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I'll post news and updates here about (MMO)RPG games. Both those that I play, as well as (general) news that I deem important enough

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3-monitor connection problems
28 August 2014
Posted in General
It's pretty frustrating when you've setup the nVidia display surround spanning and old games that use full screen resolutions on a single monitor won't work. That was the case for me when I tried to play some of the older games I had that didn't support the 5760x1080 resolution. Though the output did go well to the monitor according to the computer (screenshots I took proved it), the actual output came with a blueish flickering on the screen

 photo CAM00025_zps0273bd59.jpg

I asked on the nVidia forums two days ago, but it seems that there's no nVidia employee there and I still have to get my answer there. At the time I posted there I figured to ask in a gamers forum as well (being MMORPG.com), and there I almost immediately had an answer. The main answer was that it might be caused by cable interference, but I had my doubts about it, because when I'd configure as 3x 1920x1080 (thus not use spanning), the old games played normally on the monitor.

But that interference remark made me think, and I went back to the nVidia site on the configuration setup for 3 monitors.
 photo Screenshot2014-08-26164335_zpsf750efb5.png
In my setup I'm using Option 1, with the centre and right monitor on GPU 1 (left) and the left monitor on GPU 2 (right). This setup gave normal output to the monitor, but I was wondering why there was a difference between Surround Display and Optional Surround Display in the guide, after all they all are surround displays. But I decided to drop the left and right monitors on GPU 2 and see what would happen.
Well, that hunch seemed to be the right one! After I had to reinstall the surround spanning in the drivers after the reboot and tried one of those old games, the game showed up normally on the centre monitor!

With this I can only conclude that the difference between Surround Display and Optional Surround Display is that the first one is actually the main (centre) monitor and the latter are the actual surround display. Thanks nVidia for making thing so very clear *NOT*

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Dual monitor gaming & compatability #2
25 August 2014
Posted in General
A couple of days ago I posted about the dual-monitor setup that EVE supported, but that other programs and platforms didn't support it. The non-support is partly true. YouTube does support the 3840x1080 resolution (as you can see below), which is labeled as 2K.

But I was right about AVS not supporting the resolution. The maximum supported resolution in the current version ( is indeed 1920x1080. But after I submitted the request to add higher resolutions for video rendering, I received a reply that I should download the latest version (I already had it), and download a single new main-.EXE file. This file is the upcoming 7.0 version of AVS Video Editor and does support resolutions up to 3840x2160. Along with the replay I also had a request to send them a small piece of video with the 3-monitor setup in 5760x1080 so that they could (try to) implement that as well, which I gave them

I gotta say, I've been using AVS for already a year of 5 and I never had any support questions for them (software worked as intended for me). I figured it would be a small company with a long waiting queue for support questions, but that's totally not true. I even dare to say that AVS has a faster and better response than a lot of the huge companies out there that I've had issues with. I'm also please by the way they picked my ticket up and handing an early version of the upcoming release. For that I indeed wanted to help them by giving them a small 5760x1080 video.

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3-monitor setup #3
24 August 2014
Posted in ArcheAge
A 3-monitor setup is also supported by ArcheAge. And I have to say that ArcheAge supports the 3-monitor setup better than the games I tried so far. As I said before, the regular 3-monitor resolution is 5760x1080 and 4320x900. ArcheAge supports these 2 resolutions as well (though the triple 1440x900 resolution is not natively supported by most monitors and will give odd results), ArcheAge also supports a resolution of 3840x720

 photo ARCHEAGE2014-08-2208-34-42-10_zps43395ecd.jpg

 photo ARCHEAGE2014-08-2208-36-19-68_zpsb144bc39.jpg

I'm showing you both (triple HD) resolutions above, along with the info on GPU load and performance. Though at my farm both resolutions don't really have a lot of problems keeping up with it, I can imagine that in Mahadevi or during massive naval PvP, the GPUs will suffer severely from overheating with the 5760x1080.

An other good thing to notice is the extra perspective added on the surround monitors. The perspective at the far side of those monitors is closer than near the centre monitor. I'm not entirely sure, but I think that the nVidia drivers are responsible for this effect. An effect that adds more depth to playing with a 3-monitor setup.

I have to admit, that for a while I wasn't sure if I'd be playing ArcheAge at release. I've already seen and done most that the game has to offer. But now that I see that ArcheAge also supports multi-monitor setups, I think I'll reconsider and play it for sure at release. Only problem now is what resolution to use. Should I go save on the 3840x720 one or go for 5760x1080 but suffer lag and heavy noise from the GPUs trying to keep them self cool..?

