For the best experience use full HD.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Sunday Highlight 68 - Shiratsuyu Glory Too

This is the video you're looking for. It is what it seems. I tried, I really did. In the end, I found success. This time things worked out better. I even had fun. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sunday Highlight 67 - Shiratsuyu Glory

This is not the video you're looking for. Not all is as it would seem. I tried, I really did. But in the end, I was found lacking. Perhaps next time things will work out better. But until then never forget, gamers just wanna have fun.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sunday Highlight 66 - The True King of Derp

Some say the KV-2 is the King of Derp at tier VI. But, is it the true King of Derp? I think not. While the KV-2 may have better penetration, a better rate of fire, and a slightly shorter reload time, the O-I has better aim time, accuracy and gun depression. The O-I is a touch slower, but has better ground resistances which even the score on mobility. And lastly, the O-I has twice the armor front, back and turret. While some will disagree, the armor and gun handling may give the O-I a decided edge IMO. And, I have proof!*

*All proof is anecdotal. Any similarity to actual proof is completely coincidental. Individual results will vary.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sunday Highlight 65 - Arty's Real Wish... In Four Parts

Have you ever wondered why artillery is in World of Tanks? Here's one possibility - in four parts*. This is part one: I Only Want to be Close to You. It's also a bit of Christmas cheer I hope. Be sure to watch them in order to get the whole picture of why artillery is and what the feck artillery is thinking during a World of Tanks match.
* I divided this up into four parts because it was something new to try. It also takes what was a 13+ minute video that seemed to get a bit repetitious, and breaks it into more digestible bits. At the end of each video is a link to the next. Please do let me know if you like this format.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Sunday Highlight 64 - New Zealand

A 15 minute or so montage of video and some pictures of my trip to New Zealand including descriptions of what we did and what I've decided about this YouTube channel.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Sunday Highlight 63 - Farragut to Fifteen

It's not Sunday, but I'm going on vacation today. That means you get this one a day early, and it'll be the last one until after Thanksgiving. This game is the ranked battle that got me to rank 15, and the start of the tier VIII ranked play. Though I finished at the top of my team, I wouldn't say it was a grand accomplishment. Honestly, we should have lost this one. In a more meta sense, this is game showcases my current frame of mind about World of Warships. There is much meh. Playing to get good games to put on the channel is really making the game not fun for me. And if I'm not having fun, you will end up with games like this one: solid, but totally unimpressive. I'll be using the video hiatus to evaluate how to make the game fun for my again. Wish me luck.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sunday Highlight 62 - Trick or Treat

For this Halloween, I present a game in my recently acquired tier V premium pumpkin-colored Japanese destroyer the Fujin. Will it be trick or treat on the Strait map in domination mode? Perhaps it will be a little of both. I'll let you decide. Have a safe and enjoyable Halloween everyone!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Tank Time 10 - Matilda Mayhem

Two games on the Windstorm and Karelia maps in my tier IV, fully upgraded, British medium tank the Matilda. In both games, I ended up being the defacto heavy tank - and that's okay. I was in a Matilda.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunday Highlight 61 - Farragut Ranks Up

My first ranked battle in the new season, and it's all about teamwork. My hat's off to Nebulas001. Well played sir, well played - and thank you.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Tank Time 9 - You Can Only Do So Much

There were five (5!) self-propelled guns on the enemy team, and I was in a big, fat, slow Japanese O-I heavy tank. Fortunately my 150 mm howitzer derp-gun was trolling hard, and for a change it wasn't trolling me. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sunday Highlight 60 - Benson Holds the North

A flotilla consisting of my destroyer, a cruiser and three battleships aggressively pushes into B at the start of this Domination match on the Trap map. The enemy counters with a destroyer and three battleships of their own, but we quickly take them down. Then, while the rest of the flotilla heads south to secure A, I head north to help hold the line between C and B, eventually wresting control of it from the enemy cruiser and two battleships there.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Tank Time 8 - Matilda Thwarts All

Here's a fast and furious match in my Tier IV Matilda on Mountain Pass. The enemy team wasted no time in pushing hard to capture our base. It was like lambs to the slaughter.
My Matilda is fully researched and using the QF 2-pdr Mk. X-B gun. It has permanent camouflage for all environments, a Camouflage Net, Binocular Telescope and Improved Ventilation Class 2. All crew members except the commander have trained their camouflage skill to 96%. The commander has Sixth Sense and a camouflage skill rating of 69%. Yes, it can fire without being detected. It's quite the sniper.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Sunday Highlight 59 - Der Kaiser Unverkettet

Here's a match I fought on September 19, 2016 in my Kaiser battleship. I like the Kaiser. He's a fine ship, and so long as your aim is good you can really mete the damage!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Tank Time 7 - Oh no, the O-I!

Two games in my O-I. The first is one of my two Steel Wall games, and the other is surprisingly my highest Battle Ranking (2734) on vBAddict.net to date. Enjoy and have a great day!

vBAddict - Visualize Your Gameplay: http://www.vBAddict.net

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Sunday Highlight 58: Königsberg 87k Game

On the New Dawn map I do more than 87k damage, which is more than three times the average damage done in this fine German cruiser by everyone combined. This game especially highlights the armor piercing capabilities of the German cruisers as well as their torpedo system. Enjoy!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Tank Time 6: It's High Time

Two of my highest scoring games to date. The first is in my Matilda on the Tundra Map. The second is in my new O-I on the Siegfried Line map using the 15 centimeter derp gun. Oh yeh. But wait, there's more! That game is like two games in one. There's the first part where it's awesome tank versus tank action in the streets. Then there's the second part where all the tanks are dead and it's an arty 2v2 clown escapade. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sunday Highlight 57: Shimakaze in a Cyclone

This standard battle match was played June 29, 2016 and I almost forgot to post it. That would have been a shame, as it was quite a good battle in a cyclone on the Shatter map.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sunday Highlight 56: Moment by Moment

A compilation of moments from my last couple of months playing World of Warships for your viewing enjoyment.
Music by Epidemic Sound (http://www.epidemicsound.com)

Friday, September 16, 2016

Tank Time 4: Getting the Hang of WoT

I'm having a really good time playing World of Tanks, and it's icing on the cake that I seem to be getting measurably better at it. How's that you ask? Well, it seems I've become addicted to vBAddict. But never fear, these two games are more interesting than dry old statistics so they come first. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sunday Highlight 55: Worst Game Ever

Worst. Game. Ever. A prime example of what NOT to do in World of Warships. I'll take you through my mistakes point by point so you won't make them.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Tank Time 3: Learning the O-I Experimental

Three games over the course of as many weeks illustrating my progress in learning not only the O-I Experimental, but also World of Tanks in general.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Sunday Highlight 54: Kiev the Kontester

Plenty of action in this domination match on the Fault Line map in World of Warships. In my Russian destroyer Kiev, I stop the enemy from gaining capture points by taking on all comers.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Tank Time 2: What to Do if You Lack Gun Depression or Penetration

How does a big, slow tank deal with smaller, faster tanks or those he can't possibly hope to penetrate in World of Tanks? I have discovered there are ways. And they are really fun!


