Oswald Rant: Shout It Out!

“Welcome to the Team Sportcast Network, I am your shoutcaster for this evening, Oswald.” That is usually my opening line when it comes to online shoutcasting for TsN, the Team Sportscast Network. This is the same online station that brings you Urban Radio (usually) every Friday.

Many still do not know that shoutcasting or TsN exist. Hell, to be honest, I did not know they existed until early in 2002. Since that time, the partnership between TsN and Urban Terror and eventual position on the management staff has flourished. Urban Terror is now a highly casted mod covered by casters who play and enjoy the game, such as JeffT, Whizperz and Vansilli.

With action being covered in the OGL, STA, CAL, TWL and Clanbase, there is something for everyone to listen to. But where are the listeners? The numbers we used to see for Urban Terror do not seem to be bringing in the number of listeners, based on the figures we see from those playing the mod and idling in #urbanterror on the ETG Network.

I think it is human nature to get excited to see coverage of any sort of an event you are participating in. You know what I mean, if there was a hot chick, a professional scout or a news crew covering some type of sporting event, you would walk a bit taller and be a touch more proud in what you are doing. I know the clans we have covered, some more than other, really enjoy the coverage and hearing their names in all the glory. That final cap or the death defying strafe jump to take out the last red team member, it is this action brought to you by a dedicated group of casters that brings the action to life.

Thanks to guys like Sephy, STA Admin and Spellbinder of Clan {TRIAD}, there have been a few times where GTV has been provided in conjunction with the TsN coverage. This has provided the listening community a chance to tune in, listen and watch all the action as it happens on the server.

There are some big events coming up very shortly, hopefully with the support of the Urban Terror Community they will be a success. STA League is in full swing, with some great clans battling for the top spot in both the Flags and Frags Division. The OGL Ladders are always active, from the Team Open and CTF to the 2v2 and recently establish FTL Ladder. Not to be outdone, TsN casters have also provided coverage from Europe. That’s right, Clanbase is where all the European action is at. Currently, the Nations Cup and the Open Cup are nearing the semis and finals. You can bet, TsN will be there to bring you ALL the Urban Terror action.

Next time you are bored and wondering what to do, then tune in to the shoutcasting going on at TsN, the Team Sportscast Network. A very professional group, providing a skill that takes time to master, but really adds a new dimension to online gaming.

Oswald Rant: Pass the online gaming please – A MJY Rant

Well, as promised here is the second installment of UT_CASA, only about a month later:)

I think we have gone over the concept of team vs individuals in TDM, but I would like to touch on it a bit more. As time goes along I still see peeps taking the approach of the most kills in a game of TDM is the be all and end all. The other day I saw a player…not a noob….make a statement that was old when he made it last year: “Once again …as expected”. His score? : 58-47.

Now I know, I have harped on this before…many times as a matter of fact…when you play TDM it is expected that you help the team. Sadly this is not the case in reality. That same game I saw other players on both sides with scores like: 38-12, 44-16, 28-3 etc… who do you think won that game? Well, let me put it this way. lets look at a final score tally for a match:

Now, according to this blowhard…he won the match and ruled all…but did he? For all his preening, his team lost, and although he was a huge contributor to those 217 total team points he was also a huge contributor to the opposing team by giving up an incredible 25% towards their points! Now Spawn can be excused simply because he suxors anyway and he is humble to boot:) But the reality is…Joe Bloe’s mouth was as effective as if he had basically had a 0-0 score, he only contributed 11 points to his team…but he is all about the glory and not about team which is ironically the name of this particular mode…Team Deathmatch……nuff said.

This time I will touch on the tactics of a good Blue Team…or not. Again, as pointed out, most peeps don’t play TDM as a team, TS is the only team based mode where peeps play as a unit..even on pub servers, even when they don’t know each other. The whole idea of TDM is to score as many points as possible and hope your team scored more then the other side, this is accomplished when you go out and basically play as a lone unit for one color and blow the shit out of as many of the enemy as you can while praying the rest of your team is doing the same.

No team concept here, other than in color and the occasional medic calls that are answered. If it sounds like I am bitter about this lack of “teamwork,” or repetitive…it just happens to be my own personal soapbox that TDM has never caught on in OGL or STA or in any real clan competitions as far as UrT goes. I realize that Vanilla Q3 only had one version of team, “TDM” and that UrT offers more than this by far, but when I see the number of peeps who play TDM in UrT it makes absolutely zero sense that there aren’t TDM clan matches as well as TS.

