Rocket League – Are You a Replay A**hole?

CAUTION: Semi-strong language ahead.  Probably nothing your kids haven’t heard anyway these days (remember the good old days?).  Anyway, consider yourself duly cautioned!

Rocket LeagueRocket League is a fantastic game available on a variety of platforms including PC (via Steam) and Playstation 4 (via PS Store).  If you don’t know what Rocket League is, where have you been for the last few years?!?  Seriously though, for those unfamiliar with Rocket League think FIFA combined with F1 (football racing style) and you’ve probably got quite an accurate picture in your head.

Now everyone has an official profile on Rocket League which is pretty much based on your Playstation account or Steam profile – you might be ‘ilovecats123’ or ‘chickensaretakingover’ – whatever.  That’s your official profile.

But even Rocketeer (or Rocket Leaguer) also has an unofficial sub-profile. Not many people know this.  It essentially is a compilation of attributes about how you play and/or use the game.  Everyone has this secret sub-profile.  Trust me.  I kinda created them!

One attribute that you could be assigned on this super-secret, community moderated, sub-profile is that of ‘Replay Asshole’.  Let me explain.

Taken from the completely unofficial and totally unauthorised  Rocket League Dictionary ((allegedly) by David Smith)

replay asshole.  n.  A Rocket Leaguer who enjoys basking totally in his/her glory after the score a goal, insisting on watching every last millisecond of the replay.  Optionally they may also add smart ass comments such as ‘What a save!’ despite no legitimate attempt to save it made by the opposition.  This person will also insist on pounding the skip replay button (even before the replay has started) to indicate to the opposition that they most definitely would not like to watch a single millisecond of a goal scored against them.

So, we’ve got the definition out of the way.  Unfortunately, the only weapon that can be effectively used against such ‘replay assholes’ is to in turn behave like a replay asshole.  This is particularly effective if you are a few goals down and then you come back to trash them – they find this very annoying and may, if angered enough, resort to shouting ‘SKIP’ as you enjoy the replay of your end-to-end goal.

There are many such attributes that are assigned to the secret profile that I’ve created.  I’ll periodically create a new post to explain the many different attributes.  In the meantime, why not have a go at creating your own sub-profiles – after all, we all know at least one replay asshole!

Trust me, you’ll find it fun.  The best part is if you have any replays that you can then upload to YouTube (anything from a goal, to a bit of chat, to the full match) and post their full ‘sub profile’ in the description.  Totally fun for us all to watch back.

Seen any RL videos recently that fit into this category?  Have you got any yourself that you’d like to share?  Do you know a replay asshole?  Perfect opportunity to name and shame them or maybe send them an link to this post! Let us know in the comments.

Happy Rocket Leaguing!

Football Manager 2013 (FM13) & Windows 10

football-manager-2013Now, I’m sure you’ve arrived here as an avid Footballer Manager 2013 fan (yes, it’s not strange – many of us are still playing this game despite us being a third of the way through 2016) whose immensely frustrated due to crazy issues going on with your Football Manager game.  You’re not alone, many of us have battled, some have won, a lot still have hope, and some have lost.  Already feels like a game of football doesn’t it?

What’s Wrong

Well basically, we can’t really blame FM2013 – I know that’ll come as a relief to many.

Windows 10 came along in the middle of 2015 and due to Microsoft’s very generous offer of a free upgrade for many users, including Windows 8 users, an awful lot of us took them up on this offer and upgraded our PC’s.

However, some of us are football fans – and some of us play Football Manager 2013 – and unfortunately Windows 10 doesn’t like FM2013.

There’s not a specific problem that’s happening on all PC’s – it depends to be dependent on local setup.

The kinds of problems reported are:

  • Game fails to start
  • Game starts but nothing is displayed
  • Match Preview screen goes fuzzy / has garbled graphics displayed.
  • Parts or all of the pitch appear black in 3D match day.