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Sunday Highlight 53: The King of Cruisers

I have discovered the Königsberg. With a 7.5 second reload time and nine 155 millimeter guns, this ship is a damage dealing machine. But be careful, as it's got a glass jaw and no anti-aircraft capability worth mentioning. So take advantage of your 16.5 kilometer range with minimal dispersion, and when forced to fight up close fire all guns, fire all torpedoes, and never stop ducking and weaving!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Tank Time 1: Success in the Matilda

A couple of my better World of Tanks newbie games in the Tier IV Matilda. Trying to learn as rapidly as I can. Still fairly unsure of what "the good play" is, or even where I should go on any given map, but I'm learning lots every day. I was really surprised and stoked to get my first epic medal in the second of these two games!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sunday Highlight 52: The Value of Teamwork

team·work /ˈtēmˌwərk/ - noun
- the combined action of a group of people, especially when effective and efficient.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Tank Talk 1

I've went and done it now. I downloaded and installed World of Tanks. I'm done for; go on without me. No wait, I've a better idea. Why don't you watch me noob this from a safe distance? You'll at least learn what not to do, and perhaps I'll finally be funny.

Where did I start you wonder? On the advice of Ageing Jedi (see link below,) I went for the British Tier IV Matilda as my noob tank. His advice was spot on. The only thing negative I'll say about going this route is that on the NA West server in more than 90% of my games I am bottom tier. I'm not kidding. This video is one of the few games where I was top tier. Seems there aren't a lot of NA West players interested in tier IV tanks. Oh well, I'll just soldier on.

Aging Jedi: Matilda - Beating up the Tier 5's - World of Tanks
https://youtu.be/stfWD3Mh9Ck


Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sunday Highlight 51: Benson Benson Bang Bang

Domination battle on the Sea of Fortune map with everything from a very brave tier VI Aoba to a Fletcher to a total of four Iowa class battleships - two on each side. This game was action packed from the very start, and was over in less than 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Curiosity Box #1

In this video, I unbox #TheCuriosityBox number one sent to me by #Vsauce. Thanks guys!

PS: This is not a paid endorsement of any kind, and it is only my opinion this is awesome with Vsauce. See what I did there?


Vsauce: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6nSFpj9HTCZ5t-N3Rm3-HA
Vsauce2: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqmugCqELzhIMNYnsjScXXw
Vsauce3: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwmFOfFuvRPI112vR5DNnrA

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Sunday Highlight 50: A Change of Pace

German battleships are coming to World of Warships, and that means if you haven't already played through the beginning of the German cruisers you need to get working on it. So I did. Here is my one and only battle in the Hermelin. The Germans have some good armor piercing. :-) Enjoy!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Winner! Now what?

It seems I won a tier VII premium U.S. destroyer in the video contest The Mighty Jingles held commemorating half a million subscribers. So to all of you who have subscribed because of that, welcome and thank you. There are a few things I probably need to clarify before we continue.

The Mighty Jingles Video Contest - Watch these!




Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sunday Highlight 49: Texas Big Race

On the Big Race map, it's the USS Texas versus the Zone battle... er, I mean it's the USS Texas versus the opposing team. They're what makes this battle mode so difficult, not the mode itself. I mean, just because you have to sink them all to win doesn't mean the Zone battle mode is broken. Right?

Thursday, July 28, 2016

What's on Mabrick's Mind #1

I've got jury duty on Friday (tomorrow) so you get this a little early. It's just me talking about Armored Warfare, my performance in World of Warships lately, the latest book I'm listening to (see link below,) and something Derek Muller said on 2veritasium today that I think everyone would be well off to listen to.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23692271-sapiens

Yuval Noah Harari Giving a TED Talk - https://www.ted.com/talks/yuval_noah_harari_what_explains_the_rise_of_humans?language=en

2veritasium: The Distraction Economy by Derek Muller - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYYuiWP0IpA

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sunday Highlight 48: Texas Big D

The Texas may be slow, but she's a floating gun emplacement that can bring the hurt when needed. And when enemy cruisers threaten your base, that's the when I'm talking about.

Friday, July 22, 2016

In Win 805 Infinity (805i) Mid-size ATX PC Case Finished

Mickey Mathew D'Costa requested I post a video of my finished In Win 805 Infinity computer case after I did the unboxing video last week. I think that is a great idea. Here is the finished In Win 805 Infinity computer case with a Corsair H110i CPU water cooler installed in the front and the 120mm radiator and fan for my Nvidia GTX 980 Ti Hybrid installed in the rear as a replacement for the stock exhaust fan.
I had to do a little cable modification on the H110i USB plug to free up a four pin USB header on the system board for the LED controller, but that worked out quite well. The only other difficulty I had (other than cable management which is always a pain) was the aluminum shroud for the external system board port on the back. It did not quite line up with how the system board mounted in the case, and I did not notice until everything was done and I was plugging things in. Oy! That was a pain, but many case bites later I had it done.

