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BobLAN 2012.1 Off
Due to family commitments, plus work going on in the basement, this Easter's LAN party at Bob's has been cancelled. Hopefully the November LAN will be going ahead.

BobLAN 2011.2 Roundup
Time certainly flies when you're having fun. The most impressive thing this time round was the attendance - games routinely had 6 or 7 players on each team, which is great for the likes of TF2 and Day of Defeat. The range of games was also good this time - from the old classic QuakeWorld through to the latest games like BF3 and MW3 (albeit not with everyone playing).

The surprise hit was HalfLife 2 Deathmatch - a game we've all had for years but never played. There's something insanely satisfying in killing someone by hurling a toilet at them with the gravity gun :) The other popular newcomer to BobLAN was the driving game GRID. Bean spotted this on offer on Steam a few months back, and most people picked up a copy.

The old LAN favourite CS GunGame worked this time. Games are pretty quick, so it's a good one to fill a half-hour gap whilst waiting for the food to arrive.

Missing out this time were all forms of UT, Battlefield and Call of Duty (apart from a couple of people playing BF3 and MW3 online).

A BobLAN roundup can't be considered complete without a mention of the host - thanks from everyone to Bob for all the preparation and hard work that goes into it - very much appreciated fella :)

Modern Warfare 3 Released
The next game in the Call of Duty franchise - Modern Warfare 3 - was released yesterday. It's already breaking sales records, with our affiliate partner GAME reporting that their midnight openings were very well supported.

The early rumours about the game hinted at the continued lack of dedicated server support for LAN play, however that appears to have been reversed. Sledgehammer, part of the Activision team who produced the game, posted this on their blog: MW3 Dedicated Server Basics.

It doesn't look like the standalone server that we had for CoD4 - more like a listen server on a client, but far better than MW2 and BF3's offering.

CS: Source Weapons Updates
Valve applied a raft of changes to the weapons in CounterStrike Source at the end of last week. Changes include accuracy tweaks when crouched and running, shotgun range and damage, various weapon animations, and much more. The full list of changes is on Steam News.

A second update on the same day saw some Source engine changes, plus a bunch of TF2 enhancements.

Steam Trading
The Steam Client update this week introduced a new trading feature. You can now trade Steam Gifts and in-game items from Valve games Team Fortress 2 and Portal 2. Other titles will introduce trading over the coming months. I wonder if Wij still has any hinges going spare? :)

You can catch the full article here on Steam News.

MW3 Drops Kill-Streaks
The kill-streak system that rewards players who manage to gain several kills without dying is being replaced by a system that rewards other activities aswell. According to a Shacknews article, Infinity Ward recognised that the kill-streaks in MW and MW2 did not reward players who provided a supporting role.

This sounds like a good idea, and should prove popular at the LAN (if it's out in time). Read the full article on Shacknews.

Also, checkout details of the new game type - Kill Confirmed. In order to confirm a kill, a member of your team has to collect the dog tags from an enemy corpse. Allies can also collect team-mates' dog tags to deny a confirmed kill to the enemy.

CS:Global Offensive First Info
Valve have provided some good info on the next generation of the Counter-Strike series of games. The launch of CS:GO is slated for 2012, and is still at pre-beta stage.

Here are a few sites offering information on the game:

Steam Client Update
A major update to the Steam Client was applied yesterday. According to the release notes, they are preparing for an improved content delivery system. There is also a number of bug fixes.

The full release details are available on Steam News.

Modern Warfare 3 Announced
The third instalment of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series has been announced by Activision. It is slated for release on 8th November - uncannily in time for the Autumn BobLAN. The single-player campaign is based in New York - trailers can be found on t'interweb.

You can preorder MW3 from GAME.

BobLAN 2011.1 Roundup
The Easter LAN this year was a bit lower on numbers than usual, however that resulted in a lot less mincing around imho. We tried some new games, and as a result some of the older ones didn't feature at all.

The new games includes Day of Defeat and Monday Night Combat. DoD proved really popular, and produced some very tight games - certainly got the adrenaline going at times :) MNC looked good, but none of us had any previous experience, so had no clue how best to play it. Maybe next time, we'll be a bit more organised.

The old favourites to feature were L4D2, TF2 and CounterStrike. Unfortunately, Valve released breaking changes to all the OrangeBox engine games last week, and this resulted in all the main mods (Metamod, Mani, Eventscripts, Python extensions etc) needing to be updated. The knock-on effect was that GunGame did not work properly (GunGame3 did not let the player release the old weapon when they levelled up, and GunGame5 did not equip players with a knife). There were workarounds that allowed us to complete GunGame3, but it was far from ideal. We also played a game of Frontlines: Fuel of War. This is the BF replacement we discovered last time, with the novelty of remote drones - great fun.

Not featuring at all were QuakeWorld, any of the Battlefield formats, and surprisingly there was no Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Any spare time was spent trying to find a new wallpaper for Al on :)

Rockband and Kinect got plenty of time in the early hours of the morning. Videos of the Kinect dancing can be found on Bob's Facebook page :(

So despite the drop in numbers, this was cracking weekend once again - many thanks to DF-Lynx for hosting, catering, bar-tending etc. The next one will be in late Autumn, when hopefully BF3 will be out. Wishful thinking maybe :)

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