Category Archives: Video Games

Sonic and Knuckles – Virtual Console – Knuckles Lock On

Sonic and Knuckles is a game my kids recently started playing. I’ve found out a trick to help you do something interesting when using the Wii Virtual Console. I have been a gamer since I was very young. I was gaming through the entire “Sonic” era and played almost every sonic game that existed (as I grew up). Even now I go back and play some of the older games when the mood hits. At the moment both of my kids are in a huge sonic phase and they play a lot of sonic games. Because I’ve been a gamer for so long, it makes it easy for me to help them unlock things that are otherwise tricky to get access to.

Sonic and KnucklesMy kids recently got interested in a game called “Sonic and Knuckles” and they wanted to play it on the Virtual Console inside the WII software.

There is a trick to allow you to play Knuckles in the past game. If you go and also download Sonic 1, 2, and 3 then you can play Knuckles within those games. Basically just go into the game on the Wii Virtual Console, hit the “Select” button, and select which one you are interested in playing. It will reset the game, activate the Lock-On technology, and start it up with the correct game (playing as Knuckles).

It’s a little tricky to get use to, but if you have kids that love Sonic (or you want to play Sonic) then it’s a nice caveat to an already cool feature.

More information on this game can be found here: Sonic and Knuckles’

The virtual console has a great selection of Sonic titles, and it definitely is easier than breaking out the old systems when your in the mood to play it. It can be a little glitchier than the original versions but nothing game breaking and most of them are easily avoidable.

Civilization 4 Basic Tips

Civilization 4 is a very good game, and a lot of time was put into building and testing it. I have recently been putting a lot of time into it and I have all of the expansions (Beyond the Sword and Warlords).  I have been playing one specific game for awhile, and during the time I have been playing, I have learned several tricks of the trade. Some of them are listed below.

Civilization 4 – A Small Checklist

Civilization 4

1. Don’t use Nukes unless you really know what you are doing. They are not as good as in Civilization 5, and they cause permanent relationship damage. In civilization 4 For every nuke you drop on someone, that person gets a -2 to their relationship rating. Anybody that considers them “good friend” will also take a relationship hit.  It’s OK early game, but once you get late game it becomes very hard to retain your game. After several nukes, it starts to affect how often the enemy goes to war with you. On top of that, after nukes are dropped several times, random areas are started to get affected by Global Warming, which causes a lot of damage to cities and surrounding tiles. Basically the minor affect that you get from nuking enemies, is nowhere near worth it for dealing with end-game attacks and relationship issues. There are times when you just need to buckle down and build up because you are unable to get out of war. The more nukes you drop early game, the harder it is to stay out of war late game when it is critical (sometimes) to be able to get built up with units and so forth. Civilization 4 specifically was intended with these mechanics in mind.

2. Accept Vassals early on, when the situation allows you to (assuming they are not enemies with every person on the map).  During my big game, I was refusing vassals throughout the entire game. At least 10 different times I had every small power asking me to become my vassal.  I kept refusing.  Then, late game there were two major civilizations, mine and one other. Somehow those civilizations that asked me to vassal, all suddenly asked him. So I had one civilization that had almost as many cities as me, and a huge military, suddenly obtain almost every civilization on the map as a vassal. So I had myself, another huge civilization that had about 5-6 vassals, and 3 other civilizations on the map. The other 3 never went to war with me, but the other large one constantly started wars because I had mistakenly nuked them two times early game, and treated them like crap. So basically I am up against about 70% of the total map all attacking me at once ,and every time the major civilization starts war, they all start war since they are vassals.  This is making it very hard to build up enough military to expand at this point since all my resources are spent trying to defend.

That’s about it for now. As I get other advice, or thoughts on Civilization 4 I will add them to this blog post.

Skyrim Mods – A collection of some of the better mods out there.

I play a lot of games, obviously..I make it a  habit of writing blog posts about topics that might help others. Generally they are things that take me a lot of time to figure out so it saves other people some time.  I have started Skyrim and I am well over 100 hours into the game. I have collected various mods that I have been using since I started playing. Some I added early, some were added later in the game..but I have played extensively (for the most part) with them and some of the ones that I use come highly recommended.

So the current mods I have installed are listed below, each in their own section with respective links…as well as my thoughts and personal notes about each one.

Before we start, please note that currently I am using NMM to download and install ALL of my mods for Skyrim. They recently had some issues and went down for a few days, they are still working on ironing out some of the issues but for the most part they are all ironed out.

Let’s begin, the NMM you want to download is located here: http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/modmanager/?

I am starting to use this site as my main modding site for both downloading mods and building/uploading mods. The NMM only works with certain games, but they are working on adding more game support on a regular and consistent basis.

The mods I recommend below were all installed and managed via NMM, which is highly recommended. I have had nothing but a wonderful experience using the program so far.

Official Patches and DLC

1. Dawnguard
2. Hearthfire
3. Dragonborn
4. High Resolution Texture Pack

These are simply the official released content (I did not list Fall of the space core because I don’t personally use it..but you can if you want).  These are simple included in the Steam legendary edition anyway…So not hard to get, I don’t remember if the texture pack came installed or you had to install it separate..I don’t remember that.

Unofficial Patches and Fixes

The following mods are for misc patches and fixes:

1. Skyrim Misc Patches Collection – SMPC – SMPC http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/23833/?
2. Unofficial Dawnguard Patch – Unofficial Dawnguard Patch http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/23491/?
3. Unofficial Dragonborn Patch – Unofficial Dragonborn Patch http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/31083/?
4. Unofficial Hearthfire Patch – Unofficial Hearthfire Patch http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/25127/?
5. Unofficial High Resolution Patch – Unofficial High Resolution Patch http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/31255/?
6. Unofficial Skyrim Patch – Unofficial Skyrim Patch http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/19/?

The game is VERY buggy by itself. All of these patches help to fix the crap out of Skyrim and that’s all they do..fix errors, issues, bad references, messed up conversations, broken questions and so forth. If you don’t use ANY other mods whatsoever, I still highly recommend these..it will greatly improve your Skyrim experience.

UI Overall and options configuration menu

Before downloading ANY other mod, download SkyUI here: http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/3863/?

This actually redoes the UI in a nice way, but more importantly this has the only mod management mod built into it that allows other mod configuration options to tap into it. Almost all major mods are supported and almost every mod on this list has all of it’s configuration options built into this small mod that is built into SkyUI. From what I can tell the mod configuration feature is not standalone and is ONLY found within the SKyUI mod. Highly recommended.

Misc Mods

1. Run for your lives – http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/23906/? Very basic mod. NPC’s run and hide in their houses when dragons come, helps to keep the NPC’s from dying. I think this one is glitchy or having trouble working though…I recall it not really working, but I still haven’t uninstalled it..I may check later and make sure, and perhaps tweak it to work if it doesn’t.

2. Realistic Needs and Diseases – http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/26228/?– Highly recommended. I am running it out of the box settings.  The only setting I changed was the sound affects of the yawning and so forth..but this makes the game much more realistic without being overly annoying.

3. Dynamic Time Scale – http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/10594/? – High recommended especially with the Realistic Needs and Diseases…it slows down time at intervals and makes the game MUCH more realistic.