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3-monitor setup #2
21 August 2014
Posted in General
An other day with 3 monitors and an other day to get things working...

The main problem with the mix up of the 5760x1080 and 4800x900 resolutions most likely came from a nVidia beta driver I was using. This morning I installed the latest nVidia drivers and the spanned resolutions now act normally

The other problem with the old monitor's huge color difference is close to fully fixed. At this moment, the color difference comes from brightness, where the 2 LED displays are a lot brighter than the old LCD display, and I can't get those to match 100% in brightness. I think the current match in brightness that I have achieved is good enough and not overly distracting.

Then games... What games to work in 5760x1080 and which are actually playable. This will be a trial & error course for sure.

 photo ExeFile2014-08-1908-09-17-83_zps8f3fefc1.jpg

Of course, the first game to try was EVE online and I gotta say that the experience at first was very impressive. That was until I wanted to see some of the (left and right) UI windows and I kept shaking my head

An other one I tried was Morrowind. Though this title is extremely old, there are a couple of mods that allow to use higher resolutions, and the 5760x1080 resolution is semi-supported. The game itself plays normally, and using the TAB key to see your player stats and map works well too. The problem arises when you want to see your Journal. That one is centred on the width of the screen and thus you see only a small piece of it

 photo 2014-08-21_00003_zps1175d11b.jpg

The one that really gave me a blast and didn't suffer from any weird UI glitches was Path of Exile. That game played extremely well in 5760x1080 and from now on I will keep playing that one on the 3-monitor span for sure!

Then of course is the actual reason why I bought the 2 new monitors: programming. This morning I've been at it again and it really was a blessing to have 3 HD monitors at my disposal. On the left one I had the game routine's flowchart open, the centre one held the main source code and the right one held the PHP code that I use to connect TetraGems with the online database.

Yeah, I'm one happy nerd at the moment...

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3-monitor setup
20 August 2014
Posted in General
Today I finally bought 2 new monitors to make life easier when I'm programming. I hate to ALT-TAB from window to window, and with 3 HD monitors I can drop the major programs I'm using on each monitor (yeah, yeah, I'm really *THAT* lazy ).

Installing them seemed easy, but Windows was playing tricks on me. Or rather, the old 2-monitor setup was playing tricks on me. Somehow I couldn't get the middle and right monitor configured right and I had to physically swap them to get the settings right. And when I did that, Windows indeed started on the middle monitor, but the computer's POST was dropped on the right screen So once again an other swap (cables this time) and extra configuration in Windows and the monitors were setup right.

 photo CAM00024_zps6d6480ff.jpg

The coloring... I'm pretty sensitive to bright light, and I gotta say that these new LED monitors are a lot brighter than the old LCD monitor. You can see the color and brightness difference in the picture above. And that while I thought that old LCD monitor had an awesome quality, the new monitors give an even better quality. But while the quality is still better, it's also too bright. I have set both monitors a bit 'cooler' in it's settings (also worth to note that the monitors come from the same batch, but the right one is brighter than the centre one ) and they are now a close match to the old LCD monitor. Sadly though, it's evening now and I can't configure the new monitors any more because the light is already on...

Then the multi-monitor span option from nVidia. Now there's something that REALLY goes wrong. Oh yeah, the drivers find the 3 monitors and I can walk through the setup, but finishing it and setting a resolution of 5760x1080 drops all 3 monitors to 1440x900 Alternatively I tried the resolution of 4320x900 and then all 3 monitors pop into a 1920x1080 resolution.

Confused yet? I'll make it better... When I play any game that doesn't support the monitor span, then the resolution of 1920x1080 comes normally when I set it that way. But setting EVE to 4320x900, I'll get an actual resolution of 5760x1080.
When using the desktop in 4320x900 (giving HD on all 3 monitors), the icons and all programs that I have open are enlarged to match the 1440x900 resolution. But when I use DisplayFusion and set a wallpaper for each monitor, the 1920x1080 are used normally for them..
While typing this I also noticed that sharpness set to the max isn't really an option for me. The letters are not overly sharp (for me) and lowering the sharpness to half makes them much nicer to read.

Last but not least, these monitors were advertised by the retailer for having a 5ms response time. Well, it looks like someone doesn't know shit about them or just forgot to read the manual and took the default of 5ms (because they're too cheap to be faster?). But when I went home from the store, I noticed that on the package label a response time of 2ms was mentioned. Playing with the menu options, I found a toggle I could use to set between 5ms, 4ms, 3ms and 2ms...

