Black Viper

http://www.blackviper.com/about/

Aug 122015
 

The last few days have been very busy. With the general release of Windows 10, the demand for my Service Configurations increased as well as time put into them, but the VPS could not handle it. The CPU was often over loaded with random MySQL crashes, database corruptions and overall nastiness. One day, I restored the domain twice from previous day backups due to database corruption. I should mention that I have had this VPS for a long time with (very likely) poor edited configurations, failed software installs and general self stupidity. The OS was out of date and could not be upgraded in an “easy” way. I had to disable some features (namely registration and login) as normal traffic was also intermixed with massive bot traffic (in three days, 1400 bots registered accounts). Once again, I was spending way too much time in the background and failing to focus on my information updates. The only way I could deal with it was to fork out more credit for a new server and start over.

Regardless, the website server upgrade and transfer is complete and the old VPS is offline.

If you are reading this message, that is a good thing. :)

Soon, more Windows 10 updates will happen as time allows. However, the domain might be “up and down” randomly while I work out some server-side configurations over the next few days (for the better, I hope) but fear not… things will return to normal…

What ever normal is. :)

As always, I appreciate my dedicated readers support!

Aug 112015
 

Introduction

I updated the Windows 10 Service Configurations to include Surface 3 and Surface 3 Pro as well as added another recommendation column named “Tweaked”.

Here is some helpful information to get you started:

The columns can be sorted and individually hidden. Select the column header to sort by that field and/or use the column hiding GUI directly above the table search box. I highly recommend using the column hiding feature to reduce confusion associated with “too much information”.

Notes for Surface 3 and Surface 3 Pro users:

  • The Safe and Tweaked configurations assume a desktop environment as I do not own either device and cannot extensively test the configurations on them.
  • How I obtained the default service settings was by going into a local Best Buy and taking pictures of the service settings with my phone. Seriously. As such, they may not be “completely” accurate, but it is the best that I can do without spending a couple thousand dollars on the retail products. I thought about exploiting their 14 day no questions asked return policy, but decided to whip out my phone’s camera instead.
  • A bit of “thinking” may be required to make sure complete functionality of the tablet after adjusting service settings. Meaning, do not disable obvious services related to touch screen or tablet input actions. Example: “Touch Keyboard and Handwriting Panel Service”.

Table Header Information

  • DEFAULT ~ What MS thinks should be running on Windows 10.
  • “Safe” Configuration ~ This is the configuration that 95% of the people will be able to use with little or no side effects. It will also minimizes the amount of “errors” that is reported in the Event Viewer. This does not guarantee it will work for you, but if adjusting your services scares you, this configuration would be a good starting point. One should also take a moment and think about issues that may arise; for example: if you use an Xbox and its’ game streaming capabilities, don’t disable the three Xbox services as I have.
    • 33 service settings out of 223 have been changed from the default annotated by an (*) asterisk.
  • “Tweaked” Configuration ~ This is the configuration that a lot of gamers, geeks and power users enjoy using and ask me for. Even though I follow this configuration myself, this does not guarantee it will work for you. I generally do not answer “my computer is broke, what is wrong” questions with those users who choose to use this configuration. If this scares you, use “Safe” instead! One should also take a moment and think about issues that may arise; for example: if you use an Xbox and its’ game streaming capabilities, don’t disable the three Xbox services as I have.
    • 51 service settings out of 223 have been changed from the default annotated by an (*) asterisk.
Aug 032015
 

Since Windows 10 has arrived, I thought I would share my findings to date.

The Windows 10 Services Configurations have been updated to include Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro as well as Windows 10 Education and Enterprise with Default and Safe configurations online. Windows 10 Technical Preview has been replaced with this update.

All Windows 10 Services Pages will be updated to include the latest information in due time (and a lot of it).

Enjoy!

Coming Soon – Windows Services Updates and Website Improvements

 Articles, News, Random Ramblings, Web Site Updates, Windows Services  Comments Off on Coming Soon – Windows Services Updates and Website Improvements
Apr 172015
 

Due to a successful start of my GoFundMe Campaign, in the coming weeks, I will make a solid pass through all Windows Services as well as Windows 7/8/8.1/10 Service Configurations.

Soon, I will also enable the ability to register and login so my readers may post comments directly on my guides.

For now, you can offer feedback in the way of shooting off an email or let me know via my Twitch.tv Live Stream chat.

I have also begun correcting errors in presentation (I bumped up the table font size and made the website wider to display more information) as well as correct grammar/spelling errors.

Stay tuned! Much more to come!

