Posted in Steam Gaming

Hobo: Tough Life Survival Game

I’ll throw this up front: There’s probably very little about the Hobo RPG that is politically correct, so let’s just get that out of the way and talk about this as a video game, not as a cultural statement. In this game, you play a homeless man who has to survive on the streets of Praslav, a Czech-based city (this game was developed by a Czech dev team).

There’s bad language, shady situations, alcohol, smoking, drugs and much adult content. So if any of those things bother you in a game, it’s probably not for you.

All that aside, I’m enjoying the game for the gameplay itself. I’d looked at this game before when it was on sale, but it wasn’t until my sister picked it up and asked if I wanted to try it that I bought it last week.

The city is quite nice in some areas, and is neat to interact with.

Basically, it’s like a hardcore survival game version of The Sims, but you’re a hobo. You have to figure out how to stabilize your needs – food, energy, bathroom, happiness – as a baseline before you do anything else. My first few hours with the game was discovering how all that works – if any of your stats drop too low, they directly take down your health stat.

When you die in this game, the penalty can be pretty sharp. Your stats are docked and capped 10% lower than they would have been each time. The only way to reverse this is to use an item that costs 2,000 crowns. And in the beginning, 2,000 crowns is not easy for an inexperienced player to make.

It’s not a forgiving game. It doesn’t hold your hand. You will be struggling to figure out how to meet your needs. But once you get over that learning curve, and you get the hang of it… they throw snowstorm calamities at you.

The first time it snowed in game, it sank in what I was going to be dealing with.

Yeah. Every time I felt like I was finally getting a leg-up in this game, something would come along and knock me off my high horse. I’ve put 33 hours into it and have survived the first season – but I’ve heard season two and three are much harder.

But something about it keeps me coming back. Namely, the interesting skill system and the ongoing storyline you build as you explore and work up reputation with the NPCs in the game.

I really like the variety of skills you utilize to survive in this game. It’s unique.

As you can probably tell from the picture above, I favor talking, begging and crafting over stealing and lockpicking. I’ve only just gotten to the point where I can work up trading, but I’m enjoying that.

Dumpster diving is… I never thought I’d say this… fun. It’s like opening a treasure chest and trying to find something useful from it.

Lately, I’ve been able to fish out broken electronics such as keyboards, lamps, and headphones. Then I repair them with my engineering perk and take them back out on the street where I pedal them for crowns.

Perks are a nice system on top of the leveling system that unlocks deeper gameplay with more options. These are hard-earned traits that you learn by working up your trust levels with NPCs who then train you for a cost.

As you can see, I don’t have a lot of these just yet – I’m just starting to get to the point where I’m building enough trust for some of them.

Now that I have worked up to master begging at a high level, chatting and begging on the streets is my bread and butter. This is a neat system where you interact with normal passer-bys – they can refuse to talk at all if your charisma is too low – then engage in a game of balancing your talking with your begging, selling and stealing (if you choose).

The higher your level in all these things, the higher your percentage of success is. I’m at a point where when I beg, most of the time strangers give me items or food along with money. This is super, super helpful because things like coffee can keep you from needing to sleep, and any handouts save money on having to buy supplies. So it’s like a donation on top of a donation.

Of course, if you attempt to steal from a stranger or from a non-public bin – or lockpick bins that are locked – you can get caught and tossed in jail. There are also really annoying thugs that hang around the dark back streets who will jump you, take your money or smokes – or you can choose to fight it out. I’m not at a point where I’m strong enough in fighting to take them on yet, but I’m interested in seeing what happens if I train more in defense and offense.

And then there’s base building. Or rather, shelter building. There are four different locations within the city where you can build up your own shelter from objects you find and craft. You can also store items at the shelter, which can be shared with everyone in the game.

It’s not pretty, but it’s home.

We didn’t start to build or utilize our shelter until a bit too late in the game – we knew it existed but not how it worked or how it benefited us. Another case of the game not holding your hand there. It became a real game changer when we found the additional shared storage, not to mention realized we could put a sleeping couch next to a fire barrel and sleep in warmth. Plus, when you hit certain milestones with your shelter, you can opt for permanent boosts and buffs.