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Dual monitor gaming & compatability
17 August 2014
Posted in General
I have my 2 monitors now for about 3 months or so. Though the 2nd monitor actually has a 1600x900 resolution, the nVidia drivers allow me to 'emulate' the resolution to 1920x1080. While normally that might be a problem when gaming, the 2nd monitor is actually pretty big for such a low resolution, I can manage to span EVE online over the 2 monitors without too much annoyance...

 photo ExeFile2014-08-1618-20-20-68_zps9a79d438.jpg

The problems start when recording game play and processing the movie and upload it to YouTube. With the 2 monitors now having a resolution of 3840x1080, compatibility issues start to arise...

As you might know from past posts, I'm using the AVS Video Editor from AVS4You and I like the software a lot. It has a lot of features and a decent editor for what I'm doing when processing my videos. But when it comes to the 3840x1080 resolution, things start to bug out in the weirdest way...

First off, AVS Video Editor does recognize the 32:9 aspect ratio. This is a good thing (or just simple calculation), and it sets this ratio as custom ration for you (in case you forget I guess). From here on I can edit the movie as I do normally, though I guess that some of the (overlay) effects will only show in the centre as a maximum of 16:9 ration (didn't try it and it's pure speculation from my side )

When I've done editing my movie and want to render and save it, things go wrong. Instead of AVS Video Editor rendering it to the 3840x1080 resolution, it'll render it to a 1920x1080 resolution with black borders at top and bottom (like in the YouTube video I linked below). Alternately, I decided to render it in a custom 1920x540 resolution, but it renders the movie to a resolution of 1920x536 (guess it uses blocks of 8 pixels?).

Then YouTube... I've searched around on the site if it supports multi-monitor movies, but there's not a word about it. All I see are standard 16:9 resolutions up to 4k. Not even the newer ulltra-wide resolution of 2560x1080 are supported, let alone the multiple 1920x1080 monitors.

So there I was with my 1920x536 rendered movie and I uploaded it to YouTube. Here YouTube shows it's incompatibility with odd resolutions. As I experienced with the default settings in AVS Video Editor, also YouTube 'enlarges' the movie to 1920x1080, adding black borders to top and bottom.

Though there are quite some incompatibility issues with my dual monitor experience, there are also some good compatibility experiences. So far, EVE online is the only game I have found in my (huge) gaming library that supports multiple monitors. But at least in EVE online I can move the camera's a bit. If you compare the above screenshot (with the adjusted camera) with the movie (which is not yet adjusted), you notice that my ship is a bit more to the left, and the 'stats & action wheel' is moved even more. This avoids players like me to have their ship cut in half exactly on the borders of the 2 monitors, but I can now view the ship as a whole on either one. This will give me more space on the other monitor for UI windows while still enjoying a wider angle of view...

So far I'm very pleased on how EVE online behaves with a dual monitor setup. I will check other games and hope that they will give me an equally well experience, and I'm now more serious on getting 3 (native) 1920x1080 monitors to get a full whole surround view experience!

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Planetary exploitation
14 August 2014
Posted in EVE online
I found a guide to moon mining a while back and I thought to get started with that. But what the guide didn't tell is that the materials required to keep the mining operation running are extremely expensive. Okay, the guide did tell it, but it doesn't say anything about exact 'low profit'. And knowing my luck with the game, the 'low profit' might even be a negative number...

So I abandoned the whole thing but it was still on my wish list. And when I made my I alt, I bought a Gallante starter pack and it had a couple of things for planetary exploitation. When I dove into it, I found out that planetary exploitation is the key to most of the materials needed for moon mining

But I didn't get started on the planetary exploitation until today... The last couple of hours I've made a deep dive into it and was looking for a guide on how to set it up. Luckily I found a good one that's easy to follow and doesn't take things to a too high level immediately (which is a problem with a lot of EVE guides I must add). Also, the costs to get one planetary exploitation setup is pretty low - for under 500K ISK you're already good to go, which means that on day #1 you can start already!

 photo ExeFile2014-08-1418-27-33-53_zps12a7a395.jpg

But when you want to exploit an extra planet, the costs will start to rise, as well as when you want to expand your current base on the planet. Those manuals don't come cheap you know (yeah, it's the 500K one to add extra bases).