Here’s the Bad News…

Sports Interactive – the makers of Football Manager – say that Windows 10 is not a supported OS for this version of Football Manager, therefore they unfortunately will not be investigating this issue or issuing a patch.  In fact, any version except the current version of Football Manager (2016) is unsupported on Windows 10 – so it’s the same story for FM2014 and FM2015 too (well, I guess you were looking for an excuse to upgrade, right?).

So we’re on our own.  All is not quite lost yet though – we’ve got some things to try that may work for you.  However, it’s important to remember that any and all combinations of the below may be required and unfortunately, not everyone has managed to get FM2013 working properly on their Windows 10 PC (myself included 🙁 ).

Ways to Fix It

Give these a go – they won’t do any harm and may well restore your FM2013 experience to it’s former glory.

  • Delete the FM cache – In C:\Users\[your name]\App Data\Local\Sports Interactive\Football Manager 2013 delete the ‘cache’ folder.  This will for a cache regenerate next time you start the game (make sure the game is not running whilst you do this!).
  • Go to Steam and verify the integrity of the game.
  • Ensure all the latest Windows Updates are installed – particularly the .net framework and Direct X ones.
  • Update your graphics card drivers to the latest version.
  • Use ‘Compatibility Mode’ when running the fm.exe file – select ‘Windows 8’.

If All Else Fails…

In the end, sometimes, we have to say goodbye to even the greatest of games.  This may well be the time that many of us have to say goodbye to Football Manager 2013.  The alternative is of course rolling back Windows 8 – which can only be done for around a month post Windows 10 installation (so I believe) although you are of course free to do a fresh install of Windows 8 from your disc.  However, you’re then not up-to-date with your OS – and given as it’s a freebie, it’s worth having.

Good news is, there’s some reasonable deals on (Windows 10 compatible!) Football Manager 2016 – available currently for around £23-30 depending on where you shop (it’s on Amazon too of course – if you’re a creature of habit!  Currently £28.99).  If you think you can wait around a month from now, there’s a good chance that there might be an even better offer directly on Steam – last year on the day of the Champions League Final, the price of FM2015 was slashed.

If you somehow have the willpower to wait a bit longer then you can always wait for approximately another 6 months when FM2017 is out – although, if you do, expect to pay a pretty penny for it near release date (£50ish quid maybe?).

The good news is Windows 10 is apparently going to be the last ‘major version’ of Windows released – Microsoft instead indicating that they are preferring to go down a more incremental update route.  This should mean that, if we like, we should probably (hopefully) have many stress free years of gaming from FM2016!

Don’t Forget!

Got any more tips?  Managed to get it working?  Frustrated at not getting it working?  Please leave us a comment below.  There’s a legion of Football Manager fans out here waiting to thank/help you!

Phishing Update – The Now Infamous Facebook Article!

Google LogoQuick update regarding the unfortunate whoopsie that Google did in marking one of our articles (incorrectly) as a phishing page.

Issue was brought up with Google, Google reviewed, Google decided they were talking rubbish ;-).  So, as it’s now been cleared by Google, I (and of course any other webmasters out there who may want to) are now able to link the now infamous article.

We’ve also raised the Issue with McAfee and Norton to update their relevant web URL checkers and software.  Norton are currently re-evaluating and McAfee we haven’t heard back from yet.

Safe to say, no that Google has deemed it safe, hopefully all the other service providers and link checkers will equally declare it safe once they poll security data from Google again.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.  We have asked for a full detail of the complaint, including the complainant but so far this has not been forthcoming.  We’ve also worked with our hosting provider but they are equally unable to get hold of the information.

My suspicion is that this started from a malicious complaint and there’s possibly a bit of embarrassment on the part of Google/and the service company that lodged a complaint with our hosting provider.

Thankfully, these are rare occurrences – but they are however on the increase (against many reputable websites and companies) but rest assured that we do everything possible to maintain yours and our websites security and will swiftly deal with all complaints, malicious or otherwise.

