Posted in FFXIV

FFXIV: Sebastian’s Eatery

This is a personal room in our FC house that belongs to my character Sebastian. Over the years, I’ve decorated my characters’ personal rooms as themed locations within the house, such as a rec room, a ballroom, or a guest room. An eatery/dining area was always on my list of to-do.

I hadn’t expected to sit down and work on it this past weekend, but on Friday night, I was looking through Sebastian’s inventory, and just decided I had enough to at least give it a start. Many of the decorations for this room were things that retainers brought back to my various characters. Things like the big wall kegs, the beaver burger, and the chocobo counters I just kept getting over and over again. So, throughout the months, I’d drop them in the FC chest and have Sebastian pick them up and stash them.

This room came together so easily – it’s probably one of the fastest rooms I’ve designed so far. There’s nothing especially unique about it- no floating objects or tricks used for the layout, but I still like it. It was simply just a room that started and finished within a few hours worth of time. The only things I needed to purchase were the country tables. The rest were all objects Sebastian already had. So this was also a pretty cheap room compared to most of the others I’ve worked on, too.

Our FC house is always open for visitors – feel free to stop by and sign our guestbook!

You can find us at: Mateus – Shirogane Ward 14, Lot 14!

Posted in Second Life

Second Life: Trick Or Treat!

I swore that sometime in the years past that I’d written a blog post about the Haunted Ride or the Cornfield in Second Life because that’s a Halloween event that the Posse tries to visit every year about this time. But I can’t find a post about it, and that’s distressing!

Last year, I did post about the new Haunted Neighborhood – which was a lot of fun for us and something that we revisited again this year. Halloween is a big thing in Second Life, and there’s a slew of things to do on the grid for the holiday. This makes me very happy!

Though the Haunted Neighborhood had one new house added to it this year, and the Haunted Ride had those silly animesh alien creatures finally removed (sorry to whomever put them in there, they were just immersion breaking), the one even that’s gotten our attention this year is the Great Trick-or-Treat Event in Bellisseria.

Folks who own a Linden house in Bellisseria can put out a candy bucket (shown above). Anyone else (land owner or not) can get a candy HUD and hunt down these buckets to earn a candy count for prizes. Of course, this led to the community trying to figure out a way to document and find the candy buckets because the area of Bellisseria is simply huge at this point.

I learned how to use Bellipins/Bellifind to mark my bucket and help people find it easier. This also taught me about the Bellibins – which is a fun roleplay in which you put garbage bins out at your Bellisseria house and allow other people to come by to empty them. Basically, it’s a way to help people find your Linden house and interact.

Beyond that, I discovered a new-to-me and very active community group for Bellisseria. So I’m finally starting to discover new fun things to do in Second Life that were already there, but I just didn’t know where to look.

It’s the Great Pumpkin House!

This new group I joined actually has a “Master List” of houses that have a candy bucket outside – which you can add your house to in order to let folks know you have candy. But most importantly (to me) is that folks stop by and maybe visit my home and decorations for a little bit.

It’s been a LOT of fun to see how everyone has decorated their own places and the variety of homes that are out there. I’ve been everywhere from weird traditional houses (like above) to an amazingly decorated beach house turned into a neat beach dance club on a boardwalk (I was so impressed).

So if the goal of this event was to get people out into the neighborhoods searching and visiting, I think it did a good job of it. I’m always excited to log in and check how many people took some candy from my bucket… not to mention, explore the homes and collect candy of my own!

Since my main MMO has more or less skipped Halloween for two years in a row (I know… I know… limited dev resources, Covid and they will have the event, just way after Halloween this year), it’s nice to have an online place to delve into Halloween fun. Second Life never disappoints for this time of year!

Posted in FFXIV

FFXIV: Firebird Achieved!

I know I’m quite a few expansions behind on getting this mount, but I’m fine with that. Running trials has never been a big thing for me (outside of just seeing the story), so I’ve taken up every opportunity the Mogtome events have offered to collect mounts.

Today I finally got the last of the bird collection from Heavensward, which meant I could get my Firebird for Ben!

It worked much like the Kirin did for the ponies, with a rainbow of mounts congratulating your achievement. For me, it took a lot of Praetorium for those tomes – though I believe I did earn one or two (Ravana or Bismark) from actually unsyncing with FC friends.

Now it’s time to work on the wolves! And that means.. yep… more Praetorium!

