Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Berserk: The Cataclysm: A review

Berserk cataclysm: Is just now out of beta. It’s a deck building game where the fun is in creating your card deck. I’ve sunk $10 into it making me one of the pay to win players . Tony got me into playing it and over the last week I think I have had it online the entire time I have been home. I wouldn’t say I have “played” the game for 30 hours but I will say the only competition for my time was an occasional FWOTD in LOL&WoT. One of my main goals is to beat VRBones’s swamp regeneration deck. The mountain card I got in the welcome pack can do this but not reliably. All the cards have a similar ability so once there are three of then there are quickly 8 and all doing 5+ damage per hit. But often I lose having only got one card on the field, a prime example of Snowball Strategy.

I wanted to have an undead deck so I could play with Leviathan from the research tree. But the neutral cards looked good too and the only way to get them was from the standard booster. So I only spent my silver there and ended up with a half decent deck of every colour. Now that I have been at it for a bit I’d like more quicker cards, as they can beat both my snowball deck and VRBones’s healing deck. Other than that in spite of my snowball deck I prefer the cards that stand alone and don’t rely on any other cards around them.

Now that I found out what the second tier of the tower does my strategy is to gain as much interest as possible from my lands and use it to get cards from the standard deck until the next game update.

See Also:
Berserk: The Apocalypse
Parting forum post
Berserk: The Cataclysm: Deck strategy
Berserk: The Cataclysm: A reviewF2P: A quick overview and review

About a castrated male sheep

Whether the weather is cold or
whether the wether is hot.
The wether will weather the weather,
whether he wants to or not.

Friday, June 15, 2012

King of Alcohol

Kings shouldn't drink wine or have a craving for alcohol. If they drink they would forget the laws of the land and ignore the rights of the people who are in need.
Alcohol is for the miserable, for those who are dying. Let them drink alcohol and in doing so forget all their pain and poverty. They will be happy then, for a while.

Kings who drink to much will always be full of sorrow. They will be miserable and each drink will make the kingdom poorer. Such a King causes no end of trouble, loudly complaining about everything. He will stumble and fall down stairs, where a sober man would have no trouble climbing mountains and remain safe. Such a King has bloodshot and bleary eyes. Drums pound in his ears, waking him in the dead of night.

So don't let Beer tempt you even though it glows like gold and is freely shared by friends. Bottles of wine will beg you to open them, their rich red nectar sparkles in your cup. The dregs of the bottle will call out "Only one more drop! May as well finish me off!"

A King who gives into these taunts will regret the morning.His eyes will deceive him and his tongue will swell up and trying to choke him. The ground will move beneath his feet like the stern of a ship. Such a weak King will be seasick on dry land.

A King shouldn't drink spirits or have a craving for alcohol. Leave it for the poor and miserable, let them make foolish decisions and wallow in self pity. A sober King knows what he does and why, he remembers everything that happened the night before and wakes early in the morning refreshed, ready for the new day.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Multicultural society? or a Multicultural person?

Is Australia really a multicultural society? recently at SYNOD the evening entertainment was supposedly multicultural but it felt more like "here is a select representation of an alien culture for you your viewing pleasure". Are we not then just a host of isolated cultures that occasionally interact? I'm told that locally most of the doctors in town are of Sri Lankan heritage and that most of the Main Roads department originated from Nepal.

Wouldn't it be better to be like this Wolverines song?
"There's a little bit of outback in everybody here tonight"
and have an indistinguishable culture?

For this specific reason I enjoy making my Indian curries with Beef and Greek Yogurt. Maybe this is why I feel Australian when I hang around foreigners? Then I wore my Drizabone when I went to Nepal and several Auzzies came and said G'Day They recognized it as one of the few things that are uniquely Australian. Maybe I should get some Ugg Boots too?

Game mechanics mimicking real life

I learnt a bit about synchronizing turbines today, reminded me of the cryptology tool used in Hydrophobia. That was actually quite fun, believable and somewhat scientific. I imagine if I wasn’t trying to hack the system I would have a frequency lock of 2 numbers for each waveform, amplitude and frequency, Possibly stored as a single hexadecimal string. the phase of the waveform changes with respect to time, otherwise the game mechanic would be too easy.

