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The Official Graphics Card and PC gaming Thread

Discussion in 'Building a new PC' started by abuzar1, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. omegaman7

    omegaman7 Active member

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    It "looks" highly impressive! And the way they speak of it being a gauge for all other games. Much like crysis was.
    I was so close to buying a 4K monitor today. But I know that my current card can barely handle my current setup. Increasing my resolution, without more memory, or gpu power? Yeah... I'm afraid I'm gonna have to wait! Sadly...
     
  2. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    I turn sharpness off entirely as its kind of a useless effect. I think it was an awful idea to have it as a default setting. TVs and monitors already have built in sharpness settings. The sharpness also makes the jaggies stand out, and it sharpens and highlights flaws in the image. If I do use sharpness, I use only a very small amount of it. In this case, 10% would probably be the maximum. Probably 5% is where I'd settle. After that, the image becomes very over-processed.

    I'm glad you like the game so much. It's one of the best I've played in a long time, and one of the very few that didn't disappoint after much hype. I think it's an excellent game. I have over 80 hours clocked already on Steam, with about 60 of them being real gameplay and 20 sitting idle while I do other things, haha.

    Omega, after Mass Effect Andromeda, I am going to remain wary about EA/Bioware games. That kind of laziness in game production is inexcusable. It really has nothing to do with the memes floating around poking fun at the animation. The entire game was phoned in. So bad that they've indefinitely suspended more Mass Effect games until they can get a better dev team together.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2017
  3. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Wow, Jeff is running 4k but then putting out 1080p as a form of AA, and Kevin you're about to pop for a 4k monitor - what has Sam done to all of us!

    Yeah, Jeff, thanks again for the game recommendation. This one was as good as when you recommended the Metro games which were all-time best games - they still stand up there with the top of the top 50 games - up there with Far Cry 3 for example, COD4, and Half Life 2.

    Regarding the sharpness, turning it off sounds good - the sharpness was too sharp. I have started using your recommended SMAA as temporal AA takes a bit too much of a framerate hit - depends on how much shooting is going on. When I had temporal AA selected I looked and I could not find the sharpness setting - so maybe it's turned on only for SMAA. I'll look more carefully tonight and turn sharpness off altogether for SMAA if I can find it. Maybe it's a setting under video - I need to check - they keep a few of the settings over there.

    Yes, the game is massively awesome. There are some wow moments that are really cool. For example, I had just stolen one of those little bird helicopters with the twin gattling guns. There was a screen announcement that a hunter helicopter was coming to get me. So I turned the chopper around, hovered down about 10 meters above the water (too much higher and that SAM missile emplacement on that plateau overlooking the river will shoot me down) and I waited, testing out my gattling guns. The gattling guns always shoot a little high, so I wanted to be a bit below it. As it came toward me I fired off some rounds - and the light was good this time (the weather and daylight change very fast so within two hours you go from sunlight to night-time) and I could see the tracers. Of several bursts, I got off one burst off that apparently hit it dead on because suddenly it ignited and took a plunge to the brimy depths - and one of my partners said - "You shot the chopper down."

    Also yesterday on foot with unsilenced sniper rifle AO40 (the basic one they first give you) I shot down two apache helicopters. They are the ones that have heavy armor and kill you with missiles. I was trying to get El Emissario - I was at the sniping position above his incredibly beautiful mansion, and I had set off a war between Unidad and the Narcos - but mistakenly hung around and attacked the Unidad soldiers that came to my sniper position. That put us in the middle of an all-out unidad alarm which always ends in my death, unless we completely run from it and let it cool down.

    But I don't die easy. So I had dropped down below the cliff and from a distance killed about 20 unidad soldiers with sniper rifle, and also 4 regular helicopters, then the 2 apache helicopters. Somehow the way I was sheltered against the cliff they had trouble getting in position for a missile attack - or by then I had already shot them down.

    Then Unidad called in more reinforcements closer to my dug-in position and that was that - "killed in actionl"

    But it was massive fun - murder of helicopters and the hated Unidad army guys!

    :p

    Hahahahahaha.

    Anyway, I came back (from the dead) and beat the mission with the same approach. We set off the war and this time we backtracked about 50 meters and went prone, and did not engage unidad. When the dust settled there were only a few bad guys left out of the original 20 and we went in and got our guy!



    RICH SUCKS AT FLYING AN AIRPLANE
    The thing I cannot do in this game is fly an airplane, and I think I have given up trying. I have at least 20 hours in just this one thing, and I am not getting any better at it.

    They always want to shoot a missile at you so you have to hug the ground, and I haven't figured out how to control the things very well at all.

    Maybe I'll try to control them with mouse.

    In Arma3 you can use mouse AND keyboard controls at the same time, so you can really get good at it - I'm talking helicopters. In this game it's either/or. I tried the mouse thing for helicopter, but then I missed not being able to use the A and D keys for sideways movement so I went back to keyboard.

    So because of that, I was going to try mouse with the airplanes but changed my mind.

    However, maybe I should give it a try since I suck with keyboard - I even turned driving sensitivity down to 35 from 50 to reduce the intensity of the A and D key movements - but I still totally suck at flying an airplane! Are there any tips you can give me Jeff?

    What about you Kev, can you fly a plane worth a damn? Hahaha. I know you were flying that helicopter all over New York in GTA4 - I never tried that.

    But I LOVE flying helicopters in Arma 3, and I love them in this game also.

    Rich
     
  4. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    My best tip for controlling the vehicles is to use a controller! lol

    I use my favorite Sony DualShock 3 bluetooth wireless gamepad for this game. One I bought new last year just for PC gaming. It's disguised in the software as an Xbox 360 controller so the game picks it right up and goes no problem. It shows Xbox controls though so if you aren't used to both gamepads it can be confusing. The easiest route is to use an Xbox 360 or Xbox One gamepad, which have perfect compatibility with most games without hacked drivers. Just plug it in, and the game switches its interface to Xbox controls. Works great!

    The shooting controls better with Mouse and KB, but the vehicles are superior on a gamepad. And the game is PvE so precision and reaction time aren't as exceedingly important. I find the shooting accuracy with a joystick to be just fine for my needs in this game. I've gaffed a few sniper shots but nothing a little practice and patience can't help. In a proper FPS, KB+M is the way to go, but like GTAV, a controller is easily adequate here.

    I want to upgrade to a DualShock 4 soon, so I can put the fresher 2nd Gen PS3 pad with my 2nd Gen PS3 and replace its worn out 1st Gen pads.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017
  5. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    After writing the above post, I thought what the heck why not? I just got paid. So I went to Wal-Mart and grabbed a DualShock 4 for $60. It works with the same custom Windows drivers as my DS3 so compatibility is a non-issue. Plug and play.

    The ergonomics are improved to perfection, and the overall response and precision are right where they need to be. Definitely on par with my older controllers. Since they dropped pressure sensitive buttons (Cross,Square,Circle,Triangle,D-Pad) in favor of pure digital buttons, it should ideally mean better response times.

    Better angled triggers, with longer handles, means a longer reach for your hand, and less cramping from having your hands scrunched up. If you have big hands like me, these are excellent controllers without giving up that oldschool familiarity. The slightly shifted button locations take some getting used to after a lifetime with the original DualShock shape. However, nothing I can't warm up to with a little quality gaming time :)

    So yeah, impulse buy worked out okay for me. I'm pretty happy with it!
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
  6. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Hahahaha - you impulse buyer.

    Well, I guess that is probably something I will never do - you guys Jeff, Kevin, Sam are years ahead of me in comfort with controllers. I tried to use a controller one time and I was all thumbs. So for me, I would rather practice more and get the keyboard working on the airplane - or JUST stop trying to fly them period.

    The airplane gets you some medical supplies points - but I have zillions of points. I like to tag the trucks.


    CHANGE TO ANY WEAPON THAT YOU OWN - ON THE FLY
    I fairly recently learned that Wildlands has one feature that I have never come across in any other game.

    You can hit the I key, at any time, and do an inventory change right out in the middle of the bush - you don't have to be at an ammo box. And the game pauses while you are making the gun change. So I carry around the Llamativo LMG right now - llamativo "yamaTIvo" means it has a lot of bling - comes from the Spanish word, llamar, pronounced yamAR, which means "to name", as in me llamo Ricardo "may YAmo RiCARdo" I am named Richard, or I name myself Richard, or I call myself Richard. "Como te llames?" "COE-moe tay YAmess" - how do you name yourself, how do you call yourself = What is your name?

    Anyway, so more like the "to call" form of the verb, llamativo is something that calls out - "look at me" in other words, it has a lot of bling as I said. It's not a derogatory word - it's more like our word "fancy."


