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

Zelda BotW: Arriving in Kakariko Village

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A while back, a certain Old Man advised me to seek out Impa in Kakariko Village. So, after I took some time among horses, I headed up that way. This was the first village I came across in the game.

I have to say that I really love the atmosphere of this place. It’s serene and peaceful, giving a good feeling of what life must have been like before the calamity struck. This is the settlement of the Sheikah, and most of them know what it means that Link comes riding in wearing the Slate.

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It’s actually kinda nice that Link is already established as a knight and hero, especially to those who remember him. Instead of being some upstart no one knows about or some forseen prophecy coming true, Link really was already a part of this story 100 years ago.

Seeing the NPCs react to his return in various ways is interesting. And while amnesia is still a bit of a trope, the fact Link doesn’t remember allows the player to take on his role and learn the past through his discoveries. From a storytelling point of view, this works.

So there’s several things that happened in this village. Most of them are spoilers. You’ve been warned.

Most importantly, I met with Impa. And she knew exactly what was up.

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This is where the game’s story starts to open up. She informs me that long ago, Zelda and Link fought against Ganon with the help of 4 Divine Beasts and their Champions. This has a sorta mecha-feel to it since these Divine Beasts are huge magic-technological structures in the shape of 4 animals, and the Champions remind me a lot of pilots.

These Divine Beasts were taken over and turned against Hyrule by Ganon, which was what led to the major defeat 100 years ago. Impa’s quest is, therefore, to find these Divine Beasts and release them from Ganon’s control. Having them on Link’s side is probably a very logical and good idea.

Anyhow, these beasts are scattered across the map. And for the first time, I took a good look at it and saw how large the world really is!

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And that’s really that for what Impa said. I now have a quest to seek out these Divine Beasts, which will send me into contact with the other races/peoples of the world. Sounds cool.

The next thing I did was pick up a new set of armor. I got this neat hooded set, which was a big improvement over the basic shirt and pants I woke up with.

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The village has several small quests for NPCs which I won’t go into, but suffice to say, I stuck around several in-game days to complete as many of these as I could find.

I also found the Shrine at the top of the hill where I had my first battle challenge. This one was meant to teach you about dodging, parry, and other attack techniques you can only do when locked in on an enemy. I did pass the challenge, but I’m still not very practiced in any of the things the game tried to teach me there.

At least I got this cool sword.

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Travelling even further up the hill, I ran across this strange… flower structure. After paying it some gil, I found myself face to face with… uh…

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Yeah… I’ll talk more about her later as I didn’t actually know what her purpose was until a few RL days after I found this place.

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Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Lux Relic Weapon (Not Mine)

Hah, made you look!

There’s no way that Sindri Lux weapon pictured above is mine as I’m still stuck in perpetual Umbrite purgatory. It does, however, belong to Syn’s character Zeb, and she’s worked crazy hard to finish it.

So in congrats to her, I snapped screens and wanted to put that first and foremost in this post!

This week, I haven’t been doing much of anything noteworthy in FFXIV, though I am putting time into it alongside of Zelda. I was lazy the last few weeks and finally just picked up leveling my Paladin again, mostly using Beast Tribes and Clan Hunts. She should reach level 55 tonight. There are faster ways to do this, I know, but I just feel like taking it easy.

I’ve also started using PotD to begin making progress on my baby Black Mage. She’s only level 32 (up from the level 30 she’s been at for over half a year). I figure that since Red Mage will share gear with Black Mage, having them somewhat on equal ground will help gear sharing. My Summoner is already up there at 60.

Other than that, I’ve just done my weekly Dun Scaith runs, upgrading things here and there. Slowly making my way through the Umbrite stage of Relic, still, with no end in sight. I’ve actually put more interest and time into crafting and gathering now, since the new Deliveries help take the edge off of Scrip gathering.

Zelda has been a much-needed rest from FFXIV the past couple weeks. I’ve found it has significantly increased my fun to alternate between something deep, quiet and immersive like Zelda with the more hectic pace that FFXIV sometimes has. It’s helped me put the brakes on and find enjoyment in things like crafting and gathering again.

I have several small goals in mind I’d like to reach before Stormblood, most of them casually leveling alt-jobs. Nothing pressing or blog-worthy, really, but still plenty to do.

 

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

Zelda BotW: Under the Blood Moon

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So while I was out and about trying to learn how to tame and ride my first horse, something very odd began to happen. Something I’d never seen in the game before.

I noticed that it was getting dark, and the rain moved in. Then, something red began to glow on the horizon.

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Oh crap, what is this? 

I didn’t know if I was about to die, if it was some sort of enemy, or what it meant. Thankfully, the game had it covered, and Zelda narrated the meaning behind what was my first ever Blood Moon.

