World of Warcraft – Desperation is Showing

Sale in Wow
Sale in Wow

All of the battle chest with all but Pandaria for $5 and then Pandaria for another $10. It might as well be free.

It seems to me that this not so much a sale as a desperation move to avoid going to free to play. All the other games have gone F2P. So why not Wow? They appear to be clinging to the teat of those $15 / mo subscriptions, while all the other companies are doing just fine with F2P or Freemium.

Perfect World has always been F2P and has made so much money that they bought their own game studio – Cryptic Studios. There is clearly plenty of money in F2P, but Blizzard apparently cannot yet bring itself to cut the cord and go there. Once the cost of the entire game is $15, it would seem that it might as well be free. Uh Oh? What about all those physical boxes on store shelves? Seriously, are they going to bring the price back up to $25 / $40 where it used to be after the holidays?

I have never seen details of the economics of F2P mmo games on the PC. There have been some articles about F2P games on mobile, but those use a different model, since you do Pay to Get Ahead with those games. With MMOs you cannot pay to get ahead or play better. But many companies are making great MMO games, far better than and more modern than Wow, and they are using a F2P model. Consider Tera, Guild Wars 2, Rift, Neverwinter, etc. etc. All released as F2P or converted to F2P. And all with much more modern graphics, more efficient game play style and many other advantages. Continue reading “World of Warcraft – Desperation is Showing”

Game Screenshot Archive Program

QtSSA Version 1.2
QtSSA Version 1.2

I have lots of screenshots from the games I play. I used to use screen capture programs to do this, but almost all the games use PrintScreen now to save the images. Most tag the images with unique names based on the date and time, but Guild Wars 2 is not doing that. They tag the files with sequential numbers which makes it difficult to archive the images.

The problem is that the names are not unique if you delete the files in the screen shot folder and take more screenshots. In that case they start over from gw001.jpg again. So I wrote a program to archive my screenshots from my game programs.

I back up my screenshots to folders in the form yyyy_MM, like 2013_11 so that I can easily find them and so that not too many files appear in a single folder. Also, since my system drive is an SSD, I don’t want screen shots to accumulate there to excess and use up that valuable space.

Update: 11 Mar 2014 – Get Version 1.5 to add zoom/pan and reorder pairs. Read more below.

Update: Get version 1.2 with a fixed installer and screen shot image review. Read more below.

Update: Get version 1.1 that supports sub-folders. Read more below.

If you want to skip ahead , you can get the program on SourceForge. Continue reading “Game Screenshot Archive Program”

Guild Wars 2 – What a Nightmare

The Nightmare Tower
The Nightmare Tower

The recent content for Guild Wars 2 is not well balanced to be fun for any but the strongest players. Here’s an example.

The first installment of the Tower of Nightmares spawned an evil tower in Kessex Hills and some recurring events around the tower and in other places. It was ok if you were with a very large group and were above level 40. Kessex Hills is a 15-25 area. But for one thing, you can’t play that area until you are about 35, and if you go near any of the new content at less than 40, you are instantly dead. I’m talking with Green [Masterwork] equipment, not just white or blue armor.

These events were so scary that it was very fitting that they occurred during Halloween.

So in early November, the second installment is up for this content. The Nightmares Within. Continue reading “Guild Wars 2 – What a Nightmare”

Guild Wars 2 – Grinding on Champions

Kaetlin Stormcaller
Kaetlin Stormcaller

Guild Wars 2 was developed with new ideas like eliminating the Holy Trinity, no backtracking to quest givers, everybody is a healer and so forth. But one thing they haven’t eliminated is “Grinding”. By Grinding I mean repetitive game play that is the most efficient way to move forward in the game.

I’ve played 6 characters from level 1 to level 40’s and recently started one – an Elementalist. When I reached level 17, I wanted to level to 20 to wear armor that I’d crafted so it seemed that Grinding Champions in Queensdale was the most efficient way to level quickly. I kept track of the progress and here are those results.

This is not a complete description of champion grinding in Queensdale. The GW2 forums or wiki will provide better descriptions. It’s an overview of what’s required to level in this way, with examples and my observations about how GW2 really does seem to include a lot of Grinding. Continue reading “Guild Wars 2 – Grinding on Champions”

WordPress.org – Trust Violated

MMOx_2013_10_00002

The last update from WordPress.Org has left us all with less trust in WordPress. They released 3.7 with a nasty bug that caused images in the “Visual” display of the edit post windows to be displayed wrong. Easy issue to test for.

They have now fixed the bug with a 3.7.1 update.

We all trust WordPress.org a little less this week.

– ww

Linux Mint – Migrate to SSD

Baobab
Baobab

Every post should start with an interesting picture.

Ok. Now for the article.

I’m using a Linux Mint system hooked to my TV to watch Netcasts from the Twit.tv network and other things. It’s built using an Thermaltake Armor 30 case and a Core i5 Haswell processor, 8GB RAM, GFX 640 graphics, and a 250GB HD.

But the system is slow. So I’ve decided that the best approach would be to get a cheap SSD for it. I found a Refurbished 60GB SSD on Newegg for about $40. That should do the trick. Given there aren’t that many apps installed on the Linux system, it uses far less than 60GB, so the small size is no problem.

Migration to SSD

I don’t want to completely rebuild the system. I’d rather migrate it to the SSD. A forum post led me to using gparted to migrate the partitions from the 250GB hard drive to the SSD. Also, it seems best to test this scheme using a virtual machine before I actually migrate the system. One of the VMs I keep current is a Linux Mint 15 system in a 60GB VM disk on my Windows 7 system. I use Virtual Box.

After I did the experiments with the VM, I successfully migrated a 250GB HD – 9GB used- to a 60GB SSD with no problems using this scheme. Continue reading “Linux Mint – Migrate to SSD”