CC Dispatch - May 2018
“God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.”
When I think of the headship of Christ, I cannot help but be reminded of a story from my own life. It was a warm spring day, in southeastern Minnesota. The sun shone brightly overhead and not a single cloud covered the blue sky. I was sitting on top of a brick gatepost and my friend Joy was next to me. A short distance away were about one hundred grave markers — we were literally seated above death. Beyond the cemetery, rolling fields stretched out for miles in every direction. A fire raged in a distant field. A hawk soared high in the calm sky. Behind us, about a half mile away, was a small Minnesotan town that bustled with life. The scene was captivating, and yet we were meant to be there — above it all. In that moment, we were royalty. It was an experience like I have never seen before or after; God was showing me something truly special. I was reminded of Paul’s words to the Corinthians, “Do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world?” (1 Cor. 6:2) My experience, in small town Minnesota, was a foreshadowing of the time to come when the church will rule alongside Christ in the kingdom of heaven.
The same mighty power that worked in raising Christ from the dead has been given to us. To me. I am a co-heir with Christ. A son of the King of Kings. Royalty. The next day, I woke up and went about my daily routine. But as I walked to school I wondered: how can I ever live the same way? The power and privilege that God had shown me completely transformed my view of my problems and concerns. What were they in the face of the immeasurable authority that had been given to me? And what was perhaps most surprising was that I never felt an ounce of pride — not in the sinful, self-focused sense anyways. I viewed my whole situation in Christ as a humble reminder that my strength is not my own. Without Jesus’ work on the cross we would be the most cursed of sinners, expecting wrath from the Judge over all. Thank God for His power and authority—the same power that He has bestowed on us. May our lives always reflect our position in Him.
It’s over. The End has come.. There’s nothing left but dust, weapons, and mutants.
The only option is the Throne, The…
Such is the life of the twelve mutants all set to risk it all to find this mythical, supposedly world-saving macguffin, the Nuclear Throne.
The world of Nuclear Throne is a top-down shooter. Death is nearly permanent, as Nuclear Throne fits within the category of a Rogue-Light, where death is a swift boot back to the start with the loss of all upgrades and both weapons currently held. Each run for the throne is randomly generated, with level shape, enemy and item placement all being determined by an incredibly fast generation system. Of course, RNG can needlessly throw you into impossible situations sometimes, but more on that later.
Level progression only comes upon defeating every enemy in a stage, with a portal opening over the corpse of the last enemy defeated. There’s no telling what the next stage will look like through these portals, nor is there any way to truly know even if you understand what stage you’re heading to. The level generation is constantly throwing out new things, but may re-use specific level bits here and there. Overall, each map feels like a brand new location even with these recurring sections.
The journey to the throne is a long one, with four core worlds and three in-between spaces to buffer them. Expect to set aside 20 or so minutes to get to the throne. Each “world” has a specific design theme, such as a desert wasteland, a ruined scrap yard or the remains of a city stuck in nuclear winter, all of which consist of three stages, the third stage ending with a world boss. After the boss is a single, more enclosed stage to act as a break of sorts between the more hectic main stages. But, these can be just as crazy as the regular stages in their own different way. They focus more on melee-based enemies and close-quarters combat when compared to the main firearm based enemies of the over-world. These stages are also individual from each other design-wise, such as the Labs having different enemies and visual design from the Sewers.
There’s an additional option to skip the normal ending of the game and pull off what is called a “loop” instead. Pulling off a loop sends you back to the start to do all 15 stages over again, however with all of your mutations and weapons intact, and the added twist of several new enemy types being added in with the regular baddies of an area. Loops can be done as long as you’re able to stay alive and reach stage 7-3 again. Although it is rare to get beyond a third loop as the enemy count reaches levels near impossible to manage. If not for this limitation, the game would technically be endless.
The character Crystal can Shield, Steroids can dual wield, and Robots can digest anything. Each of the twelve playable characters have two additional abilities, one active and one passive, that will change how each of them will make the trek to the throne, or die trying. Not all of these abilities are helpful though, as some act to counter an otherwise overpowered active ability, such as being able to dual-wield any two weapons all the time. From the previously mentioned abilities to others such as spawning allies, utilizing telekinesis, and firing off pure radiation, there’s no shortage of ways out of a tricky situation. But there’s also no shortage of ways to die. Be it standard bullets, lasers, or a freak combination of crystal and inter-dimensional rifts, you’ll constantly be finding new, and dare I say, intriguing ways for your runs to end.
To aid the mutants on this journey, after the collection of so many rads or radioactive material dropped from defeated enemies, your character will be able to mutate even further. Each mutation adds yet another layer of complexity to the game, allowing things such as a second life, or permanently slowing down all bullets fired by enemies. There are several others besides these, each aiding the mutant on their journey to various degrees. Knowing which mutation will be most useful for the situation at hand is half the battle, as these also reset upon death and are randomly put into pools of four upon each level up.
There are also items known as “Crowns” that can be discovered in some secret areas, however these add an additional difficulty curve by tweaking the map generation, or how pickups such as ammo and health appear.
