ATI 1950 Pro and Everquest II

May 17, 2007

First, this is a very preliminary report.  I hope to do some objective tests of performance on my new 1950 Pro.  Yesterday I purchased a new box, and put a Viper ATI 1950 Pro with 512 mb of memory into the machine.  This required a 550 watt power supply as well.  Other modifications, including a TV tuner and some networking issues, as well as real life, left me watching Everquest II update from my fresh install around bedtime.  Everything worked flawlessly.  I was waiting for some component to fail, some switch to go bad, or just general bad luck, but nothing surfaced.

This morning, I bounded out of bed in order to get a glance at my new setup in game.  I really cannot describe the view if you haven’t experienced the game on its higher settings.  Gaff was parked on Gazer Isle in TT–I logged in and upped the performance settings.  Breathtaking.  Amazing.  Awesome.  To quote my 80s peers, it was absolutely and totally wicked.  I even called my wife down to see it–the scrolling on my level 60 mount’s barding was exquisitely detailed in itself.  And, in case you were wondering, the movement in game was completely smooth–not a rubber band in sight.

Screenshots upcoming! 

One more day until the weekend!


Sigil Games RIP–SOE Ups the Ante

May 15, 2007

Several sites have posted the demise of Sigil–or the partial demise, as some have reported.  You have to keep someone employed to do the firing.  Rumor has it that some employees will be rehired by SOE.

Me?  I haven’t played Vanguard and don’t plan on it either.  However, if they are able to pull of the same turn around EQ2 went through, who knows what may happen when I have a new machine.

Here is a good amalgamation of links, in Wilhelm’s article.  Here is the press release from SOE.

Balancing Time

May 15, 2007

I have mentioned this to a couple of people, but one of the most time consuming things about blogging is putting up photos.  I use some free hosting sites–you can figure out which by clicking on my pictures.  To crop, resize, upload, and link the pictures, especially a bunch of pictures, takes awhile, especially considering the number of screenshots I take.  I am always looking for a better picture, so to speak.  The easiest part is actually writing–though I do spend some time trying to proof what I write.

With brevity being the soul of wit, I should say I have been less than willing to spend the requisite time with my blog of late.  In fact, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I have rarely read anyone else’s site either.  It is a busy time of year for me, and that means making cuts to certain activities for a bit–though I do hope to pick up the pace again with the start of summer, giving you several posts a week anyway.  Yesterday after work I took my daughter outside and taught her how to water the flowers–sometimes the important things trump the periphery.  By the time the family was fed and I had settled down to the computer, I could only play–not report on anything.  I was able to get a few Claymore updates with some guildmates, and then it was all too soon bedtime.

However, I did have a piece of good news yesterday evening.  As Stargrace pointed out, both Wilhelm and myself were linked on the Town Crier.  This is the second time in as many postings I have made the cut.  I look at all the blogs linked and have tried to ascertain what the criteria is, past EQ2 news.   I think they just want to spotlight the buzz in the community, and that is a good thing.  I said it the first time and it bears repeating–I appreciate any extra traffic that is sent my way. 

Both Gaff and Lurk are progressing, with Gaff hiting 67 in Sanctum of the Scaleborn.  It seems cliche anymore, but most times I mention that zone someone says that they “hate it.”  I actually like the zone, and have been able to duo a lot of the content.

I should be back in the swing of things shortly.  Thanks for the comments and the views!

Kunark Repost!

May 11, 2007

I fished for some info and got it–thanks to the commenters on the previous post.  The link Cuppy posted was spot on, of course, and helped clarify the somewhat erroneous first reports of Rise of Kunark.  Apparently, the version on Allakhazam’s was a draft (seems odd, doesn’t it? or does SOE own that site?). 

The actual SOE site is now up and functioning, so take a look here:  Rise of Kunark

 Thanks to all the posters, as I said in the comments.  I really appreciate the help nailing this down during my very brief blog time this week.  Now the long wait sets in–of course, there is plenty to do in the game now, the expansion will compound that significantly.  I only wish these things would release during the summer when I tend to have a bit more time to play.