Oh well…….Shit happens.

Now to the “bad news,” and unfortunately for Team Blue…there is plenty. When we went over the Red spawns and tactical points related to them I failed to point out that they almost always have the best positions and cover almost immediately. For the Red Team it is a matter of a few bunny hops and they can be in strong defensive positions before Team Blue has even made it out of Old Alley spawn, if Team Blue is making that rare spawn in the Patio Courtyard, the dynamics change tremendously, although an overly aggressive team can have that turn into a disadvantage if they are not careful, but we will get back to that in a minute.

Once the Blue Team spawns in Old Alley they have a variety of choices for movement to contact with the enemy, however all of them represent a considerable amount of time to traverse, which spells ambush in most cases for the unwary. Add to this the fact that they are almost always fatigued and are staggering around in their effort to catch their breath, and are spread out in as many as four different areas…and you have the makings of a rather large jump in score for Team Red in a matter of moments.

Consider your approaches, You may leave the Old Alley to head to the Patio Courtyard and enter a doorway of choice: Either bridge to Fountain Courtyard or stairwell to and through the Narrow Side Hallway. These represent two choices….the next are: cutting straight through main Square Alley into the Fountain Courtyard,or to go charging into the most likely route to quick combat (and deadly sniper fire)…Alley Timbers.

Every member of your team is going to have their preferences when it comes to picking the route, along with some who just go where they hear the most activity, then you have the novice who wanders around aimlessly trying to find something to shoot at but never quite knowing where Red is coming from, when…WAMMO!!!! (not picking on you Mungo-Zen).

Lets start with the most deadly piece of real estate on this map….the fight for the Marketplace…

When you spawn you are going to head directly for marketplace via Alley timbers, I would recommend two courses of action here, one is to bound over the iron grating and directly into Alley Timbers after a quick glance to ensure its clear, if you decide to run around the iron grating and then make an immediate right turn into the alley, you are making it blindly and are apt to run into withering enemy fire, if you look straight up the alley and go OVER the railing directly into the alley, you will at all times maintain a line of sight. Also, remember this is prime sniper country, Red loves to sit up on that balcony stairwell at the other end of Marketplace and turn Team Blue into pasta strainers with SR-8 rounds as you come into Alley Timbers, so make certain you are more intimate with the wall on your left then you are with your….intimate other:) It is also a good idea to make your approach as covert as possible by covering the final ten feet or so in a crouching position. When you are certain it is clear you can go over the rail or around it checking for enemy snipers behind every fruit stall and crate in the marketplace.

The other approach I mentioned is simply this, while team red can have a lovely time buggering your teammates with that aforementioned SR-8, it is therefore quite logical that someone from team blue can do the same.

Not only can you clean that balcony of vermin in a relatively safe position, you will also have direct line of sight of any Red brave enough to venture down that alley looking straight down the bore of your scoped Tank Killer. “Look and leap.” “Wait and paste.”

Oswald Rant: Mac vs Linux vs Windows Part 2

A long time ago, in a column far, far away…

Doh! sory bout that fellow urbanites, with all this Star Wars hoopla, I’m somehow wording all my chats and columns with lucasisms:)

Now, in the past few weeks, I have been a busy little girl, between work, and now being unemployed and looking for work, and trying to prepare some columns for Oswald’s 6th Floor website…..well, I been busy:) So for the two or three people who loyally follow my work, this is the second installment of Mac vs Linux vs Windows…..hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoy writing and posting:) In our last episode, Luke and Han solo recived medals to hon….err….shucks! In our last discussion…:)…..we determined that I dont know anything about OS’s other than Windows…and damned little about that. We also discussed the OS Linux and why a few in our gaming community much prefferred that particular OS as opposed to any other, and their feelings regarding the pro’s and con’s of their favorite flavor. This week will be the Mac fan’s chance to sound off. As with the Linux, I decided to simply ask a few questions of some die-hard Mac users and post their responses along with my brilliant insight. If this seems boring to you then I apologize in advance, rest assured that in the final part of this column…next week…we will highlight all the areas we touched upon in a thunderous, cataclysmic finale, worthy of the UT gods themselves (by the way, that is a great book by Ursula K. Leguinn, “The Gods Themselves”, I recommend it) which you wont want to miss:) without further ado, here we go:)

