I'm moving there. I feel that Blogger is not keeping up with the times, and that its functionality is very limited.
This blog will still remain here. There are many links in posts that I have made that links to this blog. I will try to update this blog by posting the same things on both blogs, but I really recommend that you follow me on Tumblr if you want the latest updates and the best user experience.
Wednesday, January 02, 2013
"I'd define a hardcore gamer as being someone who makes time to play games, and a casual gamer as someone who plays games to pass time. A simple definition to be sure, but I think it works well."
posted @ 1:18 am
Thursday, December 27, 2012
Surprise surprise. What a joke. Here's why.
I got C+ for my project for GEK1001, and I actually didn't manage to properly complete all my essays during the final exams. I didn't have anything substantial to wrong for the human geography part of the exam, and I was really writing crap during the exam. I got an A-? LOL. I was actually prepared to S/U it (this means that I change the grade to satisfactory/unsatisfactory, and it will not count towards my CAP. This can only be done on a maximum of 3 modules). I think this is probably thanks to the bell curve.
GE2227. This, in my opinion, was the easiest module that I took this semester. The assignments were easy, the project is not too bad, and I actually had free time during the final exam. So getting a B for this is really a disappointment. Bell curve probably screwed me here, since everyone probably did well and getting an A would be really difficult. I think the small class size didn't help either. Note to self: large class sizes are probably better. Bell curve saved me for GEK1001, and screwed me here. Oh well.
CS1010. I'm quite surprised I did well for this since I felt that I messed up the final exam. I really didn't know what I was doing during the exam, my mind was a mess. I seriously hate coding on paper. Not to mention I spent an insignificant amount of time studying for this module. I probably started to study this about two days before the exam, and that was it. I guess I have to thank the fact that I did well for all the small little tests they gave during the semester.
CS1231. My nightmare. This is a module that I prayed that I would get at least a D, and I would be happy with it. No complaints with a C+. I'm just happy I passed. Thank God.
MA1101R. Linear Algebra. This was really a big giant mess for three-quarters of the semester. Luckily about 2-3 weeks before the exam, I had a eureka moment and everything became clear to me. Once you have that eureka moment, this module isn't that hard. The lecturer is awesome too, in the sense that he posts A LOT of help online, so that helps a lot. He's also self-declared "kind", and the exam questions aren't too tough.
Not too shabby for my first ever semester in university. I really expected to do a lot worse. I spent a lot of time adjusting to the high workload as well, and I think I'm ready to ditch 95% of entertainment for semester 2. I got used to it 3/4 through semester 1 anyway.
No life. Still don't understand how people can say this is easier than JC.
posted @ 1:17 am
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
I'm back! It's been a long time since I posted, pretty much the longest ever hiatus the blog has had.
The first semester of university was hell, and I think it's because I took two Math modules at the same time. So, tip: don't do that.
Well I'm not going to be taking a Math module next semester, since it does not fit very well into my timetable. Technically, it does fit, but I will miss 15-30 minutes of Math lecture every week since that's how long it takes to travel from School of Computing to Science.
Anyway, doesn't matter, no rush to take that Math module since it is only a prerequisite for only one other module, and apparently none of the Math modules are prerequisites for any computing module.
I have a feeling that my next semester will be a very relaxed one (relatively), since I will be taking a General Biology module, which according to a friend, is very easy. Also going to take a Singapore Studies module, some "Computing and Society" thing, which leaves only two computing modules.
Since it's the holidays, what do I naturally do? Play games, watch TV shows and movies of course! So far, I've already cleared a huge chunk of the games that I'm supposed to complete. The initial list was:
- Torchlight 2
- The Walking Dead - Episode 3, 4, 5
- XCOM: Enemy Unknown
- Medal Of Honor: Warfighter
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
- Assassins Creed 3
- Hitman: Absolution
- Lego Lord of The Rings
- Scribblenauts Unlimited
Well, The Walking Dead is done, Black Ops 2 is done, Assassins Creed 3 is done, Medal of Honor I gave up on, Lego LoTR I gave up on, and Scribblenauts I gave up on. Why did I give up on these games, you ask? Lego Lord of The Rings
wasn't that bad, but I watched all the cinematics for the game before I played it (video is in my previous post), so the motivation to play the game was just weak. The gameplay was nothing amazing, so that did not help to motivate me to play it.
