Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, Guild Wars 2, MMORPGs

October Gaming Goals in Review

Happy Halloween everyone!

It’s that time again… when I look back on the goals I made at the beginning of the month and see how well I did. Overall, I’m pretty pleased, especially since I had a lot of things pulling my attention away from my goals.

FFXIV Goals

Aywren (Main)

  • Level Bard (to at least to 65… I’m so behind) ✓
  • Level Crafters ✓

Last night, my Bard hit level 70 (pictured above)! That was an unexpected happenstance… mostly due to running the new Alliance Roulette which has really, really sped up the rate at which I can level a job in the 50-70 range. I’ve also been pretty dilligent about doing Beast Tribe dailies… I guess another job is going to have to pick that up next month!

I did level my Carpenter from 60 to 66 all in the space of one night. Mostly to help with building the FC’s Shirogane Walls. I haven’t really concentrated on leveling since then, but I really do need to get on the ball with my crafters.

Tai

  • Get Whisper Mount and Yo-Kai minions ✓
  • Unlock Flying in Ruby Sea

Not much to say about Tai. I got him his Yo-Kai minions, ran him through the Halloween event, but didn’t really level him or get much further in the MSQ. I’ll have to try again next time.

Zemi

  • Level to 50 and switch jobs to Samurai✓
  • Finish 2.0 base MSQ✓

I spent a lot of time and focus on Zemi this month. I’d forgotten how annoying the upper 40s were since the MSQ just drops you without a warning many times in the process. I was stuck at level 48 for a week or so, until Syn and Amoon ran a Leveling Roulette with me.

Last night, with a combination of MSQ, Leves, and one well-placed challenge log completion, I finally got Zemi to level 50 Ninja. I immediately skipped out and unlocked Samurai for him.

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Syn and Amoon were nice enough to unsync a Castrum for me — we blew through it 3 man. While I haven’t finished Praetorium just yet, it’s the only thing blocking me from calling the MSQ a done deal. They might unsync run it tonight for me, so I went ahead and checked that goal off as done.

I’m not sure what I’ll do with Zemi in the future — maybe just unlock Alliance Roulette up to World of Darkness to level him further. That seems to be the way to go. He’s had a long, rocky history as a poor alt of mine, though. I’m glad he’s finally found his job.

GW2 Goals

Zznaf

  • Finish Path of Fire story line ✓
  • Start working on griffon mount ✓
  • Save for griffon mount ✓

Yep, I’ve done all these things in GW2, on top of working through PoF a second time with another character. We’ve also started rebuilding our old GW2 guild, and have recruited a few new friends there!

I already have a lot of things in mind for November’s goals. I might add a few Switch and Steam goals next month, as well.

Did you set any goals this month? If so, how’d you do?

Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch, Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley: The Right Husband

This is going to be one of those silly, first-world-gaming-problem posts. Totally meant to be just for fun.

So, while I really wanted to start this week by busting out a post about the newly released Super Mario Odyssey, the truth is, Stardew Valley on Nintendo Switch continues to capture my attention. I put a few hours into Mario, but after that, it was back to the farm. Don’t worry, Mario. I’ll be back!

So, I have a little issue in that I can’t decide which bachelor I want my farmer to marry. I’m in the Spring of  the second year now, and I have 10 hearts with several villagers. I’m working on getting a solid financial base. I’m closing in on finishing the collections for the community center.

It’s time to think about who my farmer is going to pick as a spouse… Because this is serious business, darnit! 🙂

Warning: Spoilers for Stardew Valley ahead!

Continue reading “Stardew Valley: The Right Husband”

Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch, Sims 4

Games I’m Looking Forward To

I’ve mostly been playing FFXIV lately, alternating with a few other MMOs on the side, and a healthy dose of Stardew Valley when I can. Though I have nothing really earthshaking to write about for these games, on the eve of the release of the newest Mario game, I decided to talk about a few of the games I’m really looking forward to.

It’s all kinda hard to beat the hype of Stardew Valley, but I’m excited about the following games, each in their own special way.

Mario Odyssey

I was a huge Nintendo kid growing up, and the Mario series was one of my favorites. I watched all the funky cartoons, collected everything I could on my meager allowance, and played through the games sooooo times. Well, up until Super Mario 64.

