265: Punching the Baby Seal of PC Gaming

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chuckwendig:
To everyone who wants to throw things at my head: best of luck! I duck and move.

A student of Dubya Fu, then?

Remember, things thrown at you become your possessions.

This article sounds like a massive flamebait, you cannot honestly expect to write "Fuck PC gaming" and not majorly piss off a lot of people. How did they even let you publish such a public suicide?

Aside from that, the root of your problems seems to come from buying shit PCs, not from games sucking. Both Crysis and Fallout run like well oiled swiss clockwork on my rig ( custom built, but it's starting to get a little bit old ), there are very few problems that come from games and not from hardware / software conflicts. If all users experienced Crysis crashes every 5 minutes the game would have been patched or pulled off the shelves before you could even find a baby seal at the zoo. Thus, it is your fault.

My suggestion:

1. Give a friend who has some understanding of PCs around 300 to 350 bucks and ask them to build a gaming rig for you. Then give them a cookie.
2. Install 64 bit Windows 7 with video card drivers ( Catalyst Control Center for ATI cards practically makes you breakfast if you want ).
3. ???
4. PROFIT

I will guarantee you can run everything that comes out in the next, oh, 5 years or so without much problem.

I used to be a PC gamer, from the doom days right up until crysis. Now I just cannot afford the upgrades as working a full time job, paying rent and food and whatnot really adds up. Never mind if the girlfriend wants to go out!

Articles like this make me smile of the fun times I used to have getting stuff to work, slotting games into a console now seems rather mundane!

Fusionxl:
( Catalyst Control Center for ATI cards practically makes you breakfast if you want )

Is that before you download and apply the inevitable hotfix for every update?

was he trying to play them using a vista machine? cus that would explain alot, and also the dell xps's have a bad reputation for not running perfectly well

Amen.

Some day they will add keyboard & mouse support to consoles and PCs will be truly dead. I don't understand why they don't see that. WoW, RTS, etc will all be ported as soon as keyboard & mouse are natively supported.

RhombusHatesYou:

Fusionxl:
( Catalyst Control Center for ATI cards practically makes you breakfast if you want )

Is that before you download and apply the inevitable hotfix for every update?

I haven't touched it ever since I installed it about a year ago and it has been very reliable so far.

If the newest updates give you so much headache perhaps you should wait a month or two before you install them?

DTWolfwood:
hahaha XD good read man!

I wouldnt wish your troubles on my enemies.

But seeing that i've maybe had 1 game crash on me this pass year without me actually doing something (alt-tabbing, etc.), and considering i've had 2 lock ups on my PS3 (Red Dead Redemption and SSF4) in the same amount of time. My experience is oddly on the Opposite end XD

O PC gamers, stick with nVidia chipsets <.< ATI is totally on the fritz! new display drivers for ATI cards in the radeon 5xxx series blow chunks! I never had that problem with nVidia cards!

Man responsible for the Omega Drivers, PLEASE COME BACK ; ;

Hey he said Xbox not PS3 lol. My PS3 crashes far more than my Xbox ever did. The sad part is my 360 is older.

Fusionxl:
If the newest updates give you so much headache perhaps you should wait a month or two before you install them?

They don't give me a headache. It's just part of the deal of using ATI GPUs, their driver support can be spotty.

Chuck Wendig:
Snip.

I feel your pain. And that's only when it comes to backwards compatibility.

When using consoles, getting things to work is as simple as

1) Clean disc/cart if it is dusty.
2) Stick it into the proper machine.

Now let's check the PC gaming list.

1) Make sure your hardware is at least at recommended specs. Odds are you're going to want to be well above these specs too, unless you want the game to look bad and play worse.
2) Install various bits and bobs of software, including DRM, various studio add-ons (anything by Stardock pretty much requires Impulse to play multiplayer. See also, Games For Windows Live), and other shit (latest drivers, DirectX, etc.)
3) Install the game.
4) Try to figure out how your computer wants to run the game. Some games will need to be run in compatibility mode, others will need to be run as an administrator, etc.
5) Pray that your computer will be able to run the game adequately. Sacrificing small animals will not help you with this.
6) Install various patches. Repeat steps 2, 4, and 5.
7) When you finish with single-player, attempt to figure out how the fuck the online multiplayer components work. See Gamespy in Borderlands, and Titan Quest's multiplayer on Steam. Odds are some frustrating account creations are in order.
8) Attempt to download and install DLC. Repeat steps 2-6 for this.
9) Smash computer, go play console games.

THERE SEEMS TO BE A MINOR DISPARITY HERE

Scrumpmonkey:
Erm... have you treid checking your hardware/ drivers/ software? Not to be offensive but 90% of the time people's bad experiences of PC gaming are their own fault be it with damage from a bad overclock, improper cleaning or damage done by spyware/ virus removal.

