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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. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    This is correct. You enable DSR, which makes the new resolution appear in game menus. You can then select it, and your PC will run the game at that higher resolution, then downscale it back to your monitor. Sometimes the games simply do not show the new resolution. It depends on the game including it in the resolution list in the first place. In cases like this, unless there's an engine limitation preventing high resolutions, you can enable the new resolution through ini/config files or shortcut edits. It doesn't mean that the resolution won't work properly, just that the developers never added a way to select it. Some very old games are also resolution limited, but it's pretty uncommon.

    Worth noting that 16:9 resolutions are more likely to be included natively in games than 16:10 resolutions. So even if a game is relatively modern and well made, you might need to set the resolution yourself.

    Also, some games might not like the actual act of applying the new resolution even if they'll run it perfectly. They'll show a black screen when you're supposed to get the "Confirm new setting in 15 seconds" prompt. And if only it would let you confirm it to save the new resolution and restart the game, it would work. So I find myself forcing the resolution through config files in some games even if they have it available in the menu.

    BTW, turning on DSR itself does nothing on its own. It just allows you to select the new resolution. If you don't actually use a higher resolution than your native one it will do nothing and affect nothing.

    http://www.wsgf.org/dr/left-4-dead-2

    This page has instructions to force a new resolution in Left 4 Dead 2. In your case, yes, you'd want 5120 x 3200. Other games might need similar tweaks, but nothing too complicated. No matter what, you need to have DSR enabled, even if using tweaks or config files to set the resolution.

    As far as GeForce Experience goes I generally don't even install it. More trouble than it's worth usually. It can be useful to give some ideas about game performance though. However, the settings it autodetects are usually either way too high or way too low. Maybe it's gotten better lately but I have enough experience to not need it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
  2. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Okay, thanks for the info on geforce experience - they want me to log on, and when I tried they couldn't connect to their server. I'll skip the geforce experience.

    But the nvidia control panel worked fine. I DID enable DSR in the nvidia control panel, and I still have it enabled as a global setting.

    When I did that, amazingly yes, the 5120 x 3200 resolution then popped up as an option in Wolfenstein

    I took a screen shot of the change. I am going to post that screen shot - before and after DSR, and let you tell me if you can see an improvement. They both look the same to me.

    It was a little glitchy - and I had several crashes to desktop before I got it working, but it did work - my framerate dropped from about 58-62, down to about 22 - I could feel the lag as I ran over to the building to get up on the outside veranda for the screenshot. When I disabled AA I picked up 2 fps up to 24fps, but that was all.

    You can easily tell which one is the DSR screen - a small chunk of the task manager showing processes sorted by memory usage shows up on screen - very tiny - in the DSR screenshot where it shouldn't be showing at all of course. Just a minor glitch - I had forgotten to close it when that happened the first time.

    So yes, it works - but no I can't use it because my framerate plummets to the ground.

    I can see where it might be really cool however on an older game where it might be better than any AA setting that they offer. I wonder what kind of frames I would get on Far Cry 3. I remember that on that one I could not use AA8X, but AA4X was 90% as good and I was able to use that at about 35 fps. Maybe DSR with no AA at all might be good.

    As I said I cannot see any improvement in the already great-looking picture I am getting. But maybe you will see something that I am missing. I'll host the images on my web site server so I get them full-size - photo-bucket no longer activates the ~original suffix.

    Rich
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2018
  3. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    Far Cry 3 ran perfectly for me with DSR at 4K. Locked 60FPS at pretty much all times. Would CERTAINLY be more than playable for you. DSR generally works best for games that have a surplus of performance to begin with. It's not like every brand new game out there can be played with 4xSSAA, so expecting 4xDSR is just as ridiculous. Yes Rich, you can run it just not in every game. It's the exact same performance hit as running at that actual resolution.

    Generally AA needs so much performance that it makes adding DSR to it impractical. It's heavily recommended to remove all AA when using DSR. Especially in newer games as the memory usage is already quite high. Compounding video load and memory usage for very little benefit.

    Also, the Wolfenstein games aren't really an optimal choice for DSR, simply too unoptimized. They run well but only to an extent. That particular engine has always been buggy. The new Doom runs on the newest version of idTech Engine, idTech6 I believe, and it runs DSR smooth as silk on my rig. There are many better optimized games that will run decently as well. I routinely play Battlefield 4 with 4xDSR and it looks incredible and runs even better. Unbelievable visuals for the relative performance.

    As far as how it compares to other things, it's by very scientific definition superior visually to standard MSAA. It IS super sampling AA, just using a different method of applying it. It's also superior to standard SSAA in many aspects. Its only weakness is the screen scaling in games with scaling UIs... and performance, lol.

    As far as compatibility goes, always restart whatever game you're playing after applying new settings or resolutions. Some games may or may not work well with it. As with EVERY game, the performance and compatibility are going to be individual to the game. If the game wouldn't work well at 5120 x 3200, DSR won't make it work better.
     
  4. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Hmmm - good advice Jeff. So the issue mostly is with the game with scaling UI. You had mentioned that - the UI of the game suddenly getting very tiny and hard to read - like that tiny piece of task manager on the DSR screenshot. Not right away, but I will have to get those two screenshots from the gaming computer one day, post them on my web server, then post them here full-size and let you have a go at it - telling me if you see any difference. I did have AA disabled - but as I said it only increased my fps 2 frames per second, from 22 to 24. (Now that I think about it - did I snap the screenshot with or without disabling the AA?)



    GAME OF THE YEAR – and then some …….

    Regarding Wolfenstein - pretty much the game was a total blast, and so beautiful with the gtx 1070. I could run full TSAA(8TX) but instead I ran the next one, I can't remember - maybe SMAA(1TX) - because with the optimum one there were two reasons not to use it: #1 I could not see any improvement, and #2, my game would crash to desktop on reloading a save point.


    I also played the freedom chronicle missions, finishing last night. I played everything at next-to-highest difficulty level called Terror Billy. The freedom chronicles however maybe warranted playing at hardest difficulty, or maybe I just got better by then. It seemed really easy until the very last combat situation.


    Part of the season pass, the 3-chapters Freedom chronicles, included the Adventures of Football Joe. Joe is a black guy who gets captured and put into prison and escapes and joins the freedom fighters. He ends up in chapter 3 going to Venus to get the main Nazi, an American dentist with a Klansman father.


    THE HARDEST ROBOT CHALLENGE IN THE ENTIRE GAME

    At the finale of chapter 3, I walked into this outside section of Venus, where, when you are outside, you have to go to the coolant machine and add coolant every 2 minutes, within about 15 seconds of the time your beeper starts making noise (you can, however, see the coolant level slowly going down the whole time if you are paying attention) or you will magnificently burn up and die. The recharge takes 10 seconds if you almost empty – you are vulnerable to be shot during this time – so I tried to make sure I had armor on if possible.


    So with that going on, the intensive heat and need for coolant - I walked into this area, and 50 meters away out from behind this tall tower of pipes comes a booming loud monster robot – the biggest in the game – he’s about 20 feet tall, and one arm shoots flames, and the other, far worse, shoots mortars. When he gets riled up he bellows in a massive booming roar, like a very loud alarm siren, but not high-pitch, more like a moose bellow, and when he moves he stomps about like a giant pile driver. I had come across him in the main game three times before.


    But each time before, I had with me my own small laser cannon with the High-Burst gun modification, and I knew that I could eventually kill the robot with two or three of those double bursts if I could stay alive that long.


    However, this was Adventures of Joe, and there was no gun #5. So in this map, as soon as I stepped out of the pressurized chamber, they locked the door behind me of course, and of course there were about 15 enemy soldiers all about, one coolant refill station right there at the bottom of the stairs, and only one more cooling station on the upper level, and nothing with a roof to block the mortars - well actually a quite small area - but his mortars got me anyway even in that small area, as it was on the upper level, and opened facing him. (Now that I think about it – you CAN get above him – there is a four-level staircase that leads up to your final destination, but that air-pressure room on top is locked until you have cleared the main room. I went up there once and made it just fine without mortar damage. If you throw a grenade at him as you run toward him, he actually turns to see what the grenade is, like when Joe throws cans. That would allow even easier access to the stairs. At the top he didn’t fire mortars at me at all – it may be out of his mortar range. I knew I couldn’t stay there without running out of coolant – but being above him, could I shoot down at him from there with any decent effect? Good question. I’ll try it.)


    So I had to move up the nearby stairs to the upper level where he couldn’t follow, crouching so he couldn't see me - but when I started shooting soldiers he knew roughly where I was, so he started the mortars and soon I was dead. I tried it every which way about 30 times. One or two times the smaller robots came, and killing one I now had their laser cannons, and I figured that was how I was going to beat this level, but soon the mortars got me even before I made enough progress to create a save point. Those mortars were everywhere.


    I already knew about taking out one of a dual-wielding robot’s arms. And the game kept providing that clue. But during the entire game, and through all the assassination side missions, mostly I got good at shooting the robots in the head, with my assault rifle in marksman scope mode, which meant single-shot. I believe they actually give your single shot bullets more kick than you would get from full auto – it seemed that way – or maybe it was just the increased accuracy.


    But for a giant of this size, or the two slightly smaller giants at the conclusion of the main game, or from the fire-breathing giant dog with 800 armor, the laser cannon was the best. But here I was on Venus with no little #5 gun, the portable mini-laser cannon.


    Finally I got tired of dying, and maybe the game clue took hold – I decided that I had to take the fight to the giant – I had to get rid of that mortar-firing gun of his. It was making my life impossible, and making me wonder how to beat this map.


    Fortunately I had been given a very powerful weapon, the grenade launcher, which you can hold in your left hand. You get it also in the main game. It looks like a revolver pistol, with a very fat cylinder, and it will launch 6 40mm grenade rounds. I had applied the weapon upgrade to that weapon in the main game, and instead of just lobbing them out as if you are throwing them – which they did at first, and I have a New Orleans main game save where they are like that and it was quite helpful - the upgrade is called “rocket” – they shoot straight out and explode on contact. You carry 6 before a 2-second reload, and 2 more cylinders meaning 12 more additional.


    And fortunately, I had learned very early on not to spam those grenades. They were to be saved and used only in extreme situations – grenade launcher ammo was very hard to come by. And so I still had my 6 in the gun and 10 more in reserve.


