A difference of 0.001.
Update on December 15, 2003: NEW! You can now comment on this .plan update in The Junkyard Community Forums.
I've reserved my general moaning about Halo PC for those in tJY's IRC channel, specifically grey and Mhaddy. I'll get to that, but I'd like to share a little bit of my opinions, and there ain't anything you can do about it.
In all honesty I was never really much of either a console gamer or a PC gamer. My first games were on PC, but they involved the likes of Commander Keen, Bio Menace, Lexi-Cross and other such fine DOS games. Back in the day, my father and I found these games on various BBSes and had quite the fun times. Were the graphics crappy? Certainly. But did the games work? Unquestionably. No matter where we took the games (we installed games on floppies, for the record) -- the games just damned worked. They didn't stall, they didn't crash, and they were fun to play.
I take that for granted now. My Xbox, believe it or not, does what it's damn well told. Whenever I look at a PC, I wonder when it's going to crash next, regardless of operating system.
The closest thing to a "first-person shooter" that I had access to was "Wolfenstein 3D". When games came along that required a mouse, I was completely oblivious to the whole situation. Having a video card/motherboard combination that wasn't especially keen on 3D gaming was another reason I wasn't even aware of the whole realm of keyboard+mouse shooters.
So enough reminiscing about my childhood. Back to Halo PC 1.031.
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I played for two solid hours this evening on three separate servers. Apart from my dodgy network drivers for my 3Com onboard LAN, it was flawless. The "lead" that Mhaddy has been complaining about in his .plans? It's much less noticeable now. I'm attaining much better accuracy with the pistol, and the sniper rifle is becoming almost usable -- still not quite the way it is on Xbox, but getting much better.
Having that said, there are a few things that peeve me about Halo PC. First is the way issues were dodged around. From all the contact I heard from the Halo community, why was there no comment about warping/leading/framerate during the beta? Dan Chosich's video of Halo PC was one of the first to prepare consumers for what you'd get for framerate.
I personally am the proud owner of a GeForce 4 Ti4200 with AGP8X. This card was purchased for a reasonable amount of money and I'd expect >30fps performance from it. It's still one of the best cards out there for consumers going Nvidia and not wanting to buy a $600 VPU. This card runs Pixel Shader 1.1 technology; yet I have to play the game with "Specular" disabled or my framerate (which is normally >30fps) is cut in half. And all the reviews say something to the effect of Specular causing a 1-2% performance hit. There's a difference of about 48-49% from what I'm seeing. This is not due to my computer setup alone, believe me.
And then we get into this controversy about the Gearbox Forum and people's posts being deleted. What the hell kind of way is that to get loyal customers? Here's an elegant bulletted list as to what needs to be done there:
* Ban all the idiots who start getting out of line. Seriously.
* Don't lie about deleting posts. If it was there before, and now it is not, then something must have been done. 'Fess up to your mistakes.
* Don't lie in general. This 'complicated Microsoft testing process' did nothing but make people angry. Tru7h couldn't play the game on his rig, which is better than my own. People with ATI cards are having problems, making me wonder whether I should drop some cash this Christmas on an All-In-Wonder board with all the fruit. (ATI, feel free to offer me a discount. ) So Gearbox releases a patch, gets it quality controlled, and then what happens? Another one comes out the next day.
* Make a nice little forum for people who don't own the game, one for server admins, and then make a few for people who bought the game, tied to CD-Key. Use a couple of Grey's suggestions about banning people -- including the forums -- and we'll all be a much happier community.
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Gearbox, I paid for your game, I've griped about it, and more often than not, I've come back to it. Don't let us down by doing something stupid now.