Posted in Gaming, Nintendo Switch, Uncategorized

Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition

One positive aspect of having only just played Minecraft for the first time last year is that, unlike some folks, I haven’t already invested in the game on a million different platforms. That, and, the fact that I can still play vanilla Minecraft and be blissfully unaware of all the mods that are out there.

I do love my PC version for all the mod potential that it has. I bought the Wii U version on a whim, but struggled a bit with the console controls. In fact, the console controls were one of the reasons I almost didn’t pick the Switch edition.

However, several things happened this weekend that pushed me into the impulse buy:

  • I had a 4 day weekend thanks to it being my birthday last week
  • I learned you could select from different control schemes on the Switch (this may have been true for the Wii U version as well, but I never thought to look)
  • The worlds are larger than the Wii U version
  • Easy to take and share screenshots
  • I had more than enough gift card cash on my Nintendo e-shop account
  • I had a “lack” of games on my Switch screen
  • I decided this is probably the best portable version of Minecraft you can have (supports both controllers and touch pad)
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A “lack” of games on my Switch screen prompted a re-purchase of Minecraft.

New Minecraft Adventures

Anyhow, it’s always fun to start a new Minecraft adventure. Also, this time around, I figured out how to select a proper skin for my avatar, as well. The Switch version came with a number to choose from, but I went with the Knight.

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The game started me out on a savanna, though the biomes on this map changed very rapidly and were somewhat crammed together. Of course, they teased me with seeing a lovely horse within the first few minuets of spawning.

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Sadly, this was the first and last time I saw this pretty horse. I’m not sure what happened to it. 😦

I built the normal beginner hut and started putting up fences and lighting. Somewhere along the way, I managed to pick up some bones and tamed a wolf. I’ve tried taming wolves before in other games, but this was my first successful attempt — on the first bone!

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I want to take note of the Achievement system. I don’t recall seeing this on the Wii U version of the game. I know the PC version has something similar, but not quite the same in-your-face achievements.

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Once I got the standard housing set up, my big goal was to find a saddle because the game kept teasing me with the horses that were roaming around. I did some fishing (needed food anyhow), but eventually decided to explore and work through some caves.

My adventure took me further than I expected…

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A tree that caught fire from the lava being too close, I guess.

And before I knew it, I was totally lost.

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One thing I had never learned about in Minecraft was the mapping system. It seemed confusing back when I first started playing the game, so I ended up adding a mini-map mod to my game on the PC.

That wasn’t an option here, so if I were to find my way back to my cozy little box house, I knew I had to learn how to map.

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After uncovering as much map as I could find, I realized that this one map did not, in fact, cover all of the world. It was only a small part of the area! Unlike the PC version where you can add to a map to make the original larger, it seems the console version requires you to just make another blank map to start mapping the new areas.

Maps require a good deal of cane to make paper. This was pretty rare to find during my exploration, so I ended up making a bunch of cane farms each time I stumbled upon a new zone of the world.

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While I was waiting for cane to grow, I spent the time fishing for food. Sure enough, luck was on my side, and I fished up a saddle, right near a horse spawn!

I wasted no time selecting a nice black horse and taming him.

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This made all the difference in my exploration. I don’t know what I would have done if I’d had to walk that entire map on foot. Riding and mapping was so, so much better.

Not to mention, as far as horses go, this one was quite nice — look at all those hearts!

Anyhow, it took many hours before I actually found my way back home. I had no idea that I’d walked two full maps away from my original spawn point! Since I had a lot of iron, nice gear, a saddle, and a horse, I was totally motivated to get back in one piece.

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Here’s my fine horse, who carried me home, finally taking a well-earned break. 🙂

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Not only that, but I discovered that just to the west of my base, and not that far away, is a village. I’m excited to start building a road out that direction, set up some defenses for them and build it up some.

Impressions

A quickie review of my impressions — obviously, I had a lot of fun with this version of Minecraft. I spent a number of hours with it, and it played just as well docked as it did in handheld mode.

I didn’t expect to need to play it handheld, but a set of nasty storms rolled through my area on Friday night. I was stoked that I could just undock my Switch and keep playing even while the rest of my electronics were unplugged and turned off during the storm. If I had lost power that night, it wouldn’t have stopped my gaming, either.

I really like having full controller support for the handheld version of the game. I haven’t played the pocket version, but I’ve heard people say that the touch controls are not always idea for Minecraft. I could see that happening. I did use touch controls very sparingly, mostly during crafting and moving inventory around, and was happy that was an option.

I also always love how the console version makes crafting much simpler than the PC version. Sorry. I have so much trouble remembering recipes… it’s more of an annoyance to have to open a wiki to figure out what the pattern is for simple crafting items. The console version just auto-makes things for you if you have the materials in your inventory. I appreciate that a lot!

