Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Rogue Galaxy Post-Game Session 11

I know I said I wanted a balanced team for Insectron, but at the same time, I want to see how far I can get by just trying to overwhelm everything.  After much clearing of Ghost Ship Extreme that I didn't count as actual gameplay sessions, I assembled my team of 5 Dark Emperors and set forth.

As it turns out, Insectron is mostly similar to a turn-based strategy game.  Different insectors can move different amounts, and they have a special attack with its own, possibly different range.  Since it's turn-based and you can get stats on anything, even opponents' insectors, you can take your time if need be to plan out each insector's actions on your turn.  Also, when setting up your team before a match, you select a "king" insector, this one has limited movement, and if defeated ends the match.

Matches are basically a game of "advance towards the enemy, weaken their big damage dealers and other insectors that have special abilities you need to worry about, then kill the king".

With a team of 5 Dark Emperors, though, I pretty much steamrolled the first two levels of the tournament, being E rank and D rank.  Each tournament rank has five fights, but your insectors heal between fights, so it makes it really easy to just keep on going.  Also, if you want you can take a break between fights, and this lets you go elsewhere in the game, perhaps to catch another insector or feed your insectors to raise their stats and happiness.

After beating Insectron rank D, you unlock the Insectron mini-game on the main menu.  This is completely separate from the rest of the game and doesn't affect anything in-game, but you can load in teams from your memory card or from an excessively long 118-character case-sensitive alphanumeric password.  Also, when registering your team from your memory card, you can input a "victory code", which is basically a five-character string that anyone who inputs your team's password will see after they beat your team, as a "proof of victory" kind of thing.  In this mode, you can battle against the CPU, or against a second player, and if you're so inclined you can even load in two teams and let the CPU fight itself.  I inputted both passwords off of this page, and proceeded to stomp both teams with my Dark Emperors.  It's a shame that there doesn't appear to be a way to fight using a team you registered with a password, which means unless I catch a bunch of other insectors, I'll only ever get to use my Dark Emperors.

Anyway, at least until later ranks, it looks like Insectron will go by rather quickly.  I still plan to fully level up and stat max my Dark Emperors, but I want to get where the XP is good first.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

More Like, Main Screen Turn On

So, since I got a new phone, I've noticed something.

I get a lot better of a signal in my house.

Things are looking up.

Not quite sure why I get a much better signal on the same exact network I was on before, but hey, I'll take it.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Pop-Tarts Oatmeal Delights

I always scan the Pop-Tarts section in the store for new flavors, and these popped up.  I've tried both available flavors, Strawberry and Mapley Brown Sugar.  So, how do they fare?

Well, first off, for something called "Oatmeal Delights", there certainly aren't a lot of oats in it.  Whole Grain Oat Flour is the last ingredient before the "Contains 2% or less of" section, and Whole Grain Oats follow shortly thereafter.  The first ingredient is Whole Wheat Flour.  So, it doesn't look like they really tried.

The oatmeal part isn't the pastry itself, but a rather crumbly coating on its surface, along with the frosting.

On the Strawberry ones, the frosting was always falling off.  It seems to be stuck on better on the Maple Brown Sugar ones.  That one Strawberry box may have been an anomaly, but since I haven't gotten more, it's hard to tell.

Both have fairly decent flavor, and it's nice to see them using some whole grains, but it's kind of pointless since they aren't 100% whole grain.

Overall: as far as the Strawberry flavor goes, I'd have to say stick to regular strawberry.  The Maple Brown Sugar flavor actually works well with what little oats are actually present.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

BTTray.exe and Caps Lock/Num Lock/Scroll Lock Popups

So recently I installed the IOGEAR GBU521 USB bluetooth transceiver I got off of Newegg, which uses the Broadcom/WIDCOMM software.  Ever since, I've gotten a little popup whenever I press Caps Lock, Num Lock, or Scroll Lock, telling me whether it's now on or off.  It took me until a few minutes ago to investigate a fix for this, and being me, I'm here to post a howto with my results.

These are caused by the process that produces the bluetooth tray icon, BTTray.exe.  Killing the process in Task Manager makes the popups go away, and restarting it makes them come back.  You could disable it from the Startup folder of the Start Menu, but that gets rid of the tray icon.  "What if I want my tray icon and no popups?", you ask?

Be prepared for a little registry editing.  It's not too complex, but because we're editing the Windows Registry I'll put my standard warning here.

