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Checking out the latest tips on Baldur's Gate II Back to tutorial index  

As an avid fan of Role Playing Games (RPG), I am often intrigued by the complexities and intricacies the developers built into the games. The high replay value of these games provides endless hours of entertainment and value for my money. Each time I play, I experiment with various combinations of resources or characters to achieve different outcomes. I am continually amazed by new quests I find, or new tips and tricks I did not discover previously. Forums and chat groups dedicated to these games formed a staple diet for gathering new tips and tricks. These provide further mileage of what I could get out of these games, and also active feedback of what other gamers thought about them.

My latest obsession is Interplay's Baldur's Gate II. I did not play the original BGI, but as it is, I am already heavily mired in this second award- winning version.

What I am going to show here is how I use TrackEngine to monitor the latest tips provided by other gamers on bulletin boards and forums. I quite like the discussions going on in PlanetBaldursgate, a site dedicated to BGII, and I would like to show you how I monitor interesting discussions going on in the forums there.

Prerequisite: Enable your web browser with the "Track me!" button.
If you're not a TrackEngine user yet, then sign up for a free account by clicking here. The registration process is simple and you'll receive your username and password by email shortly after you've signed up. There are a few places where you can enable your web browser with the "Track me!" button.

  • At the QuickStart page, which briefly outlines the workings of TrackEngine for new users upon their first sign-in.
  • At the My Bookmarks page, which gives existing users a quick means of enabling any web browser with the "Track me!" button.

Step 1: Pick your Favorite Forum of Discussion
At PlanetBaldursgate, there are a few discussion groups to choose from at http://www.forumplanet.com/planetbaldursgate/. Let's select the Baldur's Gate II forum. Go to this and you will see a whole list of topics that are currently being discussed.

Step 2: Create a Bookmark and Track
Now click on the Track me! that you have created on your browser toolbar. The TrackEngine Preferences window pops up. There are a host of other parameters you can toggle, but for the moment, just click on OK to save your bookmark settings. Congratulations - you have successfully created a TrackEngine bookmark! What you have essentially done is to request TrackEngine to visit this same forum every day to pick up new topic postings.

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Step 3: Receive New Postings
Now sit back and relax. On a daily basis, TrackEngine will fetch you the latest postings of new discussion areas from the site and send it to your mailbox. All TrackEngine alerts are preceded by [TrackEngine] and you can even rename each bookmark so that you can easily identify these alerts in your mailbox or have these filtered by your mail client.

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Open up the TrackEngine mail - Voila, all the new discussions initiated are highlighted in BLUE for you. Saves you all that trouble of going back to the site and trying to remember and identify what you read or did not read, doesn't it?

You will notice that only NEW discussion topics are highlighted. In the BGII forums, whenever a new message has been posted to an existing discussion thread, the discussion topic gets pushed to the top of the forum. TrackEngine has built-in intelligence to identify that this is an existing topic and therefore would not alert you. It only alerts you of new discussion threads started. Cool, isn't it?

Hot Tip #1: Really Powerful in Tracking Threaded Discussions
What I find really useful with TrackEngine is monitoring threaded discussions ie the actual messages posted in each of the discussion areas. Some discussions simply ignite, die away, and then revive again after some time. Sporadic is the word I am looking for. You never know when you are going to get interesting updates, but you don't have time to monitor these on a regular basis. TrackEngine does this really well for you.

Hot Tip #2: Getting Quality Discussions Only
The problem with discussion groups is that they sometime get a little out of hand. Very often, you are only interested in what certain resident contributors - the "gurus" - have to say. Simple - use TrackEngine to monitor whenever these gurus contribute.

To do this, all you have to do is to specify the name of the guru in the Track My Favorite Topics in the Hot Stuff section of the Preferences Window.

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Do you have a tip to share with other TrackEngine users? If so, pick up your virtual pen now and write to us at sharetip@trackengine.com!

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