    I had learned in some earlier chapters, repeatedly replaying certain saves, to hold the grenade launcher in my left hand, and the assault rifle with scope activated in the right hand. You can’t press right-mouse to zoom with the scope – right-mouse now shoots your left-hand weapon - I made that mistake multiple times, but the rifle cross-hairs narrow down showing that you are in scope mode, and enemies turn the scope red, and the gun is just as accurate as when you are scoped in, but with a gun in the left hand you can’t zoom. So you single-shoot with left mouse, but if it’s really hairy like a whole crowd of enemies suddenly appears, you click right-mouse and bodies splatter all over the walls. Those are powerful grenade rounds. With practice you can get good at it, realizing you have that right-mouse weapon in reserve.


    I think I mentioned before, dual-wielding, like with Max Payne uzis, is something that I toyed with before, but with this game, Wolfenstein 2, I really got into it. There is a V key that allows you to control which weapon goes on which hand. Or just hold a weapon, hit X, now you have two of them if you are carrying two of them, and then the next key will put a new weapon on that right hand, controlled by normal left mouse fire. Hit a new weapon, now it’s on the right. But you can never carry more than one laser, so laser was always in right hand, left mouse control. But actually I had wanted laser on left hand, in reserve, like grenades, but I had forgotten about V key until last night.


    Now I wonder, could I have put laser on left hand – I’ll try it next time using V key.


    Dual wielding is not the gimmick I thought it was.


    Like you can go around with the submachine gun in each hand, especially with 90 round upgraded drum on each one, and hold down both mouse fingers and spray bullets out at amazing speeds to deadly effect. You just blow them away in CQB – as effective as shotgun perhaps, but you also have medium range, like maybe out to 8 meters, the other side of a large room. And submachine gun ammo is the most plentiful in the game.


    Or how about two assault rifles, with 30 round clip, but as an upgrade, you have another clip taped on the gun itself, giving you effectively a 60 round clip, firing with both hands, very deadly full auto – you see the bullet streams coming together on your cross-hairs – effective out to about 15 meters, across the courtyard. (Beyond that out to 30-40 meters just one assault rifle with marksman scope is way better.)



    I HAD TO CARRY THE FIGHT TO THE MONSTER ROBOT

    So I finally decided to attack the freaking robot with left-hand grenade launcher, and right-hand auto shotgun with rotating barrel.


    I ran out of the pressure chamber across the open area, to the tall large vertical pipes he was coming around the corner of, about 35 meters out, tossing a grenade in that direction for good measure as I ran. Then he bellowed, and held up his left mortar arm – pointing the mortar almost straight up since I was virtually right in front of him, with his right-arm flame-thrower fortunately blocked by the massive vertical towers. He entered the area coming out from behind the pipes moving to my right so momentarily I could focus on just that left-arm mortar attachment of his.


    I right-moused off a few grenades into him, and gave him full rotating 6 shots of shotgun on the arm. I saw the arm catch fire, and after a couple of failures and re-spawns – I finally I saw the arm blow off. AWESOME!!!


    And so then I would turn and run back the way I had come but then I was immediately blown up. “How could he blow me up – I shot off his mortar.”


    It took a while but I suddenly realized that I was running right into the mortars he had launched before I blew his arm off.


    It also took another while, until I realized that I didn’t need the shotgun at all – a good 4–6 grenades launched at that mortar arm blew it right off. And then I would take a few seconds, backing around the giant tower pipes to my left to block his flame-thrower, allowing those earlier mortars to land safe away and blow up, while hitting reload for the slow 2-second change of fat grenade pistol cylinder, then run back the way I had come quickly getting out of range of his flame-thrower, then using the shotgun on the nearby enemies.



    WITHOUT HIS MORTAR, GIANT WITH FLAME-THROWER WAS JUST ONE GREAT BIG WUSS!! FLAME, SHMAME.


    I kept the save – I can go replay it anytime I want. I replayed it about 30 more times all the way through to finish. After partially disabling him, two more of the smaller jet-propelled dual-wielding laser canon robots showed up – two right-mouse clicks of grenade launcher finished them in one second. That provided 4 laser cannons available for me to use, and you can re-charge one from another to build up close to a full charge, but in later replays, when I bothered to finally finish the giant, just the assault rifle plunking away in single-shot mode at his flame thrower – maybe 25 shots - is all it took. And then when the flame thrower blew up, the rest of him blew up too moments later.


    If I had not had those grenades, perhaps I could still have beaten this final combat – with shotgun and assault rifle. If I had the shotgun in left hand, holding down the right mouse – 6 rotating shots before reload, and assault rifle (only 30 rounds – no double like the main game) in full auto, perhaps I could have taken out the mortar arm with those weapons, before the lengthy 4-second reload. I’ll have to go back and try it sometime. I don’t know if I can dance around those towers with the giant robot – they are shooting at me from the upstairs balcony.

    [see Edit at bottom - can be done without grenade launcher]


    And without the grenade launcher, the same combo for the two jet-packed robots who show up after that should work – shotgun is pretty deadly in close proximity, and full-auto assault rifle is too except the 30 rounds runs out fast.


    I also have the red-hot nail attachment for the submachine gun with 90 round drum – in close quarters the nails seem to have quite an impact on robots. For people the nail attachment is harder to use since it doesn’t shoot with the same accuracy, and it comes slowly out of the gun. But it is more deadly when it impacts, unlike normal submachine gun round. I wonder if those nails in combo with shotgun would take out that mortar arm before a reload.


    I’ll try different combinations - I’ll have to test it out. This is my one and only save in the freedom chronicles. From the main game menu you don’t hit load, you hit SAS. Then you go to Adventures of Joe. Then you can hit load where there are only 2 possible save slots.


    So there is a lot of replay value for the game.


    I have 10 other saves in the main game.


    And there are 12 assassination side missions that you can start at any time.


    Actually 2 of the 10 saves come from those assassination missions, which can be long drawn-out maps.


    One of them is in New Orleans, the finale of Beacon Street. I suddenly come from an alley into a long main street, Beacon Street, and I now see from a detection meter shown at the top of the screen, that there is a commander about 80 meters away, ready to sound the alarm. I can also tell by the giant fire dog that is patrolling up and down the long street, that stealth is not going to work this time.


    THE BEACON STREET ASSASSINATION SIDE MISSION SAVE – test all three mountable weapon types

    So I have lined up a whole array of mounted weapons that I had unmounted on my way here. I have two red ones, two lasers, and two close-proximity “gattling guns” - not good for distance at all, more like shotgun range. I am about to go up against a giant flame-thrower dog, about 20 soldiers, a very fast smaller robot dog who fires a rocket straight at you, who has killed me a dozen times, and two dual-wielding robots, not with laser but with gasoline-powered red heavy huge guns that shoot out small blasts of gas that pop like the exploding flack used against airplanes – very effective closeup and even out to 30 meters, and usually my favorite mountable heavy gun to lug around. Those are the red ones I just mentioned, and I brought two with me. Unlike the laser canon they don’t take a full second to wind up to start to shoot – which is the one drawback to those laser cannons. Plus the splattering effect means you don’t have to be so accurate – just point in that direction. Nice. With laser if they are running, or behind cover, you can easily miss. With these the flack jumps over cover, and they splatter all over the place targeting groups of enemies, robot or human.


    Those are very effective anti-personnel weapons, and pretty good also against robots. They even work against the giant fire dog. When they are used against me, I have to take those robots down immediately or I am finished. Best to be leaning out of a doorway and targeting a robot’s head, which means I can disable him in two seconds, and even disorient him with the first few shots in less than a second, before he can get more than a couple of the “flacks” off in my direction.


    BUT GUESS WHAT – ASSAULT RIFLE

    With all those gadgets, those 3 heavy mountable weapons that the robots carry – through about 30 replays, I finally came down to the most reliable way of retaining most of my health and armor – and that was through my assault rifle in single-shot marksman mode with no other weapon, so I could freely scope in when I wanted to.


    But not, or course, against the giant fire-dog with 800 armor – I just waited until he walked way down toward the other end of the street before starting the assault. Additionally I didn’t fire the first shot which activated the alarm, until I saw by a flash of white that the small fast robot dog had moved to the right way down the street. The AI adjusted themselves depending on where I crouched over to even though they “didn’t know” I was there. Getting the dog on the right was crucial - that allowed me to sight in on him as I peeked out to the right behind my concrete barrier, and thereby get a good 6-10 shots into him and kill him off before he got too close or fired his rocket. Then with him gone I jumped up and backed away from the concrete, moving to the left side of the street, using doorways and distance. Distance worked for me with the assault rifle against submachine guns. They could cause some minor damage from even 40 meters, but not with great effect. However, a few enemies in that group of 20 – maybe 3 of them - also carried the assault rifle, and they could snipe me. Those guys had a red light in front of their helmet, which kind of gave them away, so you could see just before they targeted you – they were probably putting a red dot on you – and you had to either duck or make sure you killed them first. I have been sniped and killed by those guys many many times. The other threats were robots – shots to the head, or regular combat soldiers – shots to chest – the AI was pretty good – they ducked and usually moved too fast to try to target the head. With the first shot you staggered them, and you could easily finish them off.


    When the giant metal fire robot dog came closer I got out one of the laser cannons – I had proven that I could eventually take him down with assault rifle, or nails, in another save where there are two of them, but laser is fastest. Later on I changed tactic and backed around the side of the command building on my right, on the narrow skirt ledge around a 10-foot deep canyon, into the back entrance of the command building, eventually coming out the front by which time the giant robot dog was down in the canyon hole, blowing flame inside the room underneath me.


    If I did that, it’s because I decided to go get the commander, using the distance gauge in the red alarm signal indicator over my head – I could tell how far away his transmitter was – it was strapped on his back.


    If the fire dog dies, the commander comes looking for me. That was fine, but sometimes I would rather go looking for him. But be careful. The commander in an assassination side mission, is not the easy kill you think he is. He is very dangerous. Read on ….


    YOU HAVE TO BUILD UP YOUR TICKETS TO PLAY THE SIDE MISSIONS – PENTHOUSE WAS HARD, THEN BECAME EASY

    The commanders, the first time you play a side assassination, are no easy kill. Because this New Orleans save is always at the first time I am playing this, he’s got the grenade launcher in upgraded “rocket” mode. I had earlier thought in the main game that the commanders were super easy to kill, and then in the first side mission I played, the Manhattan penthouse, I finally decided that this second commander in the basement had to be repeatedly killing me with a rocket – why did I see him 10 yards away at the same time he saw me, only to be suddenly dead in almost the same instant. What was killing me? No gun I had come across so far in the game would do this. It had to be some kind of rocket.


