Ok. I admit, I’m just a lurker. I don’t pay for Wow any more, I just play the starter or trial or whatever they call it. Yep. Recall that I played it for years and left when in Legion they did the “Universal Level Scaling”. That ruined it for me. Anyway, I check in periodically to see how things are doing, and of course yesterday was the big “Shadowlands Pre-Patch”. So I logged in, made a new toon and ran through the tutorial. I’m not going to spoil all of it. But you can do it too for only about a two hours investment. And you’ll wanna check out the new character customization options, although after FFXIV, I find those completely underwhelming.
You are led by the hand, literally, through the experience on Exile’s Reach. It’s a common trope, nothing original here, Blizzard:
The ship to far off lands
The catastrophe that washes you up on the beach
The buddy that’s going to walk you through the whole experience, step by step.
But there are a few Wow specific tropes here too:
The obligatory “Bomb the masses from some sort of airship”, although this airship was just a little rotor and you dangle from a rope. Come on Blizz, the Goblins and Gnomes have better little one-man airships than this.
The “dress up an on Ogre” quest, or dress us as anything else, to sneak into the fortress, after which everybody ignores you anyway as you walk around with no costume.
and the minor dungeon tutorial where the NPC acts, or says she is acting, as your tank while you kill some trash and a boss.
Minor spoiler – watch out for those treasure chests lying around. They keep getting bigger and bigger as you go.
There is a marked difference between the GW2 Story Trials or Instances and the FFXIV Story Instances. I have many GW2 characters of all races and classes, but haven’t played it much recently. Back when Path of Fire came out I worked through the story and maps enough to get many of the mounts: Raptor, Springer, Skimmer, Jackal and Warclaw. I recently decided that I’d like to get the Griffon mount. To do this I need to complete the Path of Fire story on at least on character. So I started with my Necro, which was farthest along this journey. After about 4 hours I gave up in “The Departed” when I could not figure a way to kill “The Soul Eater”.
Today, I’d played FFXIV through the morning and just finished a 1/2 hour dungeon run – nothing special or stressful. And as I finished that and it suddenly stopped working. Just rebooted out of no where. No blue screen. Just a reboot. Boot loop. I tried to trigger a repair but looks like windows has removed “Safe Mode” boot. But after booting a couple of times, it displayed a message that it was attempting to “repair and restart”, but it just kept rebooting.
I assumed at this point that the SSD was bad, or so worn out that it was causing the error. So I tried SpinRite, a HD diagnostic that I have which boots into DOS from a DVD. No go. That booted, but then just looped forever with the message “Discovering Systems Mass Storage Devices…”.
I think Genshin Impact is being over-hyped. I’ve watched a few of the videos on youtube and my conclusion is that it’s more hype than real content. And it has the problem of Cross-Play with Mobile, which means that it can’t be better than a Mobile experience. There’s a reason that Wow and FFXIV and other complex games aren’t on Mobile. The opportunity for controls is not good enough on mobile to make a game very interesting.
Here are a couple of shots from the web that show the hype. “Astounding”? Seriously? How “Astounding” can a hub based game that will run in the constraints of an iPhone really be? Who has 40GB or more on a phone to dedicate to a game? I’m sure that Genshin Impact is more like 4GB of your phone, or your PC, which is what we’d expect from a mobile game. Echo of Soul , which is an older true MMO, but with very small zones and OK graphics is about 14GB as a download, and is too large for a mobile platform.
Here it comes! Amazon is starting a TV series based on the Lord of the Rings. But it’s not a ReDo, but a “Prequel”. Stories based on the “Second Age”. The stories, and movie collection, we are familiar with are based on the Third Age. Apparently novels were never written by JRR [Tolkien not Martin] based on the First or Second Ages, but he left a trove of source material describing these ages and much more besides. The Simarilion, published by his son after his death, is probably the source for much of the material describing these ages.
For a excruciatingly complete coverage of the second age, you might try this 35 minute video. As I watched it, I was not necessarily paying attention to the details as the broad sweep of the history and detail that this world building provides.
Notice that the NPC in Idyllshire no longer sells Un-Augmented gear and no longer sells upgrade materials. The upgrade NPC across the street will still upgrade gear if you have the upgrade materials left over from before the patch.
However, if you have the un-augmented gear, but no Twine, Gobcoat or whatever, then you have to take a hike to the Calamity Salvager in a major city. Here’s my visit to the one in Gridania.
When you visit the Salvager in any of the three starting cities, you need to “Deal in Spoils” and then choose the Shire / Scaevan War or Magic choices to upgrade your old gear to the new augmented type. It costs the same number of tomes as before, but the intermediate materials [ twine, coat or gob] are no longer needed. Once you upgrade all your gear, you never have to deal with the salvager again. All the new gear starts as Augmented, for more tomes of course.
I’ve not yet dealt with the issue of Ironworks gear . I’ll come back here to update this when I found out what’s up.
For the past few weeks I’ve noticed Windows 10 beeping at random times. These beeps don’t seem to be correlated with anything I’m doing. I finally did a google search. It turns out that this has been a thing for quite some time.
I could not get the troubleshooter to work. But continued searching found that the beeps were an indication that the Event Log was being used. And using the Event Viewer – just type Event Viewer into the white search box at the bottom left of the desktop – showed errors in the Application log. And these errors were ESENT 455 errors. So a google search of that showed that the problem was easily solved.