Medal of Honor
is just poor. The shooting is poor, the intro is poor, ugh. The intro managed to piss me off, and that's really something.
is a good game. The thing is, it's a casual game for people who have a lot of time to spend just doodling around in the game. I don't think I want to invest that kind of time.
So, how about the games I played? Black Ops 2
is pretty meh. I've never liked any Call of Duty game made by Treyarch. I've played every single Call of Duty game available on the PC and PSP, and I really, really find that those made by Treyarch are lacklustre compared to those made by Infinity Ward. In fact, I think Black Ops 2 has got to be one of the worst that I've played. I'm not sure if it's because I'm desensitised to the whole Call of Duty gimmick, but Black Ops 2 didn't excite me or entertain me at all. Not even once. And the story is so dull it's not even funny.
Assassins Creed 3
was a let down. I've always loved the Assassins Creed series. It's one of my favourites. I think I really have to agree with this post http://kotaku.com/5958941/how-has-assassins-creed-iii-disappointed-me-let-me-count-the-ways
especially point 9 and 10. I really didn't bother with anything other than doing the main missions. I didn't bother trying to earn money for upgrades, I actually played the whole damn game without buying a single item (unless you count bribes to reduce notoriety), I didn't bother with stealth (well, 80% of the time I didn't), I just rushed in, did the job, and rushed out. I spend an annoyingly high amount of time running from place to place, and when I use a horse, the horse starts spazzing around, being retarded and all. I tried doing some side missions, but after interacting with the NPC, nothing happens. I have no idea why. The main character, Connor, isn't the most likeable character around. The only part that's really fun is naval combat. Really awesome, best naval combat I've seen in a game so far. The story, compared to the previous Assassins Creed games, is nothing amazing; it's average at best, and the ending didn't give a WTF moment like it always has in the past.
The Walking Dead
game is awesome. It won the Game of the Year for 2012, by the way. Just... awesome beyond description man. Just play it, I think it's on mobile phones as well.
I'm currently playing XCOM
now, and it's not bad. However, it's getting rather boring in the sense that it's very
monotonous. The overall concept is good (the whole thing about panic levels, research, engineering, squads), but I swear it makes me fall asleep. I'm not sure if I'll survive this. I think it has something to do with the tactical interface for the turn-based battles. I enjoy turn-based battles for the RPGs that I play on my PSP, possibly because it's simple, straightforward and easy to operate. The interface in XCOM just annoys me somehow. Too much scrolling?
Same for Torchlight II
. Getting really dull. I haven't even been following the story since everything is read off the screen. Might as well read a book then. Taking words from a book, pasting it into the NPC's speech, then making us fight mobs by clicking incessantly isn't my idea of a good game. I don't know, Torchlight II is supposed to be a good game. So is Assassins Creed 3 and Black Ops 2.
Sigh, guess I'm stuck with Guild Wars 2 and World of Tanks for the holidays. To be honest, World of Tanks is starting to annoy me. It has never been a game that I could play for a long period of time. The battles never fail to annoy me due to incompetent teammates.
posted @ 1:16 am
Monday, December 10, 2012
posted @ 1:14 am
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
I've been playing Guild Wars 2 for quite a while now. It's been almost 2 months since the game has been released, and there are tons of level 80s (maximum level) running around. However, due to my unfortunate workload, I've not been able to play much. I'm only level 44, and that's really slow, considering that this is Guild Wars that we're talking about. The Guild Wars franchise has always prided itself on being a "grindless" game, where you are able to get into action immediately from day 1.
Anyway, I'm not here to talk about how I'm leveling really slowly. As with most games I write about, I'm here to talk about how I feel about the game.
