Halo Wars 2 PC impressions: This console-fied RTS has some PC-specific problems

It’s the week of unfinished reviews, eh? After trialing For Honor earlier this week, I’m back with some impressions on Halo Wars 2. Again, initial impressions, not a full review. Given that the Windows 10 version only went live on Monday and that its multiplayer servers have been entirely dead, I just haven’t spent enough time with it to feel comfortable slapping on a score yet.

And I almost passed up writing about it today, but there don’t seem to be many PC-centric impressions published and there’s stuff worth talking about.

Halo Wars 2

Halo Wars 2

 This article is going to slant mostly negative because I’m specifically talking about the problems I’ve encountered. Despite those problems, I’m having a fairly decent time with the game’s campaign so far and looking forward to playing more of the fast-paced Blitz mode now that the multiplayer servers are populated. Those are aspects I plan to talk about more in my full review. But with the game officially released today (to “Ultimate Edition” purchasers) it’s worth a quick post on the game’s myriad issues. There’s plenty of time to focus on the positives later.

We can start with performance, which (with Nvidia’s latest driver update) is mostly good on my Core i7-5820K and GeForce GTX 980 Ti. I’m pretty shocked I need a “mostly” qualifier on there though, because it’s a damn real-time strategy game, and not even a particularly strenuous one like Ashes of the Singularity. There are never that many units on-screen, nor are the maps any larger than what you might expect from StarCraft or Grey Goo. And yet I’ve had numerous instances where performance stuttered mid-mission. It’s particularly noticeable when coming back from any in-engine cutscene, with hitching motions and weird visual glitches (partially-loaded geometry, vanishing units, et cetera) as the game relinquishes control back to the player.

It works most of the time though, and honestly isn’t the biggest concern I’ve had.

For that, we’ve got to delve into how Halo Wars 2 plays moment-to-moment. The most frustrating issue I’ve noticed concerns the AI of your own units. It’s just so, so stupid sometimes.

Halo Wars 2

Halo Wars 2

Here’s the most reproducible error I’ve seen: 1) Take a large and varied group of units—some infantry, a few Warthogs, and maybe a captured Wraith. 2) Order them to attack a structure. 3) Notice that your Wraith, despite being ordered to attack, gets stuck behind your other units, just barely out of range of the thing you’re attacking, and thus decides not to fire on the enemy whatsoever. 4) All your soldiers get shredded apart while your Wraith driver sits and watches.

Units also—not always, but just often enough to make you irate—have a tendency to ignore enemies who they should maybe be paying attention to. This is particularly painful when a rogue group of Banshees flies in to raid your HQ and the anti-air units ten feet away on the other side of the base just hang out and do nothing. Or when enemy snipers have a fog of war advantage, attack, and since your units “can’t see” the enemy they do nothing. I’ve lost entire squads to a single sniper when I thought a battle was in-hand and didn’t think to check back on them until too late.

And then there are the control issues. Despite having full mouse-and-keyboard controls, I have some real issues with a few commands. For instance, to zoom in and out you need to hold the Alt key first. Result: You’ll never remember this, and thus never zoom in and out.

Halo Wars 2

Halo Wars 2

Why not just the mouse wheel? Because that’s used to select units within a group, of course! I only found this out maybe seven or eight hours in, seeing as the game never explained it. It’s the only way to select a certain type of unit inside a control group, since clicking on the pictures of the units in the bottom-left corner does nothing—probably because there’s no way to replicate that behavior on consoles, so it just wasn’t included.

A few units have special abilities, but all the abilities are triggered with the same key (“R”) so if you have mixed unit types in a control group you can’t use any of their abilities unless you highlight one type in particular. It’ll also use the ability for all those units at once, if you have multiple of the same type selected. This is particularly infuriating in cases where three Warthogs ram a target that would’ve died with one hit.

Special abilities are also very temperamental, sometimes deciding not to work even if you only have one unit selected. And you don’t actually select which unit to use an ability on—it just fires at whatever unit you happen to be mousing over at the time.

These are my major complaints so far, but there are other smaller problems. None of my Logitech G502’s extra buttons are recognized as valid inputs, for instance—not even the two thumb buttons, which are fairly standard for mouse mapping. There’s also no quicksave or quickload, which is both bizarre and annoying.