    I liked that light machine gun when I saw it was available, versus the first LMG that the game me - which has slightly more damage per bullet, and a better gun sight that I recently upgraded to, being the red dot sight - which the game calls "panoramic." The gunsight with the llamativo has more metal around the edges which cuts off the view just a bit, and it's a red circle - it's okay but not as nice as that Panoramic gunsight. One of the factions in Arma3 has that same gunsight which is okay but not my preferred red-dot sight with less metal to obstruct the view.

    However, I switched to the Lllamativo, despite inferior gunsight, because the firing rate is about 30% faster - so even though it does about 10% less damage per round, the firing rate more than makes up for that, and the range as I recall was the same or even slightly further.

    However - it is loud of course - and the ACR russian-built assault rifle that I started carrying as an upgrade to the first SMG they give you, has a nice silencer, and a very nice grenade launcher that I finally upgraded to. So whenever I need stealth, or a grenade launcher, I switch right in the middle of the action.


    TAKE OUT TRUCK CONVOY WITH GRENADE LAUNCHER
    There are two ways that I like to take out a truck convoy. Go up behind it with an SUV with a mounted minigun, or go up and hopefully pass the convoy and get ahead of it a quarter mile, park my non-minigun car or truck, get out and switch to the ACR rifle with the grenade launcher and a total of 8 grenade rounds. Then I stand near a bend in the road, and shoot a grenade at the lead minigun suv and blow it up, and then next comes the truck which tries to make a run for it and I shoot one at it.

    Then after I have tagged the truck and gotten my points, by then Unidad, the tough Bolivian army, has showed up - I switch back to the llamativo (which is also not bad for taking out helicopters - although I took out a helicopter the other day with a grenade launcher - it only takes one hit - that was very cool.)

    So anyway, being able to change weapons on the fly is a wonderful game option that I have never come across in any other game - very cool.


    TWIN GATTLING HELICOPTER PROTECTS REBEL LEADER
    I had a fun time yesterday beating an almost impossible game mission. I tried to reduce game difficulty to make airplane flying easier, but the game won't let me. I think I picked "Hard" difficulty. So some of these things might seem a little tough if you are playing on "Normal" and if you have already beaten them.

    I am kind of glad, other than the impossible airplane flying, that I could not change difficulty - it is making these little tricks more useful and more rewarding when I beat something that was REALLY hard without the trick. If you haven't played this one mission yet Jeff, here's what I did.


    REBEL LEADER "DEAD MAN WALKING"
    This cocalero union leader is making a speech, and trying to get the coca growers to use their coca for chocolate, instead of selling it all to the lady who makes cocaine for the cartel. He's giving an organizing speech, and he's carrying an SMG, but the cartel will be sending multiple SUVs of bad guys to kill him. If his health gets to zero, you didn't pass the mission.

    So I failed twice - the last time he was close to me on the podium with only 9%, and I got taken down, and it took forever for one of my guys to revive me, and just after he did the union leader got killed.

    So the game wanted to give me another try of course. You get try after try in this game until you flat give up.


    SIMILAR TO "REBEL RADIO" OPTIONAL MISSIONS
    Now this is a little like - "Turn on the rebel radio and protect the generator" - where they all come from every direction and attack the generator. Those are optional missions that appear on the map from time to time.

    On one of those, I just did a neat trick the last time - I parked a little bird helicopter right next to the generator, flipped the generator on, then jumped into it the heli with my guys on the side skids, and hit the "Fire" button. They began firing at anything within range, and I moved the helicopter around a bit to make sure all the guys who came to target the generator were within gunshot of the two sides of the little bird helicopter. That worked great!

    Before that what I was doing, on foot, was to order "Fire" which sends my team off in all directions shooting bad guys, and I stayed close to the generator with the llamativo LMG and that worked pretty well - I got taken out but even before being revived - the timeout ended meaning I won - just before the life of the generator went to zero.

    It was just after that when I tried the helicopter trick, and now I probably won't do one of those without the helicopter - well maybe I will, but I now have a guaranteed win in my pocket. I just have to go get a helicopter, weaponless or not.

    So sitting there with this union leader, and two failed attempts, I thought - "I need a helicopter."

    And I thought about my guys sitting on the skids with their rifles, and then I thought about all those SUVs that kept coming carrying car-loads of enemies.


    BIG MAMA KICKS NARCO BUTT
    So I decided to double-down and go get Big Mama. Big Mama is my pet name for the baddest biggest helicopter in the game, with fully-moveable gattling guns on each side. It is a pleasure to fly - but it is really big so not so easy to park.


    APACHE IS BAD-ASS BUT I HAVE ALMOST NO EXPERIENCE WITH IT
    Actually there is one other really BAD helicopter, the Apache which you CAN steal from the army base near a safe house. The apache takes one guy to fly, and carries a separate gunner, with variable machine gun plus missiles. Arma 3 has a Russian version of the Apache on one of the non-nato factions, which I have flown many times and posted about many times.

    In Arma3, when my gunner used to get killed, then I had control of the machine-gun and of the missiles, but I didn't have independent movement of them - I had to point the helicopter in the correct position. One time I flew in one, and I took the gunner position instead of the pilot position, and then I saw how great it was to have full control of the machine-gun. But actually I think the missiles were still only "point-forward control," and were not able to be aimed other than how the helicopter was facing.

    Yes, you had a gunsight - and you could be a mile away and the rockets would not lose more than just a little bit of altitude by the time they hit their target.

    Anyway, I need to steal that Apache sometime and see how effective that can be now that I think about it. Maybe I'll steal one tonight and try it on a convoy, or maybe just on a small invasion hitting the "fire" button and see how well my one gunner rotates that machine-gun around to target all the enemies. Then I'll have to figure out how to fire the missiles. That will be cool and might be one new trick up my sleeve. That army base has a mini-gun SUV that I like to steal, and it also has the other types of helicopters, little bird with twin point-forward gattling gun, Big Mama, and it has an 8-wheeled grenade tossing APC - armored personnel carrier - which does massive damage to any kind of convoy. (It is definitely not amphibious by the way.)

    The 8-wheeled APC is kind of fun, but a bit hard to drive, and not really that well-armored. I should get more experience with one, however. You can take the gunner position when you are parked, and then hit middle mouse to instantly slip into driver position if you need to get the team out of there. As gunner you are down inside the top hatch looking third person with your grenade sight as you shoot out those grenade rounds, so I really should get better at that vehicle. Maybe tonight. I actually, somewhat painfully, could have driven the thing over to the cocalero union leader - it goes off-road very well - but with attackers coming from several different directions at once, I think nothing can best Big Mama.​


    "So" - I thought, "Big Mama will beat this cocalero union leader mission."

    That gives me a gattling gun on each side, and my one shooter from inside for the targets that are not quite within the coverage of either moveable minigun.

    I know where a Big Mama is parked. Actually I know where 3 are parked, other than the Army base mentioned above.

    1. There is Alicia City - I can quick-travel there and take the boat around the island. That actually might be faster to get.
    2. There is the island directly across from the tiny rebel island - I can boat over in 10 seconds. I now have figured out a way to get up top near the sniper tower without going around through the buildings. Then I kill the sniper and the one guy up there, then take the helicopter.
    3. The 3rd place is Restaurante Humacha off one of the main highways that borders the big bay.

    With the mission still the focal point on the map, I quick-travelled to a little island in the bay, near the Carteza buchon island, and as of yesterday they now put a weapon-less helicopter on it for me - but before that I just took the boat about 200 yards to a nearby rebel island with a weapon-less little-bird helicopter.

    This is all near that island with the buchon Carteza (the playboy son of a wealthy Mexican industrialist, who likes to throw dance parties) with the 5 little bird helicopters on top of the hill, each of them with twin gattling guns which are forward-mounted and I have to operate them by pointing the helicopter forward.

    I am getting better at that, especially at shooting down helicopters, and also taking out convoys, but those gattling guns are far less useful than the mounted and moveable side gattling guns on the big gunship, Big Mama, each individually controlled by one of my 3 team-mates.

    So from the fast-travel little island in the bay, now with a weapon-less little bird, I headed due west about half a kilometer to the Restarante Humacho, which is also a gas station, which has a Big Mama big white twin gattling-gun gunship parked outside, and I stole that.

    Now it was 5.1 km to the union meeting at the coca growers cooperative.

    I very carefully went around the bay at low altitude, and then up a narrow pass in the mountains, to avoid the SAM missiles which are now prevalent.

    Then I carefully went over the top, then down into the little valley, parking the gunship in the coca field behind the cooperative.

    I went on foot to the union leader again, and for the third time heard him tell me to "bug off - I'm going to give this speech" then I ran to the gunship, lifted off, and brought it forward 75 meters, hovering about 5 meters off the ground right in front of the podium, just above the heads of the audience. I gave the Fire order, then my job was to rotate it lazily from time to time, as my guys worked those miniguns.

