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Game Resources, Ratings, Reviews, and Strategies

Quake 1 - CTF

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Review
Quake keeps an honorary position as the first entry due to the fact that, at one time, Quake was the only thing here 1999. I keep it up for posterity. The community built around Quake is unrivaled. The source code is available and that has turned into an incredible amount of mods. My favorite of which is Threewave Capture the Flag. I've met some cool people in the Quake world, Like st00p my old [GDI] clan-mate. On his deathbed for the past 10 years suffering from hypochondria. Baron, another bored soul like myself that filled the time with Quake. KwongLo, and Bosh, amazing players. Avalanche who maintains the HDZbot and modded the client that I used (ProQuake). Crash, Rambo, and many others. If you've played with me you can take a trip down memory lane with our screenshots of scores.

Quake Total Garbage Award
PlanetQuake is an ad-server that has comandeered many quake files they didn't create. You will generate money for them one way or another if you visit thier site looking for any. I hope they rot.
Internal Resources
A few configuration files I created for myself (left-handed) autoexec.cfg, the.cfg, chase1.scr, and chase0.scr.
External Resources
File repository ftp.clan-rum.org, An actively maintained website quakeone.com, Check out the HDZbot #crctf.
Rating
Quakes gets an 8 in the Game category becuase of people running bots. Also, those who knew c programming could do things others could not. Still it was pretty easy to notice a player doing something out of the ordinary.
GameFunProgramming DepthCommunity
81010 1010
 
Chess

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Strategy
I'm no master so I won't assume to teach any strategies here. I can tell you to learn the notation then read, and analyze. Remember the game isn't won by who makes the best moves, but, by who makes the least mistakes, and always assume your opponent will make the best possible move. If you read one book make it My System by Aron Nimzovitch. If you still want more then pickup a few on endgames, and openings. At this point if you're still wanting more you can hire a team of grandmasters, devote all your free time to analysis, and compete in tournaments professionally for a living.

Hints
Don't play online it's too easy for opponents to cheat.
GameFunProgramming DepthCommunity
1010NA 1010

 
Warlords III Darklords Rising

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Review
It's rare that you'll find a strategy game that incorporates chance without ruining the strategy. This one does. The custom sets, the strength of opponents, even the sound effects all made for a great game. Unfortunately the network coding failed at times, and the game would fail for unknown reasons beginning with winXP. The community dwindled away. The Developer announced a new version time and time again beginning over ten years ago! In fact he still is. Of course it's still just an idea and current projects need to be completed, etc. The estimate is 5 years, I estimate never. Duke Nukem's got nothing on DLR in this department.
I haven't played in 3? years but I'm still on the top 20 list. Could never understand why people flocked to BattleHQ ad-server when you can do more with IRC or the same in a Yahoo chat room. Anyway, The forums were always good reading with all the characters there. Thanks to Clark, and Kev for showing me the ropes, I mention them in my HOMM2 Feudal Feuds map. I still vividly remember my wins vs. Clark, Irish, Fresh, and Hugh. T-bone the nut, JaY and Thundergod the cheaters, CrazyHorses ballista set, and Telcontar whom I always had my greatest games against. 100+ turns the norm when playing Red Viking. Good times.

Internal Resources
Printable spreadsheets K4 Heroes, Armies ( all on 2 pages ) sides ( the old one was outdated ).
External Resources
new forum hosted by Wooger, old forum hosted by Maya.
Rating
Game gets a 10 because there were just so many different ways to win. The net code or lack thereof is forgivable considering the age, not releasing a patch isn't. You could sit for hours tweaking your set, then create an entirely different set and use it to win, that's depth. The once vibrant community has dwindled to two people, one point for each.
GameFunProgramming DepthCommunity
1087 82
 
Civilizations II

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Review
Atari has swallowed microprose.com ( the home of civ2 ) and retired it permanently. In it's day, no strategy game could touch Civilizations 2.
Strategy
Early on make sure your workers are working science squares build roads for this. Demand sciences, and gold from every civ you encounter. Direct your research to monarchy ASAP then decide on Democracy, or Fundamentalism and direct towards that. Grow exponetially. Exploit "We Love the ___ Day" by maximizing luxury. Build a city on a hill to draw enemy fire with 200% defensive bonus. Capture every single barbarian leader the gold ransom is important to your economy. Be sure to vote on every one of the following links -> worst wonder, industrial, modern, renaissance, ancient.