Taking my time it took me about 10 hours total to transfer my system from the old case into the new case. But I really, really took my time and tried to clean everything as I went. If you were in a hurry, or are more experienced in such things, you could get it done in a couple hours barring any unforeseen issues. Anyway, enjoy the video!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sunday Highlight 47: Tirpitz Leads the Way

After some really disappointing destroyer games, I decided I needed to give the rest of my fleet a work out. Being pretty fed up with passive battleship play from others, when the North map came up I knew exactly what I needed to do.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sunday Highlight 46: Kiev Calisthenics

It's quite a workout for my Kiev on the Estuary map in domination mode. So many enemy destroyers and so little time. And all the while knowing I can't neglect their battleships either. What's a Kiev captain to do? Speed boost! Fire all guns! Damn the friendly torpedoes! Die! Die! Die!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Total War: Warhammer - A Newbie's Journey Part III

The third installment of the series highlighting things I should have taken the time to understand about the mechanics used in Total War: Warhammer before I started my first campaign.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Sunday Highlight 45: Blazing Guns and Screaming Torpedoes

Here are four destroyer game highlights covering all three DD tech trees from World of Warship matches I've played in the past month. Some were from ranked matches and some were from random matches. I was sank in the first highlight, but made a major contribution to the team's victory. I survived the last three, but I don't know how that happened in the last match. Oh, and check out the point difference in the second match before and after. ;-) Enjoy!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Total War: Warhammer - A Newbie's Journey Part II

More of what I didn't understand when I started my first campaign in Total War: Warhammer, and really should have taken the time to understand.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sunday Highlight 44: Mahan Frustrates Myoko

This match came down to my Mahan and an opposing Myoko, but we were 300 points behind. I was a one salvo kill. He had 2000 HP, but was not unless I could land a torpedo. It all came down to who played the objective, and that's not always to sink the other ship.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Total War: Warhammer - A Newbie's Journey

Or what I didn't understand when I started my first campaign and really should have taken the time to understand.
There is one other thing you must learn to competently play Total War: Warhammer. You must learn all the command key controls because trying to do it all with a mouse is an exercise in frustration. So, to assist me with doing that I created a keyboard command picture I can keep up on my second monitor while I play. I make it available to those of you who read my blog. Please share it freely.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Sunday Highlight 43: Shimakaze High Caliber

My second game in World of Warships captaining a Shimakaze and we're up against two Yamato battleships while we've not a single Tier 10 battleship on our team. It was time to go Yamato hunting, but I'd have to avoid the Udaloi first.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Thoughts on Blogging and Future Directions

Surprise! It's a VLOG where Mabrick mumbles about what he wants to do, what he doesn't want to do, and the future direction of his hobbies including gaming blogs and videos. 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Sunday Highlight 42: Slow and Steady the Texas Way

The Texas is slow, but she chews up aircraft and packs a punch... when dispersion works in your favor that is. It usually isn't an issue against the battleships she was designed to fight. You may have to be persistent with the smaller ships, but persistence pays off.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Fleet Friday: Patch 0.5.7 Incoming!

Yes, that's correct. Wargaming.net has another patch up on the test server, and they've thrown it open to anyone who sets up a test account. It's easy and it pays. *hint, hint* I had some thoughts of logging into it and showing you some of the new changes, like the complete upending of the current ship upgrade module selection, but The Mighty Jingles, being seven or eight hours ahead of me, and not having to worry about a "day job" per se, not only beat me to it but did a really nice job of covering all those things I wanted to cover. So here, watch his video on patch 0.5.7. Enjoy!
Also, if you don't know who The Mighty Jungles is, then are you in for a treat. I highly recommend his YouTube channel - like over the top and all the way down the other side recommend. It's always a must watch and loads of fun!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sunday Highlight 41: Mister Mabrick's Neighborhood

It's certainly a beautiful day in my neighborhood during this first post patch 0.5.6 game in my Kiev Russian destroyer on the Neighbors map. However, my neighborhood is a little different than Mister Roger's. But I still want you to be my neighbor. Especially if you're from Colorado. ;-)

Friday, June 3, 2016

Fleet Friday: A Fair Review of The U.S.S. Indianapolis

My mother hails from Indianapolis. She met my father there while he was stationed at Fort Benjamin Harris. My oldest sister was born there 11 months later. I have family there now. Of course I had to purchase the U.S.S. Indianapolis when it became available as a premium ship in World of Warships. There was never a second thought. It was a total shut up and take my money moment.

But the real question is, is she worth it. At $34.99, she doesn't come cheap. That's two thirds the price of Total Warhammer. (I much prefer that name.) It's a lot of money. The tl;dr is probably not. I purchased her for sentimental reasons more than practical reasons. The cost is, however, the largest "con" hanging around her neck.

The other "con" she has his her armor. Indianapolis was originally designed and designated a light cruiser. However, the eight inch guns mounted on her forced the designation to become heavy cruiser because treaties. Anything with an eight inch gun was a heavy cruiser; actual armor be damned. So if you buy her, whatever you do don't give away your broadside. You will be punished.

The last "con" I've noticed is her rudder shift time is 1.7 seconds slower than a comparably fitted Pensacola. You have to keep that in mind when outfitting her. My commander has vigilance just for that reason, and I take Hydroacoustic Search rather than Defensive AA. 

That said, she has several "pro" points. First of all, let's talk about those guns. They are absolutely devastating against other cruisers. With armor piercing (AP) loaded, she will easily over match any cruiser side armor and deliver multiple citadels at a time - providing you can aim.
But don't sell the high explosive (HE) short either. I moved my Pensacola captain over to her. He has demolition expert as a captain skill. The ship's HE starts with a 14% chance of setting fires. The skill raises that to 17%. If you are firing only the front two turrets, you're practically guaranteed to set a fire with at least one of those shells provided your aim is good. And when you're firing on a battleship, you've got an easy target to hit. Just have a look at the hell fire I wrecked this Warspite with in my third game. Out of combined 56,276 damage done to the New York and the Warspite, 32,132 was by fire. They were hating me HARD.
I managed to pummel the Warspite because he just couldn't get a good hit against me. I kept my bow pointed at him a la Yamato presenting a very narrow target to him. His dispersion ensured he could only chip away at my health pool a little at a time without chance of a citadel. In the end, I had the Warspite and the Colorado firing at me which suited me just fine. That allowed my teammates to win the match.

Oh, and the Indianapolis gets radar. It only has a range of 8.5 kilometers, is active for only 25 seconds which is less than two main gun reloads, and has a hella-long 360 second cool down, but it can be useful in certain situations.

There is one other thing you should consider if you've the money to buy her just laying around unclaimed. She is a credit earner. So my first game in her saw me get focused hard by all the cruisers on the enemy team. It was like, "Oh look, the new ship on the block. Kill her before she citadels us!" I landed a whopping twelve (12!) rounds before being wrecked. I still made 56,425 credits on only 434 base experience. I don't think it's possible to lose credits in this ship.

