Sunday, August 6, 2017

Monday Musings 4

DARK SOULS 3 PROGRESS 
I finally memorized the main game, and am now working on the DLCs, which I'm frankly dreading. I kept going over the same last three areas of the main game due to procrastination. I "felt" that I didn't quite master Lothric Castle, Grand Archives, and Archdragon Peak, when in fact, I can visualize these areas and all items in my mind. The DLCs were so difficult for me, even when I was SL300s (?!??) I had a lot of problems, that I'm really not inspired to go through the DLC areas.

Even though I'm now using a PC/Steam with cheat engine, so that there's one hit kills, enemies can't move, infinite stamina, infinite weight, and infinite HP, I still feel the dread because of past experience. If you want to memorize the game, I recommend getting the PC/Steam version and using such a cheat engine as it would make it SO much faster to make a save-file of the entire NG+2 game, leaving all items behind. I mention NG+2, as that game cycle will have all the NG+/+2 rings. So when I want to go to an area, I just bonfire to the area.

To find this master save file (the one that the PC/Steam system uses), you need to search for %appdata% as it's a roaming, invisible file. Then you'll see the Dark Souls 3 folder, literally titled Dark Souls 3.  Copy and paste that onto another save file and/or USB drive.  I'll pretend that you copied the file to your USB drive. Once you pick up all the items and you want to practice again, just copy and paste the USB drive file onto your %appdata% folder.

However, make sure both your Steam and game are running off-line as you can be soft-banned if you play on-line, and perhaps even off-line, which happened to me with Dark Souls 2. This is the trainer that I use. Since you'll be invincible with infinite stamina, weight, HP and FP, and the enemies aren't moving (you need to turn that feature off for Yhorm, though, since he'll get stuck on the throne and you can't hit him), do NOT turn on infinite Souls, infinite Items, or messing up your stats in any way, as I'm quite paranoid that even off-line, From's servers can magically find and ban you (they look for any suspicious amount of items and overly high SL levels for the game time), which happened to me with Dark Souls 2. I worked around the Dark Souls 2 soft-ban by creating another account, and using the Family Share when I want to do co-op. This goes on to my gripe:

FROM SOFTWARE AND HOW WE PLAY GAMES
I really don't understand the soft-banning of players who are actually playing off-line and using cheat engines. I mean, who cares if someone beats the game by cheating? What is wrong is if you use cheat engines so your infinite HP, FP and weight character can beat up on other real human players in multi-player, or if your infinite character co-ops and you get a cheap kill, so that the summoner doesn't get the fun experience of killing a difficult boss (unless it's your friend, and you want him or her to do that for you).

But, really, who cares if you want to mess around with cheat engines during a single player campaign that affects literally no-one in the gaming world? Even so, I have read commentary online where people are actually ANGERED that someone is using cheat engines to beat a difficult boss. I really don't see how this is unethical, because it's not like you're cheating on an important exam that tests your knowledge of the job you're going to do. This is a fucking game! There's never going to be a life or death situation where, OMG, since you didn't beat Dark Eater Midir legitimately, the person is going to DIE!!!

I mention Dark Eater Midir because he's genuinely the one boss that I almost broke down and wanted my friend to co-op, but I finally beat him solo. But, perhaps the thinking is that "you're only cheating yourself" for not enjoying the thrill of beating the boss, but again, who really cares? There's other things that are much more enjoyable and thrilling that you can participate in, it's not like cheating in games is going to reduce the quality of your life!

XBOX ONE ELITE CONTROLLER--MUST GET WARRANTY
I've forgotten to mention in my past reviews the major issue of the XBox One Pro controller, and that is, they tend to not work properly, lasting less than one year, so I made sure I got a warranty for my controller when I first purchased. Check all the Amazon and gaming forums, and you'll see that this is not just a few isolated cases.

Mine was working fine, until recently, it has started to randomly disconnect, the playable character will go in straight line without my touching the controller, and the left LB sometimes doesn't register as the button doesn't click. Wiggling around the LB puts it back in place. The warranty gave my money back (NOT including tax, but fortunately I didn't pay tax at the time of the online sale). I'm afraid that if I buy another Xbox One Pro controller with warranty, that if it also breaks within a year, I'll have to get another one, with yet another warranty, after each broken Pro controller. That would cost approximately $20 for each broken one.