As the days go on, it gets colder and more challenging to survive. Once we hit day 30, we were slapped with what the game calls a calamity.

During this time, the city is hit with a blizzard at -5 degree weather. No NPCs are on the streets and all the shops are closed. This means that you have to hunker down, stay warm, and live off of what you have in your inventory until the storm passes. The ultimate survival test in this game.

This came at us completely unaware, but we managed to live through the first one. After that, the weather warmed up to a balmy 50+ degrees, which we’ve been using to our advantage. I hear calamities pop up randomly in the second and third seasons, though. So, we’re stocking up and hunting better gear.

The ultimate goal of the game is to become the Homeless King and unite the hobo community to lead them to a better future. At this point, I haven’t earned any votes towards this (nor do I really care all that much about winning this), but it’s neat to have a final goal for the game if you do want something to work towards.

All in all, this was an unlikely game to enjoy, but I have. I still have a lot of skills and perks to earn, so I’m looking forward to toughing it out in the next two seasons!

Posted in Steam Challenge

Steam Challenge: 60% Milestone Goal Met!

Back in 2014, I began what I called a Steam Personal challenge. I identified that I had a major issue with my Steam backlog (which was much, much smaller than it is today), and decided to make an effort to play more Steam games to get that number down.

Back then, the Steam Calculator determined the percentage of games not played. Now days, it does the opposite – it determines the number of games you have played. That’s a little less negative, it seems.

So when I started my personal challenge, I’d basically only played 29% of the games I owned.

2018 – Reaching the 50% Milestone

Back in 2018, I met my goal of bringing the games I’d played percentage up to 50%. Here’s what my numbers looked like back then.

Part of my goal was to cut back on buying games – no more bundles with unwanted games, for example. I also wanted to start playing games right after I bought them if possible.

Back in 2018, here were my most played games.

Steam Culling

Back in 2016, I started something that I call Steam Culling. Basically, I put together a list of games that I know I’m probably not interested playing.

This I usually used for games I got as part of a bundle when I was really interested in just one or two of the bundled games. I stopped buying these bundles due to this, but I still had a bunch of games I would just install, try out for a short time, then uninstall when I got the jist of it. Usually, I was right – I wasn’t interested in the game.

Sometimes, this list includes instances like the when you bought the original version of a game and Steam automatically gifted you the Game of the Year or Director’s Cut upgrade. Statistically, that counts as two games when it’s really just one!

Or when you get the Test servers stuck in your backlog for games that you bought. For example, H1Z1 – which is a game that doesn’t even exist anymore – counted as FOUR games in my backlog: Just Survive, Just Survive Test Server, H1Z1 Battle Royal, H1Z1 Battle Royal Test Server. These test servers were a pain because they are a huge download and take forever. Luckily, even though the game doesn’t exist anymore, attempting to run the test servers did count as having played the game.

I think I have the ARK test server on my backlog and just need to carve out a day to download it just to launch it and get it out of my stats. That’s going to be a big one.

2021 – Reaching the 60% Milestone

I’ve been doing a good job of buying less Steam games and playing the games I’ve bought. Some of this is because I’ve been shifting towards Xbox Game Pass for a number of games I might have tossed on my Steam wishlist. That keeps them out of my backlog.

I’ve also been working on actively culling extra copies of games, test servers, games that don’t exist anymore, games that are no longer developed/supported and games I know I’m not interested in playing. I’ve been sitting at 59% for a while now, and decided this week I was going to work at culling the big and annoying downloads I keep avoiding.

My goal for 2021 was to get to 60% of games played. I’m happy to announce that as of last night, I successfully reached that gaming goal for this year!

I know that it seems like I added almost 50 games to my backlog since 2018. I’d like to note that some of these were Humble Bundle games I got with bundles that I’d not claimed before – I reluctantly moved them to my backlog and put most of them on the culling list. The games I knew I absolutely didn’t want, I gave away on Steam Gifts. So that was quite a number!

