Sunday, October 14, 2012



I got the game for cheap on steam at some point. Only got to play recently. To sum it up, Trine is a platformer with physics and puzzle elements. You can swap between 3 characters at anytime: the rogue, the wizard and the warrior. The rogue has a hook and bow. The warrior has a shied, a sword and eventually a hammer and can lift heavy objects. The wizard can spawn objects and use telekinesis. You gain experience points and find items that boost their ability. The skill point that you allocate might give you an edge to go trough an area but usually there are multiple solutions to each puzzles.

I said "puzzles" but the levels are more like an obstacle course. I don't remember anything mind blowing  like in Braid. You usually just need to find a way to pass through. Monsters spawn on your way; they are not very challenging on their own but they could put you in a bad spot if you're not careful. The spawning stops for a while when you kill a bunch. There are just a few areas in the game where you really have to fight special monsters. Also you'll find items in chests. I almost passed by my first chest without looting it, the graphics are pretty and all, and I thought it was just part of the background. There are many chests and experience potions in hidden areas which require a little bit more work and exploration to find.

My favorite character is the rogue because it can just zoom around like Spiderman with the hook which seemed to be the fastest way to go trough many areas. Also at some point, I would kill monsters faster at range with the bow than in melee with the sword. I remember that an item that poisons arrows made a big difference.

The game was quite enjoyable while it lasted, the graphics are beautiful and the story is like a fairy tale. I think that physics adds a nice touch to the platformer, but I was not impressed; many other games out there have cool puzzles that must be solved using physics mechanics. Also sometimes I felt like the controls failed me but maybe its just me being a sore loser. It took me about 7 hours to complete the game, and I'm sure its possible to finish it a lot faster on your first run if you don't bother to kill so many monsters as I did.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Guildwars 2


I got dragged into Guildwars 2 by some friends. My expectations were not high but I feel like the game did not deliver. My main character is approaching level 40 and I'm bored of the repetitive gameplay already. It seemed a good idea to tie the skills to the weapon types, but after little while you've tried all the different skills of the different weapons types your character can use and then you are going to use the same skills for the rest of the game ... You get to choose "utility" skills on the right side of the skill bar but most of your attacks are tied with your weapon. You also get to spend traits points in different trees to enable different passive skill. You can change the passive skills that are enabled in a tree but you can't reinvest these points in a different tree without spending an important amount of money, which is unfortunate because I would have like to try different trees at the beginning of the game but could not afford it. Since your attack skills are bound to your weapon, I think it would better if we could just change your passive for free, that way when you find a good weapon, you can pick the passive that match best this weapon and skills.

Like I said, I picked the game because me and my friend wanted to play together, thankfully we got the game in the first week while it was possible to change servers at will (but they were saying that there was going to be a fee for this in the future). Also there is nothing in the game that makes it easy and enjoyable to play with your friends in PvE: the game has many story lines and areas for the different levels in the game, as well as different starting area, and no way to teleport to your party. There are waypoints in the game but they need to be unlocked with each characters (and cost coppers to use!).The players of a party which are in the same zone as the party leader will get dragged into quests and events but a player who is far away has to run over there. I spent at least 30 minutes to join my friend once because they were questing in a cold area where every monsters on my way would chill/cripple me, so I had no choice but to kill everything on my way. Also when I run away from combat, I feel like my character is automatically slowing down... Each zone has a queue when its too full so you might end-up having to wait even after you reach the location where your friends are.

Many mechanics of the game don't feel polished. For example there are two ways to inflict damage in the game: normal damage and conditions (dots). Normal damage is boosted by power (raw damage stat), precision (chance to crit) and critical damage. Condition damage is boosted by the "condition damage" stat which is not displayed in your character sheet, except for a tooltip. Also some weapons have all normal damage skills, some have only dot skills, many have a mix of normal damage and dots, which is just bad in my opinion, because most of the the time, if you just spread your stats between condition damage and normal damage stats, you are just going to do half the damage you were supposed to do ( or maybe took the time to calculate everything and managed to find a good compromise?). Anyways, from my own experiments, many weapons skills felt suboptimal what ever choice were made with my class, leaving just a few working solutions where I would focus on just one damage type. It was very effective in the game but very boring.

