265: Punching the Baby Seal of PC Gaming

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lijenstina:
A PC/Console supremacy wars flame-bait. Nice.

Plus a hint of nVidia\ATI one.

Needs some Intel vs AMD.

I've never had a problem installing and using any civ games which is why i'll probably get the fifth one when it comes out, but i doubt my computer will be able to take it. I just wish they would release it for the ps3 i'd actually go out and by a keyboard and mouse just to play the damn game.

I also feel your pain, i tried playing the morrowind games and expansions on my computer... that runs vista... and has an updated video card. It took me a good hour to figure out how to get the visual for the opening scene to work for me. ctrl alt delete works 1 in every 5 times in case someone wanted to know. However later in the game i got stuck in a mine every time i would walk out straight to desktop so fucking annoying. I've never been a real pc gamer and morrowind insured i never would become one.

Admit it, Chuck, you're just looking for excuses to punch baby seals.

RhombusHatesYou:
Admit it, Chuck, you're just looking for excuses to punch baby seals.

Hey! Baby seals have had it *too good* for *too long.*

:)

-- Chuck

I bought 50 games in that Steam sale. And then I got hit with a thousand or so dollars worth of bills/repairs for various unforseen things.

Curse you, Valve, for tempting me so.

The exact same thing happened to me with fallout 3. Except i got it on PC because my xbox kept chewing the game-disk. It's amazing how angry constant freezing can get you.

Edzor:

Excuse me, I just cannot read that perfect example of IDIOCY and NOT flame you for it...

There is something called "minimum specs", look into it before buying a game, RETARD.

I looked at the min specs, and went on whatever website it is that tells if your computer can run a game. They all said it was above the min specs. Even the installer said the game could run on the comp. Next time you call somebody a retard actually read their post first.

Khaiseri:
For me, installation doesn't takes so bloody long, and I normally do not troubleshoot.
So it's either your PC, or you are a console fanboy.

PC has it's strengthens over the console, that if If you know how to configure it, how to maintain it and to use it.

Consoles can have the same problems than PC as well, you know.

PS3 froze on me quite some times, some friends X360 got burned soon after he bought it, and another friend PS3 got burned after 1 year an a half of use.

And yet my PC still was running even after 8 years of service. Sure, it got burned, but that was it was running at 49ºC to 68ºC and I couldn't cool it down enough, all what I could do was to leave a block of ice (literally) next to the PC. But it worked for 2 years with those temperatures, and I managed to max it out all what I could, and it did what It could.

For me PC is clearly the superior platform, and if for you it's any console, well good for you, but that's no reason to go on ranting about it's flaws, even while consoles have some worse problems.

See I rarely ever encounter problems on my ps3. Sure when playing fallout 3 it used to freeze fairly often but I fixed that problem and nothing else has ever frozen or crashed on it. Infact iv never had a single problem with it besides the fallout 3 one. Oh and my ps3 has been banged up pretty bad, the case is full of scratches and its been kicked several times during fallout 3 play.

My 360 actually red ringed last year but that was a launch console and got many many hours of use before it finally crapped out. So I spend the $50 to fix it and its as good as new.

Consoles do have problems, or atleast thats what those pc gamers keep telling me but I havnt encountered them yet. Now the PC the list of problems iv run into is far far to long. I gave it a chance and it failed, then it failed again, then I left it. I agree though for you PC may be better and for me consoles are better. But I have no clue what these worse problems are other then the red ring.

Scrumpmonkey:
Fallout 3 is INFURATING i will give you that, it's the game i have had most lock-ups on (And i own ALL the stalker games) but it's an exception of mine of late. Overal since my last re-build i have have very few problems with my games, even buggy monsters like ARMA II have behaved themselves better than i was led to beleive

Fallout 3 WAS behaving for me until recently, but then it started locking up. I have no idea why, but apparently it suddeny decided running some things on a quad-core was something it couldn't do. I fixed it though. Thanks, Google!
That and Fallout 3 suddenly wants to use the disc check again. I thought that was removed in the first patch?

I will say that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl REFUSES to work under any circumstances. It always crashes my whole computer after a little while, no matter what.

Oh, and the tech support anomaly that was The Saboteur. That game was meant to come out with a patch to make it work, but as far as I know it never happened. The furthest I got was after the very first driving sequence at the very start of the game.

