Posted in Gaming, Guild Wars 2, MMORPGs

GW2 – Super Adventure Box

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So I may be soured on GW2 now days, but even I can’t help but log in and smile when they bring the SAB back. Hey, I may as well get that free mail carrier for my Infinite continue coin. And I still had nearly 50 baubles saved since the last SAB to spend. It was a hard choice, but I picked up the blue staff skin.

Plus my character, Zznaf, used to be a SAB junkie back in those RP days. I couldn’t resist visiting there just for the good memories.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: April Goals

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This month, I’m going to slack a bit in FFXIV. Hope you don’t mind.

First, I’m writing for Camp NaNoWriMo, so I may have my mind on more creative pursuits. And that’s a good thing, because I’ve been lacking in creative inspiration for a while. I’d also like to put more time into other games this month, including some single player games. I still want to finish LOZ: Link Between Worlds, and work on Fire Emblem Fates. That’s not to mention FF: Explorers. So I have a lot of 3DS games that are calling for a bit of attention.

Here’s some things I’d like to do in FFXIV:

End Game Stuff

  • Finish Patch 3.2 story on Zuri✓
  • Level Monk to ???? ✓
    • Not going to put a specific number on this. I know leveling Monk past 50 is going to happen, because it already is with Crystal Tower runs. This isn’t going to be a huge focus, however.

Crafting/Gathering

  • Level Alchemist to 60 (Currently 54)
  • Level Culinarian to 60 ✓
  • Level Blacksmith to 53 (So I can finally consolidate crafting armor)
  • Unlock Master II book for:
    • Alchemist (once at 60)
  • Earn Master III books for (not priority):
    • Alchemist
    • Culinarian

Leveling Stuff

  • Level all remaining jobs to 25 (not priority)
    • Paladin
    • Warrior
    • Ninja
  • Level Machinist to 50
  • Level Scholar to 50 ✓
  • Clean up old quests
Posted in Art, Webcomics

Wayrift – 14 Years of Webcomic Change

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This past week, our ongoing webcomic, Wayrift, celebrated 14 years of being online. This is not just online time, however, but 14 years of consistent updates, 3 times a week (now in full color). Every now and then, Syn and I take a week off for vacation. But even then, she sometimes draws humor comics or I post a sketch to fill in the blank.

Rather than post something sappy about the whole thing, I decide to post an art comparison of my style evolution instead. Inspired by a post about Twitter folks who are showing before and after shots of their work, I chose one of the oldest frames of Ben, drawn in 2003, to compare to one of the newer frames, drawn just a week or two ago.

Before someone does the math and says 2016 – 2003 = 13… not 14! The earliest comics from 2002 were scrapped and redrawn. So I don’t have 2002 stuff to show without digging for it.

Don’t laugh too hard at either of them! 😀

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Tales from the Duty Finder – What a Syrcus

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So patch 3.25 has revitalized the Crystal Tower raids, but not exactly the way we hoped it would. Figures if you put relic rewards in CT, you’d end up getting the worst out of people.

Look at the screen shot above. Do you see anything wrong with it? You can click it to make it larger. I’ll wait.

Look again, more closely now.

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That’s right. Five people in Alliance C decided to run Syrcus Tower without their job crystals on. We made it through the raid, but it was one of the sloppiest runs ever. People are being rude, not waiting to pull, cheesing mechanics and just making it unfun.

My advice, give it a few days to cool off. The queues might be a tad longer, but at least you won’t have to deal with this drivel.

 

Posted in Black Desert Online, Gaming, MMORPGs

BDO: Mediah Expansion Trailer

 

This doesn’t even effect me since I’m only level 21, happily training horses and farming. But it still looks really incredible! I do hope we might see one of the new classes, as well. I’m holding back rolling certain characters because none of the existing classes really fit.

