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All about news and updates of the (MMO)RPG games I play and general news that I deem important enough

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Starting streaming schedule
13 May 2015
Posted in General

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

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

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

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

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Twitch it is for streaming!
12 April 2015
Posted in General

Hmm... Not sure if I should be happy with this, but DailyMotion also counts my saved streams towards the amount of uploaded videos. Playing and streaming MMORPGs through DailyMotion really eats up a lot of my 2 hours upload limit per 24 hours that way. And indeed, after today's DailyMotion stream I once again hit the cap

And having today started with streaming from my PlayStation 3 as well (I bought the Elgato Game apture HD - ore about it later today or tomorrow) and that'll eat up a lot of upload space as well from DailyMotion. Not to mention that twitch has a bigger number of viewers as I found out today while playing Destiny.

With both the Elgato software and OBS being able to stream and record the game feed at the same moment, I figure I'll just have to capture my gamefeed locally, edit it on twitch for all to see and only upload to DailyMotion what I think really is worth it. Only that way I can stay under that 2 hour limit and keep content on DailyMotion of good quality (which is why they set the limit in the first place).

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A full switch to DailyMotion?
10 April 2015
Posted in General

This morning I was uploading 2 streams from my Blade & Soul gameplay of yesterday. The 2nd one odldy enough was uploaded normally to DailyMotion, but the 1st one gave an error in DailyMotion's mass-uploader. After 3 tries, I decided to upload it through the DailyMotion site directly and I got the following message:

 photo Screenshot 2015-04-10 10.26.36_zpsnyxc4hex.png

Hmm... Copyrighted content? I know YouTube lets everyone who has written a single note for a game make a claim on the video, but I wasn't aware that DailyMotion would do the same. Not to mention, as far as I know I didn't upload any of the movies from YouTube yet that certainly had a copyright claim. So I decided to inquire through email and I heard that there's an upload limit for everyone (aside of publishers) of 2 hours per 24 hours. Checking my recent uploads and that indeed was my problem

This means that I'm not able to upload all my streams from twitch to DailyMotion Until now I did that by exporting the streams from twitch to YouTube, then download the movie only to upload them to DailyMotion. So I have to be creative on what to upload to DailyMotion.
An other option is to move the streaming service from twitch to DailyMotion as well. Though it's still in beta, I think it has potential. With that, it's a France service, while twitch is US. Perhaps for you it's nothing, but for me the difference comes to privacy. Basically us EU citizens are lawless in the US when it comes to our data stored on servers on US soil (NSA rings a bell?). DailyMotion being France it has to comply to the EU privacy regulation...

I have been testing streaming to DailyMotion this morning and it seems to work pretty well. The only three problems I have found so far are:
  1. It takes quite a while for DailyMotion to pick up my livestream from the moment I hit broadcast. Several tests showed response times between 30 and 60 second.
  2. DailyMotion does not record the stream by default. Where twitch streams and records your broadcast, DailyMotion only streams it. It's a good thing that the OBS software is capable of both streaming and recording locally at the same time (unlike XSplit I must add).
  3. The stream doesn't auto-start on the website. I had to press F5 to see my stream...

For now I'm not 100% certain if I hope to DailyMotion for streaming and thus make DailyMotion full home for my gaming videos. I will certainly give it a serious thought the coming days...

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Switched to OBS - streaming 720p now
04 April 2015
Posted in General

It looks like I'll be streaming a lot of games from now on. On my son's PC I saw he was having an Open Broadcasting Software (OBS) icon on his desktop and I figured to give it a try. Looking at it I saw the same setup as XSplit's Broadcaster - an empty screen where you have to drop your stuff you want to stream. This means that each and every game I want to stream I have to put in manually there But I guess that's something I can get used to over time...

I immediately went to the options of the software and started to configure it and that was a lot easier than I initially thought. Within 5 minutes I was ready to stream. Having not played Heroes of the Storm yesterday (only started it to get my daily quest), I had at least 4 games to play, which was a good time to test the OBS software...

The only problem I was having with the first OBS streaming test was that there was no twitch chat included. I realy missed this and googled for it and ended up with a YouTube movie explaining how to get twitch chat in your OBS stream (though I think this also would work with XSplit Broadcaster). This movie was a very good explanation and I immediately downloaded the betterTTV plugin for FireFox (almost every browser out there is supported only IE not, but us gamers are not using IE to start with ) and got it running in no time.