For the actual hacking you are presented with a complex waveform. You can then, using the mouse, adjust the amplitude of your sine wave, and its frequency. When your wave approximates the computers projection (±0.5%) that waveform is cancelled. Then the software zooms you into the next waveform where you repeat the process.

When synchronizing a turbine you need to match all the characteristics of your turbine to that of the rest of the system. There are three instruments to determine when this is the case.
The Synchroscope indicates the phase or the alternators wavelengths with respect to the reference point. The net result is either positive or negative. When the synchroscope reads zero the two energy sources are in phase.
The Voltammeter indicates the energy being produced by the alternator.
Then there is a frequency analyzer which indicates the Hz of each of the waveforms.

The energy waveform of the rest of the system will fluctuate slightly depending on the load and supply of that part of the system but it should be relatively stable and is the reference point for synchronization.

To bring the alternator online only requires closing the breaker, thus connecting the two electrical circuits. But if the two systems are not in sync then the generator will likely explode, this is not preferable.

To adjust the alternator you can use the governor to supply more mechanical energy and also alter the field strength. When the governor is not changing increasing the field strength will increase the voltage potential of the generator. This is dependent on the shaft speed so if the governor is in a state of flux, the voltage will be as well.
Changing the governor will change the rotation speed of the alternator shaft. This changes the frequency of the generated wave. The phase can only be changed indirectly by altering the frequency. Increasing the frequency can get the wave to start at the same amplitude, and then reducing the frequency so that it matches the reference will get the phase to be the same. Except that the governor doesn’t change instantly, so there is a delay between increasing the steam/water/diesel and the shaft speed actually changing.

So there are two settings that need to be adjusted (governor & field strength) to bring the three variables in line with each other (Frequency, Phase and Amplitude) then when they match to within the tolerance limits the breaker can safely be closed.

If successful the synchroscope will bounce to zero, where it will remain as long as the two systems are connected. Further changing of the governor will not adjust the Phase or frequency, but will adjust the torque of the alternator. This is where energy is produced.
I don’t know what happens if you alter the field strength when the alternator is online.

I wonder if there are any games out there that copy this mechanic. Possibly you need to connect the power to proceed or just close the beraker to break something?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Moldova, really?

My blog receives a few peculiar stats. Apparently my mentions of the Anscombe quartet and normal distribution rank high enough on Google search that people have looked at those pages. I also seem to be not the only one that thought a “Gold Sniffing Fox” was funny. Also my posts about fixing PC issues seem to be a little bit helpful. I have recently been linked to by, not really sure why.

There are the default spam referrals from Russia, so my name cant sound Russian enough to get normal people looking at it for that reason. Another interesting country is Moldova. 13 times it seems somebody from Moldova has been interested in my blog. The only other 13 is from the website. It may be a connection but I’m really not sure.

The majority of hits though look like they are all my own. Not terribly surprising as it is my homepage, it’s a lot easier to press Ctrl+n and then click on something that to type it into the search bar.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Who are you? Who do you intend to be?

Somebody asked me a week ago: Who are you?
a simple question but I was stumped for a way to respond.
There is no way to explain myself except by the relations I have to those around me, to the things I have or have done and my plans for the future. These are the things that can define a person. But that didn't really help me answer the question, and it got me thinking seriously about the future...

I’m not really sure of myself at the moment. Who am I? I recall that Tsun Tsu says: Know yourself and you will prevail most half of the time, Know yourself and your enemy and you will prevail most of the time. But if you neither know yourself nor your enemy most of your endeavors will fail before you start. So what do I want? What are my goals? I already have ten steps but that is more about the how, the journey to the endpoint not that actual goal.

For goals it may be something like:
Share luxuries
Be efficient
Look after myself and be physically. emotionally, spiritually. mentally fit
Recover from challenges and have fun whilst being ashamed of nothing that I do or am.

Be prepared and train just in case I am sucked into an alternate reality like Tokidoki (anime Amatsuki) or Fry from Futurama. I want a flexible skill set that will enable me to survive in an alien culture with no possessions. (As an aside I like Tokidoki  because his super power is ignorance, he can be anything he thinks he can be).

Nope, that’s still for "along the way" things.

As a near term goal I suppose I should have another look at learning new language in preparation for whatever communication forms I need to learn in the future. Or maybe just talking to people who don’t speak much English would suffice?
A long term goal would be to get to heaven, but I’m not in any hurry for that. And the keys to heaven lie is how I do what I do not what I do. Plus there is the whole saved by grace through faith thing.

