Mouse Trouble

For a long time I have used the Razer Naga Molten as my mouse. It’s been excellent. Recently though it’s had a little trouble moving about on the desk. It turns out that the slick plastic sliders on the bottom of the mouse have worn right down to the hard plastic shell. It was becoming awkward to use. And I can’t seem to find a way to just replace those parts.

I started investigating replacements and of course the first place to look was Razer. Here, the Naga was now in several versions, with the fanciest being the Naga Pro. This had the three swappable side plates (so normal configuration, 6 buttons and the 12 button like my Naga). It added wireless, including Bluetooth.

But the Razer software no longer supports OSX. Though I’ve never used the Razer software on my existing Naga. With my birthday coming up, I put in my request.

Success! Birthday came along and so did the Naga. It connected fairly simply to the iMac. Obviously the software wasn’t working but I didn’t think much of that until I tried to play WoW.

Here I came across the problem I didn’t face with the older one. The Naga Molten has a switch on the bottom. This manually selects the 12 side buttons as either the top number row on the keyboard or the number pad. Now I had always had it as the number pad. This worked great as I used the number row on the keyboard for my attack rotation, then the Numpad on the Naga as my interrupts and other more situational actions.

Well, that’s what the software does in the newer ones. That software that doesn’t work on OSX. Mapping the keys in WoW didn’t help because the mouse thinks its the number row. I did manage a work around as I made them all bound to SHIFT-number.

I was kind of disappointed, so I handed the Naga over to the Surface to work with. I do like that I can actually use it for multiple computers. I have the USB cable connected to the iMac, which works. And when I switch the BT on, the Surface connects to it.

Anyway, after some more research, I picked up a Logitech G604 for the iMac.

This is also a Bluetooth mouse (that was one of the criteria for my choice) and it has 6 side buttons. The Logitech software also works on OSX.

So this arrived and connected. It was really slow to move across my desktop (I have the 27” iMac and another 27” screen slaved to it). Then I got into the software and messed about with the settings. This helped.

I’ve also set up the keys when outside WoW as a bunch of short cuts.. cut, copy, paste, screenshot. Works well for that.

I have struggled a little with it in WoW, but I’ve also not played much so I reserve judgement on that side of things. I can’t quite seem to get the Logitech software to automatically switch profile as I thought it did. Again, I haven’t played with it much to be sure.

However, I have been having trouble with it even working. It will often lose the BT connection and simply stop. I’ve had to go through the reconnection steps several times. Switching it off, clearing it from the iMac’s BT list etc have eventually got it up and running.

The other trouble is that, well as I said, without the G-Suite application running, it’s really slow across the screen. At the OSX login screen (there are profiles for each family member on my iMac) its slow. And it remains slow even after login (or wake up from sleep) until the G-Suite kicks in. This can be several seconds. Or it isn’t until I actually open it. Or it just doesn’t.

This has all been quite frustrating. Sometimes it all gets back together, or I have to switch on the Apple Magic Mouse that I have, or I’ve resorted to plugging the Naga in (via its USB) cable. On one recent afternoon I had to dig out an old Apple Trackpad to get some response from the cursor on screen.

So in summary. Naga Pro isn’t great for OSX (well it’s not supposed to be). G604 seems really flakey. Apple Magic Mouse is good for general stuff, but not games, make sure you keep a trackpad around…

Anyone got an older working Naga they want to let go?

Oh and my old reliable Logitech M555 that I kept for travel seems to have died.

A Survivor is Born…..again

Again.

Well that went a lot faster. I’ve finished TR again. I am sure there is one main thing that improved my performance this time. It is MUCH easier to fight with mouse and keyboard than the PS Controller. This made aiming easier even when compared to the auto-aim on the PS version.

Finding a body with a sword in a place full of “scary magic”, pulling the sword out is NOT something that I would have thought to do…. too likely to ‘wake’ him up again! Still it didn’t turn out bad. This time.

I enjoyed the story and I think this time I was happy with the less Tomb Raider and more hunter-killer story. Partly again, it was that my expectations were better aligned with reality and I could see how it fit with the story.

This penultimate fight was tough, the warriors you faced were tougher than the crazies you normally faced. But being careful about not biting off the whole thing at once, it is manageable.

