So as you know over the last several days I have been struggling with Dragon Age Inquisition. When I initially booted up the game the stuttering was so jarring that it would sound like a record skipping and freeze movement for a fraction of a section… just enough to bring you out of the game entirely mentally. Nvidia released and updated driver and this helped the stutter but it was still there, and still just as frustrating to try and play the game with. Since then I have tried what felt like every possible combination of settings, none of which removing the problem. That is except for one apparently. Last night I finally landed on the solution to the problem and the stutter is gone. For some reason my machine prefers to run games in windowed borderless, this has always been the answer to a performance boost. I thought I had tried this initially but apparently not… because the moment I shifted things into windowed borderless the hitching went completely away.
Now I feel like I can finally play the game in peace and actually experience it. Unfortunately last night I just was not in the mood for this sort of game and moved on to working on gearing my warrior in World of Warcraft. That said with the stutter gone the game is a much more enjoyable experience. There are times the game is absolutely beautiful to behold… I still feel like I need to spend some time tweaking the settings because I had fiddled with almost everything trying to get the game to function… and now I have a few strange choices picked here and there. The interface feels a bit cludgy for melee, so it is going to be one of the things that I have to get used to as I play the game. So far I am not a huge fan of my companions, and even Varrack a character I really enjoyed in Dragon Age 2 is getting on my nerves. I think maybe I just need to put this game aside and let the frustration from the back and forth with settings fade before I attempt to play it again.
Gearing for Heroics
Last night I had two goals… one of which fell by the wayside. I figured there was no real point in attempting the silver proving again until I actually had the gear level to matter. So as a result I crawled through the wowhead item listings and made an effort to complete every single quest in Nagrand that had even the slimmest chance of dropping something that would improve my ilevel. Additionally I poured the rare spawn and treasure drops to find anything that might give me a little boost. I also spent some time pouring over the auction house, which was as I would expect completely insanely overpriced for what was actually available. After hours of painstakingly trying to incrementally improve my gear score I was sitting at 609. One stinking point away from heroics.
My friend Damai asked me to do a weapon enchant for him, we ended up partied as he started pulling together a group to try and help Rylacus get some gear. A bit later I found myself tanking Skyreach since that had the lowest ilevel requirements, and the only one we were able to queue with Ry. It turns out there are two quartermasters in the Ashran Town Hall, each of which sell 615 trinkets, and both of which bumped me up just enough to get over the 610 heroic gear requirement. Running Skyreach however also allowed me to start my Legendary ring quest chain, rewarding me a 640 ilevel tanky ring that was almost twice as good as my previous best item. Now it is just down to me getting through my silver proving, so that I can be ready to tank heroics for the guild. I don’t have a lot of fear because I made it through seven of eight rounds last time, and it was really only because I got tunnel vision and stopped paying attention to my own health that I actually failed the first time. I have gotten quite a bit more gear since that point… so hopefully tonight I can knock that out first thing.
This morning the WoW Anniversary content officially began, but if I am remembering correctly… the actual launch date was November 23rd. I remember being frustrated that it was right before the Thanksgiving Holiday… which would mean I would be tied up with family and such. A decade ago I had so many houses to visit on thanksgiving that it lent itself to being a a crazy all day occasion. We would start early in the morning and travel throughout the day, and then repeating the process to a lesser extent on Saturday. Its funny how things change in a decade, because now we only have a single house to go to, as everything is happening around the noon meal. When I logged in this morning I had a Molten Corgi pet waiting on me in my mailbox. I find it odd how Corgis have become such a video gaming mascot. The game Rift has at least half a dozen different Corgi pets in game for example.
The primary reason why I have been pushing to gear up so quickly… is that this coming Tuesday we are planning to run the Molten Core LFR as a guild, or as close to “as a guild” as we can realistically get for a 40 man. The LFR itself will have an ilevel requirement of 615 and completing the event will reward you a helm appropriate for your main spec so for plate it would be something resembling this one. Completing the event also earns you a Core Hound mount, which looks really cool. Then there are a few items that have a chance of dropping like a doodad that embues any weapon with the Flames of Ragnaros effect… at least cosmetically. I guess with this expansion they have made it so you can transmog over enchantment effects, which is cool because some enchants look way better than others. Basically I want to be able to participate in all of the Reindeer games… and Damai was gracious enough to move it to Tuesday after telling him that Monday was the FFXIV raid night.
This is absolutely the hardest part of any blog post this month, is to come up with something new that I have not already talked about on the preceding 20 days. As we near the end of the month I am pretty much going to be grasping at straws here, but I feel committed to carry out the experiment. Since this morning I am talking about World of Warcraft, I want to say how happy I am to have the Gladiator’s Resolve talent. Essentially for those who do not know what it does… it replaces battle stance for protection warriors, giving them a brand new gladiator stance. When in that stance you lose the innate survival and threat generation benefits of defensive stance… but gain a 20% damage increase. Essentially this makes you sword and board dps, and from what I have seen in my own tests I deal a TON of damage.
This is essentially what I have wanted the entire time I have played MMOs… to be able to effectively dps while using a sword and shield. I like the iconic look of the sword and board warrior, and while two handers are cool… they never really fit my personal style. I used to get frustrated that games would always make shields being entirely about defense… when in real life shields have always been extremely effective weapons. Now that I have this option… I actually want to try pvp in Ashran. In the past warrior pvp for me at least felt impotent, because I couldn’t be the badass heavily armored tank that I was in the dungeons. This one talent I think changes that. I am still extremely sturdy, and still have access to all of my protection trickery… but this time around I can simply deal some damage with my shield as well as my sword. So this morning I am thankful for someone finally giving me this talent, it makes me extremely happy.