Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs, Uncategorized

FFXIV: Tales from the Duty Finder – “People who sprint in raids…”

I would like to close out this week with a lighthearted story of a MT in Labyrinth of the Ancients from an alliance roulette we ran this past weekend.

Now, I still love Crystal Tower raids. But when you’ve run them a million times, you pretty much know the drill by heart. So, it’s not unusual to make up a bit of fun as you go along.

One of those things we do for fun is pretend “racing” from one boss room to the next. I mean, those purple lines on the ground are finish lines, right?

So, my alliance (and just about everyone I see in these raids) always sprint through transition areas, trying to be the first into the next room. Why not? As long as you’re not sprinting ahead to pull the boss before everyone is ready, there’s no harm in it.

Apparently, someone in our raid thought otherwise. They must have been holding a private conversation about it that suddenly turned into a miss-tell.


The response to this was priceless.


And if people weren’t sprinting before this conversation, they were now! The rest of the raid was sprinkled with moments like this:


Good times.

Bonus Round: Puns from Eureka!

What do you do when you’re dying terribly to a bear NM that you’re way underleveled to attempt to fight? Floor tank and watch the bear puns roll in, of course.


There were a lot more puns that followed, but I didn’t get the time to screenshot them all. Such a shame!

Posted in Gaming, Second Life

Second Life: Bento is Pure Magic!

Though I’ve been away from Second Life for about 3-4 years, I still keep up with a number of blogs. So I knew about the whole SL Bento project going on while I was gone… I just didn’t know exactly what it meant. This turned out to be one of the most exciting parts of returning to SL.

So, if you go to the join SL page, you will see a number of Bento avatars you can choose from to start with. And if you think these look like this:

Avatars of the past…

…You just might be surprised at how far avatar technology in SL has come. I was.

New Starter Avatars

So what exactly is Bento and why is it amazing? I’ll let the somewhat cheesy SL video explain the magic of what they’ve done here. Then I’ll show you how it’s transformed my own avatar.


The Bento Effect

The incredible thing about Bento is that the sliders within SL can change the mesh shape  you’re wearing. So, you have the power to sculpt your own mesh within SL once you buy a Bento piece.

Not only that, but the Bento pieces are also skinnable. This means you can place layers of images over top of them — skin color/styles, makeup, tatoos, whatever you like. This makes for some incredible individuality.

Back when mesh heads were first introduced, I picked one up. It was far better than the default style play-doh face avatars you got out of the box.  It came with a HUD that allowed for minor facial expressions and some other options. But for the most part, the mesh was static. And if someone bought the same head as you… you had the same face. Nothing you could about that.

But it still did a LOT to improve your avatar.


Based on the time stamps of my screenshots, it looks like I updated to mesh in December of 2012. It was one of the earlier heads, I think, and the top of the line for the time. I really loved it!

When I returned last weekend, however, the only thing on my mind was that I needed an avatar update something fierce. I’d only heard about Bento. I didn’t know anything about it beyond the fact that it’s what people were using now.

So, I did a bunch of research. I learned that there are several brands of Bento heads and fit mesh bodies to choose from. I also learned that everyone demos everything now days, so I demoed lots of different styles.

In the end I chose this:


Here I Have (Brand Names in Italics)

  • Head: CATWA Tala
  • Body: Maitreya Mesh Body – Lara V4.1
  • Skin: theSkinnery Iris Sorbet & Sorbet Skin for Maitreya Body
  • Hair: Lamb Peach – Ombre Pack
  • Eyes: theSkinnery Palermo Eyes

Clothes Are (Full body in top picture)

  • Maitreya Mesh Leggings
  • Maitreya Moccasin Boots
  • Neve (Cold Logic) Pull-over Lively

And let me tell you, this wasn’t cheap. I’m pretty well broke in SL now. The head itself cost more than the land I bought! XD

It’s still quite worth it, though. It’s hard to show unless you see it in person, but the face cycles through a bunch of subtle expressions on its own.


But the thing is, adding new skins/tones and shaping the face with the sliders, you can use the exact same head to make a completely different look.