I even completed it with 90% of the things to find done. I think this directly contributed to finding the battles easier. My weapons have a lot of upgrades and I had a lot of skills completed. I have no idea how much I was upgraded in the last game, but I’m sure it was significantly less. Even completed several of the extra tombs this time too. One of them, I didn’t even realise was a tomb until I got to the treasure at the end (It was inside the Research Base).

The big guy goes down. Easier aiming, better weapons and a better understanding of dodge attacks and weak points meant an easier kill than last time. Still a challenge though and he hits HARD.
Mattias is beaten!
The Storm Queen is about to be released from her torment.
Here comes the sun….

So on to the next TR? Haven’t picked it up yet, I’ll have to see if its on sale.

Because the adventure is just starting.

BattleTech – The Arano Restoration

Lady Arano rallies the troops.

The end of 2019 sees the completion of another computer game – Paradox’s take on BattleTech. Late the other night I had completed the third to last mission, to Liberate Tyrlon.

This mission saw my lance dropped into some mountains with a time limit to cut the power to the space defence grid. The added curl was that there was also off grid artillery which (I assume) would have a significant impact on any mech caught in the fire zones.

Using my usual assault and heavy mechs I was a bit concerned about about the time. It was generous, but the terrain had many choke points and there was ongoing harassment by the enemy. This would all add up to slowing me down.

I hit the first target quickly, then went up behind it to get to the next one. My lance was split at this point, with two mechs ahead, and two behind, cleaning up the defenders. I decided to push the leading pair (An Orion set up for LRMs and a BattleMaster, with a mix) into the furthest target and then the second pair would hit the closer one as soon as it could. This would be faster than trying to hit them consecutively.

The Orion, up ahead, triggered the landing of a reserve lance, 3 heavies and a light (an artillery spotter). At this point the two trailing mechs (a Highlander and a Cyclops) were almost right on top of the enemy reinforcements. I split my lance further, with the Orion taking the far target, the BattleMaster hitting the near one and the others holding the reinforcements. I figured two assaults could hold these clowns

The final power station came down with about 3 turns to spare. Mission successful.

Normally at this point I leave the story missions for a while and gear up. Instead I spent some money, picking up a Stalker and an Atlas. This would give me a full set of Assault. I also picked up a second Highlander. I ran a couple of missions, setting myself up with a cool climate lance and a hot climate lance and getting used to the new mechs.

So after a the famil over a couple of nights, I felt ready to hit the next story mission. This one is different as once complete you must launch straight into the next one, with only the resources available on the Argo and NO TIME to repair. (Hence the bulking up of my inventory). At this point I had an Atlas, 2 Highlanders, a Cyclops (as my leading lance) with a Stalker, a BattleMaster, an Orion as replacements (or if the climate was on the hot end) and some other Heavies. (I think a Cataphract and a couple of Grasshoppers). With a full Lance of elite MechWarriors plus several lower ranked substitutes I should be okay. I have rarely lost a ’Warrior.

The first of the pair is an assault on a comms station. Supporting a pair of APCs (who take over the fixed emplacements) and carrying my lead tech to upload some dodgy stuff into the comms array (in order to disable a Warship that will turn the battle from us). Supported by a couple of PPC carriers we attacked the base. Finding a Jenner, an Orion and a couple of other mediums, we quickly had control.

It did take a little while to deliver the tech as the Assault mechs are slow and the base was confusing to navigate (and I didn’t know which mech the Tech was riding). But she got in and got started.

Reinforcements arrived soon after, with a lance of heavy/assault dropping near the entrance. While my lance used focused and aimed shots to bring each Mech down quite quickly, they were ably assisted by the PPC carriers who had remained outside the base. This meant that to turn and attack my lance, each enemy mech had to turn his weaker rear armour to the caress of 3 PPC blasts from each carrier. It certainly helped.

With the clock ticking down for success, a second lance dropped in just as the first fell. These dropped almost on top of half my lance, but allowed us to focus fire them quite easily. A fighting movement rearward (we were certainly NOT withdrawing) allowed the mechs to open up to beyond their minimum effective range, increasing their damage, and the new lance followed all the rest.

In the story, the usurper gives up at this point, declares for our employer, Lady Arano, and it should be all over. However the usurper’s daughter, Victoria, issues one last challenge, fight or Lady Arano loses a respected and valued ally and advisor that Victoria holds as prisoner.

