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I actually had some good plans for this week’s episode of the podcast, but they were kind of dashed by some missed connections with two people I had planned to work with as guests. One had to get some work done on their house and then had other familial obligations to see to and the other has had tech issues on their end (which, as it turns out, led to a good episode topic for this week anyway). But, that’s just life sometimes. Anyway, I’ll work with them to get some good episodes recorded as the season progresses.
In any event, this week I had to deal with another of my internal hard-drives failing on me, and this of course fed into my OCD when it comes to computers and technology. The failing of hardware though is just a part of life, but it’s very frustrating when you’ve invested tons of money into something and you just want it to work. I go on for a while about how I knew the drive was failing, the OCD I went through in the process of rebooting and restarting the system over and over and checking on file stability and all these things, and then how I finally just had to let things go. But, after all that, at least the matter is now resolved.
I also talk about some recent fun in Guild Wars 2 exploring both The Silverwastes and Dry Top – two areas that were added to the game after I took an extended leave last year. With Heart of Thorns on the horizon, I’ve been having a lot of fun getting back into the game!
Music from this episode comes from Final Fantasy V and are arranged variations of two tunes I really liked!
Don’t forget that the podcast is on iTunes (link under the audio player), but if you’d like to download an MP3 directly, head this way:
GG 08-06: “Disk Failures & New Adventures” (MP3)
The Silverwastes is a zone in Guild Wars 2 that came out a little less than a year ago, and much like Dry Top, it’s a zone that I never got to explore before. Yet, now that I am back into the game, I wanted to try it out and see what it was like, so here in this latest episode of The New Tyrian Adventures, Nerdy Nurse tags along and we spend a bit exploring this zone and trying to figure out what the heck is going on.
I actually had an extra hour of video recorded for this, but the lag that evening was so severe that it rendered the first video kind of sucky unless I did a lot of heavy editing. Sad, though, as we were involved in a cool boss fight and it would have been nice to include that in the video, but…Eh, such is life, I guess! Still, this will give you an idea of just a bit of the craziness you can expect from the zone. This one and Dry Top add a fun dynamic to the game, allowing you to find items in one that can be used to unearth chests with nice goods in them in the other. And both of those zones just mix things up versus what you might be used to in normal PvE areas of the game.
Anyway, I had a lot of fun with this one and with Dry Top (coming soon), and there’s a chance that we will do some follow up videos at some point on both of those zones! :)
Sorrow’s Embrace is the Level 60 dungeon of Guild Wars 2 (at least for story mode), and yet somehow it’s a dungeon that I’d never done before the other night. I hadn’t attempted story mode or any of the explorable mode paths, so it was totally new to me. Anyway, the guild I am in did a run of it the night before and I felt kind of jealous after the fact once I realized I missed out on a lot of fun, so some of us went and tried it again!
This video is long…Very long, in fact. The first 30 minutes or so involve me trying to figure out how to actually get to the dungeon (with a bit of help), and then the rest of the video is our actual guild run of Sorrow’s Embrace. On voice chat in this video are myself, Nerdy Nurse (as Love Owlz), and Jeremy Stratton (as Slyng Shot). Joining us in our party are our guildmates Augustus Du Floryse and Northern Requiem. It’s a long run, I know, but we manage to pull through and clear the dungeon and we have a fantastic time doing so!
So, I really hope you enjoy this episode of The New Tyrian Adventures and stay tuned – more is on the way! :)
A good while back, when I was actively into Guild Wars 2, I had a video series that ran from April 2013 to March 2014 called “Tyrian Adventures.” Basically, it was a mix of semi-scripted event videos and just random fun with new content in the game. Various friends or guild mates would be in them, and overall we had a good time. Yet, I took an extended break around May 2014 and it was only recently that I got back into the game!
So, in light of that, and because I enjoy producing media for stuff I’m having fun with, I’ve decided to bring the series back as The New Tyrian Adventures! Also, my return timing is fortuitous, as there is a lot of cool living story stuff going on (which might be featured in future videos) and the October 2015 release of the first major expansion, Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns. With this new, revived show, I expect to record/stream anything ranging from dungeon runs, living story content, some guides to builds, jumping puzzles, or just random exploration and goofing around! :)
In this video, I get things started with a fun, casual run of the story mode of Twilight Arbor – a level 50 dungeon in the game. The story for GW2 is actually very well written and acted, and the dungeons are all interesting. Twilight Arbor, though, is one of my favorites, even now. In this video, the awesome Nerdy Nurse joins me a little on voice chat, and we have Falunel, Jeremy Stratton (StratX), and a random 5th person that we had to take with us to have a full party that time. It’s a very clean and successful run, and we all seem to have a good time.