Also, this is a MUCH better trailer than their launch/intro trailer. Thank goodness!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Unexpected Scholar & Reviewing March Goals

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Scholar is not a class I expected to level. I’d worked on it a bit before, but wasn’t really comfortable with the healing style. I switched it to Summoner for a bit and did some FATE leveling with the job to get it to level 40. It sat there for quite a while as I went through the pain and agony of not knowing which DPS to level on Zuri (final answer: all of them!). Summoner had been an option, but not one I took up.

I eventually leveled White Mage to be my healer. I even exchanged off all my level 50 healer gear because I figured I’d never level Scholar (and Astrologian isn’t of interest to me right now).

But then, Vix and Xaa started playing FFXIV. At first, I thought that Vix would roll a healer like she usually does. But she opted to become a Bard instead. Zeb was leveling tank classes, so that left me with the uncertain healing duty.

My White Mage was already at 60, and seeing we were helping them through low level dungeons, I figured I could dust off my Scholar and practice with it a bit. I’m happy that I did because I’ve learned a lot about Scholar… and I’m slowly nudging her closer to 50.

While I don’t know all there is to know yet, rouletting and working through each low level dungeon has made me a lot more comfortable with the class. We just successfully beat Brayflox as a team, including Zeb’s newly-minted Dark Knight, which was a pretty good challenge for us.

I’m beginning to really enjoy Scholar, and see it as a possible class to carry to 60.

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Reviewing March Goals

I’ll set more goals for April later this week, though with the coming of Camp NaNoWriMo, and my growing interest in BDO, I may cut back on the number of goals I set. This month, I took care of the most important goals, though there were a number that didn’t get completed just due to focusing on unexpected things (Scholar).

End Game Stuff

  • Complete the second-stage relic for Bard (I bought the Eso weapon and upgraded it. I’ll finish the quest when I finish it.)
  • Level Dragoon to 55 ✓

I did get my Dragoon to level 55. I wasn’t sure if I would do it, and it was marked as a low-priority goal, but it got done!

For the moment, I’ve dropped the goal of second stage relic for Bard. I haven’t dropped the quest or anything, but I haven’t made any headway on clearing those dungeons for it still. I already bought the better Eso weapon anyhow. And I may not even concentrate on Bard in the future… it depends on how much I enjoy Monk, Dragoon and Scholar once I get them past the 50-60 grind.

Crafting/Gathering

  • Level Leatherworker to 60 ✓
  • Meld end game leather crafting gear with materia ✓
  • Level Carpenter to 60 ✓
  • Meld end game crafting accessories with materia ✓
  • Get Master III Leatherworker book ✓
  • Craft better gathering gear
  • Gather for Red Scrips

I got a lot of crafting goals completed, which makes me happy! I didn’t spend any time looking into crafting better gathering gear, however. And without the gear upgrade, I didn’t gather for Red Scrips. After all the fishing and gathering I did in February, I’m a bit tired of gathering, so taking a break is probably a good idea.

Leveling Stuff

  • Level all remaining jobs to 30
    • Paladin
    • Warrior
    • Ninja
  • Level Machinist to 50
  • Level Monk to 50 ✓
  • Clean up old quests ✓

I did complete getting Monk to 50, which was the most important item on this list. I still haven’t picked up Machinist again, despite hovering at 47 for half a year. I might just buckle down to get this done and off my list next month.

I have been clearing old quests as I find them, mostly to help level my tanks. While I haven’t reached 30 on any of those classes, I did get a few levels on the tank classes at least. Just haven’t had much time to focus on these classes after I got taken in by leveling Monk – which was completely unexpected.

I can already see next month is going to be a lot lighter on goals, which is a good thing. Zuri really is expanding jobs and horizons in many different directions, and it’s been a good thing!

Posted in Black Desert Online, Gaming, MMORPGs

BDO: The Horse Breeding Game I’ve Been Looking For

I'm now a training rookie!
I’m now a Training Rookie!

Those of you who have been following this blog for a bit know that I’m a fan of pet breeding games, specifically horse breeding. I enjoy the idea of creating family lines, instilling skills or stats in offspring, and messing with in-game genetics. In the past, I’ve played several browser based games, such as Horse World Online, and I’ve even dabbled in the old horse racing sims back on the PS1 such as Gallop Racer.

