Improving the efficiency of co-op play in Diablo 3 is to be “a big focus” of the upcoming 1.08 patch. According to senior technical game designer Wyatt Cheng they’re looking at improving the raw efficiency of working as a team as well as including features which will save time and make the experience of playing in a group less of a chore.
Taking to the forums, Cheng wrote “Co-op is already more efficient for some players, but this is the exception rather than the norm. The degree of co-op efficiency depends heavily on the co-ordination of the party, skill builds, and the relative gear level of the teammates.” Blizzard have tried to encourage players to team up but he admits that “there's still room to go farther”.
He pointed to “a number of hurdles to co-op play beyond raw efficiency”, things which slow the game down or make the experience of playing a team less enjoyable. An example of a fix coming in the new patch that Cheng pointed to was the new “identify all” feature, “Sometimes the trip back to town to sort through a bag of gear is enough of a hurdle to make somebody feel playing co-op isn't worth it. Nobody wants to be in the dungeon fighting monsters while your teammate is off in town identifying a full inventory.”
Blizzard have yet to publish a full changelog for patch 1.08 but yesterday we covered how there are plans to reduce the number of rare loot drops while also increasing their potency.
Virginia NAACP holds 76th State Convention, elects officers
Despite a last minute scramble to find a new venue for its annual state conference, the 2011 NAACP Virginia State Convention was a stellar affair. The day and a half conference was packed with meetings, elections, plenary sessions, keynote presentations and celebrations at Henrico's Hilton Hotel and Spa.
The conference, originally scheduled to take place at The Ramada Plaza Hotel West, had to be rescheduled when the hotel was taken into receivership just days before it was to commence. Despite this hectic start, NAACP loyalists came bright and early on Saturday morning to do the organizations' business, pay homage to the memories of those who had given and sacrificed much to advance freedom and to inject the organization with fresh blood by electing new officers.
As the 1 1/2-day of events unfolded, one could not overlook the prominent role this organization has played in the American civil rights movement. Those in attendance were civil rights pioneers who have been instrumental in securing such rights as equal employment and educational opportunity, fair housing, the right to vote, etc.
This year's theme was Fired Up and Ready to Work. One can surmise the theme was intended to inspire and generate enthusiasm in what can only be described as a pivotal year of state and national elections. To ensure that those on the ground made no mistake regarding the importance of these elections, State NAACP Executive Director King Salim Khalfani and other members of the organization's strategy team selected a dynamic and seasoned slate of speaker's to recount the history of the freedom struggle past and present and to unveil the strategic direction going forward. They included activist and former Richmond City Council member, Sa'ad El Amin who revisited the divide and conquer strategy a la Willie Lynch, Ohio State University Associate Professor, Dr. Hasan Kwame Jefferies, who delivered a fiery speech on the performance or lack thereof of black elected officials, and Brother Iman Shabazz, spoken word artist extraordinaire, whose engaging yet thoughtful speech gave attendees young and seasoned much to think about.
The organization's new leadership team includes Rev. Dr. Nathaniel Young, President; Carmen Taylor, Vice-President; Elizabeth Waddy, Secretary and Rovenia Vaughan, Treasurer.
True to its theme, the convention set the stage for the work that lay ahead. Refreshed and with renewed spirit, these civil rights foot soldiers returned home at day's end full of fire and indeed ready to work.
The inmate found dead in the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail last week committed suicide, the medical examiner’s office confirmed Tuesday.
Willis E. Coley, who hanged himself last week in his cell, confessed to sharing child pornography when authorities raided his Alexandria apartment, according to federal court documents. Court records show he made no effort to be released, and a jail official described him as a docile inmate.
He had come under scrutiny after an undercover Charlottesville detective used a peer-to-peer file-sharing network to downloaded illicit pornographic computer files from Coley, according to documents.
Movies the detective downloaded depicted graphic sexual acts, including adults having sex with children, court records show. Officials were able to tie Coley, 27, to the images both by his IP address — a unique number that identifies an internet connection — and by his username on a messenger service, which he used as a password for his folders on the peer-to-peer network, according to a court document.
On November 17, Charlottesville police and federal agents raided his apartment. He confessed and told authorities where to find his pornography, court records show. He was charged with interstate distribution of child pornography. Coley had been a specialist in the U.S. Army who worked as a photographer and reporter.
The federal government farms out the detention of prisoners awaiting trial to local officials. Coley was held at the local jail as part of an intergovernmental agreement, said Steve Carter, supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal.
“He was a quiet inmate, very manageable, very respectful,” said Lt. Col. Roland Beauford, the jail’s deputy superintendent. “[He] didn’t cause any trouble.”
At the jail, Coley was put in segregation, though the exact reason wasn’t immediately clear Tuesday. Guards make at least two random rounds of the segregated inmates per hour, Beauford said.
