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Messages - Spectere

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1
Random Chat / Re: The Thread of Excessive Rage
« on: July 21, 2022, 04:17:00 PM »
It took less than a year of Android to make me want to switch back to iOS. Maybe this is a Samsung thing, but I also love that feature where system updates bring up a full-screen popup that you can only dismiss a limited number of times.


Oh, speaking of updates, my PC automatically restarted for updates while I was uploading a fairly long YouTube video last night. Naturally, it decided to kill the upload at 98%. Thanks for that. I love uploading 20GB files twice.

What makes that even better is that after rebooting it logged me in automatically! I'm sure that's good for security.

2
Gaming / Re: 2022 The Backloggening
« on: June 24, 2022, 04:24:32 AM »
Woo, that's a lot of mini-reviews. :D

That sounds like a pretty good length for those kind of games. Methinks I might have to go through them at some point.

3
Computing / Re: The Keeb Thread
« on: May 27, 2022, 11:37:07 AM »
I could see a 60% keyboard easy to replace switches in being a good testbench for switches. I wouldn't want to daily drive anything smaller than a TKL but as a testbench type of thing...im interested in searching for one.

If you have a programmable keyboard (running QMK or VIA firmware) compact is kinda hard to top. I'm currently using a 75% layout with some custom tweaks and it's been absolutely wonderful. TKL feels like a waste of space for me at this time, both in terms of gaming and productivity.

Mind you, this is coming from someone who couldn't even imagine stepping down to TKL keyboard a couple years ago. :P

I think it would be fun to have a platform to try switches, even something really small like buying in batches of 10. In all honesty it's more of a "toy", I don't need another expensive "hobby" right now tbh...

The problem is that when you start getting to more of the "exotic" sizes you tend to lose the advantage of mass manufacturing. The GMMK Compact is one of the few I can think of that are pushed toward a mass market, but not being able to fully reprogram a compact keyboard is kind of a tough sell IMO. If you would primarily be using it as a switch tester it would work out well, though.

Cool for the people who are into it, but some people just want a nice "premium" keyboard without any of the bullshit. Which there seems to be plenty of options now a days, so, something for everyone. My analogue is knives, so when someone asks me about wanting a pocket knife, I need to ask a few questions. Not everybody needs or WANTS a $200+ pocket knife, and I think that's the same thing for anything really.

That's one of the things I really appreciate about r/HeadphoneAdvice. Give them your budget, your current equipment, and what you listen to and they'll try to match you with something that'll make it pop. Audio is just as subjective as keyboards are, there are a lot more options available in that realm, yet some Redditors managed to make a dedicated recommendations sub work.

I wound up leaving that subreddit with a nice set of headphones and knowledge. r/MechanicalKeyboards has such a high signal to noise ratio by comparison that I didn't know where to even start, so I wound up going with GMMK. It was better than I had, but I wouldn't call it a good choice for someone who sits at a computer for 8+ hours per day. If there weren't so many crossed wires and rampant elitism I would have been able to get to my current place sooner, for less money, and with more decisiveness.

I mostly blame youtube, because that's where I look for things, and people who make their living off one SPECIFIC thing, gotta go hard on that one thing, and I think it unintentionally breeds elitism. This is for a lot of things, not just keyboards, but specifically what I encountered on the youtube/reddit in my search for a keyboard. Again this is in my other interests, like beer, knives, warhammer, bikes, everything. Just makes it a little harder as a consumer.

Never underestimate the power of the Internet echo chamber, as well as what people will gleefully form cliques around. I swear, half of the reason they don't even know why they're doing it.

I mean, I've literally been called stupid to my face for using an iPhone by people who could barely navigate their way around a Windows PC. People are fuckin' weird.

Curious, do you just go ham and make 100 keyboards to try new switches? Or do you buy small batches of 10 and plug em in somewhere before you take a bigger plunge? I really don't know how people can know so much about switches without having a proper typing experience with them. Like with liquor, you can try 2oz at a bar or something, switches...iunno.