    I finally got better at sneaking past the main heavy robot down there, and then I used my silenced pistol right at the side of the commander’s head in the shadows from about 4 meters away – he was not facing me – I saw the gun crosshairs light up red – otherwise I really couldn’t see him - and he was totally unaware. That got me my second kill ticket. And that turned out to be the last time - of the many times that I beat that Penthouse side mission – that I fought against a commander equipped with a grenade launcher – all the rest of the times he had just a regular pistol.


    I played that mission about 20 times to gather all the tickets I needed to unlock the other missions. I also found that there is another elevator tunnel that drops down on the opposite corner of the huge penthouse, and then down there in the basement, after shooting the one guard with silenced pistol, if I didn’t hear the commander say “what was that noise” – I had subtitles turned on so I would just read that on the bottom of my screen - then I would shoot the wall a few times until I did hear or read some kind of sentence with “sound” in it – after all he was right on the other side of the wall. So then, I no longer went looking for him.


    I would see the transmitter distance meter increase from 3 meters gradually up to 20, then back down, and there he comes toward me –I’m at the end of the corridor in the dark, and he’s passing through a lot of light – he doesn’t see me right away but at first he sees the dead guard that I just killed. So before he gets too close, a couple of silenced pistol blasts to the head. I’m using right-mouse this time, because I have pistol in left hand, so it’s right-mouse button – if things get hairy I needed my assault rifle in right hand with more accurate gun control and aim, and regular left mouse trigger. And if the alarm was sounded, I would then go and jump on the stuck elevator roof, 2 feet above the floor, in that elevator tunnel.


    That is very easy to defend, where I have nobody coming from behind me, and if I have killed the 4 earlier guys, nobody shooting down at me from the main floor above. That did happen once. I got him but after that I always finished up the top floor guys completely before dropping down. So with full alarm, all the enemies come along and pass my elevator opening at the end of the long corridor where I can get them before they turn to target me, plus a small lip protects me. If I have time to put the grenade launcher on left hand for reserve, that’s the best, because the robot comes too. I can kill him with assault rifle on his head, but I will take damage without that grenade launcher. So it’s a perfect place to hold out. As I got better at attracting the commander, and eliciting the “sound” sentence out of him – with silenced pistol – regular gun would have raised the alarm – then that second ticket became very easy and fast – so as I say, that Manhattan penthouse is great.


    Furthermore, it’s loaded with ammo – none in the basement but a ton in the main room. But if you need shotgun ammo, or grenade launcher ammo, you won’t find it in Penthouse. I recommend the Mesquite side mission. Why would you need ammo, you ask?


    Interestingly enough, the shooting range on board your giant submarine does not give you ammo for those two weapons – well, yes, maybe 6 in the one grenade launcher hanging on the wall, and 20 shotgun shells (out of 220 max) in the one shotgun on the wall. The laser you fill up in the hanger, and you will find unlimited ammo boxes for handgun, assault rifle, and submachine gun. There is no health anywhere. There is full armor by climbing the ladder in the ammo room.


    For grenade launcher and shotgun and health, at the very beginning of the Mesquite, Texas side assassination mission, you can go straight ahead, bearing to the right staying in the shadows, and sneak up to the other end of the scaffolding, then go up the stairs - on top of the scaffolding there are two rooms – you’ll find 9 grenade launcher rounds and 40 shotgun ammo, besides full 100 armor and health. If you want more shotgun ammo, you’ll find 40 shotgun shells in the barn – you should be able to sneak across the creek to the barn. Then with weapons now full, hit J, Mission tab, and then it says Hit R to return to base. You will return to the War room. Then, as was advised in a forum recommendation, always turn around behind you, go through the hatch to the main ship corridor, across to the hatch leading to Seth’s lab, through the lab to the shooting range with armory next door, and then fill up your weapons in the shooting range, going downstairs for the pistol ammo box. Then downstairs, make sure you have full health and full ammo, and check each gun, 1 through 6. The only thing you’ll find in the armory is full armor as I mentioned, by climbing up the ladder.


    So those assassination commanders are deadly, the first time around, with their rockets. I didn’t realize it was a grenade launcher, until I got my rocket upgrade. He also seems to carry a lot of extra armor, and facing me he might not even go down with one assault rifle round, even to the head – shots to the chest he seems to just shrug off. The silenced pistol shot, however, on an unaware enemy – sometimes these games make an unaware enemy weaker than when he is actively fighting - well that DID work for that one Penthouse commander.


    So when I go gunning for the rocket-equipped commander in the Beacon Street side mission, sometimes I use my grenade launcher against his. That works.


    But assault rifle fully-scoped on his head also works – if I can avoid a rocket which is quite deadly. When I have to go look for him – for example since he is broadcasting the alarm I know how close he is to me – when I get to within 35 meters I become very cautious – I start moving from side to side in case he is behind that fence and about to shoot me. It is nighttime and the lighting is not great.


    The giant fire dog might be well behind me, back where I used to be, maybe down in the pit blowing fire into the room down there where they think I would usually be hanging out – where all the extra health and armor are, plus a room to hold out in. If the fire dog were dead, then the commander would be coming to look for me – but tables are turned, and everybody else is dead, and now I am looking for him. It’s mano a mano – kind of cool


    For Mesquite, it’s a smaller map, and I don’t need a save to go to the Mesquite, Texas assassination mission. I just go straight away from the war board room. You can go as many times as you want even after assassinating – they are still there but the commanders no longer carry the grenade launcher like when you first assassinate them, just a regular pistol. That Mesquite, Texas map is a night map, but well lit, with lamps, burning fires, etc.

    There is only one mission where you use a flashlight, and frankly it sucked. It was the Riverside bonus mission that opened up only if you assassinated everybody in the side missions, and also if you completed the whole game, and I can see why they threw that ugly mission in there – it wasn’t up to the quality of the full game – maybe it was an early mission that they play-tested and everybody said it sucked, so they used it this way. Hahaha. At the very end you climb a huge ladder and emerge on the ocean-side, where you have, I guess, the statue of liberty, like the end of the original Planet of the Apes. That is very beautiful I think, but other than that the map is very forgettable.


    The other side mission I like to go to is Roswell, Texas, again at night – I guess so the civilians are sleeping. I don’t need a save point – I just select that mission on the war board. There are a bunch of soldiers, a bunch of Klu Klux Klansmen, the giant robot with mortar that I mentioned, and a laser robot. You can creep around in stealth, and enter a recording studio, and then easily defend against them coming in the front door – but that’s too easy. And there is another dead-end alley, a little pocket behind the gas station – they kind of hide it from you - you have to burn out the chain link fence but initially you can crawl under it if you have the chest squeeze gadget – my favorite gadget. Before playing the main game, I played the 3-mission Silent Death lady assassin mission, part of the Season Pass, and she could crawl under tiny openings, so that’s the gadget I first picked, and I would again. You eventually get the other gadgets later. Also in that alley pocket, they have full armor, full health, and a full laser canon – but also that’s too easy. Those are the only corners that work and are mortar-proof.


    More fun is to hold out on the main street, until the giant robot gets too close, then the mortars will get you.


    You enter at the end of a main street with a gas station/store two-story structure on it, then the street makes a right turn and goes down past the recording studio and the malt shop which are on the left side. The giant comes slowly from that street. But behind the gas station is an alley that cuts into the street you enter on, and goes around the gas station joining that side street. He never enters the alley. But the mortars mean you have to hug the two-story tall gas station walls once he starts firing them. He doesn’t continually fire – only if he sees you. He won’t chase you down the alley, and if you come back you might see his mortar cannon arm sticking out. That’s where I found that the burning nails can eventually tear up that cannon.


    It’s a very atmospheric map with fabulous graphics and lighting effects.


    The game was very very good, and some say it will pick up “Game of the Year” awards, and yes, it was that good.

    --- whoops I got carried away again ---
    Rich


    EDIT
    You can totally beat it without the grenade launcher - double shotguns blow the arm off faster than anything else, and shotgun + assault rifle or shotgun plus submachine gun also work. The biggest challenge is double SMG - Max Payne style. But these 90-round drums also have the nail upgrade - they shoot out red-hot nails - the rounds/second is way slower, maybe 5 instead of 15, but each round is probably 10x more powerful - and they go all the way across the room - you can see them slowly flare out in a straight line for 50 yards - with same deadly effect if they hit an enemy. It takes about twice as long with the double SMGs to blow the arm off - maybe 4 seconds instead of 2. Also I found out what was killing me so fast afterward - I am standing next to two red gas tanks that some enemies on the second level finally detonated. So now in my run over to the "pipe tower" I shoot these, and as I get close, some enemies on the second level converge on another set of gas tanks up there, so I blow that one up too which buys me a few seconds of peace. I can take out the arm about 50% of the time, and then head up the stairs right there, and get in that little room with the lip, waiting for about 5 soldiers and the laser robot. I usually finish the round - about 50% of the time. I don't kill both commanders - I want the second laser robot to come. Also I have increased difficulty to max - "death incarnate" - which makes my armor slightly less effective. And I found another cooling station - right behind a giant pipe - coming up the other stairs I kept passing it without seeing it as it is slightly hidden by the pipe - and it's way better to cool off in because they might not see me so readily getting my 5 second fix. I don't allow myself to switch to shotguns, assault rifles, or grenades - dual SMGs or die!!!! What a rush!!!

    (I have to play just a little bit smarter with the limitations and the added difficulty. If I show too much I get effective assault rifle fire from across the downstairs main room - so they have increased enemy effectiveness a bit. So I do more creeping around now in crouch - I also immediately come full out of that room after the early rush and Mr Giant Wuss is standing right there, so I blow off his second flame-throwing arm in about 3 seconds and he then blows up for the next 10 seconds or so. There is 60 health (of 100 max) in the little room, but no armor - and I haven't been using head-shots on that first laser robot, which means he doesn't blow up, so I don't get armor from him - I'll have to try head shots next time. But the big guy has massive armor. That means if I drop down those stairs for just a few seconds, a giant amount of full 100% armor is waiting for me from all the steel plates that came off him. Then I go over to the other side of the upstairs deck, get my cooling fix from that "new" hidden cooling station, which finally triggers the second robot. I discovered that I can just barely go past him to the right, squeezing through a small opening in a wall, and make it back to my special room to better take him out. This is a very lovely SAS save point - not part of the main game - so if you buy this I highly recommend the season pass.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018
  5. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    My latest time sink is Total War: Rome 2.

    I was very much into the original Rome: Total War back when it was new and made the Total War series a mainstream success. It was one of the HUGE motivators that drove me to build my first gaming PC along with Half Life 2 and Doom 3. Rome's biggest issues were the use of a lot of half baked concepts and the developer's general new-ness with the engine. Fortunately though, the real time battles worked right the first time and the formula has barely changed since.