Rise of Kunark

May 10, 2007

I have been overwhelmingly busy both at work and with the family of late, and the blog has suffered.  On another note, this has kept me from reading any real commentary on the new details of “Rise of Kunark.”  I found the notice on the front page of Allakhazam’s which delineated the specifics, which is now common knowledge I’m quite sure.

A couple things tweaked my curiosity–guild level 80.  We will be jumping from 60 to 80.  I don’t think this is a bad idea, and it always seemed a bit odd they weren’t aligned before, but will there be a new mount at 70?  A title? I am guessing yes, but haven’t seen anything specific as of yet–it may not be decided.

New level cap, both artisan and adventurer, raised to 80:  this seemed to me to be an obvious choice.  Does this seemingly huge number intimidate would-be players?  Is EQ2 not looking for new players?  I don’t know, and utimately as long as my server stays up and we have a robust market, I am not too concerned.  Another 10 levels will just be more time–and of course that is what we spend on the game anyway.

One thing that always hits you with a new release–the planned obselesence of gear.  All the raid equipment, crafted pieces, etc. soon go the way of the vendor, or to your deity in more recent times.  Will you sit on your coin now that the expansion is looming?  How about your DKP points?  I probably will continue to spend points, but I’m going to stockpile coin.

I also do not know if this is an EoF-like expansion in that it puts zones of all levels into the game, or just the starting area and the new tier 8.  I bet it is posted somewhere, if only I had time to go find it.

Free Character Transfers a Plus for Two Boxers

May 8, 2007

I did not realize, until Lanipedia told me ingame, that you could transfer toons between two accounts for free under the character transfer promotion.  I thought it was only for transferring characters between servers.  This is a great deal–and even better because I got in on it.

 I have a 69 guardian I quit playing, mainly because he lacks damage and is difficult to solo–he takes on two blue mobs in crafted rare armor and has to train them to avoid dying.  This is mainly post-mitigation nerf.  He doesn’t do much damage, which I understand, and lacks any real raid gear.  So, I rolled my berserker and matched him up with my mystic.  I have started a fae fury twice on the adjecent account so I could have a healer to play with my “old” original alts–a 47 assassin, a 23 troubadour, and the above mentioned guardian.

But the free transfers solved all of that!  I have made alts on the new, second account, but only for farming adepts and low level drops in my aborted attempt making a transmuter.  These were easily deleted and space made for the move.  My assassin and guardian transferred quickly–I can now hit 70 if I feel like it with my original main.  It took less than five minutes after putting in the move request for them to show up on the other account.  By contrast, when I moved my toons in World of Warcraft, some took two hours, some took two days, and several didn’t move at all until I resubmitted the request a number of times, going through all the prerequisite forms and logins ad naseum.

With the addition of the extra character slot, this will bring me to 14 slots, basically two more than Station Access for the same money–please don’t tell SOE about this.  On another note, I have seen a few posts of a similiar nature, but I wanted to state publicly I have always, and I mean always, had a great experience with SOE’s customer service.  I have had to call them several times over various issues, and they resolved them quickly and to my satisfaction every time.  The errors were not even their fault–for instance I had bought Station Access a couple years ago, and somehow cancelled my account in the process of trying to change back to the regular billing cycle–they fixed it and were polite and pleasant.

There is no disclaimer to the above–I don’t work for them, I am not a fanboy, and the only time I even lived in San Diego was when I was in the Marine Corps.

If your interested in the character transfer information, I think you have today to get it done, unfortunately.  Here is a link to the information–click this Character Services link if you are ready to move.

SOE to Increase Character Slots With GU 35

May 7, 2007

So, all your whining has done its work.  SOE recently announced that all accounts would have an increased number of character slots in the update, scheduled for the end of May.

Regular accounts will now have 7 slots, while Station Access accounts will have 12.  One more slot?  Well, it is actually 3 more than they released the game with, so every new slot is a victory of sorts.

Find the article here:  EQII to increase character slots…