4. A Matter of Time – http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/44091/? – Just simply shows what time/date it is in game in a nicely laid out UI added to your HUD. Very simple and easy to use/configure.

5. Smart Cast – http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/43123/? – Redoes a lot of the casting systems and works very well. High recommended and also has several multi-cast options and presets as well.

Bigger and Higher End Mods

1. The Dawnspire – http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/20751/? – One of the best housing mods in the game. I use it all the time. It allows void storage features which let’s you dump ALL your items into one place, then it auto sorts them throughout the house..even has a spell so you can link up to void storage anytime you want..I never have to run back anymore I just throw my stuff all into Void Storage via the spell and sort it out back at my house when I am ready. It auto-sorts everything and has more features than it knows what to do with.

2. Vilja in Skyrim – http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/26393/? A companion, and one of the best ones on the market from what I can tell. This is the one I have used the entire game, and it was very well put together. The voice acting is weak at times but it is still a VERY good mod.

3. Blaze of Eventide – http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/25097/? One of the best mount mods I have found and the mod has a lot of great features. I ride him everywhere and have not ran into any problems with it so far.

4. Phenderix Magic Evolved – http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/5898/? Adds a guy in various cities that allows you to buy a lot of really cool spells. Pretty good spells at that. Definitely worth getting.

5. Falskaar – http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/37994/? – A college student who tried to get the developers attention..he finally got hired by Bungie. He created this continent/quest mod and it is one of the best and highest rated content mods created. He even got hired by Bungie because of making this mod, which was his sole reason for making it. Very good mod and definitely worth the download. This is content I would even pay for it’s so good.

6. Halls of Dovahndor – http://www.nexusmods.com/skyrim/mods/25448/? – A house. A very large house with good features. You cannot access it until much later in the game. I haven’t been to it yet, but It had a lot of endorsements and seems like a very good mod. I am definitely going to use the house as a secondary living area when I get to that point in the game (nowhere near that point in my current save file).

In Closing

As I come up with other mods that I download/use I will post about them here, and continue to leave feedback about mods that I consider must haves for Skyrim. Thanks for reading. Any questions, concerns or recommendations feel free to throw them in the comments. I always respond and will even update the blog post with contributions.

Thanks!

Skyrim – Quest Checklist

Well I just recently went back to playing Skyrim..I was 20 hours into a save that I took a break from, so I wanted to try picking it back up again.  Obviously, since I am a perfectionist I needed to come up with a way to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Skyrim is a huge game with a lot of stuff to keep track of. Hence a quest checklist. I went through the guide and created a check list (so to speak) breaking down all the quests and so forth by type. Includes all the main quests, civil war quests, factions quests, side quests and so forth.  It also covers a great deal of “misc only” objectives. Overall it has all the “quests” in the game. I did not include checklists for quests that are in self contained dungeons, and obviously a lot of the misc ones (just in the misc objectives) but overall the core quests throughout the entire game are all included below in a quick, easy to use, easy to fill out checklist.  I might expand on this list later if I decide to add more sections for my own personal list, if I do then I will post it here as well.

This was a personal Skyrim list for personal use, the Status is the only field you have to update. Just clear out “Complete” from the few I have completed, then as you finish them in your game, just mark them Complete. You can copy/paste them directly into a word document, Google Drive, or practically any other type of document.

Any suggestions/requests, feel free to leave comments and I will considering following through on any quests, and obviously if you have any questions about Skyrim feel free to ask those in the comments as well.

Skyrim – Main Quests

Quest Name Status Notes
Unbound Complete
Before The Storm Complete
Bleak Falls Barrow Complete
Dragon Rising Complete
The Way of The Voice
The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller
A Blade in the Dark
Diplomatic Immunity
A Cornered Rat
Alduin’s Wall
The Throat of the World
Elder Knowledge
Alduin’s Bane
The Fallen
Paarthurnax
Season Unending
The World-Eaters Eyrie
Dragonslayer
Epilogue
Skyrim – The Companions Quests
Quest Name Quest Giver Status Notes
Main: Take up Arms Complete
Main: Proving Honor One of these turns you into werewolf. Be careful once cured you can’t get it again.
Main: The silver Hand One of these turns you into werewolf. Be careful once cured you can’t get it again.
Main: Blood’s Honor
Main: Purity of Revenge
Radiant: Animal Extermination 1 Aela After Take Up Arms
Radiant: Animal Extermination 2 Aela After Take Up Arms
Radiant: Hired Muscle Farkas After Take Up Arms
Radiant: Trouble in Skyrim Farkas Complete After Take Up Arms
Radiant: Family Heirloom Skjor or Vilkas After Take Up Arms
Radiant: Escaped Criminal Skjor or Vilkas After Take Up Arms
Radiant: Rescue Mission Skjor or Vilkas After Take Up Arms
Radiant: Striking The Heart Aela After The Silver Hand, Before Blood’s Honor
Radiant: Stealing Plans Aela After The Silver Hand, Before Blood’s Honor
Radiant: Retrieval Aela After The Silver Hand, Before Blood’s Honor
Radiant: Totems of Hircine Aela After Glory of the Dead
Radiant: Purity Skjor or Vilkas After Glory of the Dead
Radiant: Dragon Seekers Skjor or Vilkas After Glory of the Dead, and main quest A Blade in the Dark

Skyrim –
College of Winterhold
Quest Name Quest Giver Status Notes
Main: First Lessons
Main: Under Saarthal
Main: Hitting the Books
Main: Good Intentions
Main: Revealing The Unseen
Main: Containment
Main: The Staff of Magnus
Main: The Eye of Magnus
Radiant: Rejoining the College N/A Complete First Lessons.
Radiant: Tolfdir’s Alembic Tolfdir Complete First Lessons. Shows up in Misc.
Radiant: Out of Balance Drevis Neloren Complete First Lessons. Shows up in Misc.
Radiant: An Enchanted Journey Sergius Turrianus Complete First Lessons. Shows up in Misc.
Radiant: Restocking Soul Gems Sergius Turrianus Complete First Lessons. Shows up in Misc.
Radiant: Valuable Book Procurement Urag Gro-Shub Complete First Lessons. Shows up in Misc.
Radiant: Shalidor’s Insights Urag Gro-Shub Complete First Lessons.
Radiant: The Atronach Forge N/A Complete First Lessons. Complete Ritual Spell Quest Conjurer to unlock full potential. Shows up in Misc.
Radiant: Forgotten Names N/A Complete First Lessons. Shows up in Misc.
Radiant: Aftershock Tolfdir Complete The Eye of Magnus.
Radiant: Rogue Wizard Tolfdir Complete The Eye of Magnus.
Arniel’s Endeavors: Part 1 Arniel Gane Complete Under Saarthal.
Arniel’s Endeavors: Part 2 Arniel Gane Complete Part 1.
Arniel’s Endeavors: Part 3 Arniel Gane Complete Part 2 and The Eye of Magnus.
Arniel’s Endeavors: Part 4 Arniel Gane Complete Part 3 and The Eye of Magnus.
Apprentice Radiant: Brelyna’s Practice Relyna Maryan Complete Under Saarthal.
Apprentice Radiant: J’Zargo’s Experiment J’Zargo Complete Under Saarthal.
Apprentice Radiant: Onmund’s Request Onmund Complete Under Saarthal.
Ritual Spell: Destruction Faralda Destruction Skill 90
Ritual Spell: Illusion Drevis Neloren Illusion Skill 90
Ritual Spell: Conjuration Phinis Gestor Conjuration Skill 90
Ritual Spell: Restoration Collete Marence Restoration Skill 90
Ritual Spell: Alteration Tolfdir Alteration Skill 90

