April 01, 2015, 02:47:35 PM *
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1  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Blackjack's new gaming rig on: Today at 04:11:48 AM
For information-sharing purpose:

As in the Micro Center photo, the dwarf motherboard in the honking case  icon_razz

The not terribly well-thought of PSU brand:

*While it could be the buzzy noise culprit, I just don't quite know how to test that.

As mentioned, I now don't believe the hard drives are the culprit(s), so I probably won't mess with 'em. I still am baffled by this drives cage -- I just don't see how you can remove it, tilt it, swivel it or whatever to access both sides of the drives.

*One case fan question I had -- are larger fans generally quieter? Although the G10 case clearly has a 120mm fan opening, it seems like they put an 80mm fan instead.
2  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Blackjack's new gaming rig on: March 31, 2015, 05:16:50 PM

Quote from: Lee on March 31, 2015, 04:22:01 AM

I am starting to think you are insane Blackjack. Tongue
No, no. It's just a tiny man inside my ear canal who buzzes when I turn the Asus PC on.  paranoid That's why when I stick my iPhone mic-first in I can't record any noise. Only my ears can pick up the tiny man inside my head 'tarded!

Just from past experience, I don't think foam lining on the case lid alone will do it (wrapping a thick gel seat cushion around the top and sides did nothing to muffle the noise). Given the mesh on the back part of the side panels, it just won't impact the noise.

Rationally, I think unplugging the case fan and doing a quick test power-on should reveal quickly if that's the buzz/whine culprit. I'd love for that to be the issue. I've replaced those before and it's just a few bucks. I wouldn't even have an issue replacing the power supply on this because the case is pretty roomy and easy to work in. But if I mess around too much with its innards I'm afraid that might make returning the system problematic if I choose to do that.

What's funny is that back in 2004, I bought a $2,000 PowerSpec from Micro Center but the overall system noise was horrific. Like a vacuum cleaner and hair dryer simultaneously horrific. I tried surrounding it with pillows, didn't help. Bought a sound foam insulation kit and stuck it all over, didn't help (only my mom's WD-40 suggestion enabled me to remove the adhesive when I ripped the foam out before returning the PC). I ate a $200 restocking fee to return it and went with a Compaq at another store, ended up being one of my favorite PCs 2004-2008.

I'll confess I'm baffled by the hard drive cage though. Every PC case I've had before, it was pretty clear how to get at hard drive slots. Some had nice side brackets with "squeeze to remove" features. Others might require loosening a screw or two to remove the entire HD bracket.

This one, when I got up close and examined it, I just couldn't figure it out. It seemed almost as if the whole HD cage is riveted in there, and I saw no lever or screws in a position to remove the whole bracket. I mean there has to be, right? If only for warranty servicing. I just don't know yet how it works. Maybe it's moot though. I think the HD and SSD are fine and don't think I need to mess with those.

If this doesn't work out (if I need to replace every part on the G10aj to make the noise bearable, it defeats the purpose of getting it), well, hell, maybe it'll finally be "build your own damn quiet PC" time afterall. Or buying some liquid cooled, no-fans type system. icon_smile But given the G10aj's performance is so awesome, I want to try to make it work, within reason. I have until I guess next Saturday (April 11) -- that's the last day I can return it to Micro Center for a full refund.

My 2nd choice there was a Dell XPS 8700. That had a lesser video card (AMD R9 270), but more RAM (24GBB) and a larger SSD (256GB). Commenters online said it's a quiet machine but eh, who knows?
3  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Blackjack's new gaming rig on: March 31, 2015, 01:22:15 AM
OK, you guys are gonna laugh. After popping the lid off, listening closely and doing some ear and sound insulation tests (this thick folding gel seat cushion I don't use much), I don't think it's the hard drive afterall. Once the lid's off, I put my ear up to the hard drive and SSD and there's nothing.

But I still hear the annoying buzz from SOMEthing.

I'm pretty sure the culprit is either the 80 mm case fan, the CPU fan or the power supply. I don't think it's the GTX video card. But I'm just damned if I can pinpoint it. Or maybe it's some combination. I'm kind of at a lost as to how to pinpoint it without doing something dangerous (disabling the CPU fan for example).

I guess I could disable the case fan easily enough (plug on the "baby" motherboard).

A little belated searching suggested I wasn't the only one:
[from a guy selling his used one]
ASUS G10AJ-US010S Desktop I like the performance and look, it is a new lil noisy nevertheless it has the better capacity fans, my only negative might be the fans have a high pinch whine and that can become irritating.
4  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Helldivers: "Come on you apes! You wanna live forever?" on: March 30, 2015, 08:45:28 PM
Helldivers got some Penny Arcade comic and blog post love:

What Lies Beneath comic strip
*While amusing, I think a funnier comic could be made out of the tendency of reinforcement and stratagem drop pods crushing Helldivers left and right.  icon_razz

Tycho: What Lies Beneath (blog post)

For my part, I'm not too pleased with how the over arching campaign and event stuff works and have not played as much the last few days. Dev reps poke in here and there at PS forums to say they're taking notes about all the feedback so we'll see what future updates bring.
5  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: HOTAS Flightstick/Throttle Reccomendations on: March 30, 2015, 08:31:13 PM
While I gave up on flight sticks ages ago (I think a Logitech Extreme is mothballed in my closet somewhere, that was my last purchase) I do swear by the durability of CH flight sticks in the day. I have fond memories of playing stuff like Dynamix' WWII combat flight sims and various Star Wars games in the 1990s.