I thought that Microsoft's warranty might cover three years where they make sure they replace the controller so it will function for all three years, but they do not give out warranties for accessories.

As the warranty I had was online, and they refund your money, but not your tax (however, I couldn't find this seller so the only safe option is Amazon, which you'll have to pay tax), I would recommend buying the controller instead at Best Buy. With the Geek Squad protection giving you a full replacement, you don't have to worry about your tax not being refunded. Unfortunately, this is only for two years. What I recommend is if the controller breaks in less than 90 days, get a new one through Microsoft. Then, if that new controller breaks outside of 90 days, the Geek Squad protection will cover. If you buy the controller through Microsoft, the warranty is only for one year.

I'm not sure if Best Buy's product replacements are infinite until your two years are up. If they are, then Best Buy is the best deal. If that's not the case, then you have to get a warranty upon each new replacement, and it will cost $19.99 plus tax. I think you'll have to find if it's worth it to you, but due to the comfort, it's worth it for me. However, it is a gamble, and I'm crossing my fingers that my new controller will function for at least over a year.

The other problem is that the regular XBox One controller also breaks easily, due to the flimsy micro-USB connection, but the $19.99 warranty cost every time the controller breaks may not be worth it, given that the controller is around $40. I'm not sure what to do in this situation except perhaps buying them directly from the Microsoft store, and if you're lucky, going to a physical Microsoft store, and complain. I think if you keep complaining in a respectful manner, the managers will feel uncomfortable as other customers there will hear how flimsy the controller is, and may give you a new one despite warranty expiration. Further, it's important for the other consumers there to see that these controllers do break often so they can make an informed decision with their purchases.

CLAIREFONTAINE IS MY FAVORITE
I can safely say that almost all, if not all, bullet journalists will prefer Leuchtturm over Moleskine. Simply put, Leuchtturm is better quality than Moleskine in every aspect including paper, function, design, variety and cost. Since Leuchtturm costs the same as a Moleskine and better in every way, why not get a Leuchtturm?

What surprised me is that I love the Clairefontaine French-ruled paper so much, that despite the issues of the notebook, I prefer it to Leuchtturm. However, I think most bullet journalists will prefer the Leuchtturm due to the following reasons: you can't chose the color of the Clairefontaine notebook, it doesn't lie perfectly flat and you really have to push the paper down, no ribbons for bookmarks (and Leuchtturm has 2), the cloth-bound cover is not hard-cover, but laminated, and the pages aren't numbered. Even so, the Clairefontaine paper quality is so incredible that I can overlook these issues, and it's half the cost of the Leuchtturm, and includes more sheets.

The French-rule instantly makes my handwriting neater, as it has built-in spacing, so writing isn't squished and cramped, as you can see with the Leuchtturm. Because it's easier to write on the so smooth paper, my handwriting is naturally neater. I tried writing as neatly on both the Clairefontaine and Leuchtturm, and you can see how much easier it is to read on the Clairefontaine. They're both the same notes on Lothric Castle. Indeed, I can't impress upon how smooth the Clairefontaine paper is compared to the Leuchtturm--it's really a joy to write on, whereas Leuchtturm's paper is more functional, and not quite as enjoyable.

Furthermore, for fountain pen users, my understanding is that Clairefontaine is the only paper that can withstand the ink. However, for most people like me who don't use fountain pens, there is no issue with the Leuchtturm paper with ball point pens, and I used the rather smudgy Bic Crystal Ball Pen on the Leuchtturm with no bleeding or ghosting.

In addition to Clairefontaine's silky smooth paper, I love the smell of it (!), and the bright white color versus the ivory color of the Leuchtturm. Also, the lines are darker than the Leuchtturm, making it easier for me to see so I can be guided better, but most bullet journalists would probably prefer the more unobtrusive lines of a Leuchtturm and may hate the smell of the Clairefontaine paper (cross between new car smell and Play-Doh), whereas Leuchtturm's is odorless.

Now, if the Leuchtturm has Clairefontaine paper, French-ruled (and the other formats such as dotted, grid), then it will be THE undisputed choice for best Bullet Journal.                                    


