Ask X3F: Excellent good friends edition

It's time for another exciting(?) edition of Ask X3F, the community powered feature in which you ask and we (attempt to) answer. This week, we've got some NXE questions and complaints, Left 4 Dead issues and a Friends list quandary. We also deal with the most hated of all subjects: airports. Read it all after the break.

Got a question for Ask X3F? Maybe you have a story or some information you'd like to share? Send it all to ask [att] xbox360fanboy [dawt] com.

To The Fanboys Of Tomorrow,
Hey fanboys and girls, I first want to say since I've found your website only one week ago, I've adored it! You of course keep in touch with the 360, and are ACTUAL GAMERS. Now, I am writing to ask a question of course, but first I would like to talk about the famous company Valve. Valve is a great company, and all of there games have good reviews and are still being played by millions. With Valves release of Left 4 Dead which came out last tuesday, everyone rejoiced as they played a game based on four of America's most loved things: Zombies, Friends, Weapons, and classic B Movies. like any other Valve game, as stated before, it will have millions of players. Now for my question, when I play Left 4 Dead, it is sometimes hard for me to find a game, or when I actually join or make a game it is hard to find one of Valve's "Dedicated Servers". When I actually got a game going, I checked my connection, and I'd always have full bars (worth the @#$%ing hundred bucks for the adapter). Is it my connection, or Valves servers?
In a nutshell, I'm saying: "Help fanboys (and girls) you are my last resort!"
From Franky D, Chicago IL. GO BEARS!
Gamertag: Evil Sandmonkey

First, yes, Left 4 Dead is pretty damned sweet. We all agree on that here at Fanboy Towers (and the Joystiq network in general, actually). It is sweet for all the reasons you mentioned and more. For example, you forgot to Molotov cocktails. We love those too. As for you issue, we're not sure what the problem is. We've never had trouble getting into matches online, though we tend to stick to only playing with friends. We have encountered lag before, but we've never had any matchmaking issues. We honestly weren't even aware there were dedicated servers for the 360 version, so we can't help you there. We can suggest all the usual things to. Check to see if your router is officially supported by Microsoft (here's a list of compatible routers). You should also check your network settings on your Xbox 360. Matchmaking issues are often created if you have "Moderate" or "Strict" NAT types. If you have either of those NAT types, you should try a different router.

Anyone out there know a solution to Franky's problem?

In NXE, why on earth is "Spotlight" the default menu instead of "My Xbox"? The solution: don't sign into Xbox LIVE and everything works as it should.

Also, note that when offline, the R/L Triggers conveniently bring you back to the "My Xbox" menu -- how thoughtful! Except that WHEN YOU'RE ON XBOX LIVE IT BRINGS YOU TO SPOTLIGHT INSTEAD. Are you f-ing kidding me?

Note to Microsoft: Crippling your software for paying customers is doing it the wrong way.


Grant, first thing's first: Take a deep breath. Let it out. Relax. Better? Good. The answer to your conundrum is quite simple: Microsoft wants to sell you things. Also, since you're already paying for Xbox Live (or have gone through the trouble of setting up a Silver account), MS knows you're fairly dedicated to their machine. In the case of Gold members, MS knows you're already paying it money, so why not see if you'll pay a little more? Thus, the first thing you see when you boot up your 360 is an advertisement for something. Don't expect that to change.

K so I would like to be like everyone else and say that I love this site. Been a reader for a year or so now and i hope you guys keep it coming.
My question is about the friends list on the xbox. Recently i tried to add some of you guys because i thought it would be awesome to play with all of you sense the lack of mature gamers on the xbox is appalling, but your friends lists are all full. This was a disappointment to me but then it made me think, why do they have a limit on the friends list? what if you want more than 200 friends? what do you guys think about this? Are you glad that you dont have to accept more than 200 people to be your friends? Also, i was just wondering, when you log onto xbox live do how many people send you invites and how often? Thanks for your comments and help
GT: hAnGoVeR17

The limit is actually only 100 friends and this issue has been around for a very long time. According to our conversations with Microsoft, the list is capped at 100 based on two things. One, the average number of friends any user has on live is much lower than 100 (it hovers around 25 according to MS). The second reason has to do with system resources. As you can imagine, keeping track of the status of 100 friends requires a certain amount of the Xbox 360's resources. If you start adding to that number, you take away resources from other things that might need them (e.g. games). That's the official line, anyway.

As for how many requests we rich and powerful bloggers get, well, we get a lot. It would be hard to gauge the actual frequency of the invites, but they seem to come in waves (after a podcast is posted, for example). Though we usually have full friends lists, we tend to clean them out regularly to allow new people to send requests. Also, even though our lists our full, we tend to play more regularly with people we personally know, just like most gamers do.

Yet another NXE question (be patient). When I heard we were getting this update I figured it was going to be a new dashboard from the ground up. Alas, after a week of playing it's apparent that it's just some pretty makeup on the same stinky pig. It still takes more than a half dozen clicks to download anything and then at least two more to get back to the spot where you started from. When going to your game, video, music and picture libraries it still takes forever to build the list of items you have on your console. I'm sure they could figure out a way to just read from a small index file that gets updated when you download or delete an item. And my last gripe is the lack of options for sorting items in the marketplace. I guess it's too much to ask to be able to sort by date. And finally my question: WTF?


Yup, there are still many annoying features in the NXE. We particularly dislike how long it takes for our list of Arcade games to populate. This same complaint can be applied to the Game Marketplace when you have to wait for it to allow you to download something like a demo. Still, the we feel the new features make up for the annoyances (the new Guide in particular). Anyone out there have any NXE annoyances they'd like to vent about? Do so in the comments.

Long time reader here but first time e mailer.
Your avatar you used for this picture

He looks like a douche bag seriously.

What Avatar? That's just a photograph*.


I have a scratched Madden NFL 09. If I borrow my friend's CD and install it to the hard drive, will my scratched copy work? It seems like it would, since the disk isn't spinning or anything. All it would have to do is detect that i have it in the tray, and it would work fine...Right?


Yes, from what we have heard, you should be able to install a friends disc and then use yours for the disc check. As long as the 360 can at least identify the disc in the tray, it should work just fine.

Hey everyone,

I couldn't find answers anywhere so I really hope you guys can help me out. I'm going to be traveling in a couple of days by plane on an international flight. My brother leaves abroad and I was thinking of buying Rock Band 2 as a surprise gift. I'm going to buy the special edition of Rock Band 2 and I was wondering if airport security will allow me to carry the box with me onto the plane. I thought about shipping it but I'm scared the instruments will break from the possible abuse from all of the luggage falling on it. Any advice?

GamerTag: QUIXAND 89
PSN (I'm a fanboy of both consoles :D): MGSROCKS1

We're fairly certain that the answer to this question is a big fat no, especially with the economy the way it is, causing airlines cracking down on luggage. We asked frequent flyer and Joystiq head honcho Chris Grant, and he thinks it would probably safe to check it as luggage. Be sure to have someone label it as fragile though. You could also try calling your airline and explain the situation to them. They may be willing to allow you to carry the box onto the plane and check it once you're on board (similar to how airlines handle larger carry-ons). Still, with space at a premium and airlines being very strict about luggage these days, you may be forced to check it at the front desk. Whatever you do, be sure to arrive at the airport early enough to deal with any complications, especially if you're flying before the holiday season is over.

Remember, these boxes were designed to withstand the rigors of the shipping process, so hopefully it can survive one way or another. Good luck!

That's it for this week, folks. Keep sending your questions to: ask [att] xbox360fanboy [dawt] com.

*Also, your mother wears army boots!

This article was originally published on Joystiq.