I could never quite in my mind justify the prices on Thrustmaster's various offerings but I always enjoyed reading about them.  icon_smile
6  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Blackjack's new gaming rig on: March 30, 2015, 06:35:13 PM
And while my ears obsess about (I think) the Toshiba non-SSD drive's hard drive vibration, I must reiterate that the system performs spectacularly and quietly (while remaining cool afik) in Shadows of Mordor, Ryse of Rome and Divinity: Original Sin, all of which auto-set to the highest graphics settings available. D:OS sets to "Beautiful" graphics setting, which I found amusing.  Fabulous Fast loading times, fast frame rates, no weird crashes and vertical line crash antics, as my HP with AMD 5600 was doing.

That's what I wanted. I'm fairly confident I won't return it just because hard drive vibration seems to be bothering me a bit. I just feel like I need to resolve that a bit before I can put my upgrade screwdrivers away.  icon_smile
7  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Blackjack's new gaming rig on: March 30, 2015, 06:08:05 PM
Thanks. I trust that the Kingston SSD isn't the noise culprit.

While I'm not sure rubber grommet screws would do the trick (per Engine No 9's suggestion), they do tout deadening vibration. So maybe it's worth a try. I read in the review comments thread on one of these type screw kits that Dell for example uses rubber grommets on its hard drive screws but certain other PC makers don't.

Micro Center has a brand called Lamptron:

Another brand called Silenx:

I agree it's an odd MB choice but given Asus's middle name is motherboards, I assume it had a reason. Whether it was a good one I can't say.  icon_smile Maybe it was a mistake and the design team didn't have the heart to correct it?  retard

If nothing else, it's a very clean interior. My HP was a mini ATX with a MB taking up the whole side but it was a horrible spaghetti mess. I had tackled a power supply replacement on my previous Compaq w/o much fuss. On the HP, I just didn't feel confident I could do it because everything was crammed in so tightly, it was difficult to figure out the cables, and I just didn't enjoy working inside its case at all.

I think I broke a tiny wire reinserting/removing video cards a while back. Couldn't really even figure out what the wire did. Probably something important.  icon_razz

If I replace the SATA hard drive, I might go with this Hitachi (now branded HGST as a "Western Digital business"):,200_RPM_SATA_III_60Gb-s_35_Internal_Hard_Drive_HDS724040ALE640
*Seems touted as quiet acoustics with Coolspin technology, and seems to have a good reputation and long full parts/labor warranty (3 years).

Though if alleviating my hypersensitive ears with a few rubber-grommet screws worked, I reckon I owe it to myself to try.  icon_smile And the grommet screws would always be useful for a new drive too. I'm thinking out loud.

Last weird thing is the G10 has a tiny sticker on the lid seal. Something to the effect of don't open the case before reading the manual or something. I really can't even read the full text, it's so tiny. I might need a magnifying glass.  icon_smile

I assume it's not saying opening it would void the warranty (would seem ridiculous, provided I don't alter what's inside).

Thanks for all input, I like commiserating and not feeling "alone" on pondering hardware issues.  icon_smile
8  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Blackjack's new gaming rig on: March 30, 2015, 01:45:11 PM
fwiw, here's the case interior (pic from Micro Center product page). And yes it does appear to use a Shuttle PC-size motherboard in a full-size case. That does at least keep the case interior neat and tidy and seems to improve air flow. The left side has open mesh towards back presumably to let the CPU fan blow heat out that way. The video card like many of these double deckers has its own heat exhaust port out the back.

Not crazy about the RAM chips being adjacent to the CPU, but it was similar on my HP. This machine seems to run noticeably cooler (as it's marked to do). Dunno about the slanted design -- presumably it's supposed to help use gravity to ease heat out the back, and maybe help keep dust out.

 *So when I yak about noise, it seems to be from the hard drive mount area up front, high. The SSD is in the lower rack, the HD two above it. Seems to be an open slot between the two.

As I mentioned, it's not the case for folks who want to add lots of drives and cards. It is what it is, and it's a tremendous performer in games. But if I wanted to go crazy with drives and have dual video cards, I would have of course skipped this.  icon_smile
9  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Blackjack's new gaming rig on: March 30, 2015, 01:31:03 PM
This other link at SilentPC review was interesting. It listed sound recording links for various hard drives tested:

*I think the recordings are meant to give you a glimpse of the drive's idle sound, and then seek. Though most of the time you don't have a microphone hooked up to them  icon_smile

They warn that the Seagate hybrid drive will "produce a racket" if hard-mounted, so I suspect maybe it's the traditional hard mount that's culprit in my case.
10  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Blackjack's new gaming rig on: March 30, 2015, 12:34:52 PM
As i blathered, I hear virtually NO noise from the power supply, lone 80 mm cooling fan, CPU or video card fan when I put my ear up against them (well, where they are inside the case). You really can only hear the 970 GTX card if you manually boost the fan speed up to obnoxious levels. Then it just sounds like a vacuum cleaner. icon_razz

When I put my ear up against where the hard drive is, that's clearly where the noise is coming from. It's obnoxious if you put your ear up against the case there. Maybe hum was the wrong word. More of a low frequency buzz which now I think is hard drive vibration transmitting to the metal case. I tried pressing my iPhone mic up against it but it's really barely discernible recorded.

Newegg lists the exact hard drive the G10 has:

TOSHIBA DT01ACA200 2TB 64MB Cache SATA 3 (6.0 Gb/S) 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive

*While I don't see much noise complaint (in fact, a couple said it's quiet; another said it was loud - that's the Internet for ya!), it's pretty clear it's a cheapo drive that a lot of people have reliability complaints about. Soooo.... maybe that's why the G10's relatively cheap.  icon_redface

Silent PC Review had this useful roundup from last year. Maybe I'll see if something there would make sense as a replacement:

Silent PC's Recommended Hard Drives (Oct. 4, 2014)
*While it's dated 2014, the hard drives date back to 2010 and 2008 in some cases. So I don't know how useful it is for shopping purposes.

