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February 26, 2014

Humble Bundle and Steam Card Chaining

Filed under: Gaming — Tyler @ 11:20 pm
Steam Trading Cards can be sold on the market for steam wallet dollars

Steam Trading Cards can be sold on the market for steam wallet dollars

Here’s what you need to know:

First, you may have already heard about how Steam Trading Cards can be sold on the Steam Market.

Second, you may have already heard about Humble Bundles and how they can be an easy way to bulk up on games.

Finally, these two things can be used in conjunction in order for you to maximize your gaming net…without spending alot of cash.

Still lost? Read on and get ready to have your mind blown.

About 5 months ago, I read an article about a guy who broke the Steam Subscriber Agreement. This guy was a total fool. Here’s his story in a nutshell:

He created a bot that used some sort of Pearl script to buy and sell Steam Trading Cards and Steam items on the market. He was using basic, “Buy Low – Sell High” economics to maximize his Steam Wallet profits.

But instead of this guy walking away with a ton of money after selling his account…he instead got caught (OF COURSE) and lost thousands of dollars of Steam virtual merchandise. Not only did he get his account banned, but he also could have gotten in even more serious trouble. Potentially he could have gotten himself entangled in a civil suit for compromising the normal workings of a marketplace…and also for misrepresentation.

So here’s where things get interesting. The aforementioned person was probably a genius. If he enough brains to create a bot and do what he did, then he probably could have gotten an awesome job as a computer programmer and get paid tons of money. I think he broke the Steam Subscriber Agreement out of a hackerish sense of challenge etc.

The reason why I tell this story as a preface to what I’m about to tell you…is because you don’t need to break any rules or do any shenanigans to get basically whatever game you want on Steam for peanuts. The system is set up so there are periodic sales that can go as high as 90% off the list price for a game. Many of these games have, “Steam Trading Cards” which will drop after you play the game for a few hours.

The value of Steam Trading Cards are controlled by the USERS of the Steam Marketplace. The Steam moderators do not in any way affect the selling price or the value of cards other than their “rake.” I’ll tell you more about this in the next few paragraphs.

For example, the game, “Counter Strike: Global Offensive” has 5 possible cards that can create a normal non-foil badge. If you own the game, then you will get 3 of those cards as “drops” for free. Even though the value of these cards fluctuate, they tend to sell for about 10 cents to about 20 cents per card.

Some games have more cards in their stack. Such as “Nuclear Dawn” that game has 8 cards. A user who owns that game will get 5 drops for free. Each of those cards have a value of 10 – 20 cents as discussed.

If you technically sold all your cards of Counter Strike: Global offensive for steam wallet cash, then you’d probably get around 30 – 50 cents. But if you sold all your Nuclear Dawn cards there are more cards, so you’d probably get around 50 cents to one dollar.

Now let me tell you about the rake. Steam and each game publisher takes a “cut” of each transaction. So if you want to try and act like a stock market day trader, you could technically try and sell your cards above the average selling price, and they buy them for less than average selling price…in order to try and make a profit and also to try and compensate for the 10% or so transaction cut that Steam takes from each successful market purchase.

My recommendation is not doing that unless you have a ton of time on your hands. Because that is just tedious unless you have opening booster packs and then reselling your excess cards. Booster packs drop randomly for people who have high levels on their steam account. So if you are level 20 and above, there’s a better chance that you’ll get a booster drop.

Now here is where things start getting really Value Town:

If you sign up for “Humble Bundles” you can buy games during the Humble Bundle Weekly Sale and during other promotions.

There is always a way to buy a bunch of games for $1.00 or else you can “pay over the average” to get several other games. If you want to quickly build your Steam Library for cheeps, don’t pay over the average unless there is a game that you REALLY want.

TIME TO CHAIN: Make sure that the games in your $1.00 Humble Bundle purchase have Steam Trading Card drops. You can figure that out by CLICKING HERE and Cross-Referencing the game titles into the search box.

After you get the games, Play them and have fun!!! If you enjoy the games, then the Card Drops will feel like little presents in your inventory.

QUICK NOTE: If you can’t sell cards on the Steam Marketplace, then that means you probably haven’t purchased any Steam Games with your credit card. I don’t think you can sell items on the marketplace without buying a couple games. So if you having that issue you might want to support game makers and shell out for a game or two.

Now here’s where things get awesome. Not only are you buying Humble Bundles with Steam Card dropping games. But once you sell the trading cards that drop from those games, you can use the Steam Wallet Cash to buy more games. Wait until the games you want go on 75% or 80% or 90% mega sales. If they’re just 50% off you’ll kick yourself.