In a way, it feels like completely different teams made Guildwars 1 and Guildwars 2. Some good feature of guildwars 1 were just not present in the game. I'm not talking about gameplay element which they might have decided to do differently in Guildwars 2. For example in Guildwars 1, you could start the game before it had downloaded completely, and it would download the zones closer to you in the background, if you went in a zone that was not yet downloaded you would get a longer loading where the zone is actually download by the server. And it did not take too much time to download a zone/map from the server. For guildwars 2 I had to wait until the entire 14 Go was downloaded before I could start the game. Why? Did they somehow lose the code of the first game? Also one of the selling points of guildwars 1 was that there were no shards, you could instantly switch instance (for a town) if you wanted. In guildwars 2, presumably because of "World vs World" PvP you can't even have different characters on two servers. Both games were launched with claims to attempt to change the MMO genre, and to bring innovative ideas, but its as if they got amnesia between the two iterations of the series and came up with different ideas each time.

The innovation that comes with Guildwars 2 that I like is the way that the events happen in the map. There are no large team raids in Guidwars 2, instead events pop-up regularly in zones and players are called by NPCs to come and help. This is a success, there is ususally more than one event happening at the same time in a zone and players will rally and help each other. Each zone has many different events and this adds a lot of replayability. It can be anything from escorting an NPC to a giant monster attacking a town. The giant boss fights and wars with the local mobs were a lot of fun (but I'm still bored of using the same skills sequence over and over).

It looks like they also put a lot of efforts in the story line system of the game: at the beginning of game and as the game progresses you make different choices witch dictates the story of your character. You'll get a completely different story, end up in completely different zones, by making different choices (maybe you even get different end bosses?). It looks like they put a lot efforts there and it could add a lot of replayability .. unfortunately I barely did half of my story line and am already bored by the repetitive game-play. On a side note, I remember that before the release of guildwars 1, developers claimed that the action would be more fast-paced and responsive than in most MMOs. This ended up being complete bullshit, as guildwars 1 felt quite laggy. I don't remember excatly how much, but I remember homing un-dogeable projectile and rubber-banding on the other side of a wall. Guildwars 2 is quite the same if not worse. It feels like a turned based rpg running on the server side with the client doing its best to compensate. Sometimes monsters hit me before I see them spawning, sometimes I open a combat with a stun and follow with an other skill, only to realize 2 seconds later that it did not happen, and that the server decided that the monster stunned me first.

I would say that the economy of the game is completely broken for anything that is not end game. I would blame the crafting leveling system for that. People craft with the intention of being able to get endgame gear, but to reach that level you have to craft soooooo much of the earlier levels crappy items. Almost anything that is craftable and that it not endgame you can get from the trading post for 1 more copper than the value you get from selling the item to an npc (which the minimum price, and so there is no reason to buy items from NPCs! just buy everything from the trading post!). For some items and equipment I'm pretty sure that if you count all those that have been crafted you would get a number that is far higher than the number of players in the world. Lets say that it takes 10 units of material "y" to create equipment "x", "y" is likely to be ten times more expansive that equipment "x", and the only reason why people still craft equipment "x" and pay for "y" is to level up their crafting profession.

A lot of things that happened in the first weeks after release gave me a very negative opinion of People have been permanently banned  for swearing or for finding bugs in the game. What ever your position is on free speech, at the end of the day someone paid 60$ for the product, and I think that if you don't want that person to play your game anymore, just a few days after he bough it, he is entitled to get a refund. After reading some of their press release on these subjects, I was disgusted by how they think of their customers.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

How To Get Speed And Precision Out Of A Razer Mouse

So I've had this the DeathAdder Razer mouse for a while now and it took me quite some time to figure how to configure it properly. After buying the mouse I could not see any difference in precision compared to my old ordinary cheap mouse and I thought I got ripped. This is me trying to draw a spiral in MSPaint with my old configuration:
I was telling myself : how is this even possible this mouse is supposed to have such a high resolution. Why is it jumping so many pixels?

So you can test it yourself in paint if you want. If you have the same problem I might have the solution. I'll follow with the guide for those who don't care for the rest of my story.


Just so you know I did only test this with Windows Vista but I personally do not expect any difference with other Windows version. To follow this guide you'll need the newest drivers (Razer Synapse Configurator 2.0) and the Windows mouse panel open.