Warning: this process involves editing your Windows registry.  So long as you follow the instructions to the letter, there will not be any undesired changes to your system.  Don't just randomly change things without knowing what they do, and don't complain to me "your instructions don't work" if you didn't follow them to the letter, because I'll just laugh at you.  Also, don't follow these instructions if the above scenario isn't what's affecting you.

Now that that's out of the way...
  1. Press Windows + R to bring up the run dialog.
  2. Type regedit and press Enter.
  3. Expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, then SOFTWARE, then Widcomm, then BTConfig, then select General.
  4. Scroll down until you find the KeyIndication value.
  5. Double click it, and change it from one to zero.
  6. Now, open Windows Explorer and browse to C:\Program Files\WIDCOMM\Bluetooth Software.  On 64-bit systems, this might be C:\Program Files (x86)\WIDCOMM\Bluetooth Software instead.
  7. Open Task Manager, click the 'Image Name' column header to sort by process name, select BTTray.exe, and hit End Process.  Answer Yes at the "are you sure?" prompt.
  8. Now find BTTray.exe in the Windows Explorer window you opened and run it.
There.  You still get your tray icon, but no more popups.

Alternatively, instead of the first five steps, you can copy/paste this into Notepad and save as a .reg file (make sure you have that pesky "hide extensions for known file types" option turned off):
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Widcomm\BTConfig\General] "KeyIndication"=dword:00000000
After saving, double click the file and tell it you want to merge it into the registry.

The last three steps basically prevent you from having to log out/log back in or reboot your computer to apply the change.  If you'd rather do that instead, be my guest.

For what it's worth, there look to be a few other settings in that registry key that are useful but have no GUI method to change them.  They're outside the scope of this post, though.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


I won't bore anyone with specifics, but basically the idea I had in my non-ragequit-mode retrospect worked.  I had several attempts that failed for various reasons, and even after fixing what needed fixing I still had trouble.  Until I brought along experience scrolls.  The boosted experience gain helped my heroes work off their death penalty and it made all the difference.  I'd also brought a couple "reset buttons", or Powerstones of Courage, but I didn't need to use them.

There were two spots where I had trouble regardless of anything.  The wave with the Pefected Armor, and the wave with the Perfected Aegis.  The Perfected Armor, who is itself a Jade construct, brings along several Jade construct buddies as well as a group of White Mantle that includes a healer.  Perhaps the most annoying among them is the Jade Cloak, which is an elementalist that can really dish out a lot of damage if left unchecked.

The Perfected Aegis is a Jade Cloak boss.  Who brings five more Jade Cloaks with him.  In a wave that's entirely Jade constructs.  Yeah.  Overkill much, ArenaNet?

Once I made it to the last wave, I beat it no problem.  The hardest wave by far is most definitely the Perfected Aegis wave.

All Kryta zones reverted back to their original spawns, forfuckingfinally.

However, there's still a related quest line.  That also shows rather horrible design.  You're supposed to track down one of the Ebon Vanguard who went missing during the "omg everyone get to Lion's Arch NOW' quest, perhaps better known as the last part of Mustering A Response.  Except you're only given very vague hints on how or where to search for him.  Even once you manage to figure it out (I had to look it up...), the following mini-mission suffers from the same lack of direction.  Other than having an assassin NPC that you're assisting, you really don't know where you're headed.  You have an objective, but it's not marked on your map so you really have no clue where to go.

I want to complete this because you get a hero out of it and this would be the only hero my ranger doesn't have.  Even if I never use the hero I'd still like to have him available.

Re: previous post - Retrospect

First off, that post used a lot of terminology and didn't explain any of it.  I'd basically just ragequit the quest when I wrote it, and didn't feel like explaining anything.  The thing is, though, even though I could explain things here, it's really better to just look up all the terminology on any of the wikis related to GW1.  In order of my personal preference, they are guildwiki.org and wiki.guildwars.com.  You can also waste a lot of time browsing builds on gwpvx.com.

I'll try to explain stuff in this retrospect post a little better, since I'm not in ragequit mode currently.  I'm actually in "I only got 3 hours of sleep, why the fuck am I typing this instead of going to bed" mode currently.

The main subject of the previous post was my complete and utter failure at the final quest in the War In Kryta quest line, The Battle For Lion's Arch.  In this quest, you decide to open the gates of Lion's Arch and lure in the White Mantle (the bad guys!) so you can use the various chokepoints in the town to your advantage in completely erasing their existence.  To further this end, there are a metric fuckton of NPCs positioned in various useful places, and some barricades have been built specifically to funnel the enemies through the main chokepoint that you'll be fighting at.