The good thing of OBS is that I can stream on 720p without a problem. OBS shows the bandwidth it's using and 720p streaming to twitch only takes around 1Mpbs (of 3Mpbs I have available here). That means that I can stream on HD quality and play online games at the same time, without pushing my wife and son of the internet and having no stuttering on twitch either.

With OBS now fully configured I guess I'll be streaming a lot of games I play on the PC from now on. I am wondering though if PlayStation 3 streaming devices (like the Roxio one I used to have) are supported as well. I can imagine that these devices are seen as some sort of webcam and that I have to drop their feed just fullscreen on the OSB interface. Guess I won't know for now because at this moment our finances are way too uncertain for the coming months. When there's stability on that front again I might get one of those devices (not Roxio for sure!) and give it a go...

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To stream or not to stream
02 April 2015
Posted in General

I've streamed early February with the PlayStation 3 only to return the Roxio device a week later because I didn't like the loss of quality it gave me and that it couldn't switch from 1080p to 720p when the PC was not running. Last week I resumed my streaming activities (though I didn't announce it) and I'm not sure if I should continue to stream.

Okay, it's fun to stream games to twitch (or any other service for that matter), but it also eats away quite a lot of bandwidth. In my case, of the 3Mbps upstream that I have here for 3 PCs, I have to set the streaming quality to 480p to keep a stable continuous broadcast. I can set it to 720p, but then I have to lower the quality, be sure to be the only one who's using the internet at home and not be playing anything online.

And there's exactly the problem I'm experiencing. Streaming in 480p is not really worth the effort IMO, or not play online games and then stream in 720p. But when I'm not streaming and just capture the gameplay with FRAPS and upload it later on I have the best quality (1080p) while we can still use the internet at home without any problems. Not to mention, when I use FRAPS I can edit the whole thing the way I want, including speed-up certain parts that are not overly interesting but should be kept there or just cut out whole part of the gamefeed. Options that twitch doesn't allow me...
On the other hand, streaming to twitch I can get feedback from players about the game and when I forgot (or missed) something it can be pointed out and I can respond to the feedback. Not to mention, the chat is nice as well with viewers of the stream

I can also upgrade the bandwidth of my VDSL here for only 4 a month, but that doesn't necessarily warrant a boost in upload speed. I know that the 30Mbps download we have now is close to the maximum possible on our address (~35Mpbs is the best possible maximum with VDSL for us) but the problem is that they never talk about the maximum upload speed. If that follows the same 'logic', upgrading the VDSL would mean that we'd only get a maximum of 3.5Mpbs upload and thus is not worth it. Not to mention that for now our contract is still on a fixed period for the current line and I'm not even sure if I can upgrade.

Last but not least, right now I'm a pretty vivid Heroes of the Storm player, which does deserve some 'love' on the streams. But I'm not sure how long I'd be playing it. Looking at my past experiences with playing online games it might as well be that in a month or 2-3 from now I've ditched the game completely and have moved on to the PlayStation 3 for the time spent on HotS...

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Hopping to DailyMotion
29 March 2015
Posted in General

I've ranted more than once about YouTube's automated copyright detection system. Man, it's totally insane that each and every time I upload a game video that some ass who has written music for the game (and 9 out of 10 times licensed the music for the game, which in turn gives me a license to reproduce that music for game footage broadcast) makes a music claim and steals my advertisement income. Even worse, when I'm not monetizing the video I still get ads on it for the copyright claimant.


And I'm not the only one with this problem. A lot of broadcasters on YouTube have that same problem, both gamers and people who produce their own work. CPG Gray is a good example of that, who now has disabled monetization for his videos and instead has added an ad at the end of his latest clip. And I honestly can't blame him at all for doing this.

