Posted in Gaming, Uncategorized

December Goals in Review

The end of 2016 is almost upon us. That’s pretty wild to think about. Some folks are ready to see the year go. I’m just trying to figure out how to do stuff differently next year. But that’s a post for another time. This is about my December gaming goals.

I’m posting this a little early because I foresee myself being busy the next few days (I’m visiting and roadtripping, and won’t be home until next week). I don’t think I’ll be hitting any more goals than what I already have for the month, so it’s all good.

What did I accomplish?

Games to Explore

  • Civ 6 ✓
  • Skyrim
  • No Man’s Sky ✓
  • Minecraft
  • Sims 4 ✓

I did pretty good on this. Poor Skyrim is falling by the wayside again, but I hope I can pick it up next year. Minecraft might actually get a bit more exploration since I did pick up the Wii U copy as well to bring along on my trip. 

Aside from that, I won my first round of Civ 6, started building a base in No Man’s Sky, and my Sims family have reached the top of their career. I’m aiming to get them that nice penthouse once they save enough simoleons.

I still have a lot I want to do in No Man’s Sky, but I also have a few new Steam games that I want to explore next year. I also want to get back on my Steam Challenge in 2017 and knock out some backlog games that have been hanging around for too long! 

Pokemon Sun

  • Complete 3rd Island ✓
  • Continue to fill Pokedex ✓

Yes! I did this! Despite being sucked into breeding and trading for the holidays.  

I actually just reached Poni Island last night in Pokemon Sun. While I still have a ways to go, I’m happy to say that my Alola Pokedex is sitting at  76% complete. I have three teams worth of Pokemon training in Pelago, either leveling to hit an evolution or leveling before I give them a stone to evolve. 

Final Fantasy XIV

  • Gear Dragoon ✓
  • Work (harder) on Dragoon Relic ✓
  • Level Monk ✓
  • Do Monk job quests ✓
  • Do Summoner job quests
  • Clean up old quests
  • Gear Summoner
  • Gain reputation with Sahagin

I’ve actually been taking a bit of a break from FFXIV this month, and it’s been a good thing. 

I finished gearing Zuri’s Dragoon with Scripture gear, and while I have worked on the Relic, I’m just not feeling motivated about it. Maybe waiting until the 3.5 patch, which is coming on January 17, to see if we’ve got any much-needed nerfs is the way to go for now. 

I have leveled Zuri’s Monk a bit – slowly coming up on 58 – but it’s not something I’ve worked really hard at achieving. I’d like to get it done before the end of January, though, because the Monk and Dragoon share end game accessories, so that would help clean up some inventory space. That’s really the only reason I level jobs anymore! 

I’ve really done nothing to gear up or advanced my Summoner. I just haven’t had that much interest in it, especially since Red Mage has been announced. I don’t know if Red Mage will share weapon stats with mages or with the other ranged DPS yet. So it’s hard to make plans for it. 

My poor old-skool beast tribe quests. Every month I just ignore them. Maybe now that I’m done working on getting Tomes for gear through beast tribes, I can focus on cleaning up the rest of them before Stormblood. 

I don’t know what kind of motivation I have for leveling my other jobs that are just hanging out there on Zuri. That level 50-60 grind is painful… and might ease up once the expansion comes. I have a level 30 Black Mage, level 32 Ninja, and two tanks hanging around in the 30s as well. I’ve not unlocked Astro or Dark Knight, and I’m not sure I have interest in unlocking them aside from just for completion sake.

Before Heavensward hit, I made a push to level all my crafting jobs to 50. So I might get the same itch with my battle classes this year. Maybe just to 50 so that once the expansion drops, they’ll be ready for the bonus experience. Who knows.

Right now, I haven’t decided whether I’m going to keep setting monthly goals for myself in 2017… but from the sound of it, I have a lot I still want to do!

 

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming

FFXIV: Stormblood Release Date, Preorder Date, Red Mage & Collector’s Edition Extras

Note: Stormblood Preorders are now open here! Wait no longer! 🙂

Source: Reddit FFXIV Japanese Fan Fest Live thread.

So, even though I should be taking a break from blogging for the holidays, some exciting info dropped about the Stormblood expansion, and I just had to gather a post about it.

First:

Stormblood Release Date June 20, 2017

Stormblood Preorder starts January 24, 2017

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Some Collector’s Edition goodies:

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  • Wind-Up Bartz Minion
  • Syldra Mount – Underwater (!) mount
  • Red Mage Main Arm Chicken Knife
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Syldra Mount from Collector’s Edition

That’s right… I said underwater! Because swimming and diving are going to be a thing in Stormblood.