    In joy I saw those enemy SUVs explode, I saw those enemy soldiers turn to nice puffs of red smoke. This all went on for about two minutes of bliss.

    The stupid impetuous "Dead Man Walking" union leader, as my character called him when he radioed back to our main lady CIA agent contact in Bolivia, still had a full 45% of life left when the game told me "Mission Accomplished."

    I should post some of those screenshots - it was awesome!!!

    Hahahahahahahahaha - I love this game!!!!!!!!!!!

    Rich
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
  7. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    EDIT:

    Jeff, before I get started, on a technical note, I have noticed that after a couple of hours of Wildlands gameplay, I can start to see the model mesh on the map - in other words I see thin parallel lines as if it were a shadow from electricity power lines.

    I think this is some kind of memory leakage. I have tried to change the type of AA but I think I usually have to exit the game, then come back in fresh. With your hardware, have you noticed anything similar?

    Second thing - in the YouTube that I talk about below, he hits a toggle and looks at the helicopter from the front, then from the back. Arma3 has a key to do this in a vehicle - you can look behind to see who's shooting at your car. I tried googling this with no success. Do you know how to do it, Jeff?



    APACHE HELICOPTER - NO LUCK STEALING ONE YET
    I COULD NOT steal an Apache helicopter last night from that Junin base at the north-west end of the big bay, where you spawn in the little village. I blew up the SAM missile site right off the road, then blew up the 3 next to the base, and on the way back to the base, the one I blew up two minutes ago was already rebuilt. WTF!

    I spent a couple hours, and I may have to give up on that attempt. But I think I have seen the Apache in other locations - I may try again.

    Yeah, I just watched a YouTube video, and he steals one from the base just north of that base - the Media Luna base. I don't remember if he actually gets hit by a missile or not - apparently you can upgrade vehicles to take less damage so maybe I have to do that before achieving success in stealing one.


    AIRPLANE - PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT!
    Regarding airplane flying, there is a "practice place" that I found on a plateau just above the Media Luna safe house which is above the bay, one full bay distance up, right where the Luna territory meets the Madre Coca territory. They lure you there the first time to get a skill point.

    The safe house has a standard weapon-less helicopter that lets you fly up in 30 secs to the plateau 600 meters away. There is an airplane there - and the plateau overlooks a military base - I think it is the Media Luna base that I mentioned above where the YouTube guy stole the Apache. Well, maybe not, because he went down into the river valley, so I think that might be a slightly different base.

    Anyway, I spent two hours last night, and I can now ALMOST fly a plane, lol.

    I wrecked it a dozen times trying to land - each time fast-travelling back to the safe house and grabbing the helicopter to get back to a fresh plane on the plateau - all within only about 2 minutes restart time.

    When you get to the plane, you take off in the direction the plane is parked - meaning right off the side. You only have 15 meters of room, but that's enough.

    However, I found that by shooting one parking cone - at the very top of the cone - with my sniper rifle (other rifles won't hit it hard enough) I can get it to bounce completely out of the way so it won't continue to interfere with the takeoff. Otherwise you have to try to turn slightly to the left to miss the cone. Easier just to shoot it.

    You can takeoff in only 15 meters of runway, as I mentioned, then you head to your right into a large Madre Coca valley free of missiles. If you try to go the other way, to the left, then you get a missile.


    MADRE COCA VALLEY AIRPLANE TRAINING AREA
    You can fly down the entire valley and try turns - I began to get the hang of it. They set the plane speed, without holding down the shift key, to just above stall speed, where you will descend very slowly - so occasionally you need to hit Shift to give the plane a power boost - and maybe S at the same time if you get too low or are approaching a hill.

    For helicopter and airplane, they have W as nose down, and S as nose up.


    NICE JOB OF BALANCING HELICOPTER SPEED VS AUTO-HOVER BUT REALLY FAST FLYING ARMA3 STYLE IS NOT POSSIBLE
    [In Wildlands, the devs have done a nice job of balancing helicopter auto-hover with fast flying. I have no doubt that they play Arma3. In Arma3 you turn auto-hover on and off. Rather than have a toggle on/off, which got me screwed up sometimes, I put the auto-hover on the right ctrl key so there would be no doubt that I am in auto-hover when I take my hand off the mouse and hit that right ctrl key, especially just before I am about to crash when I lose control.

    When I want to get going again, I use the X key to turn the auto-hover off. I may be wrong but I think auto-hover is actually a real-world helicopter option - the vehicle rocks back to stop forward motion, and then maintains altitude. You can move forward with the W key, but not faster than a very slow 20 km/hr. Auto-hover is really great for pinpoint landings in congested areas. In fact I don't know if I could land without auto-hover. This game defaults back to auto-hover when you manually rock back with the S key, and stop your forward motion - it then goes right into an auto-hover mode.

    When you turn off the auto-hover in Arma3, you then carefully use W, plus shift for throttle, to get yourself moving very fast, up to 250 km/hr - really fast - without over-doing it, and nosing down and crashing. (BTW I think I actually do use left ctrl in Arma3 for down-throttle - I'm sure they took their helicopter controls from Arma3.) But in Arma3 you can't get any speed up unless you manually turn off auto-hover mode.

    There was one Arma3 map that I posted screenshots on, where I didn't want more than a 5 km/hr crawl, in an area with a SAM missile launcher. I moved down to 3-4 meters above the ground, and very slowly inched forward until I found the deadly launcher.

    In this game, if you hit throttle plus W you will temporarily disable auto-hover and pick up some speed, maybe up to 50 km/hr, but you will also descend until you release the W key. Then you will maintain that speed until nosing up again. When I first started playing this I went into the water quite often. If you are a bit off, you may have to suddenly hit S to tip your nose up, which reduces forward speed and starts to turn on auto-hover.

    So it's a little tricky to use shift plus W to attain a decent forward speed to get anywhere. I failed three times the mission where you disable two radio towers within 60 seconds, and the 2nd one is almost 900 meters away, up a hill to a flat landing area. I couldn't believe only 60 seconds and it was almost a full kilometer away. The last failure I got pretty close to almost turning it off in time.

    You need to get some speed going to close that distance - I am pretty close when my guys tell me we've used up half our time. By then I have had to tilt back to pick up height as the landing plateau is about 100 meters higher than where you start next to the river.

    I came across the mission a week later, yesterday in fact, and now with much better skills I got over there, landed pretty hard - and turned off the second tower with 5 seconds to spare.

    In Arma3 if you land that hard, your helicopter takes damage and may smoke. But this game has built some strength in the landing skids which splay outward to absorb the shock of a rough landing, so I have not yet had a hard landing cause any visible helicopter damage. I usually land with more finesse, but not when the clock is ticking!

    So without giving you an auto-hover button, they have allowed you to temporarily disable it - it's a nice thing they have done to make it just a little easier for those who haven't played Arma3 and don't have much helicopter flying time.]​



    I by no means have mastered this airplane flying, but I see some improvement. I actually did land a few times near the end of the practice session.


    THE AIRPLANE WILL TAXI BACKWARD
    By the way, one thing I liked and was kind of amazed with, if you land too close to the end of the runway, making it impossible to take off again, if you hold the S key, which is my walk backward key, and give it some throttle, the plane actually taxis backward.

    How can a plane move backward? It can't unless it's a big passenger jet with the flap that comes down over the thrust nozzle, and pushes the exhaust gasses forward - then the jet WILL move backward - that's one of the things they do when landing to slow the velocity.

    But for a little propeller plane like this - you can't get it to move backward, unless you rotate the prop the other way - am I correct? Wait. Maybe I am wrong - can you actually rotate the individual blades 90 degrees so they tilt the opposite way, pushing air instead of pulling it? Yes, I think you CAN adjust the bite of the blades, but I don't know if in real life you can adjust them by a full 90 degrees to achieve push instead of pull.

    The other thing you can do, in real life, of course, with a small plane like this, is you can get out, and lift the tail, and walk your plane backward to give yourself some takeoff room.

    But without googling, I know that you CAN rotate the individual blades of your prop - I just don't know if you can rotate a full 90 degrees. Anybody know - Jeff? Kevin? Sam?


    YOU CAN'T LAND WITHOUT NOSING FORWARD
    (Edit - I went back to ctrl for reduce throttle - ring finger Z hits middle finger W so that is a BAD key combination and you need reduce throttle and nose down to land. So this way little finger has to fold back to ctrl - I'll just have to learn to not panic and do that correctly.)

