Blogging since 2007
Welcome to DemiGoth's Fantasy Role-Playing blog
All about news and updates of the (MMO)RPG games I play and general news that I deem important enough


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Photobucket out, Imgur in
19 August 2017
Posted in General

Some choises are very easy, and this one is a no-brainer... I noticed earlier this year that photobucket is no longer allowing me to share images from their site on my blog. They give me the option to share if I upgrade my account. I figured to take a peek and well... $399/year for the upgrade to share the images on my site. Even my ISP is 99% cheaper than that and gives me enough bandwith. But I'm pretty lazy and don't want to chance that I get over my bandwith, so I decided to hop to Imgur instead...

Image title

The only problem is that I have to do some more work. Where Photopucked gave me some nice copy/paste links to implement in the blog directly, Imgur comes with a link to share a whole album. If I want just one image from the album (which is what I mostly need for the blog), I need to insert the image first, and then add a link to the image on Imgur. Oh well, I think I can live with that


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Reasons for the change to console gaming
19 April 2017
Posted in General

If you've been following my blog, you know that I've been a PC gamer for the last 10 year - but that time is not quite accurate. I've been a PC gamer for the last 30 years already, it all started back in 1985 when I bought my first Atari 800XL and in 1989 when I bought my first 8088 CPU based IBM compatilbe PC (not gonna tell you how much I paid for that thing... ). During that time I've had consoles for a short period of time, but I never really could set myself to playing on them - that is aside from Final Fantasy VII on the PS1, which I almost compeltely played through.

But times change as do I. When in the past I loved to play games on my PC, these days I'm no longer really enjoying it. Partly because of my physical condition, partly for the costs and partly because consoles are no longer a 'lesser piece of hardware'.
On the latter part, I advice you to read my previous blog entry where I reviewed my PS4 Pro, and search the internet for the hype around the upcoming XBOX Scorpio. Both are extremely powerful consoles that they are at the lower to middle end of the gaming PC market. The only difference with their PC counterparts is that the consoles have fixed hardware configurations, while the PC does not. This saves the developer a lot of time to make their games compatible with every possible hardware configuration and put that development time (and CPU power) into other parts of their games.

About the physical part for the change I can be very short. With the chronic fatigue I'm experiencing, sitting for hours and play games with mouse and keyboard is just too straining. Instead I'd much rather pick up a controller and sick back on my o-so comfy gaming chair (I bought one last month and it also helped against a lot of backpain I've had the last year) and play games in a more relaxed way. Sadly though, a lot of PC games have no or very limited controller support, so that was kinda a no-go there to keep playing PC games

And then costs. This is more a two fold issue than a single one. I'm talking both hardware and software here.
My current PC is getting old. That Phenom 1090T is still running smoothly, but it's performance is (as stated in my PS4 Pro review) getting to the lower end of the PC performance already, while the GTX970 that my PC has is still okay, but beeing bottlenecked by the CPU at times (Black Desert online shows it so well). I've made a calculation what a new PC would cost me, and it ranges from around 500 up to 900 (both without buying HDDs, GPU and a case), but then I'd have the latest AMD Ryzen CPU series. A series that require me to buy new RAM (DDR4) as well and motherboards that are more expensive than the one I'm currently using, not to mention a future FORCED upgrade to Windows 10 (still running 7 ultimate and not wanting to get 10 at all - I'd much rather switch to Linux). Not to mention that to keep PC's 'up to speed' you should build/upgrade a PC every 3 years, shile consoles have a much longer lifespan (PS2 has been in production for nearly 15 years iirc). Compare that to the 400 I paid for my PS4 Pro and you see the first reason why consoles are cheaper...

The other part is software, or rather games. Where on the PC 99% of the games are digital (even when buying a boxed copy with CD), on consoles you have a choice between ditigal or physical copies (and those buying the digital copies for the same price are just CRAZY for the upcoming reason ). When I look at the Playstation Store (and I guess it also goes for the XBOX store), a digital copy of a game has the same price as the physical copy, and when a game gets older, the digital copy is in most cases even more expensive than the physical one !! But when you buy a physical copy of a game, you can play it, compelte it and when you're done with it, you can sell it again, or even trade with friends for an other game. You can't do that with digital copies of a game (aside from 5 friends on Steam who you'd give access to your library, but they'll be kicked from the game the moment you start to play).
An other very point people forget about are cheaters in games. You have them in almost every PC game, and certainly if there's competition involved of some kind. Aimbots, hacks & exploitsm cheating and more of that stuff happens a lot in PC games, while on consoles it's virtually non-existant (I know that some games have issues, but that comes more from bad coding than 3rd party software).