Skyrim –
Thieves Guild Quests
Quest Name Quest Giver Status Notes
Main: A Chance Arrangement
Main: Taking Care of Business
Main: Loud and Clear
Main: Meet the Family Shows up in Misc.
Main: Dampened Spirits
Main: Scoundrel’s Folly
Main: Speaking with Silence
Main: Hard Answers
Main: The Pursuit
Main: Trinity Restored
Main: Blindsighted
Main: Darkness Returns
Radiant: No Stone Unturned
Radiant: Reparations Complete Taking Care of Business. Have to get kicked out of the guild to get this one.
Radiant: Moon Sugar Rush Complete Meet the Family. Shows up in Misc.
Radiant: Armor Exchange Complete Scoundrel’s Folly.  Shows up in Misc.
Radiant: The Litany of Larceny Complete Meet the Family and Finding a Larceny Target in subsequent quest. Shows up in Misc.
Additional Job: The Numbers Job Delvin Mallory Complete Meet the Family.
Additional Job: The Fishing Job Delvin Mallory Complete Meet the Family.
Additional Job: The Bedlam Job Delvin Mallory Complete Meet the Family.
Additional Job: The Burglary Job Vex Complete Meet the Family.
Additional Job: The Shill Job Vex Complete Meet the Family.
Additional Job: The Sweep Job Vex Complete Meet the Family.
Additional Job: The Heist Job Vex Complete Meet the Family.
City Influence Quest: Silver Lining Complete Meet the Family and 5 additional jobs in Markarth.
City Influence Quest: The Dainty Sload Complete Meet the Family and 5 additional jobs in Solitude.
City Influence Quest: Imitation Amnesty Complete Meet the Family and 5 additional jobs in Whiterun.
City Influence Quest: Summerset Shadows Complete Meet the Family and 5 additional jobs in Windhelm.
City Influence Quest: Under New Management Complete Darkness Returns and all 4 other influence quests.
Skyrim – The Dark Brotherhood Quests
Quest Name Status Notes
Main: Delayed Burial
Main: Innocence Lost
Main: With Friends Like These…
Main Sanctuary
Main: Sentenced To Death
Main: Whispers in the Dark
Main: The Silence has been Broken
Main: Bound Until Death
Main: The Cure for Madness
Main: Recipe for Disaster
Main: To Kill an Empire
Main: Death Incarnate
Main: Hail Sithis!
Side Contract: Kill Narfi Complete Sanctuary. Unavailable during Death Incarnate.
Side Contract: Kill Ennodius Papius Complete Sanctuary. Unavailable during Death Incarnate.
Side Contract: Kill Beitild Complete Sanctuary. Unavailable during Death Incarnate.
Side Contract: Kill Hern Complete first 3 side contracts. Available during Whispers in the Dark. Unavailable during Death Incarnate.
Side Contract: Kill Lurbuk Complete first 3 side contracts. Available during Whispers in the Dark. Unavailable during Death Incarnate.
Side Contract: Kill Deekus Complete first 5 side contracts. Available during The Silence has been Broken.  Unavailable during Death Incarnate.
Side Contract: Ma’randru-jo Complete first 5 side contracts. Available during The Silence has been Broken.  Unavailable during Death Incarnate.
Side Contract: Kill Anoriath Complete first 5 side contracts. Available during The Silence has been Broken.  Unavailable during Death Incarnate.
Side Contract: Kill Agnis Complete first 8 side contracts. Available during The Silence has been Broken. Unavailable during Death Incarnate.
Side Contract: Kill Maluril Complete first 9 side contracts. Unavailable during Death Incarnate.
Side Contract: Kill Helvard Complete first 9 side contracts. Unavailable during Death Incarnate.
Side Contract: Kill Safia Complete all previous side contracts. Unavailable during Death Incarnate.
Radiant: Destroy the Dark Brotherhood! Complete Innocents Lost, and kill Astrid.
Radiant: Honor Thy Family Complete With Friends Like These…
Radiant: The Feeble Fortune Complete Breaching Security and earn the bonus. Shows up in Misc.
Radiant: Where You Hang Your Enemy’s Head Complete Hail Sithis.
Radiant: Welcome to the Brotherhood. Complete Hail Sithis.
Radiant: Cicero’s Return Complete Hail Sithis. Shows up in Misc.
Radiant: The Dark Brotherhood Forever Complete Hail Sithis.
Radiant: The Torturer’s Treasure Part 1 Complete Where You Hang Your Enemy’s Head. Shows up in Misc.
Radiant: The Torturer’s Treasure Part 2 Complete Where You Hang Your Enemy’s Head. Shows up in Misc.
Radiant: The Torturer’s Treasure Part 3 Complete Where You Hang Your Enemy’s Head. Shows up in Misc.
Radiant: The Torturer’s Treasure Part 4 Complete Where You Hang Your Enemy’s Head. Shows up in Misc.

Skyrim –
Civil War: Stormcloak Rebellion Quests
Quest Name Status Notes
Main: Joining the Stormcloaks
Main: The Jagged Crown
Main: Message to Whiterun
Main: Battle for Whiterun
Main: Liberation of Skyrim
Main: Rescue from Fort Neugrad
Main: Compelling Tribute
Main: The Battle for Fort Sungard
Main: A False Front
Main: The Battle for Fort Snowhawk
Main: The Battle of Fort Hraggstad
Main: Battle for Solitude

Skyrim –
Civil War: Imperial Legion Quests
Quest Name Status Notes
Main: Joining the Legion
Main: The Jagged Crown
Main: Message to Whiterun
Main: Defense of Whiterun
Main: Reunification of Skyrim
Main: A False Front
Main: The Battle for Fort Dunstad
Main: Compelling Tribute
Main: The Battle for Fort Greenwall
Main: Rescue from Fort Kastav
Main: The Battle for Fort Arnol
Main: Battle for Windhelm

Skyrim –
Daedric Quests
Quest Name Quest Giver Status Notes
The Black Star Azura
Boethiah’s Calling Boethiah Requires level 30.
A Daedra’s Best Friend Clavicus Vile Requires level 10.
Discerning the Transmundane Hermaeus Mora Requires level 15 to begin blood harvest.
Ill Met By Moonlight Hircine
The Cursed Tribe Malacath Requires level 9.
Pieces of the Past Mehrunes Dagon Requires level 20.
The Whispering Door Mephala Requires level 20. Requires main quest completion Dragon Rising.
The Break of Dawn Meridia Requires level 12
The House of Horrors Malag Bal
The Taste of Death Namira
Thieves Guild Quests Nocturnal
The Only Cure Peryite Requires level 10.
A Night to Remember Sanguine Requires level 14.
The Mind of Madness Sheogorath
Waking Nightmare Vaermina Requires level 14.

