Counter-Strike. It's been almost 2 years since I have actually sat down and played Counter-Strike. Mainly, the reason is because I ended up giving up on building PCs a while back. I had a horrible experience building my PC of choice, gave up on it, and bought a Mac Pro. While I really love my mac, there are just some things that I cannot get around that are bugging me:

  1. There are almost NO video card options available to me.
  2. There are a number of old-school games that are ONLY available to the Windows platform.
Meh, just those two things, really. So, I've been pretty aggressively working with Wine to try and get Counter-Strike into a running state. Thus-far, I have gotten Wine working perfectly under Linux distro, but in all seriousness, I don't feel like running Linux on my Mac box... it would just be too depressing. Additionally, I love Mac OS X and do not really want to leave it behind. There are build techniques out, currently, that will allow Wine to be built and run on Mac OS X (Intel boxes only, yay for me!), but there is a bug with linking OpenGL library at run time, which causes all the programs that use OpenGL rendering to bomb out on the Mac.

BAH, I only want to use it for OpenGL rendering. There are, of course, solutions out there that work. CodeWeavers™ has created CrossOver© which uses their own version of X11 and OpenGL to link up, but it uses a really old distribution of Wine to get this trick to work... also it costs ~$60 which is more than I'd like to spend on something that does not completely keep up to date and uses "hax" (in my opinion) to reach the end-goal.

Before Mac OS X - 10.5.2 was released, there was a long discussion in the mailing lists between the Darwine (wine on mac) lead resourcer which, after many days of scrutiny, lead to the Apple developer acting as correspondence to conclude that it must be a linking error with the X11 shipped with Mac OS X and that it was done for various reasons. The Apple developer then said that he would pass it on the X11/linker devs and hopefully they would be able to do something about it. However, 10.5.2 was released this week and it did not include an updated X11 or any better linking solution, so I fear that this bug may have been put into the "Master In-Pile" and forgotten (or worse - written off as "meh, w/e, it works for what we want").

Sigh, I suppose I could give CrossOver another chance, I tried it as beta a while back and was unimpressed, though many of the bugs I encountered were unresolved Wine bugs, at the time. Things like "microphone input transmission does not work in Counter-Strike" and "AC3 audio positioning does not work properly in Counter-Strike" and the like just made me long for the working Windows version. I just do not see a lot of improvements being put into CrossOver, let alone upgrading to stay parallel with Wine releases.

Bah, let's talk about something else.

There is a LOT of shamang complaining going on right now in the forums. Apparently, some twit CM decided to make the asinine statement "shamans aren't under-represented, every other class is just over-represented." Way to go CM, that was dumb... so now there is a 22 page locked thread in the shamang forums with many other statements with just as retarded a sentament a la "You don't have a small dick... everyone else's is just much larger." Additionally, the shamangs have posted in OTHER forums stating that they won't post in their own because they don't want that thread to leave the front page.

Oh, the sad state of WoW.

In other news: the mana regen formulas have been updated on the PTRs, and there is a new addition that states something along the lines "the higher your int, the more mp5 you will get from spirit". There is a working model formula on the elitest jerk forums that seems pretty close (having to do with a square root function on int and multiplying it statically against a few control numbers and then spirit... interesting). Essentially the numbers were something along the lines of "if you're a druid have have 500 int and 500 spirit, your mp5 was boosted by about 50 while not casting, and about 20 while casting" which is alright by me, though it will mean something along the lines of "you have gained 4 mp5 while not casting and 1 while."

Hey, a buff is a buff in my opinion. Also, that spirit thing isn't the big deal, the big deal is that they flat buffed druid regen so that every mana-class has the same regen as a priest. Priests had the highest regen since the inception of WoW, now everyone is the same. The overall numbers show that druid regen has been increased by about 10% base (before mp5, etc). This is a good thing in my opinion, though it will undoubtedly piss off other mana classes with high regens, because their buff will seem minuscule compared to druids'.

ALSO, another change is that drinking has been back-loaded. I know, this is weird, right? Apparently, many druids only got to the 2200+ bracket because they can disengage fighting for 3 seconds and drink gaining something like 1000 mana back in that time before having to fight again... now the proposed change back-loads drinking so that for the first 6-10 seconds the mana gained is much less than on the live realms, but then after 10 seconds the mana gained increased linearly for the rest of the duration, equaling the total amount on live. I have not yet decided as to whether this will hurt me in arena, as I don't drink that often in any case. Usually, the only matches I drink in are against pally+warrior, but even then I usually only drink once or twice.

I don't think that arena drinking is very fair, personally I would like to see drinking in arena completely removed save for mage water and food. Meh, I'm in the minority here, I believe. OH, another thing to point out - Hortus stated that though the patch notes were released and 2.4 was on the public test realms, Blizzard is doing things differently than they used to. Previous PTRs would have released a candidate patch to the test realms, it would go through some minor tweaks and patches, then get officially released, then a month later a minor point patch would change a few things, etc etc.

Now, Blizz is trying to release incrementally to the PTRs instead of to the public directly. So, Hortus has stated that more changes are likely coming down the pipe and would hit the PTR before a final release candidate would be passed to the live servers. So, my boasting that druids were not nerfed directly in the 2.4 patch is not yet true. Only time will tell, though, likewise other druid buffs might be still coming for 2.4, and that would be good for the feral and balance specs for sure. Also, I would still love to see a front-loaded Regrowth to have some much-needed burst healing in the 5s arena. Hoping, hoping, hoping...