Thanks for your patience.

DPS David.

Apparently, We’ve Got Phish (Don’t Worry, We Haven’t!)

Urgent site news awaits.

It has come to our attention, through an abuse complained, that a specific article on the blog has been marked as a ‘phishing’ URL by Google.  Obviously, quite concerned, I have immediately investigated this complaint to detect any possible hacking activity that may have compromised part of the site.

I can confirm that the security and integrity of the article mentioned in the Google Security alert is completely intact and safe – as is the rest of the blog and the DPS Computing website.

We work tirelessly, including with third party security consultants to keep our websites and our users safe.

I will not link to the article here, as unfortunately, in doing so, this page will then be marked with a security alert for linking to a so-called ‘phising URL’ however the article is our ‘Facebook Introduces the Brand New App Centre’ article that we published way back in 2012.  This article has not been updated since 2012.  In four years of being published and freely available on the Internet, Google has not marked anything suspicious relating to this article, or indeed our sites in general.

Google has made an error

Don’t worry, you’re safe!  Your security is our top priority – that’s why it’s a topic that we blog about passionately and use social media to raise user awareness of security.  Google’s cocked up unfortunately – branding one of our pages a phishing page.  You’ll see something like this if you attempt to go to the specific article:

google-deceptive-site

The only links on the article mentioned are to Facebook (www.facebook.com) and WordPress (www.wp.com) which are both verified as official websites of their respective companies as well as deemed safe by Google.

The only ‘dynamic’ third party links contained on this article are to Google Adwords – which Google manage and presumably Google think they’re safe.  Any malicious URLs provided as Google Ads are not accepted and/or removed by Google continuously so that they remain safe.

Unfortunately, as many third party tools trust Google implicitly when marking websites or webpages, tools such as McAfee has picked up on Google’s security warning so are unfortunately showing similar messages – although they provide no details regarding the supposed ‘phishing attempt’ (as it doesn’t exist!).

Why has this happened?

There are a number of possible reasons this could have happened:

  1. A malicious complaint could have been made – unfortunately, as a website which promotes user security and warns users of potential threats, how to avoid them and security advice in general we are unfortunately a target for both hackers as well as malicious complaints where third parties attempt to have our sites or pages on our sites taken down on complaints that have no basis.  Unfortunately we have to deal increasingly with malicious complaints.  DPS Computing investigates all complaints promptly, including malicious complaints, and liases with our hosting providers as well as Google and third party security companies.
  2. Google made a mistake – sometimes it happens.  The Google brain brands a website after it cocks up.  Could be a bug, could be a dodgy typo – who knows.  You’d have to ask Google about the reasons why it has happened in this case.  We have submitted a query to Google regarding this error and will update you with any response we receive.

Another reason this could potentially happen is if the website had been hacked or compromised in another way, and malicious content inserted onto the website.  We have undertaken a review of the site and this is not the case in this instance.  We constantly review and bolster our security procedures, policies and methods in conjunction with specialist third party companies.

Finally a reason that this could be displayed on a website is if the website really is trying to phish your details – it could be both published by the webmaster or could indicate that the website has been compromised.  Neither of these apply in this case.

What are you doing about it?

We are working with our domain registrar, hosting company and Google to resolve this issue as soon as possible.  The page in question should be delisted and marked safe in due course – until then, the warning on this page will prevail.

We will be working with the above companies to implement any methods we can to reduce the incidence of such ‘false positives’ and to expedite removal of erroneously marked pages.

Please be aware to ‘real time’ scanning on the article have returned a clean bill of health:

dps-computing-scan-08042016-facebook-app-centre

And our ‘PhishTank’ result – which detects phising activity on a webpage shows that there is no phising activity on the article in question:

dps-computing-phishtank-scan-08042016-facebook-app-centre

Thanks for bearing with us.  If you have any questions whatsoever, please feel free to contact me.