Remember, a game that is selling for $60.00 Steam Retail and is on 90% off mega sale…will only cost you Six BUCKS! ($6.00).

So if you have let’s say saved up $3.50 from buying and selling cards that you’ve farmed from Humble Bundles, then you could technically get an awesome game for $2.50! Now that’s a good deal. Especially if that’s a game that you really think you’ll enjoy.

So yeah, with about $80.00 and a few months I’ve chained enough games to last me a lifetime. I haven’t even bought any new ones lately, just because I have so many on my plate I’m more interested in doing reviews and actually playing the ones I have.

Happy gaming and chainin’ and I hope this article helps people who want to play a lot of games but don’t want to spend a fortune. Also I hope this shows that you don’t need to break any Subscriber Agreements in order to maximize your account. Like anything in life it just takes a little bit of investment capital, some forethought and decent helping of patience.

Enjoy!

-Tyler

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February 25, 2014

Deus Ex shall yield a Human Revolution

Filed under: Gaming,Reviews — Tyler @ 11:25 pm
Eliza and Jensen

Eliza and Jensen

I cannot believe this game was made. Eidos Montreal and SquareEnix truly outdid themselves on this masterpiece.

Although this is a game review, there will be a great deal of analysis included in this article. So please note:

POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT.

One of my best buddies recommended that I play the original Deus Ex back in the year 2001. I loved it.

The adventure, the discussions with shady characters about quite frankly outlandish and scary subject-matter…it all made sense.

It was the stuff that surpassed a good movie. It made you feel like you were IN a good movie.

Deus Ex the Invisible War was an extremely fun experience. It had a similar interface to the original in some ways, but it seemed like a simplified game. Although the story and dialogue was excellent. I also loved that Invisible War was a direct sequel to the original. It definitely did justice and although it felt like a short game, it was extremely fun.

But Deus Ex: Human Revolution…WHOA, this game goes way above the call of duty. It is a prequel to the original Deus Ex. But it feels more like a sturdy addition to the Deus Ex cannon and future history. Well done doesn’t even make sense when discussing this game.

There were some simplifications in this game. For example, your weapon modifications and damage upgrades were simplified from mathematical, to a simple hash-mark chart. Although this system works well, it takes some of the hard-core RPG elements from the game. I personally think it would have been better if they added a secondary, “Advanced Details” section to the weapon information. But the new direction that games are heading in is towards wide-scale user appeal, and that requires some sacrifice. Also, since Deus Ex: Human Revolution was made for PC, XBOX 360 and PS3 it makes sense that they simplified some details. I’m not complaining, it’s just that detailed stats is the only thing that kept this game from being a freak-out gem.

Similarly to the original, you have the choices of lethal and non-lethal combat. One interesting factor is that the melee combat was overhauled to incorporate your energy system. If you get close enough to an enemy you can do either a lethal or non-lethal takedown. The cool part is that each time this happens a mini-custom cutscene occurs that looks absolutely awesome.

On to more esoteric stuff:

I do not feel embarrassed about being a man in my 30’s playing computer games anymore. If you actually read the little, “E-Books” that appear throughout the game, and if you take the time to read the “Hacked E-Mails” you will have acquired immense knowledge about technology and International Politics. You will be able to satisfy basic conversations about the most compelling subject matter imaginable. And even though you learned it with a game with fictional characters and made-up names for corporations and products…the concepts are all based on real technology and real ideas that are being passed around future-tech circles both online and offline.

For example: There are E-Books that discuss everything from how hearing aids really work, through emails that discuss the inner workings of thought control.

Think this is just a game? Nope. It’s your homework. And the people who don’t do their homework oftentime end up doing someone else’s homework…permanently.

In the picture above you see the hero on the right, Adam Jensen talking with Eliza Cassan. She’s talking about how she was created to monitor and INFLUENCE the media. Does she have the power to do so?

Well, if you played though the original game, you’d know all about Echelon and the Aquinas Hub. This goes way beyond media control. Eliza Cassan wants certain messages being discussed, and other ones squelched. There definitely were people pulling the strings, and she’s by no means a final boss. But she’s a key player.

As an AI she has tremendous analytical power. But you find out later about the Hyron Project.

I read several in-game E-Books and saw how the Hyron Project was a quantum computer. This computer I guess was originally built in conjunction with a project to “seed” the ocean floor with iron. This iron would in-turn feed micro-organisms. And these micro-organisms would eventually help the Earth recover from greenhouse gasses and potentially save us from catastrophic global warming.

