Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch Feature I’m Most Excited For

The Switch is now a week away from release, and I’ve been sampling information about it from sources around the net. I’ve stumbled upon what I consider to be one of the system’s best features, and with all the cool things you could say about the system, it’s probably not one you’d be thinking about.

It’s the new Capture button.¬†

The Importance of Screenshots

So, I’m a blogger, as you probably know. ūüėČ I blog about my gaming experiences. That means that I’m constantly walking a line between being immersed in a game and thinking, “Oh, man, I need to get a screenshot of this for tomorrow’s blog post!”

Screenshots are a pretty big deal to me. Even when I’m not using them as a supplement for blogging, I’ve always taken screenshots of awesome moments in a game just to hold on to the memories.

This is an area where Nintendo has failed me in the past.

Nintendo’s Failure

To take a screenshot on the Wii U or the 3DS, you have to jump through so many hoops:

  1. First you have to pause your game
  2. Then you have to leave the gaming software and wait for MiiVerse to load up
  3. Then you have to select the image you want to save, and confirm

All this takes a few minutes of your gaming time. But the real problem is it removes you from your game. Instead of you just pressing a button to take a screen and continuing to game, you have to stop everything you’re doing, likely in the middle of a cool cutscene or important moment worth capturing, wait forever for the MiiVerse to load, then return to the important moment in your game after your immersion has been demolished.

I can’t begin to tell you how bad¬†this is for a gamer like myself.

Then, you can only retrieve your images by logging into the MiiVerse. Not to mention, the images weren’t the best¬†quality or size. And MiiVerse also limited the number of shots you could keep there.

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A sample of a Wii U MiiVerse shot.
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…Vs a¬†sample of a 3DS saved screenshot from MiiVerse.

There are a few 3DS games where taking screenshots are built in, such as Animal Crossing. But this is rare. And they’re not high quality screenshots, either.

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A sample of the size/quality image from an AC screenshot. :/

It also requires you to pull the SD card out of your 3DS and place to transfer them to your computer if you want to use them for anything.¬†This isn’t a big deal to players who have the old style 3DS, but the New 3DS requires you to open the back plate to access the SD slot!

NO! Bad Nintendo!

This is the reason I will never upgrade my old 3DS!

Oh, and let’s not talk about the games that DON’T let you save screenshots, even to MiiVerse. Pokemon, I’m looking at you. WHY?? I have to stop and grab my phone every time I want to take a picture of something important in my Pokemon games, and that’s a crying shame.

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Poor quality phone photo because Pokemon doesn’t allow screens. ūüė¶

Screenshots and Social Media

I can’t help but wonder if this plays a little part in how the Wii U struggled to find a hold in the gaming world. Like it or not, gamers are probably on the Net, on social media, and want to share their experiences through it. But they couldn’t share Nintendo game shots without jumping through so many hoops.

Even I kinda gave up on blogging my Nintendo experiences because it was just so difficult to record cool moments. The way they designed it made it so that I ether just played the game without screenshots, or interrupted my experience to capture the game. And that’s not fun.

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I guess the concept of¬†MiiVerse (and I do like some things about it) is that it is a Nintendo-safe social media-ish outlet to share these things. For some people, that works. But let me tell you, I sent out a call for folks to friend me on MiiVerse when I first got my Wii U. I still don’t have a single friend there. I rarely use the forums. I don’t share screenshots there. I want them on my blog and my Twitter account!

I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way… and I bet the lack of sharing tools to more traditional outlets can’t have helped Nintendo in the age of social media.

Switch Switches It Up

I didn’t mean to write a whole essay on my frustrations with the Wii U and 3DS screenshot systems. I guess I had more to say about that than I realized! While the previous systems and their attachments to MiiVerse was annoying, I was overjoyed to see that Nintendo has taken that into consideration and fixed it on the Switch!

In fact, they’ve turned it completely around. There’s a Capture button on the left joy-con that instantly takes a screenshot. In the future, I’ve read, it may be used to capture video as well!

