Posted in Gaming

August 2020 Gaming Goals

Welcome to another new month! August has FFXIV players looking forward to patch 5.3 with lots of story and new goodies. Because of that, I’m keeping my goals pretty light. A number of these are hold-overs from last month with a few small additions.

FFXIV Goals

  • Finish leveling Samurai and do job quest
  • Level Dragoon via Beast Tribes
  • Ishgard Restoration Quests
  • Amon – Crafter Relics 
  • Amon – Dancer Quests
  • Amon – Hildibrand
  • Tad – Level to 70 via Beast Tribes & Roulettes
  • Ben – Level via Beast Tribes & Roulettes
  • Zuri – Progress through Stormblood 

So why are Tad and Ben on the radar for leveling suddenly?

Well… during the FFXIV anniversary sale, I decided to break down and buy story skips for both of them. All the way to Shadowbringers.

Zuri is currently floundering through Stormblood for my 4th time through. The thought of doing it yet again on two more characters just to get to Shadowbringers… I could do it but I’m facing major burn-out.

Trusts are a major game-changer for me. Not having to stop and party up for a dungeon every couple of levels makes all the difference in the world. If they’d implement Trusts in Stormblood, I wouldn’t have skipped. I can blast through the story just fine, but I dread the dungeons.

The one catch is, neither Tad nor Ben are level 70 yet. So they can’t actually start Shadowbringers. That’s why I’m tossing them in beast tribes and roulettes to the best of my abilities. Tad is already level 66, almost 67, so he’s not too far away. Ben is much further, though.

I’m not going to push too hard to get it done this month, but I’ll do what I can. Beast tribes in general are a good quick way to earn XP every day without having to work too hard at it.

Posted in Gaming

July 2020 Gaming Goals in Review

July just seemed to zoom by me for some reason, but I’m pretty happy with how many goals I finished this time around. This month has seen quite a bit of playing the new alpha of 7D2D (which was unexpected) as well as FFXIV and continued Animal Crossing.

So what did I get done?

FFXIV Goals

  • Role Quests on Main for Healer 
  • Job quests for:
    • Monk 
    • Scholar 
    • Astro 
    • White Mage 
  • Level Samurai via Beast Tribes 
  • Crafter Relics 
  • Ishgard Restoration Quests
  • Amon – Dancer Quests
  • Amon – Hildibrand
  • Zuri – Progress through Stormblood 

Well, look at that! I knocked out my Healer role quest and all of the outstanding job quests for all of the jobs I’ve leveled to 80. It’s the first time since last expansion that I’ve had it all buttoned up nicely like that.

Samurai is currently level 79 as I’ve been working on beast tribe quests every day. Looking towards having that finished next week and on to leveling the next job.

I finished all of my Crafter relics on my main, too. I’m somewhat kicking it around and going slowly on working at them for my alt. But my main was my biggest focus for this.

I also did get Zuri into the next zone for Stormblood, though I didn’t make a lot of progress on her. I did level her a little bit with Alliance Roulettes, but now I’ve set that aside as I’ve got two other characters that I’ve been focused on for roulettes this week – I’ll talk about that in my goal setting post, though.

So really, the only things I didn’t make progress on were some things for Amon and trying out the Ishgard Restoration quests. I still want to do those quests, though, especially before the next phase of the restoration drops. There’s some time before that, but it’s on my mind to see what those are about.

Really, that’s pretty good overall! And I do have a fairly clear idea of what I’d like to work on next month, though the 5.3 patch drop will very likely shove some goals out of the way. Thankfully, I don’t have a ton to hold over.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Crafting Relics Complete!

On my main character, at least.

So this week I’ve been powering through crafting the Dragonsung tools from the recent crafting patch. There’s nothing too terribly difficult to it… as long as you have decent gear to start with. It’s mostly just time-consuming because it’s far easier to craft the HQ finished product you need (and it must be HQ) by using HQ prerequisites.

Because you need 30 of those, that’s 60 combines for the second stage of the tool. Not to mention you had to have the scrips to buy the Oddly items from the vendors. That was actually the easiest thing for me since I already do weekly scrip turn-ins. In fact, I had piles of Oddly items stacking up in my inventory, which was a real motivation to get this done and clean my bags out.

So last night, I finished my last crafting relic.

Please let me note that I haven’t started the gathering relics yet. But if you look above at what’s required for the second stage – 510 High Quality gathers…. and 60 HQ fish for the rod… yeah. I’ll work on that when I’m in the mood for gathering.