I think I beat Mario 64. But I don’t remember beating a Mario game since. While I’m still fond of Mario, in the way someone is fond of a favorite childhood character, RPGs, MMOs and computer games took my attention away from Nintendo for a solid chunk of time.

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However, Mario Odyssey might just be the game to rekindle that fun. I’ve heard people say that the game took them back to Mario 64 immediately. It looks like a game that fosters exploration — if Breath of the Wild is any indication of how Odyssey might evolve the Mario series, then I’m completely on board.

I preordered the game months ago, and it’s already in the mail on its way from Amazon. Hopefully I’ll get it tomorrow, in time to explore it some this weekend.

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp

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Even though the announcement for this came out just yesterday, and it’s a mobile game, I’m still pretty excited for this. One of the major reasons I’m hyped is because hopefully, this game will allow me to connect with friends, family and blogger friends in an Animal Crossing environment.

While Animal Crossing has always allowed you to invite friends in, I’ve never been big on throwing my Nintendo friend code out to the wild. So while it would have been fun inviting folks to my little town, aside from Syn and my sister (who totally just wanted to steal new types of fruit for her town), I didn’t multi-play a whole lot.

Doing it on an app basis seems safer, kinda like Miitomo. So, we’ll see what kind of mischief this game brings. This comes out late November.

Sims 4: Cats and Dogs

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The next Sims expansion is all about cats and dogs… so you know I had to have this one pre-ordered pretty much since I first started seeing information about it. Not only do we get pets in Sims 4, but we also get to open our own Vet clinic! And for a girl who once wanted to be a veterinarian when she was much younger, I know this is going to be good Sims fun.

My one disappointment with this expansion is they cut horses completely. Sims 3 Pets did horses so well! In fact, I rarely played with any of the other pets because the horses were the main highlight for me. I have a sinking feeling we’ll probably never see horses in this game… unless they shockingly decide to make a whole horse-themed game pack. I find that hard to imagine, though.

Despite all of that, I’m still excited for what Cats & Dogs will bring to Sims 4. It’s releasing November 10, so I don’t have too much longer to wait!

Do you have some games you’re waiting for right now? What’s got you hyped?

Posted in Animal Crossing, Gaming, Mobile Gaming

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp (Mobile) Coming in November

I’ve been keeping my eye on the announcement around the upcoming Animal Crossing mobile game, now revealed to be called Pocket Camp. If that’s enough for you to be excited already, you can sign up for a notification to let you know when it’s out.

Anyhow, I watched the little video (below), and here’s my impression so far. It’s got a lot of callbacks to normal Animal Crossing, but the gameplay has been adjusted to what you’d expect from a mobile game. It is free to play, it does have microtransactions…. but it looks like most of the leaf dollar things just speed up times to build stuff and give a few perks that aren’t absolutely needed. Pretty normal.

This is good news to me because I really want to see an Animal Crossing come to the Switch. I feel like this is a mobilized version, and will in no way take away from a full version we’d see later. In fact, it might build up publicity for it, if the mobile game is done well enough.

I’m certainly putting this on my phone when it comes out!

Here’s the video:

Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch, Stardew Valley, Uncategorized

Stardew Valley on Switch – Fun, With Bugs

Stardew Valley for the Nintendo Switch was a highly anticipated release for a lot of folks in the Switch community. Even though I have a copy for the PC, I’m really loving my little Switch, and like the idea of a portable Stardew.

Stardew makes a great port to the Switch, and I’ve had a lot of fun re-learning the game after having put it down for a number of months. I’m trying out different relationships, a bit wiser about how to approach things, like collecting for the community center, and actually learning how to fish this time around.

But there are a few things that you should be aware of if you’re looking at picking up Stardew on the Switch, at least in comparison to the PC version.

Developed for PC

The PC version of Stardew came first, and is the much more flexible version of the game. Part of the appeal, and why it gained a lot of traction with the community, is that Stardew is very moddable.

For example, I modded my cat to be a Siamese, my horse to be grey, and my pigs to be cuter. I also found the fishing game impossible to play on the PC, so I modded fishing to be a lot easier. Obviously, this isn’t an option for the Switch version of Stardew…  so I’m actually having to learn how to fish.

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Some things, like fishing, do feel easier with the controller. But there are times, such as when moving through menus, and moments when you have to control a cursor with a Switch joystick, that you really feel the PC roots poking through. It’s not game breaking, but a little jarring. Looking at the bug list, seems like there might be a bug around this.