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Blood moons happen from time to time during the course of the game. I tried to see if this was just a random night, or if there was a set pattern to this, but everything I’m reading seems to say their occurrence is random.

Apparently there’s a fan theory that blood moons are more likely to appear if you’ve killed a lot of enemies. Nothing proven here, either.

What we do know is during a blood moon, enemies that you’ve killed will respawn. Also, I’ve read that the materials you’ve gathered like mushrooms, ore, and herbs, will respawn.

I don’t know if enemies are harder during a blood moon as I’ve never gone out of my way to fight during this time. The thing to be careful of is not to be caught in a camp you cleared out during one of these things… or you’ll find yourself in bad company fast.

Also, this is a good time to try cooking as you can get bonuses to your food during a blood moon.

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Before the blood moon, I did wonder if enemies in the game would ever respawn in areas I’d cleared. It took several days outside of the Plateau before my first blood moon, when my question was finally answered.

I think using a mechanic like a blood moon for enemy respawn is a fantastic idea. This way, you clear camps without worry, have the reward of seeing the enemy defeated for a while, then after respawn, you can come back if you need to fight for weapons or gather more materials.

One guide noted that Guardians respawn in Shrines you’ve cleared as well, so that means you can go back and pick up more guardian weapons from them. Good idea!

Anyhow, this mechanic just goes to show how much thought was put into the BotW systems. I even watched a video last night that justified why weapons break in the game… I guess after thinking about it this way, it does make sense. I still grumble a bit about it, but I suppose I understand.

Next time, Link finally gets to move on in the storyline. I promise!

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

Zelda BotW: Wild Horse Catching and Taming Guide

botwspoilers

I was informed that there were stables on the other side of Twin Peaks, and that should be my next goal. I was all for this, because where there are stables, there are horses. And you guys know how much of a horse lover I am by now!

I knew nothing about the mount system in this game, so as I made my way towards the first stables, I wondered how much I’d have to save to buy my first horse. I was slowly gathering rupees, which I’d just begun seeing once I left the plateau. So, imagine my surprise when I got there and was told horses could be mine… for free!

In fact, they started teasing me about it the moment I talked to the first NPCs I saw outside the stable.

Why, yes. Yes, I am!

Oh, absolutely. Link even has a pony tail (get it?).

Yes! Yes! Yes!

So they go on to tell me that you can just catch a wild horse and tame them. I was head over heels with excitement! I didn’t expect this game to have a horse catching/taming system in the slightest! But they did give me a bit of advice…

Patterned horses are easier to catch, but have lower stats (will get to stats in a moment). Horses that are more solid colors are harder to catch, but have better stats overall. There does seem to be some inbetweens, too. For example, a paint horse has some lower stats than a blanket pinto does, though both of them were about the same difficulty to catch.

Catching Your Wild Horse

There are several herds of horses out on the plains near the stables. Just have to look around to find them. Also, be careful because a few of the Guardians out there do activate, which can lead to sudden death.

Once you find a horse that catches your eye, crouch down and sneak towards it. On the Switch, that’s pressing in on the left joystick.

Keep in mind that you need to try to be behind the horse. They will see you sneaking up in front of them.

Also, if you alert one of the horses in the herd, they will often send the whole herd scattering, so be careful.

Once you’re close enough to the horse, you’ll be prompted to press A to mount.

The horse will then try to buck you off, depending on how spirited they are (more solid colored horses are more spirited). Start hammering the top L button as fast as possible to wear them down. If you do get bucked off, follow the horse and keep trying. I read that your attempts to catch them do stack as long as you do it within a short period of time.

Once you’re on the horse’s back, your controls will change. This is reflected down at the bottom of the screen.

The horse is not tamed yet, and may not always respond to your commands.

But the first thing you should do is get them to the stables to register them.

Registering Your New Horse

So ride your new horse to the stables and go to the front window to talk to the guy there. You can talk to NPCs while mounted by holding ZL and pressing A at the same time.

Registering costs 20 rupees, but earns you an automatic saddle and bridle. You can also name your horse.

However, before you register, you’ll see something important: the horses’ stats.

Here’s what my first horse’s stats looked like:

Strength – How a horse holds up if they get in a battle. Horses will usually try to flee battle, but if they get hit, more strength is better. Yes, horses can die.

Speed – Overall top speed. Faster is faster, but also makes it harder to maneuver your horse.

Stamina – How many spur icons you have on the screen while riding, allowing you to urge the horse to break into a run.

Then, of course, there’s Temperament, which is self explanatory and the Bond you’re forming with your horse through taming.

Taming Your Wild Horse

Now, it’s time to tame your wild horse. You can do this by pressing the L button to soothe the horse, which increases the horse’s affection towards you.

