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The Liberty Cruiser: Available at the 24/7 Freelancer Universe

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The 24/7 Freelancer Universe , Aka FLU , is a fantastic Microsoft Freelancer server with one of the best optional Mods going. You can play there without the mod, using "Vanilla" Freelancer, or you can have access to ships such as Juni's Defender (Aka the Defender Elite), an advanced version of the Anubis, a maxed out version of the Dragon, (Called the Blood Dragon), The Junkers CSV, Transports, Armored Transports, and Large Transports, or--if you are part of a Clan with system ownership--any of the Capital Ships in the game. This video features the Liberty Cruiser.

Check the server out at http://www.freelancer-universe.com today!!!

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Team Fortress 2: The TENTH CLASS REVEALED--or not.

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Every so often on the TF2 forums, someone suggests that a class will be added to the game--the so-called "Tenth Class." Sometimes this is some sort of Robot, Pirate, Zombie, or Evil Scientist, or even a Priate Zombie Scientist who is also a robot.

Often the tenth class is Gordon Freeman, the hero of the Half Life Franchise. This really doesn't work in my opinon, since HL and HL2 are such grim games, and TF2 really can't be taken seriously. You have to make TF2 a litle more grim and HL2 a little sillier to force it to work. I started out making a video that attempted to do this, with the G-man pulling Freeman into the TF2 universe as the tenth class. In the process, I came up with a better idea. :D

This is my first Machinima posted to YouTube. Hope you like it!  - The Black Knight

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Last Updated (Saturday, 16 October 2010 23:37)


Confessions of an Idler

One of these days, you may hop on the 24/7 Freelancer Universe server, to find the Battleship Rook floating outside Freeport 10. You might think the captain is taking a nap in the ready room, while the rest of the bridge crew relaxed in the bar, because it won’t answer when you call.

Or you might see me on Steam ([bass]-TheBlackKnight). For some reason you can’t join me while I play Team Fortress 2; nor am I answering your chat requests.

Don’t worry dear reader. I’m not ignoring you. Odds are I’m simply not there.

The reason is simple: I am an Idler.

Yes, I’m one of THOSE people.

I will start a game, and walk away.

Right now most people are wondeirng what the big deal is about this, while the rest are screaming something to the effect that my parents were never married. To the former, let me explain the situation.

On many multiplayer games you need to play a certain amount to keep your characters. Obviously game servers can’t keep the information of people who have played the game once and walked away, or have given up the game altoghether. This is true of Freelancer. On the 24/7 FLU server, you have to put 15 minutes on each character roughly every three weeks.

That doesn’t sound like much, and really it isn’t for the average player. However, I’m a clan leader, and I’m predisposed to having a large fleet of ships. Including clan shared accounts, I usually run about 10 accounts for about 50 ships. That’s 12.5 hours of game time every three weeks, which is more than I can usually put together. (Yes, in theory the other clan members can help with this, but when things get slow, losing ships doesn’t help matters.)

To make matters worse (or better, depending on how you look at things) I’m really busy in real life right now with shutamultimedia.com, baseandsystemservices.com, darntootinitaintgluten.com, talesoftheblackknight.com, writing the Tales of the Black Knight, and posting video to at least 5 youtube channels (Check out this and the other channels listed)not to metion actual work for clients.

Twelve and a half hours starts to look like a lot. Actually I haven’t even idled on FLU in the last couple months, though I really miss the game and want to at LEAST make sure my ships are up to date.

Then there’s TF2. This is where a lot of the rage comes in. On TF2, they’ve set it up so that every so often while you’re playing the game, you get a random item drop. It could be a weapon, a hat, or a crate (that you need to buy a key for) up to a maximum of 6-12 per week. (The crates don’t count against the cap I’m told.

And, if you get multiples of the same weapon, you can craft them into metal, which when you get enough metal, you can make different weapons or hats.

As a side note, up until recently, the hats were strictly decorations. Now they’ve created “sets” like they used to have in games like Diablo II, where if you have all the pieces including the hat, you get bounses like extra health or invulnerablity to headshots. Of course to create one of these hats you need over 70 weapon drops. Considering the weapon drop averages about 1 and hour, and is capped at usually 6 per week, and you can see that this takes some time.

Before they instituted the drop cap, people would just run TF2 all the time, in “idle servers” which wouldn’t kick you for standing around, or that would hurt you constantly so that you wouldn’t register as being inactive. Some people came up with a program that faked the system out so that it merely “looked” like you were playing to steam.

Eventually, everyone who used this lost their items, and the ones who didn’t use it got a nifty hat called the “Cheater’s Lament.” It’s a halo which actually makes you a much better target for snipers, and which has been re-skinned on some servers to cuss words. Few people use the Cheater’s Lament, though I wear it on my Spy character in honor of Roger Moore’s TV Character “The Saint.”

Yes, I’m an idler with a Cheater’s Lament.

How to idle on TF2 now? They’ve added an offline practice mode. If you start up offline practice, and go into spectator mode, you still get the drops. Problem solved as far as servers full of idlers go, but people still rage about it. Many people say that these are moslty kids whose parents won’t let them run the computer overnight, but many are simply hardcore gamers who think everything should be earned during actual gameplay. If you’re not actually dedicated to playing the game for several hours a week, you shouldn’t earn the bonuses.

The obvious response is, “Wait, did you say dedicated to playing?”

There are a lot of things which inspire dedication; Religion, Family, The Defense of the Nation, even one’s chosen profession. But dedication to gaming strikes me as, well, missing the point of the game.

The idea is to have fun. If leaving my computer on while I work, sleep or run errands allows me to keep my characters or gain items to help me play the game, I’ll do that for certain.

More to the point, any game that says I must NOT idle, and that I must PLAY a minimum amount per month, is trying to dictate my schedule for me. And those games will find themselves quickly abandoned. I have to prioritize things. Really, idling is a compromize in and of itself. “Look, I can’t play this month, but I really like my ships. Can I just leave ‘em sit for a while outside of a planet or moon, so that they’ll be there when I get back?” Or “It’s a busy month, but I’m saving up for that Fez for the spy.” These are compromises. I’d rather not idle, but I want to be able to play when I am actually able to play.

So folks, don’t feel bad if I don’t answer you, or rage about the practice of idling. I’m pushing forty. Even though I love the games, sometimes I’ve got stuff to do. In [bass] we always said that RL (Real Life) must always trump FL (Freelancer) when it came to organized events. Perahps we should update that saying to “RL must always trump GL—Game Life.”

- The Black Knight, December 3, 2010

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Last Updated (Friday, 03 December 2010 20:20)

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