Boom Beach - A Superb Kind of Cloned Game

It's five a.m. I have to be at work in three hours. I haven't slept all night. But I'm just going to run into town to sell this stuff. Actually, I only need a few more experience points for eighth level... there were a bunch of enemy villages just around the map... I could just push forward a little bit and then I'd be able to upgrade my buildings... and with a little more gold, I'll be able to get better defensive structures.

This sounds familiar. It's Boom Beach all over again. This time there's more features than ever." But it suddenly strikes me, with the sort of clarity that only comes after you've been up all night and the sky suddenly isn't so dark anymore (when did that happen?). But in terms of the time spent, the quality of the experience, the pattern of accumulating stuff -- attributes, items, gold, spells, experience points, victims -- Boom Beach is merely a Clash of Clans clone but with some differences as explained at . Is it a sequel or is it a remake? Is there anything here that I and my imagination couldn't have culled from the same hundred hours with SuperCell?

Who cares? Thesis: originality does not matter. Proof: Boom Beach, a game that will be a commercial and critical success. Yeah, yeah, I know, that's a really bold and controversial prediction to make. You know what else? In addition to predicting its widespread success, I also know that Boom Beach is going to suck 1000 hours or more from my life, and those 100 hours will not be terribly different from the 1000 hours Diablo has already sucked away. What will a man profit if he lose 200 hours to gain a level 25 Headquarter with his ex-girlfriend's name? He will not be a better person after these hundreds of hours have passed. He will not be wiser, stronger, cleaner, leaner, more perceptive or articulate. The world will not, in any way, be a better place. He will not have learned new things. He will not have contributed anything to anyone. He will have gained no new insight into anything. He will merely be older.

But I don't mind. I will gladly flush another hundred hours down the same derivative, unoriginal, not terribly attractive, relatively lo-res drain that is Boom Beach. Originality is not what we are looking for in our games, although it's fashionable for people to complain that game companies are just making clones rather than trying new ideas. "Why do they just keep remaking the same realtime strategy games?" someone might whine in an editorial, only to write a blandly happy review of Quake III a few pages later. "Why don't they make more original stuff?" another person will post on a newsgroup before he moseys over to Westwood Online to find a multiplayer game of Nox or Tiberian Sun. "I could come up with a better idea than this," you've probably told yourself while plowing through Urban Chaos or the latest Tomb Raider.

But what's hard to appreciate, and what comes to me now that the birds are thundering outside my window and I've realized that Boom Beach is the same goddamn game I played three years ago, is that originality is just one of a long list of things that might or might not go into a game: graphics, AI, interface, sprite animation, multiplayer support, sound effects, dialogue, realistic armor penetration values, ingame saves, historical orders of battle, a good cutscene after I kill the final boss, bilinear filtering, originality. Some games have them. Some games don't. Not all games need them.

Who needs originality? Just give us solid execution. We don't mind clones, we mind bad clones. You know what we like. You know what we want. Make it better, give us more of it, but you don't have to change it.

Evolve Guideline: Turtle Rock On Beginner’s Techniques For Hunters

Evolve is Turtle Rock’s monster vs hunters uneven multiplayer title. Lately we’ve been more prone to discuss the for its pre-order content shenanigans or its free-to-play advancement promotion app however this time we’re concentrating in on how the game really works. To that end we’ve located Phil Robb - Turtle Rock’s creative director - for a briefing about how each of the characters work. (This can be completely a selfless act and not merely a way for Pip to obtain a strategic edge over the rest of RPS, incidentally.) Listed here are the fruits of our conversation:

This short article concentrates on the Hunters. If you’re searching for monster ideas you’ll need our Monster guideline which is up soon. Based on Phil, monsters have a tendency to disregard the assault player, knocking them taken care of and concentrating on the squishier characters. The concept there is that the monster is looking to reduce the variety of personnel he’s working with and also removing heroes like the helps and medics which can be buffing or retaining the assault player.

Not one of them possess a excellent variety on their weapons so becoming all up in the monster’s business is what you need, specifically with Hyde and his flamethrower. You’re also attempting to disturb the monster, ripping his or her interest from the squishier people in your squad who'll then have the ability to protect you as you deal damage.

