Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Relic

Okay, no. That title is 100% false. I still hate the Relic. Especially the Umbrite step (even after the nerf).

However, I have been successful in learning how to better balance my time and stress level in the FFXIV end game. This has mostly been me learning how to politely excuse myself from content I don’t feel up to doing, and not feeling bad about saying “no thanks.”

I’m also spending a balanced time doing solo dailies, such as Beast Tribes and Hunts, to level my Paladin to 60. Honestly, this has gone a lot faster than I expected it to. My Paladin hit level 58 last night, mostly from solo dailies since level 54. I know there are faster ways, but sometimes I just need time to self in an MMO.

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I found Void Ark while doing quests in Sea of Clouds the other day!

I’m very, very close to finishing the Umbrite step of my first Relic. And before anyone chides me for being so slow, I never had any intention to grind for this. I don’t always want to run roulettes daily, or sometimes run dungeons at all, when I log in. So this is the picture of what it looks like to be a fairly casual player struggling with Relic.

It’s not fun, and I’ve decided I’m not doing this again for anything but glamour… long after it’s been nerfed out of relevance. And that’s going to have to be amazing glamour for me to want to do it! 😀

I have about 5-6 Umbrite left to earn to complete this step, at the most. Less if I get lucky with bonuses… though I haven’t been very lucky through this whole thing. I think the Relic weapon hates me as much as I hate it.

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So, I’m buckling down in running content this weekend to make this final push. If I’m dedicated, I should be able to get this done in time to meet my goal to finish it this month.

I’m also trying to run Experts to finish gearing my Bard some. I’ve given up on the weekly drop from Dun Scaith, and will just outright buy the Shire coat tonight. I have a couple more pieces that need upgrading eventually, but I may or may not really concern myself with it.

I’ve already upgraded all of my Dragoon’s Shire gear to 270 and got the ring from DS as well. So aside from picking up alt class gear, I don’t really have a reason to keep running the raid weekly. I have a feeling I’ll be skipping out on those runs, soon.

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On a more positive note, next week’s patch brings new story content, which is the final bit we get before Stormblood. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of cliffhanger they leave us with. And, hopefully, not a Steps of Faith scenario to reach it.

We’ll see!

Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch, Zelda Breath of the Wild

Zelda BotW: Wolf Link

botwspoilers

I’m not a big collector of amiibo. I only own two, and those came with special edition orders of Yoshi’s Wooly World (cute yarn Yoshi) and Twilight Princess (Wolf Link).

I totally understand the collect-ability draw behind amiibo. Maybe when I was younger, this would have appealed to me. But now days, I’m a little more practical, and I think to myself, “Where would I put them all if I had them?”

I also have grown to care about functionality… and for the most part, amiibo don’t add a lot to the types of games I play on my Nintendo system (I never got heavily into Smash). However, Breath of the Wild is starting to change my mind… mostly because amiibo have pretty good bonuses to them for once!

Of course, by the time I get slightly interested in looking for amiibo, they’re all gone and hard to find. But there’s one amiibo that I don’t have to go looking for: Wolf Link. I like wolves and I like Link, so I went ahead and bought the bundle for the amiibo back when Twilight Princess first came out. I haven’t actually played Twilight Princess, so it’s been sitting on my mantel every since.

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I’m now very happy that I did pick this up. Because I discovered that using this amiibo grants me a temporary Wolf Link companion in Breath of the Wild.

Now, if there’s anything I like almost as much as mounts, it’s pets. So this really put even more awesome into my BotW game.

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Wolf Link is pretty darn amazing. His default starts with three hearts, but if you level up the amiibo (?) in Twilight Princess, he can have a lot more. As I said, I haven’t played Twilight Princess yet, so I don’t know how this works. But I’m very tempted now.

He fight enemies with you and he automatically hunts animals in your vicinity, dropping meat for you to gather. If he’s short on life, you can also let him eat that meat to restore his hearts.

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He’s actually not half bad in a fight, and having something that so effortlessly hunts for you is amazing! If he does die, you can’t summon him again till the next day, but it’s still neat. Not to mention it just feels very cool to have a tough wolf fighting next to you.

Now, I’m not saying you should go out and pay the over-priced cost to buy this amiibo just for this, but be aware if you own the Wolf Link, it gives a pretty cool pet in this game. For once, I’m really glad I have an amiibo, and I am excited about the functionality of it.

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Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch, Zelda Breath of the Wild

Zelda BotW: Light My Fire

botwspoilers

Last time, I mentioned that I needed to take my incomplete Slate to the lab located in the village. There, I met Purah, who obviously remembered Link, though he didn’t remember her…

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She was more than willing to help restore the Slate, but there was one problem. The fire in the forge used to power the equipment had burned out. So I was tasked with re-kindling this flame.

I was told that there was a forge in town that burned with a blue flame, and that by taking a torch, I could transfer the fire to the one at the lab. Only, this wasn’t totally accurate. The forge wasn’t actually in town (took me a while to find it), more like on the outskirts of town near the sheep farms.

