Dude’s Chronicles 7-28-2016: What Have I Gotten Into?

goodideabadidea

Last week week I wrote a bit about he Dark Zone Report’s Gear Up weekend. (Reminder: it is this weekend.) Perhaps I should have thought things through a little it better when I volunteered to help out.

Without properly considering things, I will be streaming part of the festivities. What makes it a good idea? Well, I’m going to be partaking in the events anyway and I’ve been thinking about trying to get back into streaming. That’s about it.

What makes it a bad idea? I am woefully unprepared and Murphy’s Law is in full effect. I found that the capture device I had been using(over a year ago) was no longer working. No problem, get a new one. Takes me a bit to sort things out with the new device but all seems well and I just need to work out some audio levels. Then on Sunday I find that I cannot get any audio via my headphones which is a huge problem because not only is it how I hear the people I am playing with, it is also how I am capturing audio so that the stream will hear my teammates.

So begins my journey into the illest of fates…Microsoft tech support. They were all friendly and mostly helpful but the torture was taken out upon me over the course of the next five days. To fix the audio we had to do a reset on the console to get it to take a new version of the Preview Program Dashboard(do you see where this went wrong?) but it gets me audio. Great! Sort of…

The audio is fantastic to have back but now I am not getting any notifications. No friend or party requests, no in-game invites. Get back on with tech support and reset the console again. Yes, really? Fine. I test and get an game invite to work. Back in business, yeah? No, didn’t test the friend and party requests, oops. Get back with tech support again, this time the tech has me do the “power drain” procedure(never heard of it before, scroll to the bottom to read it) but it gets party requests working. Wait, no friend requests? Nope, next step is to disable Smart Glass connections. My Windows 10 pc had been getting all of the alerts and apparently that is a problem with the current preview build, although nobody directly said so. Reboot after disabling the connections and bang! Everything works, yeah! The tech wanted me to re-enable the Smart Glass connections but I declined. If everything works, I’m happy. Besides, I rarely if ever used the app at all.

Now imagine doing all of this over the course of five days, working with tech support via chat, testing and retesting equipment, getting strangers online to send you friend and party invites(big thanks to the Dark Zone Report community for that) all while I’m sick. Yep, I don’t know what or why but I’m running a fever and feeling like utter garbage throughout the entire process. Don’t forget that I committed to streaming this weekend and my stress level was only getting worse by the hour. Travel through the storm and we find, what we hope to be, calm waters and smooth sailing. Everything for the stream seems to be working, still going to do a few final checks. I’m feeling better but still not 100% but rest is on the order until Saturday.

Entertainment!

Given everything that has been going on, I haven’t had much time to watch anything. When I did have time, however, it was spent watching the Blu-Ray copies of The Big Lebowski and The Men Who Stare at Goats that I recently purchased. These are two of my favorite movies and I’ve seen them far too many times. Sadly, I will continue to watch them incessantly.

Games!

 

Yep, only played The Division. When the Xbox was working, I needed to be testing my streaming rig, so that was what I did. I am pleased to see that Massive patched the game to make the loot drops more worthwhile. The sheen quickly left the Underground but I think this change will get people back into it.

News!

  • No more Destiny on legacy consoles – Two years after its release, Bungie deployed its last patch to Destiny on the PS3 and Xbox 360. They have however done right by players offering free or cheap upgrades to the current generation of consoles thusly doing right by players. They will still deploy patches for bugs and such for a little while longer but no new content or events like Trial of Osiris and Iron Banner.
  • DAVE LANG STOLE ADAM BOYES FROM SONY!!! WTF!?!?!?

If you get a chance come watch me, or anybody else, stream during the Gear Up weekend. The event starts Friday July 29th and the stream will go up around 6pm Eastern(I think). I’ll be streaming Saturday July 30th starting at noon and stopping at 3pm. Then you’ll get to see some of the real stars of the site, the crew of the Checkpoint & Chill podcast.

