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precambrian last won the day on February 16 2014

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About precambrian

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    Pushed the meat aside to get to the nuts.

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  1. Guess I got out while the getting was good
  2. Gold Spending Guide

    Original article by @precambrian So, you’ve been playing World of Tanks for a while now as a free to play player. You’ve advanced pretty far up a tank line, gotten hang of all the basics, and generally had a good time. You’re finally ready to spend some dosh to bling out your pixel tank experience… but what do you spend your gold on? In this Gold Spending Guide, I’ll outline the different commodities you can purchase with real money, and evaluate the value of each. Hopefully, you’ll now be able to avoid the money traps and spend your hard earned cash more wisely! As you probably already know, the premium currency in World of Tanks is gold. You have the option to spend your gold on various in-game goods and services. Let’s take a closer look: FULL POTATO TIER Purchasing premium ammunition and consumables Converting gold to silver Changing your crew members’ names and pictures These are all complete wastes of gold that don’t even deserve their own subheadings. Premium ammunition and consumables are available for credits, so why spend real money for them? Converting gold to silver is a nice idea in theory, but terrible in practice- the conversion rate of 400 to 1 is pathetic! For reference, converting 2500 gold nets you 1 million credits. Instead, you could buy a month’s worth of premium and play a single day’s worth of games in tier 8 premiums and make the same amount. For a pittance of a sum, you can change a crew member’s name or picture, but who the hell cares? This is World of Tanks, not Sim City. PLAY4FUN TIER Purchasing garage slots Expanding your crew barracks Purchasing permanent camouflage patterns, emblems, or inscriptions GARAGE SLOTS AND CREW BARRACKS Garage slots are fairly self-explanatory- you need them to add more tanks. Not much tos ay here- these go on sale pretty often, and you should pick up a few at a time when they do, if you’re planning on buying more tanks. Expanding your crew barracks lets you store more crews that aren’t on tanks in your garage. This will be very useful as you continue to play the game and train more crews! You never want to dismiss a crew, as any trained crew can come in handy later on when you buy a new tank. However, there’s a trick you can use to minimize the need for barracks space: buy cheap tier 1 or 2 tanks of the same nation as your crewmen and store them in there. Of course, this relies on your having a few open garage slots! CAMOUFLAGE PATTERNS, INSCRIPTIONS, AND EMBLEMS Camouflage patterns grant you a 5% boost to the camouflage coefficient of your tank. This can be very useful for lights and mediums, but I pretty much throw them on anything- they’re a straight upgrade with no downsides! You have the option of purchasing these with silver for a limited duration (7 to 30 days) or spending a small sum of gold (equivalent to the credit cost of a 30 day camo paint) to purchase a pattern permanently. I would recommend spending credits on these until the camo paint goes on sale, at which point you can buy a permanent option with gold. If you don’t have the gold to spare, you can pass on these as well- the gameplay boost is not substantial, and it’s obtainable with silver. Emblems and inscriptions can be nice to customize your tank, and thankfully, are very cheap. I personally don’t care much, but feel free to pick up a couple for your favorite tanks. STAT PADDER TIER Training crew to 100% competency in a given tank Resetting crew skills while keeping 100% of earned experience De-mounting complex equipment DE-MOUNTING COMPLEX EQUIPMENT Demounting complex equipment is dirt cheap, at 10 gold per equipment piece, and saves you many credits. Equipment sales are few and far between, so demounting equipment when selling a tank can help you conserve funds; you can also move equipment between tanks in your garage while waiting for a sale to crop up. CREW SKILL RESETS AND CREW RETRAINING When moving up a tech tree and retraining your crew to a new tank, you have the option of retraining them at 80% to 90% competency (depending on their original competency and tank qualification) for 20k silver per crew member, or 100% competency for 200 gold per crew member. Also, when hiring a fresh crew, you have the choice of 75% for silver or 100% for gold. This is useful to save some time grinding, but the practical impact isn’t enormous- it takes roughly 40k experience level a crew member from 90% to 100%, which is only 40 or so games (with a premium account). Crew retraining often appears on weekend specials at 50% off, so it’s a good idea to hold off on retraining crew until a sale occurs. You can also reset your crew skills while retaining 100% of crew experience for 200 gold, or retrain to 90% for credits. At higher crew skill levels, it’s really advantageous to use gold for this- it takes inordinate amounts of experience to gain even one percent of your fourth or fifth crew skill, so setting yourself back by 10% could cost you hundreds of games! For example, it takes almost 1.5 million experience to reach 100% on your fourth skill. At that point, resetting to 90% XP will cost you 150000 experience, which would take 1500 games