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No particular spoilers. Technical discussion about headphones.

Buttons:

SO… how to talk about things now? I’ve had some interactions with some significant people but I don’t want to spoilerize anything. Even saying ‘Junior’, with whom there was no previous history so it was safe to say his name, raised Mr McP’s hackles.

And btw; I’m not sure if I’m playing fast or not. The trophy I carry around grants me 5% extra experience vs. monsters and humans so I’m thinking that explains some of my rise.

I’ve been exploring some of Skellige and, since I hit 20, wandered around doing treasure hunts. I’m dressed all in enhanced cat gear (which is really nice stuff) but the patch came through and upgraded my cat gear to a min level 23. If I ever take it off before level 23 I’m hosed. Which actually just happened to my steel sword (a quest temporarily swapped it out for something else) and now I can’t re-equip it. And now I have to find a swordsmith good enough to craft me a new blade and the ones I’ve visited so far aren’t good enough.

So… yeah; wanna talk story, but I’m not sure how many beans to spill.

I’ve gotten good enough with my northern realms deck that I can now beat just about everyone I play on my first try (If the cards fall well on the first pick), and having been to Skellige and played people there all my decks are now nicely filled out, including my monster deck. For some reason I don’t want to like it, and don’t want to admit it either, but I do enjoy a nice gwent game from time to time. Certainly more than I did the minigames in the previous iterations.

Last; yesterday, I got a pair of Corsair H2100 wireless gaming headphones. I hooked them up, waited for them to charge and tried them out. Wow; great improvement. And then I dug into my hardware specs a little and found that the headphones were outputting at 2.0 speakers and my audio supports 2.0, 5.1, and 7.1 surround sound. I did a little research, figured out how to get the audio outputting at 7.1 and put the headphones back on and fired up the Witcher. Holy S. It. Sounds. Amazing. I don’t know if you guys play with the volume coming from the tv, or because of kids you do headphones, but wow. I would highly recommend either these, or something else with 7.1 surround; if the PS4 outputs it like that.

Feminina:

It’s hard to talk when you can’t spoil. We’ll play as fast as we can!

That’s the trophy I have equipped, too. Increased XP is worth more than extra gold in my book. I also found a guy who would actually pay decent money for trophies (well, 30-some as opposed to, say, 5) so I unloaded the ones with duplicate effects. Keeping one of each just in case I want to swap them up, but in practice I just leave the ‘extra XP’ one on.

I’ll leave it to Butch to comment on headphones. I just use the TV sound, not too loud because of kids, and I know, I know, this is vastly inferior. But the one time I tried to hook up headphones, it didn’t work, and I just can’t be bothered to tinker with settings and so forth in my precious hour of game time, when I could be playing.

We were talking about the patch, mostly about inventory upgrades and how it resets everything to the default so we have to go change the difficulty setting. I’m loving the books tab and the fact that it now shows which books/notes you’ve read.

Butch:

I’m totally ignoring everything you say about the game, as I am WAAAAAY behind.

But that’s a great tip on the phones. That much of a difference, huh?

Feminina–Wait, what? Tried hooking them up? By which you meant you did this fancy thing we PC gamers call “Plugged them in?” There’s a jack right on the controller. This should default all audio output (which is a fancy word for “sound”) to the headphones (which is a fancy word for “Big thingies on ears.”)

Feminina:

Right, right. That’s the thing I did. Plugged them into the controller. And immediately–like magic!–the sound continued to come from the TV speakers, and not a peep came from the phones.

So I said “hell with it” and played without them. To be fair, they were very cheap (iPod-style in-ear thingies, not over-the-ear thingies), so perhaps the game was just disgusted with my attempt to engage its majestic sound via such a puny interface.

Buttons:

The headphones I was using were nice, but I think between their lower quality and only outputting 2 channels I certainly wasn’t getting the best audio; and I thought it was a ‘decent’ but not great step up when I got them. I plugged these in and immediately heard a big difference, and then when I switched to 7.1 it was another huge jump.

I checked the PS4 audio stuff and it looks like the controller only outputs 2 channel. So if you got sweet headphones you’d have to plug them into the back of the unit; not the controller. However, get wireless ones (like these are) and that’s no longer a problem. If you do go down this path, I’d strongly recommend researching the PS4 audio capabilities a little more before jumping in. I think it would be totally worth it if it supports it. I’m just not sure how well it supports it because I don’t know enough about it.