Really??? You want to ready the Xbox One Power drain procedure? Well,,,ok then.

  1. Go into Settings, Disc & Blu-Ray, Persistent Storage, Clear Persistent Storage
  2. Go into Settings, Network, Network Settings, Go Offline
  3. Hold the power button for 5-10 seconds to shutdown the system
  4. Remove ALL cables(Kinect, controllers, network, power, etc.)
  5. Hold the power button for 5-10 seconds, release
  6. Wait 2-3 minutes
  7. Reconnect all cables
  8. Power the system on
  9. Go into Settings, Network, Network Settings, Go Online

Supposedly this clears “internal settings” but why did you have to read this? Do you really need to know this?

dudewantshisrug-profilePaul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Dude’s Chronicles 7-21-2016: Gear Up or Else

Another week goes by and I’ve done so very little.

Entertainment!

POWERS finished strong. So strong that it kind of pisses me off that I have to wait to see if they make season three. I don’t know if it is even confirmed yet. Other than that I bought The Big Lebowski on Blu-Ray and have watched it about 7-8 times in the last week.

Games!

My love of The Division proves that I hate myself. Patches make glitches so they patch the glitches to make new glitches they can patch. Lather, rinse, repeat. Grind for gear, get lousy drops, grind more, get more lousy drops. Run with crews from the Dark Zone Report, have a good time, run with more crews from the Dark Zone Report, have a good time.

Speaking of the Dark Zone Report, we’ll be having another Gear Up! weekend on July 29-31. Come join us if you are into the game, new to the game, or want to get into the game. Plenty of people of various skill levels will be there so don’t be shy if you have a low level character or bad skills. We’ll all help you out and get you geared up. Head here to sign up.

News!

  • Pokemon Go – Still proving people are idiots, not that we needed more proof. Apparently cemeteries and museums aren’t appropriate places to ‘catch them all’?
  • No Man’s Sky stole the Super-solider serum!  – Ok, so it is the ‘superformula’ that a company is accusing Hello Games of using without license. However, it is ‘funny’ that they aren’t blocking the game from releasing, rather they are waiting to see if they need to ‘have a talk’.

Not much else is happening. Wish I had something other than The Division to play but until No Man’s Sky release it is pretty dry for me. If you have any suggestions I would love to hear them, mind you platform is not an issue since I have PS4, XB1, and PC. Not to brag, just saying I am platform agnostic. Cheers.

dudewantshisrug-profilePaul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Dude’s Chronicles 7-14-2016: The Good, The Bad, The Nerf

nerfI’m going to be honest with you, this post is likely to be heavy on The Division and will likely include words of the obscene vocabulary. If neither of those things appeal to you I understand if you don’t continue reading.

Entertainment!

I watched a lot of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. For several seasons I have not watched this show but something got to me and I started watching it on Netflix. Having started with season seven i realized I had watched that entire season already but it was a good refresher. The good thing is that the show is still funny and the gang is still crazy. The bad thing is that they spend too much time doing the same gags and making fun of themselves for doing it. The fire that raged when this show originated has turned into an indistinguishable smolder. Sad.

Games!

Massive continues with its attempts to fix their game while enraging their player base. Hey Massive, stop fucking over your players! The G36 was a great gun and made it feel like I had a fighting chance in most situations. How did Massive handle this? Well, they made higher level enemies have so much health and armor that even with the G36 you could expend your entire ammo cache just to kill them. But that wasn’t enough. Massive then decided the G36 was just to damn good so they applied the nerf to it by lowering its base damage. That would have been fine but they even fucked that up and also took away a chunk of the weapons stability and accuracy to make the gun even less effective. So, thanks for turning my bowl of ice cream into a bowl of shit.

