Posted in Black Desert Online, Gaming, MMORPGs

Black Desert Blitz

I don’t know what it is about Black Desert. It’s a game that should capture my attention and hold me fast… and when I’m in the mood for it, it does. But there’s so many things about it that are just… glitchy.

Coming from a well-polished MMO experience like FFXIV (and before that, GW2), it’s sometimes hard to overlook the lack of polish I see in BDO. The world is beautiful, but, for example, the NPC pop-in (appearing as black placeholders and then loading in) is hard not to notice. Just little weird things like that.

That doesn’t keep me from playing the game, but it cheapens the experience for me. It’s a shame because there’s just so much this game does well.

I find myself picking it up and putting it back down a lot. It’s probably because of the time-sink it requires to get the things I want to do done (horse training). But it keeps luring me back when I get a sandbox itch… like this past weekend.

Finally Progressing

Last time I logged in, it was over the holidays. I took notice of the Olvia servers, which give a nice solid XP boost to new and returning players. And then… well… the game got pushed aside for other things.

This past weekend, I sat down and really put my nose to the quest log to knock things out. Some of these quests have been there for a year now… and I still hadn’t pushed past level 24.

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It wouldn’t be a BDO post without a picture of a horse.

It was really refreshing to finally finish some of those old quests. For example, there was a quest to give a bronze hoe to an NPC. This doesn’t sound like it should be too hard, but believe it or not, bronze tools are complex to make. I don’t remember what was getting in my way of completing it, but I couldn’t make the ingot (or something) and I never found a hoe for sale on the auction house.

This time, I discovered there’s a pre-order function on the auction house. So, I put in a pre-order for the hoe, which automatically purchased it for me the next time someone put it up for sale. In about half an hour, I was able to complete the quest that I hadn’t been able to do in a year! I wonder how long that pre-order feature has been around and I just didn’t know it.

Organizing Stuff

I also sorted through the million letters I had in the mail from forever ago. Every time there was down time or a holiday or something, I was accumulating stuff in my mail and had no idea what any of it was.

Inventory slots and weight are both a major problem for me in this game, even after spending some loyalty points on inventory slots. So I had to do a lot of organization to be able to claim the rewards and figure out what everything in my mail was.

I did get a bunch of EX boosters, but also a few free lockboxes. I still don’t really understand how gear works in BDO, so I ended up selling most the stuff I got from those boxes. I also got a free week-long dye pallet, which allowed me to dye gear to my pleasing.

But the biggest surprise was in the form of the Fame rewards.

Rolling in Silver

So, this is a casual player who logged into the game to 9 million silver max in the bank. I thought I was doing good. Then I get this mail in my box talking about Family Fame… which dropped 63 million on me for just logging in.

I was shocked.

Then I started Googling to find out where this money came from and why. Apparently, BDO added a Family Fame system that drops a bunch of money on you every day depending on your accumulated family points. If you don’t log in to get it, it stacks up in your mail until you do.

I suddenly had more silver on me than I knew what to do with. So I quickly researched the best kind of armor to buy for Tamer, and bought the +15 version of it on the auction house. Yes, I know there’s better than +15 now… but I was only level 24, so that was plenty for what I need at the time. Until I can do better research and understand it more.

Finally Leveling

I quickly discovered that with the new armor and upgraded weapons, I was tearing apart all the monsters in my level range while barely taking a hit. This encouraged me to quickly become a weapon of mass destruction.

No, I don’t know what any of my skills really do in this game. I just hold the mouse buttons down and go to town. I have this one skill that I put on my hotbar that summons my pet and it does this massive AOE whirlwind that slaughters everything. So I’ve learned to gather up as many monsters as possible while it’s recharging and take them all down in one swoop.

Needless to say, this propelled my questing progress, but more than that, my leveling progress. In a few hours, a lot of XP boosts, I found myself ten levels higher.

Yes! I have finally leveled beyond 30 in BDO!

That Black Spirit

I’ve also picked up the main quest again, and the Black Spirit is just as dubious as ever. He continues to absorb energies and transform… He’s a lot less cute now than he was before.