My strategy was to take myself, as a ranger, with my usual Burning Poison build I'd used up until this point, alongside five heroes: a warrior, running a pure adrenaline build with the elite stance Battle Rage to fuel it, two fire elementalists loaded with area of effect spells, including Meteor and Meteor Shower, a necromancer minion master, to make use of the plethora of corpses this quest provides, and a lone healing monk.

That strategy failed in a number of ways.  First, my Burning Poison build, which revolves around the skills Apply Poison and Burning Arrow, to cause a lot of degen on enemies, only truly works well on fleshy enemies.  The enemy group composition gradually shifts to contain more and more of the Mursaat's Jade constructs, which, being constructs, are not fleshy, and therefore not subject to the Poison condition.  Also, for the high armor enemies where armor-ignoring sources of health reduction are more helpful, my only source of that was the Burning condition, which doesn't stack with itself.  So basically, I shot myself in the foot from the start.

Also, my minion master could be a lot better.  I had a traditional minion master, with Shambling Horrors (essentially have to be killed twice as the first time they're killed they turn into Jagged Horrors that inflict Bleeding on hit), and the Flesh Golem, of which you can only have one but it's super tanky and dishes out damage like crazy.  This build works, but relies on summoning minions one by one, which means if your minion master dies and loses all their minions they have to start over from scratch.  Game balance changes quite a long time ago changed the elite spell Aura of the Lich to basically summon an instant minion army given enough corpses, and this mission provides more than enough corpses for a single minion master.

So basically, I need more diversity in my damage.  Which has generally been my goal all along, after I realized that such team builds (generally referred to as "pressure" builds because they have more damage sources than an enemy healer can possibly be prepared to handle) completely wreck the AI.  In all honesty, I should get rid of the elementalists.  One should be replaced with a blood magic necromancer, using life stealing spells and health degeneration hexes.  The other should be replaced with an illusion mesmer, with various forms of direct damage, and an interrupt or two (most definitely Panic, which has been stapled to my mesmer hero's bar since I capped it).

In addition, I'll probably swap the adrenaline warrior for an energy warrior (utilizing the elite skill Warrior's Endurance to fuel the build, given the warrior's meager energy supply), so I can use the skill "I Will Avenge You!", which gives health regeneration and an attack speed boost for a duration that increases with each dead ally, of whom there will be a lot.  It only takes 5 dead allies to get 100% uptime with the skill, so basically I'll have an unstoppable powerhouse warrior once things really get started.

Then, there comes my build.  I want to stick with a bow build, so I can camp out on the hill with the ranger NPCs and plink away at things from a mile away with my flatbow, but all the builds I like depend on degen and conditions that only work on fleshy enemies.  The old "sniper" build I used to run would work, I guess, which basically just revolves around putting as many skills on my bar as possible that increase the nice juicy armor-ignoring bonus damage per shot.  Failing that, I can load up spirit spam (which, despite consisting solely of ritualist skills, I like more on a primary ranger) and have an instant decent support build.

I think my last "sniper" build I ran used the elite preparation Glass Arrows (which technically can deal a fleshy-only condition, but only against foes that are blocking), as well as Sloth Hunter's Shot (deals decent bonus damage, and deals even more bonus damage if you hit an enemy that's currently not using a skill) and a couple other high bonus damage skills, plus Favorable Winds to double my arrow speed (which also buffs the NPC rangers you get for the quest, and is a given because it's generally stapled to my skill bar).  I can afford to forgo my "fuck you, War In Kryta" button, aka the resurrection skill-preventing spirit Frozen Soil, because this seems to be the one part of War In Kryta that has a manageable amount of enemy resurrection capability.  I should probably also include Needling Shot, which deals a low amount of armor-ignoring damage, but recharges instantly if the target is under 50% health, just to help finish off high armor targets.  Using it with a Zealous bow to get energy back on every hit helps mitigate what little cost it has after my typical high amount of Expertise (which reduces the energy cost of ranger skills and a few other varieties of skills from other classes).

It would still really help to be able to have eight party members instead of just six (because despite necromancers and mesmers being more useful, elementalists are still useful, and an extra healer would help), but all these changes I'm conceptualizing here seem like they'll make the quest a bit more manageable.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go get that sleep I mentioned way up there.