I wasn’t following Black Desert Online too closely until Weakness wrote about the fact that you could tame horses in the game. After that, it didn’t take much encouraging for me to try this sandbox out. What I didn’t know was there was also a training and breeding system in the game – as well as a whole character skill dedicated to training.

Horse Taming and Breeding in BDO

Now, it doesn’t seem like it’s a system that highly stresses genetics, though I have seen some pretty neat looking horses at higher tiers. But I do like how putting time into training your horses increases their ability to produce better tier horses. That means that it takes dedication and that horses have worth.

I also like that there’s a breeding market and a player horse market where capturing and training horses to sell is an actual thing. Interestingly, the game itself puts prices on the horses when you enter them into the market. This means that you can never just start undercutting or pulling down the worth of horses because the game sets the price – I’m assuming based on tier and level.

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And thought taming can be frustrating at times when you can’t find a horse or you just can’t catch the one you’re after, I like that wild horse spawns are also controlled by the game. This means there are only so many wild horses to go around, which also increases their value. Of course, finding (or breeding) a female is even more rare – I’ve had 1 female out of the 5 horses I’ve tamed.

I decided to create a page that’s dedicated to the horses I breed and tame in my virtual stables… simply because I’m used to that kind of functionality in breeding games. It’s fun to trace family lines and remember the horses that came before.

Farming Frenzy

I soon came to grips with the fact that after you’ve leveled a horse to about level 5, carrots become a huge necessity. These restore your horse’s stamina and allow you to continue training. But at 500 silver each, they get to be quite pricey!

I finally completed the farming quest that I picked up last week that instructed me to breed a high quality wheat seed. Turning that in gave me a carrot seed in exchange. This quickly got me on the path of setting up a farm that would help cover the cost of carrots for my training runs.

I plunked down the 10 contribution points for a large plot and got to planting carrots and wheat (for fertilizer). Crops only grow while you’re online, but thanks to the auto-run tracks you can set, I can be training horses on my laptop while doing other things on my desktop. My garden is the final stop on one of the tracks, so I can check to see if it needs pruning or whatever when I’m back near Heildel.

The first time, I lucked out and bred a high quality carrot seed, which produced a nice bunch of high quality carrots – much, much more efficient than the normal carrots! I’m also making some extra income from selling high quality wheat and special wheat when I get it.

I’m really enjoying the farming aspects, and like how you can place it just about anywhere, even on top of someone else’s farm. When you step into the farm gate area, it phases in – a very neat idea – and you only see your own crops, even if your plot overlaps someone else’s. This works really well, and there’s never a lack of space due to this system.

Easter Event

I was interested to see that BDO is holding an Easter Egg event for free housing items. This is a much better first impression on me than ArcheAge – the AA Halloween event shortly after launch had 100% of the housing and cosmetic items locked in the cash shop. I was so bummed about that. 

You do have to work for your loot in this event, but it wasn’t too bad. The one item I really wanted was the chandelier… mostly because housing is so, so dark inside. So any extra light I can get for free is a boon. I know there are candles you can get somewhere, but I haven’t found them yet.

To get the chandelier, you have to collect 40 raindrop eggs. The guide says you can pick them up from the ground or catch them while fishing. So, I found an egg spawn that was uncontested and next to water, and just camped it while fishing. I never did catch a raindrop egg while fishing for some reason (did catch a few rainbow eggs), so all of the eggs I collected were from that spawn spot. It’s on a 10 min timer, and can drop between 1 and 3 eggs each time, so it took a while. In the meantime, I leveled fishing nicely, and made a small profit off of what I reeled in.

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After putting up my new chandelier, I decided the house I had in Heildel was was too small for what I needed. I did some research on forums to find bigger houses, and eventually relocated to a new residence. I forgot to take pictures of it, but it’s a nice house with an upper and lower level and a fireplace for a little extra light.