Which reminds me of a song:
Do what you do do well boy,
Do what you do do well.
If you do what you do do well, boy.
Then you’ll do well.

But in the meantime what type of job do I want? Where do I want to live? Shall I buy a dog? Shall I wear my urban camo or my denim Jeans? Shall I make spag bog for tea or spaghetti and meatballs? It’s so easy to just do the same thing as I did yesterday and be like a door swinging on its hinge, going back and forward but never getting anywhere. Where can I find improvements? and how to I become, as Rock Lee says “Stronger than I was yesterday.”? (Shuppuuden episode 28: The Resurrected Beasts. Clip)

Writing things down does make ideas settle, just like adding a bit of gelatin to a cheesecake. I think I am in a better position now to guess what I am thinking and thus predict what actions I may take in the future.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"Us" & "Them"

It seems to me that everybody wants to be with the group “Us” and we want as many people on our team as possible. Whether that be a church group, a local football team or just cricket appreciators in general. Of all the groups I have been in very few have failed to winge about lack of numbers. Why do people always want their group to be more popular? Apparently everybody should learn to surf because it’s great fun. I’ve also been told “Why wouldn’t you want to go sky diving?”

It seems to me that groups large enough to be not actively complaining about a lack of members are too large. Their members form into unofficial sub groups. Ie, within my subgroup of the 10:30 service at church I usually get into the social circle where one of these five people are talking. If none of them are nearby then I will mill around by myself, a part of the general group. It’s not that I particularly dislike anybody, jut that I prefer the company of some people over that of others. Hmm that sounds a bit discriminatory, I should put some effort into saying hi to everybody, it is church after all.

I recall my grandmother is rather racist towards aboriginals. Particularly as a group, all Australian aboriginals in general. But she now has some aboriginal neighbors, and they are quite nice and easy to get along with. See, because she has associated with some people they moved from being “one of them” to being “one of us”.

We want there to be more of our type of people. Isn’t it obvious that people like me, like me? But once there are lots of people like me then there are too many and we start dividing them again between us and them. I know it sounds draconic but I’m aiming for perfection here. But if everybody were the same then I would rebel against the norm and revel in my uniqueness, maybe I’m just confused?

I remember being told that “Any radical movement needs to become mainstream in order to survive.” Also “any social/political movement could be revolutionary depending on the time and place” I suppose that everything is relative, once a new idea is formed people may or may not jump on the bandwagon (if nothing happens it will fade in to obscurity and not be worth mentioning) and as the community grows rules need to be formed so that everybody is on the same page and follows the same belief system. When there is only one person they are always right and a free radical by default. The larger the community is the more defined its ideals are the more mainstream it will become. What may starts as a revolutionary concept, like the abolition of slavery. Eventually becomes the norm. I only know about slavery from books and movies.

And again I have slid from one rant unto another. But to get back to the start, how many times have you heard the words? “How can we engage the young people?” I know from playing RTS games that you can never have to many people in your community/Civilization/race if you get near the population limit and they are becoming impoverished then it’s time to use Slavery to finish the Pyramids in Civ4 or to go to war with your neighbors in AoE. With more members you get more resources to spend doing more fun things. With more fun more people want to be members. The reverse is also true, if your community lack a critical mass it will become stale and members will gradually leave.

Small towns are a good example of this. One town will be slightly large that the others around it, so people for the region will travel there for shopping. Then the town will start getting more shops because the potential clientele is larger. Then the Backer & Butcher in the smaller towns may be forced to move because they have insufficient customers. Thus the larger town gets larger and like a sponge it leaches people from the region, then all the other towns become satellites of the sponge. Larger communities always grow larger and smaller communities always shrink. When there are so many options of places to live (or sports clubs to join) the benefits of any one of them are hard to see and so the population distribution will remain average, and every one of the communities will complain about lack of numbers. Why are more people like us, we are much better than them.

It seems to me that the discrimination between “Us” and “Them” was the same in WWII as it is in my Fencing club. There are too many of “Them” and not enough “Us”. What can we do show them how much better we are?

I should stop writing now otherwise I’ll start talking about the Preconception Bias :( I really should derail my train more often rather than changing track all the time.