He’s also a bad influence.

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…And I love it! Sometimes I don’t know whether my character is something good or bad in this world, and that is also strangely appealing.

I like being the Warrior of Light… but it’s neat to not know what line your character is walking for once. Are you the hero, or are you out just to take care of yourself? What is the Black Spirit’s agenda?

He did tell me he considered me a friend… and for some reason, given the offhand conversation this happened in (part of quest text), I believe him. I guess I can understand why he thinks that my character should choose their own path rather than just blindly accepting NPC quests and doing what other people ask all the time.

It’s kinda interesting.

Anyhow, I don’t know how long my stay in BDO will be this time, but I’m having fun destroying things and leveling quickly. I still have no desire to stick my neck out and progress past level 49.999999 where I could be ganked by PKers, though. So I don’t know how much that’ll hamper my enjoyment of the game in the end.

I do really want to explore the ocean one day!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Alt-stravaganza

I was in a strange and restless mood this past weekend, and the Hatching-tide event encouraged me to dust off my alts to get the new mount. So, I found myself making progress on various alts instead of doing much on my main.

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I’d left Hedgemouse off at the point right before you choose a grand company and start working on unlocking the company chocobo. I’m not sure why I lost steam at that point, but I did last month, and just haven’t worked on her much since.

So, I picked back up and got the chocobo unlocked. She’s a happy Lala now.

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I remember hearing that the chocobo quest was severely nerfed a while back, but this was the first time I took an alt through it to see these changes. It used to take 2,000 GC seals to unlock the chocobo voucher. That has been nerfed to 200… which only takes 2 Grand Company Leves to earn.

I’m not complaining, mind you, but it was still a bit of a wake-up call. No matter. A chocobo is a chocobo. I’m taking it!

Tai

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about Tai. I haven’t done much on him since I finally made the choice between him and my main as to who to progress with. I think that was sometime last year back when I was still trying to run Weeping City for two characters every week, and simply got burned out.

But I thought it was a real shame that Tai was left lingering two patches behind to not finish the 3.0 story… mostly because his ilvl wasn’t high enough. He’s still got a number of ilvl 210 pieces, with an assortment of Weeping City, Lore and Alex gear… if that tells you how neglected he is.

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Look at that face. How could I ever forget him?

I didn’t have the desire to grind for tomes for him, especially since expert was out of reach until he got to ilvl 230. And while I could have run PotD for a weapon, I didn’t have the resolve to do that either.

What Tai did have on him was over 4 million gil… from whatever. I have no idea, since he wasn’t a crafter (until this weekend). My real crafter still can’t touch making the ilvl 250 stuff yet. So, I ended up breaking down and buying Tai’s way to a proper ilvl.

I’d already bought a couple of 250 accessories, and it was not cheap. But then I saw that there was a HQ Heavy Metal Lance for sale for under a million on the AH, with an ilvl of 250. Seeing that my weapon was 210, I snapped it up and that pushed me up from ilvl 228 to 233. Which was enough to finish the 3.0 story (the final dungeon requires at least 230).

So, now Tai is a bit more broke, but has successfully completed the 3.0 story. One more Lore accessory later, he’s only one point shy of making it into Dun Scaith… but I’m not sure if I have the motivation to start running that again weekly. Those promised 270 accessories would be really nice, though.

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Tai’s new glamour

I also started being crazy and began leveling my crafting and gathering jobs on Tai as well. I’ve considered doing this for a while to have an alt that specializes in jobs that my main doesn’t. I’m not sure how far I really want to go down that rabbit hole, though.

I just felt like leveling something this weekend, I guess, and it wasn’t my black mage, like it should have been. It still felt nice to zoom through the lower level stuff — I have four crafting jobs at level 6 now and working on my gathering jobs, too.

I also put a good chunk of time into Black Desert this weekend, but that’s info for another post!

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Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Hatching-tide Mount

So I’m gathering the Hatching-Tide mount across various characters, and taking a good look at how different races pose on top of the giant egg mount. Here’s what I’ve found…

Kitties seem to both ride the same way, male or female. Kinda hanging on for dear life.

