216 Posts

I recently built a new PC and decided to get a new monitor as well. My old monitor is actually fine, it’s a 24” Dell and I can’t recall exactly what model it is. It’s a 60hz monitor and I decided I wanted to try one with a higher refresh rate. More hertz means more FPS in a game. I got the impression that once you see over 60hz, you’ll never want to go back.

Recently, I bought a recertified Acer Predator XB241H. I have some problems with it, but I’ll not get into that here as it’s irrelevant to this discussion. One feature of this monitor is that it can be overclocked to 180hz. I had no idea you could OC a monitor! It’s a 24” 1080p monitor, just like the one I was using. I think I’ve decided that 1080p is a resolution I’m quite happy with and don’t really see a reason to change. Higher resolutions require more GPU power and higher resolutions decrease your FPS. I have a GTX 1660 Ti, which is plenty of GPU power, although I can’t recall whether or not it can do 4K (probably so). I also don’t think 2K or 4K would look good on the desktop, I imagine it would make icons much smaller than I want them to be. I remember progressing through resolutions as time progressed. Those older resolutions look horrible today (I think)!

Because I’m able to monitor my FPS via counters, I can see that I’m getting more than 60FPS without screen tearing. Before, with the old monitor, I turned on Vsync, because screen tearing was an issue and I hated it. Now I have a Gsync monitor and have it turned on. I am seeing about 10 more FPS in some graphically intense games like Atlas and Monster Hunter: World. My FPS in CivVI has more than doubled, in my testing I saw around 180. Surprisingly, when I tested Minecraft (without Optifine), I saw over 1,000FPS without any screen tearing! Whoa!

Other than having a counter, I don’t feel like I can personally notice or see the difference in FPS. All games I’ve played seem to look the same to me no matter what FPS I’m getting. Although, there is definitely a difference when I’m getting very low FPS. I don’t know at what point that becomes noticeable, but I kind of think less than 30 or even less than 10 is definitely noticeable.

What do you think? Is FPS something you can see and notice with your own eyes without a counter? Does FPS really matter to you? Are you unwilling to accept anything less than 60FPS or another number? Let me know in the comments, I’d like to discuss this.

GregoPeck gives this a solid "Rad" on the Ghost Scale
This is fun, with very few issues, and is well worth your time.
GregoPeck gives this a "Rad" on the Ghost Scale
This is fun, with very few issues, and is well worth your time.

  • Recommended +1

  • Prepare (including crafting), hunt, collect materials, repeat. Simple, but still deep.

  • 14 different types of weapons

  • Single and multiplayer content

  • Controller and keyboard and mouse support
Monster Hunter is a Capcom game series. It has been around for a while and is very popular in Japan. Monster Hunter: World is now Capcom’s top selling game, which is truly a success. The game is simple with depth. The premise of the game is to hunt monsters, collect materials, craft items, and repeat. The process of doing this is also simple; prepare for a hunt, hunt a monster, collect materials, craft items, and repeat the process. This small process may sound boring, especially after a while, but it’s surprisingly fun.

Monsters: There are many monsters in the game. Most monsters are pretty unique, but there are some that are pretty much another variation of another monster. Each has a distinctive look, behavior, elemental and status strengths and weaknesses, and item drops. Before you go on a hunt, you’ll want to prepare. As you progress in the game, you’ll run into tougher monsters. So, you’ll need to equip some gear like weapons, armor, and charms. You can also add decorations to your weapon and armor, if they have slots for them.

There are 14 types of weapons. They range from close range like swords to long range like a bow. Each has unique advantages and disadvantages. Some allow the player to be more mobile, while others are slow, but very powerful.

Armor is divided up into 5 pieces; head, chest, arms, waist, and legs. Each piece may have one or more abilities. Usually, equipping a full set, some times even less (like 3 pieces) will give you an overall ability that each piece contributes to, increasing that ability. There are very many abilities, like Attack, Defense, and much more.

Canteen: Preparing for a hunt also includes visiting the canteen where you can purchase meals using a variety of in game currencies or points. You can also “oven roast” ingredients and get useful items. One good tip is to put raw meat in the oven to roast. When you come back to the canteen after a quest, the raw meat will have turned into rations, which are very useful in increasing your maximum amount of stamina. Having a meal before a hunt can grant you extra health, defense, stamina, or other bonuses. This can be quite essential for some really tough monsters. These bonuses are only temporary, though and are no longer applicable once a quest is complete (or failed). You can eat multiple times in a quest, though. The canteen can offer a wide variety of bonuses, especially when you have collected all of the available ingredients.

There is a multiplayer aspect of this game, in fact it’s pretty much an online multiplayer game. You can of course play alone, but you’re still online. Although, if you don’t have an Internet connection, you can still play in offline mode. When you start the game and after you’ve chosen your saved data, you can then select which type of online mode you want to be in. You can select options such as what kind of players (like “beginners”) and who can join your game (like friends only). When selecting a quest, you can choose to “post a quest” or “join a quest.” If you “post a quest,” you can choose how many players (1-4) can join you. While out on a quest, if you get overwhelmed you can fire an SOS flare. This will open your game up and make it available for others to come help you.

There is a story mode to the game and in the beginning, the game holds your hand for a little bit, telling you how to move and how to do different things. There are small tutorials littered throughout the game, which you can view later. Some of these include videos showing you how to do something. However, the game doesn’t hold your hand very long nor does it tell you everything you might need or want to know. There is much depth to this game and you may want to look online for help about a particular topic, boss fight, or general recommendations. I’ve found two great YouTube channels for this game such as TheGameconomist (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnuZHEmJqsxV4DJtPheYp2g) and Arekkz Gaming (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-zjH-e5XBzMpy_VtwIGRxQ).

