We Interrupt This Program… Due to Technical Issues…

Surprising as it may seem, this round of blog silence isn’t exactly due to it being Slacktember after Blaugust (well, maybe, just a little) but mostly due to a sudden and urgent need to diagnose an intermittently disconnecting Internet connection.

For the last couple of days, the connection has taken it upon itself to cheerfully break for the space of 1-2 seconds, before reconnecting, at frequent yet irregular intervals ranging from pretty durned often in the space of a half-hour to once every hour or two.

In essence, it appears artfully calculated to drive me up the wall as it’ll give me problems when playing games and then promptly vanish (but not entirely) while trying to troubleshoot and nail down the culprit.

Needless to say, the past week’s GW2 game time has been less than satisfactory since disconnecting for two seconds is long enough to break the client’s connection and cause me to fall off maps – including organised Triple Trouble and Teq maps -, not to mention somewhat aggravating to dc from a fractal run and then relog and zone back in dead and be forced to beg your party to get out of combat for a sec so that you can respawn and rejoin them.

Ditto Trove, because it’s really annoying to lag with awful ping prior to a dc while mid-fight with a boss and realize that the boss is going to sucker punch you into next Tuesday while your latency is in the 1000ms-3000ms range (that extra digit is not a typo, mind you) or be midway through a challenge and dc right off the map, knowing you’ll log back in and the group doing the challenge is miles away and/or you’ve lost enough time reconnecting to make the challenge impossible to complete before the time limit is up.

So the past few days have been filled with a series of swapping between the Intel and Killer NIC ethernet adapters on my computer, deinstalling and updating drivers, deactivating antiviruses with real-time protection, going into safe mode with networking and physically changing various LAN cables in a colossal attempt to determine the root cause of the intermittent disconnections.

Fortunately, before I got to the stage of trying to unroll meters-long ethernet cable to directly connect my computer to the cable modem, I ended back down a previously researched avenue of overheating routers causing intermittent internet.

This has been a point of contention between me and another family member; said family member maintaining that the router’s position in the house is perfectly fine and that it is at a perfectly acceptable temperature, while I lightly touch the top of the router and point out that the surface feels just a bit shy of a boiled kettle of water that has cooled down sufficiently to touch, but not sufficiently that the water inside can be considered “lukewarm” yet.

Since the poor abused router has already been moved out of a shoe closet some time ago (after one of those little familial wars regarding optimal router temperatures conflicting with aesthetics), there are, unfortunately, limitations to where it can be moved. (Basically, it’s not.)

Its current home is in one corner of a room that is only intermittently air-conditioned (depending on if a family member is inside or no.)

Now, if you consider that our ambient air temperature in this tropical country can reach up to 33°C, as opposed to that of a temperate country usual temperature ranges when it’s not in the middle of summer, and that the router is essentially sitting in a pocket of still air in the corner of the room, and that it has to deal with a network where every family member has a desktop or laptop PC, a cell phone that connects wirelessly and several tablet devices, a smart TV and a small, personal NAS, well…

It’s unfortunate that I lack an easy way to objectively measure the temperature of whatever is going on inside the router. Nothing like evidence to solidly win a family argument, eh? Ha.

Short of starting a screaming match by absconding with a fan that is not “supposed” to be placed in an unsightly position, aka aimed directly at the router, I hit upon making off with a less used device – a bargain-priced laptop cooler belonging to another family member less likely to make a fuss, and sliding that under the router.

It’s not the best cooler out there, I’m sure, but at least it’s actively cooled and has a fan that can (sort of) move a little air around.

After a day, I note that the router is noticeably cooler, having dropped to a temperature that can now be considered “lukewarm” by touch.

Best of all, since doing that, I haven’t had a single dropped connection (*touch wood*) and only one heart-stopping incident of horrible ping during a GW2 Mordrem invasion event… which amazingly managed to hold the connection through about five seconds of lag, something that would have previously been impossible, I’m sure.

Hopefully, my guess as to the source of the problem was the right guess, and this state of affairs continues…  (Note to self: Buy a better laptop cooler, if so.)