External Resources
www.civfanatics.com and www.apolyton.com. Great places for anything civ related.
Rating
Not much to say. The game is an all time classic.
GameFunProgramming DepthCommunity
10910 910

 
Europa Universalis II

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Review
I'd always wanted to play an in depth war game on a real world global map. Europa 2 delivered. You learn a lot of history during the course of a game, including geographic, and religious. It's also suprisingly dynamic. For example one game Austia will conqueor huge territories, andthe next, get annexed by Hungary. Sometimes Poland grows huge, other times Lithuania annexes them. The learning curve is a bit steep but once you get the hang of it, easy enough. Explorers, Conquistidaors, Napoleon, Babur, The hundred years war with Henry V. All in all very well researched, and implemented.
Internal Resources
Here is an events file I've made. It begins with the Pope charging Poland wiith the spread of Catholicism in the east. Gives the Byzantines a COT if they survive for 30 years, and gives the Byzantines the option to hire Orban and his canon prototype. It also lays the groundwork for an idea of mine. Royal marriages in the game seem pretty useless, weren't they arranged for inheritance purposes? I thought so and, along this line of thought started to map out events for the purpose. Work is done for Brandenburg, Saxony, and a few others. Here's how it works. You enter a royal marriage with country A ( send your daughter over there to be wed ). Country A ceases to exist. An event fires giving you shields on country A's former territory ( one or two provinces ). Maybe your daughter the princess had a son who is rightful heir, or the monarch has escaped and fled to his in-laws for protection, etc. The shields do expire if you don't claim them quick. liberally commented for easy expansion to othercountries. The Lowlands, Italy, and the rest of the Holy Roman Empire would complete the events nicely.
An AAR by me playing as Prussia ( screenshots lost )
A multiplayer AAR The History Channel played as Spain. My Reign ended here.

External Resources
Leaders, Monarchs, and Stats generated with Perl by Tonio. Excellent job.
www.europa-universalis.com
GameFunProgramming DepthCommunity
5109 95
 
Diablo 2

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Review
Going to hell and slaying demons what could be better? At one time, when the game was new, not much was better. But things have changed. If not for the cute demon animations this game would suck 100%. Okay let's review. When the game was new nice items would drop. Nothing nice drops anymore, NOTHING. Do you know where the jerk-offs of the net hang out? You guessed it the D2 server. Could they give you less space to store items? I'd bet money that during development they settled on the smallest possible stash that still allowed playability, forcing paying customers to run around like idiots transferring items instead of enjoying the game. This is also the game that rewards cheaters. Players have duplicated items from way back when item drops were actually good. Somebody programmed a hack that copied items in inventory. Gave themselves and their friends endless wealth, and they still sit there with all their cheat items trying to sell them on ebay, or using them to PK honest players, or just spoiling peoples hard work questing by ending the game prematurely. Want to take a break for a month? Enjoy having your character deleted. The bits needed for storing your character must be mind boggling I'm suprised they can store them at all! The server will drop you at the most critical time and destroy the game while it's at it ( Game doesn't exist when you try to return ). Have I mentioned the vulgar names people are permitted to give themselves? Guess what blizzard, I'll never buy a game from you again.
Update
Somebody here got a hold of the expansion ( which always seemed silly to me ). On day one they're given a piece of armor better than anything I've ever seen in what 5, 6 years.
Strategy
Boredom led me to play this game more than I'd like to admit. I've had 7 chars over level 90, and at least another 40 high 80s. Enter a cow portal and pickup items to sell. Follow the road to Den of evil, then pretty much just follow a wall till you get to Diablo. Plan your skills in advance. Only join the biggest games to get maximum experience. Just play smart, there's not much to it.
Internal Links
pickit.ini I made this once in order to compete with everyone that used the stock pickit.ini. Mine was better, it doesn't work anymore.

Rating
Let's see. All the patches have nerfed the drops and really just benefit blizzard, not the players. One of them spun my cd-rom disc so fast that it shattered and ruined the drive. Customer support offered to send me a replacement disc for more than the retail price. The demon animations are nice so I'll give them a point for programming. Depth? what depth!? Game? Impossible to compete given the items that drop compared with the cheat items that exist. Community, I've already told you about the jerk-offs but I did meet 2 nice people, a point for each.
GameFunProgramming DepthCommunity
351 02

