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How to be an expert Left 4 Dead player.

Dealing with Friendly Fire

Some friendly tips to avoid friendly fire:
1. Don’t walk in front of people. Especially if they have a hunting rifle or a shotgun.
2. Walk. Who’s in a hurry guys.
3. If you are in front of people, crouch so they can fire over you.
4. Avoid using shotguns when you are behind people (unless you know what you’re doing).
5. Don’t stand on top of people. When you stand on top of someone, either you or the person you are standing on will involuntarily move. This could cause a team fire.

It’s not about kill count guys. It’s about getting to the end with everyone alive.

It’s not hard to be a good team player, you just need to pay attention.

Dealing with witches

Witches are not that hard to beat on any difficulty guys. You just need to know how to deal with them.

Option one:
Have everyone stand very far back from the witch. One person should attack the witch. Once the witch gets up, everyone unload on her. She only has 1000 HP. A few good hits will kill her without any effort.

Option two:
Have one person with the shotgun (auto shotgun preferably) sneak behind the witch. Move up as close as you can and and then shoot her in the face when she turns her face at you. This is how you get the one shot kill on the witch.

Option three:
Sneak by the witch. Most of the time, the witch will be out of your way. Just move around her with your flashlight off. Stay as far away from her as you can. If she looks up, just back up and wait for her to calm down. You might have to go by her one at a time.

If you want practice killing witches, you should run single player on no mercy. On the first part of the movie, just spawn a witch on the roof where you start. You can practice all you want up there without having to worry about hunter, smokers, etc. to spawn a witch, open the console and type “z_spawn witch.” You might need “sv_cheats 1″ set. I’m not 100% sure.

As a little side not, you CAN burn witches (ok, how many of you thought about, “Monty Python’s: The Holy Grail?”), but I wouldn’t unless you are using option one for killing the witch. She dies fast enough that you shouldn’t have to waste a molotov on her.

How to deal with the tank

Tank are a big deal on expert. They have tons of hit points and nasty left jab. One hit from him will send you straight down (after being thrown across the room). There’s two ways I prefer to kill the tank. There’s just two little notes about the tank. His speed is increased as the difficulty goes up. I’m pretty sure anyways. I normally do expert. I ran an easy campaign earlier with some friends and noticed the tank moved to almost a crawl (compared to how fast he was before)!

Option one: (Hard)
People always say to run away from the tank. That’s not always the best idea. When you run away firing, he’ll throw boulders at you. He pretty much hits every time. He has the hacks on. Avoid jumping when he is about to throw. If you jump, you can’t move out of the way of the boulder if he does end up throwing one at you. The best way to avoid a boulder is to jump AFTER he throws the boulder. Once you’ve mastered the art of evading, you can shoot him while evading to kill him over the course of about a minute. Shotguns are great to use on him if you can get close. The 5x damage multiplier is real nice when in close range. This would be the weapon of choice, next to the rifle. The hunting rifle does not do too much damage to him, but it’s decent at damage if you can get a clip or two into him.

When using option one, make sure to use cover to your advantage. Walls, poles. etc. Cover if your friend. Make him climb to get to you. That will give you a few seconds to unload on him. When he does finally climb up, just run, reload, find a new spot to attack him and repeat the process.

Option two: (Medium)
If you can manage to light the tank on fire, just run away from him. On expert, he will live for 45 seconds after being lit. Don’t worry about hitting him. It won’t make him die faster. When he is lit up, it starts a timer. It’s shorter for the easier difficulties. I’m not 100% sure what the timers are though. All you have to do, is run and not get hit using this method. It’s the easiest way to kill him, but it can suck if you get a spawn, or get caught by a smoker/ hunter.

Dealing with swarms

The mobs can do a lot of damage very fast if you don’t know how to handle the attacks. First off, don’t try to advance when a swarm is attacking. Just sit in a corner and melee. That’s the trick to swarms. Sit in a corner, or a protected doorway and melee. You won’t take any damage and you’ll fight off the swarm all the time. This seems to be the big thing for most people. They see a swarm and think they need to kill everything as it’s coming in. Don’t be in a hurry. Open areas are what kill you. When you hear a swarm coming, get next to a wall. When you are in the open, you have a full 360 degrees you need to cover. Missing on zombie means 20 damage. If you put your back to a wall, corner, or hide in a doorway, you reduce the amount of area you have to clear by over half. That makes it a lot easier to stay alive. When you guys are clumped up, it’s even easier to fight off the swarms.

Hunters

Hunters are not the tough to deal with. I think you guys pretty much know what to do here. Just make sure you get hunters off your party members fast. Just melee them once. This will cause him to stagger away, giving you enough time to put a few bullets into him.