I know that you can play with your Minecraft friends easily, just by joining their game on the Nintendo network, which is another plus for those who want to play multiplayer online. You can also play with others on local split-screen.

So, is Minecraft Switch Edition worth getting? It was for me. But again, I’m not someone who already has 5 different copies of the game and years of experience playing it.

I think it’s a solid version of Minecraft. I think for someone new to the game, or someone who wants a good portable version of Minecraft, this is a good buy. Or… if you just want another game to add to your Switch screen. Yep.

 

Posted in Gaming, Minecraft

Minecraft: Villages, Horses, Caves & First Mods

I spent a lot of time chilling out in Minecraft this weekend. I still keep stumbling on things and learning new stuff every time I turn around. I made a lot of progress, though, and finally broke down to install my first ever mods.

Savanna Village

Last time I wrote about Minecraft, I noted that I’d seen another village east of Dune Village, out in the savanna. I decided to check it out, and found this cute, but overgrown little place. I also found cows out there for the first time in my game.

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So, I went straight to work on cleaning the place up and fencing it in safely. I don’t know what it is about me and having to fix up every village I come across, but it always seems to become a project.

In the end, it turned out nice, and I made a new pasture for pigs and cows, which I did not find near my original base or Dune Village.

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Once that project was done, I decided to chill out and replenish my food supplies with a little fishing. That’s when I made the discovery that changed my game.

Fishing Up Treasure

I enjoy fishing for the sake of fishing. In Minecraft, you can cook the fish for food, which I like a lot better than killing livestock for meat. I don’t have all the crops that it takes to make good stuff to eat, so cooked fish is the most handy food source for me.

When researching fishing, I noticed that you also get a chance to reel in junk or, much more rare, a piece of treasure. Treasure also varies in the items you fish up, so it’s a rare chance to get treasure, and a rarer chance to get exact treasure you want.

Still, in the back of my mind, I was secretly hoping to fish up a saddle since I’ve never had horses in Minecraft… and… well… you know how I feel about horses! But what’s the chance in that?

So, I’m fishing and minding my own business and suddenly… I reel in a saddle! 

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Holy crap, guys, it’s time for me to go search for horses!

Quest for Horses & First Mods

This proves that I will do anything for horses. Even mod my game.

I dropped everything and instantly set out the next day, looking for a herd. I read that they can spawn in plains or savanna biomes, but that they only spawn when the zone is first populated. There’s a LOT of both of those biomes on my map, but I’d never seen any sign of a horse.

But I was determined. The only problem was, I was getting lost often. Getting lost was frustrating, a waste of my gaming time, and not finding me horses.

I know there’s some kind of map system in Minecraft, but I’m not super familiar with how that works. And I know that I can use the Overviewer to kinda figure out the lay of the land, but I was on a quest for horses! I didn’t have time to keep flipping back from game to map!

So, I broke down and installed my first two mods: Xaero’s Minimap and Xaero’s World Map. I couldn’t help it. I hate feeling like I’m lost, and I’m too used to pressing the M key in a MMO to see where I am on the map.

And you know what? I finally did find horses… but I probably would not have found them as easily if I didn’t have the map mod to help me see which areas I’d already searched through.

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I will also admit that the mods came with waypoints and teleportation built in. And yes, I have broken down and started using teleportation. I went back to my bases and marked them with waypoints so I can travel back to them more easily.

But that still didn’t stop me from building roads between them! Because horses can’t teleport!

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So, I went and tamed the whole herd of horses and brought them back to the pasture in Savanna Village.

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But, somewhere along the time when I was back getting lost looking for horses, I stumbled on yet another town, which was interestingly stuck in a canyon. I saddled up and rode north to go and find it again.

Canyon Town

Canyon Town was interesting and more difficult to domesticate than the other villages I discovered. It was larger, and some of the buildings were embedding into the hillsides. Some of the villagers were even trapped in their houses simply because the buildings were spawned with blocked doors.

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So, I had to dig them out and find safe ways to let them descend from the top of the hills they lived on. I did have to replace some sand with grass, but most of the time was spent fencing the place in and making safe paths for villagers.

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The town was also built around canals, which were neat, but dangerous to the silly villagers who happened to fall in. So, I had my work cut out for me this time.

Overall, the new town was a success.

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But even better, it had direct access to a natural cave system, right there within the town. I gated it up while I was still working on domesticating the town so that the nasties inside wouldn’t bother the villagers.

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Cave Exploring

Once I was done fortifying the town, I turned my attention to exploring the cave. This is the first natural cave that I’ve run across, and it turned out to be quite big! I learned a LOT about making my way through enemies from this place, including making my first set of iron armor, and how to live through Creeper attacks.