 
Heroes of Might & Magic II

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Review
No nonsense strategy. Memorable heroes, cool units, The apex of the series.
Strategy
Organize your heroes into two types. Those that fight, and those that don't. The fighters do just that and only that ( fight ). Do not have them take a single step that isn't en route to fighting. Anything and everything else is handled by the non-fighters we'll call them squires. These squires do all of the legwork. Give them one or two of the fastest troops available to you. Squires are to flag mines, pickup resources, visit mills and magic gardens, deliver troops to the fighting hero, carry all items that don't increase your fighting heroes stats, take away cursed items, use their speed too entice enemy heroes to chase them, carry armies that have joined your fighting hero, and anything else that doesn't involve fighting. The fighting hero visits sites that increase stats, luck, movement, and morale. Those are the only acceptable steps a fighting hero is allowed to take off the path towards their next fight.
Do not defend in a castle unless you have a fighting hero. Better to recruit the best units out and deliver them to your fighting hero. The ideal fighting hero has wisdom, archery, logistics, pathfinding, luck, and leadership. Luck and leadership are important, if you don't get these skill use items and sites to keep them at +3. The extra attack and double damage they give can be gamebreakers. The ideal squire has logistics, pathfinding, and navigation.
Don't neglect magic. Get level 3 wisdom on at least one hero, and level 5 towers asap. Dimension door, town portal, and Armageddon, any one of these are well worth the resources spent even if it takes building up 5 different towers. If a powerful hero is approaching a castle you can't defend wear him down. Recruit heros there and attack him. He will cast his most powerful spell every time eventually exhausting his knowledge on meaningless battles. Even better if you can recruit magic users that can get a good damaging spell off before he gets a turn. Try to match items with their corresponding spells, like the lightning rod with lightning bolt, the cold rod with cold ray, and so on. Their are many pairs like this don't neglect them.
Internal Resources
My map feudalfeuds.zip. Very beautiful and very challenging.
Updated version 2 feudalfeuds2.zip.
A playtesters review 30 pages long, he sure did have a blast playiing through it feudalfeudsnotes.doc.

Rating
3DO went out of business. I hope mr. & mrs. Canegham are alright. The map editor was a nice addition, also the autosave at end of turn. There's a phoenix - resurrect bug. The community was sparse then, and is non-existent now.
GameFunProgramming DepthCommunity
689 60
 
NukeZone
Review
Nukzone is a web browser game where teamwork is important. I came over to it with some friends from another browser game that went flop ( EmpireQuest ). Most of the old crew is gone but I've made some new friends. Signup is free but there's also a $30 option for 2 months of added features. I don't know what they are I've never bought one. I know whatever they may be can't possibly justify that price ( Hell, even WoW is cheaper than that! ). You can buy a real game and own the disc, and manual forever for the same price. I'd rather something to show for my money but that's just me.
Internal resources
Here are some screenshots and various files I've put together. round 22 Wolfpack clan statistics, round 22 The Gobbo Nuke has landed! Round 22 modified points screenshot, round 23 Hells Angels points, round 23 Hells Angels clan statistics, round 23 Hells Angels clanpic, round 24 Hells Angels clanpic, round 24 buildings stats, round 24 unit stats, round 25 unit stats ( ascii ), round 26 Hells Angels clan statistics, round 26 unit stats ( ascii ), round 26 unit stats ( text ), a 20 point V I C T O R Y, my first ever kill, my most ever damage dealt 1000 navy seals.

Here is some perl code I've written to munge the stats..
Perl program to generate stats ( screenshot ), and a perl script to strip the ascii.
The ArmOrbOt nukezone IRC bOt.
Usage help file ( how to use the bOt ), perl module ( the units stats ), irssi interface ( the bOt ), shell interface ( template ).
Top 100 mech ( fetches pages, cronjob ), perl parser ( prep data, cronjob ), irssi interface ( the bOt ). This site is maintained every day. Some links are broken because you have to contact me to download them.
External Resources
Statsbase a top 100 website with nice graphs.
Rating
The game is cool because stats change from round to round. The programming is well done, hardly ever a bug. There's a bit of depth in the units. As for community, well. There's never any news about 'Nukezone' only 'speed round' ( the pay version ). You can witness the developers talking and simply ignoring you. The player base dwindles a bit every round, and i think the game in it's current form won't last much longer.
GameFunProgramming DepthCommunity
567 55

 
How our rankings are calculated
Game
This is a rating of how much of a game there is to play. For instance, a game that requires you to do A then B, C isn't really a game so much as it is a story. A game that let's you play in any way you wish would get a 10. Is the playing field level or skewed torawds one side? I don't want to sit for hours pretending I'm playing a 'game' when I'm really just clicking through a story.
Fun
Self explanatory.
Programming
Does the programming let you do what you wish easily, if it does at all? Does it crash? Bugs? Does it give access to all the info you need? Is most of the code intended for self protection instead of the gamers enjoyment? Is the UI intuitive and easy to navigate, or clunky, missing features and hard to navigate? Are the graphics secondary to the 'game' or are they the main feature? Are you forced to sit through cut scenes akin to watching a movie, or can you skip them if you want? Do they release patches to fix bugs or do they sell them as expansion packs? Is the sound pleasant or annoying? Can you turn it off? etcetera
Depth
Can you learn everything about the game in one sitting or wil it take weeks or months? Can you modify things? Can you start over using an entirely different strategy and still win?
Community
Do the developers insulate themselves from the people playing their game? Are there other players available to multiplay with? If so, are they friendly to newcomers? People working on modifications? Any forums or other gathering places?

 
Contact: armorattak@dziewa.com
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