It all really depends on how good a job the developers did. Usually my PC games run without any problems. I've never really had any problems with Crysis either. That said, AvP runs only just, but I think that may be a RAM issue. I should probably upgrade my motherboard and RAM; I'm still on DDR2. The graphics card as well slightly, but I'm still running it at respectably high settings.

When dealing with PC related problems, usually, the problem sits behind the keyboard.
Can't really blame the game when you sit with drivers from the fucking 1990's, can you?
Some games do have intrinsic issues though.
It's usually DRM-related, but it's also plain shitty programming in other cases.
Like the first STALKER game. Bugfestest of bugfests.

This nicely sums up the major problems with PC gaming. Good thing I can't relate anymore. I laid down 1000+ to build my gaming machine specifically so that I could play SC2 on ultra settings. And it's worked beautifully with everything I've tasked it to do. I haven't had a single problem with any of my games that the joy of actually playing them can't erase. Before I got this dream-machine I definitely would have considered myself a console gamer. But now I can be categorized squarely in the PC court.

chuckwendig:
[quote="Treblaine" post="6.223229.7507867"]

Snip]

You'd think that with all that pent-up agita, you'd actually read the article.

Clearly, I am playing PC games. How do I end the article? Fuck PC games. Except for, y'know, other PC games. Yes, I am going to come back to this poisoned teat again and again because it offers games I can't get elsewhere. (Ahem cough cough Civ 5.)

But newsflash: I don't have time to build a PC. I don't have time to build a television, a blender, a fridge, a car. I don't sew my own clothes. I do not slaughter my own cattle. I buy something, I personally would like it to work with minimum frustration.

You don't have these problems? I'm not suggesting you do. I wrote an article. It's full of True Things. People seem hell-bent to dispute my experiences, as if my experiences must be also indicative of their experiences.

They're not.

You love PC gaming?

Keep playing those games. No harm, no foul.

As I said, I'll keep going back to them, too. And I'll probably bitch about it and put my foot through my monitor, but that's my bag, not yours.

And for the record, my mic is not a cheapy mic. Works great for Skype. Further, my microphone on the 360 works just fine, too.

-- Chuck

I'm running a system that I built myself, cost me around $900 wholesale 2 and a half years ago, the only new part being a GPU (the original 8800GT that was in it died about 4 months ago) I've had no problems with Crysis, Fallout 3 or any GFWindows' Games. Maybe it might just be your Hardware Chuck.

You said that you don't have time to build your own PC, to scout for parts need only take 20 minutes a day, buying aforementioned parts and installing them need only take a day.

I probably really only go to PCs for specific gaming needs. Like when I'm itching to play Age of Empires 2 or playing an MMO.

But yes I still feel some of the same ire for PC gaming. For example, trying to run the highly addicting MMOFPS Tribes Starsiege over a laptop running Vista and finding out it's not compatible. Not only that but when I run it over a XP machine, every now and then there's some stupid patch I have to scour the interwebs for for hours only to find it on some download portal that requires some sort of membership...

After reading your article though it got me thinking as to how PC gamers can get such a massive hardon for their "superior" ways of gaming. I don't sway one way or the other myself because I honestly could care less but I just don't understand what the superiority complex is with PC gaming.

Gaming is just gaming...

chuckwendig:

RhombusHatesYou:
Admit it, Chuck, you're just looking for excuses to punch baby seals.

Hey! Baby seals have had it *too good* for *too long.*

You need a wombat. Just as cute and you can pummel them all day and they just walk it off. Hell, you can hit them with your car and most of the time the wombat will walk it off while your car will be buggered.

Hah. When technology works, it works amazingly. When it doesn't however, it completely and utterly fails.

MaxPowers666:

Edzor:

Excuse me, I just cannot read that perfect example of IDIOCY and NOT flame you for it...

There is something called "minimum specs", look into it before buying a game, RETARD.

I looked at the min specs, and went on whatever website it is that tells if your computer can run a game. They all said it was above the min specs. Even the installer said the game could run on the comp. Next time you call somebody a retard actually read their post first.

Khaiseri:
For me, installation doesn't takes so bloody long, and I normally do not troubleshoot.
So it's either your PC, or you are a console fanboy.

PC has it's strengthens over the console, that if If you know how to configure it, how to maintain it and to use it.