Some of that number also came from what I described above. I bought Bards Tale IV. Then Bards Tale IV Director’s Cut came out and now one game turned into two in my library. That’s happened often (thank you for the free upgrade, though!).

And yes, I have just bought games, though I’ve bought a lot less than I did in the 2014-2018 period of time!

Here’s my list of most played games, just for curiosity:

Interesting how there’s not a huge difference in titles the past 3 years! Though I did add a number of new titles that I really enjoy playing.

Anyhow – my 60% played goal is finally achieved. Maybe if I cull enough and play enough I can go for 65% before the year is out? What do you think?

Posted in Valheim

Valheim: Preparing for Yagluth

It’s been a while since we’ve explored Valheim, but with a new patch coming just around the corner, Syn and I decided to pick up where we left off in our adventures. Last time, we were just learning our way around the plains, figuring out what we could and couldn’t handle when it came to battling the creatures out there.

As our garden in the plains became more fruitful, this time around, we were able to finish upgrading all of our gear except for the shields (we need more chains). Syn made herself a spiffy spiked Porcupine while I just opted to upgrade my black metal sword as far as I could.

Armed and geared, we decided to move towards exploring around the location the game marked as Yagluth. I marked all the Fuling camps as I went because we are still lacking on totems we need to actually summon the boss.

We overshot the altar since there was a camp right next to it and found a fairly safe location along the ocean to build a tiny outpost that could house a portal nearer to Yagluth. This was nothing fancy or large, but we did go with stone buildings just to make sure it was strong enough to withstand an attack if we needed to retreat to it.

We also experimented with making new kinds of food beyond fish wraps, and this helped by boosting the overall health cap quite a bit when it came to raiding the camps. The one star (and sometimes two star) Fulings still do a lot of damage, but with a bigger health pool, I was able to survive a few fights I couldn’t have before.

I know that food is going to change in the next patch, so I’m a little worried they’ll take away the higher health cap effects. Guess we’ll have to see!

That’s not to say we didn’t die a few times, but death was easier to recover from with an outpost located where we built it. I’m still learning how much I can survive with this new gear and how much damage I can do with the upgraded blade. Despite having what I think is the better stuff in the game, Fulings are still a big challenge and quite tough when they gang up on you.

Deathsquitos are thankfully not so much of a danger anymore, and in fact have become coveted as we need the needles to make new stacks of arrows – we go through quite a bit.

Not every camp we raid has a totem, which is making things slow going. We actually have more black metal than we know what to do with due to our efforts. Where we left off, we have four of five totems we need to summon Yagluth, and a couple more camps we’ve scouted in our explorations of the area.

So my hope is we can down him the first try (though I haven’t read up on any of the strats) and not have to go out hunting more totems if we should fail. I’m honestly not sure if that’s how it works if everyone dies at a boss seeing we’ve never had it happen, and I hope it won’t this time around.

I’m not sure that we’ll get this fight done before the Hearth and Home patch drops, but it would be nice to be able to focus on whatever the new content is going to be in the patch. I’m happy to see new stuff coming for Valheim!

Also, Valheim has become my second most played game in Steam, only second to 7D2D (which has an insane number of hours and probably won’t be unseated in first place anytime soon).

Posted in 7 Days to Die

7D2D: Exploring Some Great Points of Interest

Our current 7D2D game is the longest running game we’ve played in a while. We’re moving in to the 30 days range in terms of game time. So far, the small war fort that I’ve fashioned has held up (more or less) against the blood moon hordes. So after making repairs from the previous horde night, I finally had some time to get out and explore with the Posse.

They’d already located a number of neat points of interest – most of which were created by other players and added using the KingGen add-on. I certainly haven’t seen all there is to see, but when we ran across some neat builds, I took some screens of them!

So this place is what the crew has been calling a medieval tavern. It certainly had its share of zombies and treasure to go through, but the inside was most impressively designed. Too bad that it was getting beat up due to zombies responding to our exploration!

After this, we found a full-on sprawling castle to explore, complete with moat and drawbridges. This seemed deceptively quiet when you first come in… until you alerted the mass of zombies and vultures that lurk in the towers!