  1. Try to draw a spiral in MsPaint just to be able to compare precision later.
  2. In the windows mouse configuration panel (Not the Razer one), in some tab lower the speed of the mouse to 2 or 3 notches higher than the minimum, your mouse should be very slow right now. Don't worry we'll come back to that later. Improve mouse precision should be disabled (more on that later). Apply the changes but don't close the window yet.
  3. In the Razer Configurator turn up the DPI and polling settings to the maximum (to get the maximum resolution). I prefer no (as in zero) acceleration personally.
  4. Now go back to the Windows mouse configuration and adjust the speed to your liking. Apply.
  5. Draw an other spiral in paint. Compare.

The Problem

So the problem was that the windows configuration of my previous mouse was still in the windows panel. The speed configuration there was at the maximum and the only way windows makes a slow mouse fast is by skipping pixels.

When I plugged in my new Razor mouse I did not think to go back in the windows settings, I was just playing with the configuration in the software provided, and after setting the speed to my liking I still did not have any precision. No matter what configuration I put in the Razer software, Windows already decided it was going to skip pixels.

About Increasing Precision in the Windows panel

I tried it, it gave good precision results but while gaming it felt like there was deceleration in the mouse when I was trying to go too fast. So I did not like it.

Hibernation problem

After I updated in to the new driver, my computer would wake up immediately after I hit the hibernation button in windows. To solve this problem go in the device manager in windows and in the properties of anything mouse related, uncheck the check-box that  allows to wake the computer.

Razer DeathAdder Mouse Review

Let me tell you that if I had not found a way to configure this mouse I would have made a pretty negative review. At least now the precision is working. I was so frustrated earlier, I really thought the product was a scam. Now I can say that I like the precision/speed, the two buttons on the left side and the wheel. However the two main buttons are so long (half the mouse's length) that if I advance my hand too much on the mouse, it triggers unwanted clicks. With my hand size the mouse becomes quite uncomfortable in the position that does not provoke those unwanted clicks. Maybe someone with either a larger or smaller hands would find it more comfortable and practical. I think its the combination of  the long buttons and the round shape in the middle that makes it bad. Overall I do not recommend it. After paying so much, I expected more comfort than with my older cheap mouse. I would give it 5/10.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Diablo III: Inferno Cleared

Inferno Clear

So I had stopped playing mostly but once in a while a would play with friends. Alone none of us was really able to do well in act 4, but with two monks with mantras and my barb with WarCry we were able to steadily advance. Once in a while we would still face a boss we would not be able to kill and that was frustrating.

We finally killed Izual and before our next session I decided to bypass the rest of the game using Sprint. I then tried Diablo alone and killed him successfully on my first try.

At our next gaming session, my friends were just glad that I could share the way-point with them and we killed Diablo together. Let me tell you that Diablo is a lot easier than the randomly generated bosses that you find in Act 4 (and Act 3 maybe ?).

Wicked Wizard

After that I stumbled on the wind-up wizard site and that gave me the motivation to try the Wicked Wind/Critical Mass combo. Basically you stack Energy Twisters on monsters and it makes the cool-downs of your other skill to replenish very fast. With enough monsters it allows to maintain Frost Nova and Diamon Skin permanently.

Without much investment I was able to steamroll Act 1 and Act 2 of Inferno. Right now my wizard is stuck in act 3, and it would require a bit of farming to get enough resists to be able to go through act 3.

The build is a lot of fun so we'll see if the upcoming patch will be able to get me back into the game.

Farming Act 1 (Not as quick as with my DH but a lot more fun)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Diablo III: The Infernal Farming Game

It's been one month since my last post. So what happened?

Act 1 Inferno

I beat act 1 shortly after my last post. In terms of difficulty act 1 inferno feels like it should it feels like the next step after Hell difficulty. My Demon Hunter was not and is not built as a glass canon but I had to be careful with some monsters who could kill me in one shot like the beast with a charge ability.

I tried the first part of Act 2 after beating Act 1 and as I had heard it was much harder than act 1. Even in Hell I thought that Act 2 was painfully annoying compared to Act 3 and Act 4. So I did what every body does in inferno: I farmed Act 1.

At first it was fun, I was still getting use to nephalem valor and  I was upgrading my gear a lot. I farmed act 1 to the point where nothing was able to one shot me and I could take down the butcher under two minutes easily without being touched.

I would do lots of areas of Act 1 to kill bosses. Whee I ran out of good zones for bosses I would kill the butcher and start an other game. Items that were not upgrades were either sold to the merchants (item level bellow  61), salvaged or sold to the auction house. At some point the price for a single essence did rise to 2k gold!