at an average XP rate of 1000 per game to make up. If you can only afford to reset one of these, always reset crew skills. You can use the liberated crew experience to retrain your crew to a new tank and have them hit 100% immediately. If worst comes to worst, you can also always just grind out the 30-40 thousand XP from 90% to 100% tank proficiency in regular matches; it’ll set you back a fraction of the games that resetting crew XP with credits will set you back. SLICED BREAD TIER Converting regular experience to free experience Purchasing premium account status Purchasing premium tanks CONVERTING REGULAR EXPERIENCE TO FREE EXPERIENCE Although you accrue free experience at a rate of 5% of the experience you earn in regular matches, you can also convert regular experience that’s built up on your elited tanks to free experience yat a rate of 25 experience for 1 gold. This is an excellent choice to help ease some painful stock grinds, or skip some tanks altogether, but this gets extremely expensive as you go up in tiers. 2500 gold can net you 62,500 converted experience- this is enough to skip from tier 1 to tier 6, but will only just barely cover the expense of the top gun on a tier 9 tank. PREMIUM ACCOUNT Purchasing a premium account comes gives you a 50% increase to experience and credits per battle (the other perk, a different garage skin, is obtainable by modifying the client). This is an enormous and useful boost; 50% greater experience will make tank grinds go much more quickly. Note that the 50% increase in credits applies to your gross earnings, and thus will result in greater than 50% increase in profit, as your costs, i.e. the amount that you pay for repairs and resupplying ammunition and consumables, are the same whether you are a premium or standard user. A premium account costs 2500 gold for a one month subscription, with a six month running you 13,500 gold (2250 gold per month) and a one year subscription costing 24000 gold (2000 gold per month). Don’t bother with the smaller subscription periods, as they are prohibitively expensive. For example, one week of premium costs 1250 gold- paying double that amount and buying the one month subscription will get you over four times the duration of premium account status! This is one of the best value propositions you can purchase with your in-game gold, as long as you expect to be reasonably active during the timeframe that your premium account is active. The bulk options of six month and one year subscriptions go on sale occasionally at around 15% off, and are a good choice if you have the money to commit all at once. Just be careful- once you get hooked on premium, it’s very hard to go back to a standard account! PREMIUM TANKS Another option is to spend your gold on premium tanks. Premium tanks have a couple of perks- they earn more credits than tech-tree tanks of the same tier, and they can use any crew of the same nation and tank type without penalty, making them excellent crew trainers! Many premium tanks come with preferential matchmaking- their tier spread is limited to +1, so they will never see tanks two tiers higher than them. This comes at a price, though- most (but not all) of these premiums are inferior to same-tier tanks. Purchasing a premium tank is another excellent way to spend your money. This investment is permanent, unlike a premium account, and therefore is a good choice if you have limited funds to spend- it’s a gift that keeps on giving! Tier 5 and lower premiums are inexpensive, but they don’t make much more credits than their same-tier counterparts: they can be good as crew trainers, but I wouldn’t recommend purchasing one as a serious cash cow. For that, tier 8 premiums (preferably one with preferential matchmaking) are your best bet. A NOTE ON GIFT SHOP PACKAGES Of course, other than buying things through the in-game client itself, you can also buy gift shop packages- for others, or for yourself!. WG puts up limited time gift packages every weekend, but there are also some long-term mainstays. Buyer beware- many of these deals are rip-offs, as you can obtain the same goods much more cheaply by simply purchasing gold and using it to purchase the items in-game. An easy way to evaluate whether a gift shop “deal” is actually worth the asking price is to calculate the gold-per-dollar value of the deal: simply convert all the goods to their gold equivalents, sum up the gold values, and divide by the dollar price of the package. You can then compare this to the gold-per-dollar value of purchasing gold instead. The higher the gold-per-dollar the better the deal! In general, if a package has a gold-per-dollar value higher than that of the 25000 gold package (250 gold per dollar), it is considered a “good deal”. For example, for the D-Day Weekend special on the North American server, one available offer was D-Day Package #1: an FCM 36 Pak40 with garage slot and 50% crew, plus 2500 gold, for $17.69. The gold-per-dollar value of this package is: (850 gold (Pak40) + 2500 gold + 300 gold (garage slot))/$17.69 = 206.33 gold per dollar Using our rule of thumb, we can see this is NOT a good deal. You can simply buy the $30 gold package (6500 gold for $29.95, gold-per-dollar value of 217) and use it to buy the in-game goods more cheaply. So there you have it - An in-depth look at what to spend your gold on. Hopefully, this helps you spend your cash more wisely, if you’re new to the game or you just don’t know what good options are! Discuss this on WoTLabs
  3. Making the best decisions