We headed back into town where we ran across some more mundane, but just as cool, areas to explore. Like this casino – both outside and inside was pretty cool!

The cashout area with flashing colorful lights

We ran upon a shopping mall – it wasn’t so interesting outside but the inside was really cool. Several floors were connected by what were nicely replicated escalators.

Just don’t try to take the elevator, whatever you do.

I thought that the supplies in the Safety shopping section were absolutely a hoot!

We also came across this strange building that claimed to be a library.

And, it was – once you climb the towers there was a pretty nice library upstairs. Just don’t take the suggested exit (please use the stairs).

Complete with zombie dog carcass

And the final stop for the night was an absolutely HUGE skyscraper called the Omni. It’s pretty glitzy and boy was it massive. If it tells you anything, the floors started out being indicated by the letters of the alphabet until we ran out of letters.

We didn’t quite finish exploring the upper reaches of the tower, so there’s no knowing what we’d find at the top. I’ll be disappointed if it’s not a nice penthouse or something.

The Posse is having a great time with this build, and there always seems to be something new to find out there. We’re about to roll on to our next horde night, so hoping that the war fort continues to hold out for us!

Posted in FFXIV

FFXIV: After 7+ Years, Shikaree’s Doublet Comes Home

Now that I’ve officially finished my Blaugust posts for this year (yay!), it’s back to blogging as normal around here. I wanted to talk about something that happened on Friday of last week – I finally got Shikaree’s Doublet after almost 7 and a half years of hoping for it in FFXIV.

Shikaree’s set is a level 50 aiming set that came out in FFXIV Patch 2.2 – back in April of 2014. In the middle of the Darklight set drops, this looked like a shining jewel of glamour to me. Much like Amon’s Hat, I set my sights on getting it.

In fact, I even blogged about it in May of 2014. It was at the end of a post talking about working on my firs Relic (which I’ve never finished), but I did make put my hopes to get that gear in writing.

I never had it in me to farm for it much, even though it eventually became easy to clear as the years went on. My retainers brought me back pieces of the set, and eventually I had everything except the doublet in my glamour dresser.

I’d forget about it for a stretch, but then things like dyeable version in Heavensward would pop up. It’s a nice set, and I like that I can dye it. But that spring green sash that you can’t dye for the aiming set made it hard to use much variation in dye colors.

Hallowed Ramie Doublet of Aiming

The casting and healing sets came out a little better, but still have some undyable parts that are either stark red or bright green. So while options were out there, I preferred the lovely blue and white of the original doublet.

I got reminded of the doublet yet again when retainers brought it back to an alt of mine who doesn’t main an aiming class. I lamented the irony and decided it was finally time to farm for it.

My choice of farming was Halitali HM. At level 80 unsynced, I could run it in less than 5 minutes as a Red Mage. The doublet drops off the final boss – but has a 1 in 8 chance. For some reason, this boss fight even drops two belts – not for much longer though!

Luck was against me as I farmed the dungeon somewhat casually every now and then. I did even put it on my list of things to do before Endwalker drops.

I’d forget about farming it for a while when I failed to earn the drop repeatedly. Then something would bring the topic back up again.

This happened last week when I remembered it while chatting with my FC about glamour. That Friday, I decided to run the dungeon a few times, and sure enough, on my fourth try of the night, the doublet dropped!

Having the full set, I quickly kitted out Ben’s aiming glamour. My hope for the full Shikaree set has now been realized!

Posted in Sims 4

Sims 4: The Haunted Cottage & The Goth Family Expansion

So I left off in the previous post wondering if I should cure Ryder of his vampirism and make him just a normal Sim. I had a little feedback about this, and in the end, I decided to let the story play out as it did.

Not only did I leave him a vampire, I pushed him to embrace his powers and become a stronger vampire. Due to his personality, I didn’t give him too many “evil” or controlling traits, and even made him a guilty drinker so that he didn’t like to drink from other Sims.

Ryder’s a pretty good fisher at this point, so catching fish from the pond in the yard and turning them into plasma packs has served him just fine.