Oh, and the menus. This is a weird one, but the settings menus are so slow, i.e. display/keybindings/audio/et cetera. Most of these are multi-page affairs, but each page takes a second or two to display, which makes (for instance) adjusting controls a frustrating affair of “Scroll down, wait for settings to load in, scan names, scroll down, wait, scan, and repeat ad nauseum across nine or ten pages.”

Halo Wars 2

Halo Wars 2

Again, these are the problems I’ve experienced after three days with the PC version.  The campaign’s structure is about as generic as I’d feared after our hands-on last month, but it’s carried by some decent voice acting and beautiful cutscenes. Blitz mode still seems great. And hey, the whole endeavor still scores novelty points because “It’s Halo, but from a different perspective.” Never underestimate the power of a brand.

We’ll have a full review focused on those aspects soon—hopefully by the “official” launch day next week, once I’ve had more time to test out its multiplayer and finish up the last few campaign missions. But with the game technically released today to a subset of the public, I just wanted to bring to light some PC-specific issues for anyone who’s thinking of buying that version. It could use some polish.

Recover Your Data With Efficient Solutions Through Data Recovery Softwares

The users should be aware that at any point of time, any sort of mis-happenings could occur to the computer. The most famous of all is the failure in the hard disk or the system might crash, there could be any other major problem as well due to which the computer might shut down. This can be really a bad news for the users. All the data which was once valuable is now gone forever and it would appear as if the computer is dead. Don’t panic! Every problem has a solution. EaseUS is the free data recovery software that would provide the users with a relief. People would feel as if the data is now inaccessible and then a feeling would arise as if it is lost forever. But, this problem can be solved with the help of EaseUS software.
Infographic for iPhone data loss and recovery

Data Loss and Recovery. An infographic by the team at Secure Data Recovery Services.

Infographic created and provided by EaseUS.

The Safest Data Recovery Software- EaseUs Data Recovery Software

EaseUs.com is considered as one of the safest and easy going data recovery solution for the customers. It helps the customers in getting back all the deleted files photos music videos and other lost data and information in just a few minutes. There are more than six lacs users worldwide. The software helps in protecting the business as well as the personal life of the customers from every disaster. It provides the best care for the system and helps in proper backup of files and folders. The company uses a quick disaster recovery strategy and a popular cloud backup solution. It helps in protecting the laptops, cell phones, PCs and servers by delivering the best data security services. The recovery data techniques which are followed are innovative and efficient. The backup software installed in the system helps in safe guarding the data and the system from all the disasters in advance. The organization has installed a complete backup toolkit for delivering the maximum data protection for any disaster. There is a highly professional expert team of technicians, consultants and IT admins. The backup service providers also help the business by protecting the crucial data and information of the enterprise due to which the business is able to expand, diverse and grow effectively. It is also essential for the customers to maintain a regular backup in order to ensure forever data security. The data recovery software helps in the quick recovery of the data.

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Advantages:-

There are various benefits of the data recovery software. Some of them are listed below-

  1. EaseUs provides the customers with the facility of entire backup of system, disk, and file periodically. The data can be recovered easily without any reinstallations when the system crashes.
  2. The company provides one of the quickest disaster recovery tools to the customers. The capacity storing of the software is quick and efficient. It helps in getting the business back to work in the shortest time possible.
  3. There are various backup modes available for the data recovery process such as incremental, differential, full and scheduled backups. It helps in measuring the overall performance of the system in this dynamic environment.
  4. The recovery team prepares various real time reports which provides the customers all the necessary information and also helps the customers in getting out of the trouble.
  5. It is easy to use and has a good compression rate. It is one of the quickest recovery software and is considered better than its competitors. It has just the right features for its customers and is recommended to all.
  6. The service of 30-day money back guarantee is also an attractive opportunity for the customers. It is trusted by million users. The 24-hour services and the live chat services are also available in case the customers have any problems or query.

The organization is trusted by millions of leading clients worldwide. The trusted clients are as follows:-

  1. IBM
  2. Microsoft
  3. Samsung
  4. Yamaha
  5. NASA
  6. Boeing
  7. HP
  8. FedEx
  9. Epson
  10. Richemont
  11. Macys
  12. Mitsubishi

New home windows 10 replace will alternate hardware requirements for the primary time considering that 2009

Ever in view that home windows Vista released in 2007, the minimal hardware necessities for windows have remained generally unchanged (home windows 7 barely extended the specified garage footprint from 15GB of HDD space to 16GB). Now, windows 10’s Anniversary replace, which drops in more or less months, will make three extensive change for the primary time in seven years.