Will this all mean that my current PC is my last one? Certainly not! That CPU of mine is about 7 years old already and I'd be lucky if the thing will reach it's 10th birthday Not to mention, I'm still using the PC for my programming activities (though not as much as I used to / want to) and the developments on that front are still ongoing as well. I seriously think I should build a AMD Ryzen PC because of it's so well done muti-threading, but that's probably something for next year or so. I do however realize that my next PC might be one of the last one I might build/buy...


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One year later - let's recap a bit...
06 April 2017
Posted in General

I know I've already declared this blog dead twice, but blood is thicker than water they say... So before I restart the blog alltogether again, let me first recap the last year. A lot has happened on all fronts - some for the good, some for the worse.

Psychological
I think here the most has happened. For those who've followed my twitter feed and have read my programming blog might have picked up some about it. July last year my psych thought I might also have a bipolar disorder. This was confirmed that next month, when I was about to walk away from everything and step out of it. I realize that was a stupid thing to do, and luckily I'm under treatment now for both my Asperger's syndrome and bipolar disorder (no direct for my ADD, because of my intolerance of medication) For the bipolar disorder I'm on medication (Depakine) on a very low dosage (600mg a day while 2500-3000mg a day is 'normal' for my weight), because the psych ordered a DNA research, which showed that I'm 'low metabolic' for most anti-psychotics and thus need a very low dosage (this also explains why I went into a psychosis from the ritalin back in 2012).
I'm happy to report that the medication is doing wonders to my moods and my psych is keeping a close eye on the moods as well. I'm also happy to say that my 'mood swing curve' is pretty stable at around 4-5 months, meaning that whenever I'm sliding towards a depression (just got out of one), I can start on the anti-deprssives that I have.

Physical
Nothing much to report here I think. I still suffer from the Osteoarthritis in my knees and at times it aches so much that I need a cane to walk (which I refuse most of the time and just limb around a bit ).  Same goes for the B12 deficiency I have, for which I still get supplemented every other week.
On the other hand though, there are some side effects from the Depakine that I'm taking (even on this low dosage !!), which include diziness and being lightheaded. My psych thinks I might suffer from low blood pressure as side effect (something I am already familiar with), and coming Monday I have an appointment with my doctor (for the B12 suppletion) to check it. There's no real reason to be alarmed though, because I haven't fainted yet

The lawsuit - I'VE WON!
Yes, that's right. November last year I've had a hearing (again) at the UWV because I appealed for the dismissal of my invalidity social security allowance (WIA) for my work as a mailman. Luckily, the one who was handling my file was sick (again as my lawyer told me) and someone picked it up for him. She re-reviewed my file, saw the error that was made and reinstated my WIA allowance again by declaring me 68.62% unfit for work (which is actually a loss of income I'd have). This was early January, 4 days before the hearing at court. Of course, I went through with the hearing because there were still a couple of things that were not quite right yet. That hearing I lost, but the lawsuit was won
Now there are 2 next steps in the whole process:
  1. I've gone to the High Court because the judge didn't make a final ruling on one of the points we brought up, which it's a very important one. Sadly though, this might take a year or 2 before anything comes from it
  2. I've filed an other lawsuit for rejecting my appeal for the mailman part. Unlike the previous lawsuit, in this one the medication I'm taking has to be taken into account, and my lawyer and I think that they didn't do that as well as they should. And of course, the point above will be filed for as well.
If either one will come through, chances are that I'll be fully unfit for work (which, according to my opinion, I sadly am).

Now about gaming
Sadly, I've given up on PC gaming completely. The way I need to sit to control keyboard and mouse are too fatiguing for me Instead, I've bought a Playstation 4 Pro late January and amd enjoying the thing a lot! And with it's build-in streaming functions I'm streaming my games from time to time. My brother also has bought a PS4Pro only recently and we're playing a lot of games in co-op mode during the evenings for a couple of hours. The fun stuf that we encounter while playing I normally save and upload to my YouTube channel for all to watch and enjoy. I'll also be using my YouTube channel to stream as well (whenever I'm feeling good enough that is).


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The end of PagesFromSages.com #2
10 March 2016
Posted in General

I've announced last year that I'd end the Pages from Sages blog, but was talked into keeping it. Sadly tough, I'm no longer extremely active in the gaming scene and the games I am playing I will not be blogging about. As for my personal situation, things go from bad to worst and as I said back then, I will not make this blog a derge.