    Subsequent Total War games would improve on Rome in various ways, though all would be kinda iffy quality until Napoleon Total War. For example, the campaign maps are much better designed. So despite the AI still being basically the same over the years, everything works much more smoothly. Empire Total War even tried a nearly global map set during the 1700s and 1800s, but even with the best mods it's just too mechanically broken, despite the great concept. That was my previous time waster, with about 300 hours on Steam. Great battle mechanics and time period, but irredeemably broken gameplay. Every game from Napoleon Total War(the superior stand-alone expansion to Empire) and later has been built to a much more modern standard. The devs having clearly learned some lessons from Rome, Medieval 2, and Empire.

    Rome 2 however was a bit of a nasty spot. Development was a little rushed and the game released in a basically Beta state. Tons of great ideas, but lots of issues ranging from graphics to mechanics to the UI. After more than a year of patching though, Rome 2 now has the Emperor Edition update, which acts as a Version 2.0 overhaul. The game is fundamentally very solid now, and easily one of the best in the series. Tons of great concepts, like military units carrying decorations and traditions over time. Also several dedicated scripted campaigns besides the sandbox campaign that take parts of the world map and enlarge them for a more focused conflict. Also, the graphics have never been better. Overall, I'd say it's outright superior to the original Rome Total War, and probably one of the more enjoyable games in the series. Tons of fun.

    Major props to Creative Assembly for supporting their game so long after release and working so hard to get it up to snuff. It should never have been released in the state it was and it took real integrity for CA to stand by their product and not abandon it.
     
  6. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Wow, that certainly DOES show a lot of integrity.

    So Jeff, are these similar to the Company of Heroes games? Did you play those - there was the first, then a sequel - all of them about World War II.

    They were similar to another RTS game, World in Conflict, with the fictional account of Russia coming into West Germany, and then attacking throughout Europe and then to the U.S.

    You guys, you and Sam and Kevin, encouraged me to play those - I had not tried any RTS games before that - and I too must have put in several hundred hours into each of those.

    But I haven't gone back that far into history to visit Rome, except in the Assassins Creed Series where I picked it up with game 3, the American Revolution, which was utterly amazing. And then #4, the pirate one - they were all really good. I got the new one, Egypt, but it won't open. It might be my cpu - it doesn't meet their minimum. But I might try to induce them (by offering to pay for it) to give me a cheat - because supposedly the specs are the same as for Syndicate, which I did play.

    But maybe not - I will finally finish Far Cry 5 one day, and then at the end of the year is the new Metro coming, and I still haven't finished all the Arma 3 custom games - I haven't been in Arma3 for about 6 months or more - I want to get back to it.

    So my current time sink is Far Cry 5. Did you ever get it?

    FAR CRY 5 IS GREAT!!

    Far Cry 5 on ultra is beautiful, and the gameplay is great - as good as Wildlands, and graphically also every bit as beautiful as Wildlands.

    Wildlands you have a team, but in Far Cry 5 you can also have a team.

    You start out alone, but you can add up to two friends, and one or both can be an animal - dog, cougar, or bear. Or you have 6 human players that you can choose, although one of them always flies a plane above you, so that makes really 5 that are on the ground with you, so up to two humans, or two animals, or a mix. To those 5 specialists, you can add 3 more humans to your list, and swap them out as you meet and talk with more potential recruits. You can direct them individually on the G or the H key on where to go - and then hold that position - or to have one or both just follow you - or on whom to kill. When an outpost degrades from stealth to all-out war, they will do their thing - that bear especially can do a lot of running around killing enemies. And if you get "killed" you can try to call for revival.


    It is super great. I already finished it, but I am kind of going back through it now that I have found my favorite "gun for hire" in the bow and arrow master, Jess Black. I kind of like her style the best, her patter, the way she yells at and taunts the enemies "I should have brought my marshmallows!" for example - they killed her folks so I can't blame her. And I like to use my bow and arrow also, when I can. From her I learned to use the fire arrows more - I never get tired of hearing the enemies scream as they burn to death!!!!

    Hurk from Far Cry 3 and 4, is fun too - he shoots a rocket at somebody and he says "Wow, I bet that hurt!" Another time he'll say, "Oh, sorry about that friend - not really!"

    He's still the same crazy idiot he was in Far Cry 3 and Far Cry 4. And Hurk's mom is another gun for hire that you can get. She is kind of funny. At one point a few days ago I had Hurk and his mom at the same time. I expected some back and forth chatter - but there was none at all.

    I used some perk points to open up the second gun for hire slot, so I can have two at any one time, and I have tried all the animals - they're all great - but the thing about the dog, Boomer, is that he tags all the enemies - so instead of constantly being shot at by enemies whom I can't see, with Boomer around everybody has a red triangle and I kind of like that better, lol.

    Anyway, if you haven't gotten Far Cry 5 yet, I have to give it my highest recommendation. I especially like the fact that with "your" gtx 1070 I can play at full max graphics - I am getting about 44-52 fps consistently per the steam overlay.

    By the way, I give steam.exe the highest "realtime" priority in task manager, mostly in order to get the F12 screenshots to work.

    But as I started to say, running the game in ultra - it's really beautiful.

    Oh - and the wave-runner - the beauty of tearing down those long rivers in Far Cry 5 is equal to that long river next to the airport in Far Cry 3. The scenery and the water effects are equal - you get beautiful pine trees and boulders, rather than palm trees. It's far better than Far Cry 4 which as I recall didn't have any rivers at all, but merely several lakes. Far Cry 3 may be the very best in terms of water reflections - being near the equator - and it had such good rosy sunsets - but tearing along these Far Cry 5 rivers, with motion blur, and great reflections - I get a big smile on my face every time I do that!

    Oh, and the fishing isn't too bad, actually. I learned that if I kept reeling them in, as I moved the line back and forth - watching for the color to go from green to orange (at red the line snaps) and then stopping the reeling if that happens, but otherwise watching them move closer to the shore, and then if I step forward one step, that is usually when I suddenly have caught the fish - it seems to require me to take the one step forward - which is not in the help file.

    Anyway, quite a terrific game. I am playing at max hardness, and I do get killed fairly often trying a little too often with my bow and arrow - taking more chances than I should - but no big deal. :)

    Rich

    Edit:
    HOUSE OF MARLEY ROCKS!!

    Hey Jeff, my brother was bugging me that even in the sunroom with the sliders shut, the surround sound was a bit too loud for him and I should get out the headphones that I had told him about. So I finally pulled out those two sets of House of Marley headphones. The packaging is beautiful by the way.

    At first I couldn't figure out why the sound was so muddy. I brought out the cheap $16 Radio Shack laptop headphones and the sound was much crisper.

    I checked and made sure the batteries were good - actually replacing with some known good batteries. Pulling the battery out versus having it in seemed to make no difference. At first I was trying with the short cable, until I read that this is for use with a cell phone. Hmmm. Then finally when I was at my wits end, I fooled with the other circle on the left phone, and noticed that a light came on suddenly. Duhhhh. THEN and only then I looked at the book again for the instructions. Haha.

    Anyway, you are so right - without the noise cancelling active equilizer turned on, the phones are muddy, but with the equilizer, then you get brilliant treble, and the overall sound is quite good. I have been using them for the last week, several hours at a time, and I'm really enjoying the terrific sound - I'm probably playing them louder than I should but it's such great audio - so thanks again for that awesome tip!
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
  7. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    I have been waiting a bit on Far Cry 5 for a DLC or a few patches to come out then I'm gonna buy the full edition of the game with a season pass. It looks awesome, and is truly in a fresh and seldom-used setting for video games. I eagerly anticipate playing this game.

    I'm so glad you like the headphones! Sound can be very individual and I didn't want to give you a bad recommendation! I too found them to sound quite good and enjoyed them a lot while I had them. Yes, the active noise cancelling equalizer is the key to their sound. Funny enough, their tuning and sound signature is great for reggae like Bob Marley and other easy listening. I also put them through the gamut of metal and other hard rock, as well as jazz, classical, and a few other genres, and I found them quite nice for that as well. Respectable bass, with even-handed mids, and treble with a nice amount of fine detail. Really not bad cans at all. Despite active EQ always having been an iffy technology, they sound clean and pure. The sound speaks for itself.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
  8. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Far Cry 5 is the bomb - I'm on my second run-through, with the sidekick Jess Black.

    This time I went up north and freed her from the sawmill as soon as I could. I saw a YouTube on some of the things I missed on the first run-through, so this time I'm taking my time and doing it all. Jeff, by the way, you can play it in Coop with a buddy like you did in Wildlands. For me I'm strictly off-line, but I've got Jess, and then I mix in all the other 8 main characters with her sometimes, but mostly the dog to tag enemies.


    THE CANS
    Yes, the Marley sound is really superb to put it mildly - maybe I should pick up another one and leave it up in LA if that sale is still on. I was watching Me Before You last night - I just started using the cans, as I mentioned, about a week ago. I had been watching Jessica Jones - the Marvel series with Krysten Ritter - she's the foul-mouthed sidekick from the Jay Baruchel comedy, She's Out of My League, who in my opinion stole the show. She was also on Breaking Bad for 3 or 4 episodes as the girlfriend of the young guy who sold all the meth. Do you remember her from any of those 3 shows?


    I'LL GET BACK TO THE MARLEY'S IN A MINUTE - A FEW WORDS ABOUT MY HOME THEATERS
    By the way, I have free 15 gigs of chrome cloud - everybody has it - it's empty and I can upload to that for you if you like any of the videos I have talked about - the download speed is very fast. All the stuff I have is in 720p - my video player is Power DVD 13 (one tower has the newer version 16 which I got for about $40 after they wouldn't activate the install of 13 - saying I had already installed it on too many devices - I think I had put it on 10 computers by then) which upscales to 1080p and adds brightening, sharpness and color saturation. I mostly play on a 4k Samsung 48" in the sunroom, and the quality is exceptional. I can't tell any difference in quality when I occasionally play a video on the 1080p Toshiba 47" in the kitchen, which also has a magnificent picture.


    This comparison image below is from the famous DVD Earth - on the first version of Power DVD - version 10, in 2010 - midpoint in the film with the baboons crossing the river.