The Cowplant surprised me when it grew up quite suddenly.

Ryder learned that vampire or not, you don’t tease the Cowplant if you value your hands!

Estrella learns this too… I looked over to find her eaten by the Cowplant! Thankfully, it decided to spit her out rather than killing her (does that happen in Sims 4?).

I’m not sure if I mentioned this in the last post, but I used a cheat to remove most of the extra Simoleons the family had, leaving them about $5,000 in case of emergency. It wasn’t the best of financial situations, but I finally decided it was time for Ryder and Estrella to try for a child.

I was crossing my fingers that the child wouldn’t be born a vampire… I learned that as long as both parents weren’t vampires, there’s only a 50% chance that the baby would be. That’s part of what encouraged me to continue on with Ryder as a vampire. I’ll see what happens!

Estrella was excited to inform Ryder that they are about to have a new family member. She seemed excited!

Ryder also seemed really happy about this development! I think he’ll turn out to be a good father.

They didn’t have much money, but they still built an addition to the family house to make a baby room. By the time that’s done, they can only afford very sparse decorations…

Estrella was getting to be really good at knitting – especially since that kept her busy while waiting for the baby to arrive. That bear toy up there on the rainbow shelf was one of her creations.

And… oops. Cowplant died. 😦

In the middle of paying attention to everything else on the farm, I didn’t realize the Cowplant needed something to keep it alive. This was my first Cowplant.

I felt pretty bad about this, and thought of rolling back the save, but chose to stay the course and play out my mistakes. Maybe one day I’ll get another Cowplant and will know better what to do.

It’s probably better not to have a Cowplant around a future toddler though, to be honest.

Not much time to mourn, though because baby Abbie soon arrived!

And just as I suspected, Ryder was a very attentive and caring father! He took right to Abbie immediately and assisted Estrella with parental duties whenever needed.

I can’t tell at this point if Abbie will be a vampire or not. Still hoping for the best… though in order to carry on the Goth name, I might have to consider a son later on.

Estrella continued to knit toys for the new baby, and slowly they added on to the fairly empty room. Abbie doesn’t mind at all as long as her parents are tending her needs. 😉

This wouldn’t be a haunted cottage post without a little something about Lucas, though! Estrella was finally making connections to Lucas – it took a while because his fame status prevented her from interacting with him normally. But now… friendship is forming.

I wonder if Lucas and Abbie will eventually become friends, or if having a ghost around will scare the child? I guess I’ll have to find out.

For now, Abbie’s parents are loving her the best they can, and slowly adding new toys to the shelf when they can afford it. Toddler-hood won’t be too far away!

Oh, and just a note on the rainbow llama pictured in the header. I was a little disappointed by that. When you feed animals certain snacks, they turn colors – which I knew. I also knew that chickens will lay eggs of that color, so I assumed that’s the color they remain for the rest of their life.

Not so with this llama. The rainbow wool only grew once, and then it turned back into a white llama. Kinda sad.

{– Sims 4: The Haunted Cottage & Mysterious Ryder Goth || –}

Posted in Gaming

Happy With Xbox Game Pass for PC – Forwardlog Gaming

There’s a number of things I hope to write for this blog soon – Blaugust has been keeping me pretty busy at Spot of Mummery, however! Still, even if this is short, I want to talk about how happy I’ve been with my choice to maintain my Xbox Game Pass for PC account.

I wrote about trying out Game Pass last year, and how I felt that it would help me to actually keep the cost of gaming down and keep my backlog in other gaming stores smaller. I have to say that overall, it’s achieved what I hoped it would.

Why am I so happy right now with it? Well, it’s continued to add a number of games I’m very interested in trying out.

While I’d never give up my Steam games (nor would I give up FFXIV), if I had nothing else but Game Pass games to play, I feel that I could be content and kept more than busy enough to enjoy myself. I currently have 69 games marked as something I’d like to eventually play later. That’s a LOT of gaming, and I’ve hardly scratched the surface of it.

Some of these are games that I’d likely never buy, even during a sale. But since they’re part of the package, I’ll try them out and see what they’re about. It’s also nice to feel like this isn’t a backlog but rather a… forwardlog? Did I just make up a new term?