Skyrim –
Minor Faction Quests
Quest Name Faction Name Status Notes
Word Wall Revelations The Greybeards Requires main quest completion The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller. Shows up in Misc.
Meditations on Words of Power The Greybeards Requires main quest completion The Throat of the World. Shows up in Misc.
Rebuilding the Blades The Blades Requires main quest completion Alduin’s Wall. Shows up in Misc.
Dragon Hunting The Blades Requires main quest completion Alduin’s Wall. Shows up in Misc.
Dragonslayer’s Blessing The Blades Requires main quest completion Alduin’s Wall. Shows up in Misc.
Dragon Research The Blades Requires main quest completion Alduin’s Wall. Shows up in Misc.
Tending the Flames The Bards College
Finn’s Lute The Bards College Requires completion of Tending The Flames.
Pantea’s Flute The Bards College Requires completion of Tending The Flames.
Rjorn’s Drum The Bards College Requires completion of Tending The Flames.
The Heart of Dibella Temple Quests Related settlement Markarth. Related divine Dibella.
The Blessings of Nature Temple Quests Related settlement Whiterun. Related divine Kynareth.
The Book of Love Temple Quests Related settlement Riften. Related divine Mara.
The Bands of Matrimony Temple Quests Related settlement Riften. Related divine Mara. This is the quest involving getting married. You can only get married one time, and make sure it’s the right person that I want to marry in-game long term.

Skyrim –
Side Quests
Quest Name Region Status Notes
Blood on the Ice Windhelm Enter and exit Windhelm 4 times.
Forbidden Legend
The Foresworn Conspiracy Markarth
No One Escapes Cidhna Mine Markarth Complete The Foresworn Conspiracy
The Golden Claw Riverwood
In my Time of Need Whiterun Complete main quest Dragon Rising.
Kyne’s Sacred Trials
Laid to Rest Marthal
Light’s Out Solitude
The Man Who Cried Wolf Solitude
The Wolf Queen Awakened Solitude Complete The Man Who Cried Wolf.
Missing in Action Whiterun Enter and exit any of the buildings near the market in Whiterun.
Promises to Keep Riften
A return to your roots Blackreach Begin daedric quest Discerning the Transmundane.
Rise in the East Windhelm
Rising at Dawn Marthal Contract Vampirism.
Unfathomable Depths Riften
The White Phial Windhelm
Repairing the Phial Windhelm Three days after completion both main quest The Throat of the World and side quest The White Phial.
Captured Critters Shows up in Misc.
The Forgemaster’s Fingers Orc Strongholds Non-Orc Race.
The Great Skyrim Treasure Hunt Shows up in Misc.
Masks of the Dragon Priests Numerous pre-requisites (see quests walkthrough).  Shows up in Misc.

Grand Theft Auto 5 – Tips and Tricks

I’ve been a hardcore gamer for almost 30 years. One of my favorite series is Grand Theft Auto, especially Grand Theft Auto 5. To top it off, I am also a perfectionist, so I find myself trying to get perfect games in most of the games that I play. Grand Theft Auto 5 being one of them. The purpose for this post is to outline some tips and tricks I’ve uncovered while playing Grand Theft Auto 5. Both online and offline.

Grand Theft Auto 5The game I am going to write about now is the newest Grand Theft Auto installment, which is Grand Theft Auto 5.  I have been playing  (at the time of this first writing) over 100 hours in the game. I am close to 130 hours total, with a pretty good bit of achievements. I have finished all the spaceship parts, under the bridges, submarine pieces, nuclear waste, almost all of the freaks and strangers, bought several of the properties, finished about 75% of the main story missions, and I am currently working on the stunt jumps and some other things. Overall I have gotten a lot done in the game. Over the next few months I will finish the rest and close it out for a perfect game. I am taking a break from it right this minute in an attempt to get some time clocked in Skyrim.  However, I will be going back to it on and off for the next month or two until I complete it, please note that as I play the game in the coming months I might come back and add to/expand to this blog post to add more information.  Let’s get started.

Middle Finger Time

The first thing I have noticed is a fairly simple feature in Grand Theft Auto 5.  If you are in a car, motorcycle, or other vehicle. Set your selected weapon to your fists, and fire. Your weapon will be your middle finger. You can give passer-biers, cars, and pedestrians the middle finger and your character will also throw in some color commentary during that time as well. This elicits an angry response from whoever is on the receiving end of the middle finger.

Most people probably already know this, but I didn’t figure it out until late in the game, so I thought I would mention it.

Helicopter Access

In a minute I am going to talk some about the “Under the Bridge” events in Grand Theft Auto 5, but before we discuss that we need to discuss helicopters…because your going to need one to get that anyway.

Basically the game itself makes it pretty hard to get a helicopter unless you know where to go, what to do, and how to get one. After over 130 hours of game play I have found (and memorized) how to get two different types of helicopters anytime you need.

The image above is the first location.  Directly where the marker is, there is a hospital.  It’s easy to find, just find the lowest interstate heading out of the city. Once there, pinpoint it on your map, I have the location memorized.  If you can’t find it, then go near the area and die and let it re spawn you at the hospital. Once in the area circle the building until you see a ladder going up. Once up there, you will see another ladder going up. Up on that roof is one of the spaceship parts anyway, but besides that are two helicopter pads. 95% of the time there is a large ambulance chopper for you to steal. Quick, easy, and without raising attention. There was only one situation where the helicopter wasn’t there, and I just went down the road and came back, and it re-spawned. Most of the time there are two.
Now to explain how to get the better helicopter. Generally you will first go ahead and get the ambulance chopper explained above (makes it a lot easier to find the next one which also happens to be the best one in the game.
The location listed above is a military base. Fly your other helicopter over it, but out of site until you see a helipad. About 60% of the time a Buzzard will spawn there.  If not, fly down the road, fly back and check again. After checking 3-4 times at the most one should appear, if not be a little patient. So far I have only found armed Buzzards, not sure if unarmed form spawn here. Anyway, by default it’s armed with missiles and machine guns.  It is also the smallest helicopter in the game, which is required for some of the under the bridge events. Some of them can’t be done with the regular sized helicopters.

Under The Bridge

 
I am just going to point out a few of the “aggravating ones” to save you some time on trial and error.  First off the two southern bridges at the bottom of the map are hard to trigger. Basically any bridges that are very close to each other are hard to trigger. If you trigger one bridge, then go under another bridge before the completion message for the first one is over, then it glitches on the second. It’ll either not give credit, or give credit but not update in your menu. Either way go under each bridge one at a time, nice and steady and make sure to give the message from the completion of each one time to complete before moving under the next.  Go slow and deliberate and count to make sure you get each one you go under.
Also, make sure that your helicopter doesn’t touch anything. If it bumps the water, bumps the side of the bridge or anything then it will not normally give you credit. Give it some time to practice and it doesn’t take long to get really good at flying the helicopter around.
The size of the helicopter matters a large chopper like the ambulance one, will do most bridges..but there are at least 5 that seem to require the buzzard. Two of them I am thinking of in specifically that were very complicated and I had to have the buzzard to finally get them to trigger.

Tire Destruction

 
A little fun thing to do on the side. Get a sniper rifle, hide somewhere really good and blow the tires off of passing vehicles. Just something fun to help pass the time when you don’t feel like doing anything else. It also greatly improves your aim by hitting a moving target that is such a small target to hit. Just a way to practice some without having to be in the shooting range.

