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David Mead

Thoughts on The Division 2 private beta

3 min read

The original game has been my mainstay for a couple of years now. An original concept of NYC collapsing after an engineered smallpox pandemic. Completing missions, grinding for gear and commendations kept it interesting.

With the second one announced, I was all in. I have already pre-order The Division 2, and I was lucky to get a beta code from E3 last year too.

The Division 2 private beta loading screen

The Story

I really like the time and location jump. Washington D.C. in the sweltering summer after the pandemic. The city looks overgrown and falling apart.

screenshot - looking at Washington monument

Adding 'Settlements' that you have to help and maintain is something is interesting. Adding to the lore and continual play. Holding "control points" also looks like a challenge.

With the rise of new factions, and the promise of an "invasion" as part of the endgame, has me sold.

Lighting

Good grief it's dark. Running into internal corridors, or in the open world at night and it's hard to see anything.

screenshot - dark corridor

I turned the brightness up to 20 (the highest setting) and I still couldn't see half the stuff. I don't expect to see everything, but not knowing what you're stuck on right under your feet is an issue.

Sound

In the first game, sound design was great! It was immersive and gave great clues where people were. In this beta I had big issues with the sound - as in there was none.

I would go into combat and have zero sound. Running around in a silent movie didn't help. Both times I tried 'Conflict' all I could hear was the wind. Made it unplayable.

When it was there though, it was excellent and atmospheric.

PvP

I'm not the greatest fan of PvP to be honest. In the first Division game I would go into the Dark Zone only when I had to for the first year of play. It's in the Division 2. I'll play it, but I don't have much to say.

Glitches/Bugs

Yes, it's a beta so we're still running out the kinks. Some though were very annoying. I mentioned the sound, but there was also a delay when firing certain weapons which felt weird.

Completing the hostage rescue only to find you couldn't actually rescue him. It didn't register the door opened or you in the room.

When talking to NPCs, I'd get trapped in boxes or behind barriers. Also NPCs would walk through the scenery.

screenshot - trapped in scenery

Summary

I'm sold. The graphics are better, the world larger and felt more interactive.

If they can sort out the sound and small glitches (this was a beta) then I can see losing vast amounts of time on this.

David Mead

I'm hoping a factory reset will help my - It's been my favourite device for years now, but I've been getting a ton of bluetooth errors and it takes ages to boot up. Might be time to look at a replacement.

David Mead

Is @GooglePlayMusic letting out a death rattle?

1 min read

So @GooglePlayMusic has been showing signs of that, oh so worrying, Google product trait where small things start to not work properly.

Continual uploading

For sometime now the web interface keeps telling me there's one more song uploading. I have no idea what it is. I click on the icon, taking me to the 'recently uploaded' screen, to find everything there.

screenshot of Google Play upload icon

Incorrect artwork

When adding the last four free Underworld tracks, Google Play Music has given them all the same artwork, even though they each come with individual covers.  These covers can be seen when looking at the file locally, but in here they are all the same. Which brings me on to my thrid thing...

screenshot showing same artwork for 3 different music tracks

Cannot upload artwork

At some point Google Play Music lost the ability to upload cover art for tracks or albums. I can pick a new piece, but it never uploads. This means missing, or wrong, artwork can't be fixed.

screenshot showing cover art upload error

I moved away from using iTunes and an iPod quite some time ago, but that option may need to be dusted off (literally) again.

David Mead

Been completely immersed in private beta this weekend. Having fun and reporting bugs. Can't wait for @TheDivisionGame to release the full game in March.

David Mead

Turns out I hadn't actually deleted my Facebook 3 years ago. Thanks to someone trying to "recover" my password, the wheels have been set in motion.
https://deletefacebook.com/

David Mead

I have lived for over half a century, so far...

1 min read

It boggles my mind that I drew a breath before man walked on the moon. Before VCRs, computer games, and cell phones.

I remember thinking about changes my grandparents and parents saw. Then consider the rapid technological leaps & bounds I've seen.

As I type this I'm looking at a brilliant full colour screen, sitting in a milled piece of aluminum on my lap. Magnitudes more computing power than put those men on the moon at my fingers.

I live and work, not only in another country, but a different continent.

I've outlived family, and friends.

I have a family of my own whom I love.

I am loved.

Here's to whatever I have left.

David Mead

First impressions of #AnthemGame

2 min read

Anthem is a new game from Bioware and EA Games.  The demo released this weekend so I thought I'd spend a little time running through it.

Before I could get started I had to login with an EA/Origin account. This meant searching old emails and finally doing a password reset.

Screenshots seemed disabled, so no photos yet.

Now I'm in, I have to say, the world looks great. Has a slight Afro-futurist version of a Morocco souk vibe to it. Being a demo there's only 2 people you can talk with, so I ended up with a lot of "content not available" pop-ups.

screenshot - Fort Tarsis

After accepting "the mission" I actually chose Freeplay (which is a roam around and do stuff mode). Climbed into my Javelin (souped-up Iron Man suit) and off I went.

screenshot - Javelin suit in Fort Tarsis

The environment is beautiful and teeming with "life". Flying overheats your suit, going through water cools it down.
Running out of the approved map was very annoying and I hope this was because it's a demo.

screenshot - Flying in a Javelin suit

It took a couple of tries to grok what was happening with my first encounter. I died and ran out of ammo - a lot. I couldn't see what I was supposed to do. I did notice these appeared and disappeared around me a couple of times which I found weird.

I could see other players on the map, even got messages they needed help. I couldn't set a way point or find their direction after leaving the map which was frustrating.

screenshot - map

There felt like a lot of reading to do in the sub-menus and I didn't find a comfortable entry point.
I'm going to be playing this some more over the weekend. Midnight was probably not the best time to start.

David Mead

Downloading the @anthemgame Open Demo now. 30% and counting.

David Mead

Thanks to @vasiljevski's post I have a plugin select pulling back the value saved when editing a post on my blog.
http://www.vasiljevski.com/blog/php/how-to-set-the-selected-option-of-select-tag-from-the-php/

David Mead

I've run into something similar trying to add wrappers for tags in the source code window.

I'll enter the HTML and it'll strip it out.