I'm not that into it, haha. One thing to keep in mind is that everything kinda works together to make the complete product. If I were to test switches in a keyboard with an aluminum shell and a carbon fiber plate, it wouldn't feel or sound the same as it does in my main keyboard with its acrylic shell and brass plate. If I wanted to have a dedicated test keyboard, I'd basically just have to buy another crystal IDOBAO ID80…for $260. :s

If I do decide to try out switches, I go all the way. I yank all the switches out of my board and plop new ones in. If I still like them after a couple weeks, I keep them. If not, I swap them all back. The latter has only happened once so far (Drop Holy Pandas. They felt good but were so unreliable that I got tired of messing with them).

You could get away with just replacing the alphanumerics and modifiers, but in my case that's almost the whole keyboard.

4
Computing / Re: The Keeb Thread
« on: May 21, 2022, 01:32:41 AM »
So the main 3 types of switches are clicky, tactile, and linear. From what I see online nobody likes clicky switches, so it's whether you want tactile or linear switches.

I love clicky switches. The only reason I stopped using them is because I started doing the YouTube gaming thing.

Before I started doing that I used Kailh Box Navy switches. Very heavy switches, but they felt great to type on.

And this gets to why I am kind of happy I didn't dump $400 on a new keyboard, pretty much all of this stuff (as what seems to me) is totally subjective.

It doesn't really start getting expensive until you start messing around with different case materials, plates, etc. I basically fell in love with a combination of gasket mount keebs with a brass plate, but that's far from being the cheapest way to go.

Now maybe in the future I'll see how easy or not so easy yanking out switches is on this sucker so I can play with other switches.

I love trying out new switches, but I hate swapping them, haha. Definitely invest in a good switch puller if you're going to do that. The weird, stiff metal ring ones are kinda awkward (and if you slip, the hooks at the end are very good at slicing through skin. Don't ask how I know).

Currently eyeing gateron milky yellow, and ink black...but I'm kinda content enough with these normal cherry mx browns where I think I'll be content for a little while.

The Cherry MX Brown is a good baseline switch. A lot of enthusiasts seem to like to shit on them, but I think they're fine.

If you like them, you'll probably love Kailh Polias. To me they feel like smoother, slightly heavier, yet crisper Browns.

Feels pretty damn good to me, and could be placebo effect, but I swear my typing is 20% faster on this thing too.

Eh, probably. One of the reasons tactile keyboards are beloved by typists is that you can feel roughly where the actuation happens. With practice you'll be able to consistently actuate the switch without bottoming out (or at least without bottoming out hard). That can make quite a difference in the long run.

5
Gaming / Re: FFVII Remake
« on: May 21, 2022, 01:14:26 AM »
I mean right now my ps5 loads games faster than my pc does on my samsung m.2 ssd...like from the ps5 dashboard I can be LOADED IN GAME in death stranding OR ff7r by the time you can count to 10. So booting up the game, skipping to the title screen, selecting your file to load, loading the game and being loaded ready to play, 10 seconds. It's a novelty I am still impressed with and I applaud. Load times last generation seemed to be the worst they've been yet, and seeing it do a 180 is very satisfying.

The way they do it is a bit cheaty, but it's a fantastic approach for games systems. When you switch games on both the Xbox Series and PS5, the OS creates a save state and just loads that. The only time it actually loads the full game is when the game updates, the game crashes, or if you haven't played it in so long that it just wipes it from the cache.

It's pretty trivial to do that on a platform that uses game VMs and a fixed architecture. Features like that are unlikely to come to a PC because devs can't rely on the environment being the same twice in a row.

I really hope not. Any reason for windows OS to have a gaming focused competitor is a good thing. I await the day valve has a proper OS that you can game on without using windows. 

Valve already tried doing it and it didn't go particularly well. Contrary to popular belief, the issues with Linux gaming historically go far beyond devs simply not porting their games. The architecture is a complete mess, to the point where video card drivers have to bypass half of Xorg in order to offer acceptable performance. There's a replacement for Xorg called Wayland, but in my experience it still simply work well enough to be a definitive replacement.

In more recent times, the Steam Deck is another attempt by Valve to push Linux adoption. Everyone I know who bought a Steam Deck eventually loaded Windows on it, though.