    As you can see, the player renders 480p dvd almost as if it were high-def, but I prefer to get the stuff that's high-def in 720p - it looks even much better than 480p - almost impossible to tell from 1080p. I leave the "true theater" effect on even if I have a true 1080p title, but I have hand-breaked most of those down to 720p to save disk space. I found out a long time ago that I could not tell the quality difference between upscaled 720p and native 1080p - so I don't need those gigantic 1080p file sizes. I like about 3-5 gigs per movie - about 1 gig per 30 minutes is great - I'll accept 0.6 or 0.7 gigs per 30 minutes if that's all I can get - and sometimes if it's more, like up to 1.5 gigs per 30 minutes, or 6 gigs for a 2 hour show, I won't handbrake it smaller to save 2 gigs in size like before when the 4 TB was filling up, now that we just added a 6 TB seagate external usb a couple of weeks ago.

    Our main server is in the kitchen - a little $100 eBay compaq micro-tower DC5800 core two duo, with 2 cores, running Windows 7. We have 4 TB internal hdd enterprise, and 11.5 TB of usb storage: an older seagate 1.5 TB, a newer 4 TB which we almost filled up, and the brand new 6 TB. The 4 TB in the two internal enterprise drives, with zero power-on hours each, comes from Gohdd.com, on eBay and also on newegg, $50 per 2 TB hdd, but sata2 not sata3. (Max speed is 120mb/sec, not 150mb/sec - so what? - it's an htpc, doesn't need the speed.) The pixel count on 1080p is 2.25 X 720p, so I would need 1080p videos, not at 4-6 gigs on a 2 hour show, but more like 9-13 gigs each for same pixel density - I would have long ago run out of the 4 TB space if I had been keeping 1080p videos at that size, for virtually no perceptible image improvement from an upscaled 4 gig 720p vs a 9 gig 1080p.





    This composite below is from the famous DVD Earth - midpoint with the baboons crossing the river -zoom in for image titles with player info.

    [​IMG]


    SEAGATE EXTERNAL USB DRIVES ARE CHEAP ON SALE AT COSTCO, BUT YOU NEED ACTIVE COOLING
    The ventilation that Seagate builds into their external usb drives is horrendous - it's like they are deliberately trying to bake the drives so they'll fail and you'll buy another one - it's absolutely pitiful. The drives will hit 47-50 degrees if you don't watch out. I was on the verge of throwing out our old 1.5 TB seagate external which was completely sealed - hitting 55 degrees all the time. But I actually cut almost all the plastic off the top and bottom. The high temps had caused 6 re-allocated sectors as a result, and it showed power on hours at over 40,000, and an HDSentinel health rating of only 11%. But the reallocated sector count has not changed in the last 3 years. I believe the drive is now okay, with perfect full HDTune 20-hour error scans. I keep the TV shows on it. I have a 12 volt scythe fan right next to it cooling it to 35 degrees (otherwise even with most of the top and bottom cut off it would hit 55 degrees as if it were still sealed up.)

    Regarding the 40,000 power on hours, I proved that it is nowhere near that old - the 12 volt spindle motor in the hdd will spin down, but seagate continues to send 5 volt power to the hdd circuit board, so the SMART power on hours are not relevant - indicating only the meaningless "connected to A/C power" time. My brother remembers that they promoted an instant-on feature, as if hard drives don't power up fast enough as it is. "Seagate - really?" They stopped doing that with the 4 TB, as my testing determined, but they are now doing it again with the 6 TB. So my HDTune or HDSentinel SMART numbers for power on hours are meaningless for both the 1.5 and the 6 TB drives. I upgraded to the new HDTune and ran the full error test on both the 4 TB and the 6TB, simultaneously, which took 2 days and 3 days respectively. Perfect sectors - all green.

    After the completely-sealed, retarded 1.5 TB enclosure, they added a few vent holes - but it's not enough. The newer 4 TB looks like it has vent holes all over it, but that's just deceptive decoration - it has only a few vent holes on part of the bottom, and some in the narrow back - well okay, a bit of passive cooling from bottom up through back - that's at least an improvement. And the newest 6 TB which sits up on its side, has some vent holes only in the bottom side that it sits on with the rubber feet, and none at all anywhere else. However, I held it to my mouth and blew into it from where the feet are, and it seems that, at least, unlike the old 1.5 TB, it is NOT tightly sealed. But it still gets hot. So it's still a crappy design. Without a fan right next to it the temps will hit in in the 47-50 range, versus 35 with the fan. These are of course desktop drives, not enterprise like the internal drives, and rule of thumb is that they should be kept under 40 degrees.

    So I have placed two 120mm 12 volt 800 rpm silent scythe fans on top of the kitchen tower up where the usb drives sit, with a fan filter shell on each side of each fan, so the fan blades are covered, running with a fan splitter from one A/C adapter - and my HDSentinel hdd temps in the system tray prove that the fans make a huge difference, keeping temps on all 3 externals down to about 35-37 degrees like the two internal hdds which have a 90mm fan right next to them in the case. I have an individually-switched power strip up behind the tower in the cabinet, and when I bring the tower out of sleep, I click the fans on. On all the htpcs I run the Sapphire 6450 $40 passive cooling 1 gig vram card, with dvi, vga, and hdmi, and I bought a few extra as spares, and on my dc5800 that I am typing on, I am running one, using the dvi port to a dell 20" monitor. In the sunroom i7 I have a 50 foot $75 hdmi cable without booster that has been working well for 4 years, along with a dvi cable for the dell 20" - the big screen tv is an extended desktop - and in the kitchen a 15 foot hdmi cable - the TV is the only computer monitor in the kitchen.


    OKAY, FINALLY, GETTING BACK TO THE MARLEY HEADPHONES
    Well, anyway, so I've been watching Jessica Jones, and I saw Krysten Ritter also in The Defenders, another Marvel adaptation with her and 3 other super heroes. So in this second season - I don't want to give away any spoilers - but the older actress Janet McTeer has appeared in a pivotal role.

    I got kind of interested in her, and I saw that she has received two academy award nominations - one for Albert Nobbs, an Irish film, with Glenn Close who also received an academy award nomination for her part - the movie received 3 academy award nominations in total. I watched the movie - it was really excellent, ONE OF THE BEST MOVIES THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN. Mia Wasikowska was in it also - the main protagonist in Guillermo Del Toro's Crimson Peak with Jessica Chastain from Zero Dark Thirty. Del Toro's latest movie, The Shape of Water, as you may know, just won for best picture and best director. I have all of his films, including Pacific Rim with Idris Elba which I have seen twice - excellent! Del Toro specializes in sci-fi, which is one of my favorite genres. (If you wonder how I'm getting all these titles - send me an email.)

    Then I saw that Janet McTeer was also in the movie, Me Before You, with Emilia Clarke from Game of Thrones. Janet was really good again - Emilia was okay. But I bring up that show, Me Before You, which I watched last night, because Emilia took the quadriplegic guy that she was hired to take care of, to a woodwind concert - it was more than woodwinds - really it was a small but nearly full orchestra.

    And when the Mozart music came on in the exhibition room, the classical sound coming from the Marleys was absolutely incredible - I stopped in shocked exultation, turned up the volume, and played that part again.



    I am telling you, Jeff, it was incredible, that sudden eruption of indescribably melodious sound! A total treat for the ears.

    It ended way too soon, but when they drove back, the quadriplegic guy asked if they could just sit in the car for a few minutes before she wheeled him in - and the music from the concert was still softly going through his head.

    Speaking of Mozart, I downloaded the movie Amadeus recently with F. Murray Abraham from Homeland in his oscar-winning role, and I bet when I get to that show I will be similarly floored by the insane Marley music.

    Really really great sound!!!! Thanks a million Jeff!!!

    Rich
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2018
  9. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    Per your recommendation I went and got the Bluray for Amadeus. Haven't seen the film in a long time and forgot how good it really was. Excellent movie. Great characters and acting. Interesting story. Astoundingly good sound quality using Dolby TrueHD 5.1. A nice departure from action and fantasy films.

    Also just purchased the Bluray for Black Panther. Never saw it in theaters so was excited to finally watch it. Not disappointed at all. Another great movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Probably one of my most prized collections because they are just such high quality films overall. Also great showcases for the power of Digital HD. Absolutely flawless picture and sound for every single movie.

    I happen to have an excellent direct source for Blurays and other media. All of my digital films are directly ripped from retail discs by a very experienced person and are absolutely full quality. Only very lightly encoded in handbrake to save a little space but without affecting the picture by even a single pixel. 1:1 identical image and sound to the retail disc. Between ~12GB and 30GB per film depending on how big the original file was. I prefer to play all of my films through software because I can then add all of my enhancements. Imagine all the enhancements that PowerDVD uses, now do them in higher quality with hardware acceleration, now add in ultra high bitrate full quality Blurays. It produces a spectacularly smooth and filmic image. High quality upscaling is especially important as I watch most things on my 1440p display at close distance. Any flaw at all will stick out like a sore thumb.
     
  10. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Wow, sounds like you really do have superb quality on your blurays. That is excellent! How do you actually add all those enhancements - saturation, brightening, sharpening, etc. using software - do you have a special player?

    That reminded me, I do have that new title, Black Panther, but I haven't watched it yet. I put it into the Marvel section of my movie guide Word table a month ago with Thor Ragnarok, but then I forgot about it - I have watched all the Marvel's except for those two. Now I usually check the sci-fi section first. But since you mentioned Black Panther, I'll probably see it this week.

    I just saw Three Billboards last night from my "oscar - acclaimed" section. Frances McDormand won the Oscar and the other two major awards for her role - only the 15th woman in history to win "the triple crown." A quite good production with an excellent cast. The theme was serious, but there were many parts that were intended to provide some levity, which made the movie a lot more fun. Great cast, including Dinklage, Woody Harrelson, and John Hawkes, who was an Oscar nominee in the Indie, Winter's Bone, where he played the angry uncle - that was the movie that launched the career of Jennifer Lawrence who had only tv roles up until then, as I recall.

    I wasn't too familiar with the other Oscar winner, Sam Rockwell who played the fumbling cop - but I guess I had seen him before in the Brad Pitt movie about the guy who shot Jesse James (he was the guy's brother) also in Cowboys and Aliens, one of my favorites, and also in Iron Man 2. I don't remember him in any of those three movies, but now I am going to get the sci-fi movie, Moon. where he had a major part. I'll be able to get a 10 gig 1080 version - if you like I could upload it to my chrome drive and send you a link - I'll be handbraking it down to 4 gigs, but I can upload the full 10 gig for you. (Send me an email if I should do that.)