Markov is the first assault persona you're able to play and is, as you may anticipate, the most simple. His lightning gun locks on to its goal so is great for newbies and also highly effective against faster monsters like Wraith where you’re attempting to hit a quickly moving target. Markov may also set mines round the map so that skill will enhance as your map consciousness raises or as you acquire experience versus specific monsters. Usually you’re searching for choke factors and areas the monster will usually head when you set those at first although - mine-laying 101 stuff.

Parnell features a rocket launcher so can perform lots of damage however wants to goal so he’s more difficult for new gamer and against more sprightly monsters. He does possess super soldier serum available, although, meaning dosing on that then obtaining a clips-worth of on-target rockets indicates you’ll have dealt out a hefty quantity of destruction of your enemy. There’s a few apparent synergy with characters who can sluggish the monster - either with grenades or harpoons or tranquilizers - and make it simpler to hit.

Hyde sits somewhere within Parnell and Markov. He can dish out damage however has to be close up. He's that flamethrower so aiming isn’t as vital, plus he’s also designed with toxic grenades which kill the monster. All trappers employ a mobile area which is a small dome which descends within the monster being a glass cake protector. A stage one monster (that’s early video game, before the monster has exploded stronger and much more dangerous) will probably be running away as it’s more susceptible. If you're able to take a dome down and hit it around early you’re going to be providing yourself much more of a benefit on the beast.

The first trapper you have access to is Maggie. Well, Maggie and Daisy, her alien dog pet. Daisy’s skill is that she can smell out the general path of the monster in case there are tracks or clues in the region. Which means you’ll be heading in the right path when you’re monitoring your attacker. Maggie may also lay harpoon traps to strike and slow the monster. You’re permitted five of these on the map at any time so you’ll have to be organizing when setting them. Phil advises using them the rock pillars of maps. Monsters have a tendency to go high, is his thought. Plus they’re tougher to view before you activate them AND they’re best for snagging the Kraken who is commonly airborne.

Then there’s Griffin who sets a network of sound surges which, if disrupted by the monster, register on the minimap. Phil suggests utilizing them to split the map in half to obtain an extensive concept of where the monster is, or utilizing them on common pinch points which makes them difficult to avoid. Where Maggie is a dynamic hunter, Griffin is a lot more reactive. Also, he features a harpoon gun which he may use constantly to slow the monster.

Third is Abe. Abe is bad at locating the monster at first simply because he doesn’t genuinely have anything in his package for warning you to its presence. What do does have is a monitoring dart pistol. Which means once you do discover the monster you ought to be able to keep track of where it’s going to a long time. You can also dart wildlife in the hope how the monster will eat it and trigger the tracker. Abe also offers stasis grenades which usually slow the monster and a shotgun which you'll aim for longer to be able to provide much better accuracy for targets who're even further away.

Every one of the medics possess a burst heal skill but Val is among the most straight medic-y of the characters. Her damage mechanic enables her to shoot an anti-material gun which provides the monster a weak spot. Other people can shoot that fragile spot and do damage. She offers a dart which monitors and tranquilizes the monster therefore it will get slowed, even though the tracking effect is far shorter than Abe’s dart. She also offers a visible green healing beam which she aims at other hunters to revive health. The bean is a little bit of an assorted blessing although - it allows the monster view wherever Val is and target her. Some advice for Val is to prepared her dart when the trapper lowers the mini arena. This way the monster is stunted and also followed when it can ultimately escape.

Lazarus sucks at curing as the best way he needs to keep men and women healthy is that burst open heal all Medics have. His name need to hand out his main power though. He is able to provide dead or disabled hunters back again. He offers a personal cloak so may go unseen as he sneaks closer to bodies however utilizing his resurrection glove springs the cloak so you’ll still need be cautious. Smart creatures also understand to camp the bodies of Lazarus’ teammates as he’ll most likely show up to save them. Look out for monstrous lurkers. His weapon works in a comparable means to Val’s even though it produces smaller fragile spots rather than one big one - it brings together well with projectiles like skyrocket launchers to do damage.