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Au Ra guys ride like a boss!

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Lalafell gals are cute as expected.

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Hyur fellas ride pretty intensely.

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While Elezen guys are really chill.

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Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Making Strides in Gathering & Crafting

I’m really starting to enjoy Thursdays as that is the day that crafting/gathering deliveries reset in FFXIV. I tend to knock all of them out in one night, which isn’t that hard to do. And I feel like I’m finally making good progress, too.

First Fokelore

Last night, I used the gathering deliveries to finish up gathering scrips for my first ever Fokelore book.

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I chose the tome for Abalathia’s Spine partially because it offered the most gatherable items. And my goal is to finish the I Found That achievement in order to earn my Blessed pickaxe. As of last night, I stand at 146/150. Just two more fokelore books unlocked will get me where I want to be!

But I ran across one more thing… Luminium Ore. I went to gather it as usual, and then got my feelings hurt — I had a 0% chance of gathering this stuff! I looked it up and discovered that in order to even have a chance to gather it, my Gathering rating needs to be 860. Seeing that I was at 730-ish, I was a long ways off.

However…

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I’ve been saving up my gil over the past month, and ended up dropping most of it on a new set of Ironworks gathering gear. The old green scrip gear I had worked for what I needed it to be, but I didn’t upgrade in part because I needed the scrips for fokelore tomes and because I didn’t want to drag around a set of gear for each gathering job (that gets on my nerves).

I already had great gloves thanks to Syn, and my accessories weren’t going to do much to boost gathering, so I just focused on buying the left side stuff and melding it with gathering materia. Somehow, I still have some gil left over from this adventure.

Once I finish the achievement, the Blessed pickaxe upgrade will be enough to put me over 860 gathering. So I just have to keep fishing!

Crafting Upgrades

I saved a few deliveries to finish off one of the crafting tool upgrades I’ve been working on for my Goldsmith. I’m sorta in the same boat in crafting as I was with gathering — there are things I’d like to craft that I can’t touch because my stats are way too low.

Last night, I traded my Goblin Cups for an upgraded tool.

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I also picked up another Master IV book, which I’m slowly doing job by job.

I know this is really late into the expansion cycle, but I hope this will put me in a good position when Stormblood drops to start strong on my crafters and gatherers. Back when Heavensward launched, I had just got my crafters to level 50, so I was really behind on not just gear but overall crafting understanding. Not that I understand it all that much better now! 😀

Misc

Oh, and aside from that, my Singing Clusters are 32/50 as of last night. So I’m on track to finish this up this month as I hoped.

Also, here’s the giant egg mount from this year’s Hatching-tide quest!

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Posted in IRL

Bummer Day: RIP TV :(

I usually don’t write about RL stuff, but this has been a pretty rough week, and I just need some blogging therapy. Yesterday was a super bummer day.

Vet Bummer

To start, I had to take Sebastian to the vet for the teeth cleaning that was discussed at his last vet visit. I was crossing my fingers that the antibiotics he took were enough to clear up the tooth issue, but it seems it was more serious than that.

The vet had to pull two teeth – the infected one, and a second one that had a cavity and was being reabsorbed. I knew this was a possibility, and will gladly do that for Sebastian, but it was still a $200+ vet bill in the end.

Storm Bummer

Second, we had that really nasty line of storms roll through the south yesterday.

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Of course, this had to hit the very time when I needed to go pick up Sebastian from the vet. I’m talking the kind of you-can’t-see-in-front-of-you and they-let-schools-out-early rain and wind. It made what would normally be a 10 min drive much, much longer.

I get to the vet and all but one of their computers are down due to storm. I’m also rocking a terrible migraine that just came out of the blue (probably from the meeting I just got out of at work).

My first attempt to pay the vet bill was met with a denial. I told them I had plenty of money in my account, so they entered it manually, and it finally took.

I then had to rush my yowling cat out to the car in the downpour, soaked myself and my best pair of shoes to the skin, and struggled through the storm to drive home. Unpacking the cat was just as soaked… and as soon I arrived home, I knew something was wrong.

