Game: Warhammer Quest

Warhammer QuestFinished Warhammer Quest. Completely played on Linux via Steam.

Warhammer Quest is the PC version of the famous Warhammer Quest Tabletop game. You have a party of up to four warriors including a warrior, a dwarf, an elf and a mage. You delve into dungeons of various sort to either kill a special mean boss enemy or grab a precious item from the very depth of the labyrinth. All these “quests” are embedded into cleansing three rural regions of the Warhammer universe realm of Goblins, Orcs and Skaven. On some quests you come along some Vampires and Undead which provide a some more challenging task since Vampire Lords are very powerful and while wielding some magic spells they can also deal a very serious amount of damage in melee. Between the dungeons you travel from village to village where you can sell your loot, buy new equipment and visit the training grounds to achieve new levels and therefore skills for your character. As such Warhammer Quest presents itself as a typical Hack & Slay Dungeon crawler viewed from atop when navigating your party through the dungeons.

It is fun. It is entertaining.

But huge epic quests are not found in this game. The dungeon runner part of the game is good looking and plays well. Tactics is seldom an obstacle: leave your mage and the archer (elf) behind and rush in with a berserk and the dwarf. Usually this is solves any problem. On higher levels micromanagement of potions and spell points (healing) of your staff is a bit demanding but this game is not a real hard problem to get around. Graphics and sound are nice done and appropriate.

In a village the menu dealing with inventory and merchants goods could be solved a bit better. Buying and equip you fighters could have been done less awkward, though the way it is done may be better suitable for Tablets and/or XBox or Playstation. Not a real nuisance, but leaves you easily with an idea that it could be done slightly better than it has been done.

The real fun stops, when you characters reached the level limit. And that’s quite too early in the game. After this the game gets highly repetitive. You get the best equipment fast, learned all spells and even the toughest opponent does not bear any really real threat to your party. So about 1/3 of the game you simply do the same over and over again.

But as stated above: it still provides you with fun sweeping through a dungeon.

I never played the original tabletop but I assume that this game strictly obeys to the rules found there and serves as a nice game for up to 4 players each one controlling his own character. This is different to a single PC player game. Here you lack the (unknown) decisions of your co-players but have full control. E.g. swapping one heal potion from one character to the next is not a matter of discussion and arguing among the players but rather a sole act within one, two mouse-clicks. Attacking the mean boss behind with the archer or the nearly dead minion in front of the archer so that the heavy berserk can right walk up to the dangerous mage nearby is not a group act, it’s one single player choice. So this is a different environment and targeted audience to entertain. This is fun on a tabletop where social group interaction of the players contribute to the fun. On a single player PC game this is inherently lost.

So, Warhammer Quest succeeds in bringing the original tabletop game to the PC and creates fun. Could it have been done better? Yes, of course. But only if you bend the core rules of the original and this would then render another game, not entitled to “Warhammer Quest”.

Despite some claims I read elsewhere I never had a crash or some technical difficulties encountered. The game runs smoothly.

Fun. With obvious missed potential.

Final verdict: 6/10 6 out of 10

Bioshock under Linux/Wine: better than Windows! OMG!

Yesterday I found myself in the mood to play a game again. So I turned up my Windows 7 partition and tried to play Bioshock. But: there was no in-game sound. After the very first cut-scenes (the airplane crash) you float in the middle of burning water but mute. No sound, no beep.

So I googled around to fix that issue and discovered there is a ton of people suffering from the same problem. I followed several recommendations but nothing changed. There is even a YouTube video for the very dumb with several tips, but none (none!) enabled the sound. It took me about 1 hour along with several reboots and changing Windows 7 core components. Finally I gave up, frustrated. And I’m not alone with that. It seems that Bioshock under Windows 7 (or Vista) is a No-Go.

Today I tried the same game under Linux and within 5 minutes going for the mouse fix I had it up and running! With full sound enabled!

OMG!

I can’t believe that applications made for Windows do not run under Windows but under a Windows Emulation on Linux. This is crazy. One should expect that applications should run better or at least with equal performance on both operating systems. But having Linux being superior to Windows on Windows own playground … is this yet another sign of dying M$ technology?

So, everyone wanting to play Bioshock but is suffering from the sound problem: get yourself a Linux installment! I guess any will do. Bioshock does run on your machine – but not under this operating system.

Copy 20GB to a remote server: no luck.

On my laptop my harddisk has started to fail. =(

So I wanted to backup my crypt file holding all my valuable files. This crypt file has 20GB. I tried to copy this file at once on our server. No luck.

Tried within KDE (4.9.0), no luck.
Tried in bash with

$ cp crypt-file smb/server/home

(I use to mount Samba shares in ~/smb/SERVER/SHARE)
No luck.

Tried with scp: no luck.

The effect: at a certain point of time the transmission starts to either abort or – in the case of scp – is stalled. That is when I got around 11GB on the server. So scp got stalled and I tried it with the -l option:

$ scp -l 8192 crypt-file user@server:

But this takes an eternity for 20GB! And there is no guarantee of success either.
No luck.

Next, I dropped the TCP SACK ability, which occasionally causes scp to get stalled:

# echo 0 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/tcp_sack
$ scp crypt-file user@server:

No luck.

*sigh*

Finally I mounted the crypt and went for rsync

$ rsync -avuz crypt/ user@server:backup

and encrypted there by using gpg the tarball of credentials holding passwords.

*sigh*

So rsync is the salvation. But then it is put there in plain on the server. I admit: this *has* some advantages but the drawback is: that you have to go and find all your precious files which ought to be protected and find yet another way to encrypt them. With the help of $ gpg -e FILE this is ok but cumbersome.

phpBB3 multiboard + VirtualServer

… simply doesn’t work at all. Investigated to much time for this (some hours) without any results but this: it’s totally broken. What a pity. OTOH the phpBB3 devs do not support multiboard on VirtualHost in the first at all. So the Debian people tried hard but failed to find a convenient way to do this.

What a pity.

To have a multiboard running on the machine it is best to kick the update possibilities offered by apt (*sigh*) and go for the plain, manually install into the VirtualHost’s folders. Each with an unique phpBB3 installment. Yes, this works, but leaves the user with the nightmare in upgrading each board in separate, which is very, very cumbersome.

I hope the phpBB3 devs some day realize that multiboard and/or VirtualHost support is needed right out-of-the-box.