Posted in Gaming

June 2020 Gaming Goals

I put gaming goals on pause back in February, and I think it was a good move for me at the time. I needed a little break from things, and I’ve taken one.

So here comes June rolling around, and I thought maybe it’s finally time to get back to having a few more structured goals. I’ve been pretty casual about my FFXIV play lately, though I have been hammering out at least one (sometimes two) Prae runs for the Moogle Event. I should be finishing that up this weekend and I have that heavy feeling of a lot of unfinished things hanging over my head now.

Mostly? Job and role quests. Yep. I’m right back to having procrastinated on my job quests, despite having completely leveled many jobs to 80.

Also: Crafter relics. These are now a thing. And while I’ve been amassing the materials you can buy with scrips, they’re just sitting in neat stacks in my inventory due to me doing absolutely nothing with them. On two characters. FFXIV doesn’t have enough inventory space to be doing that.

One final thing: I’ve been making progress in Shadowbringers on Tai again. Last night, I cleared the Well, unlocked flying in a zone and moved on to the next zone. I’d love to progress him to the end game before the next patch. We’ll see if that’s a reality, though.

FFXIV Goals

  • Finish earning final mount in Moogle Event
  • Job Quests on Main for:
    • Summoner
    • Scholar
    • Dancer
    • Bard
    • Astro
    • White Mage
  • Role Quests on Main for Healers & Melee DPS
  • Job Quest for Amon – Dancer
  • Stormblood Hildibrand for Amon
  • Progress Tai through Shadowbringers
  • Crafter Relics for Main & Amon
  • Daily Beast Tribes for Main’s Monk leveling
  • Check out Ishgard Restoration Quests

On top of all this, I’m still playing Animal Crossing daily. I also want to pick up the new Sims expansion at the end of this week if it has pretty good reviews. I’ve also been dabbling a little in Minecraft on the side, as well as a Switch game called Bargain Hunter. So I have other stuff I want to explore this month, too.

Honestly, while this looks like a lot to do, aside from relics and progressing Tai, most of these I could knock out pretty quickly. I’m hoping putting it down in a post will give me the motivation to do just that!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Kirin Mount – It Took How Many Years?

So thanks to the newest Mogtomes event in FFXIV, I was finally able to finish up my pony collection last night, and get my kirin on my main. I’d already done this on my RP alt – he just ended up the character I did the farming on for whatever reason. And that’s going to be true of the bird mounts, too, when I finish them on him during this event.

I’ve just never been much for running Extreme content, and tend to skip trial fights whenever they’re optional. I still haven’t gotten the /hum emote on any of my characters yet because I’ve never run that trial fight. Maybe one day!

Anyhow, last night, I finished up a couple Prae runs to pick up the Shiva pony. Then, all I needed to finish my lot was the Ifrit one. I had been farming Ifrit a bit before they actually changed him to be easier to farm, but I had no luck in getting the pony drop, and eventually it slipped my mind to keep trying. Last night, it took me about 4 runs before the whistle finally popped up for me.

So now, after many years of playing this game, I finally have my pony collection completed! This Mogtome event will also net me one bird and the first of the wolves. I’ll still be missing the Ravana bird, however, so I’ll have to wait to see if that comes back into rotation next time, or drag someone into farming it (if I can’t solo it).

I’m not really in a rush to do it, though. Which is precisely why it took me this long to get all the ponies! 🙂

Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch

Animal Crossing: Where the Blue Rose Grows

Like many folks, I’ve been playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons since the day of release. I’m not sure why I haven’t blogged a whole lot about it, but I continue to play in some capacity every day.

Blue Rose Breeding

In previous AC games, I never paid much attention to flower breeding. In fact, I didn’t pay much attention to flowers in general. But this time around, I decided to look into it.

Of course, there’s the easy crosses you can make… then there’s the roses. It seems like roses have the most complex and deep breeding of any of the AC flowers.

I was pleased when I started getting black roses to decorate around my second character’s house. But then I saw something about blue roses. Blue being one of my favorite colors, I decided to give it a shot.

Roses are native to my island. So had a bunch of them already. I figured this was a good starting point, and I read up this guide on what to cross to get what color to move in the right direction.

It seemed pretty straightforward:

  • Yellow + Red = Orange
  • White + White = Purple
  • Orange + Purple = Hybrid Red
  • Hybrid Red + Hybrid Red = Blue

So that’s what I started to do. I dedicated pretty much all of the northern part of my island to fields and fields of roses. I never got a zoomed out screenshot, but I’ll just say, it took a LOT of watering.

Eventually, I got the purples and the oranges. They got their own field.

Then I started getting hybrid reds, which I put aside in their own field, too. The thing about the hybrid reds is that they look exactly like normal reds, so you have to be careful.

Bad Genetics

However, after a few weeks passed, my hybrid reds produced more hybrid reds and an occasional black. Most of the time, they didn’t produce anything at all. So I started to wonder if I was doing something wrong.