Continuing the Story

A Black Spirit spoiler here – you’ve been warned! 

I also started cleaning up all the remaining quests I had in Heidel. This included heading to a Wizard’s tower where something pretty freaky happened with my Buddy, the black spirit.

I’m getting more and more curious about who my character was before… and the pact I’ve made with the black spirit that has taken my memories from me. Buddy is a bit disturbing as he changes through the game, but he does have my interest.

I'm having some doubts about this now...
I’m having some doubts about this now…

BDO doesn’t have the sprawling epic storyline of a game like FFXIV, it does have a story to tell on a more personal level. Balancing that is the huge amount of smaller slice-of-life stories and massive world building the game does as you gather knowledge of places and the people who live there.

None of these are super deep, and I doubt they are meant to be, but I appreciate the work that went into fleshing out the details of the BDO world. I also appreciate that they are optional and well journaled. So if you just want to skip on by all of it, you have that option. If you want to delve deeper and read all the knowledge pop-ups, you can do that, too. You can go even deeper and play the amity mini-game with NPCs to work up your relationship with them if you so enjoy it.

I love that you can do what you want to do in this game, and it’s all totally valid in making progress of some sort.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Monk Level 50!

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I finally accomplished my major goal for this month – reaching level 50 on Zuri’s Monk. A few people in our FC decided to get a N. Than FATE party together and we blasted through them, topping it off with a quick leveling roulette that took me to 50.

Afterwards, I finished up my final quest, which was made pretty simple by the fact I’d bought a full set of Poetics armor. I was capped on Poetics and had already purchased the weapons, so I figured I may as well get the whole set. Kinda interesting looking for Monk gear.

Well, now I need to figure out what the level 50 rotation looks like and practice it somewhere like Crystal Tower. 🙂

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Posted in Black Desert Online, Gaming, MMORPGs

BDO: Level 20 – Tamer Pet Get & First Wild Horse Tame!

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Oh, I’m so excited! I tamed my first horse in BDO today! 

Strangely enough, I had a dream last night that I was taming horses in BDO. I don’t know why, don’t look at me that way! XD

But when I woke up, I knew I had to make it a reality. When I logged in, I was pretty close to level 19, so my first order of business was to push to level 20 where horse taming would open up. So I buckled down and did a lot of battle quests outside Heidel and a little bit of grinding on the mobs out there. I’m also getting easter egg drops for my effort, which makes me happy. I dinged level 20 in a pretty short bit of time.

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Then, I went about figuring out how to summon my new battle pet. Finally, as a tamer, I have a pet to fight with!

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I also spent some time with the quest that teaches you how to put down a garden and farm. I really like how farming is done in this game… much better than struggling for a spot in AA.

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I noticed as I cleared out a few quests in Heidel that the stable master had a quest for taming wild horses. So I took it and it instructed me on how to make my sugar for taming. It also gave me one rope, though based on the taming guide by Dulfy, I bought a bunch more. I needed them.

I set out looking for a wild horse, though based on the guide, I didn’t expect to see one close to Heidel. It might be because it’s early afternoon (thanks to my day off) or because folks have moved out of this area, but I was super stoked to find one within 15 mins of looking for it. It’s just a plain brown horse, but hey. It was my first try.

It took me a few fails to get used to throwing the lasso. Then there’s a whole horse rearing mini-game you have to play as you inch slowly closer to it. Even after giving it sugar a few times, the horse kicked me to the curb when I tried to mount it. Took about 7 ropes before I actually won the struggle and was able to mount my first tame: Quiet Motif.

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Because you don’t know the gender of the horse even when you go to register it at the stable, I’m going to go with these randomly generated horse names that are gender neutral. The horse turned out to be a rank 2 male, which I’m really pleased with for a first catch. I know females are hard to come by, but I’m really stoked to finally be able to start taming, training and breeding soon! 😀

Love the way riding feels in this game. I’m so ready to start having some equine fun! I even leveled my taming up after doing all this. Good times! 🙂

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