Caira is a lot more hostile - an angry doctor. She’s obtained napalm grenades which do damage what they hit and after that then go on to burn so there’s a damage-over-time element. She’s also obtained an acceleration field which usually enables your hunters clump up and transfers a bit quicker than the monster for some time. That’s helpful at the beginning when you’re attempting to mitigate the monster’s headstart and also when attempting to trap up or to escape. She also offers healing grenades which mean she will also toss them at the floor by her feet and utilize them to herself.

Every assistance features cloaking field ability - like Lazarus’s however you can use it to other people. Hank can also be designed with a laser cutter that is a big rapid-fire laser weapon. He has a shield gun that is a lot like Val’s heal besides it cloaks the recipient instead of curing. It won’t be used up till it's taken some damage so that you can utilize it to obtain someone like Hyde up close to the monster and make him protected just a little from the unavoidable attacks. Hank also offers an orbital barrage that is a type of air strike. It’s difficult to hit with however if you simply sneak up on the monster and utilize it to obtain the first hit that you can do a heap of damage. Various other cool tips are feasible with this as well. It won’t injure hunters, just toss them with regards to a bit to help you aim it at yourself in case a monster is in search. Phil says he really saw somebody win the game this way in the beta stage.

Bucket is a robot having a laser-guided rocket launcher, Also, he has sentry drones which you'll place across the map or conserve and utilize in the mini arena. Phil and I were contemplating positioning and one idea we were throwing around was setting the sentries nearish to Griffin’s sound surges. This way if a monster is coming to be able to steer clear of the spikes it won’t have the ability to dodge the sentries and would either have to reveal himself or take damage. Also, he features a UAV capability that involves piloting a drone which usually springs off Bucket’s body. Clearly you’d have to place the body in a safe place while carrying this out or task an additional hunter with protecting you, however you may use the UAV to search out the monster and - if you make it in your crosshairs long enough - you may track it. It’s simpler to perform that in the mini arena as the monster can’t wander and dodge nearly as much.

Finally there’s Cabot. Cabot’s ideal for enhancing the team discover the monster. He's this cloud of radioactive dirt he can call down which unveils all wildlife which includes the monster for 15 seconds. It’s excellent in case you have a general concept where the monster could be however no particular intel. His own damage largely originates from his rail gun which could really shoot through walls. He also has a damage amplifier which can be applied a debuff to the monster increasing the amount of damage it requires from hits.

Great Loss

George W. Bush was visiting an elementary school, and the 4th grade class he sat through began a discussion related to words and their meanings.

The teacher asked the President if he would like to lead the class in a discussion of the word "tragedy." So, George W. asked the class for an example of a tragedy.

One boy stood up and said, "If my best friend who lives next door is playing in the street and a car comes along and runs him over, that would be a tragedy."

"No," said Bush, "that would be an accident."

A girl raised her hand and said, "If a school bus carrying 50 children drove off a cliff, killing everyone on board, that would be a tragedy."

"I'm afraid not," the President said. "That's what we would call a Great Loss."

The room went silent. No other children volunteered. President Bush searched the room and asked, "Isn't there someone here who can give me an example of a tragedy?"

Finally, way in the back of the room, Johnny raised his hand, and in a quiet voice, he said, "If Air Force One, carrying Mr. and Mrs. Bush, was struck by a missile and blown up to smithereens, THAT would be a tragedy."

"That's right! And can you tell me WHY that would be a tragedy?" asked the President.

"Well," Johnny said, "because it wouldn't be an accident and it sure as hell wouldn't be a Great Loss..."

Theory on Hell

The following is an actual question given on a University of Washington chemistry mid-term:

"Is Hell exothermic [gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)? Support your answer with a proof."

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools off when it expands and heats up when it is compressed) or some variant. One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So, we need to know the rate that souls are moving into Hell and the rate they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there are more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all people and all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand as souls are added. This gives two possibilities.

1) If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

2) Of course, if Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

So which is it? If we accept the postulate given to me by Ms. Therese Banyan during my Freshman year "That it will be a cold night in Hell before I sleep with you," and take into account the fact that I still have not succeeded in having sexual relations with her, then (2) cannot be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic.

The student got the only A.