Boomers

If you can kill the boomer before he gets to you, that’s wonderful. If not, you’ll have to make sure and melee him away from your party members before killing him. If you kill him too close and he explodes on you, or if he spits on you, don’t panic. Just get in a corner on use your swarm tactics. The other players need to get in front of him and melee and shoot the zombies that are coming in.

Smokers

Smokers can either be very easy, or very hard. It all depends on the situation. There’s not much I can say here other than help your party members. If you see a smoker grab him, melee the caught party member. This will free him. When you are caught, you can escape if you melee fast enough. You will hit the tongue off you. This is kind of hard to time when you first try it. Once you get it down, you can avoid most smoker holds. Don’t always go for the smoker. You might team fire. Get your teammate off the smoker, then worry about him. Just use some judgment is all I can say.

I hope some of this helps you guys enjoy L4D more. This is a great game!

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DDO is such a great game!

I’ve been taking a break from my other games, like CounterStrike: Source and Battlefield 2142. I’ve been playing a lot of Dungeons and Dragons Online lately. I’ve been playing on my level 14 cleric for a while. I’ve been playing with a couple of jerks lately, so I’ve been playing my alts more often than my cleric. I guess they are mad at me know so they don’t want to group with me anyway. No skin off my back! I love playing with most of my guild mates too. There are a few that I don’t care for, but for the most part, they are great people. There is also the guild THAC0 that I run with a lot. They are great to group with. They don’t have the best players in the server, but they are really cool people. They have one thing that I absolutely love. If a kid is in the guild, one of his parents have to be in the guild. This keeps a lot of the kids in line. That’s one of the things that bug me. You get a kid in the group and he just acts like an idiot rather than a team player.

Right now, Turbine is merging a couple of the server to try and increase the population of the server. I think this is a great idea. Right now, it takes a little while to find a group to run a quest. There used to be a bunch of players on the server so there was never a problem to find a group. The servers have been rather barren for the most part, but the merger should help.

Well, sorry for the short post, but I need to get going. See you guys around.

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The addiction.

So within the last few days, I must have played some 50 hours of games. I usually only get to play a couple of hours a week, but lately I put everything aside to play my games. Man, I forgot how much fun some of those games were.

The first game I played was CounterStrike Source. I played on the Calibrator Haven servers. The host three servers. A 24 man Server with 20 bots; a 16 man server with 8 bots; and a 20 man 24/7 dust/office server. I think they are going to get rid of the 24/7 dust/office server because the server is not getting used too much. They’re all a bunch of good guys. Most of them just want to have a good time and play the game.

After that, I played Command and Conquer: Renegade for 15 hours or so. Man, this brings back some good old memories. When I was a freshman in highschool, my mom bought me a computer. It was so great. This is when I fell in love with computers. The first thing I did was take it apart to see how everythig worked. After an hour of tinkering with the hardware, I turned on the comptuer and gamed around at the new operating system. It looked pretty much like Windows 2000 and 98 SE so I was fairly used to it right off the bat. The one thing I didn’t get, was the internet. So I was stuck to Windows and the stupid AI in my games. This would never do! I had a plan to get the internet! Since my mom worked at midnight, I would sneak out of my room at night and into my mom’s room. I installed my games to her computer and played on the internet. Problem solved! Well not really. My Grandma found out I was doing this so she would check my mom’s room in the middle of the night to see if I was in there. She caught me a few times, but I was getting good at knowing when she was coming so I could hide. Matt and I would be out there and we would see a light come on and instantly duck and cover. Ahh, good times!

It was good to be back in Renegade. That’s where my passion for online gaming began. I found a small server called Hazteam and quickly made that my home. They hosted two servers. A no snipers 24 man server and a no snipers 20 man server. I usually played on the 24 man server. It had the perfect balance of vehicles/ infranty ratio. you usually didn’t have to wait to buy a tank, and there was usually someone around to defend the base. Now, everyone is running anti-cheat software, like renguard and dragon-aide. Even beyond that, there are so many servers that just have horrible rules. Since the Hazteam server shut down, there have not been many good servers. The ones that were good, are gone or merged with others. For instance, Ren-Archives merged with Jelly-Server. Now there is so much camping and it makes the game go on and on… I do make it my personal goal to own the campers. I do a pretty good job of it, but it’s not something I particularly enjoy doing. It’s just something that has to be done in order to win the game.

Now it’s off to good old Red Alert 2 and Tiberian Sun. Two of the best Real Time Strategies (RTS) around! Red Alert takes place during the time of the cold war so you can image what game play is like. Yep, you guessed it. Soviets Vs Allies! Tiberian Sun is completely different. It’s a fight for the survival of humanity. The Global Defense Initiative (GDI) is trying to save the world and rid the Earth of of a materian called Tiberian. Tiberian came from space and started mutating the world. GDI has been working on ways to reverse or destroy the Tiberian while the Brotherhood of NOD has plans of their own. Out of the two, I like the gameplay of Red Alert 2, but I love the story from Tiberian Sun. I am looking forward to the new C&C game in March called Tiberian Wars. It’s going to be the sequel to Tiberian Sun.