Q. Did you ever use Linux or Windows before? A. Guy Galzerano : “Yes, I use the RedHat version of Linux that came with “Linux for dummies”. A. HornetOSX : “Windows yes, but never Linux” A. Yose : “Yes”

As is becoming apparent, between the Linux and the Mac users, just about everyone I talked to has had at one time or another…used Windows. Linux is fairly well known but in no way compares at this point to the Win crowd or the Mac crowd…I find this odd, after all, what was here first?…the “Apple” or the Bill gates money “Tree”? My only gripe about that last question is Yose, now we dont know which OS he used before, and I wont assume, so you all have to decide which it was when you peruse this column:) And now to our next panel….

Q. Why did you decide to go with Mac, was it a gaming decision? A. Guy Galzerano : “My Dad uses a Mac for work. I started Playing Urban Terror on it”. A. HornetOSX : “I first got into “Mac’s” by accident, it was given to me by a friend, and I got to like it over Windows macchines…Mac’s just run better” A. Yose : “Ease of use…a true “plug n play” environment……certainly not a gaming decision”.

As we can see here…hardly anyone decides to pick a mac for gaming, or transplants from any other OS to mac…rather…people either use Mac from the beginning or in rare cases…very rare…change to Mac from Windows for other reasons than gaming.

This holds true with Linux, although not to the same degree. In short, what we have seen here is simply this….Microsoft rules the PC world as far as gaming goes, the main reasons for linux emergence and for the Longevity of Mac seems to be simply this…people root for the underdog…or do they?….at the conclusion of this interview I will give you the comments of a very special guest interview which might give an entirely different point of view….we shall see::)

Q. Why do you think Mac is a better gaming platform? A. Guy galzerano : “I think mac is a better gaming platform…once you get there. But I dont like how game companies do not support mac or later updates than other platforms, i.e. what happened this X-mas with other I.D. games. Hence, everyone updates their servers and Mac peeps cant get in because of a different protocol. That is when my dad put this Linux machine together. Then too; some of the games like Red Faction and Rogue spear that are produced for Mac really suck.” While other great games arent written for Mac. A. HornetOSX : “Both platforms are really equal in gameplay”. A. Yose : “I dont, but it is a better platform for all my other needs.” Typical, everyone always complains about the same thing, Windows has all the access and licenses, everyone else comes in second fiddle, with almost all games PC friendly and everyone else struggling for a piece of the pie. My recommendation = everyone get Win XP:)

Q. Which version of Mac OS do you prefer? A. Guy Galzerano : “OSX” A. HornetOSX : “OSX Unix with a really nice GUI” A. Yose : “OSX” Wow!, that was ez….first time anyone agreed on anything like that, even the Linux users couldnt agree on their favorite flavor:)….me…I could care less, Im Win XP baby!!! However…thats not till next week, back to the Mac attack:)

Q. What difficulties do you find using Mac, when most games and dwnlds are Win friendly? A. Guy Galzerano : “SUPPORT!!!!!” A. HornetOSX : “I rarely find problems with dwnlds, there are a few Win Codecs which can be hard to work with, but just about anything else has a Mac program too. as for games…most games are written for Windows…why?…Game makers aer in it for the money, while the Mac is just as capable as a PC to play games, the fact is, there are more PC’s out there in use. So in order to make money, game-makers focus on PC’s….can you blame them? The Mac has a 5-12% market share (depending on who you ask) so the other 88 to 95% is who they write for…that makes them much more.” A. Yose : “The delay between Win and mac releases is annoying but bearable. I dont feel like I’m missing out on those titles which arent released for Mac because Mac generally sees the best of the Win titles:)

Nuff said, they are happy as Mac users as far as game releases go….thats all that matters:)

Q. Who is the baddest player in the land this week? A. Guy Galzerano : “The player with the dual gigahertz” A. HornetOSX : “Not sure…but I bet he is in iLL or phx:) A. Yose : “Badassbaker.”