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It looks like even our chocobos can swim!

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But most exciting to me is all the new information on Red Mage, a job I’m very much hyped for now.

 

This is everything I hoped for in the job from what I see so far. If it’s anywhere as cool as it looks here, I’m looking forward to making it my main once the expansion drops.What we do know about it:

  • Role is ranged DPS.
  • Weapon is rapier and crystal pair
  • Attaches crystal to rapier for casting and attacking
  • Starting level is 50
  • Uses red magic, which is a mix of black and white magic.
  • Has chain magic, which is used to power up magic power

You can see a recap of all of the slides here. So what do you think? 

Posted in Black Desert Online, FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs, Uncategorized

BDO: Holidays, Wizards & FFXIV: Scripture Gear Complete!

FFXIV Goal Completed

So, after several months of running Expert roulettes and capping just about every week, I finally upgraded my last piece of Scripture gear for Zuri’s Dragoon. Well, aside from that one ring, which is an Alexander stand-in, since you can’t have duplicate Scripture gear. Now, the only thing holding me back is that darn Relic weapon! *grumbles about Umbrite*

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I haven’t decided what gear I’m going to work on next, if at all. I’m certainly going to take a break over the holidays since I’ll be heading out of town tomorrow on my yearly road trip to friends and family.

Sometimes I still have issues with deciding which DPS I want to play in the long run… but that’s a conversation for another post. In fact, I’m hoping that Red Mage will be announced as the next DPS job at the Japanese Fan Fest on Christmas morning… that would be a wonderful Christmas present to me! I do fully intend to play Red Mage should that be the case!

Black Desert Online: Return

It’s been a while since I’ve logged into Black Desert Online. I’m honestly not sure why I put the game down, as I still did enjoy breeding my horses. Now, so much more content has been added, and the game is absolutely massive. I’m so far behind in terms of knowing what all is there… but hey, there are horse races now! I just have to get up the courage to try one.

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Since I last logged in (back when they released Ninja), the servers have consolidated, a ton of new land and content has been released, all the class Awakenings have happened, and they’re being super generous in trying to help newbies catch up.

In fact, I discovered that since I’ve been gone for so long, I have access to the Olvia channels. This is for folks who haven’t logged in for 30 days, or new folks. This channel gives massive experience boosts — 200% — in order to speed up leveling.

olvia

Not that I really am in any rush to hit level cap because… you know… PvP stuff.  But it would be nice to finally level my little Tamer past 22, so I might put some time into it to boost her.

Update: I just found out that they’ve changed the level at which PvP flags on a character. Now, you have to be level 50 before you can PvP.  Also, the only way to get to level 50 is to finish a quest players call the Belmorn Quest. So, as long as you never do that, you can be a level 49.99999999 carebear forever in BDO! Woo! Time to level!

So what really caught my attention with BDO? Well, they’ve finally added the option to roll a young looking Wizard in the wake of the Wizard Awakening.

Yep. You heard me. “Young Wizard face option” is what it took to catch my interest.

So, I quickly updated my client, logged in and spent forever working on my Wizard alt, Ben. He doesn’t look all that much like Ben, but whatever. Young Wizard.

 

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To tell you how accelerated the XP gain is on this channel, Ben was level 13  by the time he finished the handful of quests that make up the tutorial. It’s pretty crazy, but I’ll take it. I have a few other low-level alts that could do with some boosting.

Not to mention this game is just throwing stuff at you left and right, most of which I don’t even know what it is.

For example, this is my rewards claim box:

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Check out the cute snowy UI theme. It’s really well done!

I have a million bundles in my mailbox that were supposed to make up for down time and unexpected maintenance. There’s so many that I can’t claim them all because I simply don’t have the room to store the stuff anywhere.

The one thing I did find a bit interesting is how BDO has changed their daily login rewards. Instead of logging in and earning the reward, you have to log in, remain logged in for 30 minuets, and then you can get your rewards. Granted, the rewards are much more lucrative than just Loyalty Points now days. Plus, if you stay logged in for an hour, you get an extra reward, it seems. Pretty crazy.

Anyhow, it feels nice to dip back into a sandbox MMO for a bit, even if I won’t have much time to play until after the holidays. And it’s really, really cool to see it snow in the BDO cities!