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RAM necessities, which have been 1GB for 32-bit installations of the OS and 2GB for 64-bit installations, will now be 2GB throughout each platforms. The advanced reminiscence won’t virtually effect every person however gadget builders, and the overwhelming majority of systems presently ship with extra than 2GB of reminiscence anyway. As with different versions of home windows, windows 10 will technically run with less than the minimal quantity of memory; it’ll simply page out for your bodily garage at an insane price.

Windows 10 Secure Boot

the second one change being delivered in home windows 10 Anniversary replace is a demand that new devices put in force aid for TPM (trusted Platform Module) 2.zero both as part of the tool’s firmware or via a separate physical chip. A TPM is used to comfortable the tool and provide a secured storage place for cryptographic keys. observe that this requirement does now not practice to tool enhancements, which is why so many exceptional forms of computer systems from the past seven years don’t have any hassle upgrading to windows 10. in case you’re shopping for new hardware, however, it needs to help TPM 2.zero. This shouldn’t be an difficulty, since all modern-day processors from both AMD and Intel have assist baked in via either the Intel control Engine or AMD’s Beema / Carrizo / Mullins families. Microsoft’s documentation on the subject notes:

For end purchasers, TPM is behind the scenes however nonetheless very applicable for hi there, Passport and in the destiny, many other key functions in home windows 10. It offers the exceptional Passport revel in, helps encrypt passwords, secures streaming high fine 4K content material and builds on our average windows 10 enjoy story for protection as a essential pillar. the use of home windows on a gadget with a TPM permits a deeper and broader degree of security insurance.

The functionality underlines certain biometric safety authentication methods in windows 10 and helps make certain that media playback on W10 devices is secured and may’t be pirated as without problems. UEFI alternatives to disable the TPM are not required.

The very last exchange is a diffusion of the display screen sizes for each running device variant. formerly, home windows 10 mobile turned into specced for gadgets with as much as a 7.nine inch screen, even as something above that used complete home windows 10. Now, home windows 10 cellular can deliver on whatever with a display smaller than 9 inches, while complete windows 10 can ship on a 7-inch tool.

Technological Innovations for the Engineer Woman

Are you a techno-geek and a bit of a fashion freak as well? More and more women are entering the fields of engineering and computer science, and it is high time we recognize that.

This post will spotlight ways that women, who are just as equally gifted in engineering and computer science, can still maintain their looks. Of course, if you are a computer scientist or engineer, your free time is pretty much nil. As a woman, though, society still expects you to maintain your appearance- you are not allowed to slum it like your engineering and computer scientist brethren. No, as a female computer scientist or engineer, you need to have both brains and beauty.

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Luckily, you are no stranger to technology. This post is going to show you the best time and money-saving trick currently out there to keep your unruly hairs at bay.

As a practical-minded scientist, you can see the benefits of saving money on things you buy. That is why we want to introduce you to a new partnership between Groupon’s Coupons and Tria Beauty. By checking out the preceding page, you’ll note that you can immediately score $50 off a Hair Removal Laser 4x from Tria- pair that with a 10% savings promo code and you are sitting pretty, right about $80 in savings. And that is just from a few clicks of the mouse- surely you can see the logic in this.

That’s not all, Groupon’s Coupons is partnering with hundreds of retailers across the United States, so if you liked this opportunity with Tria, you should definitely check out other pages. And every retailer’s page is updated regularly- if you have already made use of a code or are not enticed by what you see at the moment, keep in mind that this page will be updated within a matter of days. It is definitely worth your time to bookmark Groupon’s Coupon’s and check in on it. Perhaps you could even write a short program that will notify you when potential savings exceed $50? Now that’d be using that big beautiful computer scientist brain of yours.

De-stress from computer job with Pilates

After a long day of being in front of the computer it’s time to destress and try Pilates. Don’t let that back pain or headache stop you from enjoying life. In Denver you can find many Pilates studios to alleviate your pain and be happier.

