[PC] Shadowrun Games

I recently picked up Shadowrun: Hong Kong by Harebrained Schemes and have to admit I like this version better so far.


  • Drones look better
  • Matrix White IC are pretty cool – I like the revamp to this

Those are the main ones I’ve noticed so far.

The gameplay is mostly the same, I think the UI has changed a little but not a whole lot. It’s still focused on the storytelling. I’ve been enjoying it so far though I’m not too far into it.

I also picked up Shadowrun Chronicles by Cliffhanger Productions. I had it in my wishlist and one of my co-workers noticed he had a 50% off coupon so he traded that to me and I bought it a little sooner than I intended.

It seems to be more of an online type game where you can connect with people and play. Characters are stored on a server and you’ve only got three slots. There seems to be some purchase options which I suspect is intended to sustain the game/servers. I haven’t gotten into it much yet but I did notice the character creation was different and the spending of Karma.

I believe they streamlined the character advancement system and I’m not sure I like how it is. I might post more on that later.

[IRL] Update

It’s been a chaotic year – which is both good and bad. Here’s a rough timeline:

  • Feb – Separated from the wife
  • June – Separation Agreement finalized
  • May – Separation Agreement signed
  • May – New house purchased and moved into
  • June – dating
  • July – some more dating
  • August – more dating

That seems to be where I’m at.

I haven’t had much time for gaming, I’ve been moving pretty fast; for example I took two weeks to close on the house.

I’ve also started focusing on me – not me hiding away from a relationship I wasn’t happy in anymore, but good things like health and fitness. I’ve dropped over 70 pounds in 7 month, not because I’m starving myself, because I’m no longer trying to eat myself to death.

That is a bit of a joke. The truth of it is I was eating because I was unhappy, bored or because the food would taste better than how I was feeling and I became aware of it late last year. I realized I wasn’t hungry but I ate anyway.

Crazy isn’t it?

Tough part was that the LLO was starting to pick up my bad eating habits. I’ve had to correct that some and let him know all of the complications that come with the extra weight but also that he can enjoy the stuff he likes, just not so much of it at one time.

So “ex-the Wife”. The two of us are mostly getting along okay. The separation itself wasn’t too painful and went a lot faster than most people. Her lawyer tried to push things into court because he was a greedy douchebag.

He seemed to think we weren’t allowed to decide on the terms and agreements of our separation without his approval. About the only thing that is regulated is Child Support – that really is non-negotiable, but everything else was and we had decided on something we could both live with. He was pretty crafty, using less than realistic numbers when determining the net worth of each party, etc. He also threatened to go to court – which was a hollow threat, I knew she was more worried about being left with the debt from all that.

I explained to her that he is her employee, not the one making the decisions. I also reminded her neither one of us was a bad person and there shouldn’t be any malice in this agreement. Net result is we walked away with close to the deal we agreed to in the beginning. He was so unhappy he refused to draw up the agreement and left that to my lawyer.

Great choice in lawyer there! I did a search on him and turns out he does Criminal Law, Personal Injury and Family Law. Hmmm…. which one of these is not quite like the others?

We have shared custody of the boys, switching from week to week. Because I’m not a dick, I actually paid support earlier than was required of me, moved out as soon as I had possession of the new house even though it was lacking furniture and I needed to do some little fix ups. Technically, I could have stayed at the other place a little longer but I had very little desire to.

What else?

Work has been good. I’m definitely underpaid but I love my team – we get shit done and have fun doing it – and I really do enjoy the work. Location is sweet too 🙂

Health has been amazing. I have way more energy, I’m eating better, I have more choice in what I can eat and how I can prepare it. Downside is I can’t get too experimental with cooking unless I have the boys that week.

New house is great! Only carpet in it is on the stairs to the basement and stairs to the upstairs. Garage is spacious, backyard is a good size, deck is nice, the pool is large and there is a heater for it. Neighbors are great! Overall, much happier here.

Things are looking up!

[WoW] WoD You Doing?

A couple of days after release and I had my Hunter to 95, took a break because I wasn’t digging Marksman spec – too much like a caster that can move. So I switched to a Shaman, no, not Enhancement or Restoration but Elemental. Yup. In true Smaken Dahed style, I drop a class that feels too much like a caster to play a caster. A gimp one at that. At the time, Shaman were bottom of the barrel.

I have a thing for the lame duck class in MMOs.