Posted in Nintendo Switch

Animal Crossing: A Return to New Horizons

I played Animal Crossing: New Horizons for a pretty solid year before I found myself taking a break from the game. I think it was around Easter of this year when I ended up putting it down, mostly because I felt that there were not a lot of new things in the event or game.

Not that I’m anywhere near being finished with it. I haven’t even really sat down and figured out what I want my island’s design to be. Unlike some of those amazing islands I see out there, mine is pretty bland and unorganized.

When dream visiting released, I thought it was finally a chance to hop around to other islands to obtain inspiration. Only, originally, you had to have codes in order to visit an island. For me, searching for codes and inputting them was more work than I wanted to do just to find inspiration. I’d hoped I could just randomly visit islands in dreams – something they implemented eventually. But by that time, I’d fallen away from logging in.

So now, I’ve heard we’re getting a huge update – the final update – to New Horizons and it sounds fantastic! I won’t go into listing all the new and quality of life content we’ll be getting for free – this site does a great job of rounding up all that information. But it was enough to catch my attention and make me log in to clear the weeds.

On top of that, we’re getting the first Animal Crossing DLC that blends the features of Happy Home Designer (which I do own but never got very far into) with New Horizons.

Again, I won’t go into all the information on this DLC, but I do plan to pick it up. It sounds just the thing for folks who (unlike me) have reached end game with designing their own island.

This DLC comes two ways – a straight out purchase for $25 or as part of an upgrade with Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack. I know that I’m going to straight up buy the DLC because I’m not sure if I’m going to upgrade my Switch Online yet. I like having the service, but I also don’t use what I have as much as I should already. I’m going to wait and see on whether the N64 lineup is worth it to me – there were some games that I loved from that system, but it wasn’t one of the systems I owned a ton of games for.

I don’t want the hassle of not having DLC content should I decide to drop the Switch Online Expansion service in the future. As far as I’m concerned $25 is a fair price for a hefty DLC that I’ll probably put time into and enjoy.

All that to say, I’m going to be squeezing in time to dream hop and see if I can’t make my own island something I’m a bit more proud of going forward. Not to mention the Halloween event actually does seem to have new items this year, so I’m there for that!

Posted in Second Life

Second Life: Halloween Cottage 2021

Last year, I wrote about the Halloween decorations I added to my Second Life Cabin on my main account. This year, my setup there was fairly much identical, so there wasn’t anything new to show.

However, I was too tempted by the new Fantasy themed houses when they came out in SL this year, and ended up picking one up for my alt, Amon. I have it all nicely decorated in his personality/style, and I’ve been meaning to post a walk-through of it.

But that will have to wait, it seems. Now the Cottage is decorated for Halloween!

That account doesn’t have a lot of Linden dollars stashed away, so I decided that I was going to visit the Second Life Halloween Shop N Hop to partake of decorations I could find in the free gifts that nearly every vendor puts out there.

That’s not to say I didn’t buy a few items at the shop, but only two of the decorations I’ll show here were purchased. The rest were freebies – very nice ones!

This is a combination of a number of items in the front yard. First, there’s the grave that has bats spawning around it, what looks to be a golden spider (?) on top and a ghost mourning the grave in that white mist. Hard to see unless you’re moving around it in person.

There’s bouncy spiders dangling from the big tree as well as a spider sack hanging from it. Who knows what is in there!

Some nice decorations near the front stoop including a wicked jack o lantern and some poison apples. I’ll probably keep the standard bales and pumpkins out through Thanksgiving.

On the front stoop we have more jack o lanterns and a really nice sparkly spiderweb. This came in a pack of nice webs much like this one and they look great at night!

As you walk into the house’s entry way

These pictures were the only two decorations I actually bought. They are very impressive! They start out as nice paintings and then morph into spooky images that move quite well! I had to get the two of them when I saw them – they were also nicely priced.

The other side of the entry way includes a fancy bat container, jazzy silver pumpkins and a welcoming skeleton.

In the music room… Well, the music room always looks like this. Except for the orange crystal swan, which was the Halloween item. I’m not sure how crystal swans mesh with Halloween, even when orange, but I like the piece and will probably leave it out year round. It’s just the kind of thing Amon would put in his music room.

In the living room, I picked up this cute little Happy Halloween decoration for the coffee table.