Also of interest:
The noise of a disc drive mounted in a case comes in two forms:

    Airborne acoustics is what all drive manufacturers currently specify as the HDD noise. It is the sound that comes from the drive through the air to the observer. This value is measured with the drive suspended in space by wires.
    Structure-borne acoustics induced by the drive's vibration during idle and seek is not quantified by HDD makers. This vibrational energy is transmitted to the PC chassis and causes the chassis to act much like a sounding board.

There are also two main types of noise:

    Idle noise - typically a smooth hum or whoosh, caused by the spinning motor and its bearings. Non-FDB drives often exhibit a high pitched whine.
    Seek noise - a rough, intermittent "clacking" or rapid "chugging" noise caused by head actuator movement during seek, read and write.
I don't think I hear any Seek Noise from the Toshiba HD, seems to be strictly idle noise, maybe exacerbated by the "structure-borne acoustics."

Can't find much on the precise SSD model. This post at Tom's Hardware Guide by a Kingston rep suggests the model is made specifically for Asus to put in their systems (thus isn't officially available for individual sale):

I'm intrigued by Seagate's hybrid drives (which integrate an SSD into the HD more as a sort of performance cache). But who knows what their noise level's like.

Quietest overall on that SilentPCReview list seemed to be an older Hitachi Desktar model. Then a Seagate 2014 model seemed to have the lowest vibration but a higher idle noise level.
11  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Blackjack's new gaming rig on: March 29, 2015, 10:31:28 PM

Quote from: Lee on March 29, 2015, 10:24:17 PM

In my experience, SSDs are completely silent, no noise at all. On my Falcon I can sort of hear the HDD, but the fans are loud enough to drown out most of the noise. Never hear the HDD or SSD on my iMac, both are completely quiet.

A hum though, wouldn't that be a power thing?
When I plant my ear against the case, the Delta power supply makes no obtrusive noise to speak of. When it's directly adjacent to the hard drives, it's pretty bad though I don't hear it so much away from it.

I guess that's the thing though. This is extremely quiet on the fan side so one lousy 7200 RPM drive is just enough to be slightly annoying.  icon_smile While I think I can just learn to get used to it, I do have until Friday a couple weeks from now to return it. I don't see doing that but might investigate ways to soften the drive's sound a bit.

I do have a microphone I never use. Maybe I can use it to record what I hear, up-close, and it might help in getting others to understand what I'm hearing. I'm sure it wouldn't register much on a decibel meter at all. I'm just weird that way.
12  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Blackjack's new gaming rig on: March 29, 2015, 09:53:56 PM
OK, all's not perfect in new PC land. Well, it IS perfect in terms of game performance in system-ball-breakers at all the highest video settings. I'd put this $1,500 system up against any $4,000 boutique PC out there, at least at the 1920X1080 rez max that my 2011 Samsung LED monitor is capable of. I mean, good grief, Divinity: Original Sin now even loads levels so fast, I don't have to go take a nap waiting for the loading meter to finish. Maybe Wasteland 2 will be the real test on loading screens (if not graphics, at least not until the ballyhooed Unity 5.0 upgrade). icon_smile

Everything I play now comes up with graphics settings like this. Old news to any cutting edge PC gamer, new news to a PC luddite like me.  icon_razz

-After about an hour of glee in Ryse of Rome, I got the motion sickness that while is usually been an FPS-only problem has spread in recent years to 3rd person shooter/actioners. This time it was really, really bad, and even now about 28 hours later, I'm not feeling entirely well. So I guess if I thought a high performance PC was going to solve my gaming motion sickness woes, I thought wrong.  icon_frown Not really a knock on the Asus PC though.

Even so, Ryse of Rome nows looks like.... KAPOW!


*I have more graphic screenshots, not sure how we feel about sharing game de-limbing, and game decapitation shots here.  paranoid

**For whatever reason, when you're fighting alongside your father and eventually some spirit thing tells you to go one direction. BOOM, motion sickness just came out of nowhere, and I made the mistake of continuing to play for a while. I find if I quit the moment I feel anything, then it just passes. But if I continue playing, then it's really debilitating and takes a loong time to shake.

I hate it because I have to skip so many games I would otherwise play, mostly FPS but some 3rd person. And I can't understand it. I could play Mass Effect 3 in co-op or SP for hours and hours, no motion sickness. 3rd person stuff like Spec Ops: The Line, Red Faction Guerilla, Just Cause 2, on and on, give me horrific motion sickness. I hate my brain.  icon_frown I digress.

-While the power supply fan, lone 80mm rear case fan and CPU fan appear to be all but silent, the system does have a steady, annoying hum. I put my ear up against the case side in a few locations, and I'm pretty sure it's the hard drive and/or SSD.  Aren't SSDs supposed to be essentially silent? Or am I confusing them what's presumably flash memory in my iOS devices?

I wouldn't really call this hum "loud," but it's certainly annoying. Now whether it's annoying enough to warrant returning the PC, or maybe researching HDs and SSDs to get brands marketed as truly silent/quiet, I don't know yet. If I thought it was just the disc whirring sound exacerbated by the mounting frames or something, I guess I could try screws with rubber washers on then or some hard drive "noise reduction mounting cage" or something.

If I'm gonna replace them, I figure I might as well do that before installing a lot more stuff on the drives. And of course if I replace stuff it'll probably void the 1-year warranty but I've generally gone crazy with parts replacements pretty quickly on new PCs before.