Along with story mode “assigned” quests you can also do optional, investigations, and events. Investigations are interesting, in a way, because they are limited. You can only attempt them a certain amount of times, but there are very many of them. I’m not sure that they actually help advance your Hunter Rank, but they do give other resources like money, items, and research points. Investigations are very plentiful and can include a variety of things such as hunting a certain monster, capturing a certain monster, collecting certain items like flora, and a lot more. Some events are available only during a limited time and require a certain hunter rank.

Collaborations:There are also tie ins to other games. For one, there’s a quest related to The Witcher, who appears in the game. There are some items you can get from some of these quests. For instance, to get the Mega Man costume for your Palico, you’ll need to accomplish a certain limited-time event quest.

Research points can spent in the canteen and other places. You get them by completing quests or interacting with monster tracks. Monster tracks allow you to gather more information about a monster and ultimately making it much easier for your Scoutflies to track. Scoutflies are a group of little insects that help lead you to where you want to go. If you’re tracking a monster, you can tell them to do so on the map and they’ll lead you to it while pointing out, along the way, monster tracks and other items you can collect. You can also use your capture net or fishing rod to collect small fauna like insects or go fishing.

There are a variety of items you can find during your hunt, that your Scoutfiles will point out to you. This includes flora, which can be used to craft items such as potions, traps, ammo, and other things. Items stored in your pouch will stay with you, while items in your equipment chest can be accessed in town or camps. During a quest, you can access a chest that will provide you with some useful items, usually potions. Although if you’re doing a capture quest, the box will supply you with what you need such as traps and tranquilizers.

The game has some different little other additions. For one, you are partnered with a cat, which is called a Palico. It can use gear as well including weapons, armor, and another piece of gear that has a variety of functionalities. This item can help you with healing, defense, and other items like traps, which are definitely very helpful on hunts. As these abilities are used, they level up and increase their efficiency, to a max of level 10. Palicos make it so that you’re not alone when you’re hunting. They will fight monsters, too, and can even befriend some monsters, who will join you on your hunt. They can even befriend local tribes of Palicos that will come along with you during your quest. These Palicos can teach your Palico new abilities and give them access to certain items and also allow them to befriend a small monster, which will be a temporary team member.

There’s also a pig in town called a Poogie. You’ll want to increase it’s friendship with you by petting it. While petting, you’ll notice an exclamation mark (!) and that’s when you need to press a button to stop, otherwise it will just knock you over. Once you successfully pet it once, you won’t be able to increase it’s friendship until after your next quest. Once it’s friendly toward you, you can pick it up and carry it around town. It will then hop in your arms, telling you that there’s an item near by that it can dig up. If you’re using a controller with vibration feature, this will trigger when Poogie has spotted one of these areas. It can find different costumes for it, if you put it down in specific places. Sometimes it can also find a Lucky Voucher if you put it down by the Handler. These can be used in the canteen.

There are a few areas in the game. I’m not sure if I’ve discovered them all, although I think I may have. This is slightly disappointing, because I’m enjoying the game and want much more of it. Luckily, there’s plenty to do and a new DLC.

That new DLC is called Iceborne. It takes place in what looks like a tundra area, but it apparently has multiple mini areas like springs and others. Iceborne is already available for the PS4 and Xbox One. However, it will arrive on PC in January and it is definitely a DLC I intend to get at launch, as I’m really loving this game. It contains new weapons, monsters, areas, and new items. One feature allows you to ride Tailraiders, which you can’t control, but they’ll take you where you want to go.

Controller and keyboard and mouse support: I am playing this game with an Xbox 360 controller connected to my PC, but you can also use other controllers. You can also use the keyboard and mouse and it’s incredibly easy to switch between the two. While using the controller, if you hit a key on your keyboard, the game will display keyboard and mouse controls automatically. If you then hit a button on your controller, it will switch to controller controls automatically. I think this is quite impressive.

I think this is a fantastic game, I only wish there was much more of it on the PC, although the series itself has spanned various consoles and handhelds. I really do recommend this game. So far, it has been cheaper on consoles than PC, but you could wait for a good deal. When Iceborne releases for the PC, there will be a version of it that includes the base game, so you might want to wait until then. If you get the game feel free to let me know if you run into anything you need help understanding (you will), I can either explain it or point you towards some great videos. If you need some help on a quest or want to try out multiplayer, let me know, I haven't tried it yet, but I've run into quests that were designed specifically for multiplayer, so I can't complete them on my own.

It’s kind of old news revealed recently, this summer, but I want to at least give it a mention here. There’s a new Star Trek show coming out called Star Trek: Picard, based on perhaps my most favorite captain in all of Star Trek. He’s also one of my most favorite characters. The Next Generation was probably my most favorite of the series as that’s what got me into Star Trek. I later watched all of Star Trek, including the original’s animated series, and I love it all.

The trailer shows that Picard has retired and is making wine. He seems to live alone with his dog named, “Number One.” We see a young woman coming to him for help. We also see him open a case that contains parts of TNG’s android named Data. Data is one of my most favorite characters in the series. He sacrificed himself in the last movie and it’s unsure exactly how he’ll return in this show. However, we do see him talking to Picard later in the trailer.

