Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The early bird gets the game

Okay, so I have two rants to give you today. They're both related, kind of like ugly half-siblings of each other so you're going to get them all in one package. Now who said America wasn't a melting pot any more?

Rant #1:

Gamerscore cheaters on new games.

Yes, I know people will do things to boost their gamerscore. You know, play in matches with friends only and doing things specifically just to get an achievement. I've done that occasionally. But only on the hard to get achievements because nobody plays the game (thanks Kralon for playing Spyglass Board games). The Bog map in Gears of War was the exception, but then again NOBODY likes playing that map.

What irks me is that people were getting 200 out of 200 gamerscore on Fable II Pub Games long before Fable II came out. How could they do that when one of the achievements in the Pub Games is to play as your character from Fable II? If you don't have Fable II there's no way you could get that achievement unless you cheated somehow. And even if you had the game you're still cheating because Fable II wasn't suppose to be until today. Which leads me to rant #2....

Rant #2:

People who get highly anticipated games long before they're available to the rest of us.

A couple of days ago I noticed one of the friends on my list was playing Fable II. When I saw him playing the game I got mad . . . and jealous. It's a big convoluted story that he knows someone who works in a game store and sells him a different game for $60 bucks but gives him the Fable II game instead. His inventory doesn't match up but his books will at the end of the month. To me that's cheating. And it should be illegal. If a game isn't suppose to be out until October 22nd there shouldn't be people out there playing it on October 21st or any earlier.

Then last night while playing Gears of War one of my friends said someone on his list was playing Gears of War 2. They were online looking for matches. Excuse me? Doesn't Gears 2 come out sometime in November? Last time I looked it was still October. And did he really think he'd find someone to play with this early? The rest of us just sit in growing excitement and anticipation until when the game is really suppose to come out while cheaters get the game early and get to play it? That is so not right.

Microsoft made a huge deal about banning anyone found playing Halo 3 prior to the release date. Everyone who got it early had to make sure they didn't log into Xbox Live until after the release date so nobody would know when they got the game. Of course that meant they couldn't play online multiplayer matches. Don't you just feel for those cheaters? I know Halo 3 was Microsoft's baby but don't you think they could do the same thing for Fable II and Gears of War II? Those are huge games for Microsoft. They might not be games Microsoft owns or developed themselves but I think they've done more for the system than the Halo series has. At least more good. If someone refers to a "trash-talking gaming idiot" must likely they say "trash-talking, Halo gaming idiot". I'm just saying.

So while the rest of us are abiding by the law and will wait (impatiently) until the official release date to pick up a game why can't those who cheat get some kind of punishment? How about a ban from Xbox Live for a week? I'd like to hear them say it wasn't their fault they opened up the game, stuck it in their Xbox 360 and started playing when they didn't know they weren't suppose to. Come on. Any gamer worth their salt is going to know the release date of games they're interested in. And any store who sells games early (legally or otherwise) should be fined.

The early bird might get the game, but I hope they get banned as well.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Wireless for Dummies

Let me start off by saying I know what a wireless connection is and how it works. I just had to say that because I didn't want you to think I was any more stupid that I actually am.

I'm getting really close to the end of this house buying process. If all things go according to plan I should be in my new house in a couple of weeks. Maybe by then I'll have some mental energy left to post more here.

One of the issues I have with my house is that I will either need to string a long Ethernet cable through out the house from my router to my Xbox 360 or go to a wireless connection for my gaming enjoyment. In my research of wireless connectors for an Xbox 360 it says two things: 1) your Xbox 360 should be within 30 feet of the wireless router, and 2) it should have a clear "line of sight" to the router.

Now depending on what bedroom I turn into my office the 30 feet rule shouldn't be a problem. However, the line of sight one is a big problem. Unless I put my router in the same room as my Xbox 360 there's no way I could get a "line of sight" system set up. I could always leave my consoles wired and convert my computer to the wireless part of my router but I will feel more comfortable if my personal information is not open to anyone walking by looking for a connection. And before dain starts in on me, yes I know there are ways to secure your connection. I'm just saying that's how I feel.

You see, my tech suaveness comes from the actual use of technology. I can make really interesting and complicated Word documents of Excel spreadsheets. Once you start getting into Visual Basics and other more intense programing I start to get lost. That's what my brother dain is for. He's the resident family go-to guy for anything tech related. If anything were to happen to him my whole (Arizona) family would be up a creek when it comes to anything that you plug in. He knows it. And sometimes he can't stand our lack of knowledge. If anything needs to be done to my house to make my gaming systems playable online he's going to be the one to do it.

So if any of you are using a wireless system for your Xbox 360 I'd love to hear how it's working for you. Do you have it in the same room as your router? Does it have a "line of sight" to your router? What's your online performance like? Do you have lag issues? Anything you can tell me I'd really appreciate it. I might know a bunch of things about a variety of subjects but when it comes to technology even the yellow "dummies" books are sometimes over my head.