Sewer Escape

 

The exactly entry/exit points for the sewer can be seen here: http://gtaforums.com/topic/606124-where-are-the-sewers/  Basically this unlocks after the first big heist.  The sewers are glitched. The cops never chase you into the sewers. So anytime the cops are on you, and you want to shake them, head into the sewers. Just head to the nearest entrance and go straight into the sewers. This is great for long missions where it forces you to trigger the police, and you can’t seem to shake that 3 star wanted level for you to be able to complete that mission. Perfect for those, and other situations where you want to get away from the cop.

Get The APP

The most important piece of advice I can give you is get the IFruit app from the android market, and several other platforms as well. Anyway, this app has a checklist breakdown of every single quest, collectible, side event and so forth. Use this app/list as you play the game and check stuff off as you complete it and/or find it. I guarantee it’s the easiest way to track yourself to a perfect game and makes keeping up with stuff very easy.

Final

 
As I put more time into the game and continue playing over time, I will add more stuff to this post as I find new stuff and/or think about new stuff.  I am also willing and able to answer pretty much any questions about Grand Theft Auto 5. So if your stuck, need help, have questions or anything just throw them in the comments and I will answer the best I can.

 

Prime World – MOBA – Basic Overview

I have recently started playing a MOBA called “Prime World”. It’s from an India game development company called Nival. Prime World is a good game, if not somewhat buggy. They have releases in Greece, Russia (for almost 2 years), and now an English beta.  The English beta (to this date) is not up to date with the other two versions of the game, but that is being worked on as we speak.

Prime WorldI have been on a binge with this game, ever since downloading it a month or two ago.  I highly prefer this game over League of Legends and DOTA 2, and I have played both of those games as well.  Well, I want to cover a few basic topics in this blog post, to see how it goes. Then later on I will create some more specific blog posts, depending on how well this one works out.

I am going to be writing an intiial blog post here about some of my thoughts on the game, and some other random subject pertaining to the game.  Then perhaps later I will go into some more detail in other blog posts. Most of it will depend on what kind of ideas come to my mind during the time that I am writing this blog post.

Prime World: Basic Game Details and Mechanics

Prime World is classified as a MOBA.  That is Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. It’s in the same category as League of Legends, DOTA 2 and so forth.  The overall structure of all MOBA games is as follows: You pick a hero, and your taken into an open combat area where the battlefield is split up into “lanes”.  These lanes are generally called “Top”, “Mid” and “Bot”, which are top, middle, and bottom respectively.  These lanes are then covered with different things, depending on the game. In Prime World there is a base on one side and a base on the other. Each base consists of a main building, once that building is destroyed the game is over. Near that is the spawn point (where you appear when you resurrect), heal pool, and shop.  Beyond that is the Zuma game (more on this later, and various misc buildings. Then at the entrance of each Lane is a armory, and two towers. Beyond that is a tower a ways down, a second tower on the waters edge, and then a flag directly in the middle of the water.  Then it repeats on the other side for the other faction in the battle.

Overall the flags determine whose faction the current land belongs to.  Native land (your land) is land owned by your faction.  This gives positive affects for several aspects of the game, talents, and so forth.  The towers auto-target enemies, starting with the weaker enemies first. If any hero attacks you near one of your towers, the tower auto-targets on the hero.  Basic idea is to run down the lane and destroy both towers in the lane (capturing flags along the way, until you get to the double towers near the base. Destroy them, and then the armory. This causes more powerful units on your side to get dispersed into that lane from that point forward.  Then you work your way through to their main building.

That’s the general idea of the game. Then around the interior areas there is a vast map of connected jungles, with normal enemies spread throughout the jungles in different camps. Players who go through these jungles to level up, and come up out occasionally to heal, are often referred to as junglers.

That about sums up the overall gameplay and game mechanics for Prime World.

Prime World has a few other mechanics outside of the standard MOBA style gameplay. Outside of battle there is a city builder style simulation game. You have a base of operations (so to speak) and your able to do several things. You can create different types of buildings, upgrade buildings, and perform various other functions with the different types of buildings and so forth. I won’t go into a lot of detail on the buildings right now, but perhaps later I will go into further detail.

Within that simulation game, as rewards for battle, and in other ways, players can obtain what are called Talents.  They vary in power and attributes, and they are assigned to different heroes for the purpose of giving them various affects and powering them up.  They are the RPG equivalent of “gear”.

The talents come in several different colors to denote their overall power level.

I won’t go into any other details on game mechanics in this blog post, since it’s only meant to serve as a basic overview of the game. But perhaps I will in a future blog post.

Heroes

The game consists of a total of 62 heroes, split across two different faction.  Most heroes have more than 1 skin at the moment, and more coming on a regular basis.  The heroes (for the most part) have the same move set across factions. Some are unique between Factions.  The names of the different heroes across factions, and the available skins are all that differ for the most part.

I won’t go into a lot of details on heroes at the moment, but perhaps in a future blog post.

Overall Thoughts

Overall I think Prime World is a great, and wonderful game. It has a lot of bugs, errors, issues, bad matchmaking, and some other issues…but it is a great game. I liked it a great deal more than most of the big name Moba’s. Mostly because of the talent system, city building style system, and the way the heroes are setup. Such care and details were put into each heroes background, base talents, and overall build structure.  Highly recommended for hard core MOBA veterans, or brand new players to the series.

The Prime World community itself (currently) leaves a lot to be desired. A lot of people talk a lot of bad stuff about some of the players, even when they are doing nothing wrong. You will generally at least run into one crap talker about 2 in every 5 games, but over time I have noticed the English community growing, evolving, and getting better.  So again highly recommended.

Sims 3 – Mini Gardening Guide

Sims 3 is a great game. I have already written one blog post about some of the bugs/quirks in the game, and various alternative fixes for them.  I wanted to write another blog post devoted to Gardening.  This game has a very deep, and thorough gardening system that did not exist (this deeply) in previous games. This guide assumes you have the latest version of the game + all EP’s and all SP’s (pretty much everything that EA offers for this game).

Basic Structure/Layout

In sims 3, my original approach to the crop structure was one I took from some of the Harvest Moon games (the standard 3X3.  Then I realized there were several issues with watering, and reaching all of the crops. So after a lot of trial and error, I settled in a line structure. Each line consists of 2 crops thick and the line can run as far as you want.  2 crops, then 2 crops, then 2 crops and so forth to form as long of a line as you can handle.  However, I don’t just stick with one line. I have a total of 3 identical lines running parallel to each other, with one block space in between each one.  This is the perfect setup for me for several reasons.

  1. You can get to all of the crops pretty easily.
  2. It allows me to leave line breaks in JUST the middle line.  These line breaks are for Sprinklers, explained later.
I always made sure each one of my lines were of identical length, at least at the end if you take into account middle line sprinklers).  Then I surround my ENTIRE set of 3 lines with a fence around the entire thing. I place a gate if needed, or a door running straight from inside my house, to the garden. The reason I do this is because of the zombies. They will actually come and destroy your crops, unless you have something preventing them from getting to it. This is almost unavoidable if they are left uncovered. I noticed this problem right off the bat. I am guessing dogs/cats can also destroy them, so this is another good way to prevent your animals from getting into the garden at all. Focusing the effort on just you and your crops.
Watering – Handling Itself

Before I start discussing the handling/care of the crops, I want to let you know about the sprinkler.  Tending a large set of crops can be VERY time consuming, so setting up your watering system JUST right prevents you from having to water, saving all of your time for weed pulling, planting, and harvesting (general tending).