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Oh, and the price of the BDO starter packs are only $5 right now. So if you’ve been interested in trying it, it’s super cheap B2P! I’m considering picking up a second account even…

Posted in Gaming, MMORPGs, Uncategorized

The Future of LOTRO is with Standing Stone Games

So earlier this week, news broke about LOTRO that most of us couldn’t foresee. A new company called Standing Stone Games spun off of Turbine, and with them went both Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online.

Going Indie

Heavy speculation ahead!

We’ve probably sensed for a while that MMOs were getting the cold shoulder from Turbine. They wanted to make their presence felt in the mobile industry because… you know… that’s where the “quick” money is, apparently. Their stable of MMOs were aging, and probably cost them more than they’d like to keep running.

The developers who have years and years of MMO experience may have prefered to remain developing the MMO world they have nurtured for many years. They may have needed to learn a whole new skillset to make a switch to mobile design and development. That may not even be where their interests are. Just because you have a dev team doesn’t mean they want or should be a mobile dev team.

lotro1

So, it makes sense to me then, that rather than shelfing LOTRO and DDO, the developers who love those games are given ownership of them, and they break away from Turbine, who wants to go in a completely different direction. To me, it sounds like a win-win. The games keep running (hopefully), the team gets to work on what they love, and Turbine gets to make its quick-money-whatever-apps that I have no interest in.

I know it’s not all that simple. But after reading the developers’ own words on the forums, (they all seem ecstatic about the move), I actually feel more hopeful for the future of the games than I did with them under Turbine’s thumb.

A History with LOTRO

I only played DDO very briefly after it went free to play. But I have a much longer history with LOTRO. I was a beta tester, back on Brandywine, where all my characters still reside today. I still have several characters that I rolled during open beta to save their names before launch, even.

The first year, I played a bit, then put the game down a bit, and didn’t get serious about it until the first year anniversary. They were offering the Lifetime deal again, and I decided to take the plunge. I’ve never regretted the Lifetime membership, especially after the game went F2P. It’s one of the few reasons why the game is still installed on my laptop.

lotro3

I did put thousands of hours across many alts into the game, though it’s not apparent because that was long before I started this blog. After they re-worked all the skill trees, I just sorta floated off to other games. I’ve still never made any sense out of the trees and legendaries and all that stuff.

Dat Daybreak Doh!

So, the elephant in the room. Daybreak games has become the publisher.

I’m seeing a lot of confusion and freak-out on this detail. Trust me, I did a double take, too. I didn’t know that Daybreak was into the publishing business, especially since their own games seem to be on dubious grounds sometimes.

Now, some people immediately think this means Daybreak owns Standing Stone Games, or some part of LOTRO, or they’re going to have direct input into how the future of LOTRO is shaped. We don’t know for sure how much input Daybreak will have on the situation, but I want to reiterate.

Daybreak is the publisher. Not the developer.

Let’s look at the definition of video game publisher:

A video game publisher is a company that publishes video games that they have either developed internally or have had developed by a video game developer. …video game publishers are responsible for their product’s manufacturing and marketing, including market research and all aspects of advertising.

They often finance the development, sometimes by paying a video game developer (the publisher calls this external development) and sometimes by paying an internal staff of developers called a studio. The large video game publishers also distribute the games they publish, while some smaller publishers instead hire distribution companies (or larger video game publishers) to distribute the games they publish. Other functions usually performed by the publisher include deciding on and paying for any licenses used by the game; paying for localization; layout, printing, and possibly the writing of the user manual; and the creation of graphic design elements such as the box design.

It sounds to me like Standing Stone Games wants to focus on development and not marketing. That’s probably a wise idea. Is handing that duty to Daybreak a good idea? I guess we’ll find out!

The Future of LOTRO

I don’t know how it’ll all pan out in the end, but I can tell you that I’m going to be keeping a close eye on LOTRO in the future. I’m very interested where an indie team will take this old game. In fact, I’m more interested in playing it and supporting it due to this move. I’ve even reinstalled it on my desktop (though I’m still confused as all get-out about those skill trees).

lotro2

I’m hearing whispers that the team might look into revamping their character models… which would be fantastic, IMHO. It’s really difficult for me to come back to LOTRO after playing games with awesome character models, like GW2 and FFXIV. It’s an immediate turn-off for me, especially given how lovely the rest of the world still looks.