As for the Mordrem invasion in GW2, the current hooha around rewards strikes me as a little bit of an overreaction to an event that seems cobbled together for just a little fun with veterans and newbies…

…but then I have to admit that my judgment is a little colored by actually receiving a reward the first time (aka not bugged) and then opening the Scarlet’s box/bag/thing to receive an Enameled Jungle dye – which I unfortunately wasn’t daring enough to sell for 64 gold at the time. Ah well. (I used it, after logging in the next day and seeing prices had fallen to 30 odd gold.)

…plus not actually needing any of the higher priced rewards/skins, that would require an insane amount of bloom grinding. (Minis? Check. Toxic skins? Already bought with gems. Scarlet skins? Bought with gems. Thoughtless potions and what not? Already taking up room in my inventory from the last time around.)

I intend to attend an event or two a day over this weekend and be fine with whatever I get from that.

Personally, I suspect that the costs are meant to be high enough to not devalue the rewards – because, you know, some of those skins were worth $5 USD when I bought them the first go around… while I have no issues with letting other people enjoy them after I’ve already had the opportunity to use them, and applaud them also being alternatively available through in-game earning, I would feel a little bit of cost/effort disparity if people could just attend one invasion and then voila, buy up all the skins just like that.

Possibly, some of the stress is from it being such a time-limited event.

I’d personally have no issues if the event just continued on to October 23, and then people who wanted all the stuff could slowly and steadily earn them until the expansion launched. (Bonus: cheaper dyes and minis, yay!)

Well, whatever, we’ll see whatever Anet adjusts next and go with that.

Such is the advantage of having all the stuff I want already. *phew*

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Blaugust Day 18: Screenshots of Fire (GW2/Trove)

Today is “knock out a quick blog post” day. Mostly so that I have some time left to play games.

Thus I’m indulging in the art of the cheat post via screenshot!

Have I mentioned I like fire?

I have?

Good.

fire-trove

I’m pretty partial to any fiery volcanic landscapes. The sky and general tint of the environment changes in Trove in the Dragonfire Peaks, including fiery ash drifting in the breeze. My mount helps along the ambience with its own fiery effects.

fire-gw2

Fireheart Rise in GW2 also has its own fiery rain environmental effects. I’m doubly fond of the place for being set in Ascalon, with the cozy familiar autumn grassy landscapes of the first game, now extra charr-ified.

Bonus: My guardian tries his best warrior elite spec impersonation. (Hinted to be Berserker = Torch, apparently.)

Hooray for marching to the beat of my own fiery legendary drum and making Rodgort first before everyone else decides they want one too?

This post was brought to you by the letters B for Belghast and Blaugust, and the number 18.

Blaugust Day 12: A Dog That Farts Fire (Trove)

Pemblock is a rare Corgi mount that can randomly drop in Trove while adventuring.

I have no idea when one dropped for me, but I found it in my inventory after a quick series of lairs on my Tomb Raiser.

It’s pretty darned cute. Trion seems to have a thing for corgis (given their RIFT appearances too).

Given my avatar, you might be able to guess that I have a fondness for all things canine as well.

Given my collector tendencies, you might also be able to guess that it was all I could do to hold myself back from clicking it immediately and adding it into the account-bound mount collection.

Why?

Because these things are craftable into new mounts with different cosmetic appearances, such as a pirate dog, a zombie dog, a robot dog and so on.

I scanned through the list of possibilities, and my heart settled on the Pember, because well… smokey glowy fire.

It took a great deal of patient mining of Primordial Flame – all 200 of them – especially since I’d eaten quite badly into my stockpile to make convenient shortcut/mining bombs, but when I finally hit the “craft” button and exchanged Pemblock for a Pember, I realized that I’d gotten a serious unexpected bonus.

newmount

He leaves an explosive burst of flames behind him whenever both of you jump. And in a game where you can jump 6-9 times or more, that’s one loooong fire trail in the sky.

❤ ❤ ❤

This post was brought to you by the letters B for Belghast and Blaugust, T for Trove, Trion and Trying-Out-the-10-Sentence-Post-for-a-Different-Stylistic-Effect-While-Cheating-With-Smileys-Captions-and-Postscripts, and the number 12.