Lots of Achievements for Diablo 3 Season 3 Gone? Why? An Open Letter To Blizzard Entertainment

 Articles, Gaming, News, Random Ramblings, The Rant  Comments Off on Lots of Achievements for Diablo 3 Season 3 Gone? Why? An Open Letter To Blizzard Entertainment
Apr 132015
 

This text is mostly from my original post on the official Diablo 3 forums. It is replicated here for the general internet community to see: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/16952355725

Update: April 17, 2015

Tyvalir commented on my post and Blizzard is listening! The “Open Letter” is now closed. :) Direct Link.

04/16/2015 11:00 AM Posted by Tyvalir

Great feedback! You all have my thanks for sharing your perspectives so constructively here. Even fifteen pages later, I can see that most responses are on topic and respectful in their tone. *insert applause*

I’m still parsing through and collecting all of the ideas presented in this thread (since there’s a lot of good stuff here). By all means, please continue this discussion and I’ll make sure your feedback gets in front of the right folks.

Great feedback! You all have my thanks for sharing your perspectives so constructively here. Even fifteen pages later, I can see that most responses are on topic and respectful in their tone. *insert applause*

I’m still parsing through and collecting all of the ideas presented in this thread (since there’s a lot of good stuff here). By all means, please continue this discussion and I’ll make sure your feedback gets in front of the right folks.

TLDNR: Cutting out all the original achievements (class, explore, event, boss and monster kills, etc) is not the way to spark interest in Season 3. It excludes a massive amount of the player base shooting for “The Achievement Point Leaderboards” in a season.

The long post:
Update: Confirmed on page 6 on the forum thread that this is not a bug:

04/13/2015 12:55 AM Posted by TheTias

The 2.2 PTR’s “Season 3” had the same achievements as we have now. That is, all of the regular achievements had been removed on the PTR just as they are removed on Live.

Thank you for the information and time required to reply. I wish I would have actually known this before Friday when Season 3 officially started. I would have began my campaign of “get answers” much, much sooner! :)
This also, with out a doubt, confirms that this is “not a bug”. Now I want to know “why” as the title of this thread states.

And to continue with the original information:

I played season 1 and 2 only for the season achievement point leaderboards (even though “starting over” was fun, to a point).
My career/non-season achievement score is 7200 or 98%.

Season 1 – I ended at #217 on the Americas Achievement list (because it was 11 weeks).
Season 2 – I ended at #304 on the Americas Achievement list (because it was only 7 weeks).
Season 3… Why try?

With the Season 2 Achievement point leaderboard
#1 had 8280 points.
#1000 had 4910.
8280 – 4910 = 3370
3370 / 10 = 337
The top and the bottom are separated by 337 different possible achievements available.

While in Season 3:
970 is the maximum amount of points available.
79 total achievements possible.
How is this even close to being considered “better” for their main gaming base and the largest segment of revenue? I fail to understand.
I am not asking to make it “easier” to get on a leaderboard. I am asking to keep it the way it was as it was a great system that allowed a much larger player base with a massive variety on play styles to have a shot at getting listed and did nothing to reduce the amount of top tier players fighting for the top. A win for all!

Oddly enough, I read the blog post as “We added a whole lot of achievements for Season 3, so enjoy!”
Instead of “We now made the only thing casuals can go for completely invalid in Season 3!”

From the Season 3 now live blog post: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/blog/18710109/season-3-now-live-4-10-2015
And I quote:

“And that’s not all! We’ve also completely re-worked previous Seasonal Achievements to focus more on the challenging accomplishments you can achieve during a Season. There are 100 new Seasonal Achievements altogether in normal and Hardcore, giving you plenty of new challenges to take on this Season.

As always, our philosophy when creating Achievements is that they should require time and effort to obtain. The Conquests and Season-exclusive Achievements available in Season 3 reflect this idea. While some may be achieved through normal play, you’ll find that some require creativity and dedication if you want to complete them!”

As always“?!?!? This one completely cracks me up… As always when creating Achievements…
Since when? Four hours ago? Does “As always” at Blizzard really mean four hours, just like Soon™ means forever?
Most of the bold can be translated to mean “Casual gamers need not apply”.

Sure, Blizzard wants to create challenging new achievements… while deleting almost every single one that we have been earning since the game came out and when Seasons started? What?

I cannot get to the top of any class on the leaderboards Greater Rift completion solo or in group (I do not play public games and have zero pro-gamer friends) on Americas leaderboards, even though I probably play a lot more than most people like to label “Casuals”.

My best character in Season 2 made it to Solo Greater Rift 34… after seven weeks. I did not even get the Season 2 Greater Rift Conquest… for 10 points… LOL!

Why did Blizzard completely exclude a vast amount of their player base from Season 3?
I get that a lot of “post retail” added stuff has been massive amounts of experiments, but this is ridiculous.