It’s not exactly what’s known about this mysterious woman, Dagh, who’s come to him for help. Picard does apparently go to Star Fleet to request assistance. Dagh is apparently a dangerous woman, who seems to be in danger and we can see her fighting. In the trailer we also see new Romulan and Borg ships. We’ve been told that Seven of Nine will return from Voyager along with the Borg named Hugh from TNG. From what I can tell from the trailer, it seems that the Romulans are doing something with the Borg, I believe they are holding them captive in a prison, which you can see in the trailer. The Borg ship in the trailer looks damaged. But, what exactly is going on in this show is still pretty much a mystery.

It seems clear that Picard will join a new crew in order to help Dagh. One member of the new crew is a Romulan. Romulans don't usually get along with Star Fleet, which makes this character interesting. At first, I thought this character was a Vulcan, but that's not what others have said in other videos I've watched. There are a few other characters, of the new crew, that we get briefly introduced to.

It is not publicly known when the show will come out, but it seems to be “early 2020.” The show will come to CBS All Access. This, to me, is the only negative part as I’m not at all familiar with this service. It seems like Internet streaming services like Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, and Disney + are rapidly growing and it’s hard to keep up with all of them. The one thing I do like about these services is that they usually don’t have commercials, although sometimes you have to pay extra for this. These services are also extremely accessible as they allow you to watch TV shows or movies on just about anything; PC, game console, tablet, phone, etc.

I write this today, because I just watched a video giving some details about the show. I’d recommend watching it, if you’re interested in the show. You can see it here: https://youtu.be/gWYiRwBpdeI

So, what do you think about this? Are you interested? Will you be watching this? Let me know.

It looks like Ray Tracing is coming to Minecraft. According to an article (https://www.minecraft.net/en-us/article/render-dragon-and-nvidia-ray-tracing), Ray Tracing will come to Minecraft next year. The video trailer says "Windows 10," so I'm not sure whether or not that means it's coming to the Java Edition or just the Windows 10 Bedrock Edition. Check out the embedded video. It looks beautiful!

This actually makes me regret that I did not recently buy an RTX GPU. Part of that decision was because not a lot of games feature Ray Tracing yet, so it didn't seem like a technology I really cared about at the time. That part of the decision still holds true, although this news today brings me one step closer to wanting an RTX GPU. I also didn't want to spend too much money on a GPU. If I had enough money, I'd love to get a RTX 2080Ti or Super, but they're expensive.

I recently found out (thanks to Travis) that you don't actually have to have an RTX card to play the RTX version of Quake 2. However, with all the Ray Tracing features enabled, it's very difficult to get a decent amount of FPS to make the game playable (on a non-RTX GPU).

What do you think about this? Does this make you want to get an RTX GPU or do you already have one? Let me know in the comment section!

I was an early adopter of Atlas. I can attest to it’s less than perfect launch. In fact, I had a terrible time with it. I joined an official server, but couldn’t hardly get any frames per second. It turned out that there were very many players in the world, but most of them were sleeping (they were offline). This caused serious issues which was later resolved.

I didn’t play the game for too long. I enjoyed the beginning of it, starting out, collecting resources to make my first set of cloth armor and tools. Then I had to collect resources so I could build a raft and set out to sea, I had to make sure I had enough resources, including food, for my travel. What makes this game kind of complicated, regarding food, is the need to monitor your vitamin values and try to keep those up. There are four types of food, each corresponding to a vitamin. Vitamins are A, B, C, and D which are (in no particular order) fruits, vegetables, fish, and meat. This meant you needed a stack of each kind to keep your vitamin levels in check and keep in mind that food spoils. You also had to be prepared with fresh water, as you can’t drink sea water. Luckily, the Freeport that you spawn in has a pool of freshwater that you can drink out of and use to fill your water skins (which will leak over time).

I restarted multiple times, but didn’t get very far with progression. I tried to find land, but it was all taken, so I couldn’t build any where. Eventually, I gave up. You can read my original post on the game (https://cheerfulghost.com/GregoPeck/posts/3971/the-most-ambitious-and-most-improved-early-access-game-of-the-end-of-the-year ). However, Grapeshot released a single player mode for the game and I’ve returned to check it out.

It’s a lonely world. Luckily, I don’t actually have to claim any land to build, I can build pretty much where ever I want. I’ve restarted a few times, but ultimately, I found a nice island with fresh water, metal, and other good resources. I kind of feel a bit lucky for finding this island. I started building, but ran into a problem. If you place something like a workstation, or just about anything on top of a wood foundation and then decide to upgrade to a stone foundation, you have to destroy whatever you placed on top of the foundation, before you can place the stone foundation. I’ve submitted this as a bug. This doesn’t happen in Ark, which is pretty much what this game is based on with the same engine, same files, and a lot of other similarities other than being a pirate game. This made me look for a mod like Structures Plus for Ark, which allows you to pick up anything any time. I found one similar called Atlas Architect, which has some stations which are smaller and it allows you to pick them up any time.

I would like to tame something, but I haven’t found anything at a high enough level that I want to tame. I think my single player settings will give me a max level of wild creatures that I can tame of 150 and I haven’t seen any yet. Some have been close, but not close enough for me. However, I was able to get started on building ships. I like the raft, but you have to go in the direction the wind blows and it doesn’t contain much space for anything, nor any way to defend yourself from Ships of the Damned (SOTD). Speaking of them, they are intimidating now. They now can be found in fleets, usually about four, but there could be many more in a single area of the map. I wish there were individuals (as it was earlier in the development of the game), which would let me practice fighting them and be less intimidating. Taking on a fleet of them by myself is definitely a challenge.