That means I won't renew the registration for the domain coming June and it'll be for the grabs to all. If you want to re-read the old posts, I'll keep a backup copy of the site available at pfs.erne.nl, for which I will be redirecting the site to starting coming weekend (have to make some script adjustments first).

I would like to thank you all for the support you've given me the last 9 years <3


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The end of PagesFromSages.com
08 July 2015
Posted in General

You might have noticed that I'm no longer updating the blog on a regular basis and yeah, I've noticed it myself as well. I know I've spoken earlier this year about possebly selling the pagesfromsages.com domain, but I still wasn't sure about it at the time. So far I hadn't decided if I'd keep or sell the domain.

But things have changed a lot since then. First off, I'm no longer actively playing MMORPGs anymore. The one I was playing on a semi-regular basis (Elder Scrolls online) has lost my interest and the one I'm waiting for (Lineage II Classic) is still not sure I'll be playing it when the servers might start in autumn.
Then there's also the general gaming I'm doing on my PC, or rather the lack of it. Because of my programming activities and the chronic fatigue and chronic pain I'm suffering from, there's not much time to play games at all.

The programming is taking up the most of my 'PC time' at the moment . I guess half the time I'm behind the PC I'm doing stuff related to programming games. This not only includes coding, but also drawing art, composing/sampling music (which reminds me I need to make some music for TetraGems) or just trying to figure out how to get something done (basically sitting behind the PC and staring at the screen )

The fatigue and pain also take a HUGE amount of my playing time and when I'm good enough to play a game, I'm mostly not good enough to play intensively. This means that most games worth to blog about are not being played. Heck, I even haven't played Pillars of Eternity for over 3 weeks because of the fatigue and pain Not to mention that half the time I'm pretty depressed because of the fatigue and pain, which also doesn't do wonders for me playing games or write a 'nice piece' on the blog.

As I've written a long time ago (too lazy to search the blog to make a link), I'm not writing the blog just to be blogging. If I write something it has to have meaning...

Because of the above and the earlier musings to sell the pagesfromsages.com domain I've made up my mind to actually sell it. This doesn't mean I'll kill the blog, but I'll be moving it over as part of my personal domain. You can find the blog on http://pfs.erne.nl (you might have noticed the redirect there) and I will still be updating it from time to time (most likely as 'regular' as I've updated it the last couple of months ).


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Wednesday's stream moved to evening
02 June 2015
Posted in General

I know that it seems a bit odd after having only recently started to stream, but the Wednesday morning stream (from 9.00 till 11.00) will be moved to the evenings from 19.00 till 20.00. This move will happen next week (June 10th) and I'll add an announcement of it during the stream as well (automated of course ). I added the Wednesday morning to get started on streaming on Twitch and I thought  it'd be a good time to get used to it. But sadly it's not the best time for me to be streaming.

First and most important reason is that darn chronic fatigue that I suffer from. Somehow during the mornings I'm a lot more fatigued than during the evenings. Most likely because I wake up every day around 6.00 and am already very fatigued. Rushing to get showered and have a quick bite don't do the fatigue well. While during the evenings I've had already a lot of extra time during the day to rest some more and have had time enough to enjoy my meals. Though still fatigued during the evenings, I found out that I am feeling a lot better than during the mornings.

Secondly and quite important as well is the audience. I mean, who's watching that early in the morning (or early afternoon in the US) anyway? The audience is pretty small and when looking at the main page of Twitch it's showing that as well.

Last but not least is my regular daily schedule... Drawing art for the game I make, grocery shopping, working around the house and such, it's all best done during the day. And the first one (drawing art and working on the game itself) I happen to have the best concentration for during the mornings.

Want to know my regular streaming schedule and be updated about extra times I'll be streaming? Just check the schedule on StreamCal.TV. Of course, you can also follow me on Twitch and you'll get notifications if you've set them to be sent


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1st scheduled stream
27 May 2015
Posted in General

I've had my 1st scheduled stream this morning and I think it's time to look back on it a bit...

First off, I did on purpose set it to an odd time as it is. I mean 9am EU times in the middle of the week is a real odd time, but for me it's a good time to get used to streaming and see how the audience 'works'. And with 'works' I mean watch the chat and that kind of stuff. Not to mention if I'd stream on a later time I'd have to compete with a lot of other streamers who've already made a name for themselves on twitch

Secondly (and prolly most importantly) I should find a door to the room the computer is in. With the kitchen next to this room, my wife would not do the dishes as she wanted to. A door would have blocked a lot of noise from the kitchen (and the rest of the house) so she could go her own way while I'm streaming. Only problem though, the door opens up the wrong way and I should work on the rabbet to make the door open the right way. And while talking about doors... The one we had was old and extremely damaged so I should buy a new one as well

Last but not least: DO NOT DRINK SO MUCH! ...or at least go to the toilet before starting to stream... I only drank half a liter of water during the stream (along with 2 cups of coffee 2 hours before I started) and during the stream I really had to go to the toilet. I didn't go though because I figured I could hold on till I was done streaming...