    [wrong] For helicopter and airplane, I am using shift for increase throttle, and Z for reduce throttle.
    For landing it's not as simple as helicopter, where I have the Z key as the slow-down and descend key - also for airplane. I tried hitting Z but the plane would not descend to land - so I over-ran the landing strip three or four times before I finally realized that I had to use W - nose down - in combination with the Z - throttle back - in order to actually touch down - and then the Z key activates the brakes.

    I actually had a couple of smooth landings. So there's hope! :p

    Rich
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
  8. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Final edit 7 interesting game pointers.

    1. THERE ARE KIDS IN THE GAME
    One of the hardest "protect the radio" missions (some forum posts say those are the hardest missions) was at an elementary school. I think the town is called something like Chaca Barraca - a cute little town. You will see on the map a main large paved road - it is just to the left of that road. When you fast-travel, run to the paved highway and look for the water tower - the large billboard with a kid's picture on it is to the left, next to the road, and that right-angle building behind the billboard is a schoolhouse. The radio mission occurred during school hours, and I had to try to shoot a few rounds down in the middle of the little soccer area to get the kids to scatter before the fireworks started. The only other video game I have played, that had kids, not counting Bioshock, were the two brilliant slavic Metro games - other Jeff-recommended titles. I noticed later in Wildlands that there are also kids at the Junin unidad base where you spawn into a little village - the kids are to the left. And I just played a mission where my character says "Get these kids out of here" and then I came across 3 kids playing in the dirt road. I always smile - I think it is an awesome realistic element in the game that adds tremendous flavor.

    (I like the spanish too - it's genuine and loaded with expletives. The 3 Bolivians that are having an animated conversation at most of the fast-travel sites. One guy is telling the other, screaming at him in fact - "that girl will ruin you" "Esa mujer te va a ruinar" and he calls her a Puta (whore) and says some other things. He calls his friend "Huevon" which comes from huevo"WAY bo" which means egg. "WAYbone" is big egg. Meaning big balls. He is telling the guy, "Listen, big balls, that girl is going to ruin you - as he screams at his friend. Hahaha. Also all over the place, when you are around civilians, they are either screaming "LEAVE US IN PEACE" "deje-nos en paz por favor" or saying "nothing matters to these people" "a esa gente no le importa nada." "A essa HENtay, no lay imPORta NAHthe." And they are saying "fu**er" and "fu**ing bast**d" and stuff like that every minute. Lately as I have done so many rebel missions, they are greeting me and saying "let's go have a beer and celebrate" "Vamos a tomar cerveza para celebrar" "BAmohse a towMAR sehrBAYsuh PARuh SELLuhbrar." So that's a nice element that adds an authentic touch - really a brilliant game! Thanks a zillion times Jeff!!)​

    2. PROTECT THE EMITTER WITH CARS - HARDEST MISSIONS?
    That same schoolyard "protect the radio" was the hardest one yet - I took out the first helicopter with 3 sniper shots, and six times it crashed right on the radio emitter. I said to myself, "how could they take out the radio that fast" and then came around from the back of the building to see the heli crashed in the schoolyard. WTF! After 5 or 10 defeats, I told myself "Wow it would be great if I could climb on that sloped tile roof of the school" and then I saw a box, and some scaffolding - so you can climb right up. Duhhhhh! The weapon to use is an LMG. They don't finish with one helicopter, they keep sending them. If you check weapon stats, the damage from an LMG like the MG or the R6pxx (?) is the same as sniper rifle. The Llamativo is slightly less, but has more rapid fire as I have mentioned. I now find that the Llamativo takes down any helicopter extremely fast - in maybe 5 seconds. [Edit - Apache helicopters go down but not quite so fast - the main thing with them - unlike with the others - if you see an Apache facing you - he's about to fire missiles and if you think you will kill him before he missiles you, 9 times out of 10 you are wrong. When the other ones face me, I know I will destroy them in 2 seconds before their mini-guns get me. But not with Apache - his main armor is in front. Just get out of there. You will hear the missiles explode but you will have left the room or moved to the side of a wall, etc. Then attack from side, or from underneath, and he will nicely explode.] Forget sniper rifle for helicopters. The other thing to remember is to order "Fire" then order "Go there" and your guys will stay in aggressive mode, but in a circle right in front of the emitter. At the schoolyard in Chaca Barraca you stay up on the roof, behind the slope of the roof that is parallel to the highway, coming up from time to time to try to shoot bad guys, but then moving down for protection when you shoot helicopters. It took at least 15 tries. (I just googled to get the name of the town, and one guy goes and parks vehicle after vehicle in front of the emitter to protect it - WTF - brilliant!!! He also lays mines, c4 traps ?? whatever that is - and he orders in the rebels for help. I don't yet know how to do that - or I might not have that upgrade - but from the roof of the school before turning on the radio, I fired down grenades on the highway for practice - after grenading myself because of the grenade sight being on the highway, but the physical grenade launcher was pointed at the lip of the roof. Anyway, doing the grenade practice, I started noticing that the rebels started arriving - some of them with their pickups with mounted mini-guns. So I started the grenade practice every time after that before turning on the radio.) One forum thread says Hardest of all "protect emitter" is Camaines, Ingani.

    Camaines Ingani wildlands protect emitter - A CHALLENGE FOR SURE
    edit - I played and beat that Ingani one after 12 tries. Here's the secret. Gather up all 6 cars, trucks and mini-buses in the village. One spawns right next to you - or if not it will be there by the time you have gathered the other 5. You might need to drive around with a motorcycle to see each car on the mini-map. Then build a 3/4 rectangle with 2 cars in the back - the two tallest - and 2 on each side. You can't place them right next to the emitter - the enemies will shoot the cars, which will catch on fire, and that will destroy the emitter. On the non-road side of the emitter - the back - there is a giant tree separated by two-car lengths from a fence - that is where the tallest cars go right next to but above the incline, to keep anybody from climbing that slight 4-foot incline and getting up to the back of the emitter where they can shoot it and your guys won't see them. So when you park those two tallest vehicles, mini-buses preferably - test it yourself and make sure that you can't climb up and stand there. Then as you are looking at the emitter from the road, park one on the left against the tree and another butted up behind it, then on the right, one against the fence, ignore the bush and drive right over it, and one butted up behind it. Test it to make sure the ONLY way anybody can get into that 3/4 rectangle is to come through the open end. Then order Fire which sends them running to find bad guys, then order Go There to bring them back into the 3/4 rectangle in front of the emitter, then start the radio.

    Your job is to A. take care of the two vehicles that come from right of the emitter where the little parking lot is where your last car eventually spawns. Watch for them coming on the mini-map - don't go out there looking for them or you'll get shot and blow the mission. I used grenade launcher and I forgot I had mines. Duhhhh. The first car comes within 30 seconds, the second about a minute later. One of them has a mini-gun and will take your whole squad down. B. Your other job is to stay in the warehouse and protect yourself and kill the one or two guys who come into the warehouse from the side doors, and as I mentioned, watch the mini-map for the red enemy car that is coming, then quickly venture out and grenade it, then quickly retreat before you get shot. If you don't have grenade launcher then regular grenades will work and you only need two. Remember on regular grenades there is a short cook time, so toss them a little early.

    Other than those two critical jobs you really don't have to help out - the box of 6 cars that you have made will have been enough. If you try to help too aggressively you will probably get taken down - there is too much fire - and then if you go down, that will pull your guys out of the circle and probably blow the mission. You could try to put them back after they revive you, but you will likely be close to losing the emitter by then. One time about 4 attempts before that last one, I lost the emitter within 2 seconds of the countdown. At the 10-second countdown I knew there was only about 5% emitter life left - I just crossed my fingers. But I should have run out and gotten right there at the emitter and maybe killed a bad guy who was shooting at it. That was when I was creating the box of cars, but I had not perfected the final box as described above. I only created the perfect 3/4 box the one time, and beat the mission with it. In fact, learning from the near-miss, when the last mission reached 30 seconds left, and I knew there was a good 25% emitter health left, I ran out to the left of the warehouse near the road, got my back to a huge tree on my side of the road, and shot toward the right with my LMG, full auto for the whole 30 seconds aiming at some enemy red logos above burning cars. I don't think I hit anybody, but maybe I suppressed their fire a bit. Thinking about it later, I should have fired off my 9 grenades. Finally my clip ran out and as I reloaded, my character said "Well, that message that we got out is sure to have helped the rebels" meaning the mission was beat, and then we wiped out the remaining bad guys.