One small side effect is that I generally can’t hear anything else with the game running so if you’re trying to keep an ear on the kids while you play it might not be a good investment at this time. 🙂

I do like the inventory updates as well; particularly the things you mention. Now, if they only could have also indicated which pieces of paper were completed; I’d like to get rid of the paper relating to the contracts I’ve fulfilled but I don’t want to compare/contrast all of them to the completed quests. I’ll probably do a pass to clean some out soon. I know the game’s probably user-protective enough that it wouldn’t do any harm to get rid of them anyway…

Butch:

You sure you plugged in?

Next time, settings, audio devices, make sure it says out put all audio to headphones.

Boom.

It’ll do it automatically. No need to do that every time you use phones.

AH, crap. Was afraid of that. Get on that, Sony. Or is Bluetooth not capable of getting the signal to the controller?

We gotta be careful. Femmy doesn’t DO tech talk.

I put on phones so I don’t hear the kids.

“What? Oh, hi Mrs. McP, you startled me. Oh Baby Jr.’s crying? You must’ve woken him up when you came in, cuz I didn’t hear him.”

Heh.

Feminina:

“Make rocket go now!” is my preferred level of tech talk.

Plug in thing. Thing work?

Yes? Good. No? Throw thing away in rage!

I do also kind of like to have an ear open for background noise of little footsteps or whatever, so in some ways I don’t entirely miss the immersive sound experience.

As far as I can tell, any paper you NEED will be stuck in the un-sellable quest-related-items tab. I think papers only move to the possible-sale tab once you’ve read them. At least, I have been selling papers from that tab since day one and have yet to notice any negative consequence. I believe that once you read it, it updates the important information to the relevant quest’s information lines, and you don’t have to look at it again. For a while I was afraid it would be like AC Black Flag or DAI, where you sometimes had to actively look at maps and compare them with the landscape to locate hidden treasure, but I’ve yet to come across a case where that was actually called for.

Sell the notes! Unclutter your inventory screen! Although I do kind of like to think of your Geralt’s saddlebags just bulging with scraps of paper. Maybe he jots down grocery lists on the blank sides.

Buttons:

I think I’ll try a note purge at lvl 25. And thinking of the setting, and how people talk about paper (I’ll wipe all the writing off and sell it) I always thought that those bulging saddlebags of paper would be used for toilet paper.

I did do some brief research on headphones for the PS4. They make some good ones that will support surround sound. And I also found out that some are incompatible with the controller. So my final recommendation is to do a google search or two for something like ‘ps4 wireless headphones surround sound’ and you’ll find some good options. Again, you’ll need to plug it into the PS4 itself, but since I’m recommending wireless, not plugging it into the controller shouldn’t be a problem. Like these:

http://www.trustedreviews.com/best-gaming-headset_round-up

Did a great series of side-quests last night that led to… something. Sigh. Don’t want to spoil things but it was essentially the game turned into a crime procedural for a bit. It was cool.

And I travelled all the way to Skellige to get someone to make me a new steel sword of a high enough quality. Then came back to Novigrad to continue questing. Long trip for just a sword.

Butch:

Thanks, man! I’m using some good philips ones now, but they plug into the controller. Hmm.

As for game…But is it a good sword?

I just did the sneak in and steal a guarded treasure from a red skull then run like hell trick. Got a NICE suit of armor, that isn’t exactly flattering. I look like a kettle. But the chicks still dig it.

Feminina:

I might have that kettle armor! Green cloth underneath, and a round metal kettle over the torso? I’ve been wearing that for a while. It looks silly, but it’s good armor.

Siiigh…I miss my suit with the white ruff around the neck, though. That was the silliest/best.

Butch:

That’s the one.

I stole it from a red skull bug thing that was like 15 feet tall.

Feminina:

Yes! I remember that thing! I stole it too. No way I was trying to fight that bug. Ah, memories…stealing stuff from giant bugs.

Butch:

You see? If the water hags would just turn their backs and amble away from the chests they obviously don’t care about, then everyone can live in peace.

I think the happiest I ever was to see a signpost was after I booked it out of there, and found myself between a monster den and what was obviously the drowner riviera. Back to Novigrad!

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