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Member Since 19 Aug 2009
Offline Last Active Sep 21 2013 03:39 PM

Topics I've Started

Interview: "What was your favorite part of working on the game?" | Under the Pa...

28 August 2012 - 08:58 PM

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I got the chance to ask ArenaNet what their favorite parts of being involved with GW2's development were, and got some great answers.


Colin Johanson, Lead Content Designer

My favorite part of the experience was the very first Gamescom, when we showed the game for the first time! Not knowing what the reaction would be like going into it and knowing how long the flight home would be if it didn’t go over well, I approached the weekend with equal parts nerves and excitement. Thankfully the weekend went amazing; our fans were incredible and so much fun to hang out with that weekend. The flight home turned out to be a time to reflect on a successful weekend and look ahead to PAX one week later where we’d get to show the game again. That weekend really set the tone for all of us at ArenaNet when we truly knew we were on to something, and it has been an awful lot of fun ever since!

The rest of the interview can be read here.

Opinions/help with possible upgrades (SSD and maybe a new GPU)

07 August 2012 - 03:57 PM

Okay, so I built my PC back in the spring, and while I'm damn pleased with it, I was on a very strict budget so I wasn't able to go all out with things. I don't particularly mind, as it's helped me develop a talent of finding good PC builds at low budgets, but now that I have a higher income I'm thinking of upgrading a few things over the next month or two.

This is my build:

CPU:  AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor  ($104.98 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler:  Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler  ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard:  MSI 870A-G46 ATX  AM3 Motherboard  ($69.98 @ NCIX US)
Memory:  Kingston 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory  ($42.99 @ Newegg)
Storage:  Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($77.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card:  EVGA GeForce GTX 460 1GB Video Card  ($149.99 @ NCIX US)
Case:  Thermaltake VL80001W2Z ATX Mid Tower Case  ($24.46 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply:  OCZ 600W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply  ($44.99 @ Microcenter)
Optical Drive:  Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer  ($17.99 @ Amazon)
Monitor:  AOC E2243FWK 21.5" Monitor  ($134.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System:  Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit)  ($90.73 @ Amazon)
Total: $779.08

A lot of the stuff I managed to get on sale at Microcenter (the RAM was only $30, for example, and the monitor $100), and the cooler was a recent addition because the heatwaves we've been having all summer were making my CPU run warmer than I liked when I was gaming. I bought the monitor because I had managed to come in significantly under budget when it came time to build - I had planned to spend $700, and came up around $600 all told, so I nabbed that as well. I love sales.

The video card was my real triumph, as I hadn't yet decided on what kind of card to go with - I was wanting the 6850 but having a hard time finding one under $140, and then they had the GTX460 on sale at Fry's for $110 as a single day deal. Damn straight I snapped that up.

So anyway, now I'm wondering if it might be worth changing a few things. The CPU I'm not going to change, because none of the available AMD options I think will really be worth it.

I've been told that an SSD would be a great help, if I don't have one already. I'm considering it. But that's one of the areas I don't know a whole lot about, and I'm wondering if it'd be really worth it? My load times are already quick enough, and I'm not the sort of person that absolutely has to be logging into Windows five seconds after hitting the power switch :P Still, were I to look into that sort of thing, what would be the best things to look for? What brands are reliable, and what size would you suggest? I'd prefer to stick to a $100-$130 price range there.

And, as far as the graphics card...mine is plenty powerful - I max GW2 at 1920x1080 with a smooth frame rate (was average 40fps during the stress test), but I also know it's an aging card. I to upgrade, what would some good options be? Are there even any good options that would be worthwhile in the sub $250 dollar range (preferably under $200 - $250 is stretching to the max)? I'm sure Sojar will come in and say "660!!!" ( :P ) but would there even be an appreciable performance increase there? Frankly, I don't want to buy a new card unless I'm going to see a good 30-40% performance increase, and I'm not convinced I'm going to get that in my price range, unless the 660/660Ti forces prices down quite a bit. Not to mention the fact that at some point my CPU's going to limit things (though GW2 is most of the gaming I do, and I don't care about maxing things in WvW).