Clairefontaine--Lothric Castle Notes
Leuchtturm--Lothric Castle Notes

The How of Happiness Review

9 comments:

  1. Cheat engine for Souls? Scrub! :P

    Jokes aside, it is an interesting topic for sure, the use of cheats and hacks, I personally air on the side of cheating and hacking is typically bad for your experience, one of the downsides to playing Elder Scroll's games on the PC were that you had to know a lot of cheat codes like no clipping, god mode, etc, just because the game was so damn buggy on release. You had to know a lot of these to mitigate some of the drawbacks. I have a bunch of example's from even the recent Skyrim rerelease, there was one part where I was just at the start of the game, slain my first dragon, however he locked himself in one of the instakill cutscene's at the same time. Now this would be weird enough, but I went back to my last save, waited an hour at the tower for the guards to catch up, they didn't show up. Waited another hour, they didn't show up again. Waited another hour, still no sign of them. Something was fishy, so I reloaded the save, found them at the gate to Whiterun, started following them, and instead of pathing to the tower, they pathed all the way to the mountains, nice and single file, and did their best lemmings impression right off the cliff and died towards a waypoint on my compass. Went down after them, (looted their corpses) and the Dark Elf captain lady woke up and looked straight up in the sky directly under this waypoint. So I had to turn on no clipping, basically allowing me to ignore gravity and collision, and flew up into the sky. The dragon was dead in the air where he was supposed to spawn, when I got high enough I absorbed his soul and finished the quest the good ol' fashioned way completely skipping the meetup at the tower. I have lots of stories like this one, this is just one of the funniest, most harmless ones. Others include one of the greybeards dying somehow, discontinuing the main questline, had to spawn him back in. One of the quests simply not being accredited to me, had to give it to myself manually. Many many crazy crazy bugs and glitches that you simply need to cheat to fix.

    Back to my point, with knowledge of all these problem's, I always had an out to basically any challenge put in front of me, and before I valued that challenge, when I was younger, I used it sometimes, I'm not gonna lie. I cheated my way through some of Oblivion and Skyrim, times I didn't have to, and while I did enjoy it then, if I were to consider it now I'd probably just play something else instead. If I have to cheat to overcome a challenge, why am I attempting it in the first place? do I really get anything out of it if I just cheat my way through it? Obviously it's not up to me to tell people how to play games, if they enjoy cheating over the old fashioned way who am I to stop them. Just do it offline for everyone elses sake, keeps things courteous for other people. I just feel like people are really missing out from that feeling of success over a challenge when they take the easy way out.

    -CheesusAlmighty

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  2. LOL! I think for Dark Souls, I can't cheat on my "real" character, but to practice finding items, it makes sense to use a cheat engine to quickly make the necessary files, as well as seeing what an SL999 really feels like, and I agree to do this all offline.

    I love your Skyrim story and it's a great example of why I avoid Bethesda products, because I don't want to have to use a cheat engine just to reverse engineer the bugs!

    I do agree with you that people do miss out on that wonderful feeling of success over a very difficult gaming challenge, but I don't think there's any major problem with that, as long as it's offline. I just find it bizarre that there are gamers out there who actually take offense at this! but I'm like you, I prefer to not use cheats since I love that feeling of success, but I have used glitches or abused the system (i.e. in Nioh's coop system) when I truly can't complete a particular stage.'

    I'd love to hear more of your Bethesda bug stories!

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  3. Oh boy, this is a fun topic. I'll start with Oblivion, That game wasn't as bad, though it may just have had something to do with me being younger and less understanding of what was going on, there were more exploits in that game than full on bugs. Things the game didn't really break for, just they didn't think it'd go that far. Such as one time I was doing some stuff in an oblivion gate, following the main quest. I a few rooms into the first tower, when I'm stopped and turned around. "Stop! You have violated the law." It was a guard from the nearby town, I guess he'd followed me all the way over here but couldn't catch up until just then. Gotta hand it too him, thats some commitment to the job following some madman into a plane of oblivion over a small bounty. Sadly he didn't last long, imps ate his face. There was other exploits in the game, things like instakill spells you could create with drain life, armour enchanted to make yourself literally invisible, for some reason paintbrushes didn't fall to the floor when dropped so you could use them to climb basically anywhere, or use them to block a doorway so enemies can't get through, certainly an exploit rather than a straight up bug, but the only real difference is its uses.