I told someone that Guild Wars 2 is not unlike Diablo 3. They're both undoubtedly good games, but I feel that they're somewhat of a disappointment. Now if you've not been following the reasons as to why Diablo 3 is seen as a disappointment, there are three main reasons:
1. Auction House (Just the presence of it, I'm not even talking about real money being used)
2. Online requirements for single player
3. Lost the feel of Diablo 2.
Now, I'd like to use point 3 to explain my feelings about Guild Wars 2. In my opinion, Guild Wars 2 lost the essence of what Guild Wars 1 was about.
In Guild Wars 1, there were AI controlled henchmen that you could add to your party to play with you. These henchmen had the same classes and skills as normal players, meaning that you could choose the henchmen to your own preference. You could choose a ranger over an elementalist, or a warrior over a brawler, and in later expansions, you could even choose the exact skills that your henchman has.
Now I really liked this feature in Guild Wars 1. I miss being able to quest in a group all the time, travel together, and work together all the time for every single activity. Sure, in Guild Wars 2, we all love seeing other human-controlled players since there is no such thing as kill-stealing or sharing of experience, but most of the time, I'm travelling and questing all by myself. And the game isn't even that old yet. The population is bound to drop further, and there will be less people questing as more people complete the game or reach level 80.
There are some quests and dynamic events that require a group of players to complete it due to its difficulty. How will these work out? Already I see dynamic events lying around uncompleted or being failed consistently because there aren't enough people to complete it. In Guild Wars 1, this was never a problem. If there was a group of mobs too difficult in Guild Wars 1, you could overcome it with some strategic planning with your henchmen. I don't deny that there are some quests there are rather difficult to complete with henchmen in Guild Wars 1, but these situtations are few and far between.
Main Story Quests
I really enjoyed the main story quests in Guild Wars 1. It was very rare to see an MMORPG that delivered its story in the way that Guild Wars 1 did. I have not played Star Wars: The Old Republic yet, but I will be playing it once it goes free to play.
The story so far in Guild Wars 2 is not bad, it is not too hard to follow, and it's good enough for me to bother to find out what's going to happen next. However, I do not really like the way the story is presented. The cutscenes from Guild Wars 1 do not exist in Guild Wars 2, and "cutscenes" in Guild Wars 2 consist of the character models of the two characters in conversation, standing in front of a generic backdrop, passing sentences back and forth.
I am also going to say something possibly stupid here. The lack of linearity of the game is rather annoying for the story. In Guild Wars 1, you had to follow a particular route to get to the next story, and along the route, you'll find many side quests where you earn new skills, items, and experience. The story quests never had a recommended level, and it's really difficult to be underleveled if you've been questing along your prescribed route. In Guild Wars 2, you are able to go from one quest to the next without meeting much of a barrier, in the travelling sense. This, along with the fact that the story quests are horribly spaced out to one every 3-5 levels, made me really annoyed that I have to stop my story and go someplace else to quest. This could be easily fixed by reducing the level gap between quests. 5 whole levels before you are able to do your next story quest is just absurd.
While Guild Wars 2 has very good social cohesion for PvE (more about this later on), I have also tweeted about one area where I would never ever want another player to be with me - main story quests. When a main story quest is done in a group, all forms of interaction, be it conversation with an NPC, or some sort of triggered action, will advance the story. Now this isn't exactly a bad thing, but only the person who did the interaction will be able to read what the NPC said. Also, only the party leader is able to control whether the cutscene is skipped or not. Very badly done, in my opinion. What happened to the Guild Wars 1 style of skipping cutscenes (everyone has to want to skip before the scene is actually skipped).
The skill selection in Guild Wars 2 sucks. In Guild Wars 1, you started off with a small set of skills, and you unlocked more skills to use as you do your side quests. This is similar to most MMORPGs. I like this due to the simple fact that I have a larger variety of skills to choose from, and although I do not use 80% of the skills most of the time, it's always nice to know that you have several other skills to play around with once you're bored.