So the bottom line is she's a fine ship and fun to play when played to her strengths while minimizing her weaknesses. Mind your angling to reduce her armor deficiencies and you can engage battleships effectively - though you will be sank in all likelihood. And this isn't a ship with which your likely to carry your team. Your primary role is fleet escort eliminating enemy cruisers while helping to spot enemy destroyers and their damned torpedoes in time for your battleships to maneuver. If you create a division, I'd recommend you partner up with U.S. or Russian destroyers, or U.S. light cruisers and take on the anti-cruiser/anti-destroyer role with a vengeance. In a cruiser division your AA will also be devastating, but until carrier game play is made more appealing you're not likely to use your AA role a whole lot, which is why I outfitted for anti-torpedo and conflagration. If you've purchased the Indianapolis, what are your thoughts on her?

Monday, May 30, 2016

Never Forget


Cold War Training
Matthew Damian Cashin
Christopher Douglas Kurkowski
Wayne Martin Locklin
Charles Patrick Moses
Willie James Childs

Desert Storm
Tommie William Bates
Frank Melvin Kennedy

Afghanistan
John Michael McHugh

These are the men I knew well. There are others I knew not as well, but knew nonetheless.

I will not forget.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sunday Highlight 40: What a Game. What a Game.

This is without a doubt the BEST Tirpitz game I have ever had. Destroyers, cruisers and battleships all challenged the mighty Tirpitz on the Hot Spot map and all were found wanting. I used all weapon systems winning this match. Enjoy!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Fleet Friday: Patch 0.5.6 Maps

Patch 0.5.6 for World of Warships has landed and it's brought a bevy of enhancements and new maps. The first and by far most notable enhancement is to the mini map. The developers have added configurable range circles for ship detection and weapons systems. You access the settings for them once in the match using the ubiquitous gears icon at the top right corner of the mini map.
Now that picture isn't very helpful with the details, but it shows you precisely where the gears icon is located. What you are seeing there is a pop-up and only shows what you currently do and do not have selected. In order to make changes you have to click once. Then you'll get the edit dialog. Here it is all blown up for easy reading.
In the first column, the check boxes are self explanatory. The next column shows your various ranges. It is also your legend. The colors of the text and the type of line shown underneath them match what you'll see on the mini map. With all five selected, the mini map can become quite cluttered.

One thing I have not tested, because frankly I just thought of it, is if the numbers on the range circles are there because I am using the alternate battle interface. They don't really bother me, but other's have complained that they can hide ship icons and deprive you of valuable information as to what type of ship it is. That does happen. I've notice it. It wasn't that big a deal at the time, but I can see where it might be at a critical juncture. Time will tell. For now I'm inclined to leave them as they are useful for more than just gauging range to the enemy. I use them as part of my overall situation awareness of the two fleets. It's a very fast way of determining how far away various ships are, both yours and theirs, at a glance. I use that information to plan attacks and avoid radar, which cruiser captains are becoming very adapt at using.

I personally do not find the last known ship positions all that useful. They make a busy map even more busy, and without a time stamp you have no idea how old that information is. A destroyer spotted early in the game can be on the opposite corner by mid match. Thinking they may still be in the original position actually does you a disservice by giving a false sense of security. I prefer to hone my situation awareness, and like a chess game, keep all the possible moves and counter moves continually playing in my head. YMMV.

Moving on from the settings, I want to talk about the map itself. This map is the new Okinawa map. I really like it. This is the only match I've played so far, and I ended up playing hide and seek in and around capture point A. I was able to make a real nuisance of myself, and though I was eventually sank because radar, I managed to land 6 torpedo hits including a devastating strike first blood on the enemy Tashkent. That game may be coming your way as a Sunday highlight eventually. If I had to name an existing map the Okinawa map felt like, I'd have to say Land of Fire.
The other map I have played of the three new maps introduced in patch 0.5.6 is Neighbors. This entire map seems to be a hide and sneak smorgasbord for destroyers. I thoroughly enjoyed the game I played on it, which will also likely become a highlight. The island in B is basically a torpedo block. It's low enough that any ship can shoot over it. The islands at A and C are tall and hard to shoot over. And in C, a single enemy Benson was able to hold the cap for five minutes while being detected by putting the central island between his ship and our cruisers. Then a Colorado moved in to try and hold it. My advice is don't ever do that. *grin* Other than those observations, I can't say much more about the map yet. It didn't appear to lend itself to circular map edge tactics where the BBs for to the edge and stay there. The edges weren't all that safe, as other ships could use islands for cover as the snug into range. For that alone I like this map. If I had to pick an existing map it most felt like, I'd have to say Fault Line.

Lastly, I'd like to know if it was my Nvidia driver update yesterday or the new patch that resulted in this SNAFU.
I had just switched from torpedoes to HE, and the interface just went completely blank. Various keys still worked, and occasionally they would cause the interface to flicker back onto the screen briefly, for like a frame or two, but then it'd go mostly blank again. I eventually got the alternate battle interface info on ships to show again, like name, health and range, but not permanently or helpfully. This was after 12 patch 0.5.6 games without issue, and 8 of those were after I installed the latest Nvidia driver. Opinions? Comments? Mehs?

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Sunday Highlight 39: Sometimes You Just Have to Sink Them All

I took capture point C in my Farragut class destroyer at the beginning of this domination match on the Fault Line map, but the opposing team pushed hard and took it from us. They continued to defend their hard earned capture point with tenacity. This happened with all three capture points. Because we couldn't earn more points than the other team, we just had to sink them all to win.


Friday, May 20, 2016

Fleet Friday: Patch 0.5.6

My plan for today was to show you a bit of what's coming in patch 0.5.6 for World of Warships. Yes, they have another patch coming and it is playable on the test server all weekend. It looks to have some good content. Ships are getting visual overhauls. New maps are coming. There will be balancing (U.S. battleships getting buffed!) 