    Three things that I didn't think of until later:
    1. I forgot about mining the road.
    2. I screwed up in ordering the 4 rebels - they were out in a field because I put them there - I didn't know that the order choice also has a "go there" circle - duhhh. Prior times it seemed like they followed me around inside the warehouse, so I thought that's how they came - as a support team for me. When I ran down to the meadow "Here I am dummies" but I couldn't get them to follow me, then I realized I had fu**ed up, so I had to continue, and I told myself "well, at least this time I won't get so distracted in shooting that I will forget about watching the mini-map for the red cars." So I did that correctly and did not get shot down, and consequently beat the mission. If you order rebels, which probably can't hurt, I am NOT sure that they should be in the box with your guys - possibly that WOULD hurt as it might inhibit how your guys fire, although they are probably programmed to not be able to kill friendlies. But maybe put them somewhere else, like down below behind the emitter somewhere might be a better place for them, or even up on the roof of the warehouse.
    3. Speaking of the roof, I didn't realize until I beat the mission, that you can go up to the roof of the warehouse. However, that may not have been so good - I have trouble firing from roofs because of 3rd person, particularly with grenade launcher. So more lately, I have been trying to use first person grenade launcher from a roof, which includes from a flat rock above a highway, where first person would presumably show me that I was actually aiming at the edge of the roof about to kill myself, rather than out on the road. The grenade launcher standard cross-hairs, which I prefer, looks like it is well into the road, but the under-carriage grenade launcher "pistol attachment" is actually blocked by the edge of the roof so you enjoy the very unpleasant surprise of shooting the roof and killing yourself. Duhhhh. This is one of the dangers of shooting in 3rd person, like coming from behind a wall, or up from cover. With a gun they try to put an X there to tell you - "your gun is blocked from shooting here" - but they don't do that with grenade launcher cross-hairs - they should at least turn it red or some other warning!! The other thing about the warehouse roof is - you would then have to mine the stairs leading up - maybe one mine would be enough.​
    I would love to replay that mission. No way to do that. I thought I knew where the save games are - but the save date is still back at when I started playing, so that is not the correct steam save game folder. No way to replay that mission without starting a new campaign. LOL​

    3. ORDER "FIRE" THEN ORDER "GO-THERE"
    In other situations where you want your guys with you in an intense situation, you can also order "fire" and then order "regroup" and they will stay in aggressive fire mode but also stay with you. One forum poster said the AI is useless - I think he simply has never ordered "Fire" which I also never did until after about 20 hours of gameplay, in the "hold out in the parking lot" mission, at the golf resort, when I watched my guys NOT ATTACK the cars that kept coming to kill me. If you never order "fire" you may be disappointed - to put it mildly - at the lackluster fire support you get. I have even moved down the stairs on a sniper tower that we were attacking from, when things calmed down but I knew from the mini-map that some enemies had come to the base of the tower - only to see several enemies that had come partway up the stairs - and they were standing like buddies right next to my teammates. I had been getting fire support from my guys, and I had thought that they had my back, but I had never actually ordered "Fire."

    4. QUICKLY RESTART ASSAULT BY "SUICIDE BY ENEMY"
    If you fail in an attack attempt, the quickest way to put yourself in position to attempt the assault again, is to get killed twice! I failed in a "steal helicopter" attempt - I had the captain killed by my sniper teammate, but then the Lieutenant flew the bird away. So there is both a captain and a lieutenant. (My strategy of positioning where I can aim at the entry door for the pilot, and then giving the Fire order to my team, is the best way to beat those missions.) Anyway, watching the helicopter fly away, I knew I had to quickly get killed TWICE, quickly before we were no longer in a fight. So I ran to a bad guy so he could kill me. I got revived and noticed that thankfully there was still one red dot on the mini-map. I ran over to him so he could kill me with his little machine pistol - I have the upgrade that gives me more life after being revived so I had to stand there for 10 seconds until he finally was able to finish me off. KILLED IN ACTION - so with the 2nd death they restarted the assault. Otherwise you have to go somewhere else, or fast-travel somewhere, to get the assault to re-start, and then you are not nearby, so you have to come all the way back. Might take 10 minutes, versus 20 seconds. I have tried suicide by grenade - that might work for the first attempt, but if there are no more bad guys, you are no longer in a "fight" so your team will revive you again and again. I also do this if I get killed quickly in a complicated challenging assault - I have already used up my one extra life - so sometimes right after I get revived I just run to the enemy to get killed so we can restart. I know that I will probably need that one extra life later on.

    5. THE 4 KEY CYCLES THROUGH YOUR MINES, ETC.
    I figured out how to lay mines - you hit the 4 key which will cycle through your mines, c4, grenades, diversionary false grenades, etc. - and each one it cycles to becomes the G key. (I think the 5 key is for mines, but just cycling through the 4 key is easy.) I only discovered this last night and I upgraded to mines a week ago. I would have liked to have laid some mines on those sniper tower stairs. [edit - last night 6/25 I laid 3 mines down the row of stairs leading up to a roof that I was shooting from - and near the end of the action there was a big explosion and I found 2 dead enemies laying down there - hahaha!] I also just increased the range of the drone - that was a big help.

    6. THE 8-WHEELER IS NOT AMPHIBIOUS
    The 8-wheeled grenade launching vehicle will wipe out an entire army attacking you (maybe not helicopters though) but it is not amphibious. In the marshy area in the El Ceribro realm, where you destroy the submarines, they incredibly don't have those marsh wind-fan flat boats, like in the Everglades, that can almost also travel on land - they have normal propeller prop outboard engines, and your boats take about 2 feet of water draft, so you can get out and walk where there is shallow water after your boat gets stuck. LAME. The 8-wheeled grenade chucker will wander around nicely, until the water gets deeper and down it goes. LAME AGAIN. They could have made it amphibious. In Arma3 they do have one that can float - just barely - only about 6 inches of tilted vehicle sticks out of the water - but that's all you need - it is floating and you can drive it to the beach to get up out of the water.

    7. ANNOYING MISSILES EVEN IN EL CEREBRO SWAMPLAND
    That El Ceribro base, where the prototype of the new submarine is, also has a SAM missile site - WTF!
    So you can get those annoying missiles right out in the middle of the bog. You get used to flying really low - you can see the water kick up in the draft of your helicopter blades. I stole a helicopter from that base, when we were completely done, after first grenading the SAM installation. That's where the 8-wheeled grenade chucker was. Come to think of it - I should have just jumped in that 8-wheeled beast at the beginning to wipe out all those enemies - maybe 20-30 of them if you count the bunch in the ruins right next to the base.

    Rich
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
  9. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    Rich you write in massive volume it's hard to keep up, lol. I'm super happy you are enjoying Ghost Recon Wildlands. It's my favorite game of the year. Suggested a friend get it and despite being skeptical, he took a leap of faith and loves the game as well. We have been doing lots of 2 player co-op, which is a blast. Nothing much better than using voice comms to silently clear a base from both sides :)

    Just passed 120 hours played I think. I barely play many other games as of lately. Maybe Empire Total War which has been my mainstay time-waster for nearly a decade.
    __________________________________________________

    I have made some more decisions for my setup. More simplification and elimination of equipment from my room, and new computer speakers! Yay! Bear with me as a lot has changed and I will try my best to put it in a logical sequence of events.


    Changes in Room Configuration

    1) My second desk and second computer have been replaced with a dedicated low-profile TV stand. TV moved to the stand. MUCH better way to view movies. More space means I can move my comfy recliner into the room with space to spare. Cinema heaven!

    2) Polk Monitor speakers moved from beside my PC desk to beside the TV stand. Receiver stand and all consoles moved as well. More compact computer area as a result. I can now have my receiver off and save some power as it's not needed at all times for sound. I am currently using my ancient Logitech X-530 5.1 computer speakers in a 2.1 configuration. They currently need the headphone amp installed to connect to my PC, as the speakers have a fixed 3.5mm male plug on them. With a little tweaking they sound okay. However my uses demand better capabilities from my PC speakers to match my Hi-Fi speakers. More about PC sound further below.

    3) Second PC now pulls double duty as a Home Theater PC. Plug any controller in and visitors or myself can use it for games too. Wireless mouse and keyboard makes it good for browsing from my easy chair but M+KB gaming is awkward. Will probably get a lap desk for that.

    4) Brought the 32" 1440p Samsung back out and now using it dedicated for the main PC. It's got a miscolored splotch in only certain shades of light blur or grey, otherwise it's invisible. I don't notice it when paying games. It works perfect as a main monitor, plenty of desktop real-estate to work with, and good enough image and colors.

    Getting Rid of Expensive Nuisances


    5) Getting rid of the 600ohm Beyerdynamic headphones. They are the only reason I got headphone amps, and I can get them in a lower impedance for relatively cheap. The sound difference is practically nothing. The AKGs are staying till they're dead or I find something better, lol.

    6) Getting rid of both headphone amps. The way I use my PC means my headphone amp needs to be on at all times, as my PC speakers are pre-amped by it. They use a constant 30-40W of power at all times, being Class A amps, and put out a LOT of heat. Unpleasant in my room and bad for the amps long-term. Especially the tubes which have a limited life like lightbulbs. I have extras of course but what a nuisance.