Setup line breaks in the MIDDLE line, based off the range of the sprinkler. Go into buy mode and select the sprinkler, and then try to place it to see the water area of coverage. Make your middle line, line breaks in such a way that you can place sprinklers inside them, and get the coverage area to cover as much of your crops as possible (if not all) throughout ALL 3 lines.  That’s another reason I do the lines..it allows for maximum coverage of crops, and allows more focus on quantity of crops.

Once that is done, get someone Handy to tweak the sprinkler. At some point you’ll get an option to auto-water.  Fix ALL of your sprinklers up with that, and then turn them on. After that just make sure they stay repaired if they ever break, and your done.

Harvesting/Tending/Care

The rest of it’s easy. Get your crops together..you can buy them at a store, or find them laying on the ground.  Then start planting whatever you can find. Make sure you only plant what you want. You don’t want 50 apple tree’s, and just 3 wolfsbane. You want to even it out.  So at first try building a few of each that you have, and then continue adding as you begin to harvest.  Then that’s it. Whenever you see the options available just select Tend to take care of everything (weeding, harvesting) or if you have limited time just harvest.  After awhile the plants die after a certain number of harvesting, when that happens just replant something in their place.

I recommend an Alchemy bench near by so you have something to do with all of those crops you harvest.  A standard person can handle some decent long lines, although I have over done it before. Just keep up with it the best you can and it’ll get easier and easier.

Fertilizer

In Sims 3 each crop can be fertilized with different types of fertilizer.  Fertilizer increases the “quality” of the crops. I generally just fertilize with whatever I want. However, if you research you can find that each type of Crop works best with a “Favorite” type of fertilizer. This increases the effectiveness.  However, all I did was randomly apply fertilizer to random stuff…and I was still achieving “Perfect” crops on a lot of them. For specifics on fertilizer, you can check here: http://sims.wikia.com/wiki/Gardening_(The_Sims_3)

Overall Sims 3 is fun and worth playing. Give it a try if you haven’t already.

Sims 3 – Glitches / Errors / Solutions

Update: I’ve recently been played Sims 3 again, and it’s given me time to review more errors and bugs. Also I’ve been receiving some messages from users who were playing Sims 3 and ran into errors and bugs I haven’t addressed yet. I’ve updated this blog post accordingly to account for as many Sims 3 errors and bugs as I can. I’ve also include relevant fixes and solutions where possible.

Sims 3 - Game bundleI am a fan of the Sims series, especially Sims 3. I have played various Sims games since they were first released. Starting with the original “The Sims”, I started getting my first experience literally weeks after the first original base game came out.  I played “The Sims” throughout it’s entire release lifetime. I would spend months sometimes away from the game, and then always come crawling back when the newer expansions hit the market.  I experienced the full Sims (original) experience with all expansions, stuff packs, and loads of custom content.From there, I expanded my experience over the years into Sims 2.  Eventually resulting in total installation of all expansions, all stuff packs, and hundreds of hours worth of collecting custom mods, clothes, hair, and various other aspects of sim-ness.

Over the years, they finally released Sims 3, and currently that is the game I have been playing. I have all expansions, all stuff packs, and the latest (as of 3/9/2013) patch.  Currently the most recent expansion was Sims 3 – University.

Throughout the time period I have been playing Sims 3 (to date) there are several errors/issues that (as far as I am aware) Electronic Arts is not ever intending on fixing.  Because of this, I have brought it upon myself to find the solution to these problems myself. Some of these are major bugs/issues with the game, while others are simply user error that is easily resolved.

Room Mate Obsession, Infinite Room Mate, Daily Room Mate

This “User Error” deals with a situation where every single day, a new room mate is added to your lot. Even if you dismiss/kick out a room mate, it still does not allow you to go 24 hours without suddenly having another random strange Sim living with you, sleeping in your house, and just overall hanging out with you..while sleeping in your bed.  So…overall..is this an error….Actually.. it’s not.

The “Room Mate” system in Sims 3 has an enable/disable feature. So when it is enabled, the system will check (every day) to see if you have a Room Mate. If not, it randomly adds one. This is setup based off your preference. If configured right, then it’ll add two room mates. So what is happening is the system has this enabled..so when you kick out a room mate, well suddenly a new one comes bright and early at 8:00 in the morning, the next morning.  No matter how many you kick out, they are always back.

Solution: Go to your smart phone.  Select Real Estate services…and room mate services. You’ll see an enable/disable option. If it’s enabled, then that is why this is happening. Simply disable this, and the problem is solved.

Crash While Save Sims 3 data

There are some situations where a Sims game might crash while saving. This is the most annoying error /problem with the game. Nothing irritates like losing a ton of gameplay, or build progress.  I had a specific issue that was a save crash error. Mine was specific.  If you go into build mode, and place down some walls, and then leave and try to save…it crashes. This isn’t a situation that occurs all the time, but only when certain conditions are met.   So if you are having that kind of issue, look below for a solution that I found that works EVERY SINGLE TIME…however, if your having just general save crashes, then there are a host of other solutions that have worked for various people online. I have listed these solutions I found online below..I actually tried ALL of these solutions for my issue, before I actually found a solution (that I created) that actually fixed it..and did it the right way, without any negatives.

Alright, the basic fixes to try (if your facing general crashing while saving issues) are as follows:

1. https://help.ea.com/article/dep-settings-for-sims-3-on-vista-and-windows-7 – Follow these instructions.

2. Try running the base game by bypassing the launcher. Go to the base game folder..It’s going to be in the folder that all the Sims games were installed in, whatever that path is. It’s different depending on whether it’s Physical, Steam, or Original digital download. Once in the main install folder for the MAIN game (not an expansion) then go to game/bin and select the TS3W.exe file.  Then go to options an run in Windows XP compatibility, as well as “Run as Administrator” check box.

3. Turn off virus scan, firewalls, windows defender, and so forth. Anything that might hinder the application from performing certain actions.

4. Uninstall Daimon Tools, or UTorrent..if you have one of those two apps installed. Someone said (somewhere I found online) that these are not compatible, and in some situations cause errors/issues.  So uninstall them just to rule that out.

5. Upgrade your Bios, Graphics driver, sound card driver and/or any other drivers you can safely figure out how to install, especially the Graphics/Display driver.  This is a major cause for a lot of people’s crashes.

Now for my issue. The issue I had was experienced by THOUSANDS of people around the time Seasons came out..it has been a persistent issue with some people ever since.  So what happens..is your playing your game. You decide you want to do some building, so you head into build mode. Add some walls (expand your house) do some other stuff, spend hours going through perfecting the house..then go to live mode, save and BAM it crashes on you. You rage out, break your laptop/computer, throw it out the window..accidentally drop it on your car, and cry yourself to sleep…or maybe not..Anyway, the first part is true.  So what causes this.  Well after HUNDREDS of hours of testing, the general community consensus has narrowed the issue down. Most people don’t have ANY issues with this build mode/save glitch. But when people do run into this issue, it’s generally narrowed down to building walls. People generally who have this issue can build anything else, except walls. If they try a wall and save it, then it messes up.