Personal Pilates Plus

Feel better mentally and physically, visit ​Personal Pilates Plus​. Choose from unlimited packages or weekly, monthly or yearly packages; go private or stay in a group setting. Try a fun PiYo class, that combines Pilates and yoga. Not only will you burn calories, but gain balance and get a much needed stretch after being 8 hours sitting down. Improve and gain strength, flexibility with a Pilates Reformer class. Be pain free and reduce back pain with a Pilates Mat class, open to all levels. Don’t suffer in pain alone and head to Personal Pilates Plus.

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Elixir Pilates & Wellness

Whether experienced or beginner, Elixir Pilates & Wellness helps you 7 days a week fight your stress or pain. Choose from group, duet or private classes, and pick from one, five or ten classes. Go for a Mat Pilates class to get your body back in action. You’ll be challenged, build strength and balance. With Barre Pilates, you’ll have fun and target specific muscle groups. The inclusion of equipment such as wunda chair, low barrel and Pilates stick helps you keep optimal alignment. Visit ​Elixir Pilates & Wellness​ to get some relief.

Pilates Denver

Take Pilates classes taught by educated and certified staff at Pilates Denver. Expect personal attention and motivation to get you going. Choose from private, duet, trio sessions or group sessions. Recondition your body and feel leaner and rejuvenated. Choose from reformer/tower combo, barre, or mat classes. Get ready to gain control and balance of your body and be ready to take overcome anything. Plus, increase circulation, decrease back and joint pain. Stop by ​Pilates Denver​ and feel better.

Be ready to renew yourself and take a Pilates class at your nearest Denver Pilates studio. Get relief and go back to being on your computer job with less pain. Give Pilates a try and see how it can help you.

A Free Antivirus with tons of Premium features

If you suspect that your computer has been affected by a malware, the first thing that needs to be done is to visit Bitdefender.com and download the Bitdefender Free Antivirus program for your PC.

Bitdefender is not a new name in the antivirus industry. They have always been the front runners since they know exactly a consumer are looking for in an antivirus program. The program is packaged with classy and well-organized technology keeping the crooks on the internet away. Bitdefender is a lightweight antivirus program designed specifically for those people who do not want to get into hassle of complicated features and screens and are more interested in getting their work done.

This antivirus software was released in the last quarter of the year and was appreciated by many users throughout. Similar to the commercial offerings from Bitdefender Antivirus, the free version is equally good and successful. This is because it also runs on the cloud based technology which offers real time protection for your computer. The paid version of Bitdefender is loaded with features but the free version offers the essentials that are required to keep your machines safe and is well streamlined.

The downloading and the installation process of the Bitdefender Free Antivirus program is very simple and easy. It has its own downloader which would download and install the program on your PC.  One thing that should be kept in mind during the installation of the Bitdefender Antivirus program is that no other antivirus program is running simultaneously with the installation, else it might create issues in the process. You can also refrain yourself from sharing unidentified data that is required to make the program better.

The free version of the antivirus program has a very simple interface. There are only three essential options that are available on the screen.  The first option is the enable disable the virus shield, second option is the Auto scan option which scans the system completely and is turned off when you are not using it. The last option will show the Bitdefender account and the number of days accessed. However, you are required to login to your social networking account in order to use the free version of the antivirus program; else it would automatically disable itself after 30 days.

The Bitdefender Free Antivirus is excessively simple, with minimalistic features like running a complete scan of your system. In current scenario, you need to select individual files and folders manually in order to get them checked. Someone who is not technical enough to deal with these apps it would be difficult for such users with lack of options. You need not to understand too much since this program would delete the infected files without notifying you.

The good part about this software is that, it does not need a lot of system resources to run. The antivirus engine is good and does not allow any malicious program to install on your computers.

So, the free version of this antivirus software is brilliant and someone low on technical knowledge would also have no problems using it.

 

SanDisk Extreme 900 and Extreme 500 Portable SSDs Launched in India

SanDisk has entered the portable SSD market with two new offerings; the SanDisk Extreme 900 and Extreme 500 ranges. The Extreme 900 range is touted by SanDisk as the world’s fastest line of USB 3.1 Type-C based portable SSDs, while the Extreme 500 are pocket-sized rugged drives for outdoor and rough usage. SanDisk aims to reach out to photographers, videographers, tech enthusiasts, and other creative professionals who need to transfer and store large files at quick speeds regularly.