    New PC Sound Configuration and New PC Speakers

    7) The Soundblaster ZxR sound card has been reinstalled. It has excellent sound output, the best I've ever heard. Almost no noisefloor whatsoever; an absolutely amazing feature for a PC sound card. The ZxR's integrated headphone amp drives the AKGs superbly, with plenty of power to spare. Just as good as the Schiit amps. It drove my Sennheisers excellently as well. Only the Beyerdynamics, the problem child, have given it trouble. So back to the basics.

    8) Since the sound card is so superb for headphones and everything else, it needs a set of PC speakers for desktop usage. So I decided on a pair of Creative GigaWorks T40 Series II 32W(16W RMS each) powered speakers.

    https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16836116044

    Retail over $150+shipping, Ebay sniped for $115+shipping. Used Excellent condition with photos. Pretty interested in these. Some reviewers call them superior to other speakers of their range like the respectable Bose Companion 2. They have to be better than the Logitechs, and only need a single cable from the sound card to connect. Even better is this removed the necessity for the subwoofer. They'll definitely be better than the Logitechs which depend on a muddy and overpowered sub to fill out their range. The Logis were always a little boomy. Eliminating the sub is a big point here.

    9) Since the receiver is already such great quality, I have decided to just output to it through a very long HDMI cable. I also have the option of my HTPC closer to the receiver but that can be off if it's not strictly needed. Bitstreaming audio and perfect digital 1080p is the way to go. I can then use all of the sweet rendering and frame interpolation tweaks on my movies, which enhances the image quality a fair bit.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TL;DR
    All of this means that I am reducing my power usage by a fair chunk, reducing my amount of equipment, and removing lots of clutter from my space. Even with the recliner in here and a dedicated entertainment setup, I have more space than before. Kicking back to watch on a 43" TV at less than 10 feet with a pair of 200W bi-amped speakers is a pretty satisfying experience. I still don't miss surround sound.

     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2017
  10. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    It's been a while - since they removed the automatic update notifications for threads unless you look at them all, it's very easy to get behind and then lose the notifications... So, sincere apologies for my absence, I am still about!

    After having sat on the hardware (not literally of course) I finally replaced the CPU/board/RAM in my main PC in an attempt to finally ditch the stability issues that have plagued me ever since upgrading to Skylake. The very final crash before I at last bothered to swap the kit out (really only a 20 minute job, putting it off for months is pretty inexcusable I guess!) finally gave a hint at the cause, by triggering a Memory Management BSOD, rather than simply freezing audio & video output with the audio repeating in a 50Hz pattern. So the problem could potentially just be memory, of course it could be memory interface on the board or the IMC in the CPU itself. Perhaps I'll reassemble the kit in another PC and run Memtest at some point. Spec-wise it's largely the same, the i5 6600, MSI Z170A Gaming Pro and 16GB of Corsair LPX have been replaced with an i5 7600, Gigabyte Z270-D3 and 16GB of Kingston HyperX. Only after installing the kit did I realise what a cheap motherboard I'd purchased. Presumably I'm out of touch, I could have sworn £100 used to be fairly adequate for a motherboard, but this really is the base model, 3 audio jacks, 2/3 width form factor, and rather fundamentally no optical audio, so I'm back to using analog. This has to be hands down the worst onboard audio chip I've used for many years. I get an audible indicator of my frame rate in games as there is a click through my headphones every time my PC renders a frame, and at the desktop you get the 2KHz power switching frequency going off any time you move the mouse or refresh/load a new webpage. I'm of no mind to change the board just for that for the time being, having finally installed one that does at least appear to be stable, so I might look at putting a USB sound card back. Can't really bring myself to buy an internal one when the only half-decent options are Creative or Asus. Will have a think on it - the catalyst for upgrading the machine in the first place was a LAN next weekend, so I don't fancy making any further substantial hardware changes until that's over with...
     
  11. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    Sam, auto updates still enabled as I just got 2 of them in a row for this thread.
     
  12. sammorris

    sammorris Senior member

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    Yeah I got one here, but throughout June when this thread was updated I was getting nothing... <shrug>
     
  13. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    Sam, Asus sound cards will be more reliable and better behaved in general. Asus makes good sound cards. Optical from your motherboard would have been fine too(for stereo or using ProLogic fake surround on a receiver) and eliminates anything in your PC as a quality factor.

    However HDMI is even better. It's the same lossless digital signal as Optical with better abilities and no practical limitations. If you want true surround sound and the best quality audio, without the hassle of a sound card, HDMI is the king. With HDMI all you do is set up 5.1 in Windows Sound configuration, and you never have to touch it again. Every modern video card worth its salt has HDMI audio so it's a good universal standard.

    I understand you need a little portability though and HDMI to a receiver is not very portable. In this case, a small DAC/headphone amp combo unit would be perfect for when you use your headphones. This is meant to be portable:

    https://www.buydig.com/shop/product...MIrLPimJDo1QIVAgRpCh0voAdFEAQYAiABEgI7BPD_BwE

    Plug it in through USB and only use your PC for mic input. Cheap, effective, available, and FAR superior to the onboard for powering headphones and for outright quality. FiiO is a really good quality brand. This would likely be outright better than most USB "sound cards".

    The D3 has always been the base model Sam. You want to be looking at a UD4 or UD5 for your uses. My board was near $200 used. The boards for Skylake/Kabylake are just expensive. Building a new Intel in general is quite expensive. DDR4 and the boards cost, and the CPUs were never cheap to begin with.

    As for sound I am going to be running straight analog out to both speakers and headphones. HDMI to HTPC.

    As far as thread updates go I generally get them when I should. One thing I know triggers them is visiting the thread through an email link from the last update and logging in. It only updates as long as you check the threads periodically. If you don't it won't keep sending emails to you.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2017
  14. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Hi Jeff and Sam, (and ddp)

    Like you Jeff, my old standby, Arma3, has been neglected recently ever since you told me about Wildlands - that's all I have been playing. Probably a few hundred hours but I am offline with Steam so I don't keep track. (I don't want Steam to update Arma3 which will destroy all my custom save points.) I actually just finished Wildlands a couple days ago, finding every single item, every gun case, and playing every side mission, plus an extra hundred or more convoy take-downs that I didn't need - I couldn't resist attacking any convoy that rolled on by. :)

    Now I am on the Wildlands DLC, "Fallen Ghosts" - it is really great - some of the side missions are even more interesting than on Wildlands. But no more supply convoys - they give you big points now for tagging items.


    Coop Has Got to be Super Cool
    As for you, Jeff, playing coop, I can totally imagine how great that coop gameplay must be for you and your friend. AWESOME!!

    By the way, thanks once again. Tipping me off to this game is almost as good as tipping me off to Metro 2033 - so I am, as always, in your debt.

    I continue to also be in your debt, Sam, for getting me hooked on 30" high def gaming. Wildlands is such a beautiful game.



    Jeff, your new setup sounds great
    Speaking of high def - so now you too are back to hi-def gaming with your 32" 1440! You were pretty sold on big screen for a while, but I see that you now you have BOTH 32" 1440 and 43" 1080p big screen in your room, along with comfy easy chair. That's the way to live it up!

    I read a funny article recently about the gaming phenomenon. Maybe you guys saw this on the internet. Some survey reported that there is a record number of young men who are out of work, but unlike prior conventional survey results, these guys do not report themselves as being "miserable." They report 86% "happy" - they are all gamers!! (The only miserable ones are those who have hobbies like model boat building.)




    Sam, what did you say, audible click on EVERY FRAME??

    When if ever I get a new coffee lake motherboard, I'm going to pay close attention to what you just posted. I'll invest at least $200-300 into the motherboard. Didn't we have a discussion one time about investing in better motherboards?? Now that you're rolling in the dough, I would think you'd have "lurnt yur lessun." (As ddp would put it.)




    FALLEN GHOSTS Wildlands DLC - The Lady's in Charge
    This time, on the DLC, I am playing as a girl, like for Dishonored 2. I like it a lot more. The guy was okay, but I like her voice more, and the whole idea strikes me as more interesting. She seems like sort of a Jessica Chastain character ("Zero Dark Thirty") Determined, tough - but just listen to her complain when the team is slow to revive her - "Fuu*** why did you take sooo long!" When someday I re-play Wildlands, I'll be her again.



    "Guns up - push them back"
    They added some new dialog.

    There is one side mission, "Saving La Granja" - a little village where the new enemies, Los Extranjeros (the strangers) are battling the two old enemies, Unidad and Santa Blanca. The village is their battleground and is getting mangled. So you're conversing with the local priest inside his small church, hatching a scheme to move the fighting away from the village, and suddenly attackers are coming in again from all sides.