Did I mention the secret areas? There’s a ton of them, some offer valuable shortcuts, while others seem to exist solely to accelerate your death, but they may offer rewards such as a new permanent weapon for your troubles.
Nuclear Throne excels with visual clarity, most of the time. In a fast-paced action title such as this, clarity is key, and Vlambeer has hit the nail on the head… mostly. A few enemies in the game are specifically designed to be deceptive in their nature, blending in with the background, but sometimes enemies purely can’t be seen due to their small size. It’s a rare issue, but losing one of your precious health points due to a maggot you couldn’t see isn’t fun.
The soundtrack and audio design is just as, if not as important as, the visuals. It has 35 tracks, a few of which are collaborations between individuals such as Disasterpeace, (FEZ, Hyper Light Drifter) Danny B. (Super Meat Boy, Crypt of the Necrodancer) and the original composer, Jukio Kallio. Each track contributes just a bit more to this journey, like the Drylands theme readying the player for the upcoming challenges, and the Sewers theme reminding you that hope for this world may be lost. The solid thump of the grenade launcher, or the quick dundundun from the Assault Rifle give a sense of power to each of the over 100 weapons that can show up as you move ever closer to the throne. Each enemy also has clear audio cues for attacking, taking damage, or dying, allowing the player to eventually understand what they hit off-screen without having to expose themselves to fire.
Death is, unfortunately, a common but temporary setback. Nuclear Throne will not be kind to you in your first few hours, nor will it be kind after your first hundred. However, one button press and you’re back at it from the start in mere seconds. Why give up if you can just try it again instantly? It’s reliance on RNG negatively effects this, with some enemies being able to target you from off-screen, (albeit with an audio cue), and one boss in particular being known within the community as the “One you either die to in 10 seconds, or kill in 10 seconds.”
One could say it’s tough, but fair. I would agree with this up until the point where the game decides to give you a large, open space with no cover and no way to dodge the literal wall of bullets flying your way for no apparent reason. These types of situations are rare, thankfully, but the mere presence of them makes this game one best suited for quick sessions that end before you get too frustrated. Not even a quick-fire reset button is enough to convince me to continue playing after situations like this.
Personally, I’d say it’s worth the $12 price, even with RNG being a pain sometimes.
Nuclear Throne is a Good title, with a score of 8 out of 10.
Last Month on Ark . . .
The second most dangerous of all creatures, the Dodo, was bred for the purpose of forcing them to fight to the death for our amusement.
While amusing, more fun was had when we locked AlloClaw in the cage instead and fed him to a Giga. Good times.
We are currently looking to a major overhaul of our second server. If you would like to join that conversation please do so here.
Overwatch had some big changes this last month. There was a new hero released: a healer that had a strong point of dealing with those pesky flankers, and introduced a couple more ways of gaining armor in the game.
Blizzard also released an event mode that focuses on the story of the old members of Blackwatch and the Venice Incident that was the start of a lot of issues for Overwatch.
Join us in shooting the bad guys (or good guys) in Overwatch Nights at 6pmPST / 9pmEST each Wednesday, with Custom Game Nights on the first Wednesday of each month. We hope to see you there.
PUBG (PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS) has been an official game for about seven months now.
We have our official PUBG Night every Monday at 5pmPST / 8pmEST but you’ll see people playing all throughout the week. Come join our Discord server and join in on the fun! Everybody is welcome!
Editor’s Note: PUBG adds a new mode or new functionality almost weekly. There are always new changes coming and new tests underway, so please see our PUBG forums section for the latest news!
Rocket League has been an official game here at CCG for nearly three years now.
We get together every Friday night at 5pmPST / 8pmEST for our official Rocket League Night and we have a great time and usually a good turnout.
We also have a 3v3 tournament approximately every 3 months. Good, clean fun awaits even if you are not a Christian!
Come on by our Discord server and play or just hang out with us! All are welcome!
Congratulations to our recent tournament winners: tigersky100, TheJackyl, and Batmanned!
This month, DT performed an interview with Ffootballl. Easily one of our most prolific members, Ffootballl is available for almost anyone at all hours of the day and night. He makes himself useful to serve others in any capacity he can, and helps police our voice servers like no one other than the Great Banhammer Himself, Global.
If you don’t know Ffootballl, I suggest you introduce yourself! He’s one of CC’s friendliest! Despite his occasional trollish behavior, he’s one of the best community ambassadors *and* Division Leaders we have!
Editor’s Note: Ffootballl JUST changed his username to Rocket Chair this last month, if you are confused as to who’s who.
If you have a suggestion or comment about questions we should ask during the next audio member interview, please send it to email@example.com, private message NeoJabez on our forums, or leave a comment at the bottom of the newsletter.
quote of the Month
If you have a fantastic caption for this month’s image, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, private message NeoJabez on our forums, or leave a comment at the bottom of the newsletter.
The winner of the Caption This contest will receive the incredibly impressive and valuable prize of bragging rights for an entire month!
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Knowing what the Bible teaches is, in itself, both the means and the end. It also leads us to understand that those that came before us were real, individual people. They weren’t cartoon characters or mythological super-heroes, they were God’s Chosen. Learn about them.
