GeneralInternetOff-TopicPrivacy

Tor SIM Cards Are Coming

Brass Horn Communications is experimenting with Tor usability for UK residents. Founder Gareth Llewelyn told Motherboard his organization is “about sticking a middle finger up to mobile filtering, mass surveillance.” His recent efforts to build out Tor nodes in the UK, to increase slow speeds, he is now beta-testing a SIM card that will automatically route your data through Tor. This should make it easier to browse protected and keep snooping to a minimum.

Currently, your options on mobile are to use the Tor browser that’s in alpha-release and pair it up with Orbot to run app activity through the network. If an app, like Twitter, has a proxy feature, then it’s compatible. This is currently only available to Android users though. You’ll need Orbot installed to be able to use Brass Horn’s SIM card, with the idea being you’ll be extremely unlikely to get caught online without being on the Tor network.

Additionally, in an email to Gizmodo, Llewellyn stated that using the card on a dual-SIM device would defeat the entire point of the project. The SIM acts as a provider and Brass Horn would basically function as a mobile virtual network operator, piggybacking on other networks. It costs £2.00 per month and £0.025 per megabyte transferred over the network.

If you would like info on joining the beta, check it out here. Additionally, Brass Horn expects to make the SIM cards available to the public in the UK next year. Maybe wait for some additional, third-party research to be conducted before buying in though.

And, if you’re looking for some desktop or laptop browsing protection, check out the Tor browser bundle for PCs. It helps shield your IP address from snoopers and data-collection giants. *cough* Facebook, Google, *cough*

[Motherboard]

[Gizmodo]

Gamingoverwatch

Overwatch PTR Patch Notes

Four heroes are getting some attention in the latest PTR patch. Mercy’s Valkyrie gets a fine tune, Reaper’s shotguns get an adjustment, Symmetra’s primary fire gets a buff, and Roadhog gets his own treatment. Look below for more info.

Mercy

  • 15% reduction in Valkyrie’s cost
  • Valkyrie’s healing beam buffed from 50 to 60 HP/s

Reaper

  • Shotgun spread randomization reduced by 50%
  • The Reaping (passive) Life Steal increased from 20% to 30% of damage dealt

Roadhog

Chain Hook

  • Delay before pulling hooked target reduced from 0.5 seconds to 0.3 seconds
  • Now greatly reduces target’s momentum upon being hooked
  • Cooldown begins immediately upon activation, rather than after the target has been pulled

Scrap Gun

  • Spread pattern adjusted for both primary and secondary fire
  • Spread randomization reduced by 50%

Whole Hog

  • Knockback max velocity increased by 25% (8 to 10 meters per second)
  • Horizontal recoil decreased slightly

Symmetra

Photon Projector

  • Primary fire charges 20% faster

You can view the full PTR patch notes here.

As far as the changes to Mercy go, which Blizzard has been slowly dismantling the last few patches, its underwhelming. The changes only affect Valkyrie’s effects, nothing else. Manageable, perhaps, but it’s still disappointing to see.

Roadhogs changes should help a bit, particularly with hooking enemies as they round corners. Too many times I’ve hooked someone as they round a corner and it breaks the chain because LOS is lost.

Symmetra, well, honestly if you use her primary fire you’re doing it wrong. This may add a little incentive to use the primary fire in closer quarters (less than 15m) but it may not be enough. I spam secondary and primary doesn’t get much use unless I’m attacking a shield.

Reapers changes I’m not worrying about. I dont play much Reaper as it is, at least at the moment, so I’m unsure how the changes will affect him beyond the obvious.

Anyway, there are other bugs squashed at the link above. Check it out if you’re bored.