    She orders, "Ok guys, guns up - push them back." I don't remember hearing that in Wildlands. I really liked that. Guns up, push them back. That motivated me! The attackers get instant yellow dot tags - meaning, "marked for elimination." Kill them all!

    On another mission you follow a ruthless death squad's trail of destruction, burning items, and carnage down to where they jumped in a boat a few hours earlier. Most of the people near the shore are too afraid to talk, but one guy points to a nearby island. It's in the same big lake from the first game - except, while you can see the whole lake from the air, the map encompasses only the left edge of the lake - I tried flying to the Buchon party island with the 5 helicopters on top of the hill, but it was out of bounds. I don't remember this particular little death squad island with its unique geometry - maybe it is custom for the DLC. Once you figure out where to land the tiny boat without getting sniped, the mission banner stays on the screen tracking your kill count: "Eliminate the death squad: 0/20." Yeah, they also get their yellow tags. Payback time, jerks!


    Borrowing From Crysis
    The DLC has 3 new enemies: One is quite interesting - he's got a powered camouflage suit like Crysis, which renders him nearly invisible, and he uses a silent crossbow. You can fly an explosive drone over and blow him up - I've done that. You can fly an EMF drone over and zap his suit - no more invisible - I haven't done that. But in thermal mode, you can see him. So from the drone, you switch to thermal, and then you can tag him. After surveying a location, I always switch to thermal now to see if I missed any of the invisible guys - one map had 5 of them milling around - glad I didn't forget to do that. (Before I caught on - I was down for the count without even knowing any enemy was close by. After revival I remembered - "Oh yeah, maybe it was one of those invisibles - better switch to thermal" and I soon encountered him again, and two more of his buddies.)

    But you can't mark an invisible guy for a team sniper shot - you have to kill them all yourself which isn't hard at all - their suit is not armored. You see the tag floating around and if you look close you see a barely visible watery ghost image underneath the floating tag. Man, are they surprised when you start popping them off!

    Another new guy cannot be killed without head shots - he's fully armored and has "carbon fiber joints" - whatever that means. So I spray LMG which pulls up hard - making sure I keep firing into his head - end of story. The third guy carries a short range jammer - when you walk into the jammer's range of influence, the screen vibrates, and a continual buzzing envelopes you - you can't even use your night vision. So if you can spot him when you first survey an area with a far-off drone - he's the first to get tagged for a sniper kill.

    Well, this time I did a really aggressive edit cut to shorten this post down. Good to hear from you guys again - where is Kevin?

    Rich
     
  15. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    So bad news. The Creative T40 computer speakers were in immaculate physical condition but they are garbage speakers. Absolutely disappointed. Glad I didn't pay full price. Craiglist for those suckers. Many Amazon reviewers have confirmed my thoughts. Compared to laptop speakers, I'm sure they sound good. Couldn't even begin to list the sound problems with these speakers. Well constructed but flawed engineering.

    Long story short, they're using the same amp from the smaller T20 to drive an extra speaker. So while the T20s are crisp, loud, and clean for a 2.0 set, the T40s have insanely bad treble distortion and harsh, strained sound if they go above about 1/2 volume. When you start to crank them AT ALL they fall apart completely. The amp was a bit borderline for the T20s but it wasn't as strained as it is here. Asking way too much from it. Also the cases/cabinets are longer, but use the same thickness of plastic with no batting inside the cabinet. It causes a loss in rigidity and the plastic can flex. This means they resonate horribly under 200Hz which the T20s do not do at all.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    My little Logitech X-530 2.1 setup totally blows the Creative T40s away in every category. The X-530s and X-230s are famous as some of the best budget speakers Logitech ever made. These speakers need almost no tuning save for an 80-100Hz bass redirection/cutoff to keep the small sub from getting muddy. When it reaches about 60-80Hz it really starts to struggle. When limited it's much cleaner and punchier, and balances better with the speakers as well. Very neutral and well suited for music.

    What I'm aiming for is a step up from these Logitech speakers in overall power, range and quality. They have nice tone but ultimately they do sound like cheap budget speakers especially if you try to really crank them. That have decent volume but they are not fond of going loud. They just don't have the range or power. Like leaps better than the T40s but they are no home theater speakers.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For me to get powerful sound in a compact 2.0 configuration requires me to go pretty expensive I've found. Something like a pair of Audio Engine mini speakers which are little monsters at $250-300 pair. More than I care to spend on speakers I can't demo. There are plenty of powered bookshelf speakers out there that have good sound and the right price, but they are much too wide for my desk space. Otherwise I'd be looking at a pair of $150 Edifier self-powered bookshelfs. They're great.

    So back to square one. The only compact speakers with enough power and range at a reasonable price are better 2.1 computer speakers. However most of the halfway quality speakers in my range are Logitech, who are not a company that specialize in speakers. Their 2.1 and 5.1 sets are hit and miss, and are starting to become digital speakers. This is great for the average guy plugging in his Xbox One with optical, but not for audiophiles. Pure analog is much better as the processing hardware in these speakers likely isn't very good.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    https://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-ProMedia-Certified-Computer-Speaker/dp/B000062VUO


    These Klipsch speakers are the only 2.1 computer speakers I am interested in. Modern Logitech 2.1 sets don't impress me. Otherwise, I will be getting some speaker stands, and wasting space and money on some good powered monitors. It's a guaranteed win, but I wanted my setup to be more compact, not complex.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2017
  16. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Wow,

    I found my scanned-in receipt in the PaperPort Vanessa folder, sub-folder klipsch.

    I had bought that exact set of speakers on 5/6/12 from Best Buy - I paid $154.99 plus tax. They were a house-warming present for a close LA relative, Vanessa, the sister of the animator - who had moved into a cute little LA rental house with a big livingroom, where she stayed a couple more years until the owners sold the house.

    Those speakers more than filled up that big long stretched-out living-room. Now the speakers are in storage.

    The sound is incredible.


    The neighbor in a little house on the same lot came over when I was first testing the speakers. I had a laptop with iTunes plugged in. I played some classical, and then some jazz.

    VERY LOUD!!

    I had the windows and front door open.

    He came over because of the volume of the music, and he stood there outside with me listening - we walked back inside - the speakers were way on the other side of the long room.

    He said, smiling, "You can tell the quality of a speaker by either classical music or jazz!"

    We were both very impressed. I had never met the guy before, but he sounded like he had good taste in quality sound.

    I thought I had mentioned them in this forum, but I don't see any postings around that time.

    So let me just finish by saying that all those exuberant reviewers were not exaggerating - the speakers are AWESOME!!

    Rich
     
  17. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    The Klipsch's are exceptional PC speakers, but ultimately might not be exactly what I want. I appreciate Klipsch's legendary status and quality, but the ProMedia 2.1 will always remain a PC speaker, not a Hi-Fi speaker. For near-field(ie close-up desktop at moderate volume) listening, they are great, lots of oomph. However if I want to add some volume, the subwoofer becomes very invasive to others in the building. Even my large Polks aren't as bothersome at louder volumes, despite producing vastly more powerful sound. However I could certainly get that kind of invasive bass from them if I wanted. Also, I really am not the biggest fan of the Klipsch house-sound.

    So while the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 remains an option, ultimately I'm more drawn towards something like these:

    https://www.amazon.com/Edifier-R170...e=UTF8&qid=1504035010&sr=1-2&keywords=R2000DB

    https://www.amazon.com/Edifier-R200...e=UTF8&qid=1504035010&sr=1-1&keywords=R2000DB

    https://www.amazon.com/Edifier-S100...e=UTF8&qid=1504035010&sr=1-3&keywords=R2000DB

    Honestly I'm leaning towards a splurge and get those $350 S1000DBs. However, I can get the R2000DB $50 cheaper than retail refurbed so $200 which is a fair price to performance spot.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2017
  18. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    It's interesting Jeff that you mention refurbished.


    REFURBISHED - BETTER THAN NEW? (for disk drives maybe so)
    I just bought a $50 2 TB enterprise drive, refurbished, from the newegg reseller Goharddrive.com. The drive is a western digital, sata 2, not sata 3.

    It is about 70% as fast as my 2 TB enterprise new sata 3 drives - about $140 each as I recall - several years ago. But I wanted the drive as a second clone - not as the drive I will game from.

    It has 38,000 hours, which at 8760 per year, puts it right at 3 years 24/7 operation in some datacenter, where it had only about 30 on/off cycles, and never got above 42 degrees according to HDSentinel, in looking at lifetime max temperature.

    It shows no pending sectors - all SMART data is perfect - and might go to 50,000-60,000 hours or more and last me 10 years.