And hence our last mission. Lady Arano in her stock Atlas II (So updated tech like double heat sinks and ER lasers). I deploy my Atlas, a Highlander and a BattleMaster.

The fight is in an arena, with some forest cover, a few monoliths (to break line of sights) and a large pool in the centre (providing heat relief). I headed to the left flank and the cover.

The enemy approached, almost one at a time. I had destroyed one opponent (I forget what) when Victoria’s mech started to make its presence felt. A King Crab, with upgraded EVERYTHING, it was a weapon! As I killed the second from their lance, my personal mech, the Atlas, had its head destroyed in a single volley. Ouch. We were now 3 vs 2.

Time to switch tactics. I moved my mechs into the water, breaking line of sight with the Awesome that was also still fighting. It also improved my lance’s rate of fire. I left Lady Arano up the bank in cover to hold Victoria’s attention and switched focus to the King Crab, instead of the Awesome that I had planned.

The Highlander lost an arm, but the Crab was put down. The Awesome following soon after.

Lady Arano had her throne back. And I had an Atlas II and a fat wallet.

Lady Arano gets her throne back.

And I’d finished something from my backlog 🙂 Looking back, Tomb Raider, back in 2014 might be the last game I finished (or Portal in the same year).

Erm, 5 years ago. Even this seems to have taken me about 18 months. Still in the same time I’ve also completed another degree.

In all I have enjoyed the game. It does take ages to load every time you go from boot, to Argo to mission and back. But having played the tabletop so long ago, this felt like a great version of that. I’m not sure about post campaign as there just isn’t the impetus to keep playing at this point. We’ll see.

BattleTech – Restarting

I have been struggling the last few missions to get anywhere. I seem to be always putting things back together and am still lurching from month to month, contract to contract. Even though I’m picking up only 2 skull rated missions (out of 5) I seem to run into mostly heavies. For my lance of mediums this is a big ask, and they’ve been found wanting.

I decided to go back to the start and spend more time in the early game between story missions, running missions. I figure this will get me a better baseline to start from.

Plus I can use the lessons that I have learned along the way to perform better than before.

But there’s no way to skip the first story mission so here goes nothing…

BattleTech – Setting out on my own

After Smithon I completed the next story mission. This went much better, though the game did hang just as I was about to win. I did have a halfway through save, so the next chance I got I started from there.

This second one went much better (strangely enough) and instead of being caught separated and out of position I was able to get the lance organised to destroy the reinforcements. This saved two pilots and mechs from destruction.

After this I decided it was time to head out and try to get myself a bit of a buffer of resources and see if I could increase my mech weights. I still have to run 2 or 3 mediums and 1 or 2 heavies, but I’d like to get some heavier mechs.

So picking up the Nav charts I picked a couple of high tech level but low challenge worlds and set out away from the story zone. The idea was to hit up a string of easier missions, sucking the money up and hopefully a few bits of mechs and weapon upgrades.

There doesn’t seem to be any specific advice on whether it is better to go all money, all scrap or strongly one or the other in the game. It certainly depends upon what has happened in your career. Remember you can have a 10/10/10/10 pilot in a solid mech and a headshot takes out the mech and the pilot in one shot. Or you can slug it out with 8 mechs and barely a scratch on your lance. The random number effect can be strong in this game.

So I’ve mostly gone cash, and thankfully it has been some time since I’ve spent all of my earnings (and more) from a mission. I’m still usually a month or two from bankruptcy, but I’ve been spending on upgrades (of my ship and on upgraded ++ weapons), rather than repairs.

My idea is to do this for a little while, then head back into the story with a bit of a buffer. Research shows I’ve completed 9 of 20 story missions, so there is a bit to go. But there are some tough ones to come if I don’t gear up somewhat.

Still enjoying the game. It’s giving me some sleepy days at work meetings!

BattleTech – a longer review

Battletech – I promised a review later, and it’s now later.

I am only a little way through the story, and I know that there are many who have finished. I do not know how long the story is, I think I am up to about the 4th or 5th story mission (called Liberation:Smithon). At the moment I am leaving that mission aside as I train and gear up my lance.