*Hmm, after doing some HD research, I'm thinking this might be the first time I've used a 7200 RPM hard drive (I believe the 2008 HP PC I had used a pair of 5400 RPM Seagate hard drives. To be honest, they trashed constantly for years no matter how I set Windows' cache, and only my more recent upgrade from 4GB to 8GB of system RAM ever calmed that down. I never noticed much noise from them beyond that thrashing.

So it's possible maybe that's why my ears just aren't used to the sound of a faster 7200 RPM drive?
13  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Blackjack's new gaming rig on: March 28, 2015, 12:40:38 PM
That's fine. I didn't really feel like over-thinking it or getting 10 different opinions (per every thread here where someone seeks help in picking out a new system). I think I would've just froze and never got anything at all. That's probably why I waited 7 years.  icon_smile

The G10's quiet and fast (really no more sound running games then web browsing), and Shadows of Mordor ran like a dream (my first gaming test on it) with every graphics settings set to "Ultra" and all the bells turned on -- I guess the game auto-sets that with the GTX 970 in place.  icon_smile Gonna try Ryse of Rome this morning - that wouldn't even run At All on my old system. Probably Metro 2033 (an unplayable slideshow on my old system) will be next test.

Who knows? Maybe I got motion sickness in FPSs and some third-person games because the frame rates were so bad. Eh, probably being too hopeful there, but maybe?  icon_smile

fwiw, the 2TB HD is Toshiba brand, and the SSD is by Kingston.

I guess I find Windows 8.1 OK but understanding the weirdo UI names ("charms") and figuring out where to do a search for "dxdiag" etc. is a bit baffling at times.
14  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Blackjack's new gaming rig on: March 28, 2015, 02:57:44 AM
*The hulking chocolate brown monolith appears, as if from the Heavens!*
*Blackjack falls to his knees and cries. Is it a gift from God? Or Stanley Kubrick?*
*Or just a sign he needs something more exciting to do on Friday night?*

*Now I'm dying here  icon_razz waiting for my stupid 2.0 external backup drive to finish backing up photos and some other stuff before finally sending my hellspawn 2008-era HP back to the grave from whence it came...  icon_smile

Anyway, didn't see myself getting an ASUS PC. I may regret it but read a lot of love for this particular model, here and there.  icon_smile It purports to be quiet too, we'll see with my hypersensitive hearing if that's really the case.  smirk
15  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Blackjack's new gaming rig on: March 28, 2015, 02:53:50 AM
*Blackjack is terrified*
*he grunts some more*
Is it Evil Magic?
No, it's a label on the side of something...

Good grief! It almost sounds. OK.... Which he's maybe never had in 23 years of PC gaming.

*he gasps in unintelligible disbelief*
16  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Re: Blackjack's new gaming rig on: March 28, 2015, 02:50:56 AM
*Cue theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey*

*Blackjack dons ape suit*
*Bangs at his 2008-era HPC with a femur bone to no avail*
*mutters and grumbles unintelligibly*

But then...
On the horizon...

No, it's not CeeKay.

On the horizon...
A BOX appears!

17  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Blackjack's new gaming rig on: March 27, 2015, 10:43:19 PM
So I finally bought something at Micro Center that could be called a Gaming Rig. I may not even need to replace the video card next week.  icon_smile

Picking it up shortly. I may want to play some of my ball-breaker games on Steam (Shadows of Mordor, Ryse: Son of Rome) first before I share info with youz guys. I don't to share confidently about something that could be a cow.  icon_smile

It's not a brand I ever imagined buying until I did a little research last few days.  icon_smile

My HP quad core from 2008 has lasted all this time but I've had two Radeon HD5600 cards either fan-crap out or start constantly crashing in recent years. I put back in a fan-sputtering 4670 just to get by the last few days but decided I've had enough. icon_razz Probably not AMD's fault (maybe my HP case being relatively small and poorly ventilated was just ruining the cards over time), but I'm officially defecting to NVIDIA Geforce.

I thought about building my own, and I canvassed high end places like Falcon Northwest and Puget Computing. It just seemed consistently whatever I customized was more than I'm comfortable throwing at them. I'm not Joe FPS gamer after all. I felt comfortable spending maybe in the $1,500 range for something pre-built and marketed as quiet, and still with the right CPU, GPU, memory amount and hard drive capacity to handle my gaming needs for a while, and this at least seemed to fit the bill.
18  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Helldivers: "Come on you apes! You wanna live forever?" on: March 25, 2015, 10:01:27 PM
Still having a blast but the meta campaign world game is not really to everyone's taste. Mainly because Bugs are clearly the favorite of the three factions to fight. Yet the reward for "taking the battle to the Bug home planet and defeating them" is technically removing the Bugs from the game altogether  saywhat until players can eliminate both the Cyborg and Illuminate factions (i.e., take the battle to Their home planet), win the war and as I understand it then reset the overall game so that all 3 factions are available to fight against again.

I'm sure this all sounded great to Arrowhead on paper but I'm not sure removing an entire alien faction or two from gameplay availability (for however many days or weeks) is a wise idea. It's causing a lot of seething at the official forums.  paranoid

Anyway, fwiw, now we're "taking the battle to the Cyborg home planet" but it looks players just aren't enthusiastic enough about fighting that faction, so we don't yet really have the sheer numbers to progress in it much. Not sure if the "meter progress" is malfunctioning as it was with the bugs.