Finally, the longer loading and saving times. If you’ve played the PC version, then the longer save and load times on the Switch are much more apparent. Again, not game breaking, but paired with one of the bugs I’m going to talk about, it gets a bit frustrating.

Bugs to Contend With

I’ve played up until Fall of the first year, and ran into to major bugs pretty early on. One of them is just annoying, but the other is actually a game stopper. Note: the dev is aware of the bugs, has acknowledged them, and hopefully we’ll see a patch soon.

Crackling Sound Bug

From time to time, for no apparent reason, the game’s sound starts to crackle. It’s pretty bad. Sounds like this:

Now, I don’t know about you, but this puts a wrinkle my chill gaming session. Sound is a very important element in all games I play… and no one seems to know what causes it. It comes and goes at random.

The only way players have found to fix the sound bug is to completely exit and re-launch the game. This causes more frustration because:

  1. The long loading times I mentioned above… every time you launch the game, you have to wait for it to load through several screens and your save file
  2. You can’t just save the game at random — if you don’t want to lose that day’s progress, you have to listen to the crackling all Stardew day until you sleep and save that night

I’ve often had to restart the game two or three times in a play session to get rid of this issue. It keeps coming back.

Save Crash Bug

This leads to another, more  severe bug — the save crash bug. Sometimes, when you go to sleep on the Switch version, the game throws an error and closes on you. This means that you lost everything you did that whole day, and you have to go back and replay it.

Thankfully, it doesn’t seem to corrupt the save file. But if you had a lot accomplished in a day and the game crashes before saving, it can get frustrating real fast.

I’ve had this happen to me twice. From what I’m reading, this is a complex inventory issue.

Again, the team is aware of the issues, and working on a patch. So, hang in there if you’re struggling with Stardew bugs like I am. Help is on the way!

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Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Alliance Raid Roulette is Great for Leveling!

The title of this article says pretty much all you need to know. The new Alliance Raid Roulette that was added in FFXIV Patch 4.1 not only revitalizes older content, but provides a reliable chunk of experience for characters level 50 to 70. It’s well worth doing!

Make Crystal Tower Great Again

Crystal Tower remains, hands down, my favorite alliance raid content in FFXIV. Labyrinth of the Ancients was the first raid content I experience in any MMO, and those raids went a long way in helping me overcome a lot of group anxiety I had at the time. The CT series was one that we’d take many of our fresh level 50 players through in the FC because it wasn’t traumatizing, but did help teach mechanics and teamwork.

In short, CT is the opposite of the newer brand of alliance raids that we’ve been seeing since Ozma graced us with his presence in Weeping City. I’m not a fan of any of the alliance raids after that point, and I don’t make any attempt to cover up my dislike of this shift to the ‘git gud’ mentality. But that’s a rant for another time.

Anyhow, once the new alliance raids came out in Heavensward, it naturally became harder and harder for new people to see the glory of Crystal Tower. And that was a real shame.

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That’s why the Aether database organized a weekly Crystal Tower Sunday. This was unofficial, but it did seem to work for a while helping in with the very slow CT queue times. But even sometimes then, you’d wait 40-some minutes for one of the raids to pop.

The alliance raid roulette was something we’ve hoped for for a while, and now that it’s here, we can play CT anytime we like again! Not only that, but we’ve been able to introduce folks in our FC who have never unlocked this content to these old raids.

Even better, this roulette is extremely relevant to anyone leveling from 50 to 70.

**Note: There is a chance of getting the Heavensward raids in the roulette if you’ve unlocked them, you’re geared up, and above level 60. So it’s not just about making CT relevant, it’s all alliance raids. Interestingly enough, aside from one Void Ark, I haven’t seen the other two HW raids in this roulette yet. Not that I’m sad about that.

Leveling With Speed

There’s always been a substantial bit of slowdown in leveling alt jobs after 50. I’m the type of player who will not spam dungeons outside of a roulette to level. I’m not familiar enough with a lot of the hard mode level 50 dungeon mechanics to run the 50/60 roulette, so I just don’t. That means my main methods were daily beast tribes, hunts, daily leveling roulette and maybe some PotD.