But you can’t just do this randomly. The kids at the stable suggested to only soothe when the horse does something that you asked it to. Sorta like rewarding the horse for obeying a command.

The easiest way I’ve found to tame horses is to ride them toward fences — they will automatically jump over (or balk at the attempt). Soothing them right after a successful jump always earns affection. 

Taming doesn’t take too long, and is really worth it. There’s nothing worse than fighting with your not-tame horse to go in the direction you need to when enemies leap out of the bush!

Horse Tips

  • You can only register 5 horses at a time.
  • If you already have 5 horses registered, when you try to register another, the stables will prompt you to release a horse of your choice.
  • Horses can die, but they can also be revived.
  • Horses will automatically follow a road without your guidance. So if you ride them to the road, you can just let them do all the navigation work.
  • You can take out a horse at any stable you come across, even if you left the horse somewhere else in the world.
  • Your horse is always marked on the map, and you can use the horse whistle to call them as long as you’re in range.
  • You can customize your horse’s looks at some stables.
  • There are special horses and horse quests, so be on the lookout!
  • You can get Epona in game from scanning an Amiibo. While Epona has good stats, she doesn’t have the best stats of all horses in the game, believe it or not.
  • Added Tip: You can also feed the horse apples to tame it! I didn’t know that — thanks My Gaymer Blog!

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXIV: Patch 3.55b Diadem Revamp (No Salt)

The newest FFXIV patch brought us the revamped Diadem, just as promised. It also brought a truck-load of community salt… because MMO communities have to find something to be salty about.

To tl;dr: ilvl 280 pink weapons have a very very slim chance of dropping from the Emergency Missions in Diadem. People are flipping tables over it.

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The moment I heard about these weapons, I knew that the very RNG nature of the Diadem would make it hard to get a drop that mattered. But some people were still up in arms. During the PAX East Q&A, Yoshi-P seems to share my sentiments and has also told people to calm down.

I just wanted to mention so… it’s only been about three days since the patch and I see some of you freaking out… you all need to calm down a little bit. It’s not something you can obtain so easily. You have to go to Diadem and start a mission, and then an emergency mission triggers, then you have to participate in it, and clear it, and then be lucky enough to be the one that gets that item drop, and even if it drops, you dont know if it will be for the appropriate job… plus it has random perameters!

If you can imagine… you go to the casino’s in Las Vegas and you just happen to notice a quarter on the ground- you take that quarter, put it into a machine and pull a jack pot. That’s how rare it is. Please take your time and enjoy the content.

It seems like that rare occasion did happen to a few people here, but I still believe the Anima weapons at i275 where you can set your parameters is the strongest one available. There may be some players out there that want this emergency to trigger and they go in and do many FATEs, but you should just enjoy the content that is available and then maybe you happen to run into an emergency mission. And once again, you all need to calm down.

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So, anyhow, my FC decided to get our airships revved up and take a trip into the Diadem to see what’s changed. Note, I’ve only been there once this weekend, so this isn’t a guide. Just some observations. We were exploring and figuring things out. Here’s what we discovered:

  • You no longer have to unlock flying before taking on mission objectives (thank you).
  • There’s now a primary and secondary mission to accomplish within the time frame.
  • Primary mission objectives alternate with secondary mission objectives until you finish them all.
  • Primary missions are marked as orange circles on the map.
  • Secondary missions require the completion of FATEs.
  • You can find random coffers hidden as treasures around the Diadem if you look for them. They spawn as white loot-orbs on the map.
  • You’re awarded lockboxes and damaged lockboxes for completing the overall mission.
  • Similar to PotD, you take the lockboxes to an NPC to open for treasure.
  • It takes one normal lockbox or 40 damaged lockboxes to equal one treasure.

Now, compared to the last romp our FC had in the Diadem, this was much harder. Not only did the difficulty of the enemies ramp up, but the FATEs you have to do are on a strict, short timer, and they spawn really, really close to each other.

This is not a rush-in-pull-everything affair. 

Navigating the Diadem requires old-skool tank-pulling and careful party placement. The islands are very much densely populated, and your party can easily get overrun.

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That being said, once we figured this all out, we were able to clear our mission without incident. Lockboxes have the chance to reward items such as Brass Spoils (used to purchase stuff like the Pegasus mount/minion/materia), materia, or even ilvl 265 gear. The gear is super random, though, and may or may not have useful stats.

I’ve got my eye on that Pegasus mount, myself, seeing I stashed away 11 Spoils from this first run. It shouldn’t take too long to earn the mount and the minion if you put some time into it.

While we were there, the Emergency Mission did not spawn. We also didn’t see any other parties out there, which was really strange.

I’m curious about trying out the gathering missions in the Diadem once I get my gear leveled up a bit. Overall, this is something I would run again.