Posted in 7 Days to Die, Gaming

7D2D: Zombies are Testing My New Video Card

As I noted, over the weekend, I installed a pretty significant upgrade to my video card. So far, it’s been pretty painless – just needed to get an display port adapter for one of my monitors and had to fight with my Cintiq tablet’s drivers as it’s adjusting to the new setup. But as far as playing games are concerned, it’s taken to everything wonderfully.

The Posse has gotten back into 7D2D over the holidays, and we’ve been playing it almost nightly now. On our current game, we’ve worked up to night 19 again. This was after restarting the game a few times due to the desire for a better seed.

We discovered that there’s a way to view the randomly generated maps based on the seed name, and we’ve used it to glance at maps to determine which ones are best . In a few of the games we rolled, we had a hard time finding a viable city near our base.

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We even have a deck with a couple chairs up there!

While I can be content sitting at home building all day, a few in our party are explorers. They need cool points of interest to explore, and the newest build of this game really places a lot of emphasis on scavenging for parts and recipes. I think our newest map has a pretty good balance of what we need, and our base sits on the merger of three or more biomes, and quite near to the trader, which is always a fun thing.

Testing the Video Card

Seeing that 7D2D is a voxel sandbox game with fairly realistic graphics and a randomly generated world that often throws hordes of zombies at you, I figured it was a good game to test out my new video card. I’ve always played this game for function rather than graphics, so I never even took notice of all the higher settings I could choose. I thought the game looked good even on the lower settings.

So I turned on all the fancy shadows, reflections, better trees, higher grass and even god rays. Gosh… I had no idea all that was there! I pushed all the textures up, and man, what a difference. I didn’t realize that all this time I was playing with anti-aliasing turned off! Oops.

The result? My team had to hear me squee about how “fluffy” the world had become.

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I don’t know! Maybe it’s because the grass is fuller and the graphics have taken on a softer tone, but “fluffy” is the best word I could find for it!

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And it all runs just fine. I’ve slowly adjusted the settings higher and higher to continue testing it. I’ve had no problem no matter what I’ve done with it so far, aside from some wonky water reflections (it’s alpha).

But anyhow, I don’t have any new pictures of the updated base, but we’re starting to upgrade to cement walls. I also have built some fortification around our garden after a sad setback that took out most of our seedling potatoes. Apparently, zombies can and still will destroy crops. We haven’t had that happen in a while, so I didn’t know it was a risk. Bummer.

We are way ahead of the blood-moon hordes in terms of fortifications, so I’m feeling pretty confident in starting to explore other builds and add-ons to our base. I’m thinking about some catwalks, towers and other interesting additions. Our ultimate goal of this game is to finally make a mini-bike, though!

I have no idea why, but as many times as we’ve started a new game in 7D2D over the past years, we always have fun. Clocking in at 570+ hours,  the most of any game I’ve played on Steam, this is one game I absolutely got my money’s worth from.

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs, Nintendo 3DS

Weekend Gaming: FFXIV, 7D2D, Animal Crossing

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This weekend was a variety of gaming including everything from Animal Crossing to Skyrim. But I only have progression in a few games to talk about. So here goes my weekend!

FFXIV

As seen above, we got 3-4 different folks in the Free Company through the final boss battle of Heavensward. Yay for everyone! Thordan remains a really easy and fun fight with mostly flash and no fear. But, even so, it’s always brilliant to experience. And even better when you’re helping people reach the end of the expansion story. 🙂

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Things have been fantastic in our Free Company lately. We’ve been somewhat actively recruiting again, and have welcomed in a number of more mature players and older folks, which is exactly what we’ve been looking for. The new website and the more restricted application process (which I was afraid would be a turn-off) actually seem to be an encouragement to the right kind of personalities and the type of players we hope to attract.

We’re still hovering around 90 players on the roster (and that’s with me purging our roster of inactives pretty regularly), and last night was the most active concurrent members online I’ve seen in a while.

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In other news, I’ve finally reached level 60 on my Scholar (and Summoner)! It feels like I’ve been leveling this job forever! I’m so glad to finally consolidate my healing gear with my White Mage, and be able to equip the glowy book from PotD.