    Skyrim always seemed like the more broken of the two. It would bug out in crazy ways without any prompting from the player. a couple I remember, there have been multiple instances of NPC's "T-posing" on us, where they forget all animation and rigging on their character, and they revert to their base model before that, causing them to appear as though they're floating around as though they've been crucified. Quite hilarious to look at actually, there will be video's online showcasing it. There was one bug where I was fighting one of the DLC enemies, I used Unrelenting Force to stun him and knock him down so I could get a hit or two on him, but when he stood up again he wasn't holding his weapon, stopped attacking all together. Naturally I did what any self respecting player would do and started healing him and looking after him, it was a good time. Actually have a video of it here: https://youtu.be/olKGREWiR50

    I did play a little bit of Morrowind, however the game as a whole on PC was largely screwed and you needed mods to fix it. Things like you couldn't walk in a diagonal, you couldn't run properly, stuff like that. An unofficial patch fixed all that though, and all the other bugs along with it so I don't have many stories about that game unfortunately, well it's a good thing, if a bit dull at the same time.

    -CheesusAlmighty

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    1. Thanks for the stories! I like the paintbrush glitch, I can see how that can be useful and fun to implement, as well as the invisibility. I can see with these bugs, that you can exploit the glitches, much like speed runners do. I know Witcher 3 had quite a few bugs at the start, but CDPR patched them and it's now much more polished.

      I was wondering if they ever fixed the bugs? I heard from a lot of Bethesda fans that they actually look forward to the bugs as they're humorous, but I don't think that makes a good product, though, so I hope that Bethesda eventually ironed out the major bugs and glitches.

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    2. Oblivion was in a time long before patching out bugs and updating games were commonplace, hell even skyrim was just before then. It may not feel like it but a lot of things have happened in the past 6 years, it was only around that time it started to become more commonplace. They have done so with Skyrim... kinda. They ironed out a lot of bugs, but then somehow a bunch more were released in the definitive edition earlier this year, don't know if those have been fixed yet, though they are definately working on it.

      I think regarding bugs and glitches like that, the line behind them is very muddy. Super Smash Bro's Melee's combat today is pretty much nothing but bugs and glitches, Dark Souls 1 PvP was the same. They call them Tech's, techniques you can pull off to circumvent a restriction. And in those games, the communities behind them swear by them to be amazing! it's certainly debatable whether these bugs can be excused, some cases they are just rare hilarious moments, where you giggle to yourself and say "Oh bethesda," while others can are serious problems that the game needs to deal with like NPC's not spawning or quests not being given to me.

      -CheesusAlmighty

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  4. That's very interesting that you mentioned bugs and glitches in Super Smash Bro Melee, because I thought back then, Nintendo made sure there are no major bugs or glitches in their games. I think some bugs, like an enemy floating after being killed is okay, but bugs that ruin your save files are definitely a must-avoid. My friend lost 80 hours of gametime when Fallout 4 corrupted one of his save files. And definitely, if you miss out on a quest, that's a major bug that must be avoided at all costs!

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    1. Noooo, older games have some real crazy glitches. Some of them aren't even glitches with the games, but with the consoles themselves such as these... things, I don't think you can even call these just glitches anymore. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hB6eY73sLV0

      Games were a lot simpler back then, if there was a glitch they couldn't get rid of, they implimented it into the game somehow. Things like the exploit in Mario running over the top of the level underground letting you warp to different worlds. They were also a lot simpler back then, with less moving parts it means less can break, and you have to go as far as that to glitch the game.

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    2. My reaction time must be slow, because I didn't see Flappy Bird, went too fast! That makes sense, then, that older games had glitches, since you can't patch them out like you do now. Perhaps Nintendo games back then, despite having glitches, had far less glitches than other developers'? I believe Nintendo was known to having the most polished and bug-free games.

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    3. It's important to remember that games back then had a lot less complexity to them compared to today. When games design gets more complicated, more things can go wrong. Compare it to cooking, everyone can mess up a chefs recipe, very few people can mess up a sandwich.

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Monday Musings 22

The Game Awards, Best American Award Show? This year's Game Awards is the first Game Awards I've seen, and I feel it's the be...