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All about news and updates of the (MMO)RPG games I play and general news that I deem important enough



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The secret World - a love-hate story
28 March 2015
Posted in MMORPGs

I think The Secret World is one of those unique MMORPGs out there that brings new mechanics to the player but failt to deliver some basic features. It's because of this that I love and hate TSW both with a passion...

The mechanics like the skill wheel where you can make your character virtually unique in the game is one of the features I like the most. I mean how cool can it be that your character is unique in the game? It's unlike most MMORPGs where every character is based on the same class (something TSW doesn't have) and a skill tree makes the difference, but everyone uses the same tree...

An other thing I totally dig about TSW are the puzzles they have put in the game. Most MMORPGs just tell you to kill 10 rats (there we go again ) to level up. And while TSW knows this kind of quest as well, it's not the majority of quest type you get - you're more busy doing puzzles in the game and trying to figure vague hints out than that you run to the place where X marks the spot to do your thing. Okay, that last statement it not totally true in TSW, because a lot of quests actually show the approximate location where your objectives are, but there are also a large number of quests that just tell you have to find a person in a certain place (or even on a map ).

The things that I do hate about TSW though are two things: zombies and progression rate.

Zombies for the simple reason that I don't think they are a horror factor AND that they are way too agile and fast to their original (80s) roots. I mean they almost outrun me and hit like a mule. Then again, TSW is a post-apocalyptic setting and zombies are a possible scenario for it. And I gotta say that the way the zombies are presented in all their variety that FunCom did a pretty good job (but still I don't like zombies...).

Then about progression rate... As stated above, you progress through the skill wheel and that's also where most of your powers come from. It's not like most MMORPGs that better gear gives you most of your power (it does help in TSW though), but it's those 7 active and passive skills that define your powers. And that's just where the problem lies. The further you come on the skill wheel, the more points you need to fuel the new skills (not saying that this is a bad thing!).
The bad thing is that when you're on your main mission, you need to do the sub missions on the map more than once (half a dozen times or more on higher skill levels) to gather enough skill points to fuel the skill wheel and be able to continue on your main mission. And that's what I really hate about TSW - I have to grind the same missions over and over again for my progression, without an alternate way (crafting to name one) to progress.


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Star Ocean is back!
27 March 2015
Posted in PlayStation

I got a call earlier today that the 'new' 2nd hand Star Ocean game has arrived. I immediately (*AHUM* as fast as I could ) to pick it up. Good thing that the guys in the store already checked the disc for scratches - there were none.

Back at home I immediately started to play, ran from the save point to the beach and ran into the 1st monster I could find to trigger the combat scene there (thats where the game hung itself last week). Sadly, the game hung itself again and I was quite disappointed. Of course I called the store and he told me that I should delete the pre-installed date (not the saved game of course ) and start the disc again.

That I did. Sadly though, that mere 2Gb that the PS3 needs to copy from the disc to the harddive takes 'a bit longer' than such a copy instruction would take on the PC. So about 10 minutes later I was once again ready to start running from that save point to the beach. And guess what? I was in combat

Now I wonder why that previous (defective) disc I had copied data from the disc to the harddrive without CHECKING the data that's copied. If I copy data from a disc to a harddrive and the disc is damaged, I'll get a notification that it can't read the data. Why on earth does the PS3 not have such a simple failsave build in? And if it's not a PS3 'responsibility' to check copied data, then why didn't the game's installer make the check? Things like this make me really wonder about the quality of a product...

But for now, lets not be bothered about that faulty disc anymore and enjoy the game again!


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Reumatologist 2nd opinion yesterday
27 March 2015
Posted in About me

Yesterday was finally the day for the 2nd opinion that my reumatologist had asked for. For this 2nd opinion I had to go to Amsterdam's biggest hospital (VUmc) and to make sure I was in time I left at 9.20 from home. Sadly I was way to early at the hospital and to make things worst, the reumatologist was already half an hour late 45 minutes later she called me in (12.00 already) with her apology and asked if I was okay that an intern would attend. Of course I had no problems with that, because they have to learn the ropes as well...

