Awesome Screenshot: The Island in a Sea of Electricity #TSW

The Secret World, Hell Fallen, Ascendant

This shot was taken during our weekly group get-together in The Secret World, in which we decided to run the dungeon Hell Fallen on Elite. As you can see, we made it, with the Ascendant having keeled over behind me, but he REALLY didn’t give us a lot of room to finish him off.

The Secret World, Hell Fallen

I really don’t have much to say on the dungeon itself. It was my first time running through it, we wiped a couple times on the tricky Engine Tyrant fight, but we pushed through it. Although I didn’t run away with any good loot, I’m able to check this Elite off my list and am one step closer to fighting the Gatekeeper.

The Secret World, Hell Fallen

Overall, though, what made the run fun was simply the people. Couldn’t run it with a better bunch and I heavily agree with Rowan’s sentiments, more than anything it truly is awesome to have such a great group to run around with.

So Syp, Rowan, Ten Tentacles, Scooterz, Mogsy, Maric, and the rest, I owe you one.

Signed, your resident dungeon noob,

// Ocho

P.S. – It appears that ability is called the “Electric Smoke Grenade”, and he carpet bombs one side of the room. Huh. Good to know for next time! A guide of Hell Fallen can be found here. Thanks, Dulfy!

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The First Photogenic Friday! [Screenshot]

I like new things. And screenshots. I’m a huge screenshot nerd. Don’t know why, but I have a million of them. It’s so bad that occasionally I’ll be someplace in the real world and think “This would make a fantastic screenshot”… yeah.

Anywho, I’ve decided to start up a weekly thing. Every Friday I’ll post a screenshot from my collection, one from a random game I’m currently playing, or one that, if anyone is interested, you send me! Yes, you! I would love to see the shots that everyone out there is collecting, I know I’m not the only one. If you have a good one, I’d be very grateful to see it. Just send it over to my e-mail: Ocholivis at Hotmail dot com, and I’ll post it here!

This is one of my favorites. Not too long into my first Star Trek Online playthrough, on Earth Space Dock I noticed lots of people jumping against the windows. So, what the heck, I joined them. Here if you ran towards the wall, beamed to your ship, and immediately beamed back, the game glitched and you appeared outside ESD. Sweet.

So, after chilling outside the windows for a while, dancing and waving at those inside, I jumped into nothingness. And landed… on nothing. Turning around, though, I saw this excellent shot. Moments later, I was pulled back onto ESD.

This glitch has most likely been fixed in the hundred or so patches since I took this and I haven’t tried it in a while, but the screenshot I got while experimenting in glitchery was well worth it.

// Ocho

Badly Timed Screenshots with Beaumont [TSW]

A screenshot of The Secret World’s villainous Beaumont. Taken at a *ahem* very poor moment.

At that moment, Beaumont was plunging his sword into… you know what, nevermind. That just makes it worse.

I’m not sure how to follow this up.

Not all the screenshots I take make the characters look their part, like Beaumont as TSW’s first big villain, but I take an extreme amount of screenshots for any one gamer. In fact, when Massively was still doing a daily “One Shots”, I was a big contributor and still have two tags in my name at their site.

Oh! I know how to follow that up. Here’s another bad one. An odd shot from Skyrim…

If you were ever curious as to how to take down a Dwemer Centurion this is certainly one way to do it.

Yup. That’s my character… killing the Dwemer Centurion. By doing that. In a slow motion kill cam.

… I still feel bad for the Centurion.

// Ocho

Getting Back on the Guild Wars 2 Track. Note: Still Fun As All Get Out [GW2] [Screenshots]

Well, if you didn’t see, my Guild Wars 2 (or as my wife calls it: Guildawars 2… she’s really cute like that) account has been fully restored and everything is back to the way things were.

It did take 4 days, which as I said in previous posts, is a long time to wait, and I’m surprised that in all the testing leading up to release, being heavily attacked by gold sellers and bots wasn’t considered a major issue. However, it seems that they are coming back up to speed. Check out their September 2nd status update to see all the headway they’ve made in the good fight against the hackers.  Here are some of the more notable entries:

– “Over the past three days we’ve received approximately 8,500 new support tickets related to hacked accounts and other blocking login issues, and we’ve resolved issues to get approximately 9,500 players back into the game (most from tickets submitted prior to Friday, August 31).”