In the middle of the night, Coley was able to avoid those guards long enough to fasten one end of his standard-issue sheet to his bunk and the other end to his neck, Beauford said. The guards found Coley at 12:54 a.m. Aug. 2, Beauford said.
Medics were called, but Coley was pronounced dead, said Kristin Szakos, Charlottesville city councilor and chairwoman of the jail’s board. The medical examiner’s office has ruled the death a suicide by hanging.
Jail officials and the Albemarle County police are conducting parallel investigations, officials said. The Marshals Service is conducting its investigation in conjunction with the county investigation, Carter said. The jail board will also almost certainly review the matter at its next meeting, Szakos said.
Suicides are rare at the jail, with the last successful attempt roughly five years ago, Beauford said.
The hood of a maroon Chevrolet Monte Carlo parked outside Alexandria High School Friday resembled the crumpled Budweiser cans that littered the ground beside the car.
Near those beer cans lay high-school junior Katelyn McDonald, eyes closed, limbs torqued at impossible angles, blood painted on her face.
Seconds later, four Calhoun County deputies rushed to the scene, blue lights twirling and sirens shrieking.
The Calhoun County coroner arrived with a stretcher and body bags to take away McDonald and another “dead” high-school student.
Alexandria School Resource Officer Eric Patterson — one of the deputies — kicked a beer can out of his way, shoved his thumbs beneath his belt and shook his head.
“All units: This is going to be a fatality wreck,” Patterson said into his radio. He looked down at his boots, away from the nearly 400 ninth-, 10th- and 11th-graders crowded around the dramatized scene.
“Another prom night,” Patterson sighed.
Alexandria High School holds its annual prom tonight and, in an attempt to remind peers about the dangers of drinking and driving, the school’s Students Against Drunk Driving group organized the Friday dramatization of a fatal wreck, one caused by a high-schooler who had been driving under the influence.
Alexandria senior Corey Hollingsworth organized the event. He approached Patterson Monday and expressed interest in SADD members performing some kind of skit to raise awareness about drunk driving.
In an interview with The Star Friday, Hollingsworth said he wanted to host the skit before prom, a night long associated with underage drinking.
“And a lot of people have wrecks … hearing about all the wrecks after (prom), and people drinking and doing drugs,” Hollingsworth said. “I hope this let the students see what happens.”
Patterson said he contacted deputies and the Calhoun County Coroner’s Office to participate in the event, while Hall’s Automotive Service Center in Jacksonville provided the wrecked Monte Carlo for the skit at no charge to the school.
Coroner Pat Brown and Chief Deputy Matthew Wade said they were happy to help in the Friday skit.
They and other law-enforcement officials noted that drinking and driving is less of a problem for teen drivers in the Calhoun County area than other driving-related issues — like seat belt use and texting while driving.
Alabama State Trooper Chad Joiner said that between 2006 and 2010, troopers responded to an average of two automobile crashes per year in Calhoun County that resulted in teenage fatalities. None of them was determined to be alcohol-related, Joiner said.
In his six years as coroner, Brown estimated he’s responded to between 15 and 20 car crashes in which teenagers were killed as a result of drinking and driving.
Inside Anniston’s city limits, the number of adults who drink and drive far outweighs the number of teenagers who do, traffic Sgt. Scott Grissom said.
Grissom said that on any given weekend night, Anniston officers cite one teenager on a DUI charge for every 20 adults they pull over.
“For kids around here, seat belt issues are more dangerous,” Grissom said. “Kids don’t wear their seat belts more than they do drink and drive.”
Brown and Wade said they want to keep those alcohol-related crashes rare and hoped their participation Friday would be a way to do that.
Alexandria sophomores Amanda Young and Carly Edwards, both 16, said they thought the wrecked Monte Carlo, scattered Budweisers and black body bags created an effective scene and a disturbing warning.
“It seemed real, like it can really happen,” Young said.
“It’s scary,” Edwards agreed, noting that she’d heard tales of other students at the high school and at other schools who participate in underage drinking, although she doesn’t herself. “I’m sure this will send a message to some people who don’t think about the consequences.”
A Brainerd man is recovering after a snowmobile accident along the Central Lakes Trail in Douglas County.
According to law enforcement, Saturday night, around 7 p.m., Jonathan Reinhardt, 28, was westbound on the trail when he struck several trees about 200 feet west of Liberty Road, near Midwest Machinery.
Reinhardt was reportedly thrown from his snowmobile in the crash. He was transported to Douglas County Hospital and transferred to Hennepin County Medical Center where he was listed in satisfactory condition.
According to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, it is believed alcohol was a contributing factor in the crash.
The snowmobile Reinhardt was riding was a total loss.
Two other men were riding with Reinhardt when the crash occurred. They were arrested at the scene for driving under the influence of alcohol.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Minnesota State Patrol, Alexandria Police Department and North Ambulance responded to the crash.