DestinyGaming

Festival of the Lost

It’s Year 2 for Destiny 2 and it’s that spooky time of year again. As you know, I’ve been playing Forsaken for a few weeks. In that time, I’ve encountered tons of fun, but also been reminded that for a family man with a busy schedule, it’s rough putting in any significant amount of time to any game. I’ve slacked off on my other games (sorry Monster Hunter World and Overwatch) to give myself just a bit more breathing room. However, between the grind, life, and work I may invest 3-4 hours a week into the game. That being said, I finally forced myself to sit down and drop a few hours into Destiny 2 for the Festival of the Lost.

fotl2018_haunted_forest_2

This year, Bungie has added a new, limited time event to Festival of the Lost. It’s interesting to say the very least, if not somewhat repetitive. I’ve had fun with it, especially being a matchmade (or not, if you choose the firewalled version) event. The new event, Haunted Forest, gives you 15 minutes to fight your way through various “Nightmares” until you reach that time limit. As you progress through the branches, or waves, you’ll get various debuffs applied to each branch. These make it harder to fight, live, whatever… In a random matchmaking group, the best I achieved was 8 branches. On Reddit, a group was able to clear 16 branches in the alotted time. However, my searching ability seems to be unable to help me out much as I can’t find the thread again.

Anyway, clear the branches and after 15 minutes expires, you’ll teleport to a rewards room. There are two traps, the first where the floor falls away, and the second where the floor falls away and you can’t jump past a certain point. If you fall, don’t worry. Your rewards will get to you via the Postmaster. It’s all in good fun.

Personally, I’ve enjoyed the elements that the Haunted Forest has brought. It’s not hard content, but you’re busy for that entire 15 minutes. It’s a good time waster, and if you’re tired of Crucible, Strikes, or Raids, then jump on in. If you have a group, I suggest running with them as matchmaking is pretty iffy on skill/power levels. Otherwise, good luck. It’s still fun, whether you clear 5 branches or 8+ branches but it feels so much better to get that many more fragments for your 15 minutes. Oh, also, if you aren’t max level, be sure to pick up Horror Story before the event ends. You have time, but it’s purchasable with 120 fragments and always drops at 600 Power Level. Meaning you’ll get 5-10 Power Levels just from equipping, and you’ll be able to get larger power increases from random drops. You’ve got a rare shot to catch up so don’t miss this opportunity.

fotl2018_master_ives

Also coming in the Festival will be the chance to avenge Master Ives. This will be in the form of a quest, and it opens Tuesday, October 30th.

Festival of the Lost ends Tuesday, November 6th. Be sure to get your spooks in before then, and don’t miss out on the fun.

Off-Topic

Change of Pace

Hey all, just a heads up. I got a new job about 2 weeks ago, and I’ve been going through training and meetings to prepare for going out. I’ll be working offshore so my posts and content may stop during my weeks away. That said, I’ve got some other things I can think about and write about while on the rig.

Reading

Alright, I’ve amassed quite the library of sci-fi and other action-y genres, not to mention John Grisham books. Anyhow, I’ve got a luggage weight limit so I won’t exactly be bringing physical books on my working weeks. That said, I’ve currently got a handful of books digitally, which I’ve read before, if not several times, and will be re-reading. Considered calling this my “Offshore Reading List” but I’m so fundamentally opposed to lists (no, really, ask my wife) that the idea was a turn-off. So, for the sake of this post, the following list is the official non-list of my working weeks.

  • Star Wars: The Old Republic – Revan (Sort of a sequel to the Knights of the Old Republic video game)
  • Star Wars: The Darth Bane Series (Seriously, my favorite series of the entire Star Wars EU. Seriously.)
  • Halo: The Fall of Reach
  • Halo: First Strike
  • Ender’s Game
  • Mass Effect: The Complete Novels
  • Beginning PHP and MySQL (Ok, this might be a stretch but if I get tired of reading the other stories or finish  them all too quickly, might happen. Probably not.)

So, as I finish a book, I’ll do a little write-up about the book. Turns out, I really like Drew Karpshyn as an author, which explains why I love Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2. If you have any series that might be interesting or in the same vein as what I will be re-reading, drop a suggestion in the comments.