    Original article by @precambrian Many people have said that the difference between a good player and a great one is the quality of their decisions. It’s very hard, however, for many players on the cusp of a breakthrough to understand how to make the best decision possible. In this article, I’ll try to give you some background on how to improve your decision making, and provide an easy mnemonic to help you remember what to do in-game. There are two fundamental principles that you should understand before we proceed: 1. You will have to make decisions with imperfect information. When you are contemplating your next move, you will be limited to a few sources of information: usually, what your minimap tells you, what you can see on your screen, and anything your teammates might type in chat. Make sure you consider all the information that is available to you! You can usually fill in any blanks with reasonable guesses. 2. There is more than one way to win a game. There is no single “correct” response to any situation- many paths lead to a victory! Your goal is simply to come up with the most optimal plan that you can think of. The most important thing is to be decisive; hesitation loses games. Without further ado, then, I give you three easy steps to tanking success! The APE Method Any action you carry out in game can be broken down into three critical components: Assess the situation Plan your next move Execute your plan This easy to remember acronym, APE, is fairly robust: it can be used to come to any decision, large or small, from deciding where to go at the start of a match to figuring out if/when to flex, or even choosing whether or not to peek around a corner. Let’s take a closer look at each step! Assess the situation The first step to deciding what to do is figuring out what exactly is going on. When doing this, the minimap is your lover, your scripture, and the air you breathe. Frequently checking your minimap is the most important step in maintaining situational awareness- a good rule of thumb is to check your minimap between reloads when you’re engaging enemy tanks. You should basically focus most of your attention on the minimap when you’re driving or sitting in a position waiting for something to happen. Here are some examples of questions you want to ask yourself: Early deployment: What is my team composition, and what is the enemy team composition? What area of the map can I best influence, and what enemy tanks am I likely to encounter there? What area of the map will I be able to shoot at, and what can shoot at me? Where are my friendly tanks going? Is there artillery, and if so, how will I avoid it? When corner fighting: Which way is the enemy tank facing? Can I trade positively (i.e. higher alpha, or trading two shots for one)? Does he have friendlies behind him that will shoot me if I poke out? Is he reloading? When deciding to push: How many hitpoints do the remaining enemy tanks have? Do we have numerical superiority? What tanks am I pushing into? Which direction can I push from to conserve my hitpoints? Does the base need help? When deciding to change positions: Does another flank need help? Can the tanks on my flank take care of the remaining enemy tanks? Is there a new position I could move to that would set up a crossfire and break open my flank? Is the base in trouble? Is there a defensive enemy position that I’d like to avoid (i.e. sidescraping E-100, 183 staring my way, etc.)? Learning to assess the situation is an invaluable skill in decision making. Plan your next move Once you’ve taken stock of the situation, you need to figure out your response. Here are some general guidelines: Early deployment: In a medium tank, try to find a location of the map that gives you many lanes of fire, and allows you to influence a wide area, or take a tactically important position and hold it until friendly support arrives. In a heavy tank, find a portion of the map where a large brawl or engagement is going to take place, and break that flank open. In an autoloader or tank destroyer, find a second-line support position, preferably with open lanes of fire, and focus on outputting important early damage to swing the engagement in your team’s favor. Never try to take or hold a flank on your own- you will inevitably lose it, and do little or nothing to slow down the opposing team. It is usually better to break open the lemming flank than try to speedbump the opposition. When corner fighting: Take a look at your minimap, and figure out what tanks have been spotted. If the tank you are facing off against is isolated, and you can take more of his hitpoints than he will take of yours, it is usually a good idea to peek around the corner. Be mindful of the fact that not all enemy tanks will be spotted at any given time! Don’t assume that a tank is on his own, only to watch the unspotted 183 evaporate your tank. You can make an educated guess on this, however- for example, on Fisherman’s Bay, you don’t typically expect a T95 to push up to the middle town, so if he’s the only tank unspotted, you can feel free to engage the enemy mediums, while keeping the buildings between you and the 1-2 snipers. If you’re a heavy, brutish tank, don’t be afraid to go out and take damage, as long as you can trade positively. Nothing is more aggravating than seeing an E-100 refuse to push around on an IS-7 while you sit there twiddling your thumbs in your T-62A. When deciding to push: Don’t throw away your hitpoints unnecessarily! It is usually a good idea to soften up the opposition through corner fights before pushing, unless the numerical advantage is decisively in your favor. Be reasonably certain that your teammates will accompany you, else your sacrifice will be naught. If you’re in a soft tank, feel free to ask your teammates to do something- tone goes a long way. Typing “PUSH YOU IDGITS” will have much less success than “Why don’t we just push this tank? He’s isolated!” If the teammates are inert, though, or you are the tank with the most hitpoints, sometimes the only way to break open the flank is to move forward and hope for the best. When deciding to change positions: Think carefully about what you are going to