Oh, then there's the fact that Steam still requires a messy multilib installation to run on Linux since they refuse to release a native 64-bit version of it, forcing you to maintain a ton of 32-bit libraries on your system even if you're only planning to run 64-bit games. Similarly, the Mac build of Steam is not a universal app, so you need to use Rosetta 2 to run it on ARM Macs. If they truly give a damn about non-Windows platforms, they have a weird way of showing it.

6
Gaming / Re: wut specturr'z playing
« on: May 21, 2022, 12:49:21 AM »
I just finished up MAP27, including the, erm, secret part. Speaking of that secret part: I managed to beat it first try. I ate two rockets pretty much right at the start because I'm a dumbass, but I was able to snag a megasphere and stay in the fight as the arena continued to open up. Holy hell, is that part fun. I wish I were recording that.

I've been live streaming Valiant, so I now have a recording of me doing a deathless clear of the Final Countdown secret: https://youtu.be/RJHKjcdf73g?t=15460

7
Gaming / Re: FFVII Remake
« on: May 17, 2022, 11:22:57 AM »
I recall replaying the ps4 port of the original ff7 and not even doing wutai until late game, didn't even know it was optional for the most part.

I only knew about it because I was a child of the Internet and had access to GameFAQs (and because my friend, who played the phuck out of the PSX version, told me about Yuffie and Wutai).

I mean you can, but who's to say when the next part releases, on the ps7?

Hah. Touché, friend.

I think giving the original a playthrough up to the end of whichever part is a fun idea so you can see all the little things you thought they just made up, but ended up being in the original. Like Johnny, I didn't even remember he was in the original.

I actually wound up doing that in the time leading up to FF7R:1's release, so I was able to pick out a loooooot of changes and such.

Johnny is a bit of an odd one, since he's ever-present but not quite as noticeable as he is in the Remake. If we're being honest, I think I prefer him being an ever-present background character. :P

Honestly, aside from transferring your saves and whatnot over...I don't think so? I've been able to throw in various ps4 discs like mgsv ground zeros, the wipeout collection, ff7r (obviously), no issues. Going digital however...same thing, stuff on your psn seems to work fine. Like the ps4 ff7 original port, burnout paradise, ff8 remaster, downloads/works fine.

I'm not a fan of throwing out old consoles, but in my case it seems to do all what the ps4 can, only better.

Cool, thanks.

I don't think I'd really feel bad about selling off the PS4 (or maybe I'll just exchange it for my old PS3, which my dad is currently using). The PS4/XB1 was kind of a lame duck generation in a lot of ways. The CPUs were ungodly weak even for the time (seriously, AMD's cores from that era are Pentium 4 levels of bad), so they were capable of shiny graphics with minimal substance, and they were using HDDs when SSDs were getting popular. It was an upgrade from the previous generation, but considering the previous generation was from 2005/2006 that's a pretty low bar to clear.

The PS5/XBS, on the other hand, are actually fantastic PC alternatives. Zen 2 paired with a solid GPU, NVMe SSDs, tons of RAM and cores…it's basically the perfect blend of components for a living room box.

Honestly, if Microsoft ever partnered up with Valve to bring Steam to the Xbox Series X I'd spend a lot more time in the living room. That thing would make a solid Steam Machine.

8
Gaming / Re: wut specturr'z playing
« on: May 05, 2022, 12:05:15 AM »
Yeah, walking sims are kind of an odd paradox. I find that it's rewarding to go in blind and just sort of absorb whatever they have to offer. I've done that for the mod, TSP:HD, and TDP:UD, and it's been a pretty fulfilling experience.

Just to offer an alternative example of a similar gameplay style, Gone Home is an example of how your mind tends to fill in a ton of gaps before you realize what actually happened. Watching a YouTube video where someone is exploring the house in their own way, interjecting their thoughts and opinions, kinda dilutes the experience for the viewer, and seeing the ending removes the point of getting that same experience for yourself.