My first impressions of a faithful recreation of the table top game, along with decent graphics and AI are still pretty much unchanged. The first, that its a faithful recreation of the table top is for me a real positive. I think that has made it easy for them in that balance and such have basically been play tested for 30 years. The great big positive for me is that turn based copes very easily with random interruptions. I can stop and sort out life stuff without stressing about what the enemy are up to. I know it isn’t everyone’s favourite way of playing, but I don’t mind it.

The graphics look good on my iMac. I imagine there are more impressive games and on more capable systems there are more impressive games. But graphics aren’t everything.

The story is fine. It’s very similar to the really old “MechWarrior” game, where you are a merc with a story and the intent is to carry out some contracts until you’re geared up enough to finish the story. What I do like in this version is that the story engages you as you go. In the old game every time I headed back into the story I was arrested and the game ended. I gave up and just set about getting awesome mechs and lots of money. Turns out I should have gone back at that stage.

Anyway, the game does get a little slow during some combats when there is a lot of actions queued up. The random number generator can be a bit vicious sometimes, but it works both ways. Sometimes a game will be tough, sometimes its not.

The rounds can take quite a bit of time, an hour or more. But I don’t find that a bad thing 🙂

So overall I am very happy.

One word

and it’s not Avengers, it’s Battletech.

The new Battletech from Paradox (also available through Steam) is excellent.

And personally the best news, its ON THE IMAC as well. So I can play it.

And its really interesting and really well done.

 

I’ll do a longer review with pics in a bit. But if you’ve ever been a table top player, then I think you’ll enjoy it.

WoW – Lets go Legion

It’s almost as bad as my first BC attempt (*BC attempt is discussed here). Ok, not as bad, but I’m dieing all over the place

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See, here, again. Pretty much every time there is a mini boss, I get pounded at least once. During the quest chain for DoomHammer I died to one there about 7 times. It’s quite frustrating. BC was worse, I would die every second boar there.

So yes, I picked DoomHammer. It is Enhance spec after all, and that is what Mab has stayed consistently as, so it makes sense.

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After that I believe I was in my craft hall (the Earthern Ring cavern). From there I have picked HighMountain. They are Tauren after all.

(and that’s where you find me dieing, again)

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WoW – Ding.

I have no idea what happened to this post. I don’t know why it was blank.

WoWScrnShot_030118_053722Mabaho is 100.

I’ve purchased the Legion and Battle for Azeroth double pack. This gets me a 100 boost and a 110 boost, but no collectors pets or mounts. To be honest, that doesn’t bother me. And as I don’t play Starcraft, Diablo, Overwatch and have only dabbled in Hearthstone, the other add-ons are not of interest either.

Besides I’m still waiting for my 2 seat mount from RaF.

I haven’t used the boosts, but at this point, I’m waiting to see how far Mini Mab and I get.

 

 

WoW – RaF

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I decided to RaF to my daughter’s trial account partly as it seemed the easiest way to get us a 2-seat mount. This all went through without any trouble, although it did set her up with a second WoW Trial account (that’s annoying, but no loss as she didn’t have a toon over 10 in the other one).  We both started a Panda (as she wanted to do that, and I’d never done it either).  I started a Monk as it was new and she has started a Priest.

The levelling was fast working together and with RaF active providing even more bonuses. We were almost 17 by the time we made the choice for Horde and headed over to Org instead of about 13.  Just before she hit 20 I subscribed her so we could keep playing. This will also activate my bonuses once the 30 days free time is expired.

Screen Shot 2018-02-26 at 10.49.55 pm.pngWe also ran RFC and SFK with LFG. Both times the three others were clearly overgeared (with heirlooms etc) as they proceeded to tank multiple groups at a time. All a bit confusing for my daughter though. As a priest (but mostly damage at this stage) she kept running into melee range or getting lost. I think that meant her damage output was quite low (plus neither of us are in heirloom), which I think is why she was kicked in the SFK run, before I could let them know that it was a young player on her 2 ever dungeon. Bit rude I thought, it’s not like the group was struggling. I left the group as well. I had been coaching her, but still it’s confusing your first few runs, especially if someone is basically running you through it (the tanks and heals were just blitzing these runs) without stopping to talk or any need to strategise.

Anyway, she’s enjoying it and I’m enjoying being resubbed as well. May is about 99.5 now from 96 a week ago. But OMG the requirements to activate flying in WoD are ridiculous. Still it will shortly be time to buy this new Legion expac I’ve heard about and level to 110…. 😉

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