Remember – Your Security Is Our Priority

We do everything possible to keep you safe – and will continue to do so to maintain a safe environment across all of our websites.

We also want to take this opportunity to remind our users to keep your security software up to date.  Yes, it makes mistakes – but better to have a few false positives rather than let a few through the net!  However annoying they may be!

Thanks,

DPS David.

Playstation Now – Play 180 Games on Subscription

Playstation Now

Playstation (PS) Now has been around for a while, and Sony have been pushing it for just as long.  It’s a great concept but a big shift in the way we game – or so Sony hope.

Many of us will purchase a game, play it to death for a week, and then be left with the completed game that we never play and go and trade in for next to nothing.  Of course there are video game rentals, but that involves waiting on the post and usually paying a pretty high fee – particularly if you have lulls where you don’t play a lot – or when, for example, you go on holiday.

In an effort to try and solve some of these problems, Sony came up with the concept of Playstation Now.  And it’s adding games all the time.  Barely a couple of months ago there were only 150 games available on it – now it’s up to 180.

Having taken the week’s trial on board in February, I had pretty high hopes.  It seemed that the future was here and maybe this would be a good way to be able to play games without fear of the dreaded ‘dud’ game that you’ve started, played on for an hour and now hate.

At the beginning of the trial I fully expected to continue to pay the monthly subscription of £12.99 / month.  Unfortunately, after only half a day of game play, I didn’t use it for most of the rest of the week of the free trial and I’d actually cancelled it (set it to expire) the day after starting my trial.

A brief introduction to PS Now – it’s gameplay on the cloud for a subscription fee per month.  No downloads, just streaming the games directly.

Now PS Now suffers from the usual woes that subscription based models hit – i.e. the games that you really want to play aren’t on there – due to lack of a licensing agreement with the publisher.  After all, they do make more money when people purchase the game and as popular games will be purchased anyway, despite the price tag, it’s really not in their interests to license it on this kind of model.

In February 2016, there was probably between 10-20 ‘big name’ games on there – but many of them were older versions.  For example, Formula 1 was on there – but F1 2015 – not F1 2016.  Apart from that there was mainly many indie games that I hadn’t even heard of (don’t go looking for Rocket League – you won’t find it here!).  There’s some old favourites like Crazy Taxi (what a game!).  I tried probably 70-80 of the games available and, to be honest, only around 3 kept my interest more than a few minutes – namely, Crazy Taxi, the Golf Championship and F1.

However, the experience on these games wasn’t fantastic.  Now one of the caveats that you are warned about when taking out PS Now is that you need a fast Internet connection.  They recommend 5 meg – no worries, I’m on Infinity 2 with BT – far exceeding the minimum requirements for good gameplay.  However, on the more complex games (i.e. the modern ones) like Formula 1, gameplay was so painfully slow that it was taking approximately 10 minutes to do what would be usually a 1 minute training session – between all the waiting for streaming and autosaves to the cloud (which are pretty slow) it just sapped all the life out of any enjoyment you could have through this service.

The connection speed wasn’t a problem on this side but I’m wondering whether the infrastructure that PS Now is built on is capable of handling the numbers of users they have now.  And with numbers presumably only likely to grow as this is pushed more by Sony it seems that they could have a real problem on their hands.

All in all, the experience was dull, slow and the opposite of what you would want this service to be.

The concept is fantastic and, in my opinion, the way that gaming will go but the execution is well below par.  Certainly not justifying the £12.99 / month tag that it currently has.  Things definitely have to change – increased game choice, some more big names in there, and a suitable infrastructure to enable the gaming to be at the same, or similar, speed to what it is from traditional disc based or downloaded games.

Unless these problems are solved, I highly doubt PS Now will take off in any kind of fashion.  I’d be struggling to recommend this at £2.99 / month at the moment – so my advice is definitely to steer clear (for now).