In the meantime, I need to do this all over again on my alt, Amon. He’s already got two of the tools finished. But his gear isn’t quite as good as my main’s, so he usually requires a bit of food to give him a boost. Not only that, but I know that I need to upgrade his current tools on many jobs because they’re still stuck in level 70 rubbish.

The one thing that irks me a bit is that to start the prototype for each relic item, you have to plunk down 80,000 gil. That’s more than the facet tools cost on the marketboard on my server! Ouch!

I’m not sure if this will all be worth it if I don’t keep my gear up to date and melded, but at least my main has it complete. I guess Amon can just work on it casually when I don’t have anything else pressing to do (when is that?).

Posted in 7 Days to Die, Gaming

7D2D: Dynamic Music System

7D2D Alpha 19 dropped last week, and I’ve been meaning to write some posts about it as we’ve explored what the update has to offer. Just as with any alpha update, it feels like a whole new game. There’s a ton to write about, but the one thing that really stood out to me from the very start was the new dynamic music system.

7D2D has always used music pretty sparsely. You get a jingle in the morning and an ominous piano when it turns night. But aside from that, there was just some slightly atmospheric loops that felt more like sound effects than true music.

That’s changed with A19, and I’m really impressed by the concept and customization of this dynamic music system. Playing on a randomly generated map as we do, it makes sense to have dynamically generated music as well.

Here’s what the patch notes say about it:

TFP have again teamed up with Native Darkness Productions to make the Alpha 19 Dynamic music system more robust while adding a ton of new content and features.

The propriety Dynamic Music System algorithm measures and uses many player-centric conditions such as player location, biome, time of day, inside or outside a location, nearby aggressive enemies, threat level and more to tailor a custom movie like musical experience for the player.

From this Dynamic Music System algorithm the system can play from the following musical groups: Home day music, home night music, exploration, suspense, combat and custom trader music for each trader.

Exploration, suspense and combat are procedurally generated providing a complete musical arrangement from a set of interchangeable loops. As of Alpha 19 there, are 31,558 unique combinations of music.

7D2D patch notes

The lovely thing about this system (which is off by default) is how much you can customize it.

Once you enable the music, you have control over not just the volume, but how often you hear the tracks play. I’ve got mine up to 100% but the default is something like 30%. So if you just want to explore and rock zombies with a few tunes from time to time, you can do that.

It is very much a dynamic system. Somehow, the game recognizes when I’m just chilling and building the base as opposed to being out in the world exploring, or creeping through a house with zombies around every corner. Battle music is a tad odd at first, but actually quite helpful – you know when you’re being targeted even if the zombie is in another room somewhere. It’s also alerted us to times when zombies were beating on our base wall though we didn’t hear any other trace of them.

I really can’t think of another game that has implemented a system like this. Sure, the tracks can get a bit redundant at times, but it’s still a really cool concept. I heard that Trader Joel’s music is a lot of fun – I haven’t visited him yet, but other folks in the Posse have.

We’ve already made it through the first two blood moons in our playthrough. Our base is established and I’m working on a warfort. So I’ll be writing more about my impressions of this new alpha soon!

Posted in Gaming

July 2020 Gaming Goals

July just came bursting on in today, so it’s time to set some new goals for this month! The new letter from Yoshi-P has set release for the next FFXIV patch on August 11. So new patch content is not going to be a concern during July — I have plenty of time to try to catch up on things like relic crafting.

So what are my plans for this month? Mostly to finish up the things I didn’t get around to in June, to be quite honest.

FFXIV Goals

  • Role Quests on Main for Healer
  • Job quests for:
    • Monk
    • Scholar
    • Astro
    • White Mage
  • Level Samurai via Beast Tribes
  • Crafter Relics
  • Ishgard Restoration Quests
  • Amon – Dancer Quests
  • Amon – Hildibrand
  • Zuri – Progress through Stormblood

Most of this really shouldn’t take that long if I just sit down and space it out. Well, everything except progressing through Stormblood yet again.

Aside from that, still playing Animal Crossing daily, and messing around in Second Life as well. Might hop back into the Sims again, too.

Lots to choose from!

Posted in Gaming

June 2020 Gaming Goals in Review

It was the first month I got back to doing gaming goals, and things went along pretty well. I didn’t get everything on the list done, but I did get a few pretty solid goals met, including getting another alt current in Shadowbringers.

So what did I accomplish?

  • Finish earning final mount in Moogle Event 
  • Job Quests on Main for:
    • Summoner
    • Scholar
    • Dancer
    • Bard
    • Machinist
    • Astro
    • White Mage
  • Role Quests on Main for Healers & Melee DPS 
  • Job Quest for Amon – Dancer
  • Stormblood Hildibrand for Amon
  • Progress Tai through Shadowbringers 
  • Crafter Relics for Main & Amon 
  • Daily Beast Tribes for Main’s Monk leveling 
  • Check out Ishgard Restoration Quests

I did get a whole set of role quests out of the way, which felt really good. I still need to buckle down and work on healer roles/jobs. I plan on doing that next.