Consoles can have the same problems than PC as well, you know.

PS3 froze on me quite some times, some friends X360 got burned soon after he bought it, and another friend PS3 got burned after 1 year an a half of use.

And yet my PC still was running even after 8 years of service. Sure, it got burned, but that was it was running at 49ºC to 68ºC and I couldn't cool it down enough, all what I could do was to leave a block of ice (literally) next to the PC. But it worked for 2 years with those temperatures, and I managed to max it out all what I could, and it did what It could.

For me PC is clearly the superior platform, and if for you it's any console, well good for you, but that's no reason to go on ranting about it's flaws, even while consoles have some worse problems.

See I rarely ever encounter problems on my ps3. Sure when playing fallout 3 it used to freeze fairly often but I fixed that problem and nothing else has ever frozen or crashed on it. Infact iv never had a single problem with it besides the fallout 3 one. Oh and my ps3 has been banged up pretty bad, the case is full of scratches and its been kicked several times during fallout 3 play.

My 360 actually red ringed last year but that was a launch console and got many many hours of use before it finally crapped out. So I spend the $50 to fix it and its as good as new.

Consoles do have problems, or atleast thats what those pc gamers keep telling me but I havnt encountered them yet. Now the PC the list of problems iv run into is far far to long. I gave it a chance and it failed, then it failed again, then I left it. I agree though for you PC may be better and for me consoles are better. But I have no clue what these worse problems are other then the red ring.

I left another comment of mine in page 1 about this, just check it out if you must.
And like I said, one comment shouldn't be taken as universal, that is that everyone is going to have it. And no, I do not have a good PC, it's very outdated, and cannot run most games (the good one I needed to sell it since I was like extremely short on money, hopefully I will get a better one soon enough), but I've never had any crash on it, no bug, no BSOD, and most installations do not take so much, nor do loading screens.
Here are my current specs:

Pentium 4 2.6 GHZ
2 GB of RAM
150 GB HD
nVidia 8400Gs (graphic card sucks BTW, it seems that it runs as good as an 6600) 512mb PCI Express 2.0
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate

As you can see, my PC is VERY outdated, but I've never had any issues with it, and that's why I love PC, because even if it's a bad one, you can still enjoy part of it with no issues if you know how to maintain it, optimize it and make it work. I always loved old games, specially in comparison to new ones, so I have no problem at all visiting old games.

EDIT: Also I can run SC2 fine with those specs BTW.

Nonsense! I find that Steam and (ahem) Good Old Games are great sites for playing PC games that I couldn't play back in 2000 because my computer would lock up trying to play them.

Modern PC games? Heavens, no. I gave up with them in 2000.

(Except MMOs, which somehow can always run on my machines... go MMOs! N0t that I have the time)

I remember the old days in the Blizzard ghetto. We would run and play with Diablo 2 and were able to change our character into a plushy demon as we fought the real-life one.
Then came Warcraft 3 which continued the joy from a new sky god perspective. Sometimes it would send you away with an error message but all was forgiven the next time you killed Duke Wintermaul with all your friends.
Now World of Warcraft owns the player's soul so it doesn't matter what problems occur.

I can see this thread getting very hot, very soon...

But, I do like the point. At least with consoles you dont need to mess around with a zillion software options...its just a pain at times, but...at least most the time they work, but...as you mention sometimes it is, plain infuriating

You shouldn't even be playing PC games if you don't want to put work into it. You have to make sure you are clean of viruses and adware and bloatware which often comes with pre-installed computers. You have to check your temperatures and update your drivers, occasionally clean-up the insides of your PC, maybe additional fans are needed if the manufacturer didn't build the system with 100% load stability.

I build my PC myself with custom cooling, I picked out all the best components for price-performance-ratio and quality, I install my operating system myself and as a result of my work I have a PC which runs every game perfectly and without any problems.

Sometimes a friend will need help with his PC, and then I can step in and modify it so that it will be low-maintenance and stable, from both hardware and software standpoints.

Also, Civ V better have Sid voicing the tutorials again. Having him voice the tutes in IV was a religious experience for me, like God was saying "Smite the barbarians! Also, build a granary."

I was going to make a crack about Dell and "Robustness" but Treblaine beat me to it.