In Guild Wars 2, the skills you have are limited by the weapon that you choose to use. Each one-handed weapon gives you 3 skills, each offhand gives 2 skills, and two-handed weapons give 5 skills. This sounds good too, since there seems to be a rather wide variety of skills as well. However, most of the weapon skills are so bad that there is absolutely no point using the other "weaker" weapons. This is unlike Guild Wars 1, where other skills actually had a use for them. In Guild Wars 2, there is really only about 10 skills or so that are worthy of use.
I also miss having 2 professions at the same time. Having 2 professions really spiced things up, allowing you to create intesting class combos. For example, playing an elementalist/monk allows the player to capitalize on the elementalist's large energy pool to play as a monk more effectively. Very few games allow such cross-profession skill usage, and it's rather depressing that Guild Wars 2 did not continue having this system.
Separate PvE and PvP skills
Certain skills in Guild Wars 1 worked differently when you are in PvP and PvE. I believe that this is the main reason why Guild Wars 1 is known to be one of the best, if not, the best PvP MMORPGs out there. ArenaNet's designers did not have to attempt to balance their skills evenly in both PvE and PvP; they could keep things separate and wonderfully balanced.
This is a great route to walk on, and I absolutely do not understand why Guild Wars 2 ditched this idea. Already, players on the forums are complaining that their professions are getting nerfed in PvE because of PvP, or vice versa. Just this week, the guardian, the profession that I am playing, received a nerf to their greatsword abilities. I went to read the forums, and lo and behold, people speculated that it was done to balance PvP.
PvE combat in Guild Wars 2 is an absolute zerg fest. Everybody just rushes in, use all their skills, and whacks the shit out of the enemy. Some even say that this is the case for PvP combat.
In Guild Wars 1, battles were fought slowly, and you took care to not overextend yourself. You planned which mobs you wanted to pull, and which you wanted to leave alone. I clearly remembering myself watching the movement patterns of the enemy, so as to not fight in the path of their patrols.
In Guild Wars 2, all I do is charge into battle. You will hardly ever need to look out for mobs around you, and there's not much worry that you'll pull anything other than what you've attacked. The element of strategy is gone. This is probably due to the lack of henchmen, as well as the fact that combat in Guild Wars 2 is more action-oriented, which I am not against.
Why is the music recycled from Guild Wars 1? It's good music, but still.
Where did it go? It was around in Guild Wars 1.
So what Do I Like?
Well, I enjoy the fact that players are finally people that we want to see. In other MMOs, seeing another playing was often a bad thing, since we would have to fight for kills, resource nodes, and if the game had open PvP, you might be in for a corpse run.
I like the fact that all players get full experience for attacking a mob, and it's not shared. In short, I like the way Guild Wars 2 promotes social gameplay. Seeing a player is a good thing. However, as I mentioned in a previous paragraph, when the server population drops, what will happen to group dynamic events?
The auction house in Guild Wars 2 is awesome. It's not really much of an "auction" anymore, but it's some sort of market where you're able to post your orders, and post your sales. It's quite similar to and better than the Grand Exchange in Runescape, and I honestly prefer this sort of auction house compared to the ones we usually see in MMORPGs.
I know right? I type out one section saying how PvE combat in Guild Wars 2 is not as good as Guild Wars 1, then I say here that I like the PvE combat in Guild Wars 2. Well, I do like the combat in Guild Wars 2. I like how combat is fast-paced, as well as the fact that most of the skills do not require you to stand still to cast. I like how we're able to dodge, and I like how there are combo effects, and projectiles actually are affected by the environment and barriers. I like how combat is so fluid, and you can go on non-stop without missing a beat.
Even though I said that I missed the strategic planning PvE in Guild Wars 1 had, it's not always a good thing. Often after playing for a long period of time, I find myself sick of fighting mobs again and again. It's too difficult, and it takes too much effort, and it's annoying at times. Combat in Guild Wars 2 never gets tiring, or well, at least not yet.
