Why Youtube playback quality settings aren’t permanent!?

So, Google, why the hell aren’t video quality settings permanent per computer? If you store all the shit in cookies, how hard is it to store video quality setting for playback on each computer used? I want all videos be played in 1080p for desktop and 720p for Windows tablet and laptop. But there is no way to set this as a permanent setting. WHY!?

And with HTML5 which is now enforced in Firefox 37 or latest Chrome, it keeps on switching it down to stupid 360p. WHY!? Why can’t your dumb service remember something this simple? I even have it enabled in settings (the “I have fast connection” crap).

I used to have Youtube HD add-on which only works with Adobe Flash. And it worked flawlessly. But now I have to deal with this HTML5 rubbish crap.

And lets don’t forget it fucks up window size and position when switching between windowed and full screen and I have to watch that damn notification popup every single time. WHY!?

Only ok thing out of all this nonsense is that 60 fps videos now work in Firefox. Fix this shit Google. Now! It’s annoying as hell.

Mozilla Firefox 37 released!

Nothing really drastic on the outside, just lots of security features under the hood. But who cares, it’s a new versionm and newer is always better. :) Check the changelog for more info.

EDIT: Looks like HTML5 video is now a prefered video rendering method, at least on Youtube. Even though I have Adobe Flash installed, it’s using HTML5 mode. Youtube also says more HTML5 video standards are supported than with Firefox 36. So I guess this is one of the largest changes even though it’s not listed in changelog for some reason.

Changelog:
https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/37.0/releasenotes/

You can already grab Firefox 37 through their FTP:
ftp://ftp.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/37.0/win32/

Dungeon Keeper Gold visuals tricks for GOG version

It took me a while to give in, but I’ve finally bought Dungeon Keeper Gold on GOG after watching their Twitch stream. But it didn’t go all that well at first…

Better rendering methods

First of all, this is a DOS version, meaning it is a bit crippled graphically compared to Windows version from the start. First thing you have to do is to open Dungeon Keeper Gold (GOG) game folder and run “Dosbox Configurator” shortcut. When menu like this appears…

DKDosBoxConfig

…set the settings the same way as seen in the image. But of course, select the resolution of your monitor. Mine happens to be 1080p. Direct3D helps make things a lot smoother (though not fully hardware accelerated, just the rendering to the screen itself) and Scaling Engine set to “super2xsai” provides best scaling with decent sharpness and pixel blending. Sort of middle ground between grainy and blurry image.

High Resolution mode

Now, run the game and start to actually play a certain map. While playing, press Alt+R while playing the game. The screen will go blank for a second and game should switch to a higher quality mode, providing far better visual quality. This Alt+R switch is not documented anywhere and it’s not available within graphic settings which is weird, but that’s how it is. Unless your system isn’t capable of running it through Dosbox at such quality, I see no reason not to use this mode. Because it’s just better. This only has to be done once and it will remain in this mode until you again use the Alt+R switch.

Speeding things up

After using Alt+R switch, you may notice game being a bit laggy. Scrolling the map is weird and mouse movement is really sluggish. To compensate this, you need to adjust Dosbox number of cycles used to run the game. Clearly, default value isn’t enough, that’s why it becomes all sluggish and laggy.

While playing the game, press Ctrl+F12 to increase number of Dosbox cycles available to the game. Keep pressing it until game starts to feel nice and smooth. Granted, it will run slightly faster than it should on really fast systems, but at least you can enjoy it because mouse movement is then almost perfectly smooth. If you’ve gone too far, you can go backwards (slowing it down) by using Ctrl+F11 combo.

This one has to be adjusted every time you run the game, but it’s a really quick thing so it doesn’t bother me all that much.

You’re done! Now you can properly enjoy the game :)

Vuze Leap, when uTorrent just feels too fat

leap-hpI used to be a huge fan of uTorrent until “recently” when it became anything but micro. It’s a fat program now with silly installer, tons of features you don’t really need and it just started to annoy me with everything. I loved uTorrent because it was super tiny, low on resources and simple.

But like so many things in life, I had to ditch it and find a replacement. For a while I was just running Download Manager on my ASUS router. It’s as basic as it can get and it works.

But today I found something in between, something that feels like uTorrent felt in its early days. It’s called Vuze Leap. A lite version of Vuze Bittorrent P2P client. They stripped all the advanced features from it and literally left a very basic search engine, download panel and playback panel along with super basic settings that only allow to set download folder, transfer speeds and few other tiny features and that’s it. Sure it could have few extra thingies, but if I’m honest, there is no need for them, they’ll just bloat it as soon as they start adding stuff. I love it how basic it is and it should stay this way. Don’t ruin this one like they ruined uTorrent!

Short Game Review: Lichdom Battlemage

lichdom_battlemage

This game caught my attention because it focuses on one thing that I usually simply skipped in fantasy medieval RPG games. Magic and wizardry. If a game gives me option to choose between a mage and warrior, I’d most likely pick the warrior. I just like a more direct contact with enemies using swords, axes, bows and other cold weaponry. But we talked about it on one of the GOG Twitch streams and I said, what the hell, I’ll just give it a try and finally taste the magic side of RPG games. And so I did.

Visual and audio presentation is spectacular. Unsurprisingly, considering it’s running on CryEngine 3 engine. Worlds and levels are amazing with some really nice architectural designs. You can wield many types of magic, ranging from fire, ice, lightning, phase, necromancy etc and each comes in 3 basic shapes. Direct fast attack, slower indirect massive attack and block (out of which I basically never used Block). You can also combine them in order to turn battles in your favor by freezing or slowing down enemies and then striking them with powerful spells. In a nut shell, basics work pretty well and are easy to understand.