I might go ahead and install Civilization IV. It’s probably the best turn based strategy out there. You control a civilization’s advance through the time. Starting from the biblically correct date of 4000BC. You travel through the eras making foreign policies, scientific discoveries, wondrous productions, and much more. It’s a good game for anyone who lovs political warfare.

Well, I must be off.

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The xBox 360 Vs The PS3

The PS3 is a power house. It’s cell processor will kill anything out there now. If you look at the PS3 closly, you will see some faults in it though.

The PS3 has a cell processor that uses a general PPE (Power processor element) 64 bit core with 512 KB system L2 cache at 3.2 GHz and seven SPE (Synergistic Processing Elements) 128 bit cores at 3.2 GHz each. I’m not 100% on how the cell processor works because it is brand new. IBM, Sony and Toshiba have been working on it for some 5 or so years now. From what I understand, the Cell processor’s main core basically delegates it’s calculations to the other 7 cores. Each core is actually designed to “fetch” a job. It asks for a job from the main processor and executes the process and then syncs back up with the PPE (the main processor unit aka Power Processing Element). So you have a huge list of jobs in a large list on the PPE and core units that will take jobs from the main core and process them and tell the PPE that it has done it’s job and it wants a new one. It can even select a certian type of job. This is good and bad. Now you can make 7 SPEs that can do a specific job faster than a general CPU (like the one in your computer now!) can do because it is made to handle that type of code. The bad thing is that if the SPE does not have a process it can do, it will try to do a job it doesn’t know so well and it will take much longer.

The xBox 360 has a different approach to the whole CPU deal. They have a triple core design running at 3.2 GHz on each core with a shared 1MB cache. It is basically like the dual core CPUs with another core for general processor power. I have been saying general processor power in great volume but I never went ahead and told you what it was. Well, a general processor is a processor that can carry out many many tasks while a specific processor (like a graphics processing unit) can carry out a specific task faster and better. Say you have a GPU and you want to try to run a physics calculation or an audio stream through it. The GPU will take much much longer. I’m not going to go into technicals here. If you want to know more about how the general processors work, let me know. Since the general processor is built to handle many types of code, it is ideal for gaming. However, a well built cell processor should be able to crush a system running 3 general processors.

General Processors are better for gaming because games are coded in a combination of integers, floating-point, and vector math with a direct connection to the system cache. Since the PS3′s SPEs (the thing that does most of the work on the processor) don’t have a direct link to the cache, it has to ask for it from the PPE. Dot products are also critical in games because they are used in 3D math to calculate vector lengths, projections, and transformations. The xBox 360 CPU has the dot product instruction per core, where the Cell processor must emulate dot product using multiple instructions.

The PS3 has the RSX graphics chip from Sony and nVidea running at 550MHz. The RSX chip is called the reality synthesizer. The technology was taken from the 6800 GTX chip. It sports a 128-bit memory interface, 1.2 Billion Vertices/sec (this number will affect the MSAA abilities), 136 shader operations/clock with 74.8 billion shader operations/sec and 8 ROPs (Rendering Output Units), with a total of 33 billion dot products/sec all running off 256 MB of GDDR3 RAM. It’s a beast, but I’m sad to say that the xbox 360 has a slightly better GPU.

The 360’s GPU is a custom made processor from ATI. It sports a 128-bit memory interface, 1.6 Billion Vertices/sec, 160 shader operations/clock with 96 billion shader operations/sec and 8 ROPs, with a total of 33.6 billion dot products/sec all running on 512 shared memory on the unified memory bus.

The last thing you want to look at is the memory bandwidth. This will show you how much memory can be shoved through the system. The higher here the better. You want to have more than you need. As your memory bandwidth usage increases, you will see a performance loss even if you have not hit the max amount of bandwidth. The PS3 has 48 GB/sec of total memory bandwidth. 25.6 GB/sec of that coming from the main system RAM and 22.4 GB/sec coming from the Video RAM. The xBox 360 has over five times that of the PS3. 278.4 GB/sec with 22.4 GB/sec coming from the memory interface bus bandwidth, 256 GB/sec coming from the memory bandwidth to EDRAM.

In conclusion, the 360 is a better gaming console than the PS3 because it sports the triple core general purpose processor, it has a better video unit and higher bandwidth. The Triple core general processor has 128 vector registers per hardware thread and one dot product instruction while the PS3′s cell processor’s vector registers are most inside the SPEs themselves. So again, the SPEs will be waiting on the PPE.

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