Man, resource gathering is such a breeze here. Actually, not the act of gathering resources itself, but the fact that you can keep on gathering resources without worrying that you'll run out of bag space. It's awesome, just two clicks and you send all sorts of raw materials right into your bank.
Everything Gives Experience
Killing mobs and doing quests, that's your usual source of experience. But in Guild Wars 2, reviving dead players and NPCs give experience. Gathering resources give experience. Exploring new areas of the map gives experience. Completing achievements give experience (daily achievements give good experience too). Crafting gives experience. Completing skill points, vistas, and waypoints give experience. It's awesome, really.
It's a great game.
So even after complaining so much, Guild Wars 2 is still a great game. I will continue to play it all the way till I reach 80 and complete my main story. I do not know whether I will continue to play after that, since I am not exactly the sort who plays to get better items or looks. I stopped playing Guild Wars 1 the moment I completed the story, and I believe that it will be the case for Guild Wars 2 as well.
Truly a revolutionary MMORPG that's been executed well, and polished on top with a shine.
posted @ 1:12 am
Friday, October 05, 2012
posted @ 1:10 am
Saturday, September 29, 2012
I'm pretty sure you've heard this one before, either from your JC teacher, or from people who have went through both systems.
Seriously, they've been smoking weed.
First, let's talk about the pace that they teach the content. I might be exaggerating, but I doubt that it's too far from the mark. The content that they teach in one semester (13 weeks), is close to the content that a JC would teach in a year. The university lecturers can go through one topic a week, or every two weeks. So we need to keep up, and that's just retarded.
Second, let's talk about the workload. It never ends. Well, that actually isn't the problem, considering that work never ends anywhere. The thing is, the work takes a buttload of time to do. One module's tutorial can take up to 4-5 hours to complete, and the day usually ends at 6. On a few special days it ends at 4.
Third, let's talk about the free time we have. Adding in the long time needed to do our tutorials to the long school hours, work usually ends at 10pm on a weekday. On a weekend, work never seems to stop either. Even though the whole day is free to do work, I somehow manage to fill up the whole day to do work. Either I need to review work that's been done, or I need to complete the next week's tutorials. Again, I manage to work till 10pm.
So a summary:
1. One year's worth of JC material is stuffed into 13 weeks for university
2. Homework takes forever to complete
3. Resulting in whole days burned away, with barely any free time to do anything. Even now I'm up at 1:42am to enjoy some free time typing this out.
Let's compare this to my JC life.
First, pace of study is a lot slower. Comparing this with the university pace, this leaves me a lot of room to breathe, meaning that there are actually times where I do not have any work to do.
Second, homework might not be easy either, but it's definitely easier than university homework, and it definitely takes a lot less time to complete. I remember completing my homework in less than 2 hours on most days. In fact, sometimes I even complete all
my homework during the breaks that I have in between lessons. In university, I barely have any breaks at all.
Third, with the lower workload, my weekends are free 90% of the time. The remaining 10% is when I have examinations, or if there's an anomaly and I actually have work to do.
Fourth, school usually ends by 3pm. That said, school starts 3 hours earlier. So this point is moot.
1. Slower pace, more breathing space
2. Homework is completed at least two times faster, and sometimes it's so easily completed that it's done even before I'm home, giving me the rest of the day off.
3. Weekends are actually weekends. I can rest and play.
1. I've never studied or done homework past 10pm before entering University. No, not even during the A-level or O-level periods. I was playing World of Warcraft during my A-levels, and I don't even have time to play for 3 hours in a day for University midterms
. This is worse than the bloody army.
2. I've never burned all
my weekends since the start of school before entering University. This is worse than the bloody army.
3. I've never gone a single day without doing a bit of work since entering University. Oh guess what? This is worse than the bloody army too.
The army point is moot too anyway, I had a really good life in the army that people would die for. My army life is an exception that shouldn't be the baseline to compare to.