"Fast-forward to the dozenth time that Crysis shit the bed and crashed my computer, and again I'm left asking why I invited this upon myself."

Crysis is ermm.... well a very demanding game. This article is less about the falabilites of PC gmaing and more about needing decent tech support.

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

The basic premise of the article, I believe, is that the key failing of the PC is the inherent requirement for decent tech support.

Of course, I find it difficult to be sympathetic to this position. I am in my third year of Computer Science. I have been an IT professional since I left the Army. Indeed, I'm quite good at resolving most computer problems. That isn't to say I don't get a bit annoyed when I'm forced to spend a great deal of time tweaking settings and verifying firmware and whatnot - to say I didn't would be a lie. I just do such things with sufficient regularity as a professional that when I'm asked to perform such actions in my own home, I rarely have significant trouble finding a solution.

I still prefer to play games on PC but each day the edge that platform holds slips a bit. All my friends, once PC purists have transitioned to the console. Many games these days are developed specifically for a console and are actually leading to awkward play on the PC (Alpha Protocol for example, or borderlands, or even Mass Effect). When I get a console game, I can rest assured that short of hardware failure I can simply slip the game into a drive and play.

Totally agree with most of this though I'm a PC gamer myself hehehe.
Some posters on here though are saying:
"Why don't you try this"
or
"Not all pc games are like that"

I think they're missing the point, when you pay with your hard earned money; shit should just work.

RhombusHatesYou:

Fusionxl:
( Catalyst Control Center for ATI cards practically makes you breakfast if you want )

Is that before you download and apply the inevitable hotfix for every update?

Both ati and nvidia (who by the way designed the gpus for all three consoles of this generation) tweak things all the time, primarily at the behest of game developers. Someone here mention the word chipset. What was cast on to the dies by nvidia and ati has little to do with anything, especially the software issues the author of the article was talking about.

If you want to talk actual chipsets, as in the northbridge of a motherboard, I would avoid nvidia. If you want to talk components, I would avoid nvidia and intel in general. Anyone who suffered through a de-Celeron or the 5000fx series knows what I mean. Those two obnoxious companies do not need any more market share, and despite the rumors ATI and AMD parts are not less reliable.

Marc Bright:
and this is exactly the sort of article I come to Escapist to read...

You come to the Escapist to read over-dramatized statements about someone getting their games to work and quitting on it? ... Okay.

My bet is that the author will only resist until the next Steam sale ^^)

wildpeaks:
My bet is that the author will only resist until the next Steam sale ^^)

I wish I could hold out that long.

*eyes up CIV V, drools*

-- Chuck

QUINTIX:
despite the rumors ATI and AMD parts are not less reliable.

Heh, preaching to the choir, mate. I run an AMD CPU and ATI chipset GPUs... apart from a few ATI driver issues (easy solved with a rollback until a fix was released) and some early game titles chucking a spaz and refusing to recognise quadcore CPUs, I haven't had a problem.

squid5580:

DTWolfwood:
hahaha XD good read man!

I wouldnt wish your troubles on my enemies.

But seeing that i've maybe had 1 game crash on me this pass year without me actually doing something (alt-tabbing, etc.), and considering i've had 2 lock ups on my PS3 (Red Dead Redemption and SSF4) in the same amount of time. My experience is oddly on the Opposite end XD

O PC gamers, stick with nVidia chipsets <.< ATI is totally on the fritz! new display drivers for ATI cards in the radeon 5xxx series blow chunks! I never had that problem with nVidia cards!

Man responsible for the Omega Drivers, PLEASE COME BACK ; ;

Hey he said Xbox not PS3 lol. My PS3 crashes far more than my Xbox ever did. The sad part is my 360 is older.

Honestly the reason it crashes more on the PS3 is probably the porting process. RDR is guilty of this since the 360 version is the High Definition one. As for SSF4 thats probably a port too. Its not the Hardware, its the Software its running and runs with.

I never had any issues with Crysis. No lock-ups, no crashes. It runs perfectly fine on my custom ultra high settings. I feel sorry for people who can't experience it in it's full glory and without nasty problems.

Actually I don't have problems with any game I play on my PC. I used to have some crashes on XP, but on Windows 7 games run smooth as butter.

I had one really huge issue with Crysis... once I got past the eye candy I found it to be a rather mediocre game.

Cracktopus:

Marc Bright:
and this is exactly the sort of article I come to Escapist to read...

You come to the Escapist to read over-dramatized statements about someone getting their games to work and quitting on it? ... Okay.

It's a niche market but still overlooked.

As a counter example to this article, I've played through Crysis 3 times and never had a single issue.

