If you've been following me, you know I just got a new spanking PC, an Alienware Aurora R4 with a GTX690. I've been working on copying files over the network from the old computer, installing, and setting up Windows 8.1. I do finally have Steam installed and configured, although I haven't played any of those games yet. I found out, while putting my Steam account on this new PC, that I got Dota2. Basically, when I logged into Steam, it told me about the new game, which apparently came bundled with my new computer. "Sweet," I thought, since Jon gave me a list of Free-To-Play Steam games and Dota2 was on that list. I think I was only aware of one of those games on his list, Team Fortress 2, which I've never played.

Minecraft happens to be the first game I played on this PC. After installing, updating, and copying over my world from the old computer, the first thing I did was to go into the options menu. I set my render distance to it's max of 16 blocks. My old computer used the default setting and it slugged a little bit when I tried to increase it. This one handles that setting quite well. I maxed other settings and turned others on to test this beast.

I currently have a house on a "floating island" that the game mysteriously created for me, which I had been looking at from a distance. I wanted to get there and build my house, even though I have some holes in caves around my default spawn point, which was in a Jungle, exactly where I wanted to be so I could get a cat. This is my new spawn point, where I have a yellow cat, which hasn't been named yet.

Not far away from the base of my floating island house, I ran into monsters and was awed with the sound. My new Bose speakers are an upgrade from the cheap speakers I used on the old computer. So, it was cool to hear the Zombies moaning, Spiders sounded creepy. Of course, I ran into some Creepers. I really hate those things!

I went into a nearby cave, which seemed darker thank I was used to. Later, my son said that it was probably because my brightness setting was set to the default "Moody." It was, of course, I barely messed with that setting, but I put it at 64 and liked it much better. I then showed him my floating island and we both seemed wowed by how much of the world we could see (this is where that render blocks setting comes in). It was awesome!

In the meantime, I'm going to try to test out other games and see their improvements with the new PC. I don't expect FTL will be any different, but I'm sure Terraria will be as it has some sweet settings to tweak that make it look better. That may, in fact, be my next mission.

I've you've read this far, thanks. Jon volunteered a list of FTP games to play on Steam, what games would you suggest I try playing on my new PC? I did try Star Trek Online with the old PC and wasn't happy with it's performance. I'll have to try it on this one.

scrypt   Supporter wrote on 03/07/2014 at 02:17am

That's a tough one, as there are so many games that would probably look really good on your setup. Some of my favorite shiny things are:

Fable 3
Planetside 2
Civilization 5
Warhammer 40K: Space Marine
Trine (1 or 2)
Dirt 3
Far Cry 3
Mass Effect 2
Tomb Raider (the new one)...

I don't know. There are so many others. If I had to pick one, based solely on pushing graphical performance, I'd probably go with Skyrim, and add the High Res texture pack, with maybe one of the water packs, like Pure Water. If that doesn't give a 'Holy Shit!' moment, I don't know what would.

Travis   Admin wrote on 03/07/2014 at 02:19am

There are always demos. You don't have to stay strictly free-to-play.

The Arkham games are awesome, and quite pretty.
Bioshock is aging a bit but still one of the best FPS games I've played, and also quite pretty:

Azurephile   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 03/07/2014 at 02:41am

Thanks, Scrypt! I have Skyrim on the PS3 and love it. I'm sure it'd be amazing on here! I've played a Warhammer game, but it's been a while. I've heard of some of most of those games you listed one way or another, but don't have much personal familiarity with.

Yeah, Travis, Jon just mentioned FTP games, although I'm not limiting myself to anything in particular, really. I'm not really sure I want to get into an MMORPG again, but maybe. I did enjoy Ragnarok Online years ago. I have FFXI for the PC and all or most of the expansions, but I don't think I'll play it again. I'm not surprised to see Bioshock and Mass Effect 2 listed as those seem to be popular games.

Travis   Admin wrote on 03/07/2014 at 02:49am

And yeah, Skyrim. You can pull some amazing stuff out of that box with Skyrim. Crazy ENB stuff and depth of field can make it look photorealistic, like this:

Azurephile   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 03/07/2014 at 03:26am


scrypt   Supporter wrote on 03/07/2014 at 03:30am

yeah, that's what I'm talking about. So gorgeous!

Azurephile   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 03/07/2014 at 11:46pm

As I expected, I noticed no difference in FTL. Terraria, however, was better as expected. Before, when I turned on the optimal/high settings on the game, I noticed a little lag. It wasn't too bad. Now there's no lag at all. Some how, I swear the game just looked more beautiful. One of the things I noticed was how lit up things were around me when I held a torch.

As I mentioned above, I started to play Star Trek Online on the old PC. I got partially through the tutorial, to the planet where you had to fight off some Borg. On the old computer, this was quite messy and it made me realize that my old computer wasn't really giving the kind of performance I wanted to see in STO. With the new computer, I jumped back in where I left off in the tutorial and finished it. The game looked great!

I think I've tested all the games I wanted to test on here, or at least the ones I own. I'm sure Skyrim would look sweet on here, but I'm not sure if I want to get it for the PC, since I already have it on the PS3 and spent over 300 hours on it. Still, I'm kind of not sure what to play. Star Trek Online is ok, kind of complex, especially since I'm new at it. I really want to play Minecraft some more.

Azurephile   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 03/12/2014 at 10:30pm

As I'm playing Minecraft, I'm thinking of some things that are in Terraria that I wish were in Minecraft. I really wish Minecraft had its own version of Terraria's Magic Mirror. It would be so cool to be able to teleport to my last spawn point (my bed in my house). This would be extremely helpful, especially for all those times I get stuck in a cave and can't find my way out. It would also be cool if Minecraft had a grappling hook and wings (so I can fly in Survival Mode). Bosses in Minecraft would be cool, too.

jdodson   Admin wrote on 03/13/2014 at 01:28am

I agree with you Greg. Wonder if they have a mod for that?

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