It’s a strange feeling not to have job leveling looming over me after it’s been in my life this long. I guess I have a level 55 Monk I could work on, and Zuri has plenty of jobs still hovering in the 30s. But I think it’s time for me to start using my leveling roulette for the Lore I need to push ahead on my Relic.

Speaking of Relic, I’ve spent some time fishing for Blue Scrips in order to earn the crystal sands I need to go with the Umbrites I’ve been stashing away. I still feel so far from getting this weapon complete, but I’m putting more focus into it now.

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The way I think my weapon progression is going: Relic for Dragoon, PotD Kinna weapons for Bard and Scholar. From there? Who knows. Still plenty to work on, though.

7D2D Fun

Syn and I decided to roll a new duo game of 7D2D Alpha 15 back before Halloween. This is the first time we’ve tried to play with less than 4 players, and we’ve actually been doing pretty great!

As always, we’ve found a run-down house that we’ve been building into a base and fortifying it against the hordes of the blood moon. Here, Syn is fixing up the front of the base after the Night 14 horde… so, so many zombies dead on the spikes.

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A number of things have changed in Alpha 15, so we’re still learning our way around them. Hordes, for example, now last all night long instead of puttering out after one large wave. I liked this change… though you better have a strong base and a lot of arrows on hand!

Also, I’ve been finding a number of new points of interest with this patch, such as this funeral parlor below. It felt really creepy breaking into this place to loot it…

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Animal Crossing

Thanks to the newest patch for Animal Crossing, I’ve been playing the game a little each day again. I’m mostly trying to pay off my debt to Nook because he mentioned a new storage expansion for housing which I’m really interested in. I need so much more space!

Aside from that, I had this cute little interaction with Kid Cat that I couldn’t help but share. I was walking by when I saw him sitting on the bench. Talking to him went like this:

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Too cute! Kid Cat looks so happy! 🙂

Posted in 7 Days to Die, FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

7D2D: Slaying Zombies & FFXIV: Making Friends

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The newest alpha of 7D2D is up on Steam, and our Posse has been back to building bases, exploring the world and beating down zombies. This game continues to do nothing but get better and better. This time around, it not only looks fantastic with its new further draw distance, but it plays very balanced.

We found a fixer-upper house in an absolutely fantastic location, tucked in between mountains in a forest next to a lake. Honestly, I think this is one of the best houses we’ve found location-wise in all the games we’ve run.

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By the time we got a few days in, and after the first blood moon horde, we had a pretty strong start on fortifying it against the hordes. And boy are there a lot of them in this version of alpha.

It keeps us on our toes since we’ve been used to not seeing hordes unless we had a blood moon or a screamer. So, a good change in pace. I’m looking forward to exploring this map some more and building up our base of awesome!

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Making Friends in FFXIV

It’s been a quiet weekend in FFXIV. Folks are taking a break and waiting for the patch to drop. I don’t blame them. In the middle of this lull time, I finally met up with fellow blogger and game developer Psychochild in game.

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Now, I knew that he was on our server. But me being shy, and not wanting to seem like a creeper, I never sought him out. In fact, I don’t think I’ve actually seen his character in game until this weekend when I happened to run into him in Idlyshire, and I threw him a passing /eureka emote before running away. 😀

Anyhow, little did I know that he’s been helping out some folks in our free company with runs, and that Zeb had even grouped with him in the past! It’s a small world on Midgardsormr, I suppose. I kinda like that.

We all struck up conversation, and he was invited for a Weeping City run that didn’t happen. But we did get a chance to meet up on Discord, and (I hope) we all had a pleasant time.

While waiting for the queue that never popped, he showed me one of his glamours + catbat minion. If you see this, Psycho, I hope you don’t mind I posted it. 🙂

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Other than that, I finally got off my butt and ran a CT trio with my FC that pushed my long-ignored Monk to level 55. I’d been at level 54 for what felt like forever. And then, when I did a Weeping run, I ended up getting a Monk drop. Heh.