It's pretty awful in terms of game design when you think about it, but I tend to not think of them less as games and more as interactive experiences. It's more akin to someone reading a book to you and telling you their opinions on each chapter before moving to the next one, or having someone commentate on a movie.



Oh, on another note: unfortunately, they wound up introducing a very Companion Cube-esque construct in TSP:UD. Expect a ton of Internet cringe for the next year or so.

9
Gaming / Re: FFVII Remake
« on: May 04, 2022, 11:51:26 PM »
Oh jeez, I thought Interwhatever was just a PS5 port with moar graffix and a few little things added. I didn't realize it had DLC with that much extra content. Definitely something to look forward to if I manage to get my hands on a console.

Character development in general has been one of the best parts of FF7R so far, though I do kinda think they blew their Sephiroth load a bit too quickly and too often. As you mentioned, the way they handled Aerith is significantly better than classic FF7, so I'm looking forward to their treatment of Yuffie. It's been a while since I did a full play through of the OG version, but I remember being more annoyed than enamored by the spontaneous diversion to Wutai, so hopefully that part is handled a bit more gracefully if they decide to migrate that over.

I kinda feel that if I do wind up winning the console lottery I may hold off on this until part 2 is on the horizon. Kinda seems appropriate to refresh myself on the FF7R lore before jumping into the next title, eh?

Also, speaking of the PS5: is there any reason to hang onto my PS4 Pro if I get a PS5? Have you noticed any compatibility issues so far?

I ain't even touch FF15 if you paid me to play it

I enjoyed what I played of FF15, but it's so wildly different that I kinda feel that they should have spun it off from the mainline FF series.

10
Gaming / Re: wut specturr'z playing
« on: April 28, 2022, 08:48:52 PM »
I think I managed to find most of the new content in The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe.

Gotta say, it was really fun revisiting it. I ended up spotting a bunch of things that I still need to work out (like a paper containing an obvious ASCII dump that I haven't plopped into a converter) so I'm sure there's still a bunch of stuff left that I still need to find.

They did a solid job converting it over to the Unity engine, and between the drastically reduced load times, the solid dynamic lighting, increased interactivity, and the fact that it doesn't immediately start changing my display resolution on load does a good job demonstrating why the original Source engine is a bit long in the tooth.

Major engine improvements aside, it's still fantastic that they managed to capture the same look at the Source Engine original (well, uh, the HD release…technically the "original" is a Half-Life 2 mod) despite Unity being completely different.

11
Random Chat / Re: The Thread of Excessive Rage
« on: April 27, 2022, 11:48:06 AM »
So between today I ended up getting something like 18 phone calls and 10 e-mails from job recruiters over a two hour span.

Turns out Monster decided to relist my resume without permission. From what I can gather they redid their site somewhat recently, and I would assume that there was an issue with data migration. Okay, fine. I'll unlist it.

Except, every time I log in it acts like I don't have a resume on file. It only gives me the option to create a resume or upload a new one. What? Suddenly, I get an idea and download the Monster mobile app. I log in and it tells me that my resume has been migrated. I check the permissions. Public. fffffuuuuuuuuu---

Tap "Private." Save. Delete app.

Now I get to spend ten minutes of my lunch break replying to recruiters, telling them that it was a big understanding (never hurts to be polite!) and that I'm not actually looking for work. Thanks, Monster.

On the bright side, at least my skills and experience are incredibly marketable.

12
Gaming / Re: FFVII Remake
« on: April 27, 2022, 11:11:28 AM »
Quick reminder: I've only played at launch, so it's possible that some of my gripes might have gotten fixed either through patches or the release of Intergrade. Assuming I get my hands on a PS5, I'll probably wind up replaying this before Part 2 is released, so my opinion might change at that point.

Spoiled baby on ps5, load times are neeeeeearrrrrrrrrrrly nonexistant, and looks flawless to me. To be fair to the ps4 though, the load times always sucked on that console from the first time I got mine.

Spinning rust + Unreal Engine 4 = aaaaaaaaaaa

To be fair, the load times (that is to say the amount of time it takes you to slog through the loading screen) were actually quite good compared to other PS4 games. It just took it a while to flesh out the world.