Act 2 Inferno

Act 2 was a pain in the a** again. I did alternate advancing into Act 2 and farming Act 1.

Act 3 Inferno

So I started to advance into Act 3 after finishing Act 2 when something very disturbing happened: I died in one shot to a single mob. You have to understand that I had farmed for weeks and I had not built my DH as a glass cannon. I compromised getting dps and spent millions on equipment with hight armor and all resists. I also had twice the discipline as a normal Demon hunter with +10 on each crossbow and my cape. I had thought I'm going to do this the right way I want to be able to take a few shots. But what was the point?

That's why so many demon hunters end up building glass cannons, because it seems so ineffective to try to do anything else. After all you got all that dodge potential and you can turn yourself invisible but even with a high investment in gear mobs will still one shot you.

Its incredible what you can do with the right gear but the amount of farming necessary is just beyond me. Here's an interesting video of a demon hunter who can tank Inferno:

I will never do this because at that point I just stopped playing my demon hunter.

Here is a photo of my DH. I usually used a more defensive helmet but found the skull recently and thought it looked good.


So what did I do next? I rolled a Barb. From my experience its much easier to play with the Barbarian than the demon hunter. And for a lot cheaper you can do a lot more.

To level a character fast the trick is to search on the auction house with - level requirements. That way you can equip a level 60 weapon at the end of nightmare for example, blast throught the Nightmare and Hell.

When I reached inferno followed this guide:

Yes, with only 400k worth of gear, this guy managed to finish inferno. Keep in mind that there has been a lot of gold inflation since then and that the price of life on hit items did rise a lot.

I did manage to buyout gear almost as good as in the video for 1 million at the time, and in one weekend I managed to advance  into Act 3 Inferno and I killed Ghom without any problem, while there was monk running in around in room because he was not able to stand in the fumes without dying.

It sounds fun but for one million I could only afford to have a low dps (13k). And killing bosses alone takes a looonnnnng time. I would say that alone I was able to kill 50% of the rares and champions of Act 3. But with my friend monk around we were able to kill almost all bosses, sometimes one of us would die or have to run (me most of the time, except for Ghom). We were both using skill to buff each other and reduce the damage of enemies. The build I used with the most success had furry and vengeance only as damage dealing skill all the rest were defensive abilities. The monk was doing most of the killing when we played together. My WarCry with the last rune was quite usefull to him and I always use it anyways.

I don't think I will finish inferno. For this to be enjoyable I would to have more chances to crit but gear with good stats, high armor and hight resist and critical hit chances is waaaaay too expansive.

With only 5% base chances to crit, a lot of build are not possible. A lot runes give something when you crit.

Not Fun Anymore

Yes, its not fun for me anymore so I stopped playing.

No sense of progression

The main problem I think is that there is no sense of progression after Act 1 inferno. 99.99% of items that drop are wothless junk. Where ever you are in inferno you find items between level 50 and 63. Common! 50!!!?? That's around when you finish nightmare! And when you move to Act 2 and Ac3 you just get a higher ratio of items above level 60 but monsters have 2 or 3 times the health and damage. So most people just farm Act 1.

If Act 1 dropped only level 60 items, Act 2 level 61 items and so on, then it would be fun playing. But I guess they just wanted to make good drops very rare to force people to use the auction house.

Also what's the point of white items after normal? Its just a pain to have to drop them on the ground when I accidentally picked one.

Plans and crafting

What a failed opportunity. If only good plans dropped more often, I could have tried to craft. That would have given me the illusion to be doing something, to progress. But I only found only a few "fine" plans for other classes. As for ordinary "Exalted" plans, I would probably not have tried them because they would be a waste, but I only found the shield and the mail anyways. I FOUND THE SHIELD SEVEN TIMES! WTF! WHERE ARE THE OTHER PIECES WHY NOT DROP A DIFFERENT PLAN EVERY TIME.

Also they should just have removed the gold cost on crafting, the value of ingredients would rise and the market would balance itself automatically.

To much crowd control on bosses

Some bosses can immobilize characters permanently in inferno. Also some abilities like fear are buggued with some monsters. For example, the dot of fire horadric construct would trigger "fear" multiple times per second. I was using juggernaut so the boss could not kill me because of the 15% life gained. My barb was just stairing at the wall and I was waiting for the enrage to kick-in and kill me.