So, for me, the alliance raid roulette really fills in a gap in leveling activities. I’ve seen the roulette consistently level people up, especially those in the 50s, and DPS classes who have long queues outside of this. Coupled with the squadron dungeons for leveling to 50, this has opened up a lot of new possibilities, and is extremely encouraging for those who want to level numerous jobs on one character.

I’ve got way too much work ahead of me!

Posted in Gaming, Guild Wars 2, MMORPGs

GW2: [WAY] of the Four Winds

A few weeks back, I sent in a support ticket to request a change in our old GW2 guild name. I finally heard back, and after sending a list of possible names, the first name I chose was open. So, it’s now ours.

We now have a little casual guild called Way of the Four Winds.

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The idea behind the name was to capture the feeling of explorers and wanderers, which is really what most the people in our guild like to do. We’re not raiders, we’re here to get through story and enjoy open world content with each other.

The “four winds” part connects back to lore around the Zephyrites and their Bazaar of the Four Winds (which we’ll probably never see again in game unless they miraculously get out of the jungle and rebuild Zephyr Sanctum).

I really liked the concept of the Zephyrites. They are a peaceful, nomadic people who traveled on their flying ship… and really had more of a clue what was going on with Glint and her children than anyone else did for the longest time. I loved the Bazaar of the Four Winds and the idea of the spiritual elemental aspects.

So, it felt fitting to name our guild after that part of the lore.

I haven’t really figured out how to progress the guild yet — it seems like it requires gold to build new features. Gold I don’t really have to spare as I’m scrounging to save for my griffon mount. So, there’s not a ton of progression going on — not that we need it. I guess we’ll try to figure out the guild events eventually, though being small, we’d need a few more people on the roster to make it happen.

I’ve opened the invitation to folks who are interested in a super casual, social and small family-friendly guild-of-friends environment. Most of us play other games, or GW2 is the game-on-the-side, so there’s no serious repping or requirements. Just a group to explore and enjoy the game with. Let me know!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, Guild Wars 2, MMORPGs, Secret World Legends

FFXIV & SWL: Halloween Approaches!

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. So I absolutely adore Halloween events in my MMOs.

I haven’t spent time exploring GW2’s Mad King event, despite the fact that the Labyrinth used to be one of my favorite haunts years back. Also note that gem store mount skins have become a thing really quickly, just like I predicted.

I also haven’t started the Samhain event in SWL aside from logging in to get the free rewards — Tin Foil Hats will probably explore some of that this weekend.

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I knew when I saw the cosmetics that FFXIV was giving out this year for All Sants’ Wake that I needed to get these on all of my characters. Thankfully, the outfit is rewarded after a very short quest, and everything beyond that is optional.

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Though I haven’t visited the haunted mansion yet, I’m glad that it’s making a return this year for those who want to try it. I haven’t looked into it, but I think it rewards tokens (?) for the housing items. I do need some of those for my house and the FC house as well!

Though I don’t see myself wearing the whole wolf outfit, I do like the ears. I was pleased to see the color matches my hair fairly well as default (though the whole outfit can be dyed), so I’m using this as glamour on some of my jobs. Just not my Bard, because Amon’s Hat is still the best.

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Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Ninja-ing to 50

One of my goals for this month was to take my alt, Zemi, to level 50 on Ninja so I can finally unlock Samurai for him. I’ve actually been putting a good chunk of playtime each night towards doing this… and I forgot how rocky it really is to level from 40-50 on a DPS class for the first time.

Sure, the MSQ experience gives a nice chunk, but seeing that you have lapses where, such as level 45, there are absolutely no MSQs at all (why?), it really starts to drag out. I know I could be running daily roulette, but seeing that the queue took 25 mins for the Garuda fight, I’ve been avoiding dungeons (unless I have someone else to run them with).

It’s also a bummer that North Than FATEs aren’t very active anymore, because that used to be a good way to get these levels done. I’ll probably have to fall back on leves pretty soon.

Last night, I powered through to level 46, mostly because I unlocked two of the Beast Tribe quests, and found a number of extra quests littering Mor Dhona. Man, I forgot how much I hate the Nix in that zone!

Zemi is currently a mish-mash of half Ninja artifact armor. That’ll change once I get him to 50 and make the switch, though.

I have a funny feeling I’m going to get sidetracked by all the Halloween events in all the games I’m playing this weekend. We’ll see if I can keep Zemi leveling! 🙂