Having done a crosslash limit break to an enemy, to have it casually take 3 steps back...I don't use those style limit breaks unless I have em rooted. I will not defend the system, however with the stagger system, and whatever the state before stagger is called that the enemy doesn't move, and ice magic, there's options to set up a limit break hitting.

You can definitely set it up to make it a guarantee (and I often did that) but the inconsistency with how it worked makes it feel like a bug.

You don't even need to die, they can just bitch slap you and knock you over and you lose the mp, take the damage, and don't cast the spell. Pretty annoying, makes you think more before you act.

In a way, yes, but the enemies also have a tendency to bumrush the active character. One of the primary issues I had is that I'd set up combat with Cloud, and the second I switched to Aerith they'd shove his spiky ass aside and immediately start wailing on her.

The other issue is that the threadbare party AI that the game does have (and yes, I realize it's by design) has just enough autonomy that it tends to wander away from where you placed the character, leading to situations where I'd switch to Barret only to have him facing a wall on the other side of the arena, run him back into position, and when I switch back to Cloud he'll be on the opposite side of the arena admiring a lamp. Again, maybe this was patched, but during my playthrough it happened enough to become a pattern and made it feel like a cat herding simulator.

I do agree with you, but also somewhat disagree? It's annoying yes, but that to me just forces me to dodge/block/pick my spot better. The one part where having other party members feels "good" to me. Barret is stunned, auto swap to someone else to build some atb to toss him a heal or recovery or something. Being stunned doesn't mean "sit there and do nothing" in this game because you can switch to another party member, and that feels pretty fluid to me.

The problem I ran into is that I'd swap, only to find my other characters in seemingly random positions. Aerith was fairly well-behaved, but I'd often find Barret admiring the wall and generally being far enough out of range that the stun would wear off by the time I steer him back into the fray.

I actually distinctly remember why I bought this up in the first place. The part that this happened was where the only party members were Cloud and Aerith, and in those instances combat would open with a ~5 second stun on Cloud, followed by all of the enemies rushing Aerith. Once in a while, sure, but it got kind of formulaic. Might have just been poor luck, but still.

This part is one of the bigger problems with the games combat as I play more. I was fighting Shiva, and I would try to dodge certain attacks and it wouldn't work and I'd get hit, so I'd start blocking which works great, except that other attack you can't block. Or that one attack you can block, but then it explodes and you have to evade it. This is fine the third time you fight her and understand "block this, dodge this, don't get hit by that, block then evade that" but the game doesn't properly communicate a blockable spell from one you need to dodge. They could easily make clever use of spell graphics or sound effects to communicate this to the player as a lot of games do. Tekken 7 is a 3d fighting game, you have attacks you can sidestep, and there's attacks which can hit lateral movement. Said attacks that hit stepping, you see it with a white swoosh communicating that this attack is hitting those lateral movements. So when you get hit by it, you can see as the person getting hit, what they did, and can use that information to counter it later.

Exactly. I couldn't agree more.

That's one of the main reasons I feel that it has an identity crisis. It's kind of a weird mish-mash of classic JRPG and action RPG tropes that occasionally clash. When it's on-point it feels amazing (like I said, I really loved the combat system for the first few hours despite some of the weird little AI quirks and such) but I feel that the more difficult fights just wind up exposing those cracks.

I'm sure the second part will probably feel a lot more refined. The first one kinda got caught in development hell, after all. I'm sure that didn't do it any favors.

If I have to say what the biggest flaw to this game is right now, the combat isn't "bad" as it is EXTREMELY UNINTUITIVE. It is OFFENSIVELY unintuitive. With that, it's very hard to even grasp the "correct" way to play the game, and the game not exactly being easy, and having quite a few hard bosses (HELL HOUSEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE), it's very easy to be frustrated. That combined with the fact that I am an old man who likes turn based games and final fantasy hasn't been like that since the early ps2 era. I understand why it is real time, because the kids don't like turn based, and I know more than a few people that wouldn't touch a game if it was taking turns, if that game isn't called pokemon...