And also…

Various decorations for the small bookshelf. The sleeping cat was a gift from one of my favorite shops, Jian. I like that the cat and the pillow can change colors, so you can make them look Halloweeny for a while, and then change them to normal colors when it’s not Halloween anymore. I can see myself keeping this out year round, too.

Back in the music room, the tea tray has a murderous little visitor – a raven sitting on a skull with a knife in its beak. I dunno. Thought it was well-made and this was the best place I could find for it.

And the final shot, not decoration at all. The Jinx shop is giving out a free companion (as they tend to) which is a little witchy sheep. She bounces along with you as you walk and has several really cute animations.

I had a great time at the Shop N Hop and came away with much more than this in free gifts for decorating the Cottage. I just didn’t have the prims to put all of it out there!

Once Halloween is over, I’ll get some shots of what the Cottage looks like normally and write a post about that.

Posted in FFXIV

FFXIV: Moogle Treasure Trove Event Starts October 19!

Just in time to tide you over for the Endwalker release, we have the much awaited Moogle Tomes event. At least, I was much awaiting it.

This time around, we’re getting the new cosmetic – Inferno Jacket – which was a reward for the three FFXIV Community Teams unlocking all 104 Blue Mage spells back in July.

On top of that, you can earn the mounts:

  • Auspicious Kamuy Fife
  • Dark Lanner Whistle

To add to your bird and dog collections if you don’t already have them.

The Modern Aesthetics – Styled for Hire hairstyle is up for grabs, previously only obtainable from PVP with 18,000 Wolf Marks. This was a hairstyle I was working towards back when it first released, but then lost steam in the PVP dailies.

And as a neat little addition, the Bonewicca casting set is up for grabs – a much-coveted chestpiece with a nice little Halloween flair. I know I’ll be snagging some of this for Amon for sure.

You can earn these tomes various ways – Praetorium is the long run, but it nets you 10 tomes each run. Some folks prefer to PVP for it. It also looks like the Crystal Tower Trio is the Alliance Roulette of choice this time around.

I’m going to be seeing a LOT of Praetorium because I need many of these rewards on both Ben and Amon. Yikes! But at least I can run some of it in a Halloween costume! 🙂

For more info on what to run and the full rewards list, check out the official page here!

Have fun!

Posted in No Man's Sky

No Man’s Sky: Settlements, Flying Mounts, More!

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a few weeks since the Posse has gotten into near nightly NMS exploration lately. This started because Syn and I had picked it up again to see what was new, and when we talked about it, Vix and Xaa became interested in trying it out. Just a fluke, but the game suddenly went on sale for half off on Steam a couple days after, so they picked it up.

I pre-ordered NMS back in the day and played it quite a bit at launch. I was not one of the folks who were unhappy with the state of the game in those days – I hadn’t followed news of it before release and didn’t really have any expectations as to what it should be. I had some constructive feedback (most of which has been fixed by now), but overall, I enjoyed it.

I’ve popped back into it every now and then, but I never actually got all that far into the game’s questlines. The game felt quite large and overwhelming due to this, but Syn and I try to play it every now and then.

Even though I didn’t write about it, I think we started dabbling in the game sometime back in November of last year. We found a nice Paradise planet and set up bases near to each other. Trying to play it multiplayer got us all sorts of grief, however. There are far too many buggy things that happen (and shouldn’t happen) if you’re grouped up with someone and trying to go through quest lines.

Buggy Multiplayer

For example, there was a time when Syn couldn’t tame a pet on our home planet no matter how she tried. Until I disconnected from her game, then she had no problem.

Another example, when the settlements quest popped up for me, the game pointed me to the exact same location that it had sent Syn for her settlement, which she’d already claimed. Reading up on that, I discovered that had I tried to claim her site after she’d already claimed it, it could have bugged settlements for the both of us.

Instead, I just had to warp far, far, FAR away and use my navigational data to purchase a map to a new settlement. Then the quest found a different location for me and we were both able to “happily” serve the whims of a financially failing establishment and attempt to make it a better place to live.

The Posse meeting up in the Anomaly

Since then, we’ve all come to play the game solo for the most part. We sometimes connect on multiplayer to share a location, see a base, or to do missions from the Anomaly. But for our normal gameplay, we just keep it solo while connected on Discord for questions and communication, and that seems to work.