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These images are saved to the system instantly. There’s no messing with MiiVerse. No pausing a game during an important moment. It’s as it should be.

Now, I don’t know if the screens go to the system’s internal memory or to the SD card. I do know that there’s an option to share screens, I’m assuming to social media. If the images are saved to the SD card as well, that would offer a way to transfer to a PC for saving, editing, etc. I also don’t know the quality of the saved images, but from the video I saw, they seem much improved over Wii U and 3DS.

Sometimes, it’s the little things that count. In this case, it’s a big win for those who like to share important gaming moments. Most of all, it’s a win for Nintendo… because the more that fans share, the more other people will be exposed to the games, and the more likely they will convert new fans and prospective buyers.

Good job, Nintendo! 

Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch

I Want to be a Nintendo Switch Fangirl

The Nintendo Switch is releasing next Friday. I want so much to be a Nintendo Switch fangirl.

I grew up as a Nintendo kid, with my first exposure being¬†the original NES. Through the years, I maintained¬†a soft spot for Nintendo, even after investing in systems like Playstation and Playstation 2. When PC gaming came into my life during¬†my college years, the consoles saw less and less of my time, but I always managed to own the relevant Nintendo systems and handhelds… even when I haven’t invest in Playstation in over 15 years, and Xbox pretty much never.

Despite this, I have never purchased a Nintendo system at launch. Putting in a pre-order for the Nintendo Switch¬†is¬†the first time I’ve done such a thing! So far, the preorder seems to be fine — I’ve also never preordered from Best Buy before, and I know there’s always the chance they’ve oversold or something. I’d hope by now I would have seen a cancellation if so.

Right now, my plans are this:

Friday March 3¬†I have taken a vacation day from work. I plan on picking up my Nintendo Switch from Best Buy as soon as I can. I have a pre-ordered copy of Zelda: Breath of the Wild that should be coming in from Amazon that day as well. I may or may not pick up another game… it all really depends on what’s available at launch. Hopefully everything will align so that I get a little bit of time with my new system that day!

I’ve already purchased a micro SD card, which will arrive this afternoon. So, I should be set for storage space. Thank you so much for using SD cards with this system, Nintendo! It’s much better than having to hook up an external hard drive to the Wii U.

I Want to be a Switch Fangirl!

Now, back to the title of this post.

I really enjoy my Wii U. I think it has a lot of great features, and I don’t regret buying it. Despite all that, it was hard for me to be too much of a fangirl for a system that clearly was going to have a shorter production life than it should have. As much as I wanted to support it, the writing was on the wall.

However, I originally had no plans to jump to Nintendo’s next system so soon.¬†My Wii U has plenty of life and gaming left in it!

That changed when I saw the concept behind the Switch. The mobile/console hybrid was exactly what I’ve been looking for. In fact, when I chose to buy the Shield Tablet¬†in December 2015, it was expressly with the idea that I could game on my TV.

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The Shield does a fantastic¬†job for what it is — quite impressive, actually. But to see a Nintendo console that takes that idea, and ironically builds off the same sort of Nvidia chip as the Shield contains (but probably more powerful), spoke to me. Knowing what I know about my Shield’s performance, I was instantly on board for the Switch.

So, all that being said, I want nothing more than to be blown away by the Nintendo Switch. I’m a jaded and aging gamer who wants to find that kind of excitement in a console again. I want it to convert me into a Switch¬†fangirl! I’m completely open to this… my current expectations are actually on the shelf, and I’m in hopeful wait-and-see mode.

I’ve been waiting a long time for something in the console world to really sweep me away like I was in my youth. I know that’s probably a hard thing to ask for, since we always have over-inflated memories of what we loved in the past. But hey, I can hope, right?

 

Have you ever really wanted a system/game to make you a big fan?
How’d that turn out?