At least Squeenix has been dipping their toes back into that well with stuff like Bravely Default (traditional FF-style) and Triangle Strategy (FFT-style).

Apparently Intergrade allows you to use turn-based controls for FF7:R's Normal difficulty. Have you tried messing around with that at all?

And the funny thing is that old tech demo that looked too good to be any game I'd be playing in my lifetime doesn't even hold a candle to what they actually released...on a last generation console, let alone a modern one.

Technology is a funny thing, eh?

It's going to be interesting to see what part 2 looks like, seeing as it's going to be exclusively on current gen consoles. The screenshots of part 1 on PS5/PC look noticeably better, but designing it from the ground up for newer hardware can make a pretty substantial difference.

13
Gaming / Re: 2022 The Backloggening
« on: April 24, 2022, 04:32:03 AM »
Hey, congrats!

I haven't used a DualSense controller so I don't know how comparable the two are, but the trigger haptics on the XB1/XBS consoles made a much bigger difference than I thought it would. I'm glad Sony jumped on that boat. Same deal with allowing downloads during rest mode.

I just registered for their console drop e-mail thingie. Fingers crossed, I guess.

14
Gaming / Re: Racing Sims
« on: April 14, 2022, 02:56:51 AM »
Beginning of the month there was actually series x consoles on amazon for like...28 hours. I was tempted to snagging one, but the only exclusives I want to play is...the next elder scrolls game, and that won't be out for a while. Playstation I'll have GT, final fantasy 7 (figured since I now plan on buying a ps5, pointless to spend time on the ps4 version I only spent 2 hours on), more death stranding because I'd totally play it again, and street fighter 6 whenever that hits. Still hard to tell myself no to a new console when I am in the market for one. I did sign up on the playstation website to drop me an email when they feel like selling me a console, so maybe they'll drop me a line in a few...months...

Well, for what it's worth, you'll be able to play the Series X stuff on PC. It seems like Sony jumped on the timed exclusive train with regards to PC for some games at least, but there's definitely more reason for most people to get a PS5 than a Series console.

I'm honestly surprised that Microsoft hasn't partnered up with Steam to make the Series S/X (and, hell, why not the Xbox One as well?) a Steam Link. It feels like it would be a match made in heaven.

It's a lot, the more I play the more I think I have to adjust stuff. Now my arms are getting tired from how far the wheel is...but it feels about the same distance as my daily driver. I do typically drive with my right hand on 5 o clock position, resting my arm on the center console thingy. So maybe I just got weak arms, but even then in high traffic or bad weather I am 10 and 2 and I don't notice fatigue driving.

I dunno about the Fanatec wheels, but it definitely takes a bit more force to turn the wheel on my dad's G923 than it does on my Civic (in addition to having to fight through the force feedback). I think that's just a side effect of how those wheels are made. It definitely gives you a workout.

Biggest impediment is the way I am playing GT. I am a power gamer a lot of the time and path of least resistance, get all the things the most efficient way possible...and that is unfortunately the opposite of "getting better at wheel" when I am using pad to gradually cut my times a good 4 minutes faster per run AND making an attempt to learn manual transmission while doing so(no clutch, just paddles or X and Square buttons on pad). After either A I get tired of farming for cash, or B they nerf the method soon I can try and figure out how to learn the game efficiently.

Ah yeah, I know that feeling. It's hard to commit to a different control style when you're at a certain level of mastery with a different one, especially when you're in a situation where there's an easy, and undoubtedly temporary, method for farming.

VIDEO REPLY BECAUSE yknow showing > telling

Yooo, thanks! The one I was looking for was the "maximum steering angle." Gotta say, their config tool looks a lot more pleasant to use than the Logitech one.

Meh, I'll probably just save up for one of the Fanatec wheels. I've always loved me some racers, and it seems like every time I stop by my parents' place I wind up spending at least an hour placing racing sims on my dad's rig.

Trying moving wheel away from my couch changes things. Not better...but I think a lot of my issues were adjusting the settings on the wheel and in game, AND my sitting position. Will have to figure out a better setup in this living room that is also portable enough to put away.