I recall reading somewhere that bosses should not have more than one control ability but Blizzard does not recognize many of the crowd control  abilities as crowd control.

Enrage timers

What a stupid idea. Your having an epic battle with boss. You  are about to finish it, the programmer, a sore loser, comes in and says, that's enough, you die. That's just not fun! That's not even logical.

Bad Nerfs

They decided that some things should just not be as good in Inferno. Many skills and item affixes become completely useless because they just don't pass the minimum requirement for inferno: they just do nothing. For example if a skill has a knockback value bellow  21 it will just not work at all on bosses in inferno.

In the mean time some affixes like critical hit chance and life on hit are king.

Here is a screenshot of my wizard. I just finished Hell with him and equipped some stuff I had found with my DH and Barb. I don't really play him seriously.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Diablo III: DH Hell Cleared

Act 2 Hell was pretty hard. I took a 1 week break from my Demon Hunter at that point. I had 35k hit point , with a lot more Vit than Dex. Overall it was a very annoying act. Bosses and champions would be very hard not only because of their Boss/Champion abilities of because of their natural abilities. Like those cat who are invincible when the jump or the lizard who go underground, or the zombies that run super fast. I took a one week break from my DH at that time. I came back and just ran through the act to Belial. I tried to kill him many times with a friend, my friend had only 22k life and would get one shotted. This was before the 1.03 patch so monsters had a small damage bonus in multiplayer games. We even had trouble getting past the snake part at fist. After that we had customized our build just to get trough that part but did not manage to kill the boss in its final form. We must have tried a about a dozen times. Later it took me 3 attempts(solo) to kill him. My friend managed to kill him alone too (I don't know how many tries). He got the achievement about not getting hit once.

After that Act 3 was easy. I got my level 60 just before Azmodan. Somewhere in Act 3 I discovered Screaming Skull and it made everything in Act 3 a lot easier. I allowed me to kill bosses that I would not have been able to kill without it.

After that I bought cheap level 60 hand crossbows on the gold auction house. Both have +10 Discipline! I allows me to stay invisible a lot longer.So I finished Act 4 with even more ease than Act 3.Reaching level 60 also allows you to stack nephalem valor which gives you better drops and more gold. When I finished Act 4 I realized that I had only 22k Max hit point remaining, I guess I swapped a lot of gear get more Dex and resists.

Here is my current build, I think it is very good since I did not die since Act 2 Hell and I just recently finished Leoric at inferno.

Adventuring Build



Primary: Evasive Fire/Covering Fire

If use correctly this skill is amazing. Useful to kite monsters and projectiles. The automatic back-flip can be a life saver. Also 3 hits equals 3 chances to get a critical hit and gain Discipline.

Secondary:  Elemental Arrow/Screaming Skull

Screaming Skull is in my opinion much better than Nether Tentacles. I did not get to try Nether Tentacles until after the 1.3 patch nerf and I don't see why people stick with it: it hits only once now.

 With Screaming Skull, I feel like the Demon Hunter in its pre-launch preview. Its time to show those monsters who's hunting who! Screaming Skull has 40% chances to fear enemies and it works on randomly generated champions and bosses. IT EVEN WORKS ON INVINCIBLE MINIONS! Its better than stun: it makes them run in the opposite direction. USE IT.

The only trick is that monsters must see you otherwise they just stand there. So you must not be using Smoke Screen at the same time. While in smoke screen use evasive fire. When you run out of Discipline, switch to Screaming skull. You can alternate Screaming skull and Covering Fire while visible. I've been able to kill bosses with invincible minions and many other dangerous bosses/champions with this strategy.

Also another warning: non random bosses (those with a name and hidden properties) are immune to fear.

Slot 1: Smoke Screen/Lingering Fog

To be invincible.

Slot 2: Preparation/Battle Scars

To be invincible more often, to heal. I must say I'm tempted to try Backup plan.

 Slot 3: Multishot/Fire at Will

Wipes the screen of any ordinary monster. I would use Suppression Fire  but I'm kicking so much ass right now that I don't need so much discipline.

Slot 4: Rain of Vengeance/ Flying Strike or Stampede

Not sure which one is better, Stampede does more damage and knocks back champions and minions. Flying strike can stun anything.