– “We’re aggressively ramping up our customer support team, with 28 new support representatives starting today and more coming online in the next few days, to provide the fast response times our customers expect.”

– “We had the Trading Post down for maintenance earlier today but currently it’s online and available to all players.”

– “To play with a friend on a different overflow server, form a party together, then right-click on the friend’s portrait in the party list and click “join”.” (I had problems with this last night. I tried playing with a friend on a different server… but it seems that isn’t exactly possible just yet or maybe it was just really not intuitive. I hope that does become possible soon. Being able to chat with friends on other servers is nice, but playing with them is the primary goal.)

– “If you discover an emergency game-breaking or economy-breaking bug, do not exploit it, but please notify us immediately at this email address: exploits (at) arena (dot) net.”

As I said before: “Mistakes will happen. It’s how you fix them that count.” Although I still don’t see ArenaNet in a spectacular light, you have to admit they are doing their best attempts to fix it. Losing your account is VERY frustrating for any period of time, especially if it was for something somebody else did. My account name has been changed, my password has been made very secure, and I suggest you all reading to do the same. The best defense against these hacks is to make the information that they have on their stolen lists incorrect. For example, creating an alias e-mail address in Hotmail. G-mail, I believe, also has security methods like this, too. Use them.

As far as password strength, use this site to check it’s strength: HowSecureIsMyPassword.net. Simple enough, it’ll tell you how long it’ll take a desktop PC to crack it. I don’t think the website includes the strength of graphic processing units into it’s calculations, which would make it much quicker, but it’s a good judge for password strength. For example, the password I had notes that it would take 7 hours to crack. That’s terrible, and you can see why it was so easy. Now, it says my new password will take 178 quadrillion years. See the difference? Make your password stronger, folks. If you think you’ll have trouble coming up with something more secure, check out this Xkcd comic:

From xkcd.com, a great comic. The password “correcthorsebatterystaple” would take a quintillion years to crack, according to the link I posted.

Anyway, I’m back in Guild Wars 2! Awesome! And it is back to being everything I expected and more. Freeform exploration and grouping with only your whim pushing you ahead is just… relaxing. As I noted, I had a little difficulty grouping with a friend of mine last night, but I’m sure this will be addressed. Or maybe I’m an idiot and just didn’t do it right. Either way, hopefully it’ll be figured out soon.

I don’t have too many thoughts on any real negatives about Guild Wars 2 right now, but that’s because I’m simply having too much fun to even think about the negatives. The weapon skills could be more diverse? So what?! Guild stuff is still a little tricky? Who cares?! End game? Eff end game! Tutorials don’t explain much? Don’t rely on guides! Explore! Spreadsheets can be consulted later. For right now, Guild Wars 2 has what it promised: Fun. And lots of it.

I know I’m not exactly like other gamers out there, though, and it shows. I love the new dye system, for example. You grab a dye as a drop and suddenly it’s added to the palette of colors you can make your armor, for free, at any time you want. Right now I’m rolling with a color scheme that is mostly Pottery and Ebony with Autumn highlights. The other night, I spent about 15 minutes working on this scheme, which has a sort of wild-west flavor to it that is badass, especially for my gunslinging engineer.

When I was done, I continued on my way and saw this in chat:

“Player1: What are these dyes for?

Player2: To dye your armor.

Player1: That’s really lame.”

Lame? The ability to give your character style and customization at any point in the game for free is lame?! See? Different strokes. But at least you don’t have to look silly for half the game…

From another great comic, Nerf NOW!!

Interested in more Guild Wars 2 screenshots?! If you’re anything like me (most likely not), I know you are. Here you go… a few more for you screenshot-aholics.

\\ Ocho

P.S. – If you’re still locked out for a hack, just try to be patient, despite the anger. My time was 4 days, and I would expect that or sooner. Just know that if you’re innocent, you will almost guaranteed be getting your account back.

Guild Wars 2 Has Finally Launched!