Settlements

Despite my grumbling about settlements and settlers grumbling about me, I’ve enjoyed this new feature of NMS. You randomly get a call to check out a settlement that’s not in good shape – they have terrible living conditions (I’ve not heard of one that’s spawned on a nice planet), a ever-rising debt, and a slew of things that need to be developed and fixed.

My settlement when first starting out

Sometimes you have requests to build new buildings – mine wanted a cantina first up – that help with happiness, productivity and population. You also have to listen to the woes of the citizens and decide outcomes to their disputes. Sometimes you get a visitor that can have effects on your settlement depending on how you choose to interact with them.

I hesitate to call it a city builder, though it resembles one. Placing new buildings is random and up to the game, but requires you to supply the materials for each stage. Once you supply the materials, the building takes real-life time to progress. Most of the time this is between one and two hours – though the first building may have taken a day.

A citizen resting in the new cantina

Once you finally do get your settlement out of debt, you can claim some of the items that the settlement produces at least once a day. There’s a timer on that, and it probably gets shorter as the living conditions get better.

I enjoy checking in on them and seeing what changes over time as a little project on the side.

Companions: Pets and Mounts

Another thing that I’ve been exploring in game is the companion system, which is also somewhat newer. You can adopt creatures you run across, ride them if they’re mountable, and “breed” them by taking their eggs to the Anomaly and messing with the DNA (I haven’t sorted through this system yet).

The very first pet I adopted was one of the flying butterfly/snake/caterpillar creatures that captivated me back when we first discovered our home planet last year.

I’ve since learned that they aren’t all that rare on Paradise planets. But I still really like them as a flying mount. In fact, I hatched an egg from my first adopted pet, and while she seems to be stuck in Infant state, whatever I did at the Egg Station made her a bright green with a potential to be very large.

This is Formista, and she’s my favorite companion so far.

She’s already larger than the others of her kind even as an infant, but I’d love to see her finally age so I can see how large she’s supposed to be in the end!

I’ve also caught some less useful pets over time, like this strange rainbow slime with eyes in it…

Eventually I did release it because you can only have so many pet slots. While it was a cool pet, it didn’t benefit me much to have.

I’m working on training up a ground mount because they can do a lot more than the flying mounts. And this is something I still haven’t explored yet.

Base Building

I also ended up tearing down the old prefab base I had begun because I was having trouble with powering it, the lack of space inside, and the fact that my terraformed ground kept coming back. I later learned there’s only so much terraforming you can do in a base radius before it starts undoing the earliest edits.

I’m much happier with my new base, especially since I’ve opened up building pieces such as windows and glass roofs. I now have a larger, more open wooden type base next to the ocean with great big windows and a green house area.

I wish I had a better shot of my newest build, but here’s an idea.

I’ve mostly been putting off the main quests for doing side quests, unlocking new slots for my suit, upgrading technology, base building… all that sort of stuff. As of last night, I’ve been working on trading in order to upgrade my existing ship. I have a decent B class Shuttle type, but I was hoping for something of a higher class before I spent the materials installing bigger warp drives.

Amoon did help me find a crashed B class Explorer which is a step up for me. It’s a free ship, though I have a lot of work to fix the broken slots within it. I’m not in a rush, though. I’ve already made a lot more progress in the side questlines in this game than I ever have, so I’m pleased with that.

A ship to fix

I’m done with most the base building quests, I have my farming station quests taken care of, my exocrafts going, and not too many other quests from the stations within my base. I did start the quest for the living ship, which I’m in no rush to complete either.

On top of that, we’ve been working on missions from the Anomaly that earn Quicksilver for various cosmetics and fun things. I got rainbow flame trails for my jetpack, for example. So there’s much, much more I can do in this game!

Posted in FFXIV

FFXIV: Taking on the Four Lords

One of my goals in content to beat before Endwalker was to finish the Four Lords questline on Ben. I know… I know… you’re probably saying – but this was content from two expansions ago. And you would be right!

A long, long time back, I did beat the Byakko fight. But that’s where I stopped once I realized there were going to be a series of trials for this quest line.

My common approach to trials that are not included in the MSQ is to skip them. Trials in general are one of my least favorite types of content in FFXIV, so much that I’ve done most of the Heavensward ones unsynced and don’t know a thing about the fights. That’s why I never run Trials on roulette – I don’t want to put myself or my party through that pain.