I built my first Sloop. It took some time to get used to having to manage sails and a rudder by myself. I really needed some crew. Luckily, you can recruit crew members at a Freeport for just 5 gold. Then they’ll want 1 gold every few hours or so. You can also get them by destroying SOTD, they’ll be swimming with the debris of the ship and you can swim up to them, press a button to give them gold, and take them back to your ship. Usually these crew members are at a higher level than the ones you can recruit in a Freeport (which are all level 1). So, I found my way to a Freeport and recruited a few crew. Then I returned to the island where I made my home and built my first Schooner.

I can’t recall at the moment, if my Sloop had canons on it, but I think the Schooner did. I don’t think I used them though, maybe I did try at least once to destroy a fleet of SOTD. If I did, it didn’t go well and I restarted from a backup. I use the same system of backing up my saved data and restoring it when I want, like I do for Ark (just by copying certain files to different directories). After I built the Schooner, I once again traveled to the nearest Freeport to recruit some more crew. Then I traveled back to the island where I made my home and started to build my Brigantine.

It was around here, I think, that I found and added another mod. In Ark, I use one that significantly decreases the weight of items and increases stack sizes. I found one for Atlas and was able to collect and carry a lot more resources, which was very important as each new ship requires even more resources. The mod is called Custom Item Stacks. I also had trouble keeping my vitamin levels maintained, so I began using a mod called MultiVitamin, which lets you craft a multivitamin which will raise your vitamin levels to normal. This takes food of each kind and a medicinal herb, but is well worth it. Having a vitamin deficiency will cause you to lose health and eventually die (which will reset your vitamin level, making death actually kind of helpful w/out this mod).

After I constructed my Brigantine, I once again headed to my local Freeport to recruit more crew. It was either during this trip or the next that I was unable to recruit any more at one point. Luckily, finding out why wasn’t too difficult with a simple Google search. You can only have a max of 10 level 1 crew members. So, I simply just had to level up the ones that I had, which I didn’t bother with before. They got levels easily enough and didn’t take long to get their first one. I can’t recall now whether or not I tried to fight the SOTD with the Brigantine. Once again, I headed back to the island where I made my home and started to build my Galleon.

The Galleon is huge! The max amount of gun ports on it is 52! It’s definitely a behemoth, which obviously took a while to build. I had some trouble with previous ships where I built the shipyard in water that was too shallow and therefore couldn’t get them out easily. Each ship, by the way, has it’s own size of ship yard. You have tiny, small (I think), medium, and large ship yards. You need to build each to build each ship. This will let you build the skeleton of the ship.

The Galleon has six large sails, but doesn’t feel faster than any other sea craft (ships and raft). Maybe this is because I haven’t seen each craft sailing together (which I obviously can’t do in single player mode). However, more sails are supposed to make crafts faster and the Galleon is the fastest (and biggest) ship in the game. After I completed this build, I once again headed to my local Freeport to recruit more crew. I ran into an issue with the dinghy. You can build a dinghy dock on your ship. When you get close to your ship with it, you can select the option on the radial menu to have it return to your ship. This will pull it up and put it back where it belongs. There were a few times where I had crew with me when I did this and they disappeared, or seemed to, I may have later found a couple of them. It took a while to hire the remaining crew members I needed to fill my ship. It has a max crew limit of 59, but you can increase that by leveling up a certain stat (ships get experience and level up, too, maybe I should have mentioned that earlier).

This time, I did not return home. I set sail with the wind (if I have no destination, I like to travel in the direction the wind is blowing). It wasn’t long until I ran into a fleet of SOTDs and I started shooting at them. The first time, I beat all four of them, but my ship was damaged and was sinking. I ran out of wood to repair it, so I was heading back to the island from which I came so I could gather more wood. On the way, I ran into a ship wreck and decided to go after it. You can see floating debris every now and then indicating that a shipwreck is below the debris. I had installed a diving dock on my ship as I did before on the Brigantine. So I hopped in my diving suit and went down. Unfortunately, it was night and I couldn’t hardly see nor find the entrance to the treasure chest. I later learned that you can make a lantern to attach to your belt. I started dying and realized that I was freezing to death. I died, but was able to respawn on my ship and go back down to collect the items I had on my body, but I couldn’t find my body, so I restored the files to the backup I made just after hiring all my crew and before setting sail the last time. I ran into the SOTDs again, but I destroyed them all and I’m not even sure if any of them hit me. This was impressive, but it also takes quite a bit of time and effort to circle back around and against the wind after you’ve sailed passed them. Once they were destroyed, I was able to collect the debris they left behind and rescue one person, because I had one more slot for a crew member. She was level 27, I think, but she disappeared when I brought her aboard via the dinghy. She’s still counting as part of my crew, so I’m not sure where she is. This is where I have finished so far.

Since I’m done building ships, I have a little less to do. I can tame creatures and collect treasure from shipwrecks, flotsam, and the SOTDs I destroy. I can (and have tried to) also find buried treasure using one of the many maps I’ve found, but the Damned (soldiers of the damned maybe?) are very over powering. I need to tame a good high level bear to help me take them on. I would like to build a submarine, but it requires me to make three different kinds of alloy (which are basically metal ingots). I have iron and thought I had copper, but don’t and so I need to find more. I know there is an underwater trench you can go to with your submarine. I think one or more of the power stones is there. I think these stones allow you to fight the boss, the Kracken.