gain by moving to your new position. Make sure you plan out your route from point A to B- try to maintain as much cover as possible and minimize your exposure time, or avoid enemy guns entirely. When you approach a corner, it’s not a bad idea to slow down as you peek around it instead of crossing pell-mell- this allows you to back up if you run into something nasty, and escape with your tank intact, even if you lose some hitpoints. Remember that sometimes the best course of action is to do nothing, and let things develop a little further. Play conservatively until you have enough information to make a good decision. This is different from playing passively, however- you should be actively watching your minimap and monitoring your screen, lest you miss an opportunity when it crops up suddenly. Execute your plan You’ve come this far- it’s time to put your plan into action! When carrying out your plan, always be evaluating the situation. Has the situation changed? Perhaps there are more tanks in an area than you realized, or when peek-a-booming you realize that the enemy tank was not alone. Perhaps your friendlies on the other flank have folded more quickly than you anticipated, and you need to break off your push and trust your remaining teammates to finish the job. Don’t allow yourself to lapse into tunnel vision! Practicing your decision making To get good at this, an interesting exercise you can carry out is to watch another player’s replay and apply the APE method at each stage of the game. If you just watch a skilled tanker play in real-time, they make the game look effortless- you think, “I could easily do that!” However, you fall short when you try to do the same, because you haven’t actually learned anything! Instead, try this: pause the replay, assess the situation, and decide what you would do, then play it and see what that player does. If it differs, figure out why that player did what they did. Here is a replay of mine for you to practice this on! I’ve taken screenshots of what I feel are the salient junctures: underneath each screenshot, you’ll find my thought process. Before you read it, I encourage you to figure out what you would do, then compare it to what I did and see what the differences are, and why. Click for large I load into Malinovka in my brand-new AMX 50 B. The enemy team composition is extremely slow, with only a single artillery piece. The WZ-131 seems prepared to make an early field light, which should theoretically allow me to output a full clip of early damage. I choose to back up so that the enemy T71 won’t light me, but remain in base and snipe across the field. Click for large The WZ-131 runs into the enemy T71 right off the bat and fails to be of much use, only lighting a single Centurion, whom we promptly take out. Now both teams have lost their early eyes; it is time to leave base and fight for the hill. As I move out, I notice that a large portion of the team is accompanying me, so I do not lack for support! Because the enemy team is comprised of slow tanks, despite my late start, I should be able to beat them up the hill. I am therefore emboldened to take a forward position, up by the windmill, and hug the red line on the way up to minimize the risk of being spotted. Click for large However, en route, I am lit by the enemy T110E4, so I wait at the windmill to become unspotted, and then move forward in case the M53/55 decides to blindshot near the windmill to splash my rear. Click for large Friendly tanks make it up the hill with me, and spot the enemy tanks as they move up the hill to engage us. With double bush cover in front of me, I should be able to take shots without being spotted, and so I decide to try to pump out as many clips of damage as I can. Click for large My execution here is pretty shoddy- I rush several shots and bounce, and take a few blind shots when I should have waited for the enemy to relight. However, we’ve taken control of the hill, and the enemy tanks have backed off. Pushing forward now is a risky play- it exposes us to artillery, as well as snipers at the base of the hill, so I decide to move to another position. By taking the waterside road, I will be able to set up a crossfire on the defenders at the backside of the slope, and should be able to break open the flank. Click for large On my way, I spot an ST-I camping at the base. He has the stock turret, and I’m over 380 meters away, so I should be able to shoot him without lighting. After dumping a clip into his side, I continue on my merry way. Click for large From the waterside road, I am able to shoot the T110E5 in the rear once he is spotted. I engage, as do my teammates, and we are able to wipe him out. The way is now clear for my teammates to come down! I decide to pull up to hopefully spot some tanks. Click for large As I pull up, I take a couple of shots of damage, so I start to back away. However, the T34 pulls up between myself and the enemy, so I dump my clip into the T28 Proto. Click for large And now, it’s simply clean-up time. I’m reluctant to drive straight down because of the enemy Waffentrager, so I keep my distance and wait for the friendly tanks to spot the base campers. Once they do so, I make sure I’m out of their spotting range, and then fire with impunity. Now, all that’s left is the Waffentrager, and since he hasn’t yet been lit, he is probably behind a rock on the far side of the enemy base. While reloading my clip, I should move forward, so that once he is lit, I can take him out. Click for large And just like that, the game ends! [replay file] Closing Notes To many of you, the idea of APE probably seems trivial: it’s self-evident that before you come to a decision, you should think about what you’re doing. However, in the heat of the moment, all of us often fail to maintain situational awareness. Even a single lapse can be extremely costly. Thinking to yourself “Assess! Plan! Execute!” will help you internalize the need to evaluate the situation before making your decisions. Next time you take to the field, or watch the replay of someone else doing the same, let out your inner APE, and watch your tanking performance go bananas! Discuss this on WoTLabs
  4. Overwatch