Gaming

Alright, so the rig will have internet of some sort. Undoubtedly, very limited and probably slow. Laptops are allowed, so technically, I could bring my laptop and play games while out. However, I don’t much care for lugging around 20 lbs of gear (laptop, charger, keyboard, mouse, headphones, and a monitor until I fix my screen) so I’m leaving that at home. I may pick up a Switch in the future for just this occasion, but that’s not something I’ve discussed with my wife. Only myself, so it’s a great idea to me but I’m sure she’ll have a logical counterpoint as to why I shouldn’t drop a couple hundred bucks on a Switch. Moving on.

Pretty Much It

That’s pretty much it. I’ll have a massive change of pace, as I’ve been out of the oilfield for 3-ish years now. However, being gone for weeks at a time also means I’ll be home for weeks at a time, so I’ll have more time to bust out some gaming-related posts. Until then, I may go silent until I get back. Depends on what kind of cell reception and WiFi, and too many other variable. Oh, also, the Gulf has a new hurricane forming, and I leave tomorrow. Wish me luck!

DestinyGaming

Destiny 2’s New PVP Game Mode

Here’s a brief overview of how it works:
At the beginning of each round, players will fight to capture a central zone. Once the zone is captured, your team will deploy the Breaker. As players work to deploy the Breaker, the zone can be contested, resulting in an epic tug-of-war between the two teams. Once the Breaker is captured, it will be used to assault and hack the enemy team’s Vault.
If you hack the enemy team’s Vault, you win the round. If you fail to hack the enemy team’s Vault within the round time limit, you lose. If you are in the process of hacking the enemy team’s Vault when time runs out, you will enter Sudden Death until you either hack the Vault, or the enemy removes all your progress.
First team to win three rounds takes the match.
Breakthrough will first be available as the Weekly Featured Playlist for the week of September 25. Then, it will be added to the Competitive playlist starting October 2. Owners of Destiny 2: Forsaken may begin to play Breakthrough in Private Matches on September 25 as well.
09202018_header_frontpage
This was covered in the new This Week at Bungie article, which you can find here.
Additionally, Bungie covered several bases and summaries of what happened throughout the week. A few hotfixes were deployed, bugs were acknowledged, and the usual community awareness campaign where they display sweet player footage of incredible feats.
DestinyGaming

Destiny 2: Forsaken (And I Can’t Stop Playing It)

The Rundown

As you know, I picked up Destiny 2 for cheap way back when. I played it for a few hours, semi-enjoyed it, then went back to playing Overwatch and Mass Effect 3 when I got bored of the grind. I never purchased the 2 previous DLC’s following D2, so I still haven’t played them. Anyhow, I recently picked up Forsaken along with the $9.99 deal for the first year DLCs and downloaded the game and updates. Side note: Destiny 2 already has a staggering download size of 80 Gbs and it still has at least 2 minor DLCs, as well as the year 3 major update. Damn.

That said, this really brings back memories of the original Destiny where powers recharged relatively quickly, you could use them often, and you didn’t feel like you were relying on guns. Grain of salt: I only played vanilla Destiny 2 sans minor DLC content, so the updates were there and active. I just couldn’t access the new content. Moving on. My biggest gripe was the unnatural feel of relying entirely on weapons. Granted, I was leveling up so I had no armor bonuses to increase recharge rates and the like. But once I hit that “cap” where I had to go grind levels in the Crucible, I just lost interest. Not because of the grind, but because I could already see that the rest of the game would be equally rough on the leveling and powering up front.

So, for lack of better things to do and needing a break from Overwatch, I decided to pony up the cash and try out the new Destiny 2 DLC. The difference is amazing. Like I said earlier, it’s comparable to the time of Destiny after the Prison of Elders was introduced. Leveling was fun, grinding was fun, and there was some new content to enjoy. It’s the same now, but on a much larger scale. I just finished the story last night, and made it to 500 Power Level. The max is somewhere near 600 PL, but I’m not sure because I’m 100% out of touch with the state of the game. What I do know, is that there is so much shit to do, it’s hard to decide on a certain path. It’s a little confusing, because there’s 4-5 different types of Legendary engrams now. And upgrading a subclass is confusing at first, but far more simple when you forget how it worked previously in Destiny.