I’d have a lot to sort through if I came back to LOTRO after having been away for all these years. In fact, I have a whole expansion or two that I bought with TP LOTRO Points that I’ve never even touched. Which one was that again… Riders of Rohan? Yeah. I always wanted to try out the war horses. Just never got past Isengard on any of my characters.

Maybe in 2017.

Posted in Uncategorized

Pokemon Go: First Gen 2 Hatched

In a completely unexpected turn of events, I hatched my first baby Gen 2 in Pokemon Go yesterday.

I have been hatching eggs via the incubators I’ve earned through leveling up, trying to clear out the old eggs I had from before the update. Only… I guess I must have been hatching a new egg instead?

And here’s what I got!

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Pichu’s one of my favorites, so I’m pretty pleased. I know it was extremely lucky since I’ve read posts where people have been hatching 20+ eggs just to get their first. And here I was, not even looking for one to hatch yet!

Posted in Blogging, Uncategorized

WordPress Personal Plan Storage Upgrade!

Last night, I heard my phone buzz.

I looked over and saw an alert from WordPress that said nothing but “Storage Upgrade!”

I got excited. I opened the app and saw this:

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I got very excited. I started looking around for more information. Sure enough, on the WordPress plans page, it notes that all free blogs still have 3 GB of space, but the Personal paid accounts now have 6 GB!

This is a huge deal! I say that because storage space was one limitation that worried me when I moved over to WordPress.com hosting.

I noted in my Moving Post:

3GB storage space for images is pretty low for me. I’ve been spoiled by having “unlimited” space for many years. Already, my blog has that over 40% full.

Now that I’m only using 21% of my storage space, I feel much more at ease about things, and much more content in the choice I made to move this blog here.

So, if you’re using WordPress’ Personal plan, you have an upgrade! If you’re using a free plan and are approaching the 3 GB limit, the Personal plan is a nice option to double your space for very little cost.

Posted in Uncategorized

Pokemon Sun: Pokerus & Christmas Vulpix

A number of Pokemon players are getting ready for Christmas by breeding holiday-themed, starters or awesome Pokemon in advanced. Much like my Halloween efforts, we plan on sending them in bulk through Wonder Trade on Christmas hoping that the kids (and other folks) who get the game as a present will get something cool to help them start out.

I chose to breed a large number of Alola Vulpix in suitably holiday-themed Premier Balls because they are cute, ice-typed and exclusive to Pokemon Sun. I’m happily naming them things like “Jingles” and “Noel” and storing them away for this weekend.

Unexpected Pokerus!

So, while I still haven’t finished the game, I’ve still been leveling up random Pokemon using the playground in Poke Pelago. Once they’ve leveled enough to evolve, I pull them out and level them one more time in battle to make it happen and fill another slot on my Pokedex.

I was just doing the normal leveling thing yesterday, and needed to stop by the Pokecenter to refill my main battler’s PP. That’s when I got this message.

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Wait, what?

I quickly scanned my team and discovered that a random Barboach I got through GTS or Wonder Trade sometime last month was unexpectly infected with Pokerus! I had no idea. It’s just been sitting in the PC box and then leveling in Pelago this whole time!

The first time I ran across this virus, I had no idea what it was. Now that I do, I decided to figure out how to spread it to my team.

It seems that the infected Pokemon needs to be in the first slot, and that it will pass it to the Pokemon in the second slot. But I also learned if you take that second infected Pokemon, switch it out to like spot 5 on the team, next time it spreads, both of the infected Pokemon will pass it to all Pokemon in slots next to them.

Anyhow, once I figured that out, I was on a mission to not only hatch a bunch of Vulpix, but also infect them all with Pokerus.

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Hopefully I’ll have time to breed another box before the weekend!

Posted in Gaming, Uncategorized

Civ VI: First Win

So I earned my very first Civ VI win tonight. Granted, it was only on Chieftain level, but hey, I’m still casually learning this game. I hadn’t played it in a while, and it was on my list of to play a bit this month, so I made good on my goal.

I almost didn’t win this one. Peter was out in front of me in culture for a long while. Since we were on friendly terms, I just resigned to thinking I’d probably lose to him. However, just a fluke saw Japan go to war with Russia, and then Japan asked me to an alliance with them.

I didn’t realize that when I agreed, I’d be going to war with Russia, too. I learned something important tonight! However, it was in my favor, because I could go in and start pillaging all of Peter’s culture and science buildings, which set him far enough behind that I could surpass him.

Evil, I know. But all’s fair in Civ.