The author seems to disregard that he must maintain and troubleshoot his PC. This is simply part of PC gaming and even owing a PC in general. Plus, it always has been this way. Hell, things are easier now a days, you don't have to worry about IRQ Conflicts and what not. If the author does not want to deal with this, I suggest he simply plays his xbox that he says works just fine for him.

Think of PC maintenance like car maintenance. You take your car to a mechanic when it breaks, but you still have to do oil changes and fill it up with gas regularly. You need to change the tires and replace the windshield wipers, don't you?

Nice read and several good points, I can sympathize with your pains. While I have spent the majority of my game time on my PCs I recognize that the greatest asset of the PC is also its greatest downfall. When you buy a console game you know it will run on your console(with a few exceptions I have encountered) since every console of the line uses the same small selection of parts(there are generational upgrades) in the same configuration. On the other hand PC gamers have to worry about hardware specs, driver updates, conflicting software installations and even malware. It can quickly drive you mad and makes it very easy to understand why consoles are so popular.

DTWolfwood:

squid5580:

DTWolfwood:
hahaha XD good read man!

I wouldnt wish your troubles on my enemies.

But seeing that i've maybe had 1 game crash on me this pass year without me actually doing something (alt-tabbing, etc.), and considering i've had 2 lock ups on my PS3 (Red Dead Redemption and SSF4) in the same amount of time. My experience is oddly on the Opposite end XD

O PC gamers, stick with nVidia chipsets <.< ATI is totally on the fritz! new display drivers for ATI cards in the radeon 5xxx series blow chunks! I never had that problem with nVidia cards!

Man responsible for the Omega Drivers, PLEASE COME BACK ; ;

Hey he said Xbox not PS3 lol. My PS3 crashes far more than my Xbox ever did. The sad part is my 360 is older.

Honestly the reason it crashes more on the PS3 is probably the porting process. RDR is guilty of this since the 360 version is the High Definition one. As for SSF4 thats probably a port too. Its not the Hardware, its the Software its running and runs with.

Oh sorry I wasn't talking RDR (I fully expect a game like that to crash at least once)I was talking with games in general. I have had my PS3 crash from arcade titles to full retail games. I have had it crash on the XMB with nothing in it. Just trying to see my friend list or update my trophies. It is either because the slim doesn't have enough ventilation or there is something wrong with mine (because it gets hot fast) but I didn't get the extended warranty and no bloody way am I giving them half of what I paid for it to fix it. So I just keep givin MS all of my money.

I'm confused. Is it "bring your troll to work" day at the Escapist?

I bought eighteen games in the Steam sale, for a total of 60. So far, I have played three of them, and have already got my money's worth. And I've yet to play S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky and Call of Pripyat, which would be worth at least 60 on their own.

I have about 60 games on Steam that I've actually played for many hours (another 30 I haven't got around to playing yet), only one or two of which have had technical problems (and I run Windows 7). I think that's comparable to Xboxes RRODing and scratching discs.

If you push pieces of Battenburg cake into your PS3 through the ventilation ducts, you will find it performs just as poorly as your malware-infested PCs.

The reason why I only play on PC: Where a brand new 360 or PS3 game in my country is around $90 USD, the PC version is cheaper, around $30-40. If you factor Steam sales, it's a no brainer.

Monkeyman8:
a hahaha, a 360 that hasn't RROD'd at least once? Yeah PC gaming has its problems, and consoles have the same damn problems (crashes, buggy games, patches, DLC) plus the problem of a walled as garden. they're like the macs of gaming, and glossing over their flaws while bringing up the same flaws in PC games (hell you've even gotta install console games these days) is disingenuous at best.

How very very true now if look at a gameboy thats pick up and play.

chuckwendig:
I wish I were exaggerating.

I'm not overclocking.

I did not install off-the-books gray-market equipment (like, say, a windmill or an animatronic squirrel).

I do virus checks.

I update my drivers like a good little boy.

Perhaps I'm the exception (though reading other people's comments, probably not), but I assure you: I'm not doing anything wrong. The tech is failing me. I am not failing the tech.

Now, do not feel obliged to agree with me.

Alternately, disagreement should not equate to: "Waah, fuck you," but hey, you do what you like.

(Oh, and also: for the most part, CRYSIS runs really well. It does occasionally drop on me or change my graphic settings, but it always gets back into the game. So it's fairly low on my "complaint totem pole.")

-- Chuck

Wow, when I read the artile, I kept thing "WTF?! Who let this ASSHOLE write for the Escapist? What a goddamned troll!"

Then I read your comments, and you're pretty cool. I like you now. Sucks about your frustrating experiences. I wish I could help out. I run a pretty low-end computer and cannot even play Crysis.

Good luck smoothing things out.

