Posted in 7 Days to Die, FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs, Sims 4

Weekend Roundup: Feral Zombies, Snarky Dragons and Sim Detectives

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This was a holiday weekend, giving me three days of gaming time… which ends up feeling like not enough. Right when you’re on the cusp of getting all fired up for something, work comes calling the next morning. Even though I enjoy my job, I could have done with a 4 or 5 day weekend instead!

7D2D Alpha 11 Update

Zombies are too hectic to remember to take pictures of when you're fighting in 7D2D. Have pretty scenery instead!
Zombies are too hectic to remember to take pictures of when you’re fighting in 7D2D. Have pretty scenery instead!

My sister has been super excited anticipating the new 7 Days 2 Die Alpha 11 patch, which she swore was going to drop soon. We’ve all been waiting on it, but didn’t expect to see it on a holiday weekend – especially since the devs worked right through the weekend to get a hotfix patch out. It was a good way to combat withdraw from no more Walking Dead episodes, at least.

So, our zombie swat team (made up of my sister, her husband, myself and Syn) got back into survival mode. And man, have they ramped up the difficulty on this game. We died so many times the first night just trying to learn our way around the new changes that we ended up restarting the day after under better conditions. Armed with a little more knowledge and a bit of good luck, we’ve finally got to the point of having a semi-stable and defendable fort. Or… at least, I hope we do – will be testing that out with the night 14 horde.

The game has updated with a jump to Unity 5 and some seriously amazing upgrades in the art assets. It’s come a LONG way from the game that we picked up during the Steam summer sale last year on a whim. I’ve put the most hours into this game than any other aside from FFXIV, and every patch continues to make it even more amazing.

The game now features a new leveling system that allows you to craft better quality items as you gain experience. This can really be felt in the starting levels, where poor quality tools and weapons wear out quickly and hit for less damage. Being a zombie killer, explorer, hunter, cook, gardener, crafting junkie and fort builder, this game gives me lots of areas to focus on and enjoy every time I pick it up. All it needs is fishing to feel complete to me!

FFXIV Progress

Tai and Midgardsormr
Tai and Midgardsormr

I’m still working on making progress with my characters in the FFXIV main storyline. This weekend, both Zuri and Tai made it through the Keeper of the Lake dungeon, which I felt was pretty challenging for me. I’m so happy to finally have my own little snarky Midgardsormr, though. So it was totally worth it!

I’m staying away from end of story spoilers, but I hear from FC members that the newest patch has some amazing cutscenes. I’m trying to keep moving forward the best I can, though I feel that Zuri’s ilvl could be a lot better. I haven’t run her through as many Crystal Tower instances as I have Tai, and I’m starting to feel it.

Tai’s been pretty lucky in World of Darkness drops – he got yet another from his first run this week, leaving only two more to find for the set. Zuri, on the other hand, has never seen a WoD drop. I’m still working on unweathering her ilvl 100 armor with sands and oils of time, actually. I had one good run of ST that gave me three upgrade drops that really helped this weekend, so it’s moving in the right direction.

We also continue to expand our FC, and help folks through content when needed, including first Labyrinth of the Ancients runs and the dreaded Arum Vale. Once folks finish up the storyline and wrap up their WoD runs (it’s nuts right now), I foresee folks getting a bit quiet until the expansion. Summer months tend to be a more quiet time internet-wide in my experience. We’ll see what comes of it, though.

Sims 4: Get to Work

It’s been a while since I’ve dedicated myself to some Sims 4 time. I’ve had a lot of fun with the new Get to Work expansion, and I’m very happy that I splurged to get it. I’ve hardly scratched the surface of the career and retail experience, and have so much I still want to try out!

For a while, I was playing my legacy Sim household instead of my Sygnus Sims families. But the cop/detective line was too perfect for me to not try with Tai’s sim. So I’ve been collecting clues, tracking down criminals, and doing all the fun things Tai would do to intimidate punks and crooks.