Then the game itself. As I've already wrote a couple of times, I'm playing Pillars of Eternity in Iron Man mode on normal difficulty. Since I'm playing the game in normal mode outside the stream to get to know the game and it's pitfalls, I figured to play something completely different. Where I normally play a woodelf druid, for the stream I decided to make myself a very cheesy character. I ended up with a Heart Orlan Paladin with his (yes, playing male for a change) origins set to The White that Wends, allowing me to stack Perception to the maximum.

But the Paladin class in Pillars of Eternity is not the one I'm used to. In most RPGs, the Paladin class is a hybrid tank/healer with a slightly lowered DPS. In Pillars of Eternity the class has more of a warrior/priest role though. The DPS is nice and you can start with either a melee skill to be used twice a combat OR the (o so corny) lay on hand skill. Knowing the game a bit I opted for the lay on hand skill, figuring I'd be a tank (which I was not). While leveling I get more skills and those are more that of a buffer than healer or warrior (up to now though). On the last level I reached I could choose between 3 aura's and I picked the one that improved endurance (used up before health starts to decline and will be replenished after battle) regeneration. This was a very good call because my party barely took damage in the battles I fought.

With this character being my streaming character, I'm not gonna play it while not streaming. Instead I think I'll continue with my regular game some more to learn more about Pillars of Eternity in general as well as knowing where to go to next without my lil' Papadin being killed...

See you next week on twitch I hope?


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Preparations for streaming going well
23 May 2015
Posted in General

The last couple of days I've been making preparation for the streaming schedule starting next Wednesday. And while I'll start with only 2 hours on one day a week, the preparations I've made are aimed to expand when my schedule allows it (read: when hospital visits are less frequent).

The first couple of days I mainly tested the stability of the stream and maximum quality I could establish on 720p. From the looks of it that's all okay now, though one thing still remains and that's keeping the stream open on one of the monitors locally. I have no problem watching some one else's stream for hours, but the moment I have my own stream open in any of the browsers on my system it just hangs after a while. The only solution I have found to get around this is by using the 'pop out' function in the FireFox browser. Perhaps it's time to upgrade the DLS line I have afte rall..?

Then the hardware issues, and those were odd ones. First off, when using the Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion's front panel, both the headphones and microphone created a lot of noise. This happened yesterday after I bought a clip-on microphone (the Sennheiser headset I ordered is no longer available ) and gave it a test. After playing around for a couple of hours with driver settings, sound settings (and those are a lot with that card ) I figured to open up the PC case and see if there was something weird. And I was right to open up the PC case. The cables that go from the Soundblaster card to the frontpanel (which are way too long I might add) were lying on the GPU. No wonder that both the headphones and microphone had so much interference. After lifting them up all interferance was gone!

Last but not least, the most important thing to troubleshoot: the streaming software. As I mentioned before, I'm using OBS for streaming and the software is just running GREAT. But the troubleshooting comes to the stuff I'll be streaming. Just plain streaming is no problem at all, but when I want to be heard when speaking through the microphone and I want to have the option to add music played by an internet radio station. The trick here is to get the volumes well balanced where none is over shouting the other while I can speak normal and you can hear me. After dozens of tries by recording all those sounds locally it seems to be working.

Then my twitch channel itself. I have added (or rather replaced) 5 link images there, all in the same artstyle as the blog. The one you might wonder about is the 'Support the stream' one. While streaming dost cost money, I will donate half of the support to charity. The main charity I will donate to is Stichting Zwerfdier (a stray cat shelter in my town where I work as volunteer), but I'm open for suggestions from you as well.

The only thing left to do is make some more artwork for things that happen during the stream. New followers and donations are shown in the stream and I'm still using it's 'default' notification art for it. I will make something similar to the art on the channel for it later on as well.
And there's also a donation ticker I want to add to the stream. I'm not sure if I'll make one myself or will look for a program that already exists. The good thing to make something myself is that I can make it do whatever I want it to. On the other hand, why invent the wheel again when it's already done? Perhaps first see what's available before I decide to make something myself..?