Do they seriously think “Casuals” are going to continue at all with Seasons now?
400 points did take little time to get (ya, I admit a bit too easy) for the Season 1 and 2 “rewards”, but now for Season 3, it may take weeks instead of hours.
Does Blizzard really think that getting “Season 3 only items to drop” four months early is an incentive, just to delete another redundant character in an already crowded character list and start all over again, no longer even using the items earned?

Isn’t getting all the achievements and hitting at least one leaderboard the “end game” draw?
It was for me!

I must say that I liked having the 1000 players listed on the leaderboard separated by four thousand points instead of ten (or maybe even zero) at Seasons end.
I can only see Season 3 ending in two weeks for me. Why make it end in seven weeks as Season 2 did, or as one developer already said: four months? (Thanks Spluncy for the link):

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/16860296547?page=3#56

The Season 3 Achievements are also pro-group to the max. In other words, a player that normally plays with three other people can leave the group, do a solo level 40 Greater Rift, get all of the solo Greater Rift achievements in 14 minutes and 59 seconds for 240 points and then continue playing in a group.

This is broken. Period.

The leaderboards will be completely taken up by people playing 23 hours a day for a week or two and then locked out of for everyone else for the rest of the season, slated for at least four months.

Seriously.

Blizzard, please reconsider this action for Season 4.
Don’t kill the genre for me after 19 years of dedication.

I have always lurked the Diablo 3 forums and laughed at the silly rage quit noobs trying to get their point across and I am not one of them. I will continue playing, but not as intently as I would like.

– Signed, a long time PC Vanilla to ROS player completely irritated.
Look at my post count (at the time of the original post, it was two). I don’t troll forums. I post when something is really broken
I have been playing Blizzard games since December 31, 1996.
Go ahead, Google what release date that was… I dare you.

Black Viper from www.blackviper.com

A Request for my Dedicated Readers Over the Last 16 Years.

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Apr 042015
 

Donations:

What is New? – As of September 2014, I am no longer employed (after 4 years with the company) and my unemployment assistance ran out April 2015. While over 5,000+ people visit this site daily and I have helped millions with my information, I rarely get a note of thanks or a donation. As such, it would be greatly appreciated if you would dig down deep, even $5 US dollars helps a lot and donate to keep the wheels turning. I wish to thank you, kind reader, in advance for your generosity.

If you cannot or are not willing to give: Follow my Twitch stream or Subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Following or Subscribing will allow me to become a partner and have more options available.

For the entire story, head over to the GoFundMe link: http://www.gofundme.com/blackviper-com

GoFundMe also has the option of remaining “Anonymous” in the respect that your name will not be displayed on the campaign page as public information along with the donation amount. I still have the ability to thank you personally for your contribution via email proxy.

Please share this page on Facebook to get the word out! https://www.facebook.com/pages/wwwblackvipercom/108675855165

As of September 2014, I am no longer employed (after 4 years with the company). Off and on, I use credit cards (with…

Posted by www.blackviper.com on Tuesday, March 31, 2015

If I have helped you, please take a few seconds to give via PayPal using your credit card, an existing account, or create a new one. International donations are also accepted via PayPal (converted to $US).

All donations will:

  • Help pay for hosting charges.
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  • I am now unemployed. Any money will help keep this domain going.

If you do not wish to use PayPal, you may contact me at the postal address listed on the Contact BV page.

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Oct 012014
 

Since Windows 10 Technical Preview has been released, I wanted to kick out this update.

The Windows 10 Services Configurations have been updated to include Windows 10 Technical Preview with Default and Safe configurations online.

All Windows 10 Services Pages will be updated to include the latest information in due time (and a lot of it).

Enjoy!

Diablo 3 Patch 2.1.0 Achievement Bug Fix

 Articles, Gaming, News, Random Ramblings, Software  Comments Off on Diablo 3 Patch 2.1.0 Achievement Bug Fix
Aug 272014
 

With the release of Diablo 3 Patch 2.1.0 on August 26, 2014, a bug was introduced with people logging in and having no Achievements displayed. Blizzard employees acknowledged this bug, but their “easy fix” did not work for either my wife or I.

Well, I have a fix:

Diablo 3 Patch 2.1.0 Achievement fix:

  1. In the battle.net launcher, change region to Europe (this is assuming you are playing on Americas. If not, change to an alternate region).
  2. Create character there and log into it.
  3. After fully logging in, exit game and battle.net entirely.
  4. Load battle.net and change region back to Americas (or what ever your home region is).
  5. Log in to your characters and enjoy!

-BV

Sep 262013
 

Since Windows 8.1 is just around the corner, I wanted to kick out this update before it happens.

The Windows 8.1 Services Configurations have been updated to include Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 Pro as well as Windows 8.1 Enterprise with Default and Safe configurations online. Windows 8.1 Preview has been replaced with this update.

All Windows 8.1 Services Pages will be updated to include the latest information in due time (and a lot of it).

Enjoy!