    --------------------------------------
    Game-wise, I'm still in my replay of Far Cry 5 with my favorite sidekick, the bow and arrow specialist Jess Black. I saved the game at the part, near the huge statue of Joseph, "The Father" where you complete a long walk, going from tablet to tablet marking how Joseph was inspired to start the cult. I have the dog Boomer with us "that's a nice dog, but he kind of smells" as Jess likes to say, but I have become tired of his constant growling, so I think I'll switch him out for Peaches the cougar "hey kitty kitty" or maybe Hamburger the grizzly "sweet bear" she says.

    It isn't a map Point of Interest - I got the tip from a game reviewer who said it was a great hike around the mountains with gorgeous scenery and lookout points above the Valley - from the first tablet, you follow the scant trail of seashells and blood. But taking a break from Far Cry 5 one day, in searching around for any other new fps other than the latest Metro title coming at year's end ...

    (Assassin's Creed Origins uses SEE4.2 for anti-pirate software - my cpu supports instruction set 4.1 but not 4.2 - the new Assassin's Creed Odyssey probably has the same requirement - so I might be gone from that franchise until I get a cpu upgrade from my 6-year old 9450)

    ... I came across the Sniper Ghost Warrior franchise. (You may recall that I have played and posted about all the Sniper Elite titles.)



    SNIPER GHOST WARRIOR 1, 2, and 3
    I ended up buying all 3 on a cheap steam package for under $50. I started with the third, really liked it, but after completing the first of four acts, I decided to stop and play the first two titles, which I completed over the last two weeks, returning to the third last night.

    The first title, which sold 2.5 million copies and launched the franchise, was like the original Far Cry graphics-wise - not hi-def but okay. It's only a 7 gig download. It wasn't bad at all. It was taken from the sniping part of Call of Duty Modern Warfare. The story and the sniping action were pretty good. Then I played game 2 which they moved over to the CryEngine, but they kept the total game small, still about 7 gigs like the first one, so except for a few sections, you didn't really have great graphics, but the better scenes are noticeably a step up from game 1. Again it was a fairly decent game. On both titles, they have you change characters and move from sniper to being on the seal assault team that the sniper is supporting, which made both games more interesting.

    On both of those I started out at expert difficulty, but then restarted at normal. One reason I restarted in normal, is that I found the assault rifle almost impossible to use on expert - way too much barrel flash - and they reduced bullet damage so much it was almost impossible to kill anything. I actually switched to pistol several times when I was close enough to get head shots. When I restarted in normal, I found that the gun mechanics were much better - still a lot of barrel flash - I still picked up one of the enemy guns as soon as I could get rid of the M16, but I didn't switch to pistol this time, and for sniping you get the tiny red adjustment impact circle, so no problem.

    But for game 3, which is an open-world game like Wildlands and Far Cry 5, I have been able to make it work on expert, and so I am sticking with that setting. It is not scripted, and you don't change characters.

    On sniper, you don't have to adjust for distance. Your scope is also a range finder, and you can actually adjust your gun sight elevation - you only do have left the wind adjustment to think about with a little gauge at the top of your scope view showing the wind affect. My latest sniping rifle has a 10-round clip and full semi-auto mode, not bolt action, (plus an adjustable scope to 6x, 12x and 24x) so if I miss - they give you good bullet tracking - I can shoot again immediately and compensate.

    I achieved my longest sniping kills at 450 meters last night, scoping up to a dark image at 24x magnification.

    I had total vertigo. I was on a snowy hill about 30 stories above the Russian-built outpost below, and I was so afraid of falling - the graphics are so incredibly detailed and realistic - I had a really hard time standing there at the edge of that snowy cliff. If you start sliding on the snow - you keep going. I had achieved some 900 meters on game 2, but I was prone on level ground and with the sniping circle it was made easy for me. Plus now in game 3 the scope is more realistic - at very high magnification the image becomes very dark - you are cutting out a lot of the light - most games, including Sniper Elite and Arma 3, ignore the fact that your magnified image is of course darker.

    Graphics-wise, again it's with the CryEngine, but as this one is a 52 gig title, like Far Cry 5, they do have high-def textures. I have quality absolutely maxed out, ultra, and in the safe house, a cave that was a religious tomb of some kind with granite columns, a smoky floor and large central waving palm bush, my framerates actually drop to the lowest which is 32 - however I usually get about 42 in the rest of the game. I have never noticed any lag whatsoever.

    The NPCs aren't as realistic as Wildlands - but that doesn't really bother me at all. When you go into a house, it is furnished, and there may be a lady sweeping the floor or washing the dishes. On Arma 3 the houses are empty. On Far Cry 5 most of them are locked. This developer is in Poland, and you get the flavor of that type of architecture - a lot of dwellings made by stacking rocks - furnishings are not elaborate.

    Gameplay is great. Some of the reviewers picked at the game over trifles - but I read between the lines and I am glad I did. I give it high marks. They provide you with a little portable drone like Arma 3 - so you can fly it around and tag all your enemies - including those damn wolves that killed me the first few times.

    And unlike the earlier installments, I was excited to discover a bow in a cave in Act 1 - so you can carry that around instead of an AK or shotgun or LMG as your second weapon (you also get a silenced pistol as your 3rd weapon.) The bow is awesome. It's not as realistic as in Far Cry in that there is no arrow drop, otherwise it's very much the same. Plus, against soldiers or wolves, I have to remember to make sure I have it set on higher-damage ammo of 3-point arrows, not the flat heads - you can carry 30 of each.

    I have scored 150 yard bow kills. On Act 1, there is a sawmill outpost just down the hill around the corner from the brightly-lit inside, but abandoned and disguised outside, tomb-like safe house, and you can walk down the road 50 feet and head left 10 meters, and then you are on a ledge just above them - so you can practice with the bow - the outpost will re-populate later - the farthest guy on a stationary weapon is about 100 meters from you per the rifle range finder. At 100-150 meters, the enemies are extremely tiny. There is no scope. But to help out a bit, they do give you a very small impact circle showing where you connected, so if you're off a hair you can adjust. You do get a silencer with all rifles - but there is of course nothing as quiet as bow.

    Now in Act 2, up in the mountains in the snow, there are a ton of wolves everywhere in packs of 3-5 animals. These are true cold-weather wolves, with long thick grayish fur - very aggressive and dangerous animals. I have been killed by wolves about 3 or 4 times so far in this game in Act 1. You hit the F key, but you're dead anyway. The AK has only a 20-round clip and takes forever to reload. Shotgun against wolves might be better. LMG with 250-round clip which I just got in Act 2, is undoubtedly best. Why carry AK anymore when you can carry LMG?

    But still I prefer bow.

    So now, in the snowy mountains, when I hear wolf cries, my blood curdles. When I stop the Range Rover to use the drone, I always jump on top of the vehicle. Back, after two weeks, to the beginning of Act 2 again last night, after completing games 1 and 2, I was on top of the SUV, and the drone actually alerted the nearby wolves - it was a prisoner-release map Point of Interest this time, but with wolves instead of enemy soldiers.

    Before I knew it, they ran down the snowy bank and surrounded me. On the ground with LMG I might have survived if I had thought fast enough to immediately recall the drone - but with any other weapon: AK, bow, sniper rifle, or pistol, forget it. The animals circled, growling in a frenzy. I stood there in stunned horror, until I slowly realized that I was perfectly safe looking down on them. Then I smiled, congratulating myself on my new-found caution.

    I dispatched some with arrows, then I recalled that I have 20 throwing knives that I never use, and those worked beautifully. Vicious animals that they are, they die with little dog-like squeals of pain, which warmed my heart. I really fear these wolves - revenge is sweet.

    Edit: I cranked up the gaming rig and identified the new steam screenshot folders. I have screenshots from all three games, maybe 100 so far. Adding some good ones would have taken a few hours, but made this a much more interesting post. If you have any interest in the series, I'll be glad to do a new post with screenshots some time for you.

    Rich
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018
  11. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    Wow it's been a while lol. A lot has happened since I last posted. I went through a medical ordeal that aggravated a previous back injury sustained from working. I have been having back pain in my sleep for a few years now, and this issue aggravated it badly and turned it into a constant issue. Needless to say it's been exceedingly hard to sit in a computer chair for any length of time. I am finally starting to feel decent and sit in my chair again. I think I'll be okay but it was agony for a while. Two months of pain and the doctors not sure what was causing it due to overlapping issues.

    In the meantime I have played around with my sound setup again, lol! In my downtime I started to use my consoles and receiver more often. Lots of PS3, and controller gaming on my PC->TV via HDMI. Looking at my collection of media and its overwhelming support of surround formats, I started thinking maybe 5.1 would be more reasonable again. My PC has its own dedicated sound setup now, perfect for running headphones and my excellent Edifier speakers for stereo music. My receiver and entertainment setup is now a separate unit, and everything I play supports 5.1 at minimum.

    However the difference this time is I wasn't aiming for 4 large floorstanding speakers. I kept my large bi-amped Polk Monitor 60s upfront and put the lower powered Polk CS1 center back in place. This time I got a pair of Polk Monitor 30 bookshelf speakers, that come with wall mounts. The benefit of using much smaller speakers for surround is easy to hear. With the bookshelves it's almost as effortless as just running the bi-amped stereo pair. I was definitely overtasking my receiver before. It's a very good unit, with much stouter amp hardware than a lot of newer receivers at a similar price. The Polks are just especially power-hungry speakers. I really do like how they sound though, and have made comparisons to many others.

    The smallest in the line and the least power demanding at 100W RMS a piece. The Monitor 30s are roughly a similar size and weight to my Edifier desktop speakers. Pretty stout. The receiver drives them beautifully, and I can way exceed my Edifiers with crisp, distortion free power on just that pair. However, the self-powered Edifiers have more detail, and are a better voiced, more nuanced speaker. I ran the two pairs back and forth for music for a while, and the Polks are incredibly loud and powerful, but for moderate volume the Edifiers are several leagues above in quality. The Polks need a LOT of power to be their best. Not bad at low volume, but high volume is breathtaking. The Edifiers can do it at any volume.

    GTA V for PC sounds absolutely spectacular in 5.1 and is a perfect game to play from my poofy chair. Likewise, there are lots of other games out there I really enjoyed from my chair. Been doing lots of PC gaming on my home theater. Mad Max is a big one, did a playthrough of Resident Evil 5 with one of my friends, and a few others. Also got a lot of quality time in with my classic Xbox and my PS3. Both are excellent consoles. Also, traded some PS3 repair work for a very clean and nice Xbox 360 S-type. Happy with that.