    So I was so happy with that.

    Suddenly a month later, my 250g drive died, due to incredibly hot temperatures we get in the sunroom where the i7 is doing duty as the htpc. I put the refurbed in there and cloned to it from the 1 TB non-enterprise, before it too died. So all is okay for now, but I want to pull out that non-enterprise and put in another 2 TB enterprise.


    BRAND NEW DRIVE FAILS BASIC TESTS
    I decided to try the same drive, from goharddrive.com, but this time brand new, for $10 more. Yes, it was brand new - power on hours count was 0 - but it showed bad sectors in the HDTune full error scan, and it showed some other suspect information in SpinRite testing. I cleaned up the error scan - it was one block on line 5 meaning between 8-10% of the drive. But it left a pending sector count of 1. I ran some SpinRite in that region of the disk, thinking that I would force the pending sector to reallocate, and drop the counnt back to zero - instead the pending sector count increased to 9, with offline uncorrectable count up to 15 (later up to 20.) So there were a variety of bad sectors on the disk.


    BIT ROT
    A brand new disk sitting on a shelf for 3 years, developed "bit rot." I already knew about that from 10 years ago when a 17-hour drive came up with multiple bad blocks after being put away in a closet for several years. On-shelf storage does not work with disk drives - for one thing the grease can dry out.

    So I RMA'd it back and told them to keep the extra money, but replace it with a refurbished drive instead.

    The rep agreed - but they sent me a new one again. This one was even worse than the first new one.

    I ended up sending them the entire testing Word doc file with the SpinRite dos data, the HDSentinel windows images, and the HDTune windows images. The guy told me I didn't have to send the drive back.

    He said they didn't have any more refurbished, but he wanted to send me the third new one, and then if that didn't work, he'd just refund my money. I told them to hold on - I would wait a few weeks to see if they got any refurbed in stock, and then probably just go up in specs and get a new one from them but sata 3 so it hasn't been sitting on a shelf for more than a year or so. He said okay, they would wait.

    Since I didn't have to send the drive back, I have been playing with it - trying to "clean it up."

    I seem to have cleaned up the drive, with a variety of testing, but in one SpinRite test, when it got stuck on a certain sector, it accumulated 2400 raw read error rate - so it Fails the basic SMART test. I am watching that one attribute and in a bunch more hours of testing it did go up another 40 - which might be a bad mechanism.

    But otherwise, I am using it as an HDSentinel guinea pig to learn more about that utility and all of its surface scan tests - the disks are unmounted and run at DMA speeds, whereas SpinRite runs at PIO speeds, so a one-week SpinRite test can run in one day on HDSentinel. Unlike SpinRite levels 4 and 5 which flip the bits, then flip them back, HDSentinel does not do this - but some forum reading suggests that just read then write back is enough to refresh the bit.


    I see those identical refurbished drives on eBay for $50, refurbished, enterprise, and he says he has 10 in stock - his eBay store is GoHDD. Almost the same name. :)


    I need another good one for the sunroom, so that I am running two enterprise disks, and I might get two more for the kitchen to replace the 160 plus 750 suspect drive, with two 2 TB enterprise, to gain +3 TB in size for video storage. The kitchen doesn't get so hot as to absolutely need enterprise, but for $50 the price point is good, as you say, and the enterprise is a plus, performing to 55 degrees, rather than just 40 or so.

    So regarding refurbishes, my recent experience is better with the refurbished than with the exact same disk brand new. Isn't that funny!

    Rich
     
  19. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    I generally buy my HDDs OEM as cheap as possible. Go to Amazon or Ebay, search for the exact drive I want, and find the lowest price with a reasonable description. Everything so far as been reliable, quiet, and fast *knock on wood*. Since I got mine so cheap if one were to have died I'd just chuck it and try another source rather than bother for an RMA. At $50 a piece for the 2TB Green drive's I wouldn't be too bothered money-wise. I seldom buy HDDs. I wouldn't buy refurbed hard drives however unless from factory. Too much room for sellers to cheat and lie. I want to be able to plug a drive in and see zero power-on hours recorded. My WD Black drive was a gamble as it was used but with very low hours. Less than 100 hours which is basically new. Luckily nothing was wrong with it and it works great!
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I scored the Edifier S1000DB audiophile model speakers today certified refurbed for $280. Woohoo! Best bang for buck speaker I can buy with the features I want. Klipsch also have a set of powered monitors in the same price range. The R-15PMs which are very good but seem to have weaker bass without a subwoofer. Many recommend a subwoofer with them. I do not want a subwoofer as it is simply too invasive to the others in my home, not to mention expensive. Also the Klipsch's have power saving auto-off with a delay to power back on and they reset their volume every time. These auto-features and the lack of bass extension are what steered me away. Otherwise I have no doubt the Klipsch speakers are capable of very high sound quality.

    Besides all that I've heard both brands of speaker before, and I highly enjoyed the Edifier sound while the Klipsch sound was a bit muddy for me. Not ideal conditions, but I remain unimpressed by Klipsch's sound, despite their premium quality.

    At 120W(60Wx2) of power for the S1000DBs, there will likely be more than enough volume and power for my small room. From reports and reviews, they should have plenty of bass thump for my needs. I figured a little more than what the R1700BTs could muster would be pretty solid and that's what the reports are.

    Fingers crossed that these are the quality and power I want. Instead of trying to find a cheaper hidden gem that makes compromises, I opened up my budget and simply bought what my greedy little heart wanted, haha. These have been on my radar for a few months. If I'm not running my games consoles or watching movies on the TV, I don't want to have my receiver on to get good sound. It makes heat, it uses power, it clutters my PC setup. I want two isolated units both capable of pleasing sound.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On another note I sold the Beyerdynamic DT990 headphones and the Schiit Valhalla 2 tube headphone amp to a very happy buyer this week. He got an excellent price. Drove 4 hours just to get them, haha. Glad to be rid of them. The cheaper and solid-state Schiit Asgard 2 will be hanging around. It produces a little less heat and uses 10W less than the 40W tube amp. No tubes to burn out and less heat means I can run it 24/7, which means I can use it as an EXCELLENT pre-amp for my Edifiers :D No receiver needed also means far much less cabling and equipment. It does sound slightly better with headphones than the Creative ZxR, and it sounded better than the other Schiit headphone amp as well. With the 600 ohm Beyers out of the way, I can use it without feeling limited, which was a major factor before.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On the PC gaming front, I highly anticipate the full release of Star Wars Battlefront II. It's supposed to have a rocking campaign with tons of awesome stuff.

    Also, pretty sure I scored a $400-600 DX Racer gaming chair for $200. I am in need of a large chair for tall guys, and sturdy with good materials. This one is called the Tank and is rated for 350lbs so way more than enough for me at 240. It's made for taller men as well and has a full height back with a headrest. So far DX Racer chairs seem higher quality than the usual garbage. They have steel frames and better upholstery than more generic chairs. This could be a cheap way to get a halfway decent chair. I keep buying the AmazonBasics chairs for around $120 and they do not last well. Comfy and hold my weight fine but a little small and the pleather just shreds right off them until they're junk.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2017
  20. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Jeff, I know 100% what you mean about "zero power on hours" but 10 years ago, when I bought 3 exact same 500 gig ide drives from newegg, put one in a machine and used it a fair amount, put the other with 17 hours of usage in a closet, put the third somewhere else in another machine, and 3 years later saw to my shock that the two that were used were still perfect, but the "brand new 17 hour" had numerous bad blocks, I got my first learning experience about bit rot.


    Kevin - I don't know if you check this thread, but I got an advise re the builder thread, and I see you are just bought a 10 TB drive. Holy mackeral! I applaud you for begin willing to go way out on a limb for that kind of new technology - reminds me of somebody ----- oh yeah, SAM. Sam has so many arrows in him for being way out on the bleeding edge - but you know what - somebody has to be "the leader." Good for him and good for you.


    As for you, Jeff, you are so far out in front with regard to your knowledge of most things technical - and I always like to hear about how you are tightening up your "man-cave."

    What is a racing chair?

    You are certainly correct about the way that pleather falls apart - even on fairly expensive chairs. It might be better to pay double and actually get leather. Can't you just go shoot a deer and have a local tanner put the hide on your chair?

    Getting back to Wildlands, are you going to get the Fallen Angels DLC? I played the entire basic game without helicopter gun sights - it is so cool to be able to adjust the sights and fry a car or a little guy way down there. And until this DLC I never had an attack drone. Rather than let my sharpshooter do all the work, I can get up close and blow the toughest guy away with a shot to the head. It's an unsilenced handgun round, so I have to keep the drone back a bit and use the zoom, but that is quite a bit of extra fun!

    Rich
     

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