Once I did find it, though, it wasn’t too difficult to light my torch and carry it back. Purah also hinted that I should light the lamps along the way, which seemed like a solid tactic should my torch go out for any reason. So I did that.

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I’ve read about the frustrations of trying to do this when it’s raining outside. Thankfully, the rain held off until I got the forge up at the lab lit!

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Once that was done, I went back inside and restored the missing features of the Slate.

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These features… oh my gosh! As if this game didn’t give me enough to spend my time on!

So. Now, the Slate can work as a camera, something like your own mobile device. As you take pictures of things – creatures, plants, materials, weapons, items, enemies – they get listed in what’s known as the Hyrule Compendium.

Below is my woefully blank page.

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Yet another interesting system that challenges the completionist in you. I didn’t even know I needed (or didn’t need) it until I saw it.

On top of that, the Sheikah Sensor was also unlocked. This allows you to hone in on something, like shrines, and alerts you when you come near one. You can also take a picture of something and track it from the compendium!

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And last, but not least, Link discovers that the Slate already had some pictures on it!

Purah suggests Link take these back to Impa, who informs him that these may be tied to memories of his past. So, in visiting these locations, he might be able to start filling in the story of the past.

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I’m totally there… if I can find it.

This game just keeps on expanding and going in unexpected directions. Now, I’m left not just gathering everything, but trying to frantically fill my pages with pictures of creatures, weapons, enemies, etc.

This is crazy… in a great way!

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Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch, Zelda Breath of the Wild

Zelda BotW: Arrival in Hateno Village

botwspoilers

First thing’s first, I caught and tamed a new horse. That handsome blanketed Pinto up there is aptly named Pinter.

Next, I overlooked a little information about the meeting I had with Impa in my previous post. Another thing she told me was that my Slate was missing some of its basic functionality. She said that Link should head to the village of Hateno where there were facilities to get that fixed.

What I didn’t count on was so many other things I’d find there!

Cursed Statue

The first thing I saw when I arrived was this strange kid. He wanted me to follow him, so I did. He showed me this ominous statue, which held a conversation with Link. Basically, you can come to this statue to switch your extra heart containers and stamina points around as much as you like.

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A little creepy, but a good deal!

Housing

The next thing I found was super exciting for me. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I wondered if there would be a form of housing in the game. Well, I discovered, yes, there is indeed.

I found a house that a group of construction workers were going to tear down. Instead, I struck a deal with the head of the company to buy it from him. I just needed 3,000 rupees and a stack of wood.

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Awesome! I’ll get right on that!

Dyeing Gear

Things just keep getting better and better in this village. I found the dye shop! All you have to do is pay the keeper and contribute items of a certain color to get the job done.

And boom! Link in blue!

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New Armor

Of course, right after I dye my old armor, I discover a shop that’s selling better armor than what I have.

Annnd… so I bought it.

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This is good, though. It’s become my go-to armor for battle now days.

I picked up a bunch of quests, explored the village, and eventually made it to the lab at the top of the hill. I’ll talk about that next time, though!

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Posted in IRL, Kitty Korner

Kitty Korner: Vet Visit

Update: After one day of taking the meds the vet gave Sebastian, he was back to eating like normal. Hopefully that means we’ve found the issue and that he’ll continue to get better.

So I know I haven’t been updating the new kitten situation in a while, as things have been more or less alright between Sebastian and Spriggan so far. But some things have come up today that made me decide that blogging a bit about my cats is probably going to be a thing going forward. So I’ve created a Kitty Korner tag for this.

Spriggan Update

The kitten is doing fine as far as kittens do. He’s still a mess and a ball of energy, constantly challenging me to find cat-proofing things, such as my desk, to protect it from prying paws.

He’s a teenaged kitty, and he’s acting like one.

You can’t tell him what to do. You can’t train him. He complains loudly until he gets what he wants. He gets into everything not nailed down.

I keep buying him toys (I should blog about some of those, eventually), but his attention span is so short, it’s hard to keep him entertained. But trust me, you don’t want him entertaining himself.

Aside from that, he gets along with Sebastian well. I’m still trying to bond with him, though, as he’s so flighty, it’s hard for him to sit still long enough to make a more affectionate connection.

Sebastian’s Loss of Appetite

So, on to the reason for this article. My older cat, Sebastian, hasn’t been feeling well.

He is a cat of habit. He also has a duty to ensure all food is properly disposed of (in his mouth) as catly possible. So when I see things out of the ordinary, I know something is wrong.

Last week, he wasn’t eating his wet food, which he gets every morning. At first, I wondered if he was just being picky about the flavor or the texture. He’s not usually a picky eater, but with cats, you can never tell.

Spriggan tested some of the wet food for himself and ate it without problem. Sebastian was eating dry food, so I just kept re-introducing the wet food each morning until it finally got eaten.

Everything was okay Saturday.

Sunday was the first morning I saw trouble. He didn’t meet me at the bedroom door first thing in the morning (to let me know he’s hungry) like he always does.