The SanDisk Extreme 900 series is available in capacities of 480GB (Rs. 35,990), 960GB (Rs. 53,990), and 1.92TB (Rs. 89,990), and is capable of transfer speeds of up to 850MB/s. The Extreme 500 series with USB 3.0 support (no USB Type-C) is available in capacities of 120GB (Rs. 8,490), 240GB (Rs. 12,990), and 480GB (Rs. 22,990), and can achieve transfer speeds of up to 415MB/s. Both lines feature a three-year warranty and feature SanDisk Secure Access – an application that offers 128-bit encryption to secure data.

sandisk_extreme900_main.jpg“As a recognised leader in developing solutions for professional photographers and videographers, we designed this game-changing family of offerings to provide our customers with even greater speeds and capacities to keep up with rapidly increasing demands for high-quality content,” said Rajesh Gupta, Country Manager – India & Saarc, SanDisk. “Whether a professional or amateur, this level of portability, speed and capacity is exceptional, and we believe it will transform the way people create and produce high quality video content – ultimately saving them time and money.”

SanDisk also announced a new entry-level 2.5-inch internal SSD drive, the SanDisk SSD Plus. The new drive promises to inject new life into old PCs by offering quicker boot-up times and considerable performance boosts. The SSD Plus will be available in 120GB and 240GB capacities, but SanDisk has yet to reveal India pricing.

How to create a local account in Windows 10

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By default, the account you create when you first install or upgrade to Windows 10 uses your Microsoft account. Microsoft wants you to do this so you can easily hook into all of Microsoft’s online services, such as the Windows Store and OneDrive. But if you’d rather keep your stuff on the desktop—at least as much as possible—or don’t want another member of your family interacting with Microsoft’s cloud then creating a local account would be the better choice.

To get started, open the Settings app and select Accounts. If you want to create a local account for yourself, click Your account > Sign in with a local account instead and follow the wizard.

In this tutorial, however, we’re creating a local account independent of your primary one. You can use this to add a local account for a child, another adult, or even yourself if you want to operate Unix-style with no automatic administrator privileges.

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Go to Settings > Family & other users > Add someone else to this PC. You can’t create a local account using Windows 10’s “Your family” account settings.

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On the next screen, click “The person I want to add doesn’t have an email address.”

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Now, Microsoft will take you to a screen where you can create a Microsoft account with Windows 10. We don’t want to use that, of course so we’ll choose the option at the very bottom of the screen that says “Add a user without a Microsoft account.”

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Now we’re getting somewhere. All you have to do on this screen is enter a user name, a password (twice), password hint, and then click Next.

That’s it! You now have a local account to use as you wish.

While some of Microsoft’s cloud features are turned off by default with a local account, others are still active, including OneDrive, Wi-Fi Sense, and Cortana. Many of these are opt-in features, but to make sure they aren’t constantly bugging you or sending data to the cloud check out our primer on reclaiming your privacy in Windows 10.

Asus EeeBox E410 Fanless Mini PC Introduced

Asus EeeBox E410

Asus has this week added a new addition to their range of fanless mini PC systems, in the form of the newly launched Asus EeeBox E410.

The Asus E410 is capable of supporting 4K Ultra HD video playback and can be connected to two displays, as well as supporting up to 8GB of RAM and being powered by an Intel Celeron N3150 processor.

Together with up to 1TB of hard drive storage or up to 128GB of solid state disk (SSD) storage in a case that measures 8.6 x 6.8 x 1.1 inches in size and weighs 1.5 lbs. Other features of the Windows 10 mini PC include :

– Efficient ASUS Software Management Tools
– Budget friendly solution with enhanced productivity
– Sleek and clean 1L compact PC with rotatable VESA-mount
– Rich array of I/O ports for a myriad of business peripheral devices

Powered by the next generation Intel Celeron N3150 quad-core 1.6GHz SoC processor (2M Cache, up to 2.08GHz), significantly faster and more efficient than the previous Intel Celeron processors, E410 delivers easy multitasking and enhanced performance.

Share your pictures, music and movies with 100GB free space for 1 year, wirelessly share your files across multiple devices. With a keyword search, you can find the relevant files in no time. Record and upload the important meeting notes with snap shots, and then access them on any devices.