She started with the 'regular' check-list of questions, but less obvious than the other reumatologist (that one just went down the topics on a computer screen, while this one just asked and made notes on paper yes, no computers there yet for medical files). When the check-list was done, I was asked to take of my shirt and pants for a physical examination.
One of the things she checked was the 'touching experience'. I know that sounds pretty nasty, but she just touched my feet, leg (under and upper), hands and arms (again under and upper) to check if the feeling was okay. With my feet I asked her to remove her thumb from under my feet because it was aching like crazy - this while she barely touched it. With the lower legs I said it felt normal and that I could feel her cold fingers. Her response was that she didn't have cold hands. When she laid her hands on my upper legs I confirmed that indeed she didn't have cold hand...
The rest of the physical exam was the regular 'limb turning around' she did and that went pretty well. Her last test was a pressure test where I had to put force on my feet, legs and fingers to see how much force I can make. Well, that wasn't as much as I should have...

With those results she decided to ask for 2 x-rays - one of my heart and one of my lounges (both should be fine I think). She also wanted to do some more blood tests. Some tests to check with the results of 2 months ago, and some new tests. One of the vials of blood even had to be brought 'warm to the lab'. And it was a pretty funny sight to see a sealed thermocup with hot sand being brought in to warm the vial and later put the same vial with blood in it and see the nurse run off to the lab

She also sent me to the gastrointestinal doctor to see where that B12 shortage comes from. Though I don't care about the cause, because all results lead to the same result: I need to have B12 injections the rest of my life, she was serious on it. Okay, if you want to know, I'll help you along with it. Perhaps the cause of my B12 shortage ;actually can be 'cured'?

Last but not least she also sent me to the neurologist. She wants to know how badly my nerves system has been hit by the B12 shortage. I know my nerve system is overstrung (see the pain sensation earlier when I was slightly touched under my feet), but she also wants some more research on it. She also wants to know how my muscles respond to the nerve signals and with that data she can determine an approximate of how much damage (from the B12 shortage) has been done to my muscles as well. And honestly, I also think she immediately sent me to the neurologist to rule out ME/MS as well..

Sadly such a big hospital also has a draw back. In this case, the 2 new appointment requests have been taken in, and I will hear (probably) next week when I can come for those specialists. Kinda sucks, and even more when both assistants told me I should now expect an appointment before the end of next month :cry:


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Destiny - pleasantly surprised
24 March 2015
Posted in PlayStation

You might know I'm not really the shooter-type of guy. Actually, I suck big-time when it comes to shooter games, mostly because these games are aimed at speed and not tactics. With that negative feeling in mind, I downloaded the Destiny demo for the PS3 and started to play it a bit. Man, was I surprised by the game and it's mechanics!

When starting Desitny I had the choice of 3 classes to play. Obviously I picked the Warlock one, adding some 'magic' to the game. Not to forget, this class seems to be a bit more powerful when it comes to close combat with the 'shield bump' skill that it gives which pushes (and damages) multiple close enemies. Damage that can be quite lethal actually. Some monsters that I push away are killed instantly, while others (higher level ones) drop down to half their health. So when I've pushed them away, I only have to shoot once or twice and they're dead

Then the on-line world... Destiny claims to have one, but so far it looks much more like a HUB (the Tower city) than an actual on-line world. But hey, what to expect from a console based game (*AHUM* Final Fantasy XIV and a couple of other full blown MMORPGs are available for the PS3 ). The Tower city is buzzing with life (players) running around, but sadly no chat (the game doesn't seem to have text-chat, it does however have voice-chat). I'm not sure if there's a limit to the number of players in Tower city, but I guess it'll be 64 or so (regular player limit number for most console games).