If you don’t attend our Bible Studies, know you ARE invited. Every Thursday night at 6pmPST / 9pmEST.
It doesn’t matter if you are just a casual computer user or a highly technical, extremely computer-literate, tech specialist. We would all like to make our time spent on the PC as productive as possible. Many programs offer great keyboard shortcuts that can help us cut our workflows in half, but did you know that Windows itself has several really useful keyboard shortcuts?
In this quick video, Neo runs through quite a few very useful ones to know. There are a few that are browser-specific, some that control Windows functions themselves, and more.
We hope this video reveals some shortcuts you were not even aware existed, and that you become comfortable using them. You might be surprised how much time and effort can be saved using these little tips!
These shortcuts have been tested on the latest Firefox, Chrome, and Edge browsers.
- ALT+Left (Or Right) Arrow – Goes forward or backward in browsing history, in the current tab.
- CTRL+T – Opens a new browser tab.
- CTRL+Shift+T – Reopens your last closed tab.
- CTRL+Shift+C – Immediately open the Web Developer Inspector. (Developer tools are accessed with F12 on Microsoft’s Edge browser.)
- CTRL+Shift+Del – Clear your browser history pop-up.
- CTRL+Tab – Cycles through your browser’s tabs like Alt+Tab cycles through running programs.
- Pressing the Space Bar will scroll down the page, one viewable distance at a time. Shift+Space scrolls back upwards the same way.
- CTRL+Down Arrow – Immediately scrolls to the bottom of a web page, and CTRL+Up Arrow – Immediately scrolls to the top of a web page. (These shortcuts have no effect in Microsoft Edge.)
Windows has several shortcuts, and most of them will work on multiple versions of the Operating System since Vista. The following commands are specific to Windows 10, but you should definitely try them on Windows 7 and 8. (Some of these may be specific to 10 Pro and not work in 10 Home.)
- Obviously – the Windows key will open the Start Menu.
- Also, obviously – CTRL+C copies, CTRL+V pastes, CTRL+A selects all.
- Windows Key+D – Instantly focuses on your desktop. (Hides all open programs, browser windows, etc. Pressing this key combination again, restores all windows.)
- Windows Key+E – Instantly opens Windows Explorer at your default view.
- Windows Key+Alt+D – Instantly displays your date/time window.
- Windows Key+I – Instantly open Windows Settings.
- Windows Key+R – Instant “Run Program” dialog box.
- Windows Key+S – Instantly opens a search window. (Non-Explorer Search)
- Windows Key+X – Instantly open the Windows Quick Links menu.
- Windows Key+, – Peeks at your desktop until the you release the Windows Key.
- Windows Key+Pause – Instantly displays the Control Panel System Properties / Basic Information window.
- CTRL+Alt+Del – The long-time ‘break operation’ Task Manager loader.
- CTRL+Shift+Esc – The new Task Manager ‘without a break operation’ loader.
Windows now features Virtual Desktops, though some people might not understand why they are useful. Rather than having numerous apps open on one desktop, you can now delegate specific programs to their own desktops, and switch between these desktops almost effortlessly. They also feature a few shortcuts:
- Windows Key+CTRL+D – Create a new Virtual Desktop.
- Windows Key+CTRL+Left (Or Right) Arrow – Switch between open Virtual Desktops. (You should really try this.)
- Windows Key+Tab allows you to view thumbnail Virtual Desktop windows, or close them. (At the bottom of your screen.)
- Windows 10 will now allow you to ‘style’ your Command Prompt (Dosbox) window. Select Start (or press Windows Key+R) and type CMD. When Command Prompt opens, right click on the window’s top bar, (Not in the program window itself), and scroll down to Properties. Now you can choose to control the modes of functionality, colors, fonts, cursors, and even layout of your Command Prompt. (You can even make the window semi-opaque!)
- You can INSTANTLY change your Windows appearance from a light color scheme to a dark one by going to Start and then Settings, (Or Windows Key+I), choosing Personalization, Colors (in the left pane), and then scroll the right pane down to “Choose Your Default App Mode – Light or Dark”.
Windows 10 has a little-known but sophisticated Error Reporting System that you can use to possibly find repeated errors or issues.
You can access this system by going to the Control Panel. Under the System and Security heading you will see “Review Your Computer’s Status”. Clicking here will bring you to another window. Please click on “Maintenance”, and then “View Reliability History”. Clicking any item will give you a run-down of the operations taking place at that moment, so look for exclamation points and Red X’s.
We really want to thank you for reading! We hope very sincerely that we offered entertainment, interactivity, and fascinating content!
Please feel free to comment below and tell us how we did! And stay tuned for our June Newsletter! We hope to take your comments and suggestions and continually improve future editions!
Anyone interested in contributing to the newsletter with written articles, graphics artwork, music, videos, or virtually any other type of media is welcomed! Let’s show everyone the kind of content creation the Christian Crew is capable of sharing! All inquiries should be routed to NeoJabez at email@example.com. You can also Private Message Neo through our forums from his profile by clicking HERE.