Unfortunately I have to go out of town this weekend and couldn't even play a single match on the test server last night after the patch went live on it. However, other's have already been there and done that. iChase and friends had a live stream from the test server yesterday afternoon, and I substitute his stream for my lack of time. It's long, but it's fun to watch. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sunday Highlight 38: Kiev Thwarts Last Minute Push

Passive play almost lost this one for us in World of Warships on the Two Brothers map, as the enemy was far more aggressive than most of my team. Fortunately me and a couple other teammates were aggressive enough to preserve the victory. The Kiev can be a tenacious adversary. It just takes a willingness to put your ship in danger.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Fleet Friday: Where to Aim Your Guns

One of the most difficult aspects of World of Warships to master is simply hitting your opponents. That sounds like such a derp thing to say, but it's true. In a game like World of Tanks, shell flight times are really short. In the vast majority of cases, all you have to do it place your cross hair on the enemy tank, pull the trigger and you hit them pretty much exactly where you aimed providing random dispersion doesn't go against you. Anyone who's played World of Warships knows that is not the case when engaging ships that are kilometers away. You have to lead a moving ship by the correct amount of distance to have any chance of hitting it. That's hard, and it only gets harder as you progress to higher tier ships that have longer ranges and move at faster speeds. But you don't have to guess where to aim. If you set up your game client correctly, it will tell you all you need to know in order to hit the ship you are focused on. Of course it's not as straight forward as that, but neither is it impossible to learn. In fact, once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature.


The first thing you need to do is turn on the Alternative Battle Interface Mode (ABI from now on) in your game client. You'll find the selection box in Settings on the Controls tab at the bottom center left. It warns that this may have an adverse impact on your system performance, so if you have a lower end system that already struggles to run World of Warships you should leave it off. There is another way to get the information you need. Just press the ALT at any time to temporarily display the ABI while the key is held down.

The ABI adds dynamic information to your graphical interface. The first thing you'll likely notice is are all the ships get displays above them indicating their ship type, player name and current hit points as a horizontal bar graph with numbers superimposed in the format total HP/current HP. Here is what it looks like in game.


But the display over the ship is not the most important part of the ABI. That is shown right at center of the reticule to the bottom left of the aim point. That number is the flight time of your shells to the currently selected target, in this case a New Mexico class battleship. That flight time when used with the static reticule you've always seen allows you to calculate the firing lead to that New Mexico. Here's how.

The reticule is designed so that each tick mark represents how far a ship moving 20 knots will travel in one second. To calculate your lead, you multiply the flight time of your shells by the ratio of the target speed divided by 20. In the case of this New Mexico it is essentially 1 to 1, so you simply lead the bow of the battleship by the same number of tick marks as seconds of flight time. In this case, that would be eight and a half (8.5) tick marks.

As I said before, it is not as simple as that. Most ships do not travel at 20 knots. Players can change their ship speed to throw this off (and do so often at higher tiers.) And the reticule is calibrated for battleship lengths. Destroyers are a lot shorter and need to be led a bit more because of that fact.  And I haven't even mentioned citadel placements. Fortunately iChase has done an excellent video explaining much of this. I encourage you to watch it. He not only explains all this, but provides in client examples!


Since I watched this several weeks ago, I have been trying to follow the formula - literally. It is not easy. You still need to take a great many things into account like ship angling. Not every ship presents you with a perfect broadside, especially at higher tiers. And then there is just knowing how fast any particular ship can go. There are 97 non-premium ship types in World of Warships, and that count is not getting any lower. It's ridiculous to expect anyone to remember the top speeds of all those ships. But hey, you don't have to!

Have I ever mentioned I used to play EVE Online? Have I ever mentioned that game's other name? They call it Spreadsheets in Space. But you know what, that's not a bad thing. Since I have used multiple monitors on my system for well over a decade, I quickly got used to having the current action on one screen and all my "spreadsheets" (really the readouts and displays of the game) on the other screen. This is a habit I keep to this day. I play the game on one monitor, and have handy information displayed on the other. And what could be more handy in World of Warships than a spreadsheet listing those 97 ships, their top speed, and a pre-calculated lead multiplier? The correct answer is nothing. So, as my gift to you, I give you the result in image format. I hope you find it useful!
This is a work in progress and I will keep it updated as new ships are added to the game or game dynamics change. All ship speeds are taken directly out of the Tech Tree in game and include no modifiers like the Sierra Mike signal. However, I will not pretend I am infallible and have not gotten something mixed up. If you see something, please let me know and I'll update the chart after verifying the correction. I plan on adding premium ships to this list in the near future. I just need to verify their top speeds as I do not own all of them. I have included the Tirpitz as it was easy to do so and the German tree looked so bare with just cruisers. It will eventually move to it's own table with the rest of the premiums. The real trick will be keeping it readable at a glance. Anyway, take care and let me know in the comments if this was valuable to you. Also, please feel free to share it around. I only ask you keep the credit line at the bottom as it is. Thank you and have fun!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Sunday Highlight #36: Farragut Unleashed

On the new Trident map in a domination match, it's my job to capture the center point if I can, and to contest it if I cannot. The enemy has the same idea and they come to the fight packing more guns. However, I have an advantage no one expects from a U.S. destroyer, and I use it to full effect in this incredible game. I hope you enjoy it and pick up a couple good ideas for your own game play!


Friday, May 6, 2016

Fleet Friday: The USS Texas



The Eyes of Texas are upon you,
All the livelong day. 
The Eyes of Texas are upon you,
You cannot get away. 
Do not think you can escape them
At night or early in the morn -- 
The Eyes of Texas are upon you
Til Gabriel blows his horn.
Well, truth be told you can get away from the USS Texas if you happen to be anything other than a U.S. battleship. It only has a top speed of 20.5 knots. But that's hardly anything different than her sister ship the New York which does a half knot better. The speed of the ship is it's biggest detractor. If you are in a base defense match it's not so bad as you can just defend the base. However, in a domination match it's an issue.

Making it an even bigger issue is the 15.6 kilometer range of the Texas. You can purchase this premium ship with the Artillery Plotting Room Modification 1 that boosts your range to more than 18 kilometers, but the dispersion out that far makes it less of a benefit than most imagine. IMO your better off with the 15.6 kilometer range and holding your fire until you're there. The detection range is just less than the firing range so it is possible to get close enough to cruisers and bigger ships.

And when you are close enough the guns of the Texas are devastating to anyone foolish enough to present a broadside, or just be within range if they are in a light cruiser. The Texas is a real alchemist and turns tin cans into Swiss cheese routinely. Interestingly enough, the dispersion of Texas is 14 meters worse than New York, but you couldn't prove it by me. I find the guns when fired at less than 15 kilometers to be quite satisfyingly accurate with armor piercing shells delivering 300 more damage than her New York counterpart.


And due to a slightly different arrangement of superstructure and auxiliary equipment at the center of the ship, the number three turret has a much better firing arc than the New York. This allows the Texas to bring all guns to bear on a forward facing course of approximately 45 degrees. That is much better than the practically broadside course required in the New York.

