Dmitry Sheiko Korvin Дмитрий Шейко

AION: I’m impressed, enchanted and shocked

I started with AION just to see what MMO based on CryEngine (engine of Crysis game) looks like. I didn’t expect a revolution. After that entire boom around Age of Conan what in fact came out as one another half-made game you cease wandering of new horizons in virtual reality. But AION astonished me. I started not so easy, by the way. Having DVD of German-adopted box I couldn’t expect that appeared to be a North America version. Furthermore that was pretty confusing when after launching it to see Korean language interface. I had to download European version (a few gigabytes) to get into the game. And didn’t find game card with subscription for month inside the box, though it was promised on the cover. But somehow or other I got it and my first impressions were that’s damnly comfortable to play using this user interface. All the quest descriptions are provided with context links for additional information and possibility to locate the subject on the map. So, you always know where to go and what to find. Another point was your character is totally customizable (no you didn’t get it, it’s absolutely customizable, like you draw it by yourself) and thus all the players to can meet in the game look different. Than the world of AION is improbably beautiful. You start near of the lake where every little detail is to bring you to awesome unreal place overflowing with magic.Collapse )
Dmitry Sheiko Korvin Дмитрий Шейко

Trip on south out of Frankfurt (Heidelberg, Worms)

I proceed to use my opportunity to travel along the land of numberless legends. This weekend our aim was south of Germany along rivers the Neckar and the Rhine, specifically Heidelberg and Worms. We gathered a team of co-workers in number 4, bought 1day-5person-ticket  (http://www.bahn.de/regional/view/bundesweit/bahnregional/erlebnis/erlebnis_index.shtml) and started our journey. By the way, don’t buy tickets at the desk of DB Service, you will have to pay 10 euro more than in the case of using ticket machine.

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Dmitry Sheiko Korvin Дмитрий Шейко

Trips to Luxembourg and Cologne

When unexpectedly  to me happened 4 days of holiday because of Easter I though how to fill them in. My brother and his wife came to me and after the first day was given for acquaintance with Frankfurt we decided travel to Luxembourg. I was  anxious thinking of possible difficulties on the way there but wrongly. I came on Hauptbahnhof in Frankfurt, asked ticket seller about some cheap way to get to Luxembourg and back and got after a minute sheet with certain plan and bought that ticket of holiday. If you don't know it means you can take 4 people with you on the ticket and travel everywhere in Germany during the day. The ticket costs about 35 euro (and some sum out of German board). The sheet we had was very detailed with 2 changes on the way and we usually waited about 6 minutes on a station before change. It was regional express 2nd class - the cheapest option here. You can explore prices and routes by yourself using www.bahn.de, www.traffiq.de, www.rmv.de. But in my case I was positively impressed - even cheap German trains are more comfortable then most expensive Belarusian.Collapse )
Dmitry Sheiko Korvin Дмитрий Шейко

What is it like to live in EU

That's singular  I'm in Frankfurt now 3 months and have not written anything how I'm exited to live here.  If saw my posts added from Belarus you can imagine how happy I'm here in Europe. Hmm, when we are really happy we don't narrate about to much. Maybe this is a fear to lose all suddenly gained happiness, I don't know. Sometimes seeing Belarus when sleeping  I wake up and look perplexedly around I found myself in Frankfurt ask "is that real or some dream". In fact I am not so calm even here and fear all the time that dream of being here some day for some unknown reasons will cancel.



It doesn't really has sense to tell you about my delights here, I suppose you who reads this are likely out of exUSSR and you have all these pleasures since childhood and that is normal for you. For you, but not for me, and I am going to put some thoughts here for me, cause I feel one day I will want to restore all these emotions.

So, first what make me exited is another culture here in Europe. That's what I believe most of emigrants aspire after. Just to compare in exUSSR  everybody is always in fight whatever aim is to reach. Do you need to take a bus? Fight for it! Are you going to visit a doctor? Fight for you turn, otherwise they kick off you out of the line and that's for sure (there is fully paid clinics, but those are for huge money and, what a paradox, they have not really qualified doctors). If you are on the way to home and the home is not in very center, be ready to fight with completely drunk fellows who will demands some little money, alcohol or whatever. There is such a Russian proverb: for a fight all means are suitable. One of the most effective is cheating. E.g. there is no way to rent an apartment but only using agency. It does not matter how well-known and expensive it is they give you a pitiful story for apartment owners to win over them and if you want an apartment you should play given role and be part of the fraud. Well, what about basic stuff, to have some food for instance?  Ha! Check if it is not expired. That is common practice in Belarus they put all the expired goods right before your eyes to get rid of them ASAP. When this is not a big problem in Minsk where hypermarket culture has come in regions that is very actual.
But when you are not a fighter, when you can't lie to people, you are out of community as I was.
And now here, the city of population 600 000 has metro (subway) with so bifurcated system that is comparable rather to Moscow with dozen millions of population. Minsk of 2,5 million inhabitants has only 2 routes of metro.  When Soviet times it was allowed to build metro only for cities with population above 1 million. So to say such a big city as Odessa still hasn't metro and Prague of Czech being under Moscow control was obliged to include all the villages around to gain declared 1 million to lay the foundation of metro. And yet public transport here in Frankfurt is not overcrowded. If you even have not a free sit, at least you have enough free space around. In Minsk using major lines of any public transport morning and evening you are squeezed by other people and when summer other sweaty stinking people . By the way you should there not only fight to get to a bus, but to get out of the bus as well (people just have no room to let you go and you task to compress them to make your way). Yeah, whatever said, my favorite horror in Belarus is public transport.
Ok, people here smile to you and say Good day. In Belarus you can hear "Здрассе", but a smile at the same time hardly.  In Frankfurt is very felt freedom of wearing, of style. You can wear whatever you want and will fit this mob of any colors. My wearing a hat caused me a lot problems in Minsk because I was even with it out of common urban style. What else? Everything. Residential areas are really created to live in. A lot of flowers, grass, lawns, everything is decorated and so neat like toys. It is not loud and everybody rides bicycles. BTW, I've bought one today too.  Gee, to tell it would take too long.  Not for this post today.

Dmitry Sheiko Korvin Дмитрий Шейко

Babylon A.D.

I've watched Babylon A.D. and really enjoined the movie. That's a fresh fiction. Main character Turov (Vin Diesel) starts his way in the middle of 21 century in New Serbia, a territory of Russia. On his hand you can clearly see tattoo С.Л.О.Н. That's common for Russian criminals who has been imprisoned. But in fact they do it on fingers, not on hand itself.   The movie shows new Russian reality as a total anarchy. Buildings are ruined, the most sealable goods on markets are weapon, people are poor and scared to each other and dangerous. What's curious about future is all the digital mass media have logo of Google and paper-like maps based on Microsoft Surface.

Vin Diesel for all the movie speak of course English, but at the beginning there was a little episode where  he bargains for a rabbit in New Serbia on Russian at that without any accent, though not so hard when using the only word:

-Сколько?

- 5 рублей

-Сколько?!

- 4 рубля

- Ok

- Большое спасибо

- Спасибо

But seller woman speak with noticeable accent, as solders lead who captured Turov. He uses common Russian informal idioms, but not aright. However it should be said voices on background speak Russian perfect. It even sounds like professional translation. I notice it gets popular to mix a little of Russian in new movies. In "Last hope" Stiven Seagul said some words on Russian, but perfectly I still remember his  saying "Здрасьте" like any native. Coming back to Babylon, Mr. Gerard Depardieu pretends some Russian accent in his English. Actually that is more like Arabic accent with all those soft "e" (Theese ess not about trrust.. ), but some stuff goes pretty natural "We arr the same… A girrrrl". They bring out clearly refuge camp of Russians in Vladivostok and inside Russian train to get to that point. I like sank into the reality of motherland, brrr. With a certain hyperbola, but still too natural. And enormous contrast with America, that's like we ex-USSR people can see it.

So for the movie subject, that's usual rubbish, if you excuse me for saying so. That's about personal choice of a professional killer, about what does it mean mercenary and does it leave a place for humanity. Diesel plays just amazing, as far as girls. The idea of a new born human being, artificial one is not so original. So that's why Babylon, to reach the Gods by our creation. But you know Babylon tower crashed and there is some sense in it I think.

 

Dmitry Sheiko Korvin Дмитрий Шейко

Impressions of Age of Conan on 1-11 levels

Eventually I've got some experience with Age of Conan. I had reached 35 level in World of Warcraft just before it and was really keen to compare these MMORPGs. On the very first stage AoC seems as just a perfect  game. There is some subject, prehistory. You are a slave at a galley and after the shipwreck you find yourself on a tropical beach. That's why you are almost without any clothes and any recollections of your past. Some guy at once gives you a quest. Besides you see a hot girl bound to a tree and that's is going to be the second one. Since graphic is hell as realistic, something worth of CRYSIS and girl looks pretty erotic you get thinking that's a devilishly good start.  Then you find you can crash you foes with a fragment of oar very easily and enjoy it in full measure.  So you pretty quick get 6-8 level and fancy about what the great exiting fulfillments you are going to perform in this swift pace.  And when you are about to enter the city it seems like a beginning of all that. Unfortunately in the city you find everything is wrong. Merchants sell food, but this food not so useful for you as in WoW. As for armor that is cheap, but also only a little improve your protection. That's more about getting to look fancy. And weapon on these levels are not exiting. Here is no training, at least I didn't find something like this. So you abilities come just with level growing. But why? Apparently developer were to lazy to relate it to a subject. Another strange point is all the game play is separated on daytime (multi-player) and night-time (single-player). Again where is any logic? Probably it was my fault that I picked out PvP server and day-time play appears to me like in famous WoW-related episode of South Park, on White Island some guy keeps killing me preventing from accomplishing the quests.

Oh, and combat system of AoC yet is worth of some words here. At the beginning to find 1-2-3 combat style interesting, like you are really taking a part in fights observing your opponent for his weak  sides and kick immediately in that direction. But in fact all these combos rather confusing and the only true way is to keep pressing 1-2-3, what makes the process boring and comparing to WoW you miss auto-combat system.

But it should be said dialogs with quest givers just amazing. I truly enjoyed their funny accent, I suppose Chimerian one. I'm not used to listen whole the dialogs itching for action, but now I think (after play of course) that it would be useful to me to improve my spoken English on these dialogs. Though maybe I just are looking for an excuse to spend more time playing :)

Dmitry Sheiko Korvin Дмитрий Шейко

A manual for immigrants in Germany

You know,  I‘m used to share my experience whatever origin it has come. I think I learned something about how to find a new apartment in Germany what can be useful for those who just relocated and search for a new one. Then go to www.immobilienscout24.de and click at Wohnungen in Mieten section. Answer to “Wo möchten Sie suchen?” with your preferred place address. For example for me it’s address of out office. Define city and choose the radius to search around this place, let’s say 1,5 km. Then taper specification, fill in number of rooms to want (Zimmer: 2-2) and price range (Kaltmiete (EUR): _ - 600).
Ok you have list of search results. Now look at titles. If you see something like Provisionfrei you are lucky enough to try getting an apartment without payment to agency (it can be 1500 – 3000). Then you will find some marks in title Balkon and EBK. When balcony is not so important, but enable kitchen (EBK) will be what you need. But be aware when reading comments to the apartment. Sometimes they offer this kitchen for extra money. It means previous lodgers can sell you their kitchen for some hundreds euro.  Amount of money you will have to pay consist of Warmmiete (Kaltmiete+ Nebenkosten). In any rate you should pay at once Kaution oder Genossenschaftsanteile that usually costs about Kaltmiete * 3 months and likely pay off Provision.

Next you ring and make an appointment with the person who is in response of the apartment. If you find apartment suitable to you will take some application to fill out. It’s going to be happy end, but I hope yet to find out about it :)
Dmitry Sheiko Korvin Дмитрий Шейко

Crusades of nowadays


I've just watched "Crusaders" movie.  It's very strong to me. That is singular, not like thousand others. Most of movies are about to win enemies, about heroes who  beats bad guys. Wild aggression of an animal  is easily discernible under  the cover of nice words like to defend relatives, your kin, even humanity. Yeah, people like to watch that, that's so close to our nature. "Crusaders" is about three young men who left for Jerusalem with the idea to fight for the name of Jesus (ok, one of them mostly to find his place in this world). What they found was all appearances of evil which are growing up amid a war. They saw as all these vices are made by people the name of God on their lips. Two of the friends left arm and entered Jerusalem to see as  Christians, Muslims and Jews live quite peaceful each near other. But crusaders came to the city to slay people, to rape women, to burn buildings,  to sack.. All what is supposed to be done at a war. Well, and that is very different of what they heard before. Emotionally-strong  watchwords can force good-natured people to do really evil deeds. That should be more such movies because this is unfortunately always actual. We still have crusades, crusade against terrorism, against  weapon to mass destruction, against genocide of mixed nationals, against whatever.

Dmitry Sheiko Korvin Дмитрий Шейко

Egypt

The New Year Eve we met in Egypt. I have ever dreamt to see remains of that mystical inconceivable civilization with my own eyes. During last decade Egypt got very popular among Russian and Belarusians budget resort and associations faded. Anyway we decided it should be very strong impressions to meet New Year Eve in Africa on seashore. We left from Minsk by a plane and landed in Hurganda. In fact that is really one terrible airport . Huge crowds move nobody knows where, hullabaloo and so on. But resort zone was excellent. Hurganda contains 260 resorts and another 300 are being built. When I was picking out resort I just relied on Hilton brand and I was right, it's really good even in Africa.











Warm bright sun, the Red See, comfort beaches, see trip - all these impressions you can probably have at your place. What actually effected on me - that was contrast between ancient and nowadays Egyptian culture. Today's Kair, capital of Egypt, one of biggest cities in the world. More then 20 millions people live there and mostly in poor blocks, often in unfinished buildings. This huge megapolis seems like symbiosis of dessert and city. Egyptians more look like freemen of Dune coping with routine of West-like city life. And now the wind drives their endless garbage bags along waste grounds. You know Kair like an island in dessert and they have some rain only once per year for only 5 minutes. But in the other hand that is the land where 4 thousand years ago prospected the greatest civilization in the world. We have been in Giza and saw pyramids of Khfu, Khafre and Menkaure (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pyramid_of_Giza). Can you imagine the Khufu pyramid contains 2,3 millions of stone blocks and each one weights 2-15 tons. Its height is 137 meters (it was 146 metes with gold pyramidon on the top, which sparkled with sun as if Ra god of sun looked at you). All these blocks made-to-measure so fantastically close to each other that you could not thrust through a knife in the chink. Its basis takes square about 53 000 m2 - the same as 5 modern stadiums. Ancient Egyptians managed to balance 2 million tons of stone blokes above burial-vault of the pharaoh with special cavities and monoliths. In the Menkaure pyramid they used a monolith of 200 ton weight (!).
And this has been remaining for 4,5 thousand years. That is the last remained Miracle of the World and that is really so. I still wonder what looked like the temple complex of Giza 4,5 thousand years ago, when everything was fresh and shining, when there were a lot buildings and statues when pyramid revetment white and red wasn't stolen… It was deadly impressive I think. 4 000 years - bunch of civilizations fell and rose and people of all times came there to be delighted. This time we came… It feels like we are now a part of the universal Wheel of the Time .