Hit 100 with that, started doing heroics and realized I didn’t like it so much. Back to the Hunter.

I switched from Marksman to Survival – and found it was good. Better than MM, which pains me to admit because I’ve never liked SV. Ever.

As Survival is now, its middle of the pack with no burst but a lot of mobility, more so than MM which allows me to pick up extra tasks during raids, which I do and still manage to land in the top three. I admit, I miss Kill Shot or some sort of burst ability that is unique to the class, but at least it seems different from the other two specs.

Yeah, raiding again, same group slightly earlier time. We’re 6/7 on normal and 1/7 on heroic. The flexible number of raiders is nice, means we don’t have to cut people.

Expansion has been out for a month and already, as a guildie said, it is feeling like its in maintenance mode. Pop in, do garrison stuff on two toons then do some trapping or fishing for raid materials and log out. No need for dungeons and no drive to level an alt.

Raid nights are fun but that is all I have in that game. Might be feeling hung over from the length of MoP or maybe feeling less of a reward for time spent. Even leveling there is not much of a difference in the toon except the number representing the level. From level 90 to the cap, 100, the only gain is a talent at 100, maybe some unlocks at the garrison and a couple of ‘perks’ which are passive and mostly unexciting.

Ah well, at least there is raiding.

[ESO] Can’t Wait for V8

Zenimax is notorious for going after others to protect their trademarks and intellectual property, so do you think that the makers of V8 will go after them for using V8 in their game to represent Veteran Rank 8?

Probably not.

Having worked for a big company with a hefty legal department, I understand the importance of maintaining a brand name, even derivatives of it. (Please don’t send the legal minions at me!)

Oh, I hit 50 which seems to jump you right to V1 (Veteran Rank 1 – not just one veggie in the cocktail). I think a lot of people have issue with the progression through V1, part of me wonders if they accidentally slapped the progression from 50 to cap into that number? Maybe it is a reduction in sources of experience for your leveling? (Because you still get XP for your skill lines) Or maybe it really is that large a jump.

I wait Ebonheart Pact and rolled through the last 7 levels and content. I had a few bumps along the way but not many.


  1. The most common bug I experience is falling through structures, stairs in particular. This happened commonly enough that I cringed using stairs… If I had to guess at the cause? I was usually mounted and it was often just after entering the area so it was like most of the bounding boxes (whatever mechanism was used for collision detection?) hadn’t fully loaded. This sucked because when they did load, I would be stuck under the stairs.
  2. I fell through the world twice – the second time I jumped right to teleporting out by use of waypoint, the first time, I just waited until I landed in an untextured area.
  3. I had one quest bug – it was a shared puzzle that wasn’t responding to my clicks at least, not apparently, but they were.
  4. Another issue I had was in a public Group Dungeon – the one in Coldharbour – oh, Spoiler Alert – you go back to Coldharbour. If that’s a surprise then I have to wonder who is operating your computer right now. Anyway, I get to the end of this dungeon by partnering up with different groups (in some cases I had to solo the bosses because no one was around – yeah, I did, I’m pro.). Once you get to the end you have to choose between killing the people you were helping or letting them kill you. I didn’t like the idea of letting them kill me so I picked the ‘DAI! *chop*’ option. Apparently the guy I was partnered with did as well (we weren’t grouped) only he did that faster. I re-entered his phase where he’d already killed one of the dudes so I didn’t get credit. I dropped down to the porter out but it wasn’t active… because I missed one of the mobs. I couldn’t jump back up either and the boss didn’t spawn (I would have pulled it to me). Oh, that was another spoiler wasn’t it? Spoiler alert!
  5. Finally the combat needs some tweaking. There are times when everything feels like it stops responded or updating. I’ll have killed a mob but it’s still standing there with some sliver of health yet. I move on to the next and kill that. Other times the attacks don’t seem to trigger. Yes, I’m aware of the animation priorities, I’ve got my timing down, these are cases where they just do not seem to fire (resources are full). Just something they really need to improve on.

Uh, I can’t think of any other massive problems so maybe that area was more polished off than others… which I’m going to go see soon. When you complete the Main Quest line, you can play through the other areas. The other areas are beefed up to Veteran Rank mobs and the appropriately leveled crafting materials.

I managed to cap off the following lines: Ardent Flame, Sword and Shield, Heavy Armor, Provisioning, Imperial Race. Several of the others are just trailing behind so I’ll cap them off while continuing through.