I also wondered if I should have been crossing the hybrid reds that spawned from other hybrid reds, or if that was messing things up. So I decided to do further reading to look for answers to my questions.

What I found was disheartening. Apparently, there’s a lot more going on with the genetics of roses than I knew. I ran across this video here…

And learned that there were such a thing as “bad” hybrid red roses and “bad” genetics that would just never produce a blue rose. And that several breeding steps, tests and weeding out bad genetics would lead to the highest chance at success.

Even if you do have two “good” hybrid red roses, according to the video, you still only have a 1 in 64 chance that a blue rose will ever spawn. This was all supposed to be taken from tests and data provided by the community who delved into breeding.

And every guide I ran across said the best way to ensure good genetics was to start with planting from seed bags. Because this was the only way to start with pure genetics.

Considering I just threw a bunch of roses together that were already on my island, I started to think that my chances were next to none in getting a blue rose at this point.

Starting Over

Last Friday, I started to dig up all of my breeding roses and start over again from scratch. That was a lot of roses. I kept the purples and oranges as decoration around houses. But tossed most the whites, reds and yellows that came native to my island.

But just in case, I decided to leave my hybrid red field alone. And I still watered it on Friday.

Saturday was my birthday, so I hopped in game long enough to celebrate my birthday with the animals. I didn’t think to check my flowers or water them at all.

Sunday, I came around to check the progress of my new roses, and went up to see the hybrid reds I had kept around. To my absolute shock, there was a blue.

The fact that it was already in flower means that the very day after I dismissed the chance of getting a blue rose this way, on my birthday, this blue rose spawned. I just didn’t find it until the day after.

I took it back to the center of my town where I’ll certainly be watering it hoping for it to multiply. After reading and hearing how hard it is to get a blue rose this way, I feel like fortune was seriously shining on me.

Posted in Gaming, Steam Gaming

Raft: Beating Bruce

Yesterday, I wrote about the new survival game that Syn and I started playing over the weekend called Raft. We mentioned it to Vix and Xaa on Sunday night, and told them we were having a good deal of fun with it.

So, last night, they also picked up the game and our crew became four. I started a new raft for the group, and was happy to see how easy it was for us all to just hop in a new hosted game. Even if someone disconnects, when they reconnect, they’re right back on the raft again.

The game still ran just fine with four of us — though the tiny raft was somewhat cramped. The only issue we ran across was a small bug where Xaa couldn’t cast his hook at first. After looking it up, I discovered that switching the hook’s inventory slot on your bar somehow fixed that, and we were up and away.

I’m glad we had more experience with the game when we came to trying to play with more people. It took a little time the first time around to figure out the water purifier and grill/fishing pole. With twice as many people needing water and food, it was a little bit of a scramble in the beginning. But by the end of our gaming session, we had three grills and purifiers, a medium plot with watermelons growing, and a large chest with a food stash started.

The final island we stopped at for the night became a place of showdown between me and Bruce the shark. I’d joked about killing the shark on Sunday, only to discover from an random post in the community section that this actually can happen.

The island we landed on had a weird shape to it with a bit of a crevice between stones on one side. Though I only had a wooden spear, I was able to lure Bruce into this crevice where he got a bit stuck, and land a few blows on him before he got free again. Some of our fighting was in water, too, but much of it was me luring him into the smaller area where I finally took him down after many hits.

This rewarded us with a shark-free zone for a short time. Also, shark meat. And most importantly — a shark head, which you can wear like a hat. I had Xaa take a few screenshots of it, though I didn’t think to screenshot the rest of our adventure last night.

We’ve mostly gotten caught up to the point where Syn and I were in our own game since we knew the ropes better the second time around. We’ll see what discoveries we can run across in this game going forward!

Posted in Gaming

Steam Gaming: Raft

I know I haven’t been posting much here lately – some of that has to do with the amount of work IRL that’s been ramping up. But much of it is simply I’m in a pretty standard holding pattern in FFXIV right now. I do my daily stuff, help a few folks out with their stuff, and that’s really not much to write about.

However, I have been starting to poke my head into other Steam games lately. And I’d like to get back to writing about the games I’ve been trying out. So let me start by talking about Raft.

Yesterday, I wasn’t really in the mood to MMO. I was looking for a game that Syn and I could co-op, but was more of a casual vein. While I love a good survival/building game, neither of us were in the mood for something that would be a huge investment with a high difficulty hurdle.

After I spent quite a while searching through games on Steam, we decided upon one that we’d never heard of before called Raft.

The concept was interesting.

Trapped on a small raft with nothing but a hook made of old plastic, players awake on a vast, blue ocean totally alone and with no land in sight! With a dry throat and an empty stomach, survival will not be easy!
Raft throws you and your friends into an epic adventure out on the big open sea, with the objective to stay alive, gather resources and build yourself a floating home worthy of survival.