But the most interesting thing I found there was this burning cage thing… which I soon learned was a monster spawner protecting two chests in the cave!

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And what did this cage spawn?

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Spiders! 

Lots and lots of spiders!

Happy day!

Why happy? Well, I was wondering where I’d get more rope to make a replacement fishing pole for when the one I have breaks down. Now I have no shortage of rope at all. 🙂

I just broke out a couple of blocks, so that I could hit the spiders, but they couldn’t reach me, and I went to town on clearing out the cave. The spiders still continue to spawn there from time to time, but once it was clear, I was able to open the chests and raid them bit by bit.

There were a lot of neat things in those chests, including a second (!) saddle, a music disk, a book for enchanting stuff (?), and best of all…

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Horse armor! Woo!

I did explore the rest of the cave and lit it up to prevent future spawns. Did some mining. But the spider spawner room was the most interesting thing I discovered down there.

And that’s where my weekend adventures in Minecraft left off. I’ll be looking for my next project/adventure soon enough!

Posted in 7 Days to Die, FFXIV, Gaming, Minecraft, MMORPGs, RPG Maker

Weekend Gaming Highlights: FFXIV, Minecraft, 7D2D, RPG Maker

This was a weekend of exciting announcements for FFXIV players, and lots of random gaming for me. There’s so many small things going on, but nothing huge, so it felt right to make a highlights post today. I may go into detail on some of these later!

FFXIV: Treasures and Tanking

This weekend marked our FC’s first organized Treasure Hunt night. We’ve been running the Aquapolis from time to time, when people remembered. Folks are having so much fun, and there are still some who have never tried it, so we put it on the calendar as a light event on Friday nights.

We had such a turn-out that we had to organize two groups to accommodate everyone who wanted to run. And while our group didn’t have the best luck getting the portal to open, when we finally did, we reached Chamber 7 again this time (as did our second group)!

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As I announced earlier this weekend, I also finally leveled my Paladin to 50! I got some Ironworks gear for her, and I have to grudgingly admit that I think Paladin looks good on my character.

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Paladin Wren!

This weekend I also co-tanked the Labyrinth of the Ancients raid in Crystal Tower, which is the first time I’ve tanked a raid of any kind. I was mostly playing the off-tank, just trying to get a feel for how things worked from a tank’s point of view. But it seemed less stressful overall than tanking a whole dungeon where all the pulls rest on your shoulders.

I didn’t think to get any screens of it since I was too busy figuring out my role, but I wouldn’t be against trying it again sometime. Aside from that, I’ve been doing beast tribe dailies and some random FATEs, continuing to level Paladin on the side. At this point, Beast Tribe quests actually give a good chunk of daily experience, while I am working on earning FATE crystals for my Paladin relic by activating the Monk Anima quest instead.

Minecraft: Finding Fishing

Minecraft remains that game that I play for short bursts when I have some down time or just want to chill. I have been working on expanding my island base with actual dirt blocks to allow the grass to grow there, as I mentioned earlier.

I also learned that there is fishing in Minecraft. Anyone who knows me knows that if there’s fishing in a game, I’m going to be doing it! Especially since you can cook the fish and use it as a food source. Even better, there’s a chance at reeling in treasure — I especially have my eye on finding a saddle.

I haven’t seen a horse in game yet, but when I do, I want it so badly! So, for now, I’m exploring fishing in the little oasis pond next to my Dune Village.

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7D2D: Tri-Biome Home

This weekend, our Posse decided to restart our game of 7D2D. So we seeded up a new map called “Spriggan” after my kitten, and that went just about as well as it sounded like it would. This map dropped us in a pretty harsh environment with a lot of mountains and desert. Not to mention, our trader quest took us two days away from our first house find.

Thankfully, there was a little house fairly close to this trader, and it has a very interesting placement.

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As you can see in this picture, I’m standing in a green forest biome. This transitions into desert, where the house is actually located. But to the right, both green forest and desert turn into snow biome!

This makes for very interesting weather patterns. If it’s raining in the forest, you can stand on one side of the base and get rained on, while moving towards the desert side makes the rain stop!

I had a horde approach the house from the back, where desert and snow met, while there was a snow storm happening in the snow biome. It looked like this:

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Snowing in the desert!

If I were to take a few steps to the left, you’d see the snow stop, replaced by desert instead. Very trippy! 😄

RPG Maker Saturday

While this isn’t really playing a game, it’s a good chunk of time Syn and I put towards spinning up the beginning of our Nefol RPG. We haven’t put as much time towards this as I’d like, but I feel like we made up for that this weekend.

