Official blog of the unofficial guide

Hot news about the guide and its writer

15 October 2008 (continued) : LastExile clan, currently #2

The LastExile clan has been jumping in and out of the first place recently. Congratulations to all members of the clan and to Gordan Freemon, its leader. I never expected this small clan to become such a monster today and to give birth to some of the best players of the world !

If you don't know the LastExile clan yet, it's maybe time you go see it.

15 October 2008 (continued) : looking for some help

Are you interested to help me writing this guide ? There is a lot of people on the web writing small guides on the supreme commander community forums. However, because these guides are spreaded over dozen of forums, most of them will stay unknown or worst, will disappear. If by any chance you're are interested in publishing your very own guide here, just let me know.

I'm also looking for a French-speaking player to help me translate the whole guide.

15 October 2008 : quest for ratings

Hey everyone. I'm not dead in Berlin (although I had a fall at the top of the Reichstag building), I was just working on something else since I came back. Today I'm going to review the situation of my website.

So far this unofficial forged alliance guide has been read by 10,000 different readers from 14 augustus to 14 october, 50% of them coming from the GPGnet forums. However most of them don't stay on the guide more than... 10 seconds. I'm not sure to fully understand why, but in any case the average length of visit is only 9 minutes. This number is the result of two kind of readers : the ones who try to read my guide in a quick way, understanding only half of it and giving up the whole thing after 3 minutes, and the ones taking more than 30 minutes of their time to read something in my guide, possibly writing me a mail after their reading.

There was last week about 250 visitors a day, this number still increasing since the beginning of the guide, although the increase is quite low. Chapter 1 is the most read chapter : from 100 pageviews, 21.9 are about chapter 1. Chapter 5 is the second most read chapter, with 8.9 pageviews from 100. The less read part of the website are the blog (only 5.5 pageviews from 100) and the challenge part (6.2 pageviews). Although chapter 4 is empty, there is 9.7 pageviews for it every 100 pageviews ! It's probably a strong evidence my readers want me to write this chapter. I promise I will do it as soon as I can.

The challenge I tried to launch is a total failure. I received a huge number of replays during one week and then absolutely nothing. I will remove it from my guide soon.

Oh and guess who's the idiot in black in front of a German castle on the picture. Yes it's me !

9 September 2008 : away for some time.

I will not be available from 10 to 15 september, visiting the city of Berlin.

25 August 2008 : how to estimate the economic strength ?

The formula to estimate the economic strength after 20min. is now

This new formula is quite simplified compared to the previous one by getting rid of the mass and energy wastes. The main reason of this change is because taking into account mass and energy wastes can lead to a problem for some particular cases : a player can indeed develop a very strong economy and then massively waste its output. In the end, the formula takes off too many points for this, possibly saying a weaker economy is in fact the strongest, simply because the strong economy has wasted too much. Special thanks to MantaBaxx for pointing me that up.

I also want to thank every entrant of the current challenge : you're now about 20 players trying to beat the current records or making new replays, thus helping me to expand the challenge. Thank you !

20 August 2008

I was convinced mass extractors stop producing mass during their upgrade time. I was wrong. This mistake is now corrected and a brand-new theory is now available in chapter one : see the new section “Proper way to upgrade your mass extractors” in that chapter.

The challenge I try to launch in the end of chapter one seems to be a failure so far. To help this challenge to get off the ground, it will be now accessible from the main page of the website. I hope this will increase the number of replays readers send me. You want to help me ? Go see the unofficial FA guide challenge and make me a replay !

Last thing, I want to deeply thank the player Croaker for his mail, helping me to get rid of some weird sentences I wrote in chapter one. Thank you, Croaker !

15 August 2008 (continued)

Hot mails received today. One of my readers was concerned by the following sentence in the guide (chapter 3, section 3.1, fifth paragraph) :

“Since the trajectory of a laser is always a straight line, these two Cybran units will be some of the easier units to study.”

What seems to be the problem ? The sender of the mail (a physicist ?) explained me that light (from a laser for instance) doesn't always follow a straight line. Gravity can make light use curve as trajectory. This have been observed in the outer space, where massive objects can indeed disrupt the default straight line trajectory of light.

I deeply agree with this reader when he explained me all this, but this kind of approach is obviously irrelevant in our game. So far as I know, people who designed Supreme Commander just took what they needed from classical physics : they did not use general relativity ! Even if some of the theory of my guide can be of interest to study real weapons, like for the relief dependence section, I wrote this guide for the game only. I don't care gravitational fields change the shape of space-time and that light is responding to the curvature of it. None of this happens in the game and therefore players of the game don't need to be aware of all this.

And no, I'm not going to put a warning message explaining to my reader light can actually follow the curvature of space-time but that Supreme Commander doesn't take into account general relativity. Not even a small warning message. It just sounds dumb. I'm sorry : case closed.

15 August 2008

What for the future of the guide ? First of all, I'm going to promote the guide on the web, making advertisements for it where I can. You can of course help me by spreading the thread where you can as well. Regarding the content of the guide itself, next updates will introduce video of the game, design corrections, maybe an index, and writing of chapter 4. I'm also considering the translation of the guide in my native language, french, but maybe some of my friends will help me for that part.

14 August 2008

Finally, here is the third version of the guide with an official location on the web. One big worry for this new version was about the weight of the various pictures used in the guide. In the end, I decided to always use the best quality possible. We are now reaching the year 2010 (sounds like science-fiction, doesn't it ?) and I think people who play SupCom have sufficient speed to enjoy images of 200 ko on this website. Of course, I will try never to exceed more than some mo a chapter. For instance, all the pictures of chapter one together weight about 1.5 mo, which I believe is reasonable.

This new version of the guide features a new main page, two new chapters (one of them isn't written yet) and huge improvements for the already existing chapters. Mistakes have been fixed, new sections or subsections have been added and some subjects have been studied in a more detailled way. The entire guide has also been reorganized to help readers follow the thread.

Welcome on this third version and do not hesitate to let me know what you think of it. You can contact me by mail to : praying_mantis@supcomfaguide.com.

05 August 2008

With the help of TDATL, a player from the LastExile clan, I figured out how to compare two different economical developments properly. The best economical development isn't about how much you produce but well about how much you spend ! The formula I will use to evaluate an economical development will be as follow :

The competition will be open with the new version of the guide in about a week. Thanks for your help, TDATL.

03 August 2008

It's an new idea I got today. To help me popularizing the next version of the guide, it will be possible for anyone to submit me by mail a replay. The idea is to select the best economical developments people will send to me. If his replay is published on the guide, a player will have both his name and the name of his clan displayed on the guide. The only problem is about the way I'm going to evaluate a replay. Apparently just looking at the points isn't good enough because the computer seems to consider mass and energy waste a good thing ! Looking at the meu production isn't a good idea either, because then people will start to produce energy only, and doing that obviously doesn't lead to a strong economy. I'm still searching.

09 July 2008

Hey everyone ! yes, I know, I've been away for months. But since the school year is at an end, my work here can start again. In a few weeks, a major update will come. Stay connected and thank you for your patience.

22 April 2008

Interesting mail today. Somehow, presumably because of the way I use English, a reader guessed my native language : French. Funny, isn't it ? Well the guy seems to hate people from France. Because France refused to go to Irak, he abused me in his mail.

Let's speak a little of all this. First this gentleman should know there is lots of countries where French is spoken. It's not because you speak French you're from France for god sake ! I'm actually from Belgium, a small country between Germany, France and the Netherlands, where we use to speak the language from each of our neighbours (there is no such thing as the “Belgian language”). We are well-known in Europe for our chocolate, our biers, our bad weather and, more recently, our incredible difficulty to have a stable government. I've been living in Brussels from my birthday to now, a Belgian city. I have nothing to do with France, it's just our southern neighbour. So please stop mixing up France with everything speaking French.

Second I don't think France had to go to Irak because America saved France 60 years ago. People who are living in America right now have nothing to do with WWII, as well as people living in France. You can't say to a young German born in 1990 he has to pay all his live because of the mistakes his great-grandparents and grandparents make. That's nonsense : he wasn't born when everything occured ! What could have him done ? He wasn't even there ! That's exactly the same thing about America saving Europe during WWII. That was very nice, but all the old soldiers from that time are almost dead. Their grandchilds, however, those who want to make war on Irak, they didn't saved France. France isn't under moral obligation to do what they want.

Third, what's the link with SupCom Forged Alliance ? I'm very open minded, but it's difficult to understand why I'm blamed for France not going to Irak on a website about a video game that is not even mentionning things such as France, America or WWII !

I hope by writing this here people will avoid sending me useless mails like the one I received today. Fortunately, it's currently the only one of this kind on record.

20 April 2008

I've received today an important mail from a reader. It seems that there is some mistakes in the guide and that for instance the behavior of the UEF T3 point defense, as I described it, isn't the good one. These mistakes will be corrected very soon.

18 April 2008

Welcome to the official blog of the unofficial guide ! You will find here news about the guide and its author. Great. I already don't know what to say. Well, let's just say SupCom is an amazing game and that I hate you.