Another big difference about the Texas than any other battleship at tier V is the antiaircraft rating. The base AA rating of the Texas is 52, more than triple the rating of the stock New York and easily 50% better than the upgraded New York. The Texas comes with two and half times the number if 40 mm Bofors, and that makes a huge difference in AA capability. If you elect to go with the AA Guns Modification 2 module instead of the Plotting Room, and take both Firing Training skills for your Captain, you can get your AA rating up to 72. That's 11 points better than my Pensacola! It's six points better than my Tirpitz with the same captain build but without the AA module. So yeah, the Texas can wreck entire squadrons of the low tier carriers it'll face. But don't think it'll save you from a well executed torpedo attack. You'll get most of those planes on their way out and the Texas doesn't have torpedo bulges.

Here's a just over 13 minute video of my second game in the Texas so you can see for yourself how it plays. Unfortuantely there were no aircraft carriers in this match.


And now for the really important stat. How much? The base package for the Texas in World of Warships is $25.99. That's less than half the price I paid for the Tirpitz. Well, I guess not everything is bigger in Texas. I was very pleased with the pricing as you can tell. I grabbed one up the second I could. I don't regret one cent of what I spent. Now, can we get the Lone Star Flag to fly from her as well?

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Grace of Kings (The Dandelion Dynasty #1) by Ken Liu

In this first novel by Ken Liu, we get a taste of life in early China and a bit of insight into what it means to be Chinese. I'll expound on that statement after the publisher's summary.
Two men rebel together against tyranny—and then become rivals—in this first sweeping book of an epic fantasy series from Ken Liu, recipient of Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards.
Wily, charming Kuni Garu, a bandit, and stern, fearless Mata Zyndu, the son of a deposed duke, seem like polar opposites. Yet, in the uprising against the emperor, the two quickly become the best of friends after a series of adventures fighting against vast conscripted armies, silk-draped airships, and shapeshifting gods. Once the emperor has been overthrown, however, they each find themselves the leader of separate factions—two sides with very different ideas about how the world should be run and the meaning of justice.

Though this is a work of fiction set on an archipelago named Dara, make no mistake this book is Chinese history from the death of Qin Shi Huang, the fall of the Qin Dynasty, the subsequent revolts, and the foundation of the Han Dynasty. Though it is a fictionalized account, Ken Liu effectively conveys the culture of the period from the use of corvee laborers to build great projects to the harsh punishments meted out by the Empire for simply being late to the construction site for any reason. If you desire a look into the foundation of Chinese thought and philosophy, this book can do that in spades.

Besides illustrating some of the foundation stones of Chinese culture, the book also does a good job of showing how the Chinese relate to their pantheon of gods. The gods of Dara are handled just like the other characters in this book. They have their strengths and flaws. They have wants and desires. Their interactions with the mortal characters are absolutely in line with what I understand of the Chinese view of such things. They mettle, but all people are free to choose. The gods can influence, but not dictate. People always have free will. The story also illustrates how very little can be considered good or evil on it's own. There is a context to all actions that must be taken into account. A person's actions can be both good and evil. The entire story elucidates Chinese philosophy in that regard.

Inasmuch as this book is a primer on what makes China tick, it succeeds in this endeavor quite well. Where the book does not succeed as well is in the action category. This book will not get your heart racing with adrenaline. It is more contemplative than action oriented. There is plenty of fighting on both large and small scales. But the story is told from the third person omniscient point of view which does not lend itself well to creating suspense. There were times in the story when I thought, "but if he does that then so and so will follow through on his threats to do such and such won't he?" But that was about as close as I got to suspense, as soon afterward there was a new chapter explaining that so and so did in fact, or did not for reasons, do as threatened. It was all delivered as a historian would, with detachment from afar; the emotions of those involved made subservient to the events recounted.

If the story had been told from a more personal point of view, I probably could have cared more for the characters involved in the epic conflicts. For example, there is a movie named Little Big Soldier starring Jackie Chan. It takes place in the Warring States period preceding the Qin Dynasty. I kept thinking about the two characters in that movie while I listened to The Grace of Kings and contrasting them to Kuni Garu and Mata Zyndu. In the end, I concluded I cared more about the two characters in the movie than the two main characters in The Grace of Kings. Then I had to figure out why. My conclusion is the movie characters were more personal to me. I could relate to them on a human level. Though I liked Kuni Garu and Mata Zyndu (initially,) it was obvious to me they were representative of ideologies present in Chinese culture. In short they were stereotypes. They illustrated two competing philosophies on rulership and thus never became persons in my mind. That was the issue with all of the characters in the book. They were just a bit too far removed from real life because they obviously illustrated Chinese tropes. They were like characters in a fable, making the book about the message and not about the messengers.

That said, let me address one of the biggest complaints lodged against this book by many of its female reviewers: the role of women in the book. This is a book about China 2000 years ago more than anything else. If your condemnation of the book is because it does not conform to your ideals of how modern women should be treated, then you miss the point of the book entirely. Not every story HAS to pass the Bechdel Test, especially if that story unfolds in a place and time where such modern concepts did not exist. Should such a book attempt to portray women in a modern light, it would be seen as a lie and unfaithful to the characters and events portrayed within its pages. It would be like bringing out a stag and forcing everyone to call it a horse. Let me use a more mainstream example. The Lord of the Rings fails the Bechdel Test and no one says it is a horrible work of fiction because of it. Quite the contrary in fact. So do us all a favor and review the work on its merits; not on how you think it should have been written. The Grace of Kings is true to the time and place it takes place. Review it in that light, not your personal political torch.

Now I have to decide if I would recommend this book. To be honest, this book is not for everyone. It takes half the book to set up the main plot arc. The book is 21 and half hours long on audio. There are so many characters, and so much going on, the story labors under the load at times. It can be hard to understanding just who is on what side. The second half of the book was much smoother in that regard, and I enjoyed it more for that reason. I believe this book would have been better as two separate books. The first should have concentrated on the fall of Emperor Mapidéré, and the second should have dealt with the resulting conflict between the resultant states. The destruction of Pan would have been a great place to make that break. As the book was published, it went for epic and got just a little muddled because of it. Still, the book is a worthy read. It contains elegant metaphors, auspicious allegory and some very lovely poetry - all of it deliciously Chinese. If you crave an alternative to western epic fantasy I recommend this book. If you want a wonderfully complex story of trust and betrayal, I recommend this book. If you wish to understand the grace of kings, this book nails it. So yes, I would recommend this book. Enjoy!