Entering a mission there are more hard limits to the number of players that can enter. So far I've done only one and that was with 3 players maximum. And while I didn't open a channel for the mission (or join one), there were 2 other players there doing their thing (it looked like a XP farm). I went on the mission I was given (get the warpdrive for that broken ship I found in the introduction) and played through it. And while regular shooters have pretty tiny maps, this map was HUGE (for shooter standards ).
For me that mission ended in a battle with some boss which I managed to take down after 2 deaths. One death was just some unknowingly thing that I could not get too close to that boss (insta-kill ) when I tried to use that 'shield bump' skill on him. The other death was just bad luck with 4 or 5 NPCs up my ass at the spot where I was shooting from

Last but not least, the thing that really took me in: character progression. Yes, that's something that Bungie really thought about. Not only can you upgrade your weapons and armor, but also your skills. And those skills are bound to the keys of the gamepad and I guess when I grow in level that at one point I can't use them all any more but instead have to take a pick of what I want to use. Skill progression also seems to be linked to the XP gain, because I'm level 2 now and have 2 skills unlocked. Oddly enough, from the looks of it the maximum level is 20 (not sure though), and there are way more skills available...

Will I buy Destiny? Not sure, but certainly not at it's current price of €70 And that €70 is only the base game. Expansions are on it's way at €20 each, or buy the expansion pass for €35. I mean €105 to play a console on-line only game? That's a lot of cash and knowing how the on-line community easily hops from one game to the other it could mean that after a couple of months Destiny is a ghost town like so many other on-line games...



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Star Ocean hanging
21 March 2015
Posted in PlayStation

I remember having played Star Ocean on one of my PlayStation 2's that I used to have in the past. Though I didn't really get far in the game (consoles was not really my thing back then AND I could only play on the TV and not on a monitor like now with the PlayStation 3) the game did leave me a very good impression. And thus I decided to grab Star Ocean: The Last Hope (2nd hand) for the PS3 and play through it.

The start of the game was very slow with about half an hour or movies and cutscenes before I could actually start to play (as with most jRPGs), but that didn't really bother me. For jRPGs this first introduction is really necessary to get the feel of the setting and how things have developed in the current episode of the game. It also allows you to meet various characters in the game that you can play with or which you really need.

After having finally crashed on planet Aeos (somewhat the new Earth) and having 'saved' a couple of NPCs from the local wild life (which would not be there according to the surveys ) I finally got to go out there on my own. The first two 'zones' were pretty easy to go through, each introducing a couple of new monsters (which are obviously a bit harder than the ones I met before). The 3rd zone (where the last crashed ships probably is) already felt more 'open world' and gave me a 'point of no return' at which I jumped down from, ending up on the beach in the movie below.

There on the beach I saw a NPC I had to talk with (prolly the ship I'm looking for, or at least a survivor). Though not really on my way to that NPC directly (not being able to climb up where I just jumped from I guess I do have to go his way) I decided to explore a bit and see what goodies and resources were hidden there.
Untill I accidentally was attacked by a crab on that beach. The battle sequence started, I heard the battle music (the movie below is silent because I was using headphones), the screen goes white to load the battle and...stayed white...


Okay, perhaps that was just a glitch. Quit the game (the PS3 was not hanging, this is clearly a software oading problem), and I gave it a new try. Walk through the zone (Star Ocean isn't very giving on save points - which I like ) and get to an other crab on that beach - a white screen again Third try to get to the beach and attack anything else but a crab and once more a white screen (that's the above movie).

Man, I was sad and frustrated there. Finally I got to play a game I was looking for, enjoying it and this happens When I took out the disc and looked at it, I saw that it had 2 very light scratches, the ones that every CD or DVD would simply ignore. And having bought this game only a couple of days ago, I decided to go back to the store. They indeed confirmed that this problem might be caused by those light scratches (hurray for Blue-Ray ) and I got my money back since they had to order this game from an other store. When they looked at the stock of other stores they saw that there were a couple more available and promised me to order one the next day (I was there Thursday evening) and would have it next week's Saturday - it the transfer went quick.

I'm kinda sad now because I can't play Star Ocean for at least a week. I really enjoyed the approximate 3 hours I played it. I also hope that this white screen indeed is caused by that light scratch and not something caused by the game itself (should I jump down there already is what I've been wondering).


