Game of Thrones in Diablo III!

With Game of Thrones Season 6 out at pretty much the same time Diablo III Seasion VI is released, I have been following both of them.

That pretty much means that I have been reading up on lore for both the game and the series. So, it came as a pleasant surprise when I saw a reference to Gregory Clegane from Game of Thrones in Diablo.

Continue reading Game of Thrones in Diablo III!

Torchlight 2

I had started playing Torchlight back in 2010, when Blizzard was sitting mum about Diablo III. During those days, there was a huge gap in the RPG space … a gap that needed to be filled with different Diablo clones. A gap which was completely satisfied by Torchlight.

So with the impending delay in the release of Diablo III (as always with Blizzard and their releases), I was glad for the release of Torchlight 2.

Unlike it’s predecessor, Torchlight 2 is not only restricted to the city of Torchlight and the many dungeons underneath. It’s not your classic dungeon crawl, but instead it features an open world, where the adventurer can stumble upon other random dungeons for additional loot.

estherian enclave

Torchlight 2 takes off right where Torchlight stopped. The plot picks up from the pace and throws you, the adventurer right in the middle of the story. The Alchemist (supposedly one of the heroes from the earlier series), has been infected by the ember and is trying to end all sources of ember in order to stop his infection. Our job is to stop the Alchemist and his nefarious plans.

The good part about Torchlight 2 is that the game play which we all loved has been retained. The awesome part is that the classes have been streamlined into four different classes – the melee Berserker who relies on Dexterity as a main stat, the melee Engineer who relies on Strength as a main stat, the ranged Outlander who relies on Dexterity as a main stat and the ranged Embermage who relies on Focus as the main stat. I am using the term main stat only loosely here, since all the different stats have different uses for all 4 classes.

berserker critical

What I liked about the classes, is that all four have distinctly different game playing styles. The trees and skill differences are also so distinct that it sets each variation apart.

That apart, the game can be played solo, on a lan or on the internet. All you need is a login with Runic Games. I have not really tried my hand with multi-player on this one yet, since I always (ALWAYS) like to finish the game first on solo and then go for the different variations.

Believe me, right now I am having much more fun than grinding/farming the different Acts in Diablo III. That’s a huge plus!!

Dune references in Diablo3

Shaitan_BroodmotherI am a big fan of Blizzard, not only because the quality of their games completely sucks you in, but also since they manage to include a lot of popular culture within their games. For example, during Christmas, the whole of Azeroth would also celebrate it with the rest of the real world.

As I was farming Act II in Nightmare mode with my Demon Hunter, I was suddenly engulfed by a big rock worm, not only was it an elite boss, but it also had a lot of baby rockworm minions to accompany it. When I went back and looked closely at its name … it was Shaitan, The Broodmother … also known as the Great Maker!

Fans of the very popular Dune series, will easily link up the facts .. big ass worm + desert + great maker + shaitan … as a clear cut reference to the worms on Arrakis.

Dune references in Diablo3

On killing this elite, you get access to its random dungeon which spawns from where the worm appears. More loot and sadly no more references to dune. It would have been great if a dying fremen or two would have been there in that cave.

Undead Deckard Cain

I was playing D3 in Hell with my Barbarian, and just finished getting the third sword piece of El’durin. As I saw Deckard Cain die and I exited his cabin, I saw a strange figure huddling between Leah and the entry to the cabin.

It was Deckard Cain!! Very much alive! I have taken a screenshot of this bug –

Undead_Deckard_Cain

My Templar is confused on whether to kill this undead Cain or just be glad that he is back!

Asus Nvidia GeForce 550X TI

Yep. I just bought this monster of a graphics card.

Yes. Another navel gazing post, but I think it’s worth the trouble.

After I bought Diablo 3 and started playing the game, I noticed major lags with this game on my desktop. I was not able to diagnose the problem initially, and was relegated to my laptop. I cleared the Normal mode, but the graphics were a bit lost on the minimum requirements .. and something felt missing. I went back to diagnosing the problem and turns out that my video card was overheating for the past 3 months, causing the PCI Express bus to shutdown and thus stopping all PCI devices (including my wireless card!).

The main reason of this, was that the video card’s fan was gone. This was the point when I started delving in the world of gaming hardware … and I followed the white rabbit.

The way I came to this conclusion was by using a software called MSI Afterburner, a software which works with most graphics cards. What it does is that it provides you real-time information about the metrics of your card such as temperature, GPU usage, Fan Speed (of the Graphics card) and Fan RPM. What’s more, with the right hardware, it also allows you to change most of these values. So I tried overclocking the fan to run at full throttle, but to no avail, the fan just would not start!

Now, the hardware used in gaming is all about performance, about driving the hardware to higher and higher … to get that extra bit of richness for all your pixels. With performance, comes a host of problems – heat for instance, where do you transmit all that excess heat? Power wattage is another, the energy required to deliver this performance requires higher wattage. A normal desktop computer requires 115W of power, a gaming computer on the other hand can demand as high as 400+W of power … higher than that of a server!

Asus Nvidia GeForce 550X TI

So, when I purchased this card, I was suddenly in a flux … a new SMPS … a new cabinet perhaps? Where does this stop? Fortunately, I had a 400W SMPS, which meant that this card runs perfectly on my system. I fired up Diablo, and voila … the GPU usage hit 100%, temperature went from 40% to 80% … and stayed. Stable for the entire while.

Finally, a card which cools faster than it heats up! Added to the sheer beauty of each and every game … things are looking good!