Thursday, 6 March 2014

Diablo 3 had a patch (The Loot 2.0 Post)

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I play a lot of Diablo 3. In fact since Guild Wars 2 lost its shine for me I have played pretty much nothing but Diablo 3. As a maximum level Wizard with a Paragon Rank of 17 I was constantly picking up 'good stuff' you know, the gold item drops and monstrous piles of golden coins.  Recently however something was amiss. I went from seeing gold item drops every few seconds to seeing them every few hours. It has been frustrating to say the least. I thought at first that the problem that was plaguing me was just my worry but my good friend and blog buddy Mr Fish was seeing the same issue. In truth it was not only an irritation but was starting to cost me game gold. The drop rates were turned down but the repair costs were the same. Then came my saviour... A game Patch.
The legendary patch known by the masses as Loot 2.0 has been eagerly awaited since it was rumoured about an hour after the Paragon system was introduced. Well, the patch is here now and the drop rates are all fixed, feeling even and well thought out along with a myriad of game tweaks. There are some additional UI alterations that really have made Diablo a better game.
Upon launching the game (and eventually patching it, as the process has been a little buggy) you will be greeted with the new (out of beta) Blizzard launcher that is a very nice kiosk for your account as a whole showing you all your Blizzard games and patches them all in one place (when it works, but that's another matter) all you have to do now is locate Diablo 3 on the list and launch it, Steam style.
The first thing you will notice logging in is the main menu, its not a very functional design with a heavy focus on group play, Blizzard even went as far as  making it a chore to start a single player game. Once you load into a game veteran players will instantly feel the tightened net-code at work with a smoother experience from start to finish as well as the newly build social panel that is only every a click away making it easy to find a group as well as potentially make friends. the new Guild/Clan system is a brilliant idea, especially if you are a member of a forum or group who want to play together.
Moving on into the meat of the game you will constantly encounter those tweaked drops making it highly likely that you will get something you want with improved regularity. Personally I got an 'orange' weapon that served up over 1.2K damage in my first real play session. I am very impressed with these improvements. I can see now why Blizzard have chosen to wind down the auction house service as the game loot really is a treat with each drop making your loot hound senses tingle.
The monster power and distribution is now much more even with the new difficulty levels that make the game more inviting to new players and more satisfying for veterans.
If I had to search for criticism I would be hard pressed, everything is improved in this patch, from Frame rates to Monster animations, there is very little for the die hard Diablo 3 player to pick fault with.
Linux thoughts: As a Linux user I try to offer my experiences from this angle as well and I can say that in Linux Diablo 3 has always been 'okay' not great but, okay. Since the patch has dropped I have had constant issues with the game crashing into a mess of graphical corruption to the point where is crashed my out second monitor and then stopped Gnome Shell in its tracks. I had to drop to CLI and kill it from there. Once closed however Gnome restarted and a reboot was not required. Still, this may be more to do with the shockingly bad AMD proprietary driver than the game or Wine/PlayOnLinux. I should be able to tell you more when my Nvidia card finally arrives next week some time. 

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Things what I don't get:Pokemon

I am going to start a series of blogs, of which my GTA one would probably be the first. I am going to call it "Things what I don't get." This one is going to be about Pokemon. With my 3DS being the only Nintendo handheld I have owned, the whole Pokemon game phenomenon has pretty much passed me by. I understand, from the internet and people I know, that Pokemon is a pretty big thing and a nostalgic touchstone for many.

With all this in mind I got a copy of the newest Pokemon (X not Y, though the difference is lost on me). I played a good 6 or 7 hours, waiting for the inevitable love that the internet told me was going to happen. It didn't. I don't think that there is anything wrong with Pokemon X, I just didn't understand why I was playing it. It opens with you playing a kid and you mom telling you that you have picked to do Pokemon and essentially shoved you out the door. No narrative reason why the character was chosen, no story motivation, nothing more than a vague direction to go out into the world and be good at Pokemon fighting, erm because. I get the impression that this is roughly how all Pokemon games starts.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

I am a Virgin no more

Bit of a rant. Have been with Virgin for 15 years (from back when they were NTL) for my broadband. I have currently got the 120mb package and earlier today I, without even thinking of it, downloaded a 22gb file. Only took about half an hour. I pretty much stopped looking at download sizes a few years ago. This was a Saturday afternoon. Not long after we note that our internet has slowed to a crawl.

So we phoned Virgin and they advised that as we had downloaded more than 17500 mb in an hour they have capped our internet by 75%. This is completely different details to what is on Virgins fair usage page. After a very long call to Virgin they advised that my internet can't fixed until the lock comes off in 90 minutes and that the fair usage applies evenings and the majority of the weekend 11 to 11pm Saturday and Sunday. I am a heavy user, hell even the Virgin guy confirmed that I downloaded 800 odd gigs in the last month. The only advice they have is to leave downloads on overnight. 

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Wii U is for you

Not too long ago I was called a gaming hipster. I took some offence to this. Sure I like the odd indie game but I play plenty of mainstream games. So with the launch of the next gen consoles, I couldn't help but pick up a new box to sit under my TV. So obviously I bought a Wii U, fuck, I am a gaming hipster. Oh well i can console (pun definitely intended) myself with the fact that, unlike the next gen consoles, there are are good exclusive games on the Wii U.
This is the impressions bit then I guess. The Wii U impresses. The gamepad is genuinely a thing of beauty, it is not too heavy, the screen is sharp and from what I have played the screen is wonderfully integrated into most games. I have to confess that so far a lot of the time the Wii U has been streaming LoL games on twitch. That in itself is a recommendation, in that it's internet browser seems significantly better than either Sony or Microsoft efforts (heh including IE on the pc).