For example, in Strawberry Singh’s video here, she takes a long time showing all the different things you can do with this head. Her version of it looks like a very different person, even though we both started out with the same base.

I was super excited to dive into the world of Bento in Second Life. There’s so much to learn!

But then, I made a discovery that really put Bento into perspective for me. Something that made me absolutely delighted and has refueled my excitement for Second Life. I’ll talk about that tomorrow!

“Haha! You have to wait!”
Posted in Gaming, Second Life

Second Life: Returning… and Getting More Land!

Last week, Second Life announced that premium members are now allotted double land for their starting tier!

I tried and failed to think of a title for this post that would convey how important this really is. Let’s just say, what I’m about to blog about is a pretty big deal. Enough for me to announce my return to Second Life!

Continue reading “Second Life: Returning… and Getting More Land!”

Posted in Gaming, Starbound

Starbound: Beach Resort Colony

I actually have a whole lot to write about from this past weekend, so it was hard to choose which topic to start this week with. I decided that Starbound won out, though, so here’s out space team’s adventure!

I love fishing in any game that I play, so it was exciting to discover the fishing system in Starbound. It’s more of a collectible system than anything else, encouraging you to fish deeper for different kinds of fish. You can only fish on an ocean type planet (ocean, toxic, magma, arctic), so when we found one last week, I quickly built myself the little hut you see up top of this post and tried it out.

This week, Syn and I looked deeper into the colony system and found that the little gifts the NPCs give are actually a form of rent for living there. You get more rent for a colony established on a more dangerous world… so we decided to move our colony from the safe home base world to one of the tropical islands of an ocean world.

During the main quest line, we were prompted to go seek out and learn about Hylotl society. These are fish-like creatures who have a bit of a Japanese bent — from the oriental style building to a love of anime-ish and gaming (they even have a DDR machine).

Ocean worlds tend to be their natural home, and since I liked the aesthetics and feel of the culture, I decided to build our new colony in this style to hopefully attract this race over others. So far, it’s worked!

So, while Amoon and Syn were off risking their tails exploring radioactive worlds for Durasteel, I was building our new resort on an ocean world. Syn likes to call it Pub Med.

Here’s one of the first structures I put down, a larger community building:


Off to the left side is another smaller community building with a few more beds and a PC for public access. I guess they have some form of Wi-Fi here.


The path off the left of that leads down to the water level where I’ve been working on a new fishing hut. I didn’t get to take a screenshot of that, though.

To the right, I put in some garden areas and a little bridge over a pond. We also have a transportation building, where our warp station and pet station sits.


Under this station, I built a glass wall underwater observatory. I haven’t finished decorating it, but just wanted to see what it was like building underwater.


Once we built a pixel printer, which allows you to recreate items that you’ve scanned for a pixel cost, I was really able to start building things I wanted. Previous to that, I was limited to going out and raiding other settlements, swiping their furniture to bring back home.

With no limits, I was able to build the Pub Med Arcade!


I was quite proud of how it turned out with its DDR machine, air hockey table and replica Starbound arcade cabinet! It’s also fun to see the NPCs come in and play on the games from time to time.

I also discovered that sometimes doing quests for tenants inspires them to want to join your ship’s crew. We had this happen twice last night — once from the new colony and once from the previous colony that used to be on our home base.

I feel like moving the colony away from our home base was probably a good idea. There were a lot of NPCs building up in there, on top of our livestock, crafting machine, gardens and other things… so it got a little laggy and confusing.

Having the new warp stations allows us to move between planets instantly, so it’s really no problem at all to move off to Pub Med.

Posted in Gaming, Steam Challenge

Steam Challenge: 50% Milestone Goal Met!

One of my goals for 2018 was to reach a milestone of having played (over) 50% of the games in my Steam backlog. This month, I’ve been nudging closer by prompting myself to try a new Steam game each week.

Last night, for the first time in years, the calculator reported that I’ve played 50% of the Steam games in my library! Given that this number is 245 games, this is no little thing!