    mfw when someone scores the basketball during pregame countdown
  5. Very expensive monitors

    There aren't many monitors on the market that fit all of your criteria. You could consider the older Acer XB270HU if the improvements made in the XB271HU aren't that important to you- if I recall correctly the 271 features an improved stand, the ability to overclock the panel to 165 Hz, ULMB functionality at a max refresh rate of 144 Hz vs 120 Hz for the 270, and an HDMI port for a secondary device like a console- Displayport is ofc required for gsync and high refresh rate. Other than those and the two iterations of the ROG Swift that ASUS offers (the PG278Q is a TN panel, the newer PG279Q is IPS and I believe can be overclocked to 165 Hz just like the XB271HU), the only other 1440p 144 Hz gsync monitor I know of is Dell's S2716DG, which is a TN panel, 144 Hz maximum, and does also offer a secondary HDMI port.
  6. Witcher 3

    Who's hyped for Blood and Wine on Tuesday? I'm excited to jump back in to the wonderful world of Witcher, and the QOL improvements in the 1.20 patch are pretty awesome too
  7. A French 1070 review leaked earlier today and was taken down, here are cached copies of the benchmarks: page 1 and page 2. Or an imgur link if you prefer Looks to be 8-10% faster than a stock 980Ti depending on the resolution
  8. Overwatch

    Servers are opening the evening of May 23 for NA, ~midnight 24th for EU also a 22nd hero is supposedly coming out with release (someone named Sombra?)
  9. According to the Linus review, which Siimcy screengrabbed above, 1080 is pretty much on par or slightly better than 2 980s at 4K. I've had 2 970s for over a year now, and honestly, I'll probably go back to a single flagship in the future. My main issue is lack of support in some games, I hate when one of my cards is sitting there completely useless. When it works, it's worked great, but I've run into a nontrivial number of games where I've had to run just one card, and that's been a major headache. Throw in reduced power draw, better frametimes, and less of a cooling annoyance, I think the 1080 has some nice things going for it versus the SLI setup. Personally don't care too much about the updated architecture's featureset, although Fast Sync looks interesting, but for early VR adopters and people with super demanding high resolution use cases that want to run SLI, I guess those features will be nice. $699 for reference is too much, but at $599 I'd take a good hard look, although I'm still overall happy with my current setup's performance. On the other hand, 1070 specs have also been released, and those look pretty underwhelming. I think you're right in that it'll come nowhere close to a 980Ti , it seems pretty cutdown. Guess we'll have to wait for the numbers, but it doesn't appear to be a value king like the release 970 was
  10. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but if I recall correctly the 1070 release date is June 10th, so I wouldn't expect reviews of that card until the first week of June. Interestingly, TPU only managed to eke out an 11% OC on base clock. Might wait for AIB cards with non-reference PCB, one 8 pin power connector doesn't seem to deliver enough power to push it further. Temps weren't great either though, might be time to try out watercooling
  11. Current rumor is that the embargo on reviews lifts in 12 hours, who's hyped?
  12. Did you lock your uncore multiplier to stock? You could also play with the input voltage. God I hate you, my 4690k begrudgingly hits 4.5 only after I feed it 1.29V. At least the temps are still ~50C
  13. CS:GO thread

    No idea, haven't played tanks in 18 months But I'll gladly join you in overwatch
  14. droppin' memes droppin' memes hi dlur