I haven’t spent enough time with it to warrant a full review yet, but I do know I’m going to try to squeeze in more Sims time when I can.

Tai putting the smack down on a punk in Sims 4.
Tai putting the smack down on a punk in Sims 4.
Posted in Gaming, Sims 4

Sims 4 Patches Bunny Egg Hunt

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With the newest Sims 4 patch, the devs included a limited-time Bunny Egg Hunt within the game. In the spirit of spring and Easter, your sims can randomly find colorful eggs (which are decorative items) from harvesting plants, mining stones, and catching frogs. There are 10 different eggs to find to complete the collection. When you find all 10, you get a free special Bunny the Bun Bun stuffed toy in the mail. Apparently, this also unlocks the ability to purchase the bunny in the toy section as well.

Though the toy is a per-household reward, it didn’t take me very long to gather all the eggs needed to earn the toy. But time and effort really weren’t the focus here. I’m just stoked to see a free mini-event like this patch its way into a game like Sims 4.

Anyone will tell you that I love holiday events in MMOs that I play. But my single player games? I don’t expect them to patch in limited time content like this. I knew that the Sims 4 patching structure had changed for the better, allowing the devs to push out free content updates and fixes at a speed we’ve never seen in previous Sims games before. We did get neat items for Halloween and Christmas – even new radio stations.

But this is the first time that I know of that they patched an actual time-limited event like this. I really, really applaud this direction. It makes me excited to think what else they can do now that they’ve crossed over into live event territory.

I did break down to buy the new expansion (a review on this later). I’ve been taking a little break from MMOs to brush up on my Simming skills, sort through all the new content I haven’t spent enough time with, and mess around with the Get to Work expansion.

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Posted in Gaming, Guild Wars 2, MMORPGs

GW2 April Fools Joke & Personal Story Changes (For the Better)

My engineer, Kip, plays appropriately plays airplane. :)
My engineer, Kip, appropriately plays airplane. 🙂

Despite having been a huge GW2 fan in the past, I don’t tend to say a lot of nice things about the game. So when they do things I like, I figure it’s fair to highlight those as well.

April Fools Joke: Airplane Mode

Back in beta, there was a bug where a character would get stuck with their arms outstretched to both sides, similar to someone playing airplane. There were videos of this bug, and it was pretty funny, though eventually fixed.

The team brought that back for this year’s April Fools joke. For today, everyone has an aviator cap, arms stretched wide, making airplane sounds as they run. There’s also a grainy old-timey movie effect on the screen (which isn’t fully reflected in my video because I had something turned off in post processing video settings, I think).

It’s not Super Adventure Box (still the best April Fool’s joke… and much missed), but it’s pretty cute! See my engineer enjoying this in the video below. 🙂

Changes to Personal Story

Even better, the team has decided to put the Personal Story (which they revised, cut sections and made all out of sorts) back to its original form. Another long overdue change, something players have been asking for since release, is the final fight with Zhaitan will support 1-5 players. You’ll be able to actually finish your personal story solo instead of quitting at the final fight because you can’t find a party to run it.

TrahearneLike removing the WvW requirements from world completion, this was a long overdue change for the better, IMHO. But a change that may be a little too late for some of us. I doubt I’ll go back and finish my personal story on any of my characters (especially since it’s level gated now), but if I did, it’s nice to know there will be a solo option for it.

Oh, and they’re recording new voice overs for pieces of the personal story. I instantly thought this was an attempt to fix the issues that players had with Trahearne especially. Seems I guessed correctly as the forum post says:

We wanted to update some key lines for several characters in the Personal Story, including those of Trahearne, the Pale Tree, Tonn, and Apatia. In some cases, we are merely re-recording the existing lines to get a more appropriate delivery to match context. In other cases, we are rewriting character dialog to better fit a particular scene.

Another good move… though, for those of us who have already gone through the personal story and were annoyed by Trahearne, it’s a little too late to change first impressions. Certainly seems like these changes are aimed at newer folks and those who have yet to experience the story. I’m glad they’re going back to fix these things, however.