…and Done. Normal Service Should Resume Shortly.

Welcome to the jungle...

It’s here! It’s here!

*cue choir bells and much trumpet fanfare*

There isn’t a gaping empty space in the middle of the motherboard any longer!

newpc-complete

I didn’t exactly plan a tri-color scheme, but I’ll take it.

Naturally, one of the first things I did was take it for a spin in Guild Wars 2.

gw2-people

Crazy… I can actually see what other players are wearing now.

And their attack animations… *shudders in ecstasy* are actually playing out now, creating a glorious tableau of information and particle effects.

It’s almost overwhelming to take in at first, having been so used to having blinders on by all other players set on the lowest model and quality settings, where they pretty much exist as an invisible model under a green name tag or a pink clay-colored model holding some weapon basic attacking.

I got an immediate flash back to City of Heroes though, where a regular 8 person team was also a kaleidoscope of colored particle effects and strange animations. When one first starts, it’s all overwhelming and hard to read – though you see what’s happening, you don’t actually understand what’s going on. Over time as one gains experience with different classes and commonly used attacks, you can just naturally tell when someone has just used a crowd control effect to alpha strike, or some other player placed a valuable debuff, etc.

It’ll take some practice again, but I’m sure it’ll be the same with GW2.

I’m really looking forward to test running this out in WvW and maybe even PvP.

Being able to read your opponent’s animations are critical in PvP, and I’ve always been sure that I was essentially playing a delayed guessing game when it comes to zerg fights in WvW – actually seeing models and what other players are doing (are they leaping in with hammers or greatswords, or just being able to pick out which characters are the long-range casters with staffs, etc ) would be game-changing, I suspect.

It’ll likely take some graphics adjustments still, for good framerates in WvW, but I like what I’m seeing in the Mad King’s Labyrinth already.

gw2-fps1

Just trundling around on autodetect settings, with a group of 10-15 killing stuff gives framerates of 60+.

Normal autodetect settings also seem to be pretty damn high (compared to my toaster, everything is high to me, I guess):

gw2-autodetect

The only time the framerates dropped was when we piled on as a group of 20-25 on a door unloading plenty of Halloween mobs:

gw2-fps2

Dropped to 33 FPS.

Hell, 33 FPS was the best I ever got on the toaster, on minimal settings.

Out of curiosity, I switched back to my usual minimal settings to see how different this new computer was. FPS danced around from 92 to 150.

150. I had no idea that there was such a thing as triple digit FPS. Insane.

This bodes very well indeed. Since I’m already used to playing GW2 on super minimal settings, I can always tweak it back down to that in times of need, and remove lag from my computer as any contributing factor to lousy game performance.

gw2-before

Fake Before shot (ie. minimal settings on the new computer, though I may have forgot to uncheck high-res character textures. I’ll get a real Before shot later, when I feel I can face a minutes-long loading time for Windows again.)

gw2-after

And After. Oh, those textures and lighting and shadows. *swoons*

I immediately ran out into the open world and man, it feels absolutely different and more immersive with the music playing while you’re looking at this sort of scenery.

gw2-openworld

On the to-do list: Level the abandoned lowbie characters in a gloriously more gorgeous world.

Though truth is, I’m feeling more attention-torn than a kid in the candy store now.

Every game on my Steam list is now viable to consider playing.

I immediately installed Natural Selection 2, which is something my old toaster has -never- been able to run. It used to just stall trying to load the opening screen, let alone actually connect to a game and load a map. Well, it -works- now. The only limitation now is ping, seems to be only one Asian server visible that gives ping in the 100 range, everything else is 200+. (Dang it.)

Still, I ran around like a noob while all the veterans stacked over to the other team (there were around 6-7 other green name newbies on that server, so it wasn’t just me), and lost two games that way, but well, I’m actually getting to -play- NS2, which is utterly cool. Maybe some day I’ll find a server with people who actually can play strategically and cooperate with each other.

I took Deus Ex: Human Revolution for a spin too. Feels pretty awesome, when you take into consideration that I haven’t played one of these story-based action FPS type games in a long time (beyond Sleeping Dogs or Spec Ops: The Line anyway.)

I have no clue what else to install yet. Something like Skyrim would probably be a massive disruption to all the other games I’m playing, so maybe not.

Naturally, my usual contrarian self, when given a computer that can run stuff at sick FPS, also immediately copied over the Feed the Beast launcher and existing save files, and spent several hours playing Minecraft: Crash Landing. (Bright side, a lot less CPU lag when opening chests and things with inventories.)

The next installment of the Living Story is due to drop in a few days though, so maybe I’ll just leapfrog around in a bedazzled fashion for a while, then get down to brass tacks in GW2 on Nov 4.

I’m pretty open to suggestions on good games to take for a spin (as long as they’re old enough to get 50 or 75% off discounts on Steam, I stopped buying stuff at launch a while ago and generally don’t miss a thing. Seems like more and more, launch day buyers are just volunteering for a paid beta test to find all the bugs anyway.)