For me, a history of building systems began before I’d ever technically “built a system”.
Note: despite being published in 2019, this was actually written primarily in 2017. I had wanted to release it alongside part 1, which unfortunately got caught in “people not responding to questions” limbo.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.