-Raft Steam Page

So, basically, you’re gathering resources — both on the sea and from procedurally generated islands you run across — and building a base on your raft. Now, the catch is — there’s always a shark lurking nearby (apparently the community has named him Bruce). And from time to time, Bruce will take a chunk out of your raft… and out of you if you venture off the raft for too long.

There are ways to fend off the shark and eventually make your raft shark-proof. But that requires time and learning. Just like with any survival game, you have to figure out how to use the resources you’re given to progress.

In this case, you have to learn how to obtain food and purify sea water. Eventually, you can grow your own food – but that brings the danger of sea gulls who swoop in to eat what you’ve planted. So you have to figure that out, too!

Syn and I put in about three and a half hours yesterday, going into the game pretty blind. Thankfully, the game has several difficulty options — we decided to go on the Easy mode where you didn’t drop items on death and food/water didn’t deteriorate as badly. I think we made a good choice (and I was super happy for the options!) because there was a lot to learn and take in at the beginning.

I’m trying to stay away from too many spoilers, but I know from some of the things I’ve glanced at that we’ve hardly scratched the tip of what this game has to offer. There’s a storyline to follow, apparently lots of huge islands out there to explore, dangerous wild creatures to fight…

Additionally, the game is not a huge download – it only took about 10 mins on my machine. And multiplayer worked flawlessly through the Steam friends list. No fighting to get a server up for people to join — if you start a game on your machine and indicate friends can hop in, then they can see your game. You can also set a password if needed.

Unlike more process-devouring games (ARK, 7D2D), my computer hosted the game without any issues, and I could save the world at any time. It seems that you can create several worlds, too, if you want to play solo game or if you want to have separate games for different friend groups.

The graphics aren’t anything super realistic or revolutionary, but they have a pleasing aesthetic. Overall, despite Bruce the shark, Syn and I both found the game to be pretty relaxing. I’m sure on a higher difficulty level, that might not be the case. But for now, we’re just cruising along building our raft and discovering new things as we go.

For a $20 blind-purchase, I think we really picked a gem. I’m surprised I’ve never heard of this game before!

Posted in FFXIV, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Patch 5.3 – Flying is Coming to ARR Zones, ARR MSQ Consolidation

So I woke up to some exciting information from the FFXIV Live Letter today. Namely – flying mounts will be introduced to the original ARR zones! This was something kinda hinted at with folks saying some zone geometry was updated last patch, but amazing and unexpected.

I’m totally on board with this. Here’s what we do know:

So it sounds like after you finish the ARR MSQ, you’ll be able to fly on your company chocobo. It was a real pain to have to go back and do “I Believe I Can Fly” on all my alts, so I won’t miss that quest at all.

This is going to make doing everything in ARR zone a million times easier, and I do approve. Is it rare that a game goes back and enables flying for the original zones? I don’t know…

Also, here’s some information on the consolidation of the ARR MSQ, which we did know was coming to 5.3. Here’s what we know:

While I’m all for smoothing out the MSQ, I do have a few concerns about adding a 24 man raid series as a part of the requirements for MSQ for new players. Granted, Crystal Tower is pretty easy at this point (though lately World of Darkness runs have been rough!).

But I know that when I was a new player, if you told me I’d have to “raid” to move through the story, I might have quit the game right there. For people who don’t understand that the CT raids are quite casual content, just the term “raid” and seeing 24 people will be involved could be anxiety-city for group-shy folks.

Again, there’s really nothing difficult about the CT raids at this point. They’re sometimes even easier than the dungeons you progressed through to get there! But it just might be a breaking point for people who see the word “raid” and think hardcore.

I guess we’ll see how it turns out.

Posted in FFXIV, MMORPGs

FFXIV: 5.25 Relic Begins

While I have worked on several relics throughout the expansions of FFXIV, I’ve never actually finished one all the way through. I have many that are in various stages of competition across 3 characters, but eventually the grind turns me away in the end – I just have too many other things to do to work on relic.

Last expansion’s Eureka was a neat idea, but the forced grouping and the grind were elements that I couldn’t get past, so that relic remained fairly much unstarted. And while I’m not going to hold my breath that we won’t eventually get a grind for this relic, I must say how it all started out was refreshing.

I won’t give any spoilers, but I’ll just say that players are tossed into a neat little story experience revolving around the Bozja resistance against the Empire and their history. It also ties in some of the story of the Ivalice raids and a good bit of background with Cid.

Best of all, it’s all done solo, but also unlocks an EX trial if you yearn for something more intense. Once you’ve unlocked the first relic, each job relic is 1K Poetics after, which isn’t that hard to come by. So it all starts out very easy and story-oriented, which is my preferred type of content.

I know that it’ll probably ramp up with a grind of some sort after this. But overall, the weapon is a nice one for non-savage players, with 5 open slots for materia, too. You do have to finish the Ivalice raids to access this — I only have two characters who have done this, but it was no sweat to unlock relic on them both in one night.