I didn’t know that I only had two more trials to face in the Four Lords questline to finish it. For some reason, I had the idea there were a lot more fights to do. So I put it off and put it off until this past weekend.

With the help of FC folks, I managed to make short work of the remaining two fights – Suzaku and Seiryu. We did them in a duty finder party – so no unsyncing these – and I went in blind to both fights.

There were a few snags and a lot of learning to be done on my part. Suzaku was a lot easier than Seiryu was for me, though it took me to discuss some of Suzaku’s mechanics later with FC folks to understand the whole quadrant explosion thing.

Seiryu got hairy (or should I say scaly) more than once during the process. But both seem to be learn-able fights overall. Nothing so bad that I’d swear off doing them ever again. Not like I will have the chance (or want the chance) for that, though! XD

While I obviously wasn’t super invested in this storyline (since I dropped it in the middle as I did years ago), it had its interesting parts. I was especially curious about the elements that suggest Tenzen may have been not just a Warrior of Light from the previous time, but even a previous incarnation of the player character.

This lends strength to a few lore ideas I’ve had for my own stories – things that FFXIV doesn’t explicitly state but only suggests. This is something that I really like about how the game handles lore. It gives enough wiggle room for players to say “this is a possibility” or to simply ignore something if they don’t want to apply it to their own character.

Anyhow, it felt good to finish up this lingering quest line, earn the /hum emote and mark one thing off my list. I still need to do the entire questline of Werlyt on Ben… but that’s something to tackle some other time.

Posted in Gaming

Finding Ancient Nintendo Treasures – Final Fantasy & Super Mario RPG!

So, I’m currently in the process of getting a shed built so that I can do some organization of my closets and get some junk out of my house. Fun times!

Yesterday, I pulled out a bunch of storage bins in my back bedroom which contained lots of old stuff – childhood toys, VHS anime tapes and some old gaming controllers. Admist the box of controllers, I found a few treasures of old!

I kept most of my original SNES boxes whenever I bought the games brand new. I folded them flat for safekeeping. I knew I had a bunch of them in a bin in the other closet, but I didn’t expect to find what I did in this particular bin! Talk about a flash from the past.

Note: I still have the original carts and the manuals for all of these, though they’re in another bin somewhere else.

Click images to see bigger pictures!

Final Fantasy II SNES Box

Front
Back

I even have the sales slip from when we bought this game. I remember that we found the best price at Lowes of all places. They had one little glass case with just a few SNES games, and FFII was one of them!

November 7, 1992 was a good day for my teen self. 🙂

Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest SNES Box

Front

Final Fantasy III SNES Box

Front
Back

Final Fantasy I NES Box

Front
Back

I also found some complete Famicom versions, gifted by a friend a long, long time ago.

Final Fantasy VI Famicom Box & Game

Front – the box was damaged on the bottom but otherwise okay
Back – You can see more of the damage here at the bottom

Super Mario RPG Famicom Box & Game

Front
Back
Complete!

Sometimes being a pack rat pays off. 🙂

Posted in FFXIV

FFXIV: In-Game Vigil for Stephen Critchlow

Earlier this week, the community heard the sad news that actor Stephen Critchlow had passed away. He was involved in theater, television, radio production, but more immediate to the gaming world, he lent his voice to several characters in games over the years.

To the FFXIV community, he brought to life the character Count Edmont de Fortemps – one that’s looked upon as a kindly father figure for not just his own family but for the WoL in a time of their greatest need. He’s also the narrator of the Heavensward story, introducing new areas as you travel – and is one of the first voices you hear in the expansion as your character stumbles through the snow-swept lands.

Due to this, the community on many servers chose to hold a vigil for him outside of Fortemps Manor. Much like the vigil seen earlier this year for Kentaro Miura, players lined up with campfire minions out. Many dressed in house Fortemps colors and most used the House Fortemps Knight title. I took part in the vigil for a few hours, as well.

On Mateus, individuals who were able to craft the campfire minions were giving them out to folks who didn’t have one and had joined the vigil. Kind words were offered about the actor and his character. Whenever someone needed to leave the event, they often announced their departure to encourage someone to take their spot in the line.

Here’s a video that was captured of the vigil on my server (I wasn’t there by this time), to give you an idea of the scope of it.

While it’s a sad loss, it’s nice to see the community come together to remember the good things that Stephen Critchlow helped create for the world. May he rest in peace.