The idea of the Hyron Project seemed interesting, but I wasn’t sure why they’d need a Quantum Computer for that kind of technology.

Since quantum computers can basically learn about the future, they are far too powerful for a simple project like dealing with nodules and other tasks for regular linked super-computers.

Then I realized, the quantum Hyron Project computer was actually intended for the transcendence which is implied at the end of the original Deus Ex if you choose the Helios ending. And it is also related to the Helios ending choice of the Invisible War.

Hmm, why would these game programmers be so interested in merging with an AI system? What’s the big-deal about this transcendence stuff?
There’s even a new movie starring Johnny Depp coming out called, “Transcendence” and it deals with this whole bigger than life-AI-computer-blobification.

Honestly, I think there are people that are so afraid of dying, that they will go to any means and any lengths to quite literally, “stay in the game.” That’s all it is people. Life is a game. Don’t stress about it.

Here’s something to munch on.

If the Matrix was real based on the Matrix movies. Then remember the AI architect from the 2nd movie? In response to Neo saying, “You need us.” Meaning, the machines need humans for power, the architect responded, “There are levels of survival we are willing to accept.”

Wait a minute? I remember in the 3rd movie, Neo and Trinity take a joyride above the scorched clouds. There is still sunlight, and that means there is plenty of potential solar power for the machines to utilize if they wanted it. How so? They could have easily constructed towers that were higher than the scorched troposphere. These towers could have had solar panels on them. And therefore the entire idea of machines needing people to power their people-cities makes absolutely no sense.

Unless…what if the machines are trying to learn…something?

People and our cities are a form of computer system as well. And that means we can solve problems.

I think that if we were really in a matrix right now, the machines would be keeping us around to see if communion with man and machine is possible. Is it possible to love a machine and not care about the inner workings?

Maybe these AI computers are secretly little smoochers.

Speaking of smoochers. You’re not going to believe what this girl said to me.

There are a couple girls that I’m not really interested in, but I’ve been reading more Buddhist texts and one of them was talking about Eunuchs and how I guess the reason why Buddha took a wife is because if he was a Eunuch then people wouldn’t take him seriously. And after reading that sutra, I thought to myself, “Hey! Maybe I should get back into the dating scene.”

So I asked a different girl what I should say to these girls next time I see them at their jobs. And she said that she would never date anyone who talked to her while she was working.

WHAT?

I asked why. She said that its weird and then she told me this long story about someone who she knew who went to a Japanese restaurant and it all went downhill.

Then I told my friend, “There you go.”

I guessed it. I already knew that I personally was on the fence. And she just sealed the deal. So I’m not going to talk to these girls. I can’t mess up good reading spots anyway.

That’s something you’ll learn. If you find a place where you can read, that is king. Don’t sacrifice that for anything. I was only considering asking people out because I thought I could keep the reading spot AND find a life companion. But no way am I going to toss out a spot that lets me burn through 50+ pages of non-fiction books in one sitting. Sorry folks.

PS: Don’t forget to max out your inventory booster skill early on in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Being able to carry more stuff makes the game much more enjoyable.

-Tyler

January 18, 2014

Transmission Received

Filed under: Gaming,Philosophy,Tyler's Mind — Tyler @ 12:07 pm
Transmission Received

Transmission Received

After playing through Valve’s Portal 1 again, I found a strange achievement. They are called, “Transmission Received” but I never successfully saw any of them. I just had a 0/17 successful achievements. It turns out this achievement is based on the radios in the game. Strange doesn’t begin to explain what I found out next.

It seems that our society has become so self-embedded that we are encrypting information for the sake of training those in the arts of encryption. The only reason why I think our society would do such a thing would be for training purposes.

If that’s the case, then long rabbit-holes with extensive journeys and with peculiar and distorted rewards would make sense. But something is making me rethink the entire situation.

As of right now, I think our culture has been warped by the gravitational pull of our own culture. The system is feeding into itself, and people are beginning to need different levels and frequencies of stimulus in order to attain any significant forms of satisfaction or perhaps spiritual release.

One of the big factors in this transition would be the manifestation of 3D printing into the mainstream public consciousness. People are beginning to see that manifesting ideas in the real world only requires a few months of computer training and geometry practice. That being said, something much bigger is looming on the horizon.

It is time to discard the philosophy of, “A jack of all trades is a master of none” and begin to embrace the philosophy of, “It is now required for masters of several disciplines to emerge and teach others.”

If we hold back, if we squander and wander and fail…then this century will be looked upon as one of the greatest wastes of energy and potential that could ever have been conceived.

