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.
This episode, recorded on May 6, 2014, is basically me catching everyone up on all the things going on in my life.
The podcast had taken an unexpected break from March to May, despite being mid-season, so I lovingly called this a “mid-season break” so I would not feel quite as bad. Here, I explain why I’ve been so busy lately, what all has been going on with me, and then talk about some drama I had to deal with from a guild I was previously (until recently) part of in Guild Wars 2.
I do get a bit personal this episode, but this was really therapeutic for me!
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This video that I recorded on March 11, 2014 marks the end of the story arc revolving around Scarlet Briar in “Guild Wars 2.” For a Living Story that had been going on for the better part of a year, I kind of felt that this ending, while not terrible, was also a bit anticlimactic. On the one hand, it does finally explain what Scarlet was after all along, but the acting was a bit cheesy here. Also, I think that for a game that supposedly revolves around the Elder Dragons (heck, the 2 in the game’s logo is shaped like a dragon!), we get surprisingly little of them at times. Maybe, rather than do all of what they did to awaken yet another dragon, they could have instead spent the time revolving around that dragon and having some grand battles and adventures.
Still, I felt the Living Story experiment was overall pretty cool. Just like with the previous section of the story, there was a huge battle going on in the city of Lion’s Arch, but I didn’t feel inclined to record hours of footage of the boss battles as I knew you could simply look them up on YouTube if you were interested. Also, my GPU at the time was suffering, so I didn’t want to stress it as I am waiting for its replacement to come.
Thanks for watching, and I hope you are liking this series so far!
This video was actually recorded back on the night of February 25-26, 2014 but has remained on my harddrive until recently because of the fact that I’ve been very busy lately coupled with my GPU dying on me. Sadly, I’ve had to try not to tax things too hard until my new GPU arrived, so video content has been at a minimum. Thankfully, I’ve also had a little backlog of as-yet-unreleased content, so it’s worked out well enough!
Anyway, this Tyrian Adventures episode features another dungeon run with the Ember Solace guild on the Tarnished Coast server. This time around, myself, Mango, and Petra (along with two random players we picked up in different runs here) take on path three of Caudecus’s Manor, “The Butcher” path in Honor of the Waves, and the third path of Ascalon Catacombs. Here, Petra does a great job showing us some of the tips and tricks associated with speed running, and while not the absolute fastest times ever, I think we adapted pretty well and it went very smoothly.
With the next phase of the Scarlet story here (presumably her final chapter), expect to perhaps see some of its content where we take back Lion’s Arch, in Episode 12 or 13!
Recorded on the evening of February 24-25, 2014, this video features the Ember Solace guild (Tarnished Coast) running Paths 1 and 2 of Caudecus’s Manor in GW2. Featured on TeamSpeak in this video are myself, Mango, and Morissa (with random guildies here and there), and Petra with us via party chat. Path 2 was rough, but a lot of fun!
Please don’t miss the awesome Intermission at 38:52! There is a short out-take from a random get-together near Jormag in Frostgorge. It should make for some fun laughs, particularly due to the musical interlude by one of our guild members, Andrew, and the appearance of Mr. Morgan Treeman :P
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In Episode 8, I focused on the Living Story that summarized the villainous activities of Scarlet Briar, a major villain in “Guild Wars 2.” The story featured in that video showcased that Scarlet was up to something, although it was not completely clear what. It was only at the end that we came to the realization that she was going to raze Lion’s Arch in the hopes of accessing some of the energy flowing deep below the city.
Little did we know that the attack would be so epic or that it would lead to such awesome in-game fun! It really is amazing seeing a city completely destroyed, particularly a city that was so well-loved by the player-base of the game. Yet, this is exactly what happened.
This video, recorded on February 19, 2014, features myself, Aristeia, Falunel (an officer of the Ember Solace guild), and a friend named Aeirie (not on TeamSpeak) running around and taking part in the rescue efforts within the city of Lion’s Arch. While not an all-inclusive video by any means, it should certainly give you a taste of the chaos surrounding this arc of the living story!
Recorded on February 17, 2014, this “Tyrian Adventures” episode focuses on the Living Story quest “Advanced Warning.” This quest is mainly a summation of all the events revolving around Scarlet Briar, a major villain in the Guild Wars 2 world. For anyone that has missed any/all of her stories, and wants to understand why she recently attacked Lion’s Arch, this is a good way to catch up!
A special thanks to Aristeia for joining me and keeping me company as I played!
What’ll the next video be, you ask? Well, most likely the aftermath of the attack on Lion’s Arch!