♫ Despite 12 months of parts lists, the PC was not built ♫ (Nov/Dec 2019)

In June of 2018, my dad expressed interest in a parts list for a new computer, and I obliged. For the next 12 months 17 months1 he continued to express that interest on and off, and so multiple times during that time period I diligently updated the parts list based on the current market.

With Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals wrapping up, it’s now plausible that the year will end and the system will still not be assembled, so I’m locking the current parts list in place as a demonstration of a build at this price point with roughly these priorities.

Cooler effects more akin to a Thanos snap would’ve been sweet, but far too time consuming for a throwaway photo.

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Systems I’ve Helped Build (Part 1: 2015-2014)

Architecture Student + Light Gaming Build (August 2015)

Silverstone’s Kublai KL06. Image credit: Silverstone.

This build was for a friend who’s requested to remain nameless. They provided a bit of a challenge: provide optimum performance for the demanding 3D work an architecture student does, but do so within the budget of a full-time student paying rent.

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Andrew’s Lazy Gaming PC (Nov/Dec 2019)

Michael’s twin brother Andrew was after a super solid gaming PC during the Black Friday – Cyber Monday period. The budget was scoped out to be about $2,000. This turned out to be pretty convenient timing for me, as I already had a parts list handy for a ~$1,500 gaming / general use PC. I used that parts list as a base and got to work.

Given the extra budget, I looked around on the list at where I could make part substitutions that increased performance roughly proportionately to the increased price. This was a nearly-strictly gaming-focused build, and the performance of parts were considered within that context.

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From Game to Gfycat: Using VP9 to Get Great Quality Clips

Uploading good quality unedited game recordings to YouTube is, all things considered, not too complicated of a process. It’s mostly just optimising based on what kind of resources you have available to you, such as how powerful your CPU is, how fast your internet connection is, and how much storage space you’re willing to use up.

Streaming is much the same, although your expected quality bar will of course be lower because your viewers have to keep up with the incoming video in real-time, and you yourself have to encode that video in real-time as well.

The process is a little different if you’re making clips for Gfycat – at least if you want them to still look great once they’re there.

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How Angles and Perspective Work in Siege

When a Siege-playing friend or acquaintance of mine finds out that I also play Siege and have a slightly-above-average rank of Gold 1(ish) when playing regularly, half of the time I get asked for tips to improve. Advice about angles is one of the recurring tips I give, and I believe that it’s something that’s fairly intuitive to apply in-game once you understand the concept.

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Elephants Followup: Militia, Minuteman, and the Fake Melee Attack of Mahouts

After publishing my article on War Elephants, TripleAAA commented asking about Militia and Minuteman (Minutemen?) against War Elephants. I hadn’t tested that but it seemed like useful information to have, so I put it on the to-do list.

While running these new tests I also ended up with some questions of my own regarding the ranged attack of Mahouts. Was the damage of the melee and ranged attacks identical? Was the damage modifier different for the ranged and melee attacks (i.e. would one attack deal different damage to the other depending on what unit was being hit)?

I set out to answer both sets of questions, and ended up stumbling into a few surprising answers in the course of doing so.

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War Elephant: Most Powerful Unit in the Game?

Regular members of the Rise of Nations Discord server will likely be at least vaguely aware of how much I dislike fighting against War Elephants, and much of this came from my experience while playing the Alexander campaign on Toughest1 (which also provided some useful insights).

However it wasn’t until recently that I actually crunched the numbers on exactly how effective these behemoths really are. It turns out they are somehow even better than I thought they were.

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