I hope to see you on my stream coming Wednesday. I'll start off with Pillars of Eternity in Iron Man mode which might be very interesting to watch. Bets are on for what level I'll reach with it


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Upgrade VDSL for upload speed?
18 May 2015
Posted in General

We currently have a 32Mbps down and 3.2Mpbs up VDSL speed. This is a bit higher than our actual speed should be (30/3) but I'm not complaining. With our house being around 500 meters away from the street's distribution point, we should theoretically be able to hit around 38Mpbs down as maximum speed. That speed can only be obtained from the next speed tier our ISP offers and that's 50/5.

And that 50/5 speed is kinds tricky. Everywhere you look for information about VDSL and maximum speeds you only see information about download speeds, while for me upload speed at the moment is more important if I'll start streaming on a regular basis. I know fiber (50/50 minimum) should be a solution,  but in our city (Alkmaar, close to 100K citizens) there's not fiber available (yet) because it's a bit out of the regular route of the big cities

So today I contacted my ISP with the question if I'll upgrade to 50/5, what would happen to the upload speed. And as expected, the service representative I spoke to didn't know the answer to that. Yes, she knew that the distance from the distribution point to our house would influence the maximum download speed (40Mpbs I heard - guess they upgraded the cables and connections a bit?), but download speed? That kinda beats her  She was very helpful though and tried to contact technical support instead but she couldn't get through. As a final alternative she decided to ask her supervisor, and there an answer came.

When I upgrade to 50/5, the maximum upload speed that can be managed is the same as the maximum download speed (40Mpbs in my case). With the ISP capping the upload speed to 5Mpbs, it should be no problem at all for me to hit 5Mpbs. I even could get speeds up to 8Mpbs upload because that's the maximum that my ISP allows as upload speed And with me having 3.2Mpbs instead of 3, I guess I could hit 5.5Mpbs or so when I'd upgrade...

Next I'll have to talk to my son and wife though about this upgrade. It's not the raise in monthly subscription being a problem (only 4 extra), but more see if and how my upcoming streaming schedule will affect the regular use of our internet in general. Though the 5.5Mpbs would allow me to stream on 720p without a problem, if either of them (and most likely my son) starts using the upload bandwidth as well, there still might be a problem while streaming...

For now I'll get started with streaming on the 3.2Mpbs we have right now and see how things will turn out. After all, I'm planning to stream when my son is to school so it should not be a real biggie. If at any rate the stream will be a bit unstable I think I'd have to upgrade for sure. Though I'd much rather have a fiber connection to my home, but I fear that'll take yet an other year (which they said last year as well...)


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Starting streaming schedule
13 May 2015
Posted in General

I'm gollowing Geek Gamer Girl on twitch and yesterday evening we (most people watching) were discussing starting to stream on twitch and how to attract followers. It was some good info I heard there and most importantly the thing about attracting followers. The basic advice for this is to setup a personal schedule when you'll be streaming games and FOLLOW THAT SCHEDULE! It doesn't matter if I stream only for 1 day a week for 2 hours or every day, all day long - just keep true to the schedule and followers will come by their self then.

Looking at my current agenda and openings to stream on scheduled times, I can only come up with Friday around noon (Central European Times - GMT+1, GMT+2 now with summertime). The only problem though, the rest of the month I'm pretty busy on hospital visits and other appointments, making me not able to setup a schedule for the rest of the month.
Alternatively I could pick Wednesday as my weekly streaming day to get started (the other day each week I certainly can make time), but next week I have an appointment at the hospital and it would get me started only one week earlier. But with the summer kicking in here in The Netherlands, I'll open the doors to the street for some fresh air an catch some sun rays, Wednesday around noon would be a problem. That afternoon the schools are out and there will be a lot of extra noise from the street to enter the mic (and this the stream).

Along with that, I decided to buy a gaming headset to supply myself with a good mic. The mic used in my webcam just sucks and is extremely sound sensitive, and with OBS not having a 'minimum activation level' for a mic, you really hear everything. Using a good headset, the mic near the mouth is less sensitive and you'll hear less environmental noise (which might make the Wednesday an option to stream as well).
The headphone that I have ordered is a Sennheiser PC 320 G4ME. I know Sennheiser to be a good brand and if the range used for their headphones become a bit wider the sound will become a lot better as well. This one has a range of 15Hz to 23Khz. Though this headphone will in no way be comparebly with my (30 year old) BeyerDynamic DT990 headphones, I think this Sennheiser one will give me a pretty good gaming experience...

Please stay tuned to more info on definitive dates for my streaming schedule both here and on my twitch page!


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