Q. Any question you would like to ask Oswald? A. Guy galzerano : “Oswald….can a person eat one hundred pounds of peanut butter in one month?” A. HornetOSX : “Oswald…can I get a free UT T-shirt?” Q. Yose : “Can you give me further control of the UT Eye-Candy? My old 300 mhz mac whimpers whenever I boot UT.”

As promised, a very special interview with someone who actually works @ Apple/MAC/Wannabe OS:)…I’m guessing you know my feelings on Mac with that comment:)

His name is Mike, I am not allowed to tell you anything other than that, but from the brief discussion we had today, he is obviously the most knowledgeable peep on topic Mac I have had the good fortune to speak with…on the flip side, he wasnt able to compare mac with AMD which is my fav, I’m not a celeron user, however…he was great on comparing intel processors with the Mac….why dont you peeps come to your own conclusions:) I did not go through a special questionnare with him…rather we talked and I took notes, here is what he had to say…..

Mike: Of course I love mac, this is why I work for the company:) One of my favorite things regarding mac is we use a large graphics card already in the box, which should be of great interest to your readers, also, we use AGI and Nvidia custom built into our newest units …the G-force 4. With some of our older versions we had problems with Open GL, this is now integrated into all of our systems. I love the g-force 4, however I would have to say 10.1 is my fav of all time, the graphical interface was the best, an all Unix core…like Linux, the most stable OS of all time because it manages itself with very little help from the “end user”. Of course it has been difficult to obtain certain programs for mac over the years…This is changing as we are growing again, just take a look at all the mac spt places on any search engine.

When you talk about Mac vs windows…your comparing apples to oranges, however, I will say this….we put out a test yearly and for example….the G-force 4 in a recent test with the Intel celeron 4 processor was getting much better FPS, to the tune of 60-70%better….thats the benefit of having an in-box dual gig system, and it does this withought eating up system resources. You have to love a system that manages every single part of and updates itself. I mean…what other Os auto allocates memory and controls the use of memory by memory “hungry” programs? In closing, with all the tests that have been run, G-4 is overall 88% faster than Intel 4….nuff said. as it happens …I dont play Q3 even though every test I have ever heard of is run based on the Q3 engine. I do however play Jedi Knight II, and I would have to say that a player with the screen name of “Drancious” is the baddest player in the land:)…….Mike

Welll…thats it for me this week all, normally I do a quote or somethign silly….but I am tired and now I’m unemployed, so till next week, when we wrap this up, I AM AFK:)


Oswald Rant: Mac vs Linux vs Windows Part 1

Every now and again I am reminded that the Windows operating system is hardly the only choice for someone who wishes to use a computer. It’s easy to get in the habit of forgetting that not only do Mac and Linux exist….they flourish in their own right. When I decided to get involved in computers, it was strictly for the purpose of gaming. I rarely had the need to use one at work (at the time) and e-mail was just another thing I had heard about…like laptops and Coney Island Hot-Dogs, something I knew was out there; just had no real need for. While I knew what an apple was, the name itself simply brought to mind either a red delicious, or a black box on a classroom desktop that could write in glowing green letters. Then of course there was the new OS, Linux, which I had persisted for years in pronouncing as Lie-nux. This should be able to demonstrate which type of computer was the one I became involved with. I started out using Win 95′ and as time went on, being comfortable with this system; I kept with it, graduating to 98′ , 98′ upgrade, ME, and now I have WIN XP, which I am extremely happy with, by far the best WIN OS I have ever used. Of course one of the main reasons I am still a Win user is obvious enough…the Games baby!!!
No matter what argument people make as either for or against Windows, in an attempt to establish the dominance of their particular flavor of OS, the bottom line for me is simple…the huge variety of games readily available right off the shelf of your favorite geekstore. No special ordering…No porting, No waiting for a release version that I need. This of course is all about gaming, (I am not a tech) of course I recognize the fact that Mac and Linux are probably more than capable in competing with Windows in all other areas. I also do not consider myself to be anything other than a casual user of my PC. For this reason I decided to ask for the opinion of peep’s who enjoy using Mac and Linux. I asked four or five simple questions which generated the answers I was looking for. I hope you find something you can relate to here, and maybe something useful. To start, I asked the most obvious question for each user…let’s start with the Linux crowd.