How the hell this is easier than JC, I'll never know. Those who claim as such must have been probably sniffing drugs in University dorms to properly know what's going on.
posted @ 1:09 am
Friday, September 28, 2012
Yep, I'm having doubts about Computer Science. I've actually had doubts about it a year ago, and I believe I blogged about it:http://bloodelves88.tumblr.com/post/6722818916/nus-computer-science-vs-ntu-accountancy
The second link made me ditch my idea of reconsidering, passing it off as an irrational fear. Am I having irrational fears again?
Well I previously had the fear that I wouldn't be able to pick up programming easily. Well, after going through the process, I know that that isn't the case now. Programming isn't difficult, and in fact, I can say that it's one of the easier modules that I'm taking now (though 1 out of 5 modules isn't much of a comparison).
Why do I have doubts then? Well, Math. My previous post talked about Math. Programming has Math as well. Currently, the Math isn't too difficult in programming. In the current basic module that I am taking, all we need to do is find algorithms that can work. There's no need to optimize it or make it efficient, and there's no algorithm so far that requires us to think up of overly complex Mathematical formulas.
But what about the future when I take modules that require optimization? I'm already writing inefficient programs that take too long to compute the answer, causing the automatic grader to think that my program has run into an infinite loop. I have absolutely no idea how to optimize it. Apparently, optimizing it requires some sort of Mathematical knowledge with prime numbers. Programming uses a lot of Mathematical knowledge to make things work. Logic, more than, less than, equals, remainders, division, loops, nested loops, etc. Things I hate. Programming is VERY Math heavy.
Being a programmer, a Computer Science degree is rather useless. What is important in this industry is your portfolio. What have you done? What have you made? What can you do? Your portfolio gets you the job, not your degree.
That being said, I have no interest in doing things on my own. I can't be bothered to write programs on my own to build up my portfolio.
The IT industry is one of the most rapidly changing industries out there. That just means that people who work in the industry have to change rapidly as well. New languages, new guidelines, new tips and tricks to learn. Similar to the above, I can't be bothered to learn new stuff. I have no interest, why would I do it?
In fact, you can see from the first link that I have mentioned all this, and it's kind of why I chose accountancy - get your degree and you're all set for life.
Is this another irrational fear? Am I judging this too early? I'm currently learning extremely basic stuff, so it's hard to me to build an interest. I still have an idea of a game that I want to make written down somewhere on a piece of paper that I have no idea where it is. I thought of that idea a year ago, and I can't start on it at all because I don't have the knowledge to do so. Would my interest be ignited once I have learnt more?
Also, I'm taking two Geography modules as well. Every week, I look forward to the Geography modules way more than I do for my Math and programming modules. When I do my tutorials and assignments, I NEVER bitch at my Geography assignments. Whenever I have Geography assignments alongside Math and programming assignments to do, I somehow prefer to do my Geography assignments first. Whenever I do my assignments, Math never fails to make me worried, tired, and pissed off, while Geography actually makes me happy and relaxed. I have NEVER gotten stuck on a Geography assignment before. I get stuck on a Math question everytime I decide to do it.
In fact, if you've read the second link above, the one and only reason why I didn't take Geography is because of its job prospects. Bad move? Sigh.
Also, remember the part where Computer Science requires a good portfolio where I show off my work? Man, look at how much I've typed in this blog for the past 6 years. Video game reviews
, rants, stories
, life updates, critiques, opinions on world matters, what grinds my gears
, My Take
. Granted, they are not related to anything academical, but just look at how much I love writing about stuff. Some of my blog posts can easily be essays
if you want. I won't admit I write amazing stuff, but it's a start, and I have a heavy science background, meaning that I don't get exposed to writing, literature, or writing critiques a lot.
Simply put, I don't seem to be enjoying what I thought I would enjoy. Maybe I got influenced by the glamour the media has put on IT geeks. Hacking, tweaking, coming up with cool videos and stuff... what's underneath all those is a big giant puddle of blood and sweat that's never seen.
posted @ 1:07 am