My other goal this year was to not buy a new game if I wasn’t interested in playing it almost immediately. I’ve pretty much stuck to this.

This week, for example, I obtained my Project: Gorgon Steam key from the Kickstarter, so I made sure to install the game and poke around in it a little bit last night. Once I have more time to sit down with it, I’ll be sure to post about my new experiences in P:G.

Aside from this, I finished Back to the Future: Episode 3 last week. I had an itch to try a city builder this week (mostly because I’m interested in Surviving Mars), but didn’t want to buy another game right now. So I started playing around in Tropico 4 last night instead. I put in about 2.2 hours, making it through all the tutorials and starting my first island.

A Look Back

When I first started the Steam Challenge, my backlog looked like this:


Dang. I was worried about just 60 unplayed games back then? Now I’ve played 123!

This was back in 2014, so that’s an average of about 46 new games a year. Wow! What was I thinking? Also, keep in mind some of these games came from bundles and some were gifts over the years.

Also, this counts software titles in the stats, such as RPG Maker and GameMaker Studio, Art Software (Spriter Pro), and other things that are not games. For example, my “games” number shot up over the holidays because I picked up several pieces of game making and art software… not because I bought actual games.

Most of these games I bought between 2014-2016. Last year, I cut back on buying games for Steam… because of the Switch. Games are often more expensive on the Switch, which leads me to cull Steam purchases.

I also notice that my Steam wishlist has shrunk significantly last year (and a number of these are actually DLC for games I already own). I’ve been moving indies off of my Steam wishlist to my Switch wishlist as they’ve been announced. I’m also finding that I’m turning away from tempting sales, staying away from bundles, and skipping out on everything except good deals on games I really, really want to play here and now.

Surviving Mars is an example of that. I’m interested in it. I just have too many other games between Steam and Switch to justify getting a new game right now. So, instead of picking up Surviving Mars, I decided to play Tropico 4 (which it was compared to).

I have absolutely no interest in systems like Humble Monthly be cause I absolutely shudder to think of the mass influx of games it would bring to my backlog… Most of which I’m not interested in, or already own if I am interested in it.

In fact… I’ve gotten to the point where I won’t even take freebies or cheap games because the thought of inflating my backlog numbers turns me away. Not to mention, most (not all, but most) of these cheapie games are probably shovelware anyhow. (Sorry.)

My Top 10 Games

I decided to take a moment to list my top 10 games by time played. I will note that some of the numbers are vastly inaccurate, because Steam (at one point) didn’t record my time if I listed myself as offline, or if the Net was down. I pretty much always list myself offline (if I’m not playing with friends) just so I can focus on the game I’m playing without interruption.

Luv you guys, but I’m so easily distracted! ❤

Starbound, for example, should have a ton more hours to it. There are some games that didn’t make this list that might have if the hours were more accurately reflected here. But, oh well.


I also listed more than just 10 here since RPG Maker, Spriter and GameMaker Studio 2 are not-games. As I noted before, software titles get tossed in with the games.

Yep, 7D2D beats out all the rest of my Steam games by a long shot. Starbound just overtook Stardew this past week as second place (again, my Starbound numbers should be a lot higher). And I’m ashamed to have played so much H1Z1 (Just Survive) in the past.

As you can see, I have issues clearing my backlog because these endless sandbox or tactical games always suck me in. Only Torchlight II and Walking Dead are games that have any sort of true ending on this list. It’s pretty terrible, but I really do love good sandboxes!

Anyhow! It feels good to finally have a balanced point on my backlog. My next goal is to reach for 60% of all backlog played. I may spend some time culling some titles — for example, the backlog also includes duplicate titles. Like this:



So, I didn’t actually purchase a second copy of the game, but the new GOTY or Definitive Edition was automatically added to my Steam account because I owned the original. This still counts as two games in the backlog stats, though! Not fair! I have several of these.

So, I’m going to see how many of these I can clear out to get a better idea of where my stats actually stand. I’m probably going to do the same thing for any software-not-games I’ve purchased but never launched, just to clear up those stats as well.

How goes your Steam backlog? What does the Calculator say?