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sunday Highlight #35: The Fighting Farragut Never Gives Up

This battle was up for grabs until the very end. Man was I happy when the point total reached 1000. It came not a second too soon, and I was surprised to still be afloat. But when the results screen came up, there was an even bigger surprise waiting for me!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Fleet Friday: How Wargaming Is Making Players Pay Real Money for Update 0.5.5

World of Warships update 0.5.5 is out and I have had no problems with it. I don't run mods in my game client. But that doesn't mean the update hasn't affected me. Quite the contrary, my team was victorious in only one of my first four games in the Kagero on patch day. The first three games I played were losses, and I felt partially to blame.

My first loss was the best game of the losses. I sank one ship and had five torpedo hits on Islands of Ice placing me second in total points on my team. The second game I landed in torpedo hits at all. We were on Northern Lights and I went west and got around behind the enemy's base. The torpedoes I fired were all sighted in plenty enough time to be avoided. They were just too slow in both speed and rearm. The third game was little better as I landed only one torpedo on trap and did more gunboat type play than sneaky Japanese destroyer type play.
Most of my issues came from two things. One, the torpedoes on my Kagero now only go 67 knots instead of 72 knots when using the Torpedo Acceleration captain skill. Yes, I have confirmed they dropped the speed on the 20 kilometer torpedoes by 5 knots. I remember being all excited when they introduced Torpedo Acceleration because I was happy to give up four kilometers of range for the extra five knots of speed.

The second thing is the detection range on those torpedoes. It is now 2.5 kilometers! A New York could get out of the way of those torpedoes! Common Wargaming, I agree the torpedo spam needed dealt with but you've damn near made long range torpedo shots impossible on an open ocean. It's not so bad on maps like Atlantic or Land of Fire, but it's ridiculous on Ocean. I might as well just race in and try to be a gun boat.
Of course, that's exactly what they want us to do. They added a third torpedo option to high tier Japanese destroyers: the Type F3 torpedo. It has a speed of 81 knots with Torpedo Acceleration. It also does 400 more max damage than the Type93 mod. 1 and has a 14 second faster reload for me. The down side? With the loss of 20% to range they only reach out to 6.4 kilometers. That's the same as my Farragut at tier VI. I'd have to give up Torpedo Acceleration to have ab 8 kilometer range while losing five knots of speed.

But you know what bothers me most about this? It isn't the loss of range, or the increased detection range or the forced change to my game play. It's the fact that I am 1634 commander experience, two games at most, from getting my 15th skill point and Wargaming DID NOT give me a free skill point redistribution. 
To redistribute now it'll cost me 350 doubloons, real world money! That's a load of horse shit Wargaming. If you are going to make such a drastic change to a ship that relies so heavily on a commander's build you should at least give us one free redistribution. What you've done now is forced every Japanese destroyer captain to walk away from their ship or pay you to be competitive again. I'm sure there are some that say, "them's the breaks," and they aren't wrong. But it's also not fair to realize a profit from this change.

Now, you can all see I run a premium account and a doubloon surplus. I'll spend the damn money to create a commander build that will work under these nerfs. But not every player can do that, and you are royally screwing everyone who can't redistribute their captain skills. Would it bankrupt the company to give players one free redistribution after updates like this?  I think not. Step up Wargaming, before too many players step out.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday Highlight #34: First blood, more blood, blood everywhere.

A a short compilation of ships sunk while fighting my Nicholas class U.S. destroyer in World of Warships. The audio track is Bulls of Poseidon by Audio Masters. I hope you enjoy the action!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Battles on New Maps! (World of Warships Update 0.5.5 Preview)

There are two new maps coming with World of Warships patch 0.5.5: Mountain Range and Trident. I think it is likely they will be adjusted before the patch is published, but here is what they looked like last Friday night when I logged into the test server to try out the update. It also gave me a chance to try out the Benson class U.S. destroyer. I hope you enjoy the battles! I know I did.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Will e-Sport Succeed?

Available on Netflix now at no additional cost is the e-Sport documentary "All Work All Play." I watched it last night. It was interesting and enlightening, giving me insight into the difficulty involved in getting e-Sports off the ground as an industry. It was also exciting if you didn't already know the outcome of last year's Extreme Masters tournament in Katowice, Poland for League of Legends, with which the show mostly concerned itself. It's worth watching if for no other reason than to see the passion, and stress, e-Sport teams go through.

As I watched the show last night, there was one fact flipped up onto the screen that really surprised me.
"More people watched these guys play a video game than watched the highest-rated games of the NBA finals, the NHL finals or Sunday Night Football."
My inner cynic immediately asked, "Really?" I had to verify the numbers of course. My first stop was the ESL News web site to dig up the story on last year's Counter Strike tournament. There's a lengthy infographic provided at the link, but the gist of what it says is, "860,992 fans watched the finals on March the 15th" and there were a total of, "8,785,740 unique visitors and 16 million hours watched." That seems to be for all games played. Here's what Google had to say about the 2015 NBA finals.

I think ESL is exaggerating the numbers just a bit when it comes to their comparison with the NBA finals. I'm not sure if you can really equate "unique visitors" to viewership in the traditional television sense. Even if you could, the ESL number is still less than half the viewership given above. Even more people, a record setting 23.57 million on average, watched Sunday Night Football last fall according to Variety.com. The IEM tournament just doesn't compare.

Nevertheless, the numbers are impressive without the comparison. And they were even better this year, coming in at 2 million concurrent viewers. Now you need to remember, this is not a single company running a tournament to promote their game like Blizzard does with the Starcraft II World Championship Series or Riot does with their League of Legends Championship Series. There is a fundamental difference between self-promotion and the promotion of others. It is the difference between Blizzard/Riot and ESL. The game producers really only care about the games they sell. ESL runs e-Sport tournaments for a wide variety of games, and their revenue stream has nothing to do with selling games, but rather the playing of the games as a means unto an end itself . So while Blizzard or Riot could survive if one of their tournaments lost money, ESL does not have that luxury. The show makes that point several times.

That is why I ask, "Will e-Sport Succeed?" I am certain Blizzard and Riot will continue promoting their games until no one plays them any longer. I am more concerned with companies like ESL, who are independents. I do not think e-Sport as an industry can happen until it undergoes the sort of transformation the space industry in the United States is attempting and adopts a business model more like other sports.