I just hit 80 on Monk last night, and started leveling Samurai using beast tribe quests. Finished up a few relics for crafters, but this is something I need to focus on a lot more next month.

Also, earned all the mounts I wanted from the Moogle event. So, really, did get quite a bit of what I wanted to do done with plenty still left for next month. We may see a new content release next month as well, so I’m not sure how much in the way of goals I’ll actually get done. It just depends!

Posted in FFXIV

FFXIV: Shadowbringers Completed! (Third Time)

This was one of those things that shouldn’t have taken as long as it did to finish, but I just ran out of steam in the middle of doing it. I finally got Tai through to the end of the current patch in Shadowbringers!

Considering that when Shadowbringers launched, he was still stuck mid-Stormblood, it was quite a way for him to go. When I finally got him to Shadowbringers, I thought it would be quick and smooth sailing, especially with Trusts to get me through all the dungeons. And that part was true.

Of course, I still had to go through the three trials in groups, which turned out to not be quite as painful as I feared. Aside from Titania, all trials were pretty easy to clear on the first shot. I think I had some pretty excellent PUGs though.

Since Tai is geared up with the crafted level 80 stuff, he should be good to go into the next patch as-is. I don’t plan on doing any Tome grinding for him (or any of my upcoming characters) because doing it on my main is more than enough for me. I’m glad for the option of crafted gear because that makes my life with alts so much easier.

Speaking of alts in general, most of my other alts are stuck in Stormblood limbo right now. Unlike Shadowbringers, you still have to group to run all the dungeons through that story, and that is really what’s holding me back from getting my alts through it. Well, that and the fact that I find going through Stormblood yet again tedious.

My next character – Zuri – is currently in Yanxia, moving towards the Steppe. So she’s made some progress into the expansion already. I’m also quite interested in moving Tad and Ben through this content eventually. I’m not sure which one I’ll decide to work on now that Tai is finally done, but I do want to nudge myself to do a little bit every week to at least keep progress going.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Getting the Job (Quests) Done

In this month’s goal post – the first goal post I’ve created in several months – one of the things I noted was the fact that I’ve (once again) amassed a number of job quests on my main. Unlike previous expansions where every job gets a long quest chain, Shadowbringers traded this out for Role quests instead. Then, at level 80, once you’ve finished the Role quests, each job gets a single quest.

These job quests are mostly fluff. It’s just checking back in with the NPCs that relate to that particular job and seeing how things have developed since your level 70 quest.

Some of these quests are a bit more stirring than others. For example, I really like the Bard and Dancer quests – they were fairly inspirational. On the other hand, the Machinist quest was alright, but felt mostly like just a way to get some screen time for the NPCs related to that job.

The Role quest system has helped me out quite a bit in this area — since that means that instead of doing a long quest line for each job, you can cover several jobs in one role. I’ve been notoriously bad at keeping up with job quests for the longest time. It’s a sad fact since usually I do enjoy these quests once I finally sit down and scrape out time and focus on them.

Aside from that, I’ve put time into working on a few of my crafting relics – which was also a goal for this month. I’m not as far along as I’d like to be on this (I have all the Oddly Specific mats), and hope to put more focus into it in the next couple weeks. I have a feeling that getting this done before 5.3 will make the progression a lot easier.

And then there’s the fact that I’m also pushing my alt, Tai, through Shadowbringers as a whole. I’ve been really lax at doing this, but have finally unlocked Amaurot last night. Once I clear that and get through Hades, the rest is catching up with patch content. All of these dungeons can be cleared with Trusts. So really, after Hades, the hard part is over for me.

I was right in thinking that writing out some goals for this month would help motivate me to get stuff done. I’m at the point where I just need to work through the Healer role quests so that I can finish up all of my healer job quests. Then, it’s just a matter of getting a tank leveled and doing my job quests as my melee hit 80.

Still plenty to do, and I’m going at it pretty casually right now.

Posted in Second Life

Second Life: I Caved For a Cabin

I mentioned in a previous post that I was reassessing whether or not I’d pony up for a subscription renewal for Second Life this year. I wrote about how the price hike for the sub was a bit of a turn-off. Though to be honest, if you pick up a year’s sub, you’re only paying $8.25 a month for a premium account, which isn’t all that expensive as far as MMO type games go. It used to be $6 a month, though.

