Help me @PurgeGamers, you’re my only hope…

(This isn’t just a cheap attempt to get Purge to read a post on my blog, but if you do read this Purge, do not place yourself under an obligation to answer. Think of this more as my “thinking out loud” about DotA 2 – I’ve tried, and just can’t manage to ask this question in 140 chars, but I believe the answer can easy fit in that many. My Twitter feed is –>)

I’m learning to not suck in DotA 2. It’s a hard job and a steep learning curve (you did warn that would be the case Purge), but it needs to be done as I love the gameplay in DotA 2. I like playing support characters, but I’m seriously confused by the way I see Purge playing support characters. Support (to me, at least) is supposed to help a carry get over the difficult early game period, and harass the enemy support/carry out of XP/CS (surely?)

But Purge seems to play most support characters as “early game carry”, and it’s confusing the heck outta me (mostly because I play a very slow game at present, esp. now I’ve started playing the Hard bots. My last hitting/denying is atrocious, so I’m mostly trying to not feed, and having limited success with that). I don’t get enough gold/sec to replicate the item builds Purge does, and the bots don’t organise as well as humans do. On those “oh so rare” occasions I do manage to Core Item build in a reasonable time, I stop sucking (mostly), but it’s oh so rare (1 win in 6 games over 2 nights).ย And just while I’m on this tack, what’s with the distinction between “Support” and “Lane Support”…?

UPDATE: Just found the DotA 2 wiki and have answered my question regarding “Support”/”Lane Support:.

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Fix My Lighthouse!

Got the four hose clamps from WCUK today; little later than I was expecting, but still, they’re here before the weekend so I stand a chance of getting my gaming rig running again by lunch time tomorrow. Might well test clamp the pump out of the loops tonight to see how easy or otherwise it will be to sort if. If it proves to be very easy, might even fix it tonight and get some Minecraft under my belt; my YT subs have been without any output for a fortnight now, plus I’m Jonesing for some DotA 2; it just doesn’t play the same on my MacBook Air.

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Scan Computers – Sometimes you can be *so* infuriating

Well, my new Alphacool pump arrived before the weekend (well done SpecialTech), but despite the Scan website saying they had the hose clamps in stock when I ordered, by the time they came to pick the order (next morning), they were out of stock. So… still no working PC.

I’ve subsequently cancelled the order (your loss Scan) and re-ordered from WCUK, who have shipped on day of order (should arrive tomorrow), so this weekend will see my gaming rig restored to operation (if I can catch the spill from the pipework/pumps without destroying anything); fingers crossed… touch wood… ๐Ÿ˜€

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WTF?!?!ย One of the two pumps on one of my two water cooling loops (the graphic card/mobo cooling loop) has packed up, and it’s no fucking time since I put the damn thing together for the first time.

It makes a rather loud knocking sound; when it first started, I thought there was a power connector in one of the case fans (it was that sort of sound), but I then noticed there was no flow on one of the flow meters in the reservoir, so quickly surmised it’s one of the pumps and shut the machine down ASAP.

Really did NOT need this right now…

UPDATE: Well I’ve got a new AlphaCool VPP655 pump and four hose clamps on the way. With a bit of luck I’ll have them all by the weekend and the swap-out of the duff pump won’t take too long; don’t want my fledgling DotA 2 skills to suffer. ๐Ÿ™‚

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The “super-fast” broadband lie

Another moan…

Dearest BT/ISPs/The Government,

Isn’t it about time you admitted to the lie that is the super-fast broadband roll-out. If the majority of the population were still using dial-up, then yes, broadband could be considered “super-fast”; but we’re not, we’re mostly using ADSL now, so the perceived national average is what? 2-5Mbps…

That being the case, giving folks the option to upgrade to 25Mbps+ services might be called “super-fast” by the target audience – and that’s who matters; the end-users (you and me, Jimmy). We need to be demanding even faster services right across the country.

Thank you.

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Policing in the UK

Just a little going off on one…

Thanks to the kind assistance of my father, I have been and watched at least one stage of the Tour de France, in France, pretty much every year since 1992 (my parents have lived in France since 1992). Over the years, I’ve stood at more than my fair share of closed-off road junctions, waiting for the caravan and peleton to come rolling past, and over the years I’ve had the fortune to stand by a number of Gendarme (you can think of them as French police, but they’re actually a branch of the military).

They’ve universally been polite, courteous (despite my terrible spoken French), and to a man or woman, they’ve shaken my hand on greeting… I don’t personally know any of them, yet they behave like they know everyone.

It’s something that I fear numerous successive Home Secretaries have erased from British Police officers. I’m in my forties, but when I was a nipper I knew my neighbourhood police officers by name, and they knew me by name (*NO*, not in that way), and you’d regularly see them out on the beat. It’s just how the world worked back then.

Now? The only time I see police officers in Croydon is when they go flashing past in their patrol cars. (I exagerate, but it’s fair to say if I saw three patrols in two months, I’d expect to see a pig on the wing the next month…) It’s as if politicians have forgotten police has the same root as they do; the greek word polis (meaning city, but is also means citizenship and populace), and are intent on preventing officers from being among the people that pay all their wages.

So, what to do? Well, I for one have vowed to shake hands with officers and PCSOs when I get the opportunity, and to thank them for the work they do. It’s just about the least I can do.

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Freeing up some block IDs

I’m giving some serious thought to uninstalling Exanadu’s Sponges from my LP series. I can clear water using the Volcanite Amulet, and lava looses all its fears using the same item, so Sponges is less necessary. It’ll give me a pair of Block IDs back too! I may yet be able to install Zippinus’ Advanced Machines and/or ThunderDark’s Modular Force Field System (“what nuclear explosion problems?” with MFFS installed).

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Zippinus’ Advanced Machines for v1.1

Zippinus has updated his Advanced Machines for IC2 to work in v1.1, and I’m not altogether sure I want to install it (more on that soon). It’s the same Adv. Machines we’ve all come to know and love (the Advanced Macerator and Extractor, along with the stupendous Advanced Solar Flowers) and if I had block IDs to spare I’d install it in less than a heart beat, but, given the fun and games I had getting Portal Gun v4 and Wireless Redstone installed yesterday, I’m pretty sure I don’t have sufficient spare block IDs at this juncture ๐Ÿ™

Kinda annoying, I really wanted to use the Advanced Solar Arrays…

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