we ran it through some of our clients, friends, and acquaintances, and received some really good feedback.
So, now we knew it was worth promoting the hell out of it.
We came up with a huge list of all online channels that would appreciate this article:
  1. entrepreneur and startups (hi guys!). The first ended up loving the post, netting us ~600 upboats and a platinum medal. The latter also ended up loving the post, but the mods decided to be assholes and remove it for being “self-promotional.” So, despite the community loving the content, it got axed by the mods. Sad. (Fun fact - this one time we tried to submit another content piece on startups with no company names, no links back to our website, or anything that can be deemed promotional. One of the mods removed it for mentioning a link to Ahrefs. Go figure!)
  2. Hacker News. Tons of founders hang out on HN, so we thought they’d appreciate anything SaaS-related. This netted us around ~200+ upvotes and some awesome feedback (thanks HN!)
  3. Submit on Growth Hackers, Indie Hackers, and all other online marketing communities. We got a bunch of love on Indie Hackers, the rest were quite inactive.
  4. Reach out to all personal connects + clients and ask for a share
  5. Run Facebook/Twitter ads. This didn’t particularly work out too well for us, so we dropped it after 1-2 weeks.
  6. Run a Quuu promotion. If you haven’t heard of Quuu, it’s a platform that matches people who want their content to be shared, with people who want their social media profiles running on 100% auto-pilot. We also got “meh” results here - tons of shares, next to no likes or link clicks.
  7. Promoted in SaaS and marketing Facebook groups. This had awesome results both in terms of traffic, as well as making new friends, AND getting new leads.
  8. Promoted in entrepreneur Slack channels. This worked OK - didn’t net us traffic, but got us some new friends.
  9. Emailed anyone we mentioned in the article and asked for a share. Since we mentioned too many high profile peeps and not enough non-celebs, this didn’t work out too well
  10. Emailed influencers that we thought would like the article / give it a share. They didn’t. We were heart-broken.
And accordingly, created a checklist + distribution sheet with all the websites or emails of people we wanted to ping.
Overall, this netted us around 12,000 page views in total, 15+ leads, 6,000 traffic in just 2 promotion days.
As for SEO results, we got a bunch of links. (I would have added screenshots to all of these results, but don't think this subreddit allows it).
A lot of these are no-follow from Reddit, HackerNews, and other submission websites, but a lot of them are also pretty authentic.
The cool part about this link-building tactic is that people link to you without even asking. You create awesome content that helps people, and you get rewarded with links, shares, and traffic!
And as for the cherry on top, only 2 months after publishing the article, it’s ranking on position #28. We’re expecting it to get to page 1 within the new few months and top 3 within the year.

Step #6 - Interlink Your Pages

One of Google's ranking factors is how long your visitors stick around on your website.
So, you need to encourage users reading ONE article, to read, well, the rest of them (or at least browse around your website). This is done through interlinking.
The idea is that each of your web pages should be linked to and from every other relevant page on your site.
Say, an article on "how to make a resume" could link to (and be linked from) "how to include contact info on a resume," "how to write a cover letter," "what's the difference between a CV and a resume," and so on.
Proper interlinking alone can have a significant impact on your website rankings. NinjaOutreach, for example, managed to improve their organic traffic by 40% through better interlinking alone.
So, how do you do interlinking “right?”
First off, make it a requirement for your writers to link to the rest of your content. Add a clause to your writer guidelines that each article should have 10+ links to your other content pieces.
More often than not, they’ll manage to get 60-70% of interlinking opportunities. To get this to 100%, we usually do bi-annual interlinking runs. Here’s how that works.
Pick an article you want to interlink. Let’s say, for example, an article on 'business process management'.
The goal here is to find as many existing articles on your blog, where ‘business process management’ is mentioned so that we can add a link to the article.
Firstly, Google the keyword ‘business process management’ by doing a Google search on your domain. You can use the following query:
site:yourwebsite.com "keyword"
In our case, that’s:
site:example.com “business process management”
You’ll get a complete list of articles that mention the keyword “business process management.
Now, all you have to do is go through each of these, and make sure that the keyword is hyperlinked to the respective article!
You should also do this for all the synonyms of the keyword for this article. For example, “BPM” is an acronym for business process management, so you’d want to link this article there too.

Step #7 - Track & Improve Your Headline CTRs

Article CTRs play a huge role in determining what ranks or not.
Let’s say your article ranks #4 with a CTR of 15%. Google benchmarks this CTR with the average CTR for the position.
If the average CTR for position #4 is 12%, Google will assume that your article, with a CTR of 15% is of high quality, and will reward you with better rankings.
On the other hand, if the average CTR is 18%, Google will assume that your article isn’t as valuable as other ranking content pieces, and will lower your ranking.
So, it’s important to keep track of your Click Through Rates for all your articles, and when you see something that’s underperforming, you can test different headlines to see if they’ll improve CTR.
Now, you’re probably wondering, how do you figure out what’s the average CTR?
Unfortunately, each search result is different, and there's no one size fits all formula for average CTR.
Over the past few years, Google has been implementing a bunch of different types of search results - featured snippet, QAs, and a lot of other types of search results.
So, depending on how many of these clutter and the search results for your given keyword, you’ll get different average CTRs by position.
Rule of thumb, you can follow these values:
Keep in mind these change a lot depending on your industry, PPC competitiveness, 0-click searches, etc...
Use a scraping tool like Screaming Frog to extract the following data from all your web pages:
Delete all the pages that aren’t meant to rank on Google. Then, head over to Google Search Console and extract the following data for all the web pages:
Add all of this data to a spreadsheet.
Now, check what your competition is doing and use that to come up with new headline ideas. Then, put them in the Title Ideas cell for the respective keyword.
For each keyword, come up with 4-5 different headlines, and implement the (seemingly) best title for each article.
Once you implement the change, insert the date on the Date Implemented column. This will help you keep track of progress.
Then, wait for around 3 - 4 weeks to see what kind of impact this change is going to have on your rankings and CTR.
If the results are not satisfactory, record the results in the respective cells, and implement another test for the following month. Make sure to update the Date Implemented column once again.

Step #8 - Keep Track of Rankings & Make Improvements On-The-Go

You’re never really “done” with SEO - you should always keep track of your rankings and see if there’s any room for improvement.
If you wait for an adequate time-frame after publishing a post (6 months to a year) and you’re still seeing next to no results, then it might be time to investigate.
Here’s what this usually looks like for us:
...And that's it.
Hope you guys had a good read and learned a thing or two :) HMU if you have any questions.
If you want to read the full version in a more reader-friendly format, you can check out our SEO process blog post here.
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2020.11.19 08:35 Chroments What you are looking for is..... (Link in the Desc.)4

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