I, too have had similar problems with my PC. Only on a few games but I cannot for the life of me figure out why. I can play games like Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 for hours with no issues. I used to play World of Warcraft for most of the day and only very occasionally had issues. But if I try and play The Last Remnant or some other games that use the Unreal 3 Engine then my computer locks up like I've entered my pin number wrong 3 times.

The worst part is the lock ups are completely arbitrary. They could happen 5 minutes into playing or I could play for hours and not experience a problem. I'm playing through Mass Effect 2 (which uses that engine) and my experiences can swing from slack jawed awe at the current set piece to indolent rage when it locks up and I have to hope I remembered to quick save.

I think it could be the sound that's the issue, but my sound is onboard and I've ran some tests with the sound off but the problem persists. Hell it may even be the GPU since it's only when playing games I get the problem but as far as I'm aware the thing works as it's been tested in other computers with no issues. I may just have to live with it till I can buy a new PC.

Also Mr Wendig, console gaming is only good up to the point your 360 red rings on you :P

dochmbi:
You shouldn't even be playing PC games if you don't want to put work into it. You have to make sure you are clean of viruses and adware and bloatware which often comes with pre-installed computers. You have to check your temperatures and update your drivers, occasionally clean-up the insides of your PC, maybe additional fans are needed if the manufacturer didn't build the system with 100% load stability.

I build my PC myself with custom cooling, I picked out all the best components for price-performance-ratio and quality, I install my operating system myself and as a result of my work I have a PC which runs every game perfectly and without any problems.

It's just funny to me, because this attitude is almost entirely unique to PC gaming enthusiasts.

I cannot imagine if *any other technology* required this level of attention in this day and age. I mean, ye gods, can you picture the lava-scorching hate that would rain down upon the Internet if this same level of work and attention were necessary to get an iPhone 4 to not drop calls? "Well, you just need to stand under a fan. And you need to whisper sweet nothings into the phone. And you have to make sure all the screws are tightened and that the fromitz board and badistor switches are aligned."

Again, to each their own. It just surprises me that the PC gaming niche still holds this level of customization as not only fun, but necessary.

-- Chuck

t_rexaur:

Also Mr Wendig, console gaming is only good up to the point your 360 red rings on you :P

Oh, that's a whole other "seal-punching" issue. :)

Though, to be fair, I've had the RROD twice now, and each time I had a hot fresh replacement in my hands within 48 hours. Yes, it was a big ol' failure, but I appreciate that it was handled swiftly and without error.

Others may have had worse experiences. My RROD problems were pretty effortless on my part.

-- Chuck

Quite enjoyed this story, I did. No major problems with games on my rig apart from Dark Void (which just will not install at all under Win7)... and Fallout3. Fallout3, I love you, you hate me but I still love you... I feel like a beaten wife with you, who just keeps going back for more - but I asked for it, honest*.

I dislike consoles a lot and have zero intention of buying one (FPS/3rd person games using a controller? Are you mental in the head?). HOWEVER I can see the attraction both from a consumer POV as well as more importantly from the developers. One standard platform with standard software/hardware to develop for... keeps costs lower and everyone wins... except the publishers who still charge an arm and a leg for console versions.

Horses for courses (mmmmm, horse-flesh). I'll stick to my PC rig for the forseeable future, thank you, despite the occasional irritations. But Chuck, I hear your frustration :-)

LINC

You know, it is a problem. But hey, your Xbox is probably going to fail at some point. Hey, your PS3 is probably going to fail too (mine sure as hell did, having only owned it and a half and having only actually played it for about half a year.) Both your consoles have maybe half the games available for the PC. Hey, your Iphone is ruled by a paranoid, draconian company that locks you into a shitty provider, and limits your exposure to third party programs so you can only buy what they offer you. It's a forced monopoly that I won't curtail to.

But it is worth it, the PC gaming experience is wholly different from the console gaming experience. It's a much more immersive experience, I have a lot of friends who PC game that I can talk to and game with constantly without having to worry about stupid issues regarding console online services and paying for something I shouldn't have too. You think Games for Windows live is annoying? Try doing that with Xbox live ALL THE TIME.

Everything has it's drawbacks, and I for one would rather have my drawback the result of so many options then not enough. I know it's tongue and cheek, but some people obviously missed that.

This will end well, I'm sure.