    The surround effects from the new speakers are excellent. I believe the smaller speakers are superior for the task. I often have eerie moments where sounds come from my room in a very "3D" manner. I have to look over my shoulder sometimes, lol. They were a lot easier to balance with the larger fronts, and since they require less power to match them in volume, I get much fuller, more powerful sound. Excellent setup all around. And now I don't feel nearly as bad leaving them unused when I play stereo content. LMAO. Now when I watch films I can really enjoy the surround tracks again, and console gaming gets a little of that home theater magic. It also gives me more of a reason to play PC games on my TV more often. Lots of stuff does it really well.
     
  12. harvardguy

    harvardguy Regular member

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    Wow, Jeff - sorry to hear about your back pain. My brother also has back pain. He started doing his CAD work (computer-aided design) at home, working for his company through a family corporation - a way for him to work part-time for his company, going in a couple times a week, but mostly at home billing through the family corporation - the corporation being set up as a consultant.

    It works out the same cost-wise for his company - the advantage to my brother is that he doesn't have regular work hours anymore, and goes into the office at odd times, to pick up the large sheets - floor-plans and blueprints of the buildings he is working on. He gets up in the middle of the night and is in his room working - we rigged up a large piece of plywood similar to a chalkboard in a school, but at an angle, so he can lay the blueprints - which are about 3 feet by 4 feet in size - stacked on each other on the chalkboard that we built. They are piling the work on him and he is billing them sometimes at about 60 hours per week - he doesn't charge them overtime - but the invoices are way more than he was making before. They just gave him the exteriors of 4 buildings that he was working on - interiors only. He told them, "I'll try to help out, but I can't really add many more hours than what I am doing now."

    Anyway, he likes the new setup - working whenever he feels like it. Occasionally he'll come out when I'm in the sunroom watching a movie, and open the slider. I say "Oh, you want to watch one of the tv shows?" He says Yes, so I pull out his large white easy chair from where it stays up against the wall, and make a note of where I am in my movie, then put on one of the 6 tv shows he rotates through, like izombie, which he likes a lot (good show, actually, with a lady zombie who still pretty much functions regularly - it's very well-written - plus The Walking Dead, plus Fear the Walking Dead, plus Vikings, plus Z Nation, plus Game of Thrones, plus Dr. Who.)

    Anyway, the main reason I brought up my brother is that he sometimes has excruciating back pains, so I started doing a lot of google research on chairs that are better than the beautiful padded "poofy chairs" as you called it - chairs that are actually built based on ergonomics, to support the spine. I came across Herman Miller chairs, especially the Aeron chair, and also a newer invention, the Embody chair. The Embody is really pricey - but check it out anyway - notice all the little fingers of support in the back. The Aeron can be had for much less - in the $350 range. I googled "chiropactor-recommended desk chairs" which got me started. Then last week I came down from LA, and on the way back I stopped at the Herman Miller showroom and sat on both of the chairs. I talked to the relative who works for Valve, and he never heard of Herman Miller, but when I mentioned Aeron - he said, "That's what we have at Valve." He said all the new tech companies had Aeron chairs.

    So if your back pain starts up again - you might want to check out the Aeron chair - sitting in it, it felt quite comfortable. It isn't a "poofy" chair. It uses a stretch fabric, and it supports the posture, and is designed to not cause back pain. For example, in addition to the design upgrade done about 10 years ago - Posturex - something like that, working with a back surgeon - they just 2 years ago introduced another redesign called Z8 Pellicle - meaning 8 zones for back and chair, with the pellicle fabric that the chair is built with. The zones offer varying degrees of stretch - some of the zones do not give - the idea is to not let your body slide in certain directions that will affect blood flow - other zones do give, and allow the body and the chair to shape together for support. The Aeron comes in 3 sizes, A, B, or C, depending on a person's weight - the C size supporting up to 350 pounds.

    ==================================

    Sound wise, I bought another Marley. This set cost me $38 - amazon raised the price a bit. That was my 3rd set which I took up to LA after the headphones up there fell apart. I have two sets down here. Those are all for home theater use on the big screen - or the little 1080p set up in LA.

    Gaming-wise, I finished that series, Sniper Ghost Warrior - it was excellent. Nearly as good as Sniper Elite. The graphics were exquisite using the same cryengine that did crysis 3 - gorgeous water - top-notch Tom Clancy Wildlands graphics.

    And I have to say that Far Cry 5 has incredible graphics - I have taken so many screenshots. The variety of browns and greens as you hunt in the area that I describe below, is incredible. When you take your wave-runner in the rivers, the water reflections are as good as Far Cry 3. When you are further north and you run your wave runner up the narrow rivers that flow and join all the large lakes, you pass through narrow walls at break-neck speeds - you are probably going 40 or 50 with the wind whistling along - it's a rush!!!

    Far Cry 5 has climbed up to the top 10 games I have ever played, and joins Far Cry 3 - it's equal to Far Cry 3, and it's just as good as Wildlands - maybe a bit better actually. And that is saying a lot - Wildlands was sooo good.

    I have a feeling you haven't yet tasted Far Cry 5. You might not like the politics of the game - the bad guys are the far right religious cult. I am sure they lost some gamers with that setup - certainly there is a lot of sympathy for born-again type religious movements.

    In this particular case, the cult is pretty murderous - you don't have to play much of the game before you become pretty sure that they are not very nice people at all - and if you rescue Jess you will hear some horrifying things about what happened to her parents. She hates the cultists with a capital H. She's the best part of playing the game - so it's helpful to embrace her perspective. As much as I can, I use arrow for everything. I am pretty good - but when they start running it's much harder. When things get hairy I drop back to LMG, and when they are really hairy I switch to grenade launcher and blow everything to hell!!! LOL


    I restarted Far Cry 5 for the 3rd time, playing it mostly through that second time with Jess Black. It's kind of fun to start with nothing, then quickly free her, then quickly do some hunting in the very best hunting spot - which I decided on this third run-through is just down a bit south-west of the Fang center where the friendly bear can be rescued. There is a place next to a bridge, and next to a river, where the water is very shallow, and there are a series of very flat islands - caribou elk are there, and you can throw meat out and attract black bear and wolves. With the bow, and with the perk that doubles your hunting - you can get 4 pelts per animal. There is often a warden walking around - so when you get too many pelts, you go over and sell your catch for from $4,000 to 6,000 per round.

    Just above the Fang Center - or maybe just above the place where I rescued Jess, is a helicopter purchase place. If you open the map, and run your cursor around, one of the places identifies itself as "rescue Jess" and she talks to you on the Map.

    Any of the different types of stores that sell helicopters, or boats, or planes, or weapons, will all buy your pelts, and will all renew your ammo. I knew where that helicopter place was from my first play-through, so I went there first and when I "discovered it" then I could buy a helicopter. So when I went hunting with Jess, I flew a helicopter down to that favorite hunting place, in case the wardens didn't show up often enough - the idea being to just fly back to the helicopter store and sell all my pelts, then fly back and hunt some more. I never had to do that - the wardens showed up often enough - or if they got killed by a bear - they respawned often enough.

    When you hunt with Jess, she'll help use her arrows to finish off a bear that is attacking you, and you get the full 4 pelts because arrows don't damage the pelt. So in a couple hours you go from no money at all, up to 50,000 - that's plenty to buy the $9,000 M79 grenade launcher which takes the place of your handgun.

    That's also plenty of money to upgrade the LMG with highest sniper scope and silencer.

    Anyway, I played a couple of hours two nights ago - but I can see that I am starting to lose interest in the game. I've never played a game twice like that - but Jess keeps everything fresh for a while - she cusses up a storm and that's pretty funny.
    I should probably go back to Arma 3 pretty soon - play my favorite challenges, and then start playing the user-designed scenarios - I still have 70 or more that I haven't played. I have to be very careful with steam wanting to update the game - I would lose all my saves and none of the user scenarios would work anymore. So in the steam download manager I keep several large updates in front of Arma3, and I go into those download folders - I have shortcuts for all of them - and delete all the newly downloaded content. So steam is always trying to download on me, and I am always deleting the content. When I download a game in steam, I have to come check on it often - as soon as steam downloads the game, it will start trying to update everything in the queue. A few 2 or 3 gig updates got through that way, but I have 3 games that need 30 gigs each - a couple of older Black Ops for example - so as long as they are in the queue first, that gives me about 15 minutes of safety time in case the new game loads early.

    Normally I unplug the internet from my gaming machine so steam can't mess me up - but I will be downloading some new games pretty soon.

    I bought Battlefield 1 on eBay for $5 three weeks ago- not through steam of course - straight through origin. It was a username and password from Russia. It worked. I only played the single player, and it was definitely worth the $5 - at least 20-30 hours of gameplay on hardest setting. I enjoyed it more than any of the recent Call of Duty single player titles over the last few years.

    If you haven't played it, I highly recommend it.

    I also bought Battlefield 4 for $4. Then I found in my fraps folder that I had screenshots for the game. I had actually bought it a long time ago. But Origin lost my username - somebody hacked my account. Somebody also hacked my steam account, but I discovered it and about 6 months ago emailed them some proof that I was the owner, and then I put a super long password on it, plus my cell phone for two-step authentication.

    For the Origin I guess I don't care too much - I'll just wait a year or two and then buy a game off eBay. Since I don't play multi-player, in an effort to control the addictive power of gaming, I am not too concerned that the game is no longer so popular. If I were playing multiplayer, I would be back on the two Left 4 Dead titles.

    I am waiting for the new Metro to be released - this month I think. Remember when you had to talk me into playing that game. Then it joined my top 10 list - metro 2033, then metro first light, and now the third one is coming. And there is a new black ops that I will be playing pretty soon when it comes out. [Edit - the freaking black ops 4 will have no campaign - jeeeez - I won't be playing it after all. The Metro Exodus looks really cool - it will be out in four months in February.]

    Then more Arma 3.

    So Jeff, are you still over there with the potato factory? You said it was a pretty good job with decent promotion potential.
    - Rich
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018 at 00:32
  13. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    Actually Rich, a little while back I invested in a Steelcase Leap v2 chair that is very competitive with the Hermann Miller chairs.

    [​IMG]

    Mine is exactly that without the add-on headrest. About $300 used which was a very fair price for the chair I received. $45 for a heavy duty replacement gas cylinder and I'm quite happy with the chair. Comfort is absolutely excellent. My injury was simply very hard to bear due to it being sciatic nerve pain. I could get up and walk around or I could lie down. No standing or sitting, it was just too hard to do for more than a short while. I couldn't sit in any chair for a while. Steroids have helped. My "poofy" chair is a big oversized La-Z-Boy. It reclines fully and has a footrest. When I'm not in pain the SteelCase causes zero fatigue, and is very supportive. I prefer to sit in it over everything. I can put all my weight into it and it holds my back in the perfect posture. I couldn't stand the lumbar support mine came with and removed it. However the rest is excellent. Fully adjustable sliding seat with probably the best recline mechanism I've ever used. I'm a pretty large guy 6'2" 200lbs+ and this chair's recline return spring can man handle me if I turn the tension all the way up. Unreal chair. Probably saved me some trouble down the line.