For games the problem is even bigger. Take Nintendo who recently 'teamed up' with YouTube and just claimed ALL RIGHTS of the game movies that were made from Nintendo games. The publishers (gamers that is) of those movies either had to agree to a partnership with Nintendo and get only 50% of the advertisement income or nothing. That's just OUTRAGEOUS!
Even worse is SQUARE-ENIX with their games. Only Final Fantast XIV: A Real Reborn (and I should drop a copyright notice after even using the name brand ) is allowed to be broadcasted with a copyright notice. All other games made by SQUARE-ENIX will just get a copyright claim and be monetized for them

As you can see at the top of the blog, I am now also using DailyMotion. I have even placed the logo in front of YouTube because I'm moving over to DailyMotion completely. But I won't (re)upload my old movies (yet) because I have over 500 movies on YouTube and it's quite a lot of work to get that done. DailyMotion allows me to monetize with ads as well and I get 70% of the income from that. And honestly, that's more than what I'll get from YouTube when a lot of outragious claims are put on each and every game I broadcast because someone found his music in a game that only held a loop of 5 tones played on a piano far in the background volume (yes that actually happened to a video of mine ).

Sadly though, I still do have to use YouTube. This is because twitch only uploads the highlights to that platform. Good thing that I can download my own movies and from there on upload them again to DailyMotion...

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Pages from Sages to end and domain for sale?
13 March 2015
Posted in General

2nd post for today... After my convession about starting to remove all email addresses 2 months ago, I also have to convess that I seriously was thinking to sell the domain all together.

With my 'gaming needs' having shifted from MMORPGs and PC to consoles, there's not much left to post. I mean, little to no screenshots (other than photo's I might make from my monitor where I play on the PS3), no YouTube movies or progress on the games can kinda make the blogg 'dead'. But I decided to keep the domain (for now).

Now, 2 months later, I'm still considering to sell the domain but am still in doubt. I'm still not sure if I'll be using the domain a year from now, or even next month. With me not willing to post on my (bad) physical condition (and all around it) constantly, there's not really much left to write about for me. Add to that that all time I am able to spend behind the PC is spend making my new game, which also gives me even less time to play games, and thus less blog updates as well

For now I think I will keep the domain and pay for the next year's registration as well coming June (or was it July? I have the domain already so long I don't remember when to renew ), but I am open for serious bids on the domain as well, because if I might get an offer I can't refuse, the choice can be real easy

In the mean time I will keep posting stuff I deem important, both for the games I play as well as how I'm doing. I will however start on preperations for a possible future sale though (3 sub domains on need to be moved and reconfigured and I can move those to any of my other domains as well).

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Killing Pages from Sages mail
13 March 2015
Posted in General

The email address of my handle DemiGoth has landed on a large nuber of SPAM lists through time. This started with the hack of one of the Aion fan forum's before Aion actually was released. To handle the large number of SPAM I recieved for on the DemiGoth email address I created a lot of rules for my email client to filter out most of the phishing mails for account info as well as a lot of bogus mail and generic sale mails.

When that didn't really help, I decided to make a lot alternate email accounts on the pagesfromsages domain to route all 'legit' mail to my mailbox and almost literally drop everything that came in on the DemiGoth email address into the trash (which I emptied once a month without even looking at what was in there).

With the change of me no longer playing MMORPGs anymore, the need to keep ANY of the email addresses on the Pages from Sages domain really faded away. For all the MMORPGs I used to play I changed the email address into something NOT related to, but I kept DemiGoth's email account alive.
This I did about 2 months ago already. Since then I've set the 'capture all' to the DemiGoth email address to see what I might have missed on (important) accounts that might come in and change those accounts as well.

Now 2 months later and no email coming in amymore I have decided to kill DemiGoth's email address as well as the 'postmaster' one and stop polling mail for Pages from Sages completely. If I happen to have missed ANY account or other mailing list that I would still like to use, I can always make a quick account and change it later on...

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Like nothing has changed...
07 March 2015
Posted in General

Do you see any difference on the site? I hope not... Last week I've been busy to update the I am Blog scripts from PHPversion 5.2 to 5.5, and with that update the MySQL databases from version 4 to 5. It was a lot of testing from my side to make sure everything woudl go well. And it was only today that I still found some odd things in the database. Somehow certain (non standard ASCII) characters would not be exported right. That problem I tackled earlier today byupdating the exported database manually (READ: mass search & replace ). Now the I am Blog scripts are running withthe latest PHPversion my webhost has available and I'm sure I can continue with this version a couple of years before I need to update the scripts again.

But... Back in 2011 I was busy on a couple of new features for the I am Blog script which I will pick up again. One of the major new features I wanted to add was a calendar system to browse past entries, and with over 8 years of blogging (178 pages already ) this feature seems to become a *MUST*... Sadly I can't start on these new features yet, because I still need to update the server side PHP scripts for TetraGems...

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