I've tried to have reasonable discussions with "PC Gaming Enthusiasts" about the very real disadvantages of PC Gaming.
They will just tell you that you're an idiot for imagining that there are any disadvantages to PC Gaming, often with the "learn to troubleshoot" line (I find it funny that people have used that line several times in response to your article, as if they didn't even read it).
Most will also tell you that software piracy isn't a real problem.
Some will say that you can out-perform any current console by spending less than $100 on a build-it-yourself machine.
Some will even tell you that you've been brainwashed by Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo into believing that console gaming is fun.
Many will say that all console gamers are casual gamers, and only PC gamers deserve the moniker of 'hardcore'.
Most will tell you that the fact that the game takes 2-5 hours of troubleshooting, tweaking, and tech support to run at all is your fault.

All gaming systems have advantages and disadvantages. The difference is that the disadvantages for the PC make you want to punch baby seals.

On a side note - don't we usually get banned for starting inflammatory PC vs. Console posts? Isn't that kind of thing usually frowned upon? Why is it okay here?

When people talk about problems like this, I have no idea what they're talking about. I haven't had any issues with PC gaming that I can remember - looking at my shelf (and Steam account), all of these games work great

chuckwendig:
But newsflash: I don't have time to build a PC. I don't have time to build a television, a blender, a fridge, a car. I don't sew my own clothes. I do not slaughter my own cattle. I buy something, I personally would like it to work with minimum frustration.

I built my PC in the span of maybe two hours, and it's been working for years now (with minimal frustration.) Nobody is asking you to build a car, a blender, a television, or any of those things, and the time and effort required to build a working PC is minuscule, especially considering how many years the PC will serve you, as a gaming platform and otherwise. I refuse to believe that you have the time to play games, to write articles about games, but not to build a computer for playing games.

Forgot to note:

* not to trivialise domestic abuse, that shit is whack, yo.

chuckwendig:
Again, to each their own. It just surprises me that the PC gaming niche still holds this level of customization as not only fun, but necessary.

I think the PC gamers who act as if PC gaming is some sort of arcane discipline that is beyond the understanding of the uninitiated is one thing that makes a lot of people look at PC gaming and just go "well fuck that for a game of soldiers" and pick up a console.

Edzor:

Frankydee:

Gaming is just gaming...

How WRONG you are...

That's like saying that a person that watches soap opera all day has the same good taste in cinematography as a person that goes at the cinema to see the newest releases and review them on specialist websites...

Totally WRONG.

I see you've totally missed the point of my post entirely considering you took that way out the intended context.

but okay then.

The bit about steam describes me and iTunes.

Ooh, an Anthrax compilation album, how much?

All of Disturbed's songs, thirty dollars? Awesome.

Metallica collection? Better get that...

And so on.

Fun article, though a bit over the top at the end there..

I can relate to your problem, at least i could before i bought a new PC..

Then again, yeah, console gaming will probably always have less lock-ups than pc.
And it is only due to the fact that Valve is so flocking awesome that i cannot get away from pc gaming..

I can agree with this article.
Install game, won't load, google solution, specs kill minimum requirement still can barely run on min settings, figure out why, play multiplayer desync, google solution, now it says insert disc (except its a digital download) reinstall fix.

360 put in disc, 30 seconds later killing ppl online in CODmw2.
I want to love PC gaming but it really sucks sometimes trying to get things to work.

and yes you PC elitist everthing is up to date patched and all that so hush

chuckwendig:

I cannot imagine if *any other technology* required this level of attention in this day and age. I mean, ye gods, can you picture the lava-scorching hate that would rain down upon the Internet if this same level of work and attention were necessary to get an iPhone 4 to not drop calls? "Well, you just need to stand under a fan. And you need to whisper sweet nothings into the phone. And you have to make sure all the screws are tightened and that the fromitz board and badistor switches are aligned."

Again, to each their own. It just surprises me that the PC gaming niche still holds this level of customization as not only fun, but necessary.

-- Chuck

I enjoy tinkering with my PC and I have gained considerable technical knowledge as result, which I have been able to apply professionally. If someone brought a nice fully working, low-maintenance gaming PC to the market, I would have nothing against that, but I probably wouldn't buy it since ultmately I could still get a better and cheaper PC by doing a custom build.

Never had a problem with Crysis... BioShock 2 on the other hand, that game crashed on me probably 20 times before I finished it. I swear I hit quick save every time I went through a door just to be safe.

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