Then there's also the problem to get certain materials from the planets. Things like Noble Metals (required for Enriched Uranium) are very rare because most barren planets have like none, while plasma planets that give a decent (decent, not good ) amount are pretty hard to find (and I luckily have found a pretty good one )

For now I think I've found something to keep me busy with in EVE online. If this really gives me the kick I'm looking for, I might be playing EVE online for a longer period than I initially was thinking. At least, I'm already looking for cheap time cards or PLEX on eBay

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Relocating the alt
11 August 2014
Posted in EVE online
On the 2nd account I finally did all the important tutorial missions in the home system and it was time to meet up with the main character in the Amarr Empire. Yeah, it sounds pretty easy, but it's not...

First off, the distance between the 2 characters was 23 jumps For those not knowing the jump system that EVE online uses, I have to travel through 23 jumpgates and thus cross 24 system in total. The problem here is the acceleration and deceleration near the jump gates. This is the most time consuming thing in the entire journey. The actual trip would have taken 10-15 minutes (single route), but because of the acceleration and deceleration at each jump gate, it took me about 40 minutes. And after having arrived there, I had to leave my ship, get in the escape pod (the absolute bare minimum 'ship' you have) and return to the home system to enter a new ship and do the whole trip again (I had 3 ships total and a lot of stuff, which luckily could fit in those ships).

An other problem with a relocation like this is going to 0.5 sec space. Though theoretically it's still 'secure' space, it is a spot where from time to time people camp and shoot anything out of the sky that enters through the jump gate. Good thing though that today was a save day to travel and I could cross two of those 0.5 sec space areas without problems.

Arriving at the Amarr Empire, I could trade all resources to the main character (didn't knot I could trade with other players on a station), and drop the ore hauler on the alt character. Sadly though, the main character is not yet capable of flying the tier 2 mining barges, so for now I still have to wait till I can and then the fast mining routine can start!

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Mine, mine and mine...
10 August 2014
Posted in EVE online
I was overjoyed that I picked up EVE online again. I figured to play some, mine some and get enough ISK to buy myself a PLEX and play EVE online for free. I was even so certain about it that I created a 2nd account (for only €3 ) to speed up mining. And all I've been doing so far on my old main account is mining, while on the new account I've been running the tutorial missions before I'd head out to team up with my mining barge.

But I'm getting quite bored of the mining so far. I mean, there's got to be more to the game aside from mining for ISK to play it for free. Yeah, I know, join a big corporation and do some PvP, but frankly, I can't be arsed for PvP in EVE online. As alternative I decided to do some missions on the main account, but that's a real grind for loyalty points and reputation (which both come in real handy), but the missions are constantly the same. I'd even rather play World of Warcraft instead!

 photo Screenshot2014-08-08192010_zps9299889a.png

...and then I bought Perpetuum...

That game is quite like EVE online, except that it's a Buy2Play MMO instead of an overpriced subscription MMO (I think that €15 is pretty steep for a monthly sub these days). The clear difference is that instead of being a pilot of a starship, you're the pilot of a robot, and you're not in space but on some foreign planet. Aside from that, both MMOs are quite the same (except for EVE being 10 years older and giving the sandbox more depth). And this really made me wonder if I should keep playing both EVE online and Perpetuum...

Yeah I know that it's a rhetorical question. It's pretty obvious that there's no use to keep playing EVE online when I can have a similar sandbox experience without subscription. But still having close to a month to play EVE online, I will see if I can indeed manage to mine my ass off (on the 2nd monitor) and see if I can manage to indeed get that PLEX

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Firefall - Fun, yet boring...
08 August 2014
Posted in MMORPGs
The game is setup pretty well at first glance. Good environment, good background story, nice praphics and a very good soundtrack. And when you start playing for your first couple of hours the game feels very good as well and seems to be a lot of fun. That is until you've played a while, have hit level 15 or so and see the repeating of missions starting.

Firefall uses 'Job Board's to give you missions. Sadly the number of different missions is pretty limited. This results in missions starting to repeat them self, though not literally, but you will see the same kind of objective on new places and an other sugar coat around it.

Skills and progression is an issue as well. You only have 4 skills and at level 8 you already have them all. At that point you'll only be working on upgrading the skills itself. Either through research & crafting or by grinding vouchers to buy them from NPCs. Research & crafting really takes forever, while vouchers drop you back in the repetitive mission grind.

On a positive note, the cash shop is not Pay2Win. There are no game breaking items in there, and you can obtain the cash shop currency (Red Beans) from in-game grinding. With that, cash shop items are tradeble, and you can find almost everything from it on the auction house.

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