There are mythical creatures, too, like the Cyclops. There’s also a dragon and some more things you can actually tame or purchase (in-game not w/ real money). These tames will only last for a limited time though. However, if you defeat them, you can collect something called mythos, but I’m not entirely sure what that’s for.

There is also a DLC map. I think it was not made by Grapeshot, but another individual. I know it’s much smaller than the single player map (which is huge). I haven’t tried it out yet, but I think I’m getting nearer to feeling ready to do so.

A lot of this game was pretty much nearly impossible to do alone before single player mode came out. Although single player mode doesn’t exactly make things easier, you can use mods, which makes things a lot easier. SOTD and soldiers from treasure maps are still numerous and intimidating, although I did find out I can defeat fleets of SOTD with my Galleon. There are videos on YouTube that can show you how to build a good ship to beat them as well.

I’m glad they released single player mode, although I wish a few things were adjusted to make things easier (or less intimidating) for the single player. The map is huge and in multiplayer mode (the base mode of the game), each section is run by a server. So the map is actually a cluster of servers you can travel to. Surprisingly, it takes as much time to travel to different places on the grid at the same speed in both game modes, although it doesn’t take very long at all. I think this is impressive, that you can travel to a new server and the switch happens very quickly.

So now that single player mode is out, do you think you might give this game a try? I might actually recommend it now, especially if you like building/crafting, taming, and pirate stuff like building ships, sailing, and sea battles. It’s also a good game for exploring, although it can get boring out there in the open sea. Have you tried to play the game in it’s normal multiplayer mode? What do you think of it? Let me know in the comments, if you want to talk about this.

I may update this in the future as I play more, or write a new post.

Last year, Studio Wildcard (SW) received major backlash after posting a countdown on the Ark website (survivetheark.com), which ended up being an event that had dino skins (based on the new Jurassic World movie at the time) as rewards. Many fans, including myself, were expecting news of a new DLC, we were sure of it, but we were wrong. However, not much later, SW posted another countdown on the website, but this ended up being an announcement of a DLC, Extinction.

I’m not going to spoil the lore of Ark here. If you want to know it, you can find it easily enough on the Internet. However, it seemed Extinction would be the end of Ark, or Ark DLC. There was a subtle piece at the end that hinted there could be more. There were also coded messages, which revealed another location in the Ark lore. This lead many to believe that this was not the end of Ark, as the story was still open-ended.

Recently, SW, posted a new countdown on their website. There were coded messages found on a website, which were decoded and showed SW giving us hints of something that’s coming. The way they did this was interesting and it was also very interesting to see people on the Internet who were able to decode these messages. One of the encoded messages stated, “this is not Ark 2.” People also were able to analyze the webpage code or scipt in Firefox and found a directory leading to a sound file. The directory was called “Genesis.”

It was a day before the end of the countdown and the Playstation store had a new post. It was showing a Genesis Season Pass along with some pictures of the new content. It seemed someone might be ready to lose their job after this leak. However, it turned out to be true. It wasn’t really a leak though. The page was supposed to go up yesterday on 8/8/19. However when for us it was 8/7/19, it was already 8/8/19 in Australia. SW pretty much just laughed about it in their announcement stream.

Genesis is “a new chapter” in Ark. You can see and hear in the announcement video that we are going some where where some one cannot help us, so she creates a cool robot-like thing and gives it her personality. This will make more sense if you’ve followed the lore of Ark, you’ll know who that “someone” is. This robot is called HLN-A (hint here). It’s designed to go along with us on this new journey and help us along the way. It can show us when there’s danger, react to our emotes, and encourages us to do things in the game. It seems it will guide us on our way to the end of the game or content. Surprisingly, this HLN-A is available now if you purchase the Genesis Season Pass (as I did). Right now, it’s pretty much a cosmetic “pet.” It’s expected to become much more of something when the content is released.

We got a look at some pictures, which show off new creatures and new biomes. Two pictures seem to clearly be on the first map, called the Island (in case you didn’t know), but SW says this new content will consist of two new maps. There’s a volcanic biome, ocean biome, and poisonous-looking biome. Part 1 of Genesis will arrive in December, while Part 2 will arrive in “winter 2020.” I assume they mean Part 2 will arrive about a year after Part 1, because SW always released new DLC a year after the previous one. So, this year, just like last year, many of us are back on the Ark hype train.

One of the new creatures was seen near an active volcano and it’s covered in molten rock/fire. This creature doesn’t like water, can be tamed, and acts as a mobile forge (for smelting iron). This is similar to how other creatures work in the game, for example the Giant Beaver acts as a mobile Smithy. Another new small four-armed creature looks adorable, but is Ark’s first shape-shifter. If it eats Element it turns into a larger wolf-like creature. It seems as though it will not turn on whoever it tamed, but can be used in some strategic ways.

Apparently, (as revealed by SW), people have been asking for another creature from the devs for quite a while now. SW stated that they just didn’t have anywhere to put it. This is the new giant turtle looking creature. It functions as a mobile island, you can build your base on it, and harvest the plants/materials that grow on it. It can dive underwater and when it does, it creates an oxygen bubble, so you won’t need to wear SCUBA gear. This creature is massive and as such Genesis will have an ocean biome that this giant can live in, where it can be tamed.

There are a couple more things mentioned by SW, but I recommend (if you’re interested) to watch the stream, which has been posted on YouTube (https://youtu.be/zC7ArMfwz8U).