New Content

By no means a complete list, because I’ve only been playing for about 10 hours now. However, the new story campaign is quite enjoyable. You go out on a revenge quest to avenge a friend, and run in to the usual assortment of bullshit that drags the story out. However, it’s different from the usual crap of rehashed content that D1 was so comprised. Again, I didn’t get to this area before, so it’s all new to me. However, the story was great. I’d do it again.

Then, there’s Gambit. A strange, Competitive Co-op experience where you kill enemies with 3 others on your team versus the players on a separate team. You kill PvE enemies, they drop motes. You grab motes and “bank” them to work towards winning. You need 75 motes to win. Oh but wait, it’s 75 motes to spawn the big bad boss you have to kill. And yes, they spawn with several yellow bar ads. As if that isn’t enough going on, if you die holding motes, you lose the motes. Oh, and every once in a while, you can send a player over to the other team and kill the other team. Sabotage and whatnot, and they can return the favor. One more thing, the more motes you cash in, determines whether or not you can drop a blocker on the enemy team’s bank. This blocker (or several) can be a small, medium, or large and the size determines difficulty to down. I’ve had several, several blockers on the bank and with a disorganized team, you lose the round. So that’s basically it. You have to win 2 rounds as a team to win. Win or lose, your Gambit rank increases and you can get rewards at certain ranks from the Drifter. Also, there’s apparently an RNG exotic quest involved with winning matches, and the community is currently up-in-arms about it. Personally, I don’t care, it’s just a game.

Then, there’s still shitloads of other stuff to do that I haven’t even learned about yet. Hell, I’m still trying to progress some bounties I didn’t finish last night.

Additionally, Bungie has added new supers to the game. Each class (Titan, Hunter, Warlock) has three subclasses, each of which now has 3 variations on their supers. Incredible, I know.

More to Come

I’m still playing, as I honestly have nothing else to play right now. Need a break from other games, and just need something different for the time being. I won’t have much time to play for the next couple of weeks, well, any at all because I’ll be out on my rig, but when I get back I’ll have 3 weeks to play. At which point, I’ll likely report back on what I’m enjoying about Forsaken.

Gamingoverwatch

Pharah Quad Kill

First placement match this season, running with a group. We had lost the first round and were about to lose the second. Every one else had died in the previous team fight, leaving my solo for about 15 seconds. Did what I could and this is the result.

Yes, I was actively planning this out. However, I was hoping for two kills at the most and ended up with this quad. I didn’t even realize that it was a quad until I watched the POTG after the match. We came back and won this round, plus the following round. The ironic part? I literally have played Pharah for less than an hour in Quick Play.

Anyway, enjoy the clip, I had fun with it.

Gaming

I’ve Created a Support Discord

Since I’ve gotten back into modding, I’ve decided to set up my own support Discord server.

Invite Link: https://discord.gg/gxrT9tb

Currently, since I only own 2 Frostbite games, those are the only two games available. This can change if you mod a game and want to get involved. As such, with my recent projects and my new job change that will give me 3 weeks off to do absolutely nothing, I can actually dedicate more time to making mods for Andromeda.

From this point forward, all mods will be packaged with an invite link to my Discord (UltraRare Mods) for further support and help. I’ll also be updating several existing mods to reflect these changes, as well as to add a few other things.

Changes to how URD handles modding content…

  1. Mods will no longer be posted here. These mods should be considered unsupported as I no longer have the project files, just the finished product.
  2. New mods will be posted within the “Projects” menu available in the header navigation. It is currently categorized, and that may change in the future depending on how jumbled up it gets.
  3. Most mods will be made with Frosty Editor and require Frosty Mod Manager to run. It’s probably the most known editor/mod manager out there. You can learn more here.
  4. Currently, I’m on the only poster on URD. In the future, I may add more authors to help publish new mods quickly.
  5. Testing mods is allowed and encouraged within the Discord Server. No one wants broken mods.

If the above link stops working, please comment on this post to let me know.

Thanks, and happy modding!

Gamingoverwatch

That Twitch Shot – Lucioball

Lucioball shenanigans, and I pull off this pretty impressive twitch shot. Yes, I meant to do that.