Q.) Did you ever use Windows or Mac before?. A.) (GoldReaver) “Yes, Win 98′” A.) (DesignXP) “Yes I did, and about all the versions of them I must say, So yes; I’m freaky with Windows.” A.) (|SAB|ham) “Yes, and I still do. However, with new options like crossover office, vmware, and wine, I am looking to go 100% Linux again. I tend to flip back and forth between 100% Linux and having a single Windows box “lying around.” As you can see by the answers, everyone here had a rootbase in Windows at some point or other, none of these guys have a serious Mac history, rather they were all transplanted Windows users. The next question was only partly answered by both |SAB|ham and DesignXP, only Goldie answered the full question, so we still dont have a very good idea about the question itself.

Q.) Why did you decide to go with Linux, was it a gaming decision? A.) (GoldReaver) “It was partially a gaming decision, the other part is that Windows started to feel “real clumsy” and Linux was making it’s real debute at the time. I wanted to give it a shot. My Dad said I would quit Linux within half a year, that was about three years ago… A.) (DesignXP) ” I always used Linux as a second OS, mainly for experimenting with stuff, but I never took the OS very seriously, since I knew from the start it wasnt as easy going as Windows, especially when you think of the software comparison…nobody cant deny that.” A.) (|SAB|ham) ” I’ve been using Linux since 1994, and i’ve always had a unix box around since. As a professional Unix Admin.

I value the power and control that unix in general; gives me.” Notice that Gold was the only one of the three to answer the gaming part of that question, while I was interested in their viewpoint for the purposes of a comparison of OS’s for gaming, it became apparent that these guy’s value their Linux for much more than mere gaming:) My next question was worded carefully to prevent a recurrence,they couldnt hide from it this time…

Q.) Which do you think is a better platform for gaming, Linux or Windows? A.) (GoldReaver) “Linux! It’s faster and much more stable than any Windows version I have ever seen. I’d love to see more games for Linux though. Maybe some ported games from the playstation 2, because it uses Linux as well:)” A.) (DesignXP) “Overall, I think Windows is a better gaming platform, but in a technical sense; I would say that Linux has got a lot to offer when it comes to the smoothness and speed of certain games designed for it.” A.) (|SAB|ham) ” The only game I have played under both Windows and Linux is Q3 and Urban Terror. I find that gameplay is equal under both. I know many people would argue that point, but I am very good at making Linux work. I also keep my system very clean which makes a big difference. For example; I use the fluxbox window manager which takes a lot less to run then say…a Gnome or KDE desktop. For me, Linux will always be a superior platform to Windows for so many reasons. However, the ability to control your box completely, to squeeze the most out of it, and the fast, open nature of it’s development, would have to be my two reasons for preferring Linux. It really is on the cutting edge of computing.”

Like Windows, there are many different versions of Linux on the market. The difference here is that many of these are current, i.e.. Windows comes out with a new version every two years or so, while Linux is constantly evolving. It is not unusual to see two or three versions come out simultaneously. I was sent a list of all the versions available. Rather than listing them all down,I simply asked my next question…

Q.) Which version of Linux do you prefer…Red Hat etc.. A.) (GoldReaver) ” Debian. Even though when I started with Linux I wouldnt get past the install, I prefer Debian now. RedHat, Mandrake and Suse are good distributions for beginners. As for me; I wanted to switch to another version later that uses less GUI’s to set options.” A.) (DesignXP) ” I’d say Mandrake is by far the easiest, and very newb wise, this is good for those who wish to start experimenting with Linux.” A.) (|SAB|ham) ” I use Gentoo Linux (www.gentoo.org) exclusively. I am biased though; since I run the Web, CVS, RSYNC server for Gentoo. However, I came to Gentoo from freeBSD when looking for a Linux distro I could stand on my desktop. I found Gentoo and have never looked back. It’s full set of features, and modular build system are unmatched. It also has excellent Nvidia driver support:)”

Now that we heard these guys rant about how great they think Linux is, I decided to see if we could get an objective opinion out of them. Keep in mind that next week, when they read the column about Mac’s, they will be wonderfully objective:) Let’s see how they do here….