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Hildibrand and Paladining

Until next week, when I finally take a day off for the Nintendo Switch release on Friday (yay!), work is going to be pretty crazy for me. Due to that, I’m trying not to do too many stressful things when I sit down to game.

So, last night, when Syn asked¬†me what I wanted to do, I suggested that we catch up with the Hildibrand quest line. We haven’t played in several patches, which is a sad thing for two reasons: I genuinely enjoy Hildibrand and the zany humor, and I LOVE Vivi from FFIX. There’s really no reason for me to NOT have played these quests before.

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Mrs. Manderville agrees.

So, anyhow, we played through several patches of the Hildibrand quest line last night. We haven’t quite finished it, but I think we’re on the newest quests finally. I really want that Vivi minion — they even had him adjusting his hat in game and so many Vivi mannerisms. So cute!

Aside from that, I’ve been working on leveling my Paladin. Last night, I got from level 50.5 to level 52!

“But, Wren,” you say, “I thought you were taking it easy?”

I was! I was really surprised at how easily these first two post-50 levels came. I know that changes as time goes on, though.

I ran one Leveling Roulette, which pushed me the half level I needed to 51. I then hit up all the beast tribe quests, which netted me another half level. From there, I worked on Fates in Coerthas Western Highlands, which pushed me up to 52.

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I was doing FATEs for two reasons. First, it helped me level. And second, I am truly starting on my fourth¬†Anima weapon. While I have the quest¬†activated on Monk right now, I’m gathering crystals for the Paladin Anima weapon.¬†I plan on dropping the quest once Paladin gets to 60, or I get all the crystals. Whichever comes first.

Yes, I was serious about that Anima weapon for Paladin glamour. I’ll probably not get it until after Stormblood releases, but I’m going to work on it! ¬†I got my first three crystals last night, so it’s off to a good start!

Posted in 7 Days to Die, FFXIV, Gaming, Minecraft, MMORPGs, RPG Maker

Weekend Gaming Highlights: FFXIV, Minecraft, 7D2D, RPG Maker

This was a weekend of exciting announcements for FFXIV players, and lots of random gaming for me. There’s so many small things going on, but nothing huge, so it felt right to make a highlights post today. I may go into detail on some of these later!

FFXIV: Treasures and Tanking

This weekend marked our FC’s first organized Treasure Hunt night. We’ve been running the Aquapolis from time to time, when people remembered. Folks are having so much fun, and there are still some who have never tried it, so we put it on the calendar as a light event on Friday nights.

We had such a turn-out that we had to organize two groups to accommodate everyone who wanted to run. And while our group didn’t have the best luck getting the portal to open, when we finally did, we reached Chamber 7 again this time (as did our second group)!

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As I announced earlier this weekend, I also finally leveled my Paladin to 50! I got some Ironworks gear for her, and I have to grudgingly admit that I think Paladin looks good on my character.

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Paladin Wren!

This weekend I also co-tanked¬†the¬†Labyrinth of the Ancients raid in Crystal Tower, which is the first time I’ve tanked a raid of any kind. I was mostly playing the off-tank, just trying to get a feel for how things worked from a tank’s point of view. But it seemed less stressful overall than tanking a whole dungeon where all the pulls rest on your shoulders.

I didn’t think to get any screens of it since I was too busy figuring out my role, but I wouldn’t be against trying it again sometime. Aside from that, I’ve been doing beast tribe dailies and some random FATEs, continuing to level Paladin on the side. At this point, Beast Tribe quests actually give a good chunk of daily experience, while I am working on earning FATE crystals for my Paladin relic by activating the Monk Anima quest instead.

Minecraft: Finding Fishing

Minecraft remains that game that I play for short bursts when I have some down time or just want to chill. I have been working on expanding my island base with actual dirt blocks to allow the grass to grow there, as I mentioned earlier.