Last year, I was really excited for Extinction, but was a bit disappointed by it, mostly because of the amount of things that feel nearly impossible to do alone in single player mode. I don’t want to be let down again, but I can’t help but to get excited about Genesis. However, it does make me wish that devs wouldn’t tell us long in advance about something they’re working on and make us wait months or years at a time. Instead, I kind of wish they would just make the announcement when they release the content. The days do seem to pass more slowly when you’re eagerly awaiting something new to be released.

So, what do you think about this? Are you excited? Have you purchased the Season Pass for this? It’s only about $35 and seems like a great value for Ark content released in two parts. Let me know what you think.

I think this was already reported on here during the E3 stuff, but it's come more to my attention due to a friend sharing info with me on Facebook. At first, I ignored this news. I thought it was just for the Switch (which I may still get) and I believed that the Steam version was "remastered." But, it seems I was incorrect (please correct me if I'm wrong). I played it a few years ago on Steam and didn't have a problem with it, it looked fine to me. Although, I must admit, I never really complained about the graphics. I know the non-FMV stuff wasn't perfect, but kind of blocky/not smooth, but that never affected the love I have for this game. Apparently the "remake" is coming for all (current gen) consoles and on Steam. It might be something I get, I'm not sure, I'll have to wait and see. Hopefully it won't cost very much (I doubt it will).

What do you think about this? Let me know in the comments!

Source: https://www.slashgear.com/final-fantasy-viii-is-finally-getting-remastered-not-a-remake-10579979/?fbclid=IwAR0y521_15LDMOKKNvKLijkTK2w4DBwjuauKMxJ6w0NuTgOe49qilBbsPIs

I've already answered the "why" of this, so if you want to know, check out the comment section of my post here: https://cheerfulghost.com/GregoPeck/posts/4095/alienware-aurora-r4-5-years-later#comment19696

For the first time in over 5 years, maybe even a decade, I'm building myself a new PC. Probably for the first time ever, I'm building an Intel CPU based PC (I used to build AMD ones). I bought my last PC, which was definitely an expensive beast, but I had the money for it. At the time, I also really wanted some top of the line hardware. That was a good Alienware computer for the last 4-5 years, but the time has come to move on.

Last month, I found a new-to-me YouTube channel, JayZTwoCents, which I strongly suggest you check out here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkWQ0gDrqOCarmUKmppD7GQ

Because of Jay, I learned a lot and got a little familiar with some websites and brands. For starters, he helped me find www.pcpartpicker.com. You can visit the site to see "my new build" here: https://pcpartpicker.com/user/GregoPeck/saved/RpGhgs

That site gives you the categories of parts you'll need to build a complete PC and in those categories you can search for individual parts. There are a lot of options to search with, making it easier to find exactly what you're looking for. Once you've found a part, the website will tell you where you can go to get it (NewEgg.com and Amazon.com are two of the main places you'll see, but there are others). As I did above, you can also share your builds with others. Also, the site gives you an estimated wattage of your build, so you'll know how much you'll need from a power supply. There's also a section of your own inventory where you can add parts that you already have. The site will also help you search for compatible parts and warn you if you've selected some things with compatibility issues.

This build costs under $700 according to the website. Part of why it's not extremely expensive (other than the budget I gave myself) is because I have parts I plan on reusing, like the CPU cooler I bought last month. I also have a great keyboard and mouse to use along with storage devices (one new SSD and one old HDD). I also bought a GTX 1660 Ti last month. I could probably have saved some money by reusing the Alienware's PSU, but I figured I'd go ahead and get a new one. I could have also chosen to leave out the monitor, but the one I've chosen is a surprisingly excellent value for new-to-me monitor/panel technology. I found this build to be cheaper on Amazon than NewEgg, so that's where I've ordered all of my parts. However, the full ATX motherboard wasn't available soon enough for me, so I've chose the microATX version.

The main search criteria I used was for parts with 5 star/highest ratings. I also searched for the particulars that I was looking for, and then I sorted by price. I kind of had my own idea of what limits I had for the budget. I really didn't feel like spending more than $300 for any part, particularly the CPU and monitor.

I've decided to go with a non-overclocking set up, because I'm not interested in overclocking. I realize overclocking has come a long way over the years, but there are a few things about it I don't like. One has to play the "silicon lottery" and hope that they get a chip they can OC well. OC'd chips draw more power and run at hotter temps and I'm just not sure that it's really worth it. I have an i7-4820k in the Alienware and feel like I couldn't settle for less than another i7. So, I've chosen the i7-8700. I'm not sure if I would notice a change in going from a 4th gen i7 to an 8th or 9th gen i5 or comparable AMD CPU. I'm not even sure if I'll notice a change in going from the 4820k to the 8700. As such, I've also picked out a compatible motherboard. I would really like to get a 9th gen i7 or even an i9, but I'm working with a limited budget. Those parts are a bit more expensive and probably excessive for my use-case.

I've been running with 16GB of RAM for the last 5 years or so and I don't see a need to change it. I'm not sure if I'd notice more or less RAM and I'm not sure if I'll notice the faster DDR4 (as opposed to the DDR3 in the Alienware) RAM I'm getting for this build. Since the Alienware has spoiled me in this area, I don't want less than 16GB of RAM.

JayZTwoCents made me aware of the Fractal Design brand and I have chosen one of their blue cases. I like what I see (pictures and descriptions). It comes with two front fans, which is definitely nice. The motherboard I've ordered has 4 headers for fans and I know my CPU cooler is going into one of them. But, it looks like I'll be able to add more fans, which I wasn't able to do with the Alienware. I'm hoping for positive airflow and max air cooling, since my GPU is air-cooled.