    I don't really care either way. I can hate crazy cultist rednecks as much as I hate Nazis and every other faction ignorant to human rights and basic dignity. I am certainly not religious in a traditional sense and if I were, they're still perfectly valid bad guys. The game presents its villains clearly, and there really isn't a strong political slant to the game. I can see where it was inspired by the current political climate in the US, but it's a comical exaggeration. The game doesn't seem very anti-conservative or anti right wing, and a lot of the main good guys and supporting characters are rednecks as well. The villains are basically one step past Insane regardless of their actual political affiliation. My politics are hard to explain, and previous attempts to articulate have certainly not come across correctly. However I definitely have no problem mowing down the baddies in this game. Have played it on my friend's 4GHz 4770K/1080Ti system and his ran very well at 1440p cranked with AA.

    The game certainly looks gorgeous. Far Cry 4 was a half step over Far Cry 3 but this is a whole new ballgame. Holy crap every little effect is just perfect. The game looks absolutely incredible. Ubisoft really refined the engine this time and got all the little details just right.

    The environments are beautiful, and some of them do remind me of my own area, and some of the things I've seen. Wisconsin has a lot of gorgeous undeveloped land, and some areas are pretty similar to what you see in Far Cry 5. They did a great job with art direction. It looks natural and very close to real in some scenes. Some of the cutscenes with lens effects look almost like live action videos until you get a closer view of them. Ubisoft pushed hard. With all the new graphics options and enhancements it looks so intensely lush. I would love to try this game in high resolution VR some day just to see what it looks like.

    Performance-wise I'm not sure how my rig will run it. I think I'll have an okay go of it, but it's damn demanding. My friend's 1080Ti seemed to handle it really well, but it's quite a bit faster than my 1070.

    Yes and no, lol. I have been out for a while because of this. I think I'll be okay going back next week. Should be good to go hopefully until I get some more serious treatment later this year.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018 at 13:26
  14. Estuansis

    Estuansis Active member

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    Sorry for the double but just wanted to add, I went and got Far Cry 5, lol. Becnhmarked it at Ultra settings, with Temporal AA, at 1440p. Minimum 63 Average 72 in the benchmark. Without AA it runs 65 minimum 76 average. Very comfortable framerate for this engine. An extremely pleasing result for me. Gameplay is very smooth and it holds up pretty well even with fireworks going on all over the screen. My video card is showing its true strength now. Really spectacular performance compared to how it looks.

    I noticed it has some issues with pop-in, otherwise it's exceptionally pretty. The models are insanely nice and the texture work is excellent. All of the little bumpmaps and reflections on all the little rocks on the ground. The way skin and hair look. The fine detail in the foliage and the sheer density and realism of the forested areas. The way they handle draw distance and aren't afraid to let you see a long way. The game has breathtakingly high quality graphics. This dev studio has come far and gotten VERY good at working with their engine. Considering how good it looks, it's ludicrously well optimized.

    I noticed it's missing finer control of things that were kind of a showcase in Far Cry 4. Things like HBAO+ shadows and the Fur Effects and stuff. It seems like kind of a downgrade in some ways visually. I remember Far Cry 4 as having very nuanced lighting, shadowing, and postprocessing that doesn't seem to be as apparent in Far Cry 5. I'd be curious to know what's going on there. The game certainly looks good, but I feel like it's lacking somehow.

    EDIT:


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAfis2sCHV8

    Far Cry 4 runs noticeably worse than Far Cry 5 with every single setting turned on, and can be gotten to a crawl on even powerful cards like the 1080Ti. In contrast, I don't believe it's possible to get Far Cry 5 to perform badly on my 1070 using the in game settings. I have every option turned on and it stays above 60FPS almost all the time. Not had a single problematic drop in framerate over several hours of gameplay.

    FC4 has additional video options. You can choose SMAA, 2/4x TXAA, as well as standard 2/4/8x MSAA. FC5 only has options for SMAA or generic TAA temporal antialiasing. TXAA somewhat sucks in FC4, and is noticeably blurrier than the same effect in say GTAV where it works excellently. The TAA in FC5 is a lot lighter weight performance-wise than the TXAA in FC4. Only one setting, on or off, but its level of smoothing is somewhere between 2x and 4x TXAA. It has less blurring than 2x and better performance than 4x by a wide margin. Overall a very good effect and I prefer to use it when available. So antialiasing is a tentative upgrade in Far Cry 5. Technically something like 8xMSAA or 4xTXAA could be considered better, but Far Cry 4's performance does not make those AA modes practical.

    Far Cry 4 also has additional settings for Godrays, Fur Simulation, Tree Tessellation, HBAO+ SSAO, and Nvidia PCSS Softshadows. While I believe Far Cry 5 still implements some of these features in a more vendor-generic form, some are left out. For example, Far Cry 5 certainly has some form of SSAO, though it definitely doesn't have HBAO+ or any sort of adjustment for the SSAO method. It has soft or filtered shadows, but not Nvidia PCSS shadows. It doesn't seem to use the fur effects at all. Tree tessellation I'm not sure makes a huge difference, because the models are higher quality and the environment is different. Godrays are much more subdued overall in FC5 and I'm not sure if they even appear outside of heavy fog weathers or cutscenes. Like SSAO there is no adjustment for Godrays.

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    Approximate framerates running around a populated village with lots of active lights and shadows. In Far Cry 4 I can run all settings to Ultra with all the Nvidia settings on except for PCSS Soft Shadows. That setting absolutely tanks the framerate and the game already has nice, filtered shadows. Mind you these are from about 20 minutes just swapping settings and running in circles around the village. This was all done by eye with a FRAPS counter but this should be a pretty decent comparison of what the performance levels are. I kind of tried to mentally average out any spikes in either direction. :

    Far Cry 4:
    1440p Ultra settings, No AA = 60-100FPS, Ave ~75
    1440p Ultra + Nvidia(Max) settings, No AA = 45-65FPS, Ave ~55
    1440p Ultra + Nvidia settings, PCSS Shadows Off, No AA = 60-90FPS, Ave ~75
    "", PCSS Shadows Off, 2xMSAA = 50-85FPS, Ave ~68
    "", PCSS Shadows Off, 4xMSAA = 50-75FPS, Ave ~59
    "", PCSS Shadows Off, 2xTXAA = 60-80FPS, Ave ~65
    "", PCSS Shadows Off, 4xTXAA = 50-70FPS, Ave ~55

    I ended up choosing 2x MSAA because it's sharper and the average framerate is a little higher than 2xTXAA. The game likes to dip quite a bit in heavy action, so an average over 60 is a must. Almost 60 isn't enough and leads to lots of noticeable chop in demanding areas.

    Far Cry 5:
    1440p Ultra(Max) Settings, TAA = 75-85FPS, Ave ~75

    Not only does Far Cry 5 perform better, its AA is visually better than 2x TXAA and 2xMSAA. It also holds a much steadier framerate overall, with far fewer dips. I make zero compromises with Far Cry 5, and simply run it maxed. If I sacrifice the rest of the Nvidia settings, I can get Far Cry 4 to perform very similarly to Far Cry 5. In that respect, if you removed only those settings, Far Cry 5 might be considered a visual upgrade. However it's missing other features as well.

    As you can see in the Youtube link, Far Cry 4 has more detailed motion blur, and has smoother animation with more intense post processing for gun firing and reloading animations. Far Cry 4 also features excellent explosion physics. If you throw a grenade into a thicket of trees, the branches and bushes will be tossed about wildly. The same thing done on Far Cry 5 causes maybe some particle effects but the foliage doesn't really react. Likewise, the rotor-wash from the Helicopters in Far Cry 4 will whip trees and grass around, but in Far Cry 5 they are unaffected.

    Far Cry 4 seems to be a much more detailed and advanced game as far as some effects go. However, Far Cry 5 has much more polished environments and its use of shaders and lighting is outright better aesthetically. If you count out the Nvidia Gameworks branded features of Far Cry 4, performance and visuals start to fall into line though not entirely. Maybe an early sign of the current gen of consoles holding us back? Luckily it's still a great looking game.

    A few more things worth noting. Far Cry 5 has kind of a sad gun selection. Far Cry 3 and 4 had more choices and diversity. A lot of Far Cry 5's guns are either slight mods of the base guns or reskins. Not the worst thing ever, but even two more guns of each type would have rounded the game out well. If they're going to poke fun of America's gun culture, you think they'd include wider variety. Likewise the gunplay in Far Cry 4 was pretty meaty and everything felt solid with crisp sound effects. Far Cry 5's gunplay is still very good, but is a little floaty and doesn't give quite the same hefty recoil and hit feedback as Far Cry 4. The sound effects are also a little lacking too, with less reverb and quieter, more muffled sound on some of the guns. It feels a little more like Far Cry 3 in that regard. Kind of a step backwards.

    Far Cry 5 also lacks the cool healing animations from previous games. Like biting the bullet out of your arm and spitting it out, or snapping your dislocated thumb back into place. It's replaced the health system entirely as well. I don't mind the change to the health mechanic, but I miss the gruesome animations, which were kind of a hallmark of the Far Cry games.

    The game is definitely good and is worth playing. The image quality is very high, and the feel and look are very consistent. The overall world is given a different design structure than Far Cry 3 and 4, and the gameplay is the most refined it's ever been. The story and environment are refreshing. I like the little bit of character customization it lets you do. I can't wait to tackle the DLCs. However, Far Cry 5 carries all the hallmarks of a more rushed development than Far Cry 4. The design is better and more streamlined, and the engine is better optimised, but it's a lazy effort in comparison to the previous games. Far Cry 3 and 4 were more forward looking, and both attempted to push the graphics envelope. They had more content and guns, and possibly more features. Far Cry 5 exists solely on the virtue of its overall build quality. It is nowhere near as ambitious. I hope this is not a sign of stagnation for the series and that Far Cry 4 was just an outlier caused by Nvidia's promotional efforts. If it's the other way around and Ubisoft is getting lazy, that's very bad.

    My final verdict is that Far Cry 5 is a fantastic game, but I remain skeptical about the series' future as a graphics and gameplay showcase.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018 at 03:13

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