Power Surge Bummer

The storm was mostly rain and wind, but there was a bit of lightning and thunder. Nothing that I thought was too serious. I was wrong.

First, I noticed my surge protector/battery was beeping — that thing they do when there’s no power. But I could see power on my microwave clock in the kitchen. My place is pretty old, so it’s been known to lose power to half the house, but it usually takes a pretty good surge. I’ve never seen it happen during a storm.

Well, something had surged and popped two of my breakers off. I flipped those back on, power was restored. I started checking my stuff to see if everything was alright.

It wasn’t.

First thing I checked was my Nintendo Switch. That, my Wii U and my Blueray player were okay – as far as I can tell.

But my Roku, HDMI hub, and TV were all dead. 

I’m not much of a TV person, but this was the TV I just bought a year and a half ago… and I really loved it for gaming. It made Zelda look and sound fantastic. I was so proud of it when I got it to work with my Shield tablet here…

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And I worked so hard to try to kitten proof it when I first took in Spriggan. Only for it to get killed by a power surge. Bummer! X<

I’m kicking myself for not unplugging things before I left the house. I used to never plug in the TV when I wasn’t home, but once I got a Roku and my Wii U, I started leaving things plugged in when I was at work.

I’m still worried that I might have later troubles with my Switch on down the line. I’ve only been able to try it in handheld mode, and that seems to be running okay for what I tested it. It’s just weird that they were all on the same surge protector and some of them blew while some of them didn’t.

Oh, and the surge also killed my happy rainbow lights I strung up in my bedroom around my plushie hammock.

Ugh!

Anyhow, more money lost yesterday on a fairly new and gently used TV.

TV Replacement

I am, however, thinking more along the line of upgrading my PC monitor to something I can use as a monitor/TV combo. This is mostly because I rarely use my TV for anything but Netflix and gaming. But I use a computer monitor all the time. I definitely want some kind of bigger screen for my Switch because when Mario Kart comes out later this month, I can’t see myself playing it on the handheld mode.

Whatever I do get will need speakers – either a monitor or a small TV – and the ability to hook up to my PC along with other HDMI inputs (Switch).

At least I’m getting my tax return back and a bonus from work for my yearly anniversary. So I have money to cover all the expenses. Still a bummer.

Here… have a random Sim City track to end on a happier note.

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

Zelda BotW: Features Around Every Corner

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I’ve seen folks try to describe why Breath of the Wild is such a good game (in their opinion). I have a hard time pinning it down myself, but one thing I do know that I like is the game’s ability to surprise me with features I didn’t even know I wanted until they were introduced.

For example, the whole camera and gallery collection tied to the Slate. Hunting down location memories. Housing. Taming and riding horses. Riding… other things…

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Granted, not all of these features are super deep. But put them all together, and they have kept my interest for hours.

Gear Upgrade

Upgrading Link’s gear is another system that I discovered by accident. This is a cool system because it makes the monster drops worth more than just potion brew or vendor trash. It’s a bit similar to the Monster Hunter system, without being too overbearing.

I ran into this system by accident… In returning to the first village, I saw that the painter there had a quest for me. Now that my Slate could take pictures, he commissioned me to photo the Fairy Fountain that I’d found earlier.

I knew where it was already, but I walked up there with him anyhow. I snapped the picture he wanted, and decided that since I was already there, I may as well talk to the great fairy. Imagine my surprise when she informed me that she could upgrade my current gear!

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Yes, please!

In returning to the painter, he was so happy about the picture that he even gave me a hint about the location of one of the memory photos.

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That’s some handy info, thanks!

I later discovered that helping him out with the fairy fountain unlocked the painter who begins to appear at different stables on down the line. He gives hints on where memory locations are based on the pictures, usually somewhere near to the stable. I’m quite thankful because otherwise, I’ve wasted a lot of time trying to find locations without success.

Anyhow, discovery is usually fun in BotW, and the game often sends lots of pleasant surprises. And sometimes unpleasant surprises…

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Just a short post today. Tomorrow I’ll have something a little longer when I become a home owner in Hyrule!

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