My Helldiver's at L19.
19  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Helldivers: "Come on you apes! You wanna live forever?" on: March 23, 2015, 06:09:12 PM
Update on buggy bug invasion meter....
What happened in the Bugs’ homeworld event?
Over the weekend you are all aware there was a bug invasion with a lot of funky stuff happening. To clarify some things for you all here is what happened:
Apparently two simultaneous bug attacks started. The majority of players contributed to the first attack, which was tweaked to accommodate a larger amount of players than there actually were (which is completely our fault). Subsequently, we lost and didn't receive trophies.
The second bug attack then occurred and was tweaked based on the previous outcome of the event. In this case, because we lost so spectacularly, we were able to then immediately win [BJ:  confused  saywhat]. A small amount of Helldivers contributed in this "successful" campaign and as a result, acquired their trophies.
We apologise - we haven't had the chance to test the events out with this amount of players before, but now we have a better idea. We're looking into it to stop it from happening again and the next event should work even better (it can't not, right?!).
Unfortunately we can't gift players trophies - if we could we would! To get your trophies you will need to take part in the next event. Hopefully you will all receive them then!
The 2nd underlined explanation blew my mind. I don't know what he's saying.  icon_razz

I would care if it was some one-time event that won't happen again, but given these will be happening regularly, I'll hope to catch up on it next time.
20  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Helldivers: "Come on you apes! You wanna live forever?" on: March 21, 2015, 04:18:46 PM
Finished a #12 difficulty level Helldivers-Difficulty (toughest in the game) with a full group last night. It was INSANE. I'm not sure how much I contributed beyond deaths and picking off the few non mega-armored, mega-tanky-turtle-bug thingies. We finished about 3:20 a.m. EST.

I'm sure other players were PS4 and I wish I knew if any might've shared video on YouTube of our session. We were all chatting about there's no way in hell we're going to pull this off (we were all in the L16-20 character range I think). We had to keep moving, and a couple players were constantly dropping "air dropped bombs" stratagems to cover our retreats.

Since I don't have footage to share, you can view this helldiver-difficulty session video on YouTube to get an idea. Although this one's a City Defense mission instead of a Bug Hunt:

Helldivers™ Helldiver Difficulty-12 (i.e., 12th difficulty level) 2 Stars (completion rating for team)

The "Bug Event" seems to be broken and the meter to indicate community progress isn't working/moving. So everybody's basically treating it like a "Double XP Bug Fest Weekend," as you might see in an mmorpg.

My Helldiver's L18 now. I wish I played as well as that # would indicate.  smirk

I'm a big fan of the Justice (sorry, not the early Liberty) assault rifle, which seems to unlock around L18:
--Upgrades: Bayonet, recoil absorber [steadier aim in full auto], extended magazine [i.e., don't have to change magazines as often], armor-piercing ammo[/size][/quote]It has tremendous range. I find it fun to use it both as a semi-auto rifle (fun to tap the Vita's right trigger); or full auto when needed. While the armor-piercing is nice, I still can't take down some of the later difficulty level uber-armored behemoths. Stuff like the Rail Gun, various rocket launcher types or the stratagems that call in air, artillery or orbital strikes still handy for those.

Some of the chaos when you're in a group that has nothing that can take those out is either hilarious or will prompt you to rage-quit, depending on your state of mind.  icon_smile
21  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Helldivers: "Come on you apes! You wanna live forever?" on: March 20, 2015, 05:47:33 PM
Game Director's such a tease on Twitter...  icon_razz
hopefully the game we play around Christmas this year will be twice as big. With the community's seal of approval smile
Not sure what that means. Maybe they're going to add an entire separate galaxy with three new alien factions to give "a cup of liberty!"  icon_cool

One of the friendly folks from a session other evening (GeekyJedi something) and did PSN voice chat and tried to figure out a way to join each other's game or join the same game (He's on PS4, me on Vita). Nothing worked. We did a couple times "see" the same game host on our list, and tried to see if we could both join that.

But right now the game is essentially "blind" when it comes to a PS4 player seeing a Vita-playing friend's game, and vice versa. It's like, you can stumble into each other in the same game by accident, but you can't purposely join each other's specific game, you just won't see it (at least in our experience). It's like two people playing "pin the tail on the donkey" simultaneously.  icon_razz Sony needs to help them find a way to remove the blindfolds, so to speak, imho.

Doesn't at all prevent me from having fun, it's just kinda sad to really enjoy playing with certain people and right now just not being able to reconnect in Helldivers. Hopefully Arrowhead and Sony can sort that out eventually. Though I guess if it's some sort of hardware limitation in terms of their different console platforms interacting with each other, there'll be no easy resolution.

Well, other than me finally getting that 55" flatscreen I've dreamed out, and a PS4 set up.  icon_smile
22  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Helldivers: "Come on you apes! You wanna live forever?" on: March 20, 2015, 04:14:05 PM
Open Letter to Our Players (official PS forums)
Quote from: Arrowhead CEO/Game Director Johan Pilestedt
As Game Director and CEO of Arrowhead, I personally want to address the Helldivers community.

There’s so much great stuff to be said, I would need to write a novel to cover it all. But for now let’s skip all the happy bits and address some of the recent concerns we’ve received.

When we chose to create Helldivers for the PlayStation platforms, I wanted players to be able to enjoy their content no matter which platform they played on, be it at home, on the go or on a friend’s system. Therefore we chose to use entitlements for your PSN account to handle DLC purchases.

In hindsight we didn’t fully understand the behaviour and expectations of the average PlayStation user and I do sympathize with everyone who bought the packs and found out that their secondary accounts could not access the DLC. I have tasked the programmers and designers to investigate ways which would help mitigate this issue to not force families to buy DLCs multiple times, for fairness sake.

Furthermore, I would like to address some of the concerns about us releasing DLC two weeks after launch. Traditionally I am opposed to adding DLCs at such an early point after the game has been released, but this time our focus was on a deeper involvement in the community. We are hard at work creating bigger updates, patches and cool DLCs that we at the studio would appreciate as gamers. Therefore we decided to release a small pack of new items for those players that have already reached the highest rank, unlocked all the content (how the heck did you guys manage this already?), or just want more stuff.

For those of you that find the aggressive support plan a bit off-putting, please wait to support us further until you get proof of our good intentions and see the amount of new stuff we’re releasing.

As always I want our players to have the best gaming experience possible and I will try to make that happen. I hope that you will continue to enjoy Helldivers, especially with all the support and content we plan to add to the game (both free and paid).

Lastly, I’m so happy that many of you share our view; games are not challenging enough! Helldivers has indeed proved that more games need to stand against the wave of casual titles.

Yours Sincerely,
Johan Pilestedt

CEO, Game Director
23  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Helldivers: "Come on you apes! You wanna live forever?" on: March 20, 2015, 12:40:26 PM
Cool. There was a $2 PS Plus discount at launch (think it was a limited time thing so it didn't last all March as with other PS discounts/freebies of the month).

This is fun - read what some of us Helldivers fanboys are saying - it really is that fun and addictive.  icon_cool
Arrowhead promises a "big" free content update next.
Quote from: Arrowhead CEO/Game Director Johan Pilestedt
We want to thank the fans who have already contributed to Helldivers by buying the DLC packs, and supported us as it further gives us the ability to improve the title and react to user feedback. This is why we are happy to announce that we are turning up the heat soon with a big content update that will be free.
*I will never stop finding it ironic that most if not all console game developers develop on PC (as shown in the photo in Pilestedt's post), then in many cases don't do a PC version. Although in this case I figure Sony is probably a huge partner on Helldivers and a PC title probably wouldn't make sense to them. And also I doubt you could get a PC title to integrate with 3 Sony console platforms in terms of the the galaxy-wide meta game per se. Would be happy to be wrong about that of course.  icon_smile
24  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Helldivers: "Come on you apes! You wanna live forever?" on: March 19, 2015, 09:35:58 PM
Nearly 2-hour recorded livestream vid at GameReactor with a couple Arrowhead reps:

*Presumably on PS4. Definitely lights up better/glowier, has much crisper non-jagged shadows and some neat graphics effects (temporary blood trails on the ground when a Helldiver is wounded and crawling around) that we don't get on Vita. Probably that's "duh" to most people, but this was maybe the first video where I really looked at how it differs from what I see on Vita.
25  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Kojima no longer associated with Metal Gear Solid on: March 19, 2015, 08:38:34 PM

Quote from: Caine on March 19, 2015, 05:52:46 PM

I get he wants (and has wanted to for a long time) to retire from MGS, but I really don't get the re-branding.  Kojima IS Metal Gear.  
The publisher figures the only real difference is the "jima" changing to "nami."  retard

I'm sure like anyone who spearheads a successful gaming franchise there comes a point you want to move on to other things but the publisher just wants to keep printing money and doesn't want to give you the freedom to try creating something totally different. Who knows though. Maybe he stipulated that after he leaves, he doesn't want them using his name to market his past games anymore. Or it could be some other legal mumbo jumbo requirement.
26  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Helldivers: "Come on you apes! You wanna live forever?" on: March 19, 2015, 05:35:13 PM
Been trying to find a weapons and stratagem list for Helldivers. This one doesn't reflect the DLC but may still be useful:

fwiw, my current favorite loadout (I don't tend to equip Exosuit as much as I was, because I really dig the backpack drones in the DLC):

Main weapon:
-SMG-45 Defender submachine gun
*Upgrades: Ammo (Mini-Stun and Armor-Piercing)

-[DLC] Guard Dog backpack drone (SMG-equipped, auto-targeting, low-flying drone)
-Air Dropped Anti-Tank Mines (fully upgraded anti-personnel mines; think you get 10 drops per stratagem)
-Turrets (3 per mission, per stratagem; I don't like the Railgun Turret usually because one friendly fire hit will take out most Helldivers with one shot; the regular turret might give you a chance  icon_smile)
-Ammo (unless teammates are bringing tons of it or backpack support stuff)

*I don't make much use of the Offense Stratagems because it seems to work better for me to use "drop and forget" or "fire and forget stuff." Targeting a specific position can be tough because some enemies are so fast, though for sure they're great on fixed mission objectives (AA guns, alien bug nests etc.).

*The mines are dangerous in groups because they don't "friend or foe" distinguish if stepped on. I still like them even if I make some stupid placement mistakes sometimes.  icon_smile
27  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Kojima no longer associated with Metal Gear Solid on: March 19, 2015, 05:25:15 PM
They THOUGHT they got rid of Kojima, but why does that large cardboard box in the corporate offices keep showing up in different locations every day?  icon_cool
28  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Helldivers: "Come on you apes! You wanna live forever?" on: March 19, 2015, 01:38:34 PM
City Defense Event going on in the Cyborg section right now. Work calls, alas.  icon_frown Maybe someone else can save the day?
29  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Helldivers: "Come on you apes! You wanna live forever?" on: March 19, 2015, 01:28:09 PM
Tried the CR-9 Suppressor, semi-automatic rifle firing small frag grenades. While it's useful against heavily armored targets common in tougher difficulty levels, the detonation radius when it hits inevitably damages either your or squad mates so it's not really viable at short range.