The day we have been waiting for has finally arrived. Guild Wars 2 launched last night for headstart acess at the strike of midnight on August 25th, 2012. After five years, all the anticipation and hard work of the ArenaNet employees finally becomes reality.

So far, it’s as you expect it to be… a complete lagfest. I haven’t had time to log on recently as I write this, but last night the lag spikes were so severe I became disconnected about 5 times, with each play session only lasting at most 10 minutes.

But really… who wasn’t expecting this? This is pretty much standard fare for an MMO launch nowadays. So I know the fine people at ArenaNet are working their butts off right now, trying to make the experience for everyone as smooth as possible, though it’s probably the equivalent of holding back the water after a dam breaks. I do not envy them.

It’s not a usual trait among gamers, but now, and even through the first week or two after launch, please be patient. The game will be open for YEARS. There will be plenty of time to play.

Anyway, if you’re looking for me and my BADASS Asuran engineer (I know. An original choice, right? But LOOK AT HIM! Totally badass.), we’re on the Fort Aspenwood server and my name is Ocholivis.2709. Hope to see you all in game!

\\ Ocho

P.S. – As far as differentiating servers go, it appears the primary e-sports and PvP Server is Yak’s Bend. (thanks to @Zalszibar for the info!). The North American Roleplay Server looks to be Tarnished Coast, and the European Union Roleplay Server is Piken Square.

P.P.S – Here are a few more screenshots in the small period of time I had last night.

Skyrim Screenshots

As I mentioned in my last post, the game I’m hooked on currently is Skyrim. Oh, and it’s DLC Dawnguard, too. I picked that up, too. Vampires are now everywhere and I can’t tell if they were there to begin with or if it’s part of the Dawnguard content. I like it that way, where the DLC is slipped into the world so seemlessly you can’t tell where one ends and the other begins.

If the choice comes down to Vampire or Werewolf, like some kind of Twilight novel, my choice is easily Werewolf. They just seem less evil. Vampires have the cooler abilities, it’s true, but I prefer the higher level of honor that werewolves seem to have. Who knows… maybe it’s the Harry Potter series that I’m getting that from.

So far, I’m level 34, which translates to “so much gold in my pocket it’s ridiculous” and “powerful enough where I feel I’ve passed the difficulty hump and have moved onto borderline invincible”. Throw on a couple pieces of resist armor, and dragon breath doesn’t even harm you. So far I’m rolling with a few primary abilities: One Hand Weapons (Maces), Light Armor, Restoration Magic, Block, Speech, and Sneak. Pretty much the same set I rolled with in Oblivion and Morrowind. I like it. It’s a fun playstyle. Throw in a dash of Destruction Magic, Archery, and Lockpicking on the side, and you’re set for whatever is thrown at you.

Anyway, enjoy the screenshots!

 —

Nice, right? Very pretty game. My goal is to “finish” Skyrim (as we all know, you can never really finish an Elder Scrolls game) before Guild Wars 2 is released as I want to be there when it opens, or at least a couple of days later as the initial player rush dies down. You know what other game I’ve been craving to try out, too? Rusty Hearts. I know! Crazy, right? However, I played it for about a week a while ago, and found the game A LOT of fun. Not really into anime, personally, but the short dungeons crawls and story were fun. Now that I find purchasing “Zen” a lot less sketchy, since that’s the currency you have to use with Star Trek Online, I might give the new RH expansion Reborn another shot.

What are YOU playing? (Yes you.)

\\ Ocho

P.S. – If you’re wondering about the specs of the system needed for screenshots like this, I just custom built a new system a month or two back. I’m currently rolling with an Intel Core i7 3770 Ivy Bridge, 8 GB DDR3, Nvidia GTX 460, and Windows 7 Home Premium. I highly suggest building your own system. Not only does it cost less, but you get more power from it. Tips and tricks doing so may be the topic of a future post…

P.P.S. – How freaking awesome was that MSL Curiosity landing?! Humanity never fails to impress me, and in this day where a small nobody gamer’s website is visited by almost 200 different countries, the housing market in one part of the world is enough to affect the global economy, and we celebrate the physical achievements  of our most celebrated athletes together, it can definitely be said that this was not just an achievement for just the United States, but an achievement for humankind. So humanity… you ROCK!!!