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ESO unplayable for me
19 March 2015
Posted in Elder Scrolls

I was hoping I could return to the Elder Scrolls online and enjoy the game now that it's Buy2Play. Sadly, the engine used (a modified Hero Engine along Havok) is not really allowing me to enjoy the game because of resolution issues

Elder Scrolls online starts in the 'borderless windowed' screen mode and on my system that means it's a resolution of 5760x1080. With most games this is not a real issue - I can just set the game to 'full screen' and a resolution of 1920x1080. This I also did with ESO, and after two screen flickerings, nothing really changed. Below is a screenshot of the result after the chenge to a full screen 1920x1080 resolution. Yes, it still is 5760x1080 and when I start to play it seems that only the texture resolution has dropped to 33% (yups, it's ugly as hell after the resolution change )

 photo eso 2015-03-17 12-37-34-09_zpscgt8rzb7.jpg

Having trouble looking at the UI of the screen all to the left? I did that on purpose. ESO has a 'fixed UI', meaning that you can't move the elements around. And the location of these 'fixed UI' elements is compeltely to the left and right side of the screen. As I've already reported for EVE online, I keep shaking my head to see what's doing on on the screen, while for EVE online I can still move around a lot of UI elements. Sadly, in ESO I can't move stuff around and it becomes totally unplayable. Add to that that I have only 1 GTX660 now (I sold the 2nd GTX660 2 months ago) and I'll get a lot of performance issues with I set the game to max (which would not be an issue if I could play in 1920x1080).

I have already contacted Zenimax online about this issue, and I was told to make some modifications in the UserSettings.txt file (located in MyDocuments/Elder Scrolls Online/liveeu). It was not as it I didn't find that file already and tried to change a couple of screen settings. Problem there is that ESO is NOT LOOKING at this settings file when it comes to full screen resolutions. Even better, changes I made (like actually write the 1920x1080 resolution) are overwritten to the default for the full screen resolution (5760x1080 in my case). Making the file READ ONLY doesn't help either. After having made the changes to 1920x1080 and setting it READ ONLY, nothing happens and ESO still starts in 5760x1080 (and displaying that resolution in the game's config) but nothing is written.

I hope Zenimax online will pick up this isseu so that in time I can play ESO again. I have my doubts though. After all, Zenimax online has already seen that ESO has failed and changed from a subscription based system to Buy2Play and they also have laid off a large portion of their development team. And with less developers in-house it will make it hard for Zenimax online to fix issues like this that few users have.

I know I can always change my monitor resolution from 1x 5760x1080 into 3x 1920x1080, but that's not a real option for me. When I'm programming, I really do need that 5760x1080 resolution for Unity3D because I have a lot of UI elements dragged out of the main program and set onto the left monitor (which reminds me, let me ask my son how it works on his 2-monitor system - it might actually work) and when starting Unity3D my whole UI setup might be messed up again (and it just worked so nicely). On the other hand, if it actually works, games made with Unity 4.6.x (Shrooud of the Avatar and Shadowrun online) might also have a 'fix' to their similar resolution issues...


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Elder Scrolls online Buy2Play today
17 March 2015
Posted in Elder Scrolls

Just a quick reminder to former Elder Scrolls online that the game has gone Buy2Play as of today. This means if you have bought the game in the past (like me), though it sucked and was not worth a monthly subscription (again like me ) that you can download it now and continue to play where you left off back then.

I'm already downloading the game right now and will continue where I left off, or I will re-roll all together. Right now I'm not entirely sure which of the 2 options I'll take, but it's very likely I will re-roll and start over..


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Pages from Sages to end and domain for sale?
13 March 2015
Posted in General

2nd post for today... After my convession about starting to remove all email addresses 2 months ago, I also have to convess that I seriously was thinking to sell the pagesfromsages.com domain all together.

With my 'gaming needs' having shifted from MMORPGs and PC to consoles, there's not much left to post. I mean, little to no screenshots (other than photo's I might make from my monitor where I play on the PS3), no YouTube movies or progress on the games can kinda make the blogg 'dead'. But I decided to keep the pagesfromsages.com domain (for now).

Now, 2 months later, I'm still considering to sell the pagesfromsages.com domain but am still in doubt. I'm still not sure if I'll be using the domain a year from now, or even next month. With me not willing to post on my (bad) physical condition (and all around it) constantly, there's not really much left to write about for me. Add to that that all time I am able to spend behind the PC is spend making my new game, which also gives me even less time to play games, and thus less blog updates as well

For now I think I will keep the pagesfromsages.com domain and pay for the next year's registration as well coming June (or was it July? I have the domain already so long I don't remember when to renew ), but I am open for serious bids on the domain as well, because if I might get an offer I can't refuse, the choice can be real easy

In the mean time I will keep posting stuff I deem important, both for the games I play as well as how I'm doing. I will however start on preperations for a possible future sale though (3 sub domains on pagesfromsages.com need to be moved and reconfigured and I can move those to any of my other domains as well).