Anyway, expect a good mix of content with this new series. I hope you like this first episode, and please – stay tuned for more fun content!
So, yeah, it’s 2015 and I’m still not actively playing any MMORPGs. What’s up with that?
As you know, around May 2014 I took an indefinite hiatus from Guild Wars 2 and after some brief stints messing around in Star Trek Online (again!) and Neverwinter, I kind of expanded it to an indefinite break from MMOs as a whole. It’s closing in on a year since I decided to take those steps back, and you might wonder why I haven’t found something new to suit my fancy. The short answer is that so far nothing has called to me to make me want to play it. I’ve briefly considered giving Elder Scrolls Online a go at some point, but so far haven’t pulled the trigger on that one. Beyond that, I am carefully observing games as they roll out to the market, but not anxiously jumping into anything.
Now, obviously I am aware that the first retail expansion to Guild Wars 2 is coming in the guise of Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns, and yes, I will be considering picking that one up and getting into GW2 once again in at least a limited basis. But, beyond that, I just don’t feel that compulsion to get too deep into anything for a bit. Part of it, I suspect, just has to do with the often-draining nature of some online communities, and probably it is mainly a personality matter that factors in. I often go all-or-nothing into things I want to do, and as a result, it’s easy for me to get deep into something and then have there be personality fallings-out and then I’ll feel like tons of time has been wasted. Obviously, this is compounded by the fact that anonymity makes some people asses, so it’s much easier for guilds to fall apart or online friends to just up and vanish.
Anyway…Yeah, short of checking out Heart of Thorns, I’m still pretty steadfast in my resolve not to just jump into something right now. Eventually? Yeah. But we’re a bit out from me seeing something to make me change my mind!
This week, I decided that I felt like doing another vidcast episode, so I do encourage you to watch the video version if at all possible!
As Halloween draws ever-closer, I continue to play through various horror games. Last week, I talked about a game called Katabasis and previously we discussed Slender: The Arrival and The Cursed Forest. My main indie game of the week this time around is called Garden of Oblivion. The video is already on my YouTube page, so you can go check it out! I also discuss shows I’m currently enjoying (Gotham, Agents of SHIELD, The Walking Dead, and American Horror Story: Freak Show) and continue to talk about my Zelda fan-game (currently called Zelda: Sword of Moria), which you can expect a demo of soon! Oh, right…I also talk about my “on hiatus” status with Guild Wars 2.
I talked about my Extra-Life charity drive, so feel free to donate to it by clicking this link here! Anyone who donates $10 or more has a chance to receive a free indie game, such as Fight the Dragon!
If you’d like to stream or download an MP3 of this episode, head here:
GG 06-11: “A Guilding Hiatus” (MP3)
So, a friend of mine recently told me about a program called SweetFX. Now, I admit at the time I knew very little about it, having only heard the name, but this came up while we were talking about graphical settings in Guild Wars 2. He said that he never really messed with the in-game settings and instead used a SweetFX injector to impose custom profiles on the game and ultimately get much better graphics out of the affair.
Indeed, I was quite intrigued.
So, I looked up SweetFX given the links he sent me and was impressed to see what it could do. Basically, it was a program that would allow for graphical options that either were outright not available in whatever game was in question, or it would unlock options that were there, but were disabled for whatever reason (such as there for developer reasons for pretty screenshots but maybe deemed “too demanding” for the average consumer). As a program, it gives the user the option to tailor exactly how much lighting is used by a game, how much color saturation occurs, what level of bloom and ambient occlusion to allow for, gives the ability to use anti-aliasing methods not available in lots of games (such as the superior SMAA), and fine-tune all of these to create a level of detail not normally possible. All of this at, for many, virtually no performance cost to their system.
Here, in this article, I am including some before-and-after images, created through the program itself, that has the left half of the screen using normal maximum settings from Guild Wars 2 and the right half using a custom preset I created with SweetFX. To me, the difference is obvious, and it amazes me what we consider “pretty graphics” by default until we get something like this.
If you are interested in trying it out for yourself, direct yourself here to the SweetFX website.