Q.) What difficulties do you find using Linux, when most games and downloads are Windows friendly? A.) (GoldReaver) ” I find little difficulties with Linux itself; getting it to run all your hardware correctly. But when it’s setup right; it stays right, and most difficulties are gone then. With games it’s a different story. The emulators I use to emulate Windows (this does not apply to games that can be found on www.lokigames.com/) is changing all the time, sometimes it works fine, a few versions later; nothing.” A.) (DesignXP) ” I cant say that I have experimented with a lot of games in Linux…slap me silly:)” A.) (|SAB|ham) ” Well…obviously…if there is no Linux version, it makes playing that game difficult under Linux. There are obviously going to be issues when playing games under emulation or in virtual machines. I have not played any games not speciffically ported to Linux, but plan to in the near future. I am starting my own company to provide services to clans, and I want to focus on making games work well under Linux. I plan on having a set of Linux forums to share the knowledge and encourage others to experiment.

Well there you have it folks, part 1 of this battle royale…which OS will take top honors? next week will be the Mac users turn to sound off, and the following week I will wrap things up with the windows segment, I havent made up my mind yet on weather or not to have an official vote on Mac or Linux, we shall see. Also, take note of my man ham above, if you are a clan looking for this type of help give him a holler @ damon@3jane.net, sounds like a man who knows what he is doing to me:).

As usual, I asked my interviewees for prospects to be considered baddest player in the land for this week, last weeks voting was non existent, even though there were some candidates….as I recall, there was only one vote from fadedlogix…for iLL-insanityhorse….He wins…..nuff said. this week your choices are…….drumroll……………. 1) -|SAB|-Grape-ape 2) Gr33d

Add your vote to your reply plz. from now on I am adding something new to the end of my column. If you could ask Oswald any question you wanted…what would it be….

A.) (Goldreaver) “I ask him lot’s of stuff directly, I havent got any questions now.” A.) (DesignerXP) ” It’s squeaky time and your late…get it on!!!” A.) (|SAB|ham) “Oswald: are there any plans to release the Urban Terror code under an open source License? Perhaps the BSD License, which gives you the flexibility to make proprietary improvements without releasing them?”

Last but not least,

Quote of the week: “Life is hard. Then you die. Then they throw dirt on your face. Then the worms eat you. …Be grateful it happens in that order.”


Oswald Rant: Pass the online gaming, please

I have begun to notice tempers flare and unnecessary word sudden spew from the mouths, okay hands form many gamers in the online gaming community. What is gaming all about? While competitive juices flow within all of us, the bottom line is to remember two things. First, its just a game. Second to have fun.

When growing up as a kid, I lived under a good roof over my head, loving parents and a understanding of right and wrong. If I did something which did not please my parents, I was punished. If I went against their rules and spoke back to them using four letter words and ‘f-bombs’ I would usually end up in serious trouble.

Why do I have a feeling that the online generation of today has no morals when it comes to having a good time and crossing the line. Since I have finally upgraded to a high speed Internet connection, I have the opportunity to spend more time online playing Urban Terror on many servers. While this type of experience is invaluable in the continued development, something is really bothering me.

I am not worried when gamers complain about current features or how weapons are too powerful or the maps are not up the par with rival mods. What really shows the true colors of a gamer is their online etiquette. Since the Urban Terror community is relatively the “small fish in a big pond” most gamers play with each other, especially if you frequent the same servers on a daily basis.

Just like gamers using cheats because they want the “upper hand” over everyone else, nothing looks worse on a server to see gamers who are spamming with verbal diarrhea from their mouth after a LPBer took them out with a burst from a UMP45. I have seen some gamers who literally bind obnoxious and gutter mouth saying just to piss the rest the players on the server off.

I can understand and accept the typical “trash talking” that goes either in clan match or on public servers between gamers. It is often one or two gamers who completely ruin the experience for the rest of the server. Inevitably a few colorful comments set off some players who end up retaliating with verbal flaming of their own. It is not necessary. Why not just ignore the llama who does not have the skills to stay alive? If his comments persist and a server admin is available, hopefully they would see it to kick and ban this player from the server. If not, let them run their smack and hopefully the will get bored when their obscene comments fall on deaf ears.

While this is great in theory we all know it does not work on servers, except for the IP banning, which may seem extreme, but one less llama locked out makes that server much more enjoyable for the remainder of the gamers. Hopefully gamers will take a lesson in online etiquette and try to remember the main objectives are to enjoy the game, players and to have fun.