So you're asking, "how is e-Sports like the space industry?" NASA is a governmental agency. It's priorities are not set by science as much as they are set by politics. When it comes to e-Sports, they are dominated by companies like Blizzard and Riot. Their priorities are set by their business and that is the business of game development. Though there is a symbiotic relationship between game development and e-Sport, they are not the same industry. It is perhaps true you could say e-Sport grew out of game development like SpaceX and Blue Origin grew out of the U.S. space agency, but it needs to be a distinctly different industry from game development. Just as commercial space flight needs to be free of rancorous political meddling, e-Sports needs to be free of game developers. And just as SpaceX and Blue Origin will only be truly successful if they can exist without NASA launch facilities and contracts, e-Sport will only truly succeed if it can exist without the need for game developer funded tournaments. That is not a call to end game developer tournaments. That would be dumb IMO. But there is a need to end the e-Sport industry's dependency on them.

That will likely only happen when game publishers no longer call the shots in e-Sports. Newzoo.com put out an e-Sports Market Report in January that explores the overall potential of the emerging e-Sport industry. They predict e-Sports will be a billion dollar industry by 2020. I really liked this report because it did one thing many other reports did not. It threw out income from e-Sport gambling. Gambling revenue is not reported in traditional sports market reports, and should not be reported for e-Sports. You can bet on anything, and gamblers do. Their concern is not to support the events they bet on. It is simply to bet. The money is not directly tied to the industry of the event they are betting on. They are just making bets. But getting back to e-Sports, Peter Warman, the CEO of Newzoo, had this to say about the future of e-Sport,
"2016 will be pivotal for esports. The initial buzz will settle down and the way forward on several key factors, such as regulations, content rights and involvement of traditional media, will become more clear. The collapse of MLG was a reminder that this market still has a long road to maturity and we need to be realistic about the opportunities it provides."
I have highlighted what I saw as most important in that statement. For those who don't know, Blizzard acquired MLG in January of this year. Specifically Blizzard wanted MLG.tv, MLG's streaming service. So what happened? Basically, MLG never made any money. Yes, they were the leader in independent e-Sports streaming, but you don't stay in business by losing money. After more than a decade of red, their only options were to close shop or sell. They sold, and by doing so confirmed to many that e-Sports could not make it without a publisher. But frankly MLG never really had a chance.

I won't pretend to be an expert on MLG and what it did or didn't do right, but I will say their task was made a lot harder because there were no clear cut rules on how to play the game. In any video game we play, we know exactly what a champion, or a unit, or a ship or a tank is capable of doing. It is constrained by concrete rules we can rely on to plan our strategy and tactics. It is an understatement to simply say it is important for the game to have rules. The rules ARE the game. You can't play the game without them, and that is what MLG tried to do. It doesn't work.

Also, the games MLG focused on did not really interest me. People don't watch what doesn't interest them. That is why there are much smaller audiences for Curling than Hockey. To make it big, the sport needs to appeal to a lot of people. That's why League of Legends tournaments set simultaneous view records and EVE Online tournaments do not. I'm not assigning blame here. It's no one's fault if a company can't generate enough interest in their product to make a go at it. But to make it as an e-Sport broadcaster, you have to broadcast what is popular before you branch off into less popular games. Unfortunately Riot owns the rights to all things League of Legends. They get final say, and if they say no there is no recourse. No one owns football. No one owns basketball. But in our current gaming environment, these games are most certainly owned by those playing them as with other sports. That's big a problem. If your business is predicated on using games others can sue you for using in a way they don't like, you will fail.

There is another issue at play here too, though not as big an issue in my mind. It seems to me e-Sport fans are a bit cheap. They want to watch for free without commercial interruptions and are loath to pay for the stream. They will pay to go into an arena, but generating funds from the stream is still a hard thing. In the key facts listed in the Newzoo report was the fact that e-Sports generate only a quarter of the money per fan as traditional sports. That right there illustrates why MLG did not succeed as much as picking the wrong game. But then again, a more mature industry could generate more money per fan simply by dint of having a broader reach and better defined rules and regulations. If you can reach more potential fans, and have a well structured profit sharing structure, you'll make money, and as the hype grows your revenue per fan will increase. But without revenue, you can't afford the cost of reaching more fans, or the infrastructure to establish and oversee fair and equitable regulations. It's a classic Catch-22.

So how do traditional sports do it? Looking at a standard NBA broadcast, the advertisers don't pay for the athletes and the teams. The advertisers only pay for the broadcasting company, which employs the broadcasters, which is done by a different company then owns the team. In other sports, stadiums and arenas are provided by the "home" team under a separate business arrangement with the hosting municipalities. The teams themselves are individually owned, with their own licensing rights, etc., and aren't represented by the broadcaster or the municipalities, but rather an association unaffiliated with either. The athletes and the teams, as well as the association, make their money from licensing, which includes the fees the broadcaster pays for the right to broadcast the teams. It is a much more segregated and regulated industry.

What I am seeing with ESL in the documentary is they contract for the arena. ESL provides the broadcasters. ESL invites the teams. ESL arranges everything. They are on the hook for everything. ESPN is not responsible, nor do they take the blame, if the power goes out in an arena, as happened to ESL in the movie. ESL takes the fall if anything goes wrong. In short, ESL does everything and is responsible for everything. That's untenable. I don't think that's ever going to work as a business model, and it concerns me greatly. Does it concern you? Can this model ever work? Am I just mumbling about things of no import? Let's have a discussion in the comments.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sunday Highlight #33: Nicholas Carry

It's cliche, but it is true: never give up; never surrender. We were so far behind for most of this match despair was plainly obvious in chat. They of little faith... Some may say I was too aggressive at the end of this game. That I should have stopped their cap sooner. But the Kongo is a fast battleship and should not be underestimated. I needed to push him out of position and allow our New York to arrive before doing what needed done. And I was successful. There's no need for second guesses. I thought I'd become jaded about winning or losing at this point, but there was a fist pump and a, "Yeah!" at the end of this one.



Friday, April 15, 2016

What Does the Fox Say?

What does the Fox say? In Armored Warfare, the fox says, "Kill it!" Spotting enemy targets and painting them with a laser for max damage is the name of the game in the FV721 "Fox" armored fighting vehicle. But don't let the name fool you. The Fox has no armor. Extreme speed and its small size keep it alive on the modern battlefield. Here are my two best games to date in the Fox.