This issue was originally thought to be caused by seasons, but it’s not. It’s actually caused by a corrupted lot. When this happens it means SOMETHING you did, or something that happened on the lot or during the course of playing, ended up corrupting the lot. So in CERTAIN situations (building walls is one of them) some strange programming error is throw, and the game is shut down.  Now that we know why…let’s figure out HOW to fix it.  Well I doubt they EVER patch the game to fix this. Because it’s almost impossible to replicate, without extensive testing..and the lot can get corrupted in a thousand different ways. The fix that was detailed online was very…dangerous.

The general fix was this….save the sim/lot to the clip board, bulldoze the lot, and place the sim/lot down again. Problem solved…yes, it is solved…BUT..not entirely.  I mean it’s resolved, but at the expense of losing some of you temporary date (moodlets, external house hold relationships, and other minor things). Not to mention it’s risky..what happens if the game glitches, or the clip board clears itself, or they get stuck in the clip board.  You lose it forever, completely gone.  Have to start over from scratch.

So what do you do instead.  Well you check the size of your LOT.  Find another lot somewhere in the city with the same size.  Then just MOVE the lot. It’ll move the house, the sims in it, and everything 100% as is into the new lot.  Then bulldoze the glitched lot, move it back in, and go back into live mode.  Then save. Then go into build mode, build walls, whatever you want, and save again. No problems. Problem solved. Generally once fixing a broken lot, GENERALLY you won’t ever have to deal with this issue. People play for THOUSANDS of hours without running into the issue. BUT if the evil issue DOES raise it’s ugly head again..guess what, now you have a fix that takes less than 5 minutes to implement with NO negative impacts..and if the issue is caused by a corrupted lot, then this is 100% GUARANTEED to fix the issue.

Sims Not Losing Need Bars

So…you noticed your Sim is suddenly not losing their needs. Their energy or hunger has been the same for several days. So why..well generally this only happens if you were messing (in some way) with the boolproptesting check.  That is a very dangerous cheat, and you need to know A LOT about what your doing it before you start messing with it and ALWAYS turn it off when your done.

So first things first, let’s make sure you didn’t disable them. Type in “BoolProp testingCheatsEnabled true” into the panel. Click the option to enable/disable their needs.  I forget the option but just make sure it’s set to the right setting. If that isn’t the cause, then simply reset the sim.

Simply type “resetSim Firstname Last Name”. This will set their motives to neutral, remove all mood lits, teleports them back homes, and reset’s their bars.  This will fix the issue. Reset each Sim in your house hold, and your done.  Not sure if testing cheats is required for this to work. Either way, make sure that you disable the testing cheat when your done.

Woo Hoo Refusals

Sims 3 - Woo Hoo - Bed

So…let’s say you have a girlfriend, lover, wife (Etc…) and you find yourself WooHoo’ing all over the house. In the tub, in the bed, and so forth. At first you WooHoo several times a day, sometimes several times in a row. Never have a problem. Then one day your “other” starts turning you down all the time.  Glitch…not really.  Here is how I have seen it work, and kind of mapped out the behavior myself.

Well the first thing I noticed, is that when you first go steady or get married, the WooHoo’ing seems to almost always work.  Most likely this is caused by a new relationship. In real life the general situation is..within the first beginning period of time you end up being together, sex is very….very deep. It happens a great deal more often, than a couple that has been together longer. This isn’t “Always” the case, but a general rule of thumb. Well they built that overall idea into the sims as well. Newer relationships have no “Restrictions”.

Then several factors are taken into account…. zodiac sign compatibly, attractiveness, mood, traits, and several other factors.  So what do you do (taking all these factors into account) you find yourself in a situation where your “other” isn’t wanting to Woo Hoo. Well…that isn’t actually a glitch. Unless it’s a newer relationship, or the situation is perfect…there are certain road blocks built into this. Just as in real life you have to build up to it. When you first starting talking to your other, you’ll notice it says “Simname thinks simname is OK.”. After a minute it’ll change it “Simname thinks simname is being flirty”.  Then finally “Simname thinks simname is alluring”. At this point it’s easy to get them to WooHoo. So I don’t think this is a glitch. I think it’s a system built into the game to resemble “Foreplay”.  Trying to jump in right often generally fails (unless conditions are already correct), in those situations it requires a little bit of time and effort to get the mood right, or your Sim ends up shoving you off.

Stupid Zombies eating my plants

Soo….not a glitch. However, assuming you like Gardening, you might start planting a lot of stuff. Then a stupid zombie comes along and starts eating them.  Not a glitch, but annoying and fixable nonetheless. Simply build a fence with a locked gate (to everyone but you). Problem solved. I generally build a fenced in (smaller) area outside, then put a door leading from my house to it. If the zombie can’t get to it, they can’t eat your flowers either.  Also a good way to keep from getting “Zombie Attack” while you try to tend to your garden.

Sims 3 – University Life Glitches

I noticed a few people came to this post from a search term asking if it was worth installing the game with the current glitches in University.  Honestly, the answer to this is yes.  There aren’t really a lot of glitches in University at least not bad ones. They are no worse than without it.  Not to mention within a short period of time they released that new patch, and will no doubt release another within a matter of weeks mopping up some other glitches.

Overall there are a few minor glitches, but nothing game breaking and nothing too annoying.

Several Misc. Issues in Sims 3

There are actually several different issues within Sims 3 that can possibly be fixed by what I am about to explain.  The issues that could be resolved from this are as follows:

1. Items not downloading from the Sims 3 store properly (or at all).
2. Items not installing into the game from the Sims 3 store properly (or at all).
3. Items installing but not showing up in the game, or uninstalling themselves when restarting.
4. The store glitching and not working right, locking up and forcing you to close it down illegally.
5. Items that you had purchased and installed previously suddenly disappearing from the game, or being inaccessible.
6. The game suddenly becoming extremely buggy and hard to manage, seemingly overnight.
7. Slow game
8. Laggy game
9. Bad performance in game.
10. Other weird bugs and happenings..basically if you have ANY type of bug, the process I am about to explain is the first thing you want to attempt.

OK, so basically I am going to explain one thing that might fix most issues with the game. It’s especially effective at fixing all sorts of install issues. I had issues where items were not installing, and were not showing up in the game. A simple series of steps fixed it.  In short we are going to clear the cache, download history, downloads, downloaded worlds and so forth. That is pretty much what we are going to do at this point, which should resolve most (if not all) issues downloading/installing and solve several in game issues that crop up sometimes.

The following articles are going to explain everything that we are about to do, but after I post the links, I am going to go into better detail.

http://simswiki.info/wiki.php?title=Game_Help:Sims_3_Delete_Cache_Files
http://www.carls-sims-3-guide.com/technicalhelp/slowgame.php\

There are three ways to clear your cache for Sims 3. A full clear and a partial clear and obliterate  mode. A full clear means clear everything. It will clear the cache, downloaded items, installed items, custom worlds and everything else. It’ll even clear your download history and force you to re-download all items from the download history off the Sims 3 website. The full clear is used in emergency situations when nothing else will work.  The partial clear is more of a “try this first” clear, and is mostly to help with slow/laggy games. Bugs related to items downloading/installing will typically require a very full cache clear in order to correct the problem. Obliterate just means delete EVERYTHING.  I will explain shortly.