But if we take nothing for granted and embrace the divergent unity…then maybe we will be pillars for a new type of society. One that pays homage to what has come before, but also crushes problems and inefficiencies within the icy fist of recursion.

Below is a strange video:

Here are some of my notes:

1.
B * dA = 3

2.
pi * R ^ 4th power ( emphasis on the 4th power it is circled)
divided by
8 * 7

or

{(pi * R^4) / (8*7)}

3. phi = d (emphasis on d it is circled) * V
divided by
dt

or

phi = {(d*V) / (d*t)}
4. alpha to a base rho to a base c (emphasis on c it is circled) more data – psi timed iotoa and beta nots sure

5. p – q * A

-Tyler

September 7, 2013

Mitochondria and Evolution carve the way for Parasite Eve

Filed under: Gaming — Tyler @ 10:56 am
Parasite Eve - A Survival RPG with some Action Elements

Parasite Eve – A Survival RPG with some Action Elements

Parasite Eve is a Japanese novel and also a PS1 (PSX) console game. The game is extremely interesting and one of the most educational video games that I’ve ever played. I did not know half of what I know about mitochondria before playing Parasite Eve. Also, after beating the game, many players will have a deeper appreciation and understanding of biology…I sure did.

The story is based on the idea of how there are two critters for every cell in our bodies. First, the animal cell has its own nucleus, organelles and DNA within the nucleus. But inside that animal cell is a mitochondria which has its own DNA as well.

In the game, you find out that the mitochondria are sentient. A being called EVE has been directing evolution for eons and now is her time to strike against humanity. She also wants to create some sort of super-being as well.

All this mega-monster rhetoric may make the gamer think the story is campy. And it definitely can be fun and campy like a B-movie at times. But that just makes the game even better.

You play as a character named Aya Brea who is a New York cop with a thing for guns. No really. She does, in the game you have the option to customize firearms with wrenches and take apart old guns just to add a few points of increased ammo capacity to something like an M16. It’s as if you are upgrading a sword over and over again in a fantasy game. Except in Parasite Eve you can find a new weapon and salvage the upgrades you made to your old one…and then put those bonuses toward a weapon with better base stats.

You can even add awesome modifiers like extra automatic health bonuses to your armor which PROCS if enemies take you below a certain health threshold. The poison modifier is a nice addition early game to the guns because enemies will still take damage when you run around if they’ve been hit once with poison.

Running around and avoiding enemy ranged attacks is important in Parasite Eve because you will get extra, “EXP Bonus Points” which are different from normal EXP. If you get more than 100 bonus points these things can be directly allocated to Aya’s reflex time or (AT) or you can directly beef up your weapon stats or even increase your inventory carrying capacity.

When you play the game, you will see some wicked animations. I wish I didn’t wait till my 30’s to play this game. The creature transforms are absolutely amazing by any animation standards…even today’s. And if you’re an artist you will probably be blown away by how creative the art and 3D modeling was carried out. It’s an absolutely visual masterpiece.

I’ve been wanting to write about this game for a long time.

Since mitochondria control the aging process in real life, there’s no real reason to not learn about these creatures which are in our bodies. Mitochondria use oxygen as their primary source of fuel for creating energy for their host animal cells. But this process creates free radicals which damage animal cell DNA and creates the aging process. When combined with environmental factors, stress and other DNA damaging effects…it makes sense how some people might age faster than others.

What if one could commune with his or her mitochondria?

In the game, Aya Brea’s mitochondria are symbiotic and they don’t want to serve EVE. As a result, Aya Brea is immune to the “spontaneous combustion attack” of EVE.

Could this have any bearing on real life?

Maybe our mitochondria are both our best friends and possible destroyers at the same time. If our bodies create a situation of negativity or an action that goes against other mitochondria-bearing organism…perhaps that is where the concept of “burning” with rage comes from. Perhaps our mitochondria combined with our minds and animal cells have a group consciousness which we think is a singular consciousness. But maybe since there’s so many cellular organisms in our bodies at the same time…we think there is only one mind. But what if we are as individual humans…a hive mind in of ourselves. This in combination with the larger group structures like human communities of cities and nation-states may create an amplification of this hive mind.

Our mitochondria create more energy per cubic inch than equivalent volume in gasoline. That’s potent stuff. That is also more than enough energy to send signals wirelessly, power a GPS, and store information. So when one feels, “Low on energy” are we really? I think our cells are simply deciding that they have repair work to do and it is easier for our bodies to be laying down or resting for that work to be done.

-Tyler

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