Also leveled up enough to use the Vindicator shotgun. Only recommended if you like spamming reloads.  icon_razz It's a shotgun with a narrow, concentrated spray radius. Very powerful. Problem is you can only reload one shell at a time. Technically it has a "shell magazine," so once you've reloaded umpteen times, you can just fire away like it's semi-automatic. But you're reloading like it's a flintlock or something.  icon_smile I found it viable, just not really crazy about the rear touchpad swipe reloading on Vita so I don't think I'll want to use it much even if it is effective.

Wasn't crazy about the Commando's Missile Launcher. Didn't seem like I could control the "lob angle." The range that it hits, I just had trouble getting it to drop on anything precisely.
30  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: PS Vita Impressions! Price drop! Casual Edition! Vita TV! on: March 18, 2015, 06:39:21 PM
Anyone familiar with horizontal bullet hell blaster Soldner?

Söldner-X 2: Final Prototype Landing on PS Vita March 17th
While some of you are eager to face the challenge, others might be worried that Söldner-X 2 is one of those insanely difficult bullet hell shooters. We love shmups and wanted to make the genre a little more accessible to new players.

Söldner-X 2 includes a unique feature we call the Play Rank System, which automatically adjusts the game’s difficulty level while you are playing. This even occurs mid-level so inexperienced players are likely to encounter less enemies, fewer bullets and take less damage. On the other hand, when your skills improve the game will become more challenging to match your ability and reward you with much higher scores.

Speaking of high scores, every run can be uploaded to our servers meaning that replay files from other players are available to be downloaded and played back on your PS Vita. That way instead of wondering “How did they get such a high score!?” you can now watch their run and find out.
Man, I wish they could rig up this replay files feature for Vita Helldivers some day -- probably not happening since Arrowhead's team is pretty small.

*It's cross-buy on PS3 and Vita only -- dev doesn't anticipate getting to do a PS4 version.

*I might check it out unless someone here says it's awful. Then I HAVE to check out since my game tastes are often so far off the beaten track.  icon_smile
31  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Helldivers: "Come on you apes! You wanna live forever?" on: March 18, 2015, 04:39:03 PM
If you're curious about the gameplay, interface and esp. controls on PlayStation 4:

Helldivers manual (Playstation 4)

*Key Vita differences include the criticized "back swipe" for grenade tossing and reloading; tapping lower right corner on touchscreen to switch to/out of Run mode; and you can drag the map view via touchscreen. I've read suggestions to use a touchscreen tap for grenade tossing, and I agree that would be nice.

The Vita back swipe for reloading I feel finally comfortable with, the grenade toss with me is still a crap shoot. I've taken to sometimes going for Smoke Grenades because then I don't have to worry about an errant toss hurting me or my squad mates.  icon_smile It produces a moderate white smoke you can still see through fine but it's supposed to reduce the chance of enemy fire hitting you or squadmates within the smoke.
32  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: Who is your cell provider? on: March 18, 2015, 04:24:08 PM
Verizon on my iPhone 6. I'm heavy on data use but virtually no voice use some months. So I have a generous data plan including a WiFi Hotspot (occasional use on my iPad Air) but have stuck with a 1998-era $20/month calling plan with only about a half hour of voice included (no longer offered; I was "grandfathered" in  icon_smile).

Generally the coverage is great though I have run into some situations in some newly constructed, mega thick concrete buildings in my area where it's often tough to get a signal.
33  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: PS Vita Impressions! Price drop! Casual Edition! Vita TV! on: March 18, 2015, 03:34:40 PM
While I think I changed my mind about needing grips -- with practice, I'm comfortable with the Vita as is. No matter how many hours I play Helldivers (and it's damn near impossible to get myself to stop playing sometimes  icon_smile), my hands and fingers never seem to feel uncomfortable or cramped. The light weight is great that way, is one factor I think.

I do for some reason find that the touchscreen on the menus stops responding on occasion. Turning the Vita on/off fixes it. So far I've only noticed this happening when the Vita's plugged in; don't recall that ever happening when it's unplugged. I might research that to see if that suggests a defect or if it's just a common, occasional thing?
34  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Helldivers: "Come on you apes! You wanna live forever?" on: March 18, 2015, 01:42:51 PM
Saw a pretty awesome Bug Hunt video at official forums:

Bugs: Desert, Level 8

And an Event (Super Earth city defense, i.e., urban environment) mission on Hard difficulty level:
35  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Helldivers: "Come on you apes! You wanna live forever?" on: March 18, 2015, 01:07:02 PM
Got to try some of the DLC weapons and equipment late last night. While I did buy it, not sure how it unlocked. Had an epic multi-mission session with some folks late. Logged out, then back in, and the DLC stuff was then available/unlocked.

*The Guard Dog (smg) and Angel (healing/repairing) backpack drones are as awesome and useful as they sound. Just fun to watch too. As described, the drone occasionally flies back onto your back (turns back into backpack to recharge) and then flies back out. It's "fire and forget," and so the Guard Dog attacks targets you're fighting and Angel heals/repairs friendlies and your own Helldiver as needed.

They seem, as far as I can tell, invincible. If your Helldiver dies, then like other backpack equipment (jump jet pack for example) it drops where he/she died, and you or a teammate can pick it up.

Beauty of the Guard Dog drone imho vs. the more powerful turrets is that since it fires from overhead, you don't have to worry about friendly fire much if at all. I think maybe a couple times I got hit just a little bit by it. It's SMG fire so it's not going to one-shot you if it does accidentally hit you.  icon_smile By the same token, it lacks a turret's firepower and isn't going to fend off an army. I loved having it around though.  icon_smile imho it's especially a fun combo if you're using a powerful single shot weapon (sniper rifle, railgun etc.), and the Guard Dog drone can handle the lesser "riff raff" while you tackle the tough stuff.  disgust

I tried the noise-suppressed Ninja SMG. It's OK and fires faster than the SMG already in the game. I wasn't really clear on if the quieter fire provides any advantage.