Note: My gear was, red, green, blue and yellow, it was pretty ugly over all so I decided to dye everything the same colour.  Next time I'll try an other colour, yellow is not amazing.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Diablo III: DH Nightmare Cleared

So its been more than one week since Diablo III. Obviously I've been too busy playing in my spare time to update this blog. I just cleared nightmare with my Demon Hunter. I used this build to kill Diablo.

Basically, Thunder Ball and Impact for the stun. Caltrops(Tortuous Ground) was more useful against monsters outside of boss fights when there is not enough space for Vault. Multishot to deal with groups of monsters, also outside of boss fight.

When low on health while health globes/potions were unavailable , I used Shadow Power with impale to regain some health.

Before Act 3 I was able to kite everything in the game. After that, some very annoying monsters have the ability to charge/Jumb on you which completely nullifies the effects of Vault and Caltrops. That's when I added the stun and ShadowPowers. I died a lot to those monsters anyways. At first it seamed that there was no ways for me to beat champion packs of these types.

The stun was also very useful for boss fights.

So right now I'm back to Act1 again, in hell this time. I switched a few skills, I really like the Tactical Advantage / Evasive fire combo. Makes me run very fast.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Diablo III: Auction House Algebra

Recently Blizzard revealed more details on the Diablo III auction house.
 The flat 1$ fee on gear at the real money auction house (RMAH) versus the percentage fee on the gold auction house(GAH) suggests one of them will be more profitable than the other depending on the value of the item. For higher value, 1$ on the RMAH will be much less than 15% on the gold auction house. Of course the best way to avoid these fees is to avoid the auction house altogether and trade in-game.

The best auction house to sell your item also varies depending on what your end-goal is because there is an extra 15% fee if you sold your item on the GAH and need to sell your gold on the RMAH.

Here I make an attempt to find these limits depending on the case. Forgive me if I make mistakes, its been years since I had to calculate anything.

Real Money Auction House (RMAH):

Maximum price: 250$
Minimum price: 1.25$
Blizzard cut on gear: 1$
Blizzard cut on commodities: 15%

Gold auction house (GAH):

Maximum price: 100 000 000 000g
Minimum price: 100g
Blizzard cut: 15%


v: The current value of the item in gold
g: The current value of 1 gold in $ (gold/$)
vg: The current value of the item in $

1) When is it more profitable to sell gear on one auction house instead of the other:

a) When your goal is Gold.

P1: Profit from selling the item on the gold auction house.
P2: Profit from selling on the $ auction and then buying gold.

P1 = v * 0.85
P2 = (vg - 1)/g

The breaking point:
P1=P2 v*.85 = (vg-1)/g
vg*.85 = vg-1
.85 = 1-1/vg
.15 =1/vg
vg = 6,67

So if you want gold, you should sell gear on the gold auction house when its value is under 6,67$
And you should always sell on the $ auction house when the value is above 6,67$ And then buy gold.

But what happens when you reach the limit? you can ever make only 249$ profit on the $ auction so you might think to sell on the gold auction house anyways, but there will be range where its still more profitable to sell at a lower price on the $ auction house because of the huge 15% blizzard cut. So at what gear value does selling on the gold auction house allow you to make more profit than 249$ in gold?

249$/g = v *0.85
vg = 293

So in conclusion, if you want gold:

  • If you think that the item will sell under 6.67$, sell on the gold auction house.
  • If you think that the value of the item is between 6.67$ and 292.94$, sell it on the real money auction house and then buy gold with the balance.
  • Assuming than the maximum price on the GAH is worth more than the maximum price on RMAH, if you think the item will sell for more than 292.94$ in gold, sell it on the gold auction house.

b) When your goal is real money: 

P1: Profit from selling the gear on the gold auction(15%) house and then selling the gold (15% for commodities!) on the RMAH.
P2: Profit from selling the gear on the RMAH (-1$).

P1 = (v*.85)*g*.85 = 0.7225 *vg
P2 = vg -1

0.7225*vg = vg -1

0.7225 = 1-1/vg
0.2775 = 1/vg
vg = 3,60

Same thing, when nearing the limit there is a range where its still more profitable to sell on the $ auction house despite the 250$ limit.

249 = 0.7225*vg
vg = 344.63

So in conclusion, if your goal is money:

  • If you think that the item will sell under 3.60$, sell it on the gold auction house, and then sell the gold.
  • If you think that the item would sell between 3.60$ and 344.63$, sell it on the real money auction house.
  • Assuming that maximum value on the GAH is much higher than the maximum value on the RMAH, if you think that the item would sell above 344.63$ sell on the GAH and then sell the gold in batches on the RMAH.