That's the nice part about having a full on sim rig. Much easier to find a comfortable position, and much harder to stow the damn thing.

15
Gaming / Re: Racing Sims
« on: April 12, 2022, 05:52:10 PM »
There's a...bug? Probably, that takes the dodge tomahawk x which is a 1200 or something PP car, and you can mess with the gear ratio to a point where it knocks it down to 560. You then take this car which has stupid speed and grip into the wtc600 race on tokyo expressway. 12 laps, ~500,000cr payout, ~850,000cr with clean race bonus (even ramming walls and bumping other cars, for whatever reason I ALWAYS get clean race bonus). It's just too damn good not to do.

Heh. To be fair, this has been a problem since the dawn of time with GT due to the sheer number of variables at play. The main difference is that since GT5 they've been able to actually patch this stuff.

I'm not sure it's ever been quite that out of whack (though I distinctly recall GT3 having some very, uh, interesting quirks), but I haven't really looked into it in any sort of real detail.

Not sure if it's like this where you live, but I've noticed in a few stores there isn't even a section they'd stock playstation consoles. Like there's switches behind glasses, the xbox section usually has mostly nothing or a single series S console, and the playstation section...isn't there? Like you can buy games and controllers, but not even a section they'd stock a console.

I'm not sure if this is still the case, but a few months ago that was the case for both the PS5 and Xbox Series consoles at my local Best Buy. Both the PS5 and XBS/XBX systems were perpetually out of stock to the point where they reallocated the shelf space to things that actually exist. I think they've been having a slightly easier time with the Switch, since there was still shelf space for it, albeit no consoles up for sale. Considering the Switch came out in 2016 that's still kind of impressive IMO.

The only reason I ended up getting my Series X is because they had some program where you could effectively reserve a console if you used a special financing option that covered both the system and two years of GamePass Ultimate. It was slightly more than the combined cost of both (I think it was like $40 more?), but 1) it's still way cheaper than buying it from a scumbag scalper, 2) I would upgraded to GamePass Ultimate anyway (I was already a GamePass PC subscriber), and 3) you can unlock dev mode and install RetroArch, and it's one of the most powerful off-the-shelf emulation boxes money can buy.

AANNNDDDD a few notes on the wheel. Messing with settings is making things easier, looking up the fanatec recommended settings makes steering easier, but they see the force feedback toned down, which also makes things easier but less immersive. Will need to do more googling and experimenting with settings, would like a balance between immersion and improving my skill. With some of the grinding I've been doing on GT I have been going back and forth between the wheel and controller. The wheel can be physically fatiguing, and my times on pad still blow the pants off my  wheel times. I am improving enough to actually play the game instead of crash everywhere, but it'll be some time before im actually confident with the thing.

Being a bit discouraged, I have noticed I am not alone. Going from pad to wheel is like "way more fun, more immersive, but god damn is it hard and my times are worse".

Oh no, you're definitely not alone. There's a pretty big adjustment period with any dedicated controller, but I think steering wheels are probably one of the most extreme cases of that. I think the only thing that's easier with the wheel is shifting with a clutch (Forza lets you do that with a gamepad, but it never felt right to me).

You pretty much have to work up to a point where the wheel becomes second nature, to the point where its primary advantages over the gamepad win out. It's not at all surprising that wheels give you more granular control over the vehicle, but one thing that they don't have is input dampening (except in Horizon, apparently, which is another good reason to avoid that game). Racing games apply a bunch of input filtering on gamepads in order to prevent rapid thumb movements from causing the controls to spaz out. That's good because it makes them actually playable (and prevents pad players from having a turning speed advantage in competitive games) but it does allow wheel players to make faster steering corrections. When you get to that level your times will probably improve over your old pad times.

Oh, one more wheel question: I'm not sure if you tried playing any Windows racers with it, but do the Fanatec drivers let you adjust angle limitations? The wheels on Formula 1 cars, for example, have as much of a turning radius as normal cars. My dad's G923 lets you adjust that. It obviously doesn't limit the physical range, but it makes it so that if you turn the wheel, say, 180 degrees, it counts as a full turn.

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