I also discussed selling off my old land, going to a rental plot, and playing around with claiming one of the new Linden homes. Seeing that owning land is the major perk I pay a sub for, it was really going to come down to how much I liked the Linden home that came with the sub.

I tried out a traditional house style, and it was alright. I was curious, so I released that house to try one of the Victorian house styles — this was a bit cooler with some wall coloring features the traditional didn’t have. But really, Victorian is not my vibe.

It’s pretty, just not my thing.

They released some really cute campers, and I would have loved that style. But the problem was, these were only 512 lots, using only half your land allotment, and gave you half the prim count. Sure, I could have gotten two at that rate, but I’ve always felt more prims was better, and would have rather had my full 1024.

So, as it was the last time I wrote, I was still up in the air about what I was going to do.

Along Came the Cabins

The day after I wrote that post in February, the new log homes were announced for Second Life. This caught my attention as it’s much more the style of home I was interested in. However, it wasn’t until April that the log houses were actually released, so that was a good month of waiting to see if this was something I wanted, and hoping to even get to snag one at all.

Well, I was fairly lucky in that when they released cabins, instead of being a trickle of areas like it had been for the others, they pretty much dumped a huge amount of land all at one time for people to claim. It actually took a few days for people to snag these houses, though now you won’t find any again unless someone has abandoned or there’s a zone release.

I abandoned my Victorian and did a bit of hopping the first day — you can only claim 5 houses in a day, so you have to be careful how many times you abandon. I even hit my limit that day — some of the log houses were nice, but either I didn’t like their location (sandwiched between two other houses) or the name of the area.

I was a bit worried that there wouldn’t be houses left in 24 hours, but thankfully there were. That’s when I got my lot at Chuckle Pond. I love the name of the area, first of all, and I lucked out to actually have a nice natural pond across the trail in front of my house. The lot is also on the corner, so I have a bit of privacy.

All in all, I was happy with my catch, and have sat on it for a few months with only some sparse decoration. Then, June rolled around and before I knew it, I was facing the question of whether I was going to release this house or sub again.

I guess the title of this post clued you into what happened. I decided to keep it. Not only that, but I decided I was really going to go all out in decorating it, too.

While I’ve owned several places in SL over the years, I can’t say that I ever really customized and decorated a house in full. This was because my prim limit was often taken up by things like breedable pets or a little shop.

That’s not the case this time. While I do have a few pets on the lot, I’m not breeding much anymore. And Linden homes are residential, so you’re not suppose to set up a shop.

Therefore, the total prim count can be focused on decking the halls. And that’s just what I did.

Welcome to my cabin at Chuckle Pond!

Living Room with two cats that represent my IRL cat (RIP Sebastian).
Living Room – RL cat photo on the wall!
Betta tank with actual swimming fish (I’ve always wanted one).
Peeking into the Entertainment/Gaming room.
Gaming PC setup – while I tried to keep most of this kinda rustic, I let that slide here.
TV, Including several oldskool Nindendo consoles.
Oldskool stereo system too!
Rustic Kitchen.
Bedroom in the loft. Not sold on that rug, might change it.
View from the stairs – the bathroom is through the door.
Somewhat rustic bathroom with a fluffy rug.
Rustic potty for the rustic bathroom.
I even have a Switch, personalized with a screenshot I took in Animal Crossing!

And outside…

A little gardening porch.
And a garden in the back…
A deck/patio with a woodstove, hot tub and Greedy Greedy game table.
The underside of that deck serves as stables for my horse.
Woodstove.
Hot tub… or in this case, cool tub – you can turn off the steam effects for the summer.

And that was a quick pictorial walk through of my cabin in Second Life!

Posted in Gaming

itch.io – Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality

So, despite the fact I tell myself I don’t need any more new games, I just dropped some money on this huge and amazing bundle at itch.io. I know a few bloggers have been talking about this already. But if you haven’t had a chance to check it out, there’s still three days left as of this post’s writing.

First of all, it’s for a good cause. Second of all, it has a number of good games – some that I own, but also some that have been on my wishlist for a bit. A sample of some…

But even despite the games that I know on glance, there looks to be a lot of really neat games I’ve never heard of before. Not only that, but there’s also some pretty cool game making assets and even coding engines. And some things you probably wouldn’t even expect – like this Hex Kit – need to make maps for your tabletop RPG, it’s got you covered. Pretty cool!

Anyhow. I have no idea how I’m going to sort through this bundle and find time to play these. This library now completely overshadows my Steam library, which already felt huge. On the other hand, I’ve been wanting something to springboard from to get myself blogging here again. So maybe I can pull together a plan to explore this bundle and get back into the swing of writing again.