Other questions which could be answered with basic algebra:

2) When is it profitable to buy an item on the RMAH and sell it on the GAH:
 a) When you goal is gold.
 b) When your goal is $

3) When is it profitable to buy an item on the GAM and sell it on the RMAH:
 a) When your goal is gold.
 b) When your goal is  $.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Diablo III: Weapon DPS Not To Be Trusted

Its important to note that the DPS shown while hovering a weapon does not take into account magical properties on other equipment. Everyone will see the same DPS for the same weapon. However, a faster, lower DPS weapon might actually give you more DPS in your character sheet than a slower weapon with higher DPS if you have other equipment with + damage stats.

While playing the open beta, I found that +damage rings (2-4 dmg) made a big difference with my crossbows. This will probably be the first thing I buy from the town npcs when the game comes out.

Dual wielding makes you alternate between weapons and gives you an attack speed bonus. This causes the +damage stats from other equipment to make an even greater difference.

Also be careful, if one weapon is too weak compared to the other; dual-wielding actually lowers your damage. If one of the weapons has a lower DPS it's better if its the faster weapon, because dual-wielding will give the other weapon the attack speed bonus and the faster weapons takes less time in the cycle. This article explains it and contains a video demonstration:

Even if they don't dual-wield, I think Wizards and Witch Doctors will be greatly affected by this because it looks like endgame off-hand items might provide a considerable portion of the raw damage while the weapon will set the attack speed. I had not realized all this while playing the open beta so I did not verify it yet.

Also its good to note that, for some characters, faster weapons will regenerate resources faster and that, for the same DPS, faster weapons waste less damage between kills.

Anyways, sometimes there's really no way tell which weapon is better other than trying them on the battlefield. Or just take the cooler one.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Diablo III: Weapon Distribution By Class

As I said in a previous post, the Demon Hunter was my favourite class in the Open Beta. The other classes were a lot of fun to play but the Wizard was disappointing and I don't like the Witch Doctor's style.

I've been rethinking all this because the Demon Hunter does not have so many weapons available. Two handed weapons cannot be equipped and one handed melee weapons cannot be dual-wielded. Using melee weapons limits your choices of skills, but switching to a melee build could be fun once in while.

One thing I like about random action RPG is doing my best with whatever the games provides me. I also like being able to use the items I find. Changing my build or play style to fit the characteristics of my gear is part of the fun, for example if I have a big slow weapon with a Barbarian, furry generation is going to be slower but individual skill uses are going to do more damage, requiring less furry to kill a specific monster, how do I deal with that? But what are the chances that, playing the Demon Hunter, I find a one-handed weapon that's better that's better than two hand-crossbows or one bow/xbow and a quiver.

That would mean that a lot of time I would find great drops ..... that I can't use. "Oh this sword is awesome, too bad I'm a Demon Hunter". And that's not cool, even the damn Witch Doctor, that skinny old man, can run around with big two-handed weapons.

Let's see hoe the classes compare in numbers.

I gave a generous 0.75 points where a class cannot use an offhand weapon.

One could argue,  "It does not matter which item you find, you can trade them at the auction house". But the problem is that even if you are going to trade, the same phenomenon will happen on the market, 4 classes will each be fighting for around 10 weapon types; while all the Demon Hunters will mostly be fighting for 3 weapon types. At least we could say that the Demon Hunter might spend more time trading than the other classes who can mostly use what they find.

There is also the matter of crafting "plans". Plans are recipes required to craft the end game weapons. I will be happier if I can find a plan for a weapon I'm going to use. When the other classes find a plan, it will most likely be for an item they can use. When the Demon Hunter finds a plan, it will most-likely be for a weapon type he has no use for.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Splinter Cell Conviction (PC)

I wrote this review in 2010 when the game came out but never published it until now.