For a full clear delete all of the following Sims 3 files and folders: “DCCache” folder, “Downloads” folder, “SigsCache” folder, “SavedSims” folder, “IGACache” folder, “CasPartCache.package” file, “compositorCache.package” file, “scriptCache.package” file, “simCompositorCache.package” file, “socialCache.package” file, “Thumbnails” folder, “FeaturedItems” folder, “WorldCaches” folder, and “InstalledWorlds” folder.  That clears all data. It resets downloads, installs, and so forth..as well as clears all the standard cache to fix other issues as well.

Partial clear is simply 4 files:
CASPartCache.package, scriptCache.package, compositorCache.package and simCompositorCache.package.  Deleting these four files just does a basic clear to fix minor issues and slowdown/performance problems.

Obliterate is for people who don’t feel like picking through it. Delete the entire folder under documents as detailed at the link. The only bad thing is it’ll have to rebuild the entire file..and that deletes EVERYTHING including any saved files and so forth and makes it default to a fresh install. Useful if your experience very weird glitches and don’t care about your save and so forth.

Anyway, that is what needs to be done to clear your cache..one of those 4 methods.

Now, let’s talk about the item download and install issues. Once the cache is clear, you can go back to the Sims 3 store and start downloading items again. Then install them. Any worlds you want to “install” separately and patiently. Then you can group smaller items together for installation afterwards, but no more than 5 at a time. Basically you go to the Sims 3 website purchase history, download the items into the launcher (ONE AT A TIME NOT MULTIPLE DOWNLOAD) and then once they are in the launcher install them. Install worlds first one at a time, and once all worlds are installed then install the smaller pieces of content, about 5 items at a time.

If you want to know what all the folders do, then feel free to take a look here for details: http://nraas.wikispaces.com/Sims+3+Folder+Contents+FAQ

In Closing

If I run into any other errors/issues with Sims 3, then I will post here what they are, and the solutions that were found. However, so far those are the only real issues I have encountered personally during game play, as well as some that I know exist and have found solutions for that I know work.

Dishonored….Great game, even better developer

Dishonored was a good game, and has already started considering upcoming DLS as of today. This is going to a short blog post pertaining to a live question and answer event for Dishonored, the video game. The developers of the newest first person shooter (Dishonored) surprised a lot of fans by staging a Q and A event on Raptr. It turned out to be very popular and they are currently answering fan questions right now.
I might write blog posts in the future pertaining to Dishonored, and things I’ve learned and experienced while playing the game.
If you end up missing the live event, there’s a chain you can review the history of the Question and Answer log anytime at the same link below.
Dishonored

Dishonored – Live Event Details

The event can be reviewed Here.

If your interested in asking questions or watching the conversation, you can do so now. Don’t hesitate to make an account and ask your questions as well. The Dishonored developers don’t do these types of events very often.  My questions were pertaining to the mind set of the little girl at the end, and how the developers would react in her situation.  There were a lot of really good questions here, and I have  been continuously tracking the developer answers.  I wish more developers would participate to this degree.  I enjoy Raptr a great deal. I liked Playfire as well, but their trackers aren’t working at all. I’ll have fun there more once their trackers are totally up and running again.

Dishonored is a great game and I hope they carry on events like this in the future, as well as for other popular games.
More information about the game and the development team behind it can be found here and the games main website is here.
Feel free to share your experiences pertaining to this event, and other Dishonored related events in the comments below.

X-Com List of Tips

OK so here is another thread (kind of like i’m trying to do for dishonored) with a list of tips. I’ll start below with an initial list of tips, or questions that are asked a lot…and over time i’ll edit this same post with additional information. This will have spoilers to an extent.

1. If your playing the game for the first time, then play the tutorial. However, I recommend that you make it a learning run. I recommend that you play the tutorial until you understand the game well, and then start over. The tutorial can be very intrusive. Spoiler – It restricts access to most of the areas that you can start in. It forces some of your characters to die in the beginning, and it restricts what options your able to take for a partial portion of the game. I recommend doing one playthrough with the tutorial until it’s over, then starting a new fresh game with the tutorial disabled. It can be disabled by following these instructions: http://gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/87207/can-i-skip-the-tutorial

2. A new patch was just released that fixes quite a few bugs. Make sure you get it.

3. Always continue leveling up new squad mates as you play. Mix and match them with stronger units, as it rounds out more of your characters.

4. If you want a real thrilling experience, never reload. When i’m in the mood I create a no reload rule. I play the game and if someone dies, mission fails, anything I don’t reload. Not recommended for first play through or if your not willing to lose some men. Also very hard to do on harder difficulty settings.

5. Always try to capture enemies when your able. Also…until you are extremely skilled in combat and know everything about the mechanics and have full control over combat, then always give your arc throwers to your lower ranked characters. You run a very high risk when getting near enemies within stun range. Better to have a lower rank die, than a higher rank. BUT when you become very experienced in combat, especially when you earn an extra slot with support characters, then I generally carry health pack (X3) and the arc thrower with my support character. He does very good, and rarely takes damage because he has maxed out armor. Again…make sure you know the game very well before trying to equip a higher level character with an arc thrower. It takes one wrong move (or a failed stun) for them to end up bloody on the ground.

6. Always balance out your party. I normally have 1 sniper, 1 assault, 1 heavy, and 1 support. Then I add additional characters (leveling, additional squad mates, shiv, and other random stuff).

7.Be wary when stunning. Always have a backup character available to fire “before” going in for a stun. In the off chance that the stun fails, your stunner will generally be left out in the open. So it’s best to always have a backup shooter somewhere to take the enemy out in a situation where the stun doesn’t work. Then if your shooter misses, your screwed.

8. I picked up a few tips on the “civilian rescue” missions. I finally got that achievement for getting all excellence. The secret is…a good layout to start with (a great deal of luck pertaining to what enemies you face, their board placement, and where the civilians are). And….SPOILER – Ghost armor. I gave this to my “support” and he ran around the entire building grabbing civilians as he went. Another good tip (SPOILER) is to use the archangel armor to fly 1-2 characters on the roof when you know it’s somewhat safe, as several civilians are normally on the roof, and surrounding areas. Aliens (tend) to favor the roof last, so grabbing them early will help you get a better civilian count. Losing a few is fine, but just save as many as you can and cross your fingers. Note, killing all enemies ends the mission and any civilians left alive are automatically saved. 

9. I aborted a mission once, and my men where on mid-field. They were all instantly KIA (Killed in Action). I am “assuming” that you would need to remove them to the extraction point THEN return to HQ. But I have not personally tried this. So just be careful when aborting mid-mission. Especially if you have not saved the game that can be recovered.

10. I finally found a good source for the countries. The following threat lists out all of the countries that are used in game, and is set up to make them very easy to identify by site. I saw several questions in this forum pertaining to this, so I thought I would post it.
http://forums.2kgames.com/showthread.php?140326-XCOM-Nation-Recognition-Guide
I will edit this later and add a lot more as well.