I haven’t played through a group dungeon and I have not done any PVP yet. I hope to at some point.

Main worry I have now is that I’ll locust off to another MMO if this one (ESO) starts feeling like it is done. I really do enjoy the game.


[ESO] Sites and Tip

From the almighty UFTimmy, Captain of the Internet:

Go to your documents (usually C:\Users\<username>\Documents
Go to Elder Scrolls online
go to live
open up settings file
find SkipPregameVideos , change 0 to 1

Say good bye to the many videos at the start up of ESO.

Now for a few recommended sites:

  • TES life – some of the best spoilers for Skyshards and Treasure Maps.. and quests.
  • Tamriel Journal – another good info site
  • Tamriel Foundry – yet another info site
  • ESOHead – ZAM info site with Addons, DB (fueled by an addon) and other tools

Go play…

[ESO] Addons That Don’t Completely Suck

Or ruin the view.

  • AwesomeInfo – adds a bunch of information to the HUD, next to the compass; clock, back space alerts, research alerts, horse needs feeding, etc.
  • FoundryTacticalCombat – adds scrolling battle text, a meter, different unit frames with numbers, buff pane, etc.
  • LootDrop – turning autoloot on means not seeing what was looted, use this addon and it will display what was looted in the bottom right corner
  • ResearchAssistant – adds icons to items signifying whether you have that item trait or not, also whether you should sell (Ornate trait) or deconstruct (Intricate trait).
  • SlightlyImprovedExperienceBar – adds numbers and % to the XP bar, and the bar doesn’t always go away
  • SousChef – marks Provisioning components with their item level if you have the recipe on that character; can be set to check recipes on other characters too

I tried the minimap but hated it (lots of errors) because it took away from the game. I’m happy there is no minimap, I never realized how much I looked at that in other games.

I also tried the Recount addon but decided there was little point right now (FTC adds one in with the more recent version).

Back to gaming…



(He closed his eyes as I took the picture…)



[ESO] I’m In!

The first week was a bumpy road. I couldn’t settle on what I wanted to play, which group to be part of and everything was new and scary. I think once I started understanding the game more I starting enjoying it more.

I ended up focusing on an Imperial Dragon Knight in the Ebonheart Pact. The character build I’m going with has a mix of DK abilities but also a fair bit of Sword and Shield line. I’ve got a good balance of Stamina consumers and Magicka consumers. I’m solid as a tank, often soloing group content.

I’ve respec’ed once so far (33 skill points = 3300 gold) and dropped some of the starter abilities.

I’d write more, but I’d rather be playing… so I’m going to go play. 😛

[IRL] Game On!

I’m still around.

I often wondered if I’d blog as much if I were happier with various aspects of my life. Not to say bloggers are unhappy people, I just wondered if it was something I did because I was bored or lacking investment in what I was previously doing (or completely overwhelmed without sign of relief in sight).

I am definitely much happier lately. Less tired too. Still gaming, just not feeling as much of a need to talk about it as I did before (or time to do so). 

[WoW] WTB a Level 90

Blizzard is looking at offering a service to buy an option to bolster a single character to level 90. It’s a pretty decent deal, likely more expensive than buying a faction change or a server transfer alone, but cheaper than buying both.

One problem is that it could mean people run around with a level 90 they didn’t earn and don’t know how to play.

I’d argue, that is a recognized problem with WoW already. People that level to 90 typically solo and so they have no experience working in a group or raid.

What’s the difference?

[WoW] Making Thok More Melee Friendly

We’ve downed him in the last two weeks, but it’s a really frustrating fight for melee so here are some recommendations to make the fight more friendly to melee.

If you don’t know what the fight is, go look up a guide… jeez.

1. Instead of having Thok gain speed as the pursuit phase goes on, have his fixate slow or snare the target in an incremental manner. This means Thok’s speed does not increase so melee can keep up with him and it still keeps risk on the pursued subject. Yes, they can still use movement cooldowns to help. Again, the fixate gets incrementally more slowing so you still have to end the phase before it becomes unmanageable.

2. Increase the hit box for this mob. It’s not really all that large despite the size of the mob. Durumu had a bigger box *giggle* than Thok does and Thok is far larger. Yes, it encourages people to get closer to hit him… well, melee, range pretty much doesn’t care.

Note: Item 2 need not be done if you do item 1.

Melee happiness increased.