Good game. Different from the other Splinter Cell games. Splinter Cell Conviction is a stealth third person shooter.
In single player, when you start a mission enemies are usually unaware of you and from there you can either try to remain undetected and take them down silently or engage in cover/shoot fire fights. You can only take a few bullets before you die but if you hide for a little while your health comes back. "Hit and run" works well for this reason and because enemies will loose track of you if you hide after they lost sight of you. Taking down an enemy in melee give you points that you can use to "Mark and Execute" enemies. That is, you mark a small group of unsuspecting targets in your sight or through one of your gadgets and when you press the execute button the character takes them down in a small animation. You are not invincible while "executing" but it might be more effective than what you can do with your own skills. Also some enemies with an helmet which take two bullets in the head to be killed require only one bullet if "executing" and guns which only shoot in bursts will shoot one bullet in the animation. I think that if you would try to shoot that fast when you are in control, it would not guaranty your kills because there is a loss of accuracy between consecutive shots. On an other subject, there are "interrogation" scenes (which I'm not a fan of) where you get to destroy the face of some key enemy characters. There is on level in the game where your mission fails if you get detected before you enter the main area. Soon after that there is an automatic save, a 2 minute animation, and then you have 2 seconds to react and then you have a few seconds to kill some guards and go through a set of doors. And if you fail at any point, you go back before the cut-scene The most annoying part in the game.
On PC the multiplayer is lacking several features. No chat lobby. No list of games. No chat when all players must click ready before the game can start. There is automatic match making but: when the game launched there was no voice chat in game. In coop, cooperation is needed and there was no way players could communicate. No way to tell your random friend "Hey come back here idiot we need to both be there to complete that objective!". People would fire in the walls. Write on the floor with their guns. Pathetic. Fortunately they fixed the "no voice chat" issue on PC with a patch. But to my knowledge there is still no keyboard chat. The multiplayer part of the game was probably made for Xbox Live and they did not care much about PC. Also every time I start the game, it forgets some settings like invert mouse, and there is no way to change it once the multiplayer game is started. Also multiplayer is limited to 2 players. The multiplayer part of the game can be a lot of fun but because it is lacking basic features you can't seriously consider it a multiplayer game. (I would rate that part of the game 3/10)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Diablo III Open Beta

I never got a key but I was able to play the beta this weekend. It was great. Now I know which class I'm going to be when the game comes out. I tried the Wizard first. He was ok but when I tried the other classes I thought that he did less damage. For some reasons the bonus percentage of damage on his skills are lower. He would have been my favourite.

My preferred classes in order are:
  1. The Demon Hunter.
  2. The Barbarian.
  3. The Monk.
  4. The Wizard.
Its a Beta and it was only the very first part of the game. so we never know.
Anyways playing was fun I would say that the game seem to fullfill my expectations. For me Diablo I was a very very very good game. I played it recently and still enjoyed it, even if it did not age so well (walking in town and looks bad on my wide screen).

When DiabloII came out I had a lot of expectations. I still remember the first 15 minutes y played. I found it very ordinary, I had played other games since Diablo I and expected some improvement. Today I still have a "meh" feeling about it. Also I really like the story of the first Diablo: battle vs good and evil, going deeper and deeper into the Labyrinth, until you reach Hell and fight the last boss. The story in Diablo II becomes rather silly when they tell you, "You know, the angels made a mistake when imprisoned the demons into the stones, actually the demons wanted to be into the stones and even now that you defeated some of them you must destroy those stones because they are bad somehow". In Diablo I, the ex prime evils had been banned from hell by other demons and later imprisoned by Angels and humans into stones. In Diablo II, hahaha it was a joke, the demons happened to be good actors they wanted to be in the stones all along and the the angels were fooled. How convenient for the writers who can now just ignore some of the stuff which was told in the first game . Anyways maybe I got something wrong, but the point is that it killed it for me story wise. Previously I might have bought a book related to the game but after Diablo II I just stopped trying to follow the story. I'm saying all that but in the end I stilled played lots of Diablo II. It was still a very good game. I did a few ladder runs which was a lot of fun. I would play a lot one week after a ladder reset and see I how far I could get into the ladders. However I would not play so much once my characters were able to solo Baal at hell. I know some people continued to farm after that ... 

Anyways back to Diablo III, in contrast I find Diablo III very polished. The "don't put something that's not fun in the game" philosophy seems to work very well and the Beta was a lot of fun to play. I even restarted an other barbarian in the same weekend just to play with my friends who were lower levels. Its fun and action packed. The graphics are super fine, the physic is awesome. *BANG* Zombies can fly if you hit them hard enough. I loved it. The game seems very polished. I will play it for years. I probably wont need to upgrade my computers in the next 5 years or so because even in 5 years I'm convinced there will be thousands of players online and a welcoming community to go back to.