I’m also super happy with Game Pass because twice this month they’ve provided newly released games that I want to try out right now. First, Boyfriend Dungeon – simply out of curiosity. And yesterday, Humankind – which I sorta eyeballed here and there, but had no idea was coming to Game Pass until it did.

I’ve installed these games and have put time into playing them both this week. Seeing that Boyfriend Dungeon retails at $20 (and I aim to finish that game) and Humankind retails for $50, I think my $10 Game Pass sub has fairly much paid for itself for the next few months.

Game Pass has also saved me from buying games that I’d have ended up frustrated with, or just weren’t a good match for me. Such as Crusader Kings III. I wanted to enjoy that game so much, but even after putting in over a day’s worth of time (based on Game Pass stats), it just wasn’t working for me. That saved me $50 worth of trouble for a game I probably would have put down and couldn’t get a refund on if I’d bought it on Steam.

Then there were some games I haven’t written about.

For example, I tried out Pathway. It sounded like a fun game that would be something I’d enjoy, but once I got into the battle portions of the game, it just wasn’t for me. Maybe I’ll try it again sometime (that’s the beauty of it being on Game Pass), but for now, it saved me a $15 purchase.

So overall, Game Pass has been a really good direction for me to go in when it comes to trying games, saving money and trying to keep my backlog sane.

I’m totally on board with Forewardlog gaming!

Posted in Gaming

Boyfriend Dungeon

So here’s a post I didn’t expect to be writing like… ever. I’ll just say that I’ve never been happier to have my Xbox Game Pass for PC than now.

It started with the announcement of indies coming to the Switch this week. I eyeballed the list and noted this Boyfriend Dungeon had just been released. I then looked it up and saw it on Steam, where I read more about it. I dropped it on my wishlist just for the heck of it, but didn’t expect to try it anytime soon.

Much to my surprise, I decided to browse my Xbox Game Pass yesterday, and there it was – Boyfriend Dungeon! I think this is the first time I’ve seen a game that I’d wanted to try this close to its launch pop up on Game Pass, and I’m very happy for it.

About Boyfriend Dungeon

It’s a quirky dating sim rougelike dungeon crawler. Yeah. There might be some more of these out there, but it’s the first time I’ve run across this blend. While I’m not totally on the dating sim bandwagon, I will play them if they seem to have a hook. This one had me curious, so here we are!

This one is not your typical dating sim. Though it takes place in a modern age – and makes good use of texting features on your phone – this world is a little odd. Still, it does a good job of easing you into the strangeness of the lore.

You’ve got a group of people who can turn into – wait for it – weapons. Yep. Like swords, daggers, scythes, that sort of thing.

Then you have a group of people known as Wielders who can use these weapons. The most common use is to take on dungeons (known as dunjs by the locals) which have monsters that are are interesting manifestations of your own internal fears.

As you work through the levels of the dungeons, you not just level up as a Wielder and earn items used for crafting new stuff, but you also establish stronger bonds with your weapon of choice. This unlocks new types of attacks and that sort of thing.

This is where the dating sim aspect comes into place. You’re spending the summer at your cousin’s apartment and he’s bound and determined to hook you up with someone – apparently you haven’t dated before. So you’re going through the normal dating sim steps of meeting individuals (some are weapons, some aren’t), choosing from dialogue options and offering gifts from time to time.

The game stresses that relationships with these weapons don’t have to be romantic, though anytime you interact with these individuals outside of the dungeon, it’s always labeled “date.” The game does a good job of trying to make things diverse as possible for folks of all types, which should hopefully make people happy.

So far, I’ve only unlocked 2 male and 1 female weapon, though I know there are more from just seeing the character art. Battle in the dungeon is pretty intuitive though it took me a bit of time to get used to the character fighting in the direction that your mouse is aimed (you can turn this off).

I’ve only spent a solid hour or so with this game, though I’ve heard folks note that they say that it feels on the short side. What I’ve seen so far has me wanting to play more – I especially want to unlock more weapons and meet more personalities – so this game is going to be a keeper that I’ll work on here and there when I have time to play.