Hmm. Never had issues with Fallout3 myself. Crysis runs silky smooth.... Only game in that article that's been a cock is Saints Row 2, but I hear it was just a shit port hence piss poor frame rates etc.

wow, lame article, too many mythology/phylosophy references, it made me feel dizzy not too mention all the stupid adjectives like "gozzy" and "dulcet", it's like I'm reading an Old English book, also have you noticed how annoying it can be to write HUGE ASS sencences without any periods so the reader can catch his BREATH once in a while ??

Ok, back to the point. Yeah I'm sorry guys but the consoles are all hyped up now cuz they finally got good multiplayer. They are much more popular than PC because 70%% of the "gamers" are actually 12 year olds playing Halo/Modern Warfare who for obvious reasons would much reather just press POWER ON button and play rather than wait for windows to load then double click an icon. The other 30% are REAL gamers, meaning 13+ no-lifers that play wow/"other mmorpg"/various other more PC specific games (RTS,MMOpuzzle-platform games,RPG's).

Both PCs and consoles have just as many problems, probably the PC has much more errors however you must take into account that a PC is not just for playing games... so yeah...

Also I have never actually bought a game so whenever a game doesn't work i just wait for a better crack :). Because of that I can't say I'm really ever frustrated if I have problems :P cuz when you get stuff for free on the internet you expect it too have problems and not be easy but it ALWAYS works so it's alright.

BTW STEAM ROCKS I mean it's just soo easy to modify steam and play l4d/l4d2/TF2 on their servers, also hl:dm is free so go nuts !

And another thing, specs on PCs mean nothing, just search for a video card and you'll find ones with 1gb memory that cost 100$ and then ones that also have 1gb memory but cost around 700$ so you just gotta read a bit about what makes a computer run, memory frequencies, SLI/crossfire technology, and other stuff and you will be playing games at 200+ fps in no time :P

Fusionxl:
This article sounds like a massive flamebait, you cannot honestly expect to write "Fuck PC gaming" and not majorly piss off a lot of people. How did they even let you publish such a public suicide?

Aside from that, the root of your problems seems to come from buying shit PCs, not from games sucking. Both Crysis and Fallout run like well oiled swiss clockwork on my rig ( custom built, but it's starting to get a little bit old ), there are very few problems that come from games and not from hardware / software conflicts. If all users experienced Crysis crashes every 5 minutes the game would have been patched or pulled off the shelves before you could even find a baby seal at the zoo. Thus, it is your fault.

My suggestion:

1. Give a friend who has some understanding of PCs around 300 to 350 bucks and ask them to build a gaming rig for you. Then give them a cookie.
2. Install 64 bit Windows 7 with video card drivers ( Catalyst Control Center for ATI cards practically makes you breakfast if you want ).
3. ???
4. PROFIT

I will guarantee you can run everything that comes out in the next, oh, 5 years or so without much problem.

Pretty much that.

And it's absolutely cool to insult a large portion of this website's readers console of choice and expect everyone to be okay with it... Not!

Eukaryote:

Fuck PC gaming.

Fuck you too.

This article would probably have got the user put on probation were it posted in the forums, so why is it here? I mean this is practically flame bait. Hell, this IS flame bait.

Yeah... Standards, not very high, must be, nowadays.

I gave up trying to play Assasin's Creed because every cutscene crawled by in a stuttering, lagging mess. No. Just no.

Pretty pathetic that were that this gets published and doesn't really have a valid point just a opinion piece that doesn't really illustrate what happens in real life except that the writer is shit with pc's. This also could miss lead people from buying starcraft 2.

murphy7801:
Pretty pathetic that were that this gets published and doesn't really have a valid point just a opinion piece that doesn't really illustrate what happens in real life except that the writer is shit with pc's. This also could miss lead people from buying starcraft 2.

Sure. If they're morons.

Trying to say that Chuck's article is pathetic because it's "just an opinion piece" is like saying one of Yahtzee's videos is pathetic for the very same reason. All reviews are opinion pieces. We all have our opinions. One person's opinion shouldn't persuade or dissuade you from taking or not taking a particular course of action.

Rely on your own personal experience, opinions and common sense. While a review might enlighten you to something about a bit of media you were not aware of before reading it, or an opinion piece might inspire you to either write your own in agreement or in argument, what they shouldn't do is define your own perspective on the subject at hand.

My computer isn't that great. But I love PC gaming. I'd own StarCraft 2 if it weren't for the fact that I need to choose between games and warm meals. Chuck's article isn't going to make me club my PC like a baby seal. I respect his opinion, I laughed at his jokes and got his references. But he won't make me turn my back on PC gaming. Why? Because I already decided that I love it.

And while I'd continue that point to say "I'm not a moron," I also play World of Warcraft, so...

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