The Sickle laser carbine is pretty awesome, though the overheating aspect makes it require some care to use. If you hold down you can get a sustained beam, but it certainly overheats quickly in its non-upgraded form. Most of us were using it more as a semi-automatic, tapping the right trigger repeatedly. Upgrades include greater power (generating more heat though) and a modification to reduce heat generation (forgot the name).

If you overheat, you then need to reload the rifle. I guess it's a form of "laser cartridge." Think you can hold up to 6 of them at one time. A little icon meter shows you its heat condition in the lower left corner. Seemed very effective against armored type targets.

*You can't use the drones while using your Exosuit. However, you can of course equip the drone backpack and then hop in your Exosuit; and then when you hop out, the drone will deploy automatically like usual.  icon_cool

*The Angel drone seems to heal yourself and fellow Helldivers quickly; it seemed to be slower at repairing damaged exosuits' and vehicles' "durability meters."
36  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Helldivers: "Come on you apes! You wanna live forever?" on: March 18, 2015, 12:28:26 AM

Quote from: Starshift on March 17, 2015, 09:50:32 PM

Ugh.  disgust  Really wish there were a good single player element to this game.  I would purchase it in a heartbeat.
My guy's L15 now, and I regularly have a blast doing missions solo. It's best not to tackle the really complicated higher difficulty level missions solo imho, but with multiple Exosuit stragems (or maybe a vehicle) on your person and thoughtful choices, you can tackle quite a lot of tough missions solo. The new drone equipment options should make soloing even more viable.

I also enjoy solo stuff simply because it gives me a chance to practice using weapons, equipment, etc. without anyone but me getting hurt.  icon_smile

I think once you have just a few levels and strategm choices under your belt, then the initial "soloing is suicide!" gives way to it being more fun.

You can have a private game if you don't want anyone joining or "just friends" if you want it open to friends, though the cross-platform friends-joining problems makes it seem non-functional to me (I think most here are playing on PS4 or 3).

Even if you're stone-cold anti-social gamer, imho you should let the co-op magic of this game try to soften that stance a bit. It's that fun, if one retains a sense of humor about friendly fire and objects frequently dropping on one's head.  icon_lol
37  Gaming / Portable Gaming & Apps / Re: PS Vita Impressions! Price drop! Casual Edition! Vita TV! on: March 17, 2015, 08:11:11 PM
That's OK (thanks, per Unit 13). I suspect Helldivers and to a lesser extent Resogun will keep me entertained for a long time.  icon_smile

I picked up Killzone: Liberation in the Classics section. While still fun, its different controls vs. Helldivers (per absence of right thumbstick) makes it a bit of an adventure to switch between the games. As you're using a button to fire and trigger to crouch in K:L but trigger to fire in Helldivers.

While I was happy to see we can reconfigure the right thumbstick to use any controls that were available on PSP, I never really figured out a good use for the right thumbstick that way. Just makes me wish they'd update K:L or even create a new one expressly for Vita. I know that's not happening and Sony's probably more interested in transporting the console FPS Killzone experience to Vita instead.

Who knows? Maybe if Helldivers is a monster hit, Sony will want to bankroll a Killzone twin-stick co-op blaster of that ilk, too. I'd play it.  icon_smile
38  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Helldivers: "Come on you apes! You wanna live forever?" on: March 17, 2015, 05:42:24 PM
I should get back to work, however, wanted to share an Arrowhead blog post, has a bit more data.  icon_smile

The latest statistics coming in from the Galactic Fleet bring us some heartening news:

4.2 BILLION Shots fired by the HELLDIVERS (Avg. Accuracy 38%)
500 MILLION Enemies of SUPER-EARTH neutralized (killed)
772 THOUSAND Planets liberated
53 THOUSAND Cape Spinning Trophies earned  icon_lol
And until I can share my own videos in better rez, this one's pretty fun:

Thankfully, you can jump-jet land on a squaddie without squashing him/her.  icon_smile
39  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Re: What skills will be obsolete in 50 years? on: March 17, 2015, 05:32:16 PM
Posting on Internet message boards?  smirk

Probably that's already obsolete, which is why I continue to embrace it.  retard
40  Gaming / Console / PC Gaming / Re: Helldivers: "Come on you apes! You wanna live forever?" on: March 17, 2015, 04:50:51 PM

Quote from: Roguetad on March 17, 2015, 03:16:18 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on March 17, 2015, 03:11:00 PM

Quote from: forgeforsaken on March 17, 2015, 02:59:24 PM


Basically 3 classes, but really 3 new outfits, 3 new weapons and 3 new stratagems.
Thanks for posting  icon_smile - sounds really fun. Backpack Drone System sounds cool, and the Sickle carbine appeals to me.
From the press release in the link:
"We remember and salute the 9 million brave Helldivers who have already sacrificed their lives in our fight for freedom! (2.3 million of those to Friendly Fire)."  lol
Couple FF things I learned with Strategms:
-Mines seem great but the blast radius is pretty huge and when I used them last night, my teammate perished from splash damage. I still want the final upgrade that makes them moderately anti-tank/anti-armor.

-Railgun Turret seemed like a great idea but they're even worse in terms of friendly fire as most won't survive even one hit from it. Whereas with the regular turrets you might just take some damage by accident.  icon_smile

DLC NOTE: I think many of us already have the Ranger DLC included in the Limited Edition bundle (i.e., Ranger cosmetics, sniper rifle, UAV that can uncover hidden objectives/targets at greater distances). I'll check when I get home.
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