Starcraft II Patch Download Problem

Since getting Starcraft II I have bashed my head against the uselessness of the Blizzard Downloader. As is common knowledge that Blizzard uses the bittorrent protocol to transfer its patches and you might thin that it's pretty damn penny pinching of them to do it instead of just doing direct downloads. Unfortunately their bittorrent sucks from my repeated experience.

On both the 1.0.1 and 1.0.2 patches the downloader stopped part way through the download reporting the error "There were multiple problems saving data." As you can tell it offered up no useful help. A quick Google also turned up very little other than the basic and generic Blizzard Downloader FAQ page. After trying all of the suggestions I had got nowhere except swearing at Blizzard for not putting out a direct download patch.

To keep this short a few days later I tried downloading the patch files into the Updates folder using utorrent instead of the Blizzard downloader and five minutes later all the files had been downloaded. The Updates folder is located in the Starcraft II install folder and is only there when there's a patch needing to be downloaded. Starting up Starcraft II again it detected all the files were present and happily patched itself up.

So if you're having trouble downloading the Starcraft II patches wait a couple of days and try using a different bittorrent client to download the files. You'll find the bittorrent files near the Updates folder in the Starcraft II install folder.

You Can Die in the Tutorial

Well I've now finished the Military career mission arc. Pretty solid introduction to PvE'ing touching on resists, aiming, firing, moving, etc. It finishes up with a mission that you will be destroyed in unless you were paying attention. It's nice to know some of the true nature of EVE makes it into the tutorial stuff. Also got a new frigate gifted as part of one of the missions. I am now flying a Tristan. Depending on what happens in the near future I may ditch it and get myself a Catalyst.

Now I'm off to a Sisters of Eve agent for what I believe is the start of the beginner epic arc. Never done an Epic arc so this should be quite interesting.

EVE Has a Tutorial?

Well here I am in the tutorial every new player gets dropped into.

This is already a vast improvement over the tutorial I got when I started. You get dropped into what I understand is a deadspace complex with a few asteroids and a single rat which orbits around. This is good because it gets people right into the game without being shocked by the menus and everything else you get when docked in a station. This part of the tutorial takes you through the core movement and combat skills. After that's done it gets you to dock up at the only station in system. This is interesting as they get you to use the dock order which warps you to zero automatically instead of getting you to warp to zero first and then dock. I can understand using just the dock as it leaves the explicit warp-to instruction till later. As a 0.0 veteran I'm more used to warping to zero before doing any action so the straight up dock seems a bit odd.

Another interesting addition to the tutorial is this big white box that floats around when the tutorial wants you to do something with the UI. I think this is awesome as it gives new players this big "LOOK HERE" thing to speed up their initial learning instead of the hunting for the 10px x 10px that might have been flashing back when I started. Another really nice feature of this is that if you have a window over the button or item then the overlapping window will become transparent so you can see the button or item the big white box is pointing to.

The way the tutorial only spawns items as you need them for a specific step in the tutorial is nice. Instead of flooding the new user with a million items you start off with nothing but a Civilian Damage Control and the first ship you destroy has the classic 1 piece of Trit waiting for you as loot.

The tutorial also links to EVElopedia pages on subjects that the space and time of the tut doesn't really allow.

The explicit tutorial steps for joining a player corp are great compared to when I started. Mainly because the tutorial now covers them.

The career missions are an interesting addition. I went and bought a combat frig before finding out that the next mission gave you one as a reward. So I'm going to follow the mission arc until finished so I don't jump ahead and waste any more ISK. Especially as I'm not going to help myself to my main's stash.

Well that was an interesting evening. Will continue to work at this and see what happens.

The Experienced EVE Noob

It's been awhile since I last played EVE so I've been looking back and trying to figure out why. Was it burnout or just boredom or something else? The conclusion I came to was a combination of burnout of trying to keep up with all the 0.0 and corpie happenings and just getting a bit bored of the ISK grind but I still love the idea and most of the execution of the game.

So the other day an idea popped into my head. Start from scratch.

Now like almost all long time EVE players I have one alt to go along with my main. But that alt was pretty much speed trained right into a role that I wanted at the time. She never had to mission, grind or anything because of her sugar daddy main. But it has been so long since I was that noob we all were sitting in that Moa fitted with missiles and small hybrids that I though it would be interesting to do it all over again but with the advantage of knowing what I'm doing.

Of course I'm making it harder for myself to keep it interesting. I'll be moving into deep lowsec and try to live there. The stomping grounds of loners and pirates. It should be interesting. I plan to post the occaisional update on what it's like to be an EVE noob through the eyes of an experienced player.

My Borderlands Troubles

Being a Good Consumer

Last week I purchased the Borderlands DLC, Zombie Island of Dr Ned, for my PC Retail version of Borderlands. After purchasing it I was informed I would also have to install the 1.1 update so that was downloaded as well.

We've Got a Problem

My first attempt to update Borderlands resulted in a catch-all error dialog informing me that the update had failed. After looking on the Gearbox forums I got pointed at running the update from the command prompt using the "msiexec" program. - (FIX) Fatal Error:Installation ended prematurely because of an error. This resulted in the patch doing the same "Gathering information about your computer" routine as the original patch attempt and silently exiting without doing anything. A quick check on the "msiexec" program's help dialog showed a logging flag which I set and posted the output of that and the dxdiag output on the Gearbox forums. - Unable to Install Patch or Zombie DLC - Windows 7 - Error 1603

You Didn't. Did You?

This is when things got interesting. Soon after I read a new post of someone having a similar problem as me and posted a suggestion to run the "msiexec" program with the logging flag set. A reply post by another member to mine said that would be pointless as "we know where the patch is try to write to" This gave me an idea which prompted me to look through the "msiexec" log to try and answer. A quick search for the drive that I installed Borderlands to (E:) found nothing. A search for the 32 and 64 bit Program Files directories on the C drive found both. Now my question was a pretty simple one, did the patch and DLC require that the game be installed in the Program Files directory on the C drive? A question in the FIX thread brought no answer after several days so I decided to give it a go and reinstalled Borderlands to my "C:\Program Files(x86)\" folder.

You Did

And guess what, the patch and DLC installed without a hitch.

For a game developer to not allow the patch to be installed to wherever the program has been installed is just unacceptable when every other game I have patched has never required it.