Last night was the first time I’ve played in Global Conflict for about 6 months (completely missed the last campaign). It’s one of several large scale, 32v32, Battlefield 4 tournaments you can play in.
I enjoy playing in GC because it’s well organised and at a reasonable skill level. They’ve had some issues with Battlefield 4 – who hasn’t! – so one reason for last night’s scrim was to test out the servers after the recent patch.
Here’s the first round from the scrim. It was a long match but worth the watch as the match was hard fought and tight.
First of all, lets be clear. I’m English, and like many Englishmen I speak precisely one language fluently. Yes, I learned French to a reasonable degree in school (most of that has been forgotten). I did some Arabic classes later in life (again, mostly forgotten) and have picked up a smattering of Spanish. But ask me to say anything more in-depth than, “hello old chap,” and it’s English all the way.
Which is why I’m frankly in awe of anyone who can speak multiple languages. And down-right gobsmacked by anyone who can also write in more than one language.
So when I receive messages, emails, tech support tickets or even view forum posts where a non-native English speaker has written, “please excuse my English,” it frustrates and really annoys me. Why are you apologising for being able to do something which the majority of English – including myself – cannot be bothered to do? It’s we who should be apologising to you for not being able to converse with you in your native language.
A couple of months ago I met a very nice lady called Mia who was an intern at ZPS for 8 weeks. Mia is Danish, but her English was of such a high standard I’d place her significantly above the quality of most native English speakers I know. In fact off-hand I can only think of one person I know who’s quality of English is higher, and he’s Scottish. When talking to Mia I was able to whip out words and phrases I’d not used in years and instead of flying over her head they were understood and responded to. Glorious!
If you’ve taken the time to learn a second language, no matter what level you’re at, then be proud of yourself. Don’t apologise, because you’ve nothing to apologise for. Give yourself a pat on the back, put a swing in your step and carry on with the good work old chap!
Wow, it’s been a long time since I last posted here! It’s been crazy busy at work for the last few months.
One great new thing is my internet connection is now fast enough to stream. The largest streaming website is undoubtedly Twitch.tv, so it’s the first place you’d go to start streaming. Right?
But there’s a problem. Twitch doesn’t seem to like live streamers any more. At least, not ones from some places in the known galaxy.
SOE released the long-awaited optimisation patch for Planetside 2 yesterday, so last night I figured that was a great excuse to fire up the game and stream it for an hour or so. I stream at 1920*1080 using about 2.7 Mbps of bandwidth in total. Below is the video of the stream (if you can’t see it, just hit F5 to refresh).
Yet I had a lot of complaints about stuttering, or (ironically) twitching. I was also monitoring the channel on my notebook and was seeing a lot of stuttering when I was watching it. It’s something I’ve also seen on many other channels when watching live streams. But I have a max download speed of about 15 Mbps, so surely if I’m uploading at 2.7 Mbps I should be able to watch that stream back easily if I’m able to download at 15 Mbps?
I did have a theory that perhaps Twitch are transcoding the stream into something which requires more bandwidth. So this morning I watched the video back and monitored how much bandwidth it was using. It maxed out at about 2.5 – 3 Mbps or so (which would about tie into my upload speed), so it’s not transcoding it. Funnily enough the video also massively stuttered, even more than the live channel had.
To back this up, I’ve just been watching another Planetside 2 live stream. In this case it was Maggie, the PS2 community manager. Here’s a screenshot of her stream, with network utilisation and absolutely lovely “your stream is stuttering” message from Twitch.
So we come full circle to the title of this piece. Why are Twitch deliberately killing their service, especially when very large potential competitors such as YouTube are getting their own live streaming services off the ground? If this was affecting purely small channels, then you could argue that Twitch is prioritising larger, revenue-generating channels. But this isn’t the case – I’ve watched some very large streams and had the exact same problems. It doesn’t make sense
C’mon Twitch, get your act together before someone else comes and steamrolls you into the ground.