I've ordered an EVGA 600W 80+ Bronze ATX PSU. It might actually be over kill for my system, but I'm sure it will be ok. I am familiar with EVGA and like their products. I was looking at other PSUs, particularly from Corsair, which is another brand I use and enjoy, but I just picked one and went with it. The reviews for all PSUs I looked at on Amazon had plenty of negativity, so it was difficult to choose.

Again, I learned about some new-to-me monitor/panel technology from JayZTwoCents. Apparently, I will notice the difference with the monitor I've ordered for this build. It has 144hz refresh rate, it has FreeSync, but is apparently G-Sync compatible (I'll have to test that), and it has a 1ms response time. It's only 1080p, but I'm ok with that. I'm definitely not interested in the more expensive and hardware taxing of 4K (and we're soon moving onto 8K supposedly).

I'm glad I still have the Artic MX-4 thermal paste I bought last month, because I'm going to need it for this new build. The CPU cooler came with thermal paste already applied, but I'm sure I'm going to need to reapply thermal paste for use on the new CPU.

I might update this post with an edit or something in the comments section as the parts arrive and I get it built and running. Feel free to share your builds or PC building experience or PC specs in the comments below.

If you haven't heard of Honest Game Trailers before, you're in for a treat! I found this online recently and watched most of them. They seriously made me LOL! So, they are funny, but in a way they also kind of make our favorite games look dumb, kind of like how Pokemon games repeat the same formula, but we keep buying them. Still, these are pretty funny, so I thought I'd share them with you. I'm including a playlist link, but you'll find Honest Trailers for many of the games we love like Minecraft, Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy X, Animal Crossing, Mega Man, Star Fox, Metroid, Castlevania, Pokemon, and many more! Check out the playlist and prepare to laugh: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHkNwtRZFo2g74tWgElcOO2T3WWbN7Aga

GregoPeck gives this a solid "Rad" on the Ghost Scale
This is fun, with very few issues, and is well worth your time.
GregoPeck gives this a "Rad" on the Ghost Scale
This is fun, with very few issues, and is well worth your time.
This winter, I played Conan Exiles. However, I neglected to write a post about it, so here it is (assuming I can remember it well enough).

I first noticed Conan Exiles on YouTube. There were a few channels that I follow that had game play of it. I began to watch the first video in a series, but didn’t finish the video. Something about it just didn’t look appealing. It was pretty much the UI. So initially, the game didn’t look like something I’d be interested in, so I ignored it for a while.

I did notice some of my friends on Steam were playing it. I eventually decided to watch the series posted by Sl1pg8r that I had started. I ended up watching the whole series and yet I still was unsure about whether or not I really wanted to get the game. I think part of that (or maybe most of that) was because I didn’t feel like paying full price ($60) for a game. So, I put it on my wish lists and waited. Eventually, I found it for about half price (on Humble Bundle, I think), so I decided to get it. I don’t regret doing that and am glad I saved some money.

Just from the sound of it, Conan Exiles actually sounds like a game I would be into. It contains crafting, building (a base), fighting, survival, boss fights, tiered gear (weapons, armor, and tools) taming (or slavery in this game), and boss fights. It sounds similar to the Minecraft, Terraria, and Ark: Survival Evolved formula that I’ve come to love and desperately want more of. In hindsight, I think it actually fits well alongside those games.

The game can be played in single player mode or online with friends on a server. I played single player mode, as is my norm. The single player game is a little more difficult, but not impossible. There are levels of difficulty you can choose. If you select the easiest one, you will not drop all items when you die. However, if you select a more difficult one you will, although you can actually edit a config file and toggle the drop all items upon death penalty.

There are a few different races you can pick. There are also a variety of religions, I think they each have their own bonuses or characteristics. You’ll spawn in the desert at the beginning, naked (if you selected that option) or mostly naked with nothing. Conan comes to take you off the cross/stake you’re hanging on and then leaves. From here you want to gather some resources like stones, sticks of wood, and twine (or fiber). You will use these to craft your first equipment (outfit/armor, weapons, and especially tools). You’ll find your way out of the desert easily enough and reach an area that some players call “Sanctuary.” There’s a river here, but there are also monsters, people, and animals (like crocodiles).

From there, you’ll want to find a good spot to call home. You’ll want to craft your first straw bed (or mattress) to set a (temporary, I think) respawn point, otherwise you’ll respawn in the desert where you started. Then, you’ll want to use the tools you’ve made to mine and harvest more materials so that you can get started on your first base. Once that’s done, you’ll have shelter and be safe during sand storms.

As I mentioned there are some “monsters” around. There are some that look kind of like humans or zombies, they’re not incredibly dangerous, but if one spots you, it will attack you. You may also run into some people, but these people are not your friend. There are a variety of people all over the map that, again, are not friendly. This, however, is where the taming (slavery) aspect comes in to play. You can actually knock them out and drag them to a Wheel of Pain, which will break their will and bend them towards yours. Once they’re “tamed” (enslaved) they become thralls and each has a specialty. For instance, some are Armorers, which can be added into a slot in your armor workstation and boost production or quality of armor. There are others and they come in different levels. Level 4 thralls are the highest and they are named. These are the ones you really want, but they are the most difficult to get and find.

Depending on some game options, or level of difficulty, you’ll eventually have to fend off hordes of thralls or creatures attacking your base. I played on the easiest level of difficulty and had this feature turned off, so I can’t speak much of it from personal experience. This event is apparently one of the most common ways to find those named level 4 thralls. You can also spawn them in if you use the command console.