However, game becomes unnecessarily overcomplicated with the overwhelming amount of “construction” parts for the spells. Every spell has so many combinations it’s ridiculous and the documentation surrounding crafting is nearly non-existent. And when I wanted to check tutorials on Youtube, they were for some older versions of the game with different interface. It’s so confusing it took me like half the game to sort of grasp how the whole thing even works. Luckily game has a “Smart inventory” mode in which game automatically generates the best possible spells and upgrades with the components that you have. It means you’ll be stuck in the same spell form (homing fireball for example), but it’s easy and doesn’t require any knowledge. At least something, otherwise I’d stop playing this thing after half an hour…

But all in all, I think the main problem with this game are the repetitive enemies and just that annoying grinding. For hour or two of playing with spells it’s ok, but then it just becomes annoying grinding. Enter level segment, freeze enemy and strike it with damage spell. Repeat. It gets even worse when you get mini bosses that you have to freeze and strike with strongest spell like 15 times. Super crazy annoying. There is no real world manipulation either, you can’t affect enemies beyond direct attacks. Something I really loved in Dark Messiah of Might and Magic where half of kills could be done using environment (using kicking and swords, but still). You could actually be very creative with the kills. I wish there were spells where you could manipulate world objects, throw them around, drag them around, push enemies off the cliffs, into fire, onto spikes, stuff like that. Instead, you just keep on grinding with direct attacks and that’s all it is to it. After a while, I did manage to craft two spells on my own, a lobbed fireball that splits into 3 more on contact which was really devastating. And lightning that shocks more than 1 nearby enemy. But after a while, it all became the same routine grinding of same old enemies again…

And that’s really the main problem with this game. It simply lacks variety. It is constant from start to end. Even the story, after like 1/4 of the game I simply stopped giving a damn about Journals and those “memories”, I’ve only done them because they gave me spell components. It’s that uninteresting. Which is a shame. The game had tons of potential, fantastic game engine, but if gameplay is not good, this is what you end up with. A great concept with rather poor execution.

It has its moments, but that damn grinding aaaargh, I just can’t forgive it for that. I’m not gonna say that I absolutely hate it, but it could be so much more than what it is. Maybe in Lichdom Battlemage 2? I hope so, because the idea is kinda cool and it gave me interest in magic more than any other RPG game before. Luckily I got it at a decent discount price on GOG, because I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself paying a full price for this game. But for what I paid, it’s an ok game I guess. So, if you get it with any kind of discount, I can sort of recommend it, but be aware of the repetitive grinding that might get in the way…

Short Game Review: Among The Sleep

amongthesleep

This was one of the biggest gaming surprises of all times. Granted, it has its share of problems, but those things aside, it’s one of the most memorable things I’ve experienced. A game revolving around an infant protagonist with gameplay similar to Alien:Isolation, presented with Unreal Engine. Imagine Alien:Isolation where Amanda Ripley is replaced by an infant, alien by a creepy scary shadowy creature and the space station with a regular average family home. That’s what Among The Sleep is. And it was actually released BEFORE Alien:Isolation. Have guys behind Alien game got inspiration from Among The Sleep game? They look surprisingly similar in a way… Game looks and feels absolutely amazing. The attention to details is just mind-blowing. The house actually felt like a real thing. The sounds, noises, even the music background creates this amazing atmosphere. And the way how you can interact with environment and objects adds extra level of immersion. Not much is really happening, but that is really the most terrifying part. That lack of things happening makes it even more scary since you don’t know what will happen around the corner and trust me, things do happen. I’m just not gonna tell you when hihi, so be afraid, be very afraid the entire time XD.

The only real downside of this game is that it becomes a bit repetitive after a while and is a bit short for the price. Sure they gave us free DLC, but it’s still a very short game for which it’s a bit hard to justify the full price. But this unique scary experience from the perspective of an infant roaming through a scary empty house makes you want to support the developers. Just because they were bold and did something no one else even dared to think about, let alone actually make a game using that idea.

Do whatever you want, get it for full price or when there is a maximum discount, just make sure you check it out. I can assure you it will blow your mind in its own special way.  Very short, but sweet is how I’d describe it.

Twitter Blocking feature is dumb as brick

I’ve just noticed something utterly moronic about Blocking in Twitter. If someone blocks you, you cannot block them back, because you cannot access their profile anymore. What does this mean?

This means that if you for whatever reason don’t want the person who is blocking you to see your tweets anymore, you simply can’t do that (unless you initiate the block first). However, they can still see your tweets if they wants so. They just have to click a button “I still want to see the tweets” and voila, they can browse your timeline.

Now, I know you can simply logout and view someone’s timeline that way, but why not complicate their sorry lives if I can. But dumb Twitter doesn’t even give me that option. How dumb is that? Or am I missing something here? The way I tested it, Twitter behaves exactly like that. Googling around only yields stupid FAQ from Twitter which doesn’t explain why I can’t block that person back and make them unable to read my timeline at all.

Can someone enlighten me on this one if there is an undocumented workaround that I haven’t found yet?

EDIT:

Ok, haha XD Now, that was a massive self pwn. I don’t know how, but for some really weird reason, I was unable to find that gear button before, but 10 seconds after I’ve posted this blog post, there it was. Just one of those “how the F” moments I guess…