However, I keep playing and I have found that getting into a small community of fellow players has helped me to continue enjoying the game. The Dark Zone Report is a community of players that have gotten together for an LFG style cooperation. A few weeks ago, just before 1.3 launched, they had a Gear Up! weekend where they invited current members and the public to join up to help each other get better gear before the update dropped. They are also planning another Gear Up! weekend at the end of this month. Since I’ve been playing with this group, I haven’t really gotten better rewards(due to the RNG nature of the game) but I have enjoyed my time in the game and with them much better. I had been playing with match-made players in the game but it was so hit and miss it was frustrating. No teamwork and dropouts were ruining the game for me. Getting into a community of likeminded players has saved the game for me.

News!

  • Pokemon Go – I don’t care about Pokemon but it’s always good to see a positive for Nintendo. It is also funny to watch people walking around with their phones extended in front of them going up and down streets. They almost walk into each other and a few have almost walked into traffic. I live in a small town and if it is noticeable here it must be much more obvious in large cities.
  • Mini NES – More Nintendo? Yes! The NX is not completely revealed but in a surprise announcement Nintendo will be selling a mini NES later this year. For about $60 you can have a tiny NES with thirty games and a controller. Not sure if I will buy one but I really like the idea of having some of those classic games and $60 is a nice price.

Thanks for sticking around if you read this.

dudewantshisrug-profilePaul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Dude’s Chronicles 7-7-2016: Extended Absence?

sean_bean_stupidYou know what? Stupid doesn’t take a vacation…it just gets stronger. Coming back from the holiday, I had hopes that things would calm down at work but alas I was sadly wrong. O’well, guess my job is just like every other job

Entertainment!

There is…

  • POWERS – I still feel like this season isn’t as focus as the original. These latest two episodes were good but the plot lines are splintering instead of coming together.
  • Games Done Quick  – The guy speed running Catherine had my full attention. Having never played the game, I don’t completely appreciate it but what he was doing was impressive. He was control two players in the game, one with a Dual Shock controller and the other with a fight stick. His reasoning was that there are certain moves that he can perform quicker with two players and there is a game breaking bug in the last level that this helps him avoid. I stayed to watch a few other games and was equally impressed.

 Games!

  • The Division – Still enjoying the expansion. Of course I wish the drops were better and the NPC’s were easier to kill. Seems like they keep buffing the NPC’s since it takes a whole team just to kill one guy in the ch

News!

  • Red Dead Redemption gets backward compatibility – The best part of this for me is that people can stop talking about it. I have never played the game even though I own a copy for the PS3. I have nothing against it, I just don’t have any reason to play it.
  • CS:GO gambling – At first, I thought the idea of Valve getting sued for having illegal gambling in CS:GO seemed ridiculous. That was until I read about sites dedicated to just this thing. Then it only got stranger when it was revealed that one of these sites was being promoted by YouTubers without full disclosure that they owned it. Perhaps this was a more serious problem than I thought.

Let’s get back to the weekend and relaxing again.

dudewantshisrug-profilePaul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Dude’s Chronicles 6-30-2016: Into the Holiday

americanflag-1qe9980It’s been a brutally busy week going into a holiday that is going to be busy. This is going to be a short post, so let’s get to it.

Entertainment!

There is…

  • Independence Day: Resurgence – Words cannot begin to describe how bad this movie was. I went in to the lowest of expectations and it still underperformed.
  • Game of Thrones – The season finale hit strong and helped make up for the times I felt like the season was lagging. Looking forward to next season.

 Games!

  • The Division – So far the update is good. I haven’t tried the new Incursion but I am enjoying the Underground.

News!

  • Bioshock remasters – I would be excited about this if I liked these games. I’m glad other people are happy for this but I just never got into the first two games, although I did enjoy Infinite.
  • Batman remasters – The idea of remastering these games didn’t appeal to me to begin with but the fact that they delayed it indefinitely is not a good sign. Perhaps all the issues with Arkham Knight’s release has made them a tad more cautious.
  • Stolen artwork – Ford steals from Firewatch and Orion steals from Call of Duty. You mean not everything in a Google search is fair-use?

I hope you all enjoy the holiday. See you next week!

dudewantshisrug-profilePaul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Unemployment: It Sucks but You’ll Be OK

gb-e3-2016-jvWhile listening to Giant Bomb’s post-E3 coverage, they took a bit of a momentary break from the hilarity to address an issue that got me thinking about my own experiences. During their coverage of the last night of E3, Jeff Gerstmann and John Vignocchi started talking about unemployment. This came up because of Vignocchi is loosing his job at Disney Interactive Studios due to the studio’s closure by Disney.

Gertsmann spoke of his departure from GameSpot after the infamous Kane & Lynch episode. His tales of those days after being terminated sounded very familiar to me. Going home and drinking for a few days trying to figure out what just happened. Knowing that you need to move on but not knowing how. Along of this is the self-doubt and questioning of your own talent.

Like Gertsmann, I was once fired. It was a combination of me being a bad employee and the company being a bad employer. Not to give specifics, there were somethings that the company did at the time that I felt were a combination of questionable business practices and stupidity. What did me in was that I chose to handle them in an immature manner with my attitude of “I know everything, everybody else is wrong”.

Unfortunately, there is darkness before the light. The days of facing yourself and your failures are terrible and long. Searching for any job that you may be interested in can seem daunting at the least. The mental toil can be bad enough to cause physical or psychological issues. The hardest thing to do is to stay positive and focused but it is absolutely necessary. Make sure you take time to distract yourself once in a while, like watch a movie or read a book just to get your mind off of your issues. The people around you can be your greatest asset, so make sure you have a lot of support.

Proving that things do get better, I have done well after being fired and I think Gertsmann has done well. I’ve been at my current employer for well over ten years. It may not be the perfect or ideal job but it has been good for me. Giant Bomb has been a huge success, so much so that it was bought out by CBS, the same company that owns GameSpot.

The video games industry can be a volatile one and has potential to cause casualties at any time. Vignocchi and all his co-workers are unfortunate victims of this. If I could say anything to Vignocchi or anybody else facing unemployment, I would encourage them to believe in themselves and their talents. If you were qualified enough to be doing the job you had, there is another company that will value your skills. Just be patient. Also, take what just happened and learn as much as you can from it. I learned to grow up and be more level headed as well as how employees and employers should and should not treat each other.

Every time I see a studio or any branch of the industry close for any reason, I think about these things. My thoughts and best wishes go out to them with the hopes that they will land at some place even better and help create something wonderful.

dudewantshisrug-profile

Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Dude’s Chronicles 6-23-2016: The Quest for Sleep

Image via queretarotv.com

Image via queretarotv.com

This post is a little early since I’ll likely pass out soon after working a mix of day and midnight shifts. If anything seems more incoherent than normal that is why.

Entertainment!

There is…

  • Other People’s Money – You might be down with OPP but are you down with OPM? No, it is just a comedy starring Danny DeVito but it is pretty good.
  • Game of Thrones – I feel like this episode should have happened and episode or two earlier. Entertaining nonetheless.
  • The Usual Suspects – Still a good movie but now I see more flaws in it than I ever did.
  • Reservoir Dogs – My favorite Tarantino movie, even above Pulp Fiction.

 Games!

  • The Division – I’m not too enthusiastic about this game going into the 1.3 update. Not sure how much I’ll even play until then.

News!

  • No Man’s Sky is allowed to use the word ‘sky’ – After settling a three year legal battle, Hello Games can official use the word sky after an undisclosed settlement with Sky TV. I’m no legal expert but how can anyone own such a common term? What would the game have been called if they couldn’t use sky? No Man’s Area Between Earth and Space? No Man’s Place Between Heaven and Earth? No Man’s Place in the Clouds?

I’m going to go get some sleep.

dudewantshisrug-profilePaul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.