Second, he was doing something odd — tilting his head sideways, licking out the corner of his mouth. From time to time, he’d hunch over as if he was trying to cough something up, but he never did. I was concerned, but thought maybe he was chewing on a toy and got something in his throat. So I fed him, he ate, and he acted fine the rest the day.

Yesterday, I woke up and he was acting the same way – head tilting, licking, gagging. I started getting worried. Two days of him acting that way was more serious. I fed him and he wasn’t interested in wet food again. I left it out for him, though, to see if he’d eat it while I was at work.

He did eat it by the time I came home, so he was eating and drinking. He acted okay the rest the night.

Today, I didn’t see signs of head tilting or licking, but he wasn’t interested in wet food. Nor had he eaten the food I’d left out for him.

Vet Visit

I decided that was enough of that, and I called the new vet, who had taken care of my kitten’s shots and surgery. This is not Sebastian’s normal vet, but his vet is often so overbooked, there’s no hope to get an appointment with them on the fly.

Last year, he was having trouble throwing up food, and they weren’t very helpful – just telling me to let him eat the dry food if he was only throwing up the wet, or to change the food brand. Eventually, they said it was probably hairballs, and gave me something for that, but they didn’t have time to take my concerns seriously. But that’s a grouch for a different time.

The new vet got him in immediately this morning. I’m very glad I took him in.

They did a thorough check-up for my cat. Instantly, the vet noticed that Sebastian had an inflamed gum and maybe infected tooth. That would explain a lot, if that’s the cause of his head tilting, licking and lack of appetite.

But then, he dropped a bomb I didn’t expect. He told me Sebastian has a heart murmur. I was floored. I’d just taken him in for shots and a check-up at the other vet in December… how did they not catch that then?

Anyhow. This is not good news. But it’s also not the end of the world because…

  • Sebastian is still fairly young (only 6-7 years old).
  • We caught it early. The vet rated it a 3 on a scale of 1 to 6.
  • X-rays showed that his heart has not enlarged, so there’s not much damage done yet.
  • It’s going to be costly, but it can be treated. I will have to take Sebastian to a cardiologist.

It’s likely he’ll be put on medicine when he gets older to prevent heart damage. But the vet seems to feel Sebastian can still live a long life.

For now, though, Sebastian is on antibiotics and steroids to treat the tooth. He’ll be going back in two weeks for a tooth cleaning and deeper inspection. If that problem tooth needs to be pulled, that will be determined then.

If that doesn’t help his appetite, we may have to run blood tests on him to investigate other issues.

Somewhere down the line this year, I will have to get him pre-tested at my vet, and then take him to the cardiologist, which is in a larger city about an hour away. I’m more worried about taking him on a long drive like that… he has a fit about a short 15 minuet drive across town!

And yeah, this is all going to cost money. But Sebastian is my cat-buddy and my literal spirit animal. I’ve not had a cat, or any pet like him, that I’ve connected to so closely. I’m willing to pay what it takes to keep him healthy and feeling well.

At least I finally have a vet that’s listening and taking my concerns seriously!

Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch, Uncategorized, Zelda Breath of the Wild

Zelda BotW: Shalaka! Hestu and Korok Seeds

botwspoilers

Up until now, I haven’t mentioned the Korok seed gathering that I’d been doing from time to time. Anytime you see something slightly out of the ordinary, or climb to the top of a place that seems interesting, and find a rock to pick up, there’s usually a Korok hiding there. I really like this because it keeps me on the lookout for little mini-puzzles, and it rewards exploration in little ways.

Plus, they’re just dang cute.

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Anyhow, I didn’t know there was a purpose to the seeds until about this point in the game. I was riding out of the village, and the night was settling in. I saw a strange shape waiting along side the road. I approached it carefully… because after meeting with Impa, I’d been getting jumped by disguised assassins from the Yiga clan. And they’re pretty nasty.

It turns out this tree-guy is okay. His name is Hestu, and nearby baddies have stolen his maracas.

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This sounds like a job for Link!

It really wasn’t that difficult to clean out the camp, which was just up over the hill. I took care of that quickly…

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…and returned the instruments back to their grateful owner…

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Only, that’s not where this story ends. The problem was, there was nothing inside the maracas to make sound for some reason. But Hestu cut me an interesting deal because…

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So, as I bring him the seeds I’ve collected for his maracas, he gives me new slots for weapons, shields and bows. I jumped on this opportunity immediately! The more weapons I can carry, the better!

Upgrades cost an increasing amount of seeds the more that you buy. It starts at one seed, then two, then three, and keeps going. This is individually based on type, so your first weapon slot is 1 seed, your first bow slot is 1 seed, etc. After upgrading a certain amount of times, he will move on to his next location in the game.

There are a total of 900 Korok seeds you can find in the game, but you don’t need anywhere that many to unlock all the inventory upgrades. I doubt I’ll be spending that much time and effort to find all of them, myself, though it’s another fun little system in this game.

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