We scripted up the introduction, and I got to work on relearning how to script events in RPG Maker. I’d forgotten a lot, including how to properly use switches, which led to hours of time trying to debug events that did exactly what I was telling them to do, but not what I was hoping. I’ll write a longer post about this on the Nefol page… but in the meantime, I wanted to close with this demo screen of our heroes in a boss fight. 🙂

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Posted in Gaming, Minecraft

Minecraft: Making Connections

So I finished my renovation project of the Dune Village this week, finally replacing the last of the sand with dirt so the Savanna grass can grow up inside. Here’s what it looks like now… you can see there’s still a little patch where the grass needs to grow, but it’s coming along.

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I’ll probably build a few more structures and mess around with the village a bit more on down the line. But, once I finished that project, I went looking for another.

I decided to place a road to connect Dune Village to my original Home Base and Floating Island (which I still want to work on more). So, for the past couple of days, I’ve taken all the stacks of sand and dirt I have to build a road. Where the path crossed desert, I placed dirt on either side of a block of sand to make a path. When I hit greener land, I used sand as a road instead.

This worked out pretty well! You can see my little path winding across the map below.

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So, while I was checking out the map that generated using Minecraft Overviewer, I noticed there’s another village out there, located east-ish of Dune Village.

newvillageOnce I get everything organized at home, that’ll be my next target of exploration. Especially since it’s a nice, green village that I won’t need to terraform.

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But for now, I’ve decided to stay a little bit closer to home. Namely, I realized why grass wasn’t spreading over my floating island construct — because I had been using coarse dirt rather than normal dirt as the surface. Once I started putting down real dirt, the grass started spreading. So, seeing that, I’m going to work on expanding that sky base a bit more.

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Posted in Gaming, Minecraft

Minecraft: The Dune Village

Lately, Minecraft has become my go-to game for chilling out and unwinding. I know I haven’t written about it lately, but I’m actually still playing the same map that I rolled up back when I first started playing.

Somewhere in the course of exploring, I discovered a desert village. This has been the only village I’ve found so far, and it’s not terribly far away from the original spawn spot, so I decided to develop it.

First, I fenced it in and distributed torches to help bolster the defenses.

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In the process, I learned a few things, including:

  • Husks spawn instead of zombies in the Desert biome
  • Husks don’t die in sunlight (!)
  • There’s such a thing as baby Husks (!)
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You’re supposed to burn in the sun! 😦

Revitalizing the Dune Village

Anyhow. This village borders on the savanna biome, and even came with a very small patch of grass near one of the outermost houses. I did some research and discovered that placing dirt blocks next to grass blocks spreads grass. So, for whatever strange reason, I decided that my new building goal is to replace the sand with dirt blocks and make this desert village green!

This is why it’s dubbed the Dune Village. When I mentioned my project to Syn, instead of laughing at my futility, she noted it was similar to the premise of the stories in Dune, where the goal is to ultimately take the desert world of Arrakis and make it green. Thereafter, we had a long discussion about Dune, writing, and other geeky things.

So, what I did was go to a nearby dirt hillside and start hollowing it out for dirt blocks.

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The Dirt Mine

Then, I went back to the village and dug up sand blocks, replacing them with dirt one by one.

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Replacing sand with dirt

I made sure to connect the dirt to the few existing grass blocks, and watched as the grass slowly began to spread through the dirt paths. It was actually quite rewarding and interesting to check back on grass progress each Minecraft day.

In the center of the village, I made a little pasture for animals. It started out looking like this:

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The pasture foundation
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Installing a fence

And then this…

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Watching the grass spread

And now finally this…

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A nice green pasture for animals!

There’s probably a better/faster way of doing this than digging things up block by block, but I’m a noob and the project is chill. I’m actually pretty close to being done with it on the inside of the village. I haven’t decided what I’ll do to expand the village from there, though there are a lot of options.

I built myself a basic house made from granite I dug up and polished, mostly because I wanted a house that stood out from the rest. You can see that the grass has spread on the left side already, while I’m still waiting for it to spread around back of the house to the right side.

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Worth it.

Posted in Gaming, Uncategorized

December Goals in Review

The end of 2016 is almost upon us. That’s pretty wild to think about. Some folks are ready to see the year go. I’m just trying to figure out how to do stuff differently next year. But that’s a post for another time. This is about my December gaming goals.

I’m posting this a little early because I foresee myself being busy the next few days (I’m visiting and roadtripping, and won’t be home until next week). I don’t think I’ll be hitting any more goals than what I already have for the month, so it’s all good.

What did I accomplish?

Games to Explore

  • Civ 6 ✓
  • Skyrim
  • No Man’s Sky ✓
  • Minecraft
  • Sims 4 ✓

I did pretty good on this. Poor Skyrim is falling by the wayside again, but I hope I can pick it up next year. Minecraft might actually get a bit more exploration since I did pick up the Wii U copