Deus Ex: HR – Taggart’s Location in Panchaea

I’ve been obsessively playing Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I am kind of sad that I am almost finished with the game seeing has how there’s not much else that I want to play until November rolls around. This video/post isn’t really a spoiler, but it does take place towards the latter part of the game. I had more trouble finding this guy and for some reason, could not find much help online. From the LIMB clinic do the following:

  1. Go down the hall, up the stairs on the left and through the door on the right. You should now be located on the rightmost side of a fairly large area.
  2. The door that you want to reach is on exact the opposite side of the walkway along the same wall. You can either stealth/fight your way through (the area in the video had been pre-cleared) or hop on the scaffolding to the right and climb onto the ledge (much easier but may require the jump upgrade).
  3. Go through the door and down the stairs (the door will be partially obscured by a series of fallen black beams).
  4. The next hallway is protected by two security cameras. If you wish to disable them, there is a level 5 security hub located in the first door to the right (beware, mobs inside).
  5. Go down the hall, drop down off of the main walkway to the left. Go through the vent.

If you go straight down the vent, you will reach a ladder that will drop you straight down into Taggart’s room (easiest way). Alternatively, if you turn right you will be lead to an area with both a level 5 locked door as well as a weakened wall. Both will lead you directly into his room.  Here’s the map location if it’s easier.

Crysis 2 DX11 Patch (and FRAPS Audio Sync Issues)

To be honest, I am not sure that I notice that much of a difference between DirectX 9 and DirectX 11. TotalHalibut though, posted a pretty good comparison video on his YouTube channel. Nonetheless, it is still a fantastic looking game. I am playing at 1080p with everything set to Extreme except for shadows and water, which are set to Ultra. My machine doesn’t quite have the stones to run Crysis 2 at Ultra at 1080p with FRAPS recording full-screen without serious performance issues. That’s just the way the world should be I suppose. Oh, sorry about the crapass frantic running about in the video.

For whatever reason, FRAPS has an audio sync issue on some machines, mine included unfortunately; I’m not sure if it is the FRAPS software itself or some compatibility/driver issue. According to the FRAPS support forums, folks with ASUS motherboards have resolved this issue by uninstalling the EPU-Engine and Turbo-V (mostly EPU-Engine). I have also heard that setting both your recording and playback audio sample rates to 44.1 kHz helps as well. Neither solutions nor anything that was suggested seemed to work for me including, changing the HDDs to which I record the videos and changing the video/recording resolutions/FPS.

So, I don’t know how to prevent the delay from occurring in the first place, but it’s pretty easy to fix. I think the audio track may be recording at a slightly slower rate than the video. As the video progresses, the audio becomes increasingly out of sync. In fact, the audio tracks on some FRAPS source files are longer than the video. All you need to do is compress it down (not clip, compress). There is a YouTube video that shows how to do the corrections in Sony Vegas, it’s pretty easy to do the same thing in Adobe Premiere:

  1. Right click on audio track on your Timeline sequence and select “Unlink”
  2. Select the Rate Stretch Tool (hotkey: X)
  3. Drag the audio track to compress it down.

It’s a little tedious to align the audio with the video if the lengths are the same, but it works reasonably well. I tried setting a manual delay within each of the FRAPS video chunks in both YAAI and VirtualDub, but that didn’t seem to work. I’m pretty sure that was my fault though.

Witcher 2: Draug Fight Video

Here’s another random Witcher 2 video from this past weekend. I even added a cheesy logo! I apologize for the random-ass song by the way;  For some reason, YouTube didn’t like way I encoded the sound in VirtualDub for whatever reason and distorted most of the audio post-upload. I’d rather not re-encode and re-upload the video so I AudioSwapped it. There has to be a free or “free” video editing out there in Internet land that’s less irritating to use than VirtualDub and Windows Movie Maker (while also not requiring the time investment to learn like most of the professional tools). Video processing isn’t one of my geek areas of expertise, but I think I may make it one of my “side projects.”

The Draug fight is not all that hard of an encounter on normal difficulty. In fact, I’m not sure that there’s any particular strategy other than rolling around and whacking him with your strong attack. I’m sure that it’s faster to use Yrden or something to attempt to trap him but whatever. I wasn’t really expecting a one shot so I started screwing around to see what he would do.

System specs & settings: Windows 7 64-bit, core i7-860, 8GB RAM, 1GB ATI Radeon HD 6870, 1920×1080 resolution (recorded at half-size). UltraSampling and vignette are disabled and both shadowing options are at high. I turned on the bloom setting this time.

Witcher 2: Kayran Fight Video

I was playing with FRAPS again so I figured that I would upload a video to YouTube for once. The Kayran fight (on normal difficulty that is) isn’t too hard once you figure out what to do. If anyone is having trouble, here you go: Immediately roll to the left and cast Yrden on the ground below where the smaller side tentacles hit the ground. Taunt the Kayran a bit, roll out of the when when he tries to bitch slap you and then whack on the node on the center of tentacle once it’s pinned to the ground. Stay back immediately afterwards and stay away from his mouth, he kind of freaks out for a couple of seconds after the tentacle is cut. Ignore the large tentacles in the center, you they are untrappable.

Repeat for the other small tentacle on the left side then repeat the same series of actions on the right side small tentacles. At some point he will try to sweep you with one of the larger tentacles, leading to a series of quick time events. Click your right mouse button to grab on, then spam the left mouse button. Immediately after that start spamming your space bar. The QTE event for that bit flashes off really quickly. Once you hit the ground, head leftwards and climb the bit of fallen wall. Keep Quen up if you think that you will get hit.

By the way, for those who like this sort of thing, here are my system specs: Windows 7 64-bit, core i7-860, 8GB RAM, 1GB ATI Radeon HD 6870, 1920×1080. When FRAPS isn’t recording, my average FPS is at around 40 to 45ish or so. Sometimes more, sometimes less depending on the environment and situation. My GPU temperature hovers at around 70 degrees Celsius, 100% usage, 39% fanspeed.

Settings wise, everything is maxed out at Ultra in this video except for the following: UltraSampling, vignette (I dislike the effect) and bloom are disabled. Both shadowing options are set to “high”. I didn’t see much of a difference between high and ultra. I am still up in the air about bloom; I like it when the sun is filtering through the trees in Chapter 1 and during many of the outdoors areas but it seems way overdone indoors and on characters. Also, setting smoothness to 0 in the .ini config file helped to reduce mouse lag.

Minecraft: Wanderlust (and Minecarts!)


I went on a Minecraft binge the other weekend and spent all Saturday morning searching for a dungeon spawner (or something interesting) because honestly, I haven’t really found anything noteworthy in the game for quite some time.  I was unable to find one through standard means so I started using the half-in sand/gravel x-ray vision cheat to scope out areas beneath me. No such luck. So then I generated two Cartograph maps: A normal render and a render displaying only mossy cobblestone (code 46 by the way). I overlayed the mossy image over the normal image in Photoshop and used that as a rough adventure map.

That map showed that there was a dungeon roughly between the island observation tower and the mountainside base. After searching for it for about an hour I gave up and resorted to running a standalone 3d visualizer to search for certain block types. It turns out that the dungeon was way deep and that I probably would never have found it unless I had dug a hole straight down to the baserock. I also found out that there was a dungeon literally 20 paces East of my spawn point. It was one block below the surface, go figure.

I played around with the portals more later that day. I wish that they were a bit more precise, I’ll explain: Portal A is located on the second floor of my base and leads to Point A within the Nexus. I had created another portal at Point B within the nexus, approximately 30 or so paces from Point A. Point B opens up to Portal B in the normal world. Every single top side portal that I have created leads to Point B, no matter how far out I am. I’ve tried destroying Portal B to see if that made a difference, but not so much. Portals C, D and E all link to Point B.

In the process of creating Portal C (or D), I had destroyed Portal B without bringing a compass. Instead of rebuilding and hopping back into the portal I wandered and got hopelessly lost, eventually burning down a large Forest and starting a small base in the middle of the destruction for the sake of mining enough obsidian to complete a portal that would lead me home (I didn’t want to die and lose my inventory). I turns out that the new base was located over a huge network of caves (seriously huge, I think I found Moria…). I mined enough iron to complete a lengthy cart track linking my spawn, the island tower and the mountain base. I want to link Portal C and the new base in the middle of burning forest but I ran out of iron. Here’s a video of it:

Minecraft: Brave New Worlds


Note: If anyone cares, there are forums on this site; Mostly for me to play around with, but guest posting is now enabled. If anyone has a question or concern about any topic I post about or any game that I play, I would be happy to respond.

I played around with the new talents and mechanics in the latest WoW patch last week. The verdict on the new retribution changes is still out in the open, but that is for another post. So in Minecraft World #1, Base Beta has a spiral staircase that winds all the way down to the bedrock layer, where there are a series of tunnel mines extended off in various directions. One of these tunnels goes on for quite a bit but surfaces up against the edge of a lake. Base Gamma was built a short distance away from that tunnel in a small valley surrounded by mountains and a neat waterfall flowing into a small lake.

There’s a small cave entrance off in the far corner of the lake. I explored it and unearthed a huge huge series of underground caverns (which was later connected to a tunnel dug from inside of Gamma ). In the process of exploring, I came across a section of the cave that just infinitely spawned mobs of every single type. Had I been wiser, I totally could have setup a bad ass mob farming trap. I mean, I sat there and whacked on them until I ran out of weapons and arrows and they still came.

Later on, I had explored the area in peaceful to see if there was a mob spawner nearby, but could not find any. What I did find was an even larger series of caves right above me in the same chunk. I am assuming that they were spawning in the darkness and falling down some hole in the ceiling. I didn’t realize that they could spawn in that quantity that fast. That cave was also nowhere near my origin chunk. I checked that too.

Anyway, being a dumbass, I kept dying in that same area, losing 2 diamond picks and a small stash of diamond ore in the process because I had not bothered dropping them off at Gamma. It was then and there that I had pretty much ragequit that game and started a new world with the intention of being more build centric. So Minecraft World #2 is what I have been up to lately. I made a video today detailing what I had built last week over the 3 day weekend (and some change. The dock, underwater tunnel and tower were built this week). It was supposed to be narrated, the YouTube annotations will have to suffice for the time being.

Also: Is there a better way or program to use to re-encode Fraps videos? Is there? Or at least, is there some way to get Fraps to encode differently so that 1 minute videos aren’t 500+ MB in size? Handbrake doesn’t seem to ffmpeg very well and would encode videos without errr the video part, so I had to decompress the file in virtual dub (couldn’t get the proper codec working in that program either, but didn’t really bother trying. It was late), then encode it in handbrake. Bah. Nevermind. The issue was fixed in Handbrake’s nightly builds.

So here’s a Cartograph render of my World #2 map (posted below this paragraph). The generated map was about twice the size of the cropped image that I uploaded. Out of everything rendered there were 43812115 blocks of stone, 390598 blocks of grass, 23159 gold ore, 9505 diamond or and a whopping 410 blocks of clay. CLAY. Why is it so damn hard to find clay? I can’t possibly build my brick empire with 410 blocks of clay. More exploring is necessary.