Your armor, weapons, tools, and workstations can be upgraded over time. Well, “upgraded” is the wrong term to use, more like “replaced with something made of better material.” It’s kind of like in Minecraft, Terraria, and Ark where you start out with wood and make your way to iron (although that’s not specifically what happens in Conan Exiles, it’s just a game play example). As you progress, you’ll find different materials and be able to use them to craft better things.

There is also experience and levels. You also have traits you can unlock (similar to Ark’s engram system). However, you won’t have enough points to unlock everything, so it’s helpful to have others around who’ve learned different abilities. However, you can make a potion to reset these attributes.

There are a variety of points on the map you can discover. There is an achievement for discovering all of these, which I have completed, although this task is kind of difficult even with a map because there are (or were at the time) some bugs. However, there is at least one mod that remedies this and a command you can use to teleport to any of these areas. You can find different materials in different areas along with different creatures. Some places you may revisit, while others you may never visit or go back to. You’ll discover many of these just within your regular game play. There are a few different zones that are basically different biomes, such as the jungle, frozen area, volcano, and deep desert. These also contain different things like resources and creatures.

Since I mentioned a bug, it’s a good time to bring that topic into this discussion. There are (or were when I played) some bugs in the game (and I don’t mean the large ones that you can kill lol). There are, however, some ways around these bugs. Development of the game seems to be on-going (at least the last time I checked) and you can report bugs or find them via Google, usually on the forums. As I said, there’s also at least one mod that remedies a bug, but you might run into more and you can of course report them. I had an achievement I was trying to get where it says to “cripple an enemy.” I read that one way of giving this debuff was by shooting them in the legs, so I did and the enemies I shot were crippled. However, this is not the way the game wants you to accomplish this. It requires you use a power attack (instead of regular attack) with a certain weapon (sword, I think). Power attacks use more stamina, but they can add debuffs to your enemies.

As I mentioned development, there are actually two versions of the game that you can (or do) get. One of them is called a “testlive client” in which the developers will add features or fix bugs and those that wish to test that fresh build of the game can do so. Otherwise, you’d have to wait until something is done with their testing phase for it to make it into the base game. This might be something some people are interested in as new features (and possibly bugs) come as soon as the developers have created something. They can report on bugs or give feedback to the developers, who will eventually publish these new things to the base game. Different games have something similar to this, but usually you have to subscribe to the beta.

A quick note, I did like the music in the game. Now, there are bosses and they can be difficult to tackle alone, but they’re not impossible. They can give you new things. One boss grants you the ability to learn how to craft the armor it was wearing, for example. There are also kind of mini bosses in the world that are more difficult than their regular counterparts. There’s a white tiger, an elephant, a rhino, a giant spider, a giant snake and more. If you defeat these, they will drop a key. You then use this key to open up certain treasure chests in the world, which will give you a random Legendary level weapon (I’m not sure if they give tools an armor, I don’t think so). If you want to collect them all, you can wait for the creature to respawn, defeat it again, get another key, and open the chest again (after it kind of respawns). It is slightly annoying that what you get is random. I liked using one-handed swords, so I was looking for the Legendary one. I think I eventually got it (and the shield), but before that I got duplicates of everything else. This is a challenge to complete, but it’s quite satisfying when you figure out the right strategy to defeat the mini boss. One actually spawned in with a duplicate of itself (a bug). However, I was able to beat them both by circling around the area and attacking them while they were slightly above me. For the white tiger, I learned (other than having good armor and a good weapon) to block, attack, block, attack, and repeat that until it was dead. That thing is quick!

There are resources spread out all over the map, so it is wise to have multiple bases. Maybe you want to collect some yellow flowers for a potion, you’ll want a base closer to them. Or maybe you’ll looking for a level 3 or 4 thrall, you’ll want to make a base closer to them and wipe them out until you find what you’re looking for or wait for them to respawn if you don’t (they respawn rather quickly). There are some dungeons, not too huge, which contain different enemies (like skeletons) and bosses.

I think that pretty much covers it (from my memory). I think it’s a good game and I enjoyed playing it even though I stumbled upon a few bugs. If you don’t want to pay full price for it, then put it on a wishlist and wait for it to go on sale, so you can get a better deal. Is it worth full price? Yeah, I guess so. I don’t think I would have regretted paying full price and I easily could have, I just didn’t feel like it.

Oh, I’d also like to mention that there are some tricky areas, like the frozen area and volcano. I’s really hot in the volcano, so you have to make sure you’re wearing the right kind of armor to keep from overheating. There’s a set you can also wear to reduce the amount of stamina you use while climbing (yes, this is similar to Breath of the Wild). There’s also an area where it’s freezing and, again, you’ll want to wear appropriate armor. There are a few areas of water you can get into. One of which is a great place for finding gold.

Also, I’d like to mention some of the higher tier resources. One of them is very difficult to get, because you have to wait for meteors to fall in the frozen biome. You then have to use explosives (or lots of fire) to break open the shell to reveal the material you need to mine. There are also a couple of forges in the frozen and volcano biomes you’ll need to visit if you want to craft certain pieces of gear. Obviously, again, you’ll want to go prepared to survive the temperature and creatures within.

Oh! There’s a new game called Conan Unconquered. I don’t know much about it, but it seems to be a strategy game that’s kind of (like or basically) a tower defense game where you have to defend your base from hordes of creatures. I’m not sure if it’s something I’ll get into, but if I do, perhaps I’ll let you know eventually.

Anyway, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to ask or share them in the comments section below.

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