Again, I’m so happy this is on Game Pass. I really should be playing a lot more than I do with my sub, but it’s times like this that it makes it worth it to me to have.

Posted in 7 Days to Die

7D2D: Returning to the Apocalypse

It’s been a while since the Posse has gone zombie wrangling in 7D2D. This was no fault of the game itself – though it’s been a looooooooooong wait for the Alpha 20 they keep teasing us with on Twitter.

IRL hand/wrist injuries have kept some folks from playing, but this past weekend, we decided to give it another try with a new game. Sadly, the Nitrogen world generator we’d been using on our server was no longer in development, but thankfully, Syn found the successor and got us all set up.

This did require us to install some new prefabs, but the upside to that is that we get fine new locations like the one in this post’s header.

I haven’t been able to explore a whole lot yet as my job on the team is to get a home base established as quickly as possible before the first blood moon. This time around, we chose a church that I discovered near our original spawn spot. It has a nice little underground catacomb area that we’ve bunked down in.

Battle church, ready for action!

It’s been a while since we’ve used an underground area as a base – this reminds me a lot of the days when caves were a great place to build. Those are sadly long gone, phased out years back, but that’s just how development goes.

This place is actually pretty atmospheric once you clear out the zombies and coffins. In-tact coffins also make good storage until you get something better. At this point, we’ve got everything all set up and organized in terms of boxes and food.

There’s also a cemetery next to the church which is slowly being transformed into our new garden. It always cracks me up when we find the headstone for Mad Mole.

We weathered the first blood moon night well enough, despite only having wood stakes around the base. Those never last very long. Things got a little hairy when a number of us got a bit too brave and decided to jump down into the horde for some hand-to-hand action – and then the horde chose that moment to ramp up on us.

Next time, though, we have at least one outer ring of iron spikes waiting. We’ll be a bit tougher on our defense… but so will the zombies as the nights get harder.

I still haven’t determined the best way to deal with Demo zombies – they can easily destroy cement blocks and blow up for terrible AOE damage. I remain not a fan of their addition to the game, mostly because it means that I then have to set up a second location as a War Fort just to be able to handle them in the later stages of the game.

I don’t mind building and having to think tactically through a War Fort design is fun. But it does boil down to the fact I rarely ever fully finish building forts before we either scrap the game, lose interest in the game, or the game has a patch that forces us to start over again.

I don’t get a lot of exploration time, which is sometimes a bummer – there’s a lot of neat places I’d like to explore. But I guess the same can be said of the Posse members who choose to mine most the time so that we have the resources we need for tools and building.

I did find an interesting location I’ll be attempting to transform into a War Fort this time around – a hotel. Every game, I pick a slightly different location as long as it meets certain specifications I have for it:

  • It has to have at least two stories, or be tall enough to build a second story.
  • I prefer stone/cement/iron walls if possible.
  • It has to have a way to lure zombies in from multiple directions and try to filter them to a central place where we can then blast them away from above.

I feel like this hotel will probably serve our purpose, but I won’t know until I develop it a bit more and try it out. For now, our normal base will have to do for the second blood moon night as the War Fort isn’t even close to being able to see action yet.

It’s good fun to be back in 7D2D again!

Posted in Sims 4

Sims 4: The Haunted Cottage & Mysterious Ryder Goth

So, last time I wrote about the Haunted Cottage, I noted that Ryder had found the girl of his dreams and they tied the knot. I was – and still am – on the fence about whether to cure his vampirism. But more about that to come!

I also sold off all the excess furniture from the family storage. Then, I used a cheat to drop the household savings to 5,000 simoleons to make it a more challenging game.

Estrella Goth

Ryder’s wife’s name is Estrella and I honestly don’t even remember how they met. It wasn’t an intentional relationship because, again, I’m not looking to further vampire households in this neighborhood. But they got along so well, I couldn’t say no to it.

It seems Estrella was just one of the random townies. She doesn’t have a family tree or any real connections. No job, no household, no boyfriend – just a blank slate. But Ryder fell in love, so that’s how it went.