I also learned that there is fishing in Minecraft. Anyone who knows me knows that if there’s fishing in a game, I’m going to be doing it! Especially since you can cook the fish and use it as a food source. Even better, there’s a chance at reeling in treasure — I especially have my eye on finding a saddle.

I haven’t seen a horse in game yet, but when I do, I want it so badly! So, for now, I’m exploring fishing in the little oasis pond next to my Dune Village.

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7D2D: Tri-Biome Home

This weekend, our Posse decided to restart our game of 7D2D. So we seeded up a new map called “Spriggan” after my kitten, and that went just about as well as it sounded like it would. This map dropped us in a pretty harsh environment with a lot of mountains and desert. Not to mention, our trader quest took us two days away from our first house find.

Thankfully, there was a little house fairly close to this trader, and it has a very interesting placement.

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As you can see in this picture, I’m standing in a green forest biome. This transitions into desert, where the house is actually located. But to the right, both green forest and desert turn into snow biome!

This makes for very interesting weather patterns. If it’s raining in the forest, you can stand on one side of the base and get rained on, while moving towards the desert side makes the rain stop!

I had a horde approach the house from the back, where desert and snow met, while there was a snow storm happening in the snow biome. It looked like this:

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Snowing in the desert!

If I were to take a few steps to the left, you’d see the snow stop, replaced by desert instead. Very trippy! ūüėĄ

RPG Maker Saturday

While this isn’t really playing a game, it’s a good chunk of time Syn and I put towards spinning up the beginning of our Nefol RPG. We haven’t put as much time towards this as I’d like, but I feel like we made up for that this weekend.

We scripted up the introduction, and I got to work on relearning how to script events in RPG Maker. I’d forgotten a lot, including how to properly use switches, which led to hours of time trying to debug events that did exactly what I was telling them to do, but not what I was hoping. I’ll write a longer post about this on the Nefol page… but in the meantime, I wanted to close with¬†this demo screen of our heroes in a boss fight. ūüôā

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Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Stormblood – Samurai Confirmed and Doma!

Guys! Guys! The hype meter just went off the scale for me!

Samurai was announced, and that was no huge surprise, though a pleasant confirmation.

But what I didn’t see coming (though I should have given the fact that SAM come from Doma) was the full-feature inclusion of Doma itself.

Holy crap! DOMAAAAA! *battle cry*

doma2

This (and that amazing undewater city above!!) is what the team has been sitting on secretly, and I’m blown away and super excited! I totally want housing in Doma!¬†

That was just off the top of my head, but it looks like we’re GETTING HOUSING IN DOMA!

Move feature please???

And it’s been confirmed: “Also house moving feature coming”

Oh man! New house for me!

Here’s the new FULL Stormblood trailer:

About Samurai

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What we know about SAM, taken from Reddit Live Thread:

  • SAM is melee DPS
  • Job Quest begins in Eorzea
  • Start level: 50
  • Associated class: none
  • Main weapon: Katana
  • Battle design: Gear¬†is same as Monks
  • Art of Sen,¬†and its 3 forces:¬†setsu, getsu, and ka
  • Store energy in katana to unleash special attacks
  • Timing of these attacks are big part of combat

With only two jobs added, and both being DPS, they addressed a few other concerns:

  • Earlier they talked about DPS queue times and have been watching statistics during 3.x so they felt it would work out okay. People who play heal/tank typically stayed that role
  • They hope to breath new life into existing tank & healer with the combat refresh

stormbloodcast

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Level 50 Paladin Get!

So, tonight after a leveling roulette and a few rounds of PotD, I was sitting at halfway through level 49 Paladin. That’s when I realized that I haven’t touched that class’ hunting log since I was something like level 11.

That’s pretty laid back and enjoyable, so I got to work on it. Not long after, I’d scored my level 50 Paladin, and still have a lot of hunting left over!

I had a stack of Poetics sitting in the bag, so I picked up some tank armor. I already had a Wootz scimitar that a retainer brought back, so I decided to put that to use, too!

Now, it’s onward to 60!