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Killing Pages from Sages mail
13 March 2015
Posted in General

The email address of my handle DemiGoth has landed on a large nuber of SPAM lists through time. This started with the hack of one of the Aion fan forum's before Aion actually was released. To handle the large number of SPAM I recieved for on the DemiGoth email address I created a lot of rules for my email client to filter out most of the phishing mails for account info as well as a lot of bogus mail and generic sale mails.

When that didn't really help, I decided to make a lot alternate email accounts on the pagesfromsages domain to route all 'legit' mail to my mailbox and almost literally drop everything that came in on the DemiGoth email address into the trash (which I emptied once a month without even looking at what was in there).

With the change of me no longer playing MMORPGs anymore, the need to keep ANY of the email addresses on the Pages from Sages domain really faded away. For all the MMORPGs I used to play I changed the email address into something NOT related to pagesfromsages.com, but I kept DemiGoth's email account alive.
This I did about 2 months ago already. Since then I've set the 'capture all' to the DemiGoth email address to see what I might have missed on (important) accounts that might come in and change those accounts as well.

Now 2 months later and no email coming in amymore I have decided to kill DemiGoth's email address as well as the 'postmaster' one and stop polling mail for Pages from Sages completely. If I happen to have missed ANY account or other mailing list that I would still like to use, I can always make a quick account and change it later on...


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WATCH_DOGS, or is it GTA?
10 March 2015
Posted in PlayStation

So I bought WATCH_DOGS las Sunday (apolagees for the typo I made with the game's name last time ), but so far it doesn't really feel like a role-playing game that it should be. Instead it feels much more like a Grant Theft Auto clone to me, which is really a bad thing because I hate that game (yes I bough them in a cheap Steam bundle a long time ago).

Why the GTA feeling..? The start mission to get to know the game was just awesome. You've found the guy who killed your little niece and you want to hear his employer. This all happens at the last inning of the baseball game in basements of the Chicago stadium. You gotta get out of there unnoticed and a friend of yours came up with the brilliant idea (*NOT*) to stage a gang scene and call the cops.

So far so good. But with all the cops around you gotta egt out of there and your friend has arranged a car for you. I get in an... Bingo - 2 cops up my tail trying to get me for the scene in the stadion (how did they know it was me in the first place..?). Next up is a race, race and more racing to ditch those 2 cops (yes, very much GTA).

Next I continue on the campaign story (I always want to play those before I really get into open-world content), and my sister calls me for her son's b-day. That same friend of mine again was nice enough to arrange a car for me and I get coordinates on where to pick it up. I knew the car was stolen, but not a single cop around searching for the car, but the moment I step behind the wheel, there are 3 cops alarmed and... Yes, once again I need to ditch them (and there comes GTA once again). IT TOOK ME FUCKING A DOZEN TIMES TO GET THROUGH IT!!! Oh, did I mention I suck at driving cars in games..? You really don't want to see what the car (a muscle car BTW) looked like each and every time I failed (or that one time I made it ) - I guess that $200K car was worth only $2 in the end

Then the b-day at my sister's place. She got a call which I 'overheard' (read: hacked into) and she's threatened with her and her son's life (has something to do with my character...). I leave her house, spot the person threatening her and he takes of IN A CAR and my mission updates that I can't let him escape >:( (here we go again GTA..).

At this point I shut it down because I had to go to the company doctor (see my other post today). I really want to play through this game's campaign. I've heard real good stories about it, but if I have to keep racing cars, I'd much rather grab a Need for Speed alike game and race there. WATCH_DOGS is about hacking and so far I'm not really hacking my way through, other than hacking cars into scrap. IMO they should have left out those racing scenes OR give the player the option to pursue in a different way. Oh well, lets see how far this game brings me, or rather how many cars I crash before deleting it...


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