Next month, I need to dedicate myself to leveling these jobs a bit more. I have two (three if you count the Scholar/Summoner duo) that are sitting at 55 right now. The rest of my jobs are just hanging out in the thirties. And I need leveling roulette for Lore tomes for gear and umbrite. Bleh… so much work to do! Too little time!

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Posted in 7 Days to Die, FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs, Sims 4

Weekend Gaming: FFXIV, Sims 4 & 7D2D

Farewell Zero Fortune, my first racing chocobo!
Farewell Zero Fortune, my first racing chocobo!

This weekend was a mish-mash of gaming, which was actually quite a nice, relaxing blend. Despite piddling around in various games, I even knocked out some of my FFXIV goals.

Sims 4

One of the things I wanted to get done before it vanished for good was this year’s Sims 4 Spring challenge. Like last year, there are Easter eggs to find from gathering and harvesting. Two new ones are added to the collection this time, and new colors to the bunny plushie you get for completing the set.

Cute new bunny plush colors!
Cute new bunny plush colors!

There’s also a new Growfruit Challenge that rewards two new gardening planters. I fired up the game and focused on playing a family that has the Sim with the highest gardening skill I could remember, and got right on that. The first planter is rewarded for growing 20 Growfruit and turning them into the NPC. The second was much more involved and required you to evolve the Growfruit trees to Perfect quality and turn in one Perfect Growfruit.

New Spring Challenge planters obtained!
New Spring Challenge planters obtained!

I did complete them both, but it took a number of game hours to finally evolve the tree in the end. So, I got a good bit of Sims 4 time in.

7D2D

Last week 7D2D released Alpha 14, so the Zombie Hunting Crew has been testing and playing that quite a bit. They’ve had some trouble with the build that’s caused some CTDs, but we’ve found some work-arounds for it through installing the 32 bit version on those PCs.

I found a creepy floating graveyard, complete with raining zombies and floating coffins.
I found a creepy floating graveyard, complete with raining zombies and floating coffins.

Overall, the game’s introduction has improved a lot, and the beginning experience is much smoother and kinder to a new player. We’ve been building up a new fort and having a lot of fun fending off the hordes. I wish I had more pictures to share – like of our base and how incredibly real the skybox in the game looks now – but it seems the screenshot key is on the fritz, too, since the last few patches.

FFXIV

Though I haven’t made FFXIV my focus this weekend, I still got a good bit done in the game. First, I finished my first goal of leveling my Culinarian to 60, which pretty much entailed me making massive numbers of Ishgardian Muffins. I suddenly realized that this means I only have 3 crafting jobs left to level to 60. That’s pretty crazy!

The FC has also been running the Crystal Tower raids over and over this week, due to the fact that the queue times are much better now that there’s a relic item reward for finishing the weekly quest. We helped some newer folks through for their first time, and other FC members are practicing new level 50 classes in the raids, just like we used to do when CT was all the rage.

I’m using it to practice my monk rotation and level the job some. The experience isn’t overwhelming, but it’s there. I hit level 52 without doing much else, so my goal of leveling monk past 50 is well underway.

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Chocobo breeding for the first time!

My sister and I spent some time trying out the newly revamped Chocobo Racing in the Gold Saucer as well. I originally raced a bit when the Gold Saucer first came out, but the whole racing/training/breeding thing was so expensive that I gave up before I ever retired my first chocobo. Now that racing is much more profitable and the cost of training/breeding is more reasonable, we dove into learning about the whole system and raced into the early morning hours, a lot like we used to play old Mario Kart games.

It was good times!

I finally raced my first chocobo, Zero Fortune, to rank 40, retired him, and bred him for my first tier 2 chocobo to produce my newest chocobo, Ghost Odyssee. I also won my first chocobo challenge race, which had a really nice payout in the end. I’m enjoying these new changes and was happy to find a racing buddy who was enjoying them too! 🙂

Coming in first and second in the races.
Coming in first and second in the races.

The rest of this week I’m going to focus on getting my writing for Camp NaNoWriMo done. I’m sure I’ll be gaming some, but blogging might be a bit more sparse this month, or at least, a bit shorter. We’ll see!