She enjoys taking care of the animals and I put her in charge of llama grooming – that way, she picks up all the wool. I’ve made her the family crafter, so she’s often knitting away and selling creations on Plopsy to support the family through that means of income.

She arrived in Ryder’s life with those odd glasses and orange and white striped shirt. I felt that set her apart, so I didn’t change her normal outfit when I did a makeover on the rest of her wardrobe.

One day, I had her knit a sweater for Ryder. I thought the blue looked snazzy and that it would be attractive on him. Only thing was, gifting your significant other a sweater apparently can curse the couple!

Well dang! I didn’t know that!

They both earned a cursed moodlet that lasts for 7 Sim days. So far, I’ve kept them from romantic interactions, but they’re under a constant state of fear because of it. They have 3 days left, and this year’s Love Day was a bust for them. 😦

Vampire Secrets

In the meantime, I’m trying to remember how to play a vampire Sim because it’s been a while. I decided to have Ryder research vampire secrets, which isn’t all that easy to keep him focused on. He’s more of an outdoorsy Sim, so he gets bored of sitting inside and reading.

Learning vampire secrets turns out to be a great thing to do for a vampire. You pick up all sorts of skills like making plasma packs from frogs and fish – I’d forgotten about that – to eventually learning how to make a cure for vampirism at the final rank. Not to mention, you skill up as a vampire from it.

Being outdoorsy is a great thing for Ryder because that makes leveling fishing easy. There’s also a pond in the front yard, so I’ve begun to stock it with fish – that way he can just reel stuff in and make plasma packs from it any old time.

During the research process, I had to send Ryder to the library several times to use the computers there since the Haunted Cottage is off-grid. One day, he got a phone call while at the library and it made me squint.

Ryder’s Family Tree

Turns out, it was Ryder’s father calling him to ask to get together sometime.

I really didn’t look into Ryder’s background before I chose him to inherit the Cottage. So when his father called and wanted to see him, I invited the fellow on over the library there and then.

This guy with purple hair is Ryder’s dad.

At least they seem to get along.

But after this, I decided to check out Ryder’s family tree because… his father’s last name wasn’t “Goth.” And I found something peculiar.

There doesn’t appear to be an anyone tracing back to the Goth family in Ryder’s genealogy.

In fact, apparently the game doesn’t know who his mother was. She must have been Goth – which would make sense why Ryder has the last name since he’d likely been raised by his mother. Sadly, she seems to have been a victim of Sims culling.

I wish I could have known more about this family and how this came to be!

Why is it that Ryder has a half-brother? Both his father and his half-brother are vampires, so that’s where he gets that from. But here’s Ryder with his dark Goth hair and everyone on the other half of the family with bright purple!

So mysterious!

More Supernatural Fun


While fishing, Ryder found a cowplant seed! Now this should be interesting! I played with cowplants in Sims 3, but not Sims 4 yet…

I mean, look at it. Isn’t that the cutest, most innocent thing ever?

For now.

Ryder and Lucas continue to build their friendship, as well. I looked over to see them outside doing this the other day, all on their own. Brings me warm fuzzies.

Though sometimes I still catch Lucas in the kitchen cooking, he overall seems to be a happier ghost now days. He might have just been lonely after all. Ryder doesn’t seem to mind keeping him company, and Lucas has been more helpful with gardening as well.

But now comes the big question. I’m thinking about Ryder and Estrella’s future. I’d have to look and see if Ryder might be the last surviving Goth in this game. If so… once they get out from under the sweater curse, I’m thinking about them having children. But as I said before, I don’t really want to further vampire family lines in this neighborhood.

Ryder is now fully leveled in Vampire Lore and has the ability to make the drink that can cure vampirisms. Still, it’s not been a terrible life for him as a vampire, and he’s starting to figure out how to survive without needing to feed off other Sims.

Still, should I change him back to a normal Sim and give him the normal life he never had?

{–Sims 4: The Time I Failed at Sims || Sims 4: The Haunted Cottage & The Goth Family Expansion–}