Thanks for reading my novel, and thanks for any advice you guys can give!

Installing a new heatsink/fan

18 July 2012 - 04:48 PM

The recent heatwaves we've been having have been making my system run a bit warmer than usual, and so I've decided to go ahead and replace the fan I have on it (just the stock cooler that comes with the Phenom II X4 965). I bought the Hyper 212+, after making sure it should fit in my case (I've got a Thermaltake V3, and have seen people say that not only does it fit, but the case design means you don't have to remove the motherboard - double plus there! I'm lazy and screwing down the motherboard was my least favorite part of building).

I've also looked up how to install it, so my questions aren't really about how to mount it or anything like that.

What is the best way to clean off the old thermal paste that's on my CPU? I know that eventually it'll harden after a while, about how long does that take? My build is about three and a half months old (I built it beginning of April).

And in regards to that, is it best to remove the old fan and paste when the system is cold (like, first thing in the morning before I power it up) or should I do it when the system is warm and has been running for a while?

Also, what would be the best way to apply the new thermal paste? It was already on the stock fan, so I didn't have to do anything there.

Thanks for the help, guys :)

Verene sometimes does art!

09 July 2012 - 04:31 AM

I have a bunch of GW1 art littered around, and on occasion I do GW2 sketching as well. Most of my drawings are digital, however, tonight my tablet decided it was finally done with life and gave out entirely on me.


So I busted out my colored pencils and drew up this springtime sylvari because I had to draw something:

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Also, after the last BWE, boredom combined with jokes about outrunning centaurs led me to make this :P The little running foot I drew using a screencap of the speedboost icon as reference. 16x16 (about) icon for drawing something at 2400x2400 = fun times, yo.

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More of my art, GW-related (and non-GW, of course) is on my deviantart page ^^

Budget build that can run GW2

24 May 2012 - 03:37 PM

So, I am looking into building a desktop for my family - currently all my mom has in the way of a computer is a netbook...and obviously that's not good for much. It would primarily be for her and my younger siblings, who are both still school-aged, so nothing really high-end would be needed; for the most part it'd be used for stuff like going online, the kids working on stuff for school, etc.

However, the kids love Guild Wars. They like playing it on my computer, and both had a blast when I let them give GW2 a try during the stress test day. They both want to be able to play come release. So keeping that in mind, I came up with this as a base to work off of:

PCPartPicker part list

CPU:  AMD Athlon II X3 425 2.7GHz Triple-Core Processor  ($61.99 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler:  Cooler Master DK9-7E52A-0L-GP  CPU Cooler  ($9.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard:  ECS A885GM-A2 (V1.1) ATX  AM3 Motherboard  ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Memory:  Corsair XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory  ($21.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive:  Western Digital Scorpio Blue 250GB 2.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($46.81 @ Compuvest)
Video Card:  XFX Radeon HD 6570 1GB Video Card  ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Case:  Gigabyte GZ-F5HEB ATX Mid Tower Case  ($29.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply:  OCZ 550W ATX12V Power Supply  ($34.98 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive:  Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer  ($16.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Operating System:  Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit)  ($96.48 @ Amazon)
Total: $404.19

Nothing high-end, really. I'm not looking to have GW2 on anything higher than medium, and they don't really play any other PC games. We already have a monitor that, while being a bit old, still works fine (I used it for 6 years until I got my laptop); it'd be running at 1280x1024 screen resolution.

I'd also probably be paying for almost all of it, as my mom cannot afford a new computer, so I'm trying to stick to a strict budget ($500 tops including the OS, preferably staying around $400).

So, thoughts? Any parts that I might be better off swapping for something else? The HDD is the only thing on there that's likely to be wildly different as I'd probably see what I can pick up refurbed at MicroCenter - last time I was there they had 500gb at about that same price. Think this should be good for running GW2 on medium?

EDIT: Found this CPU on Microcenter for a damn sweet price: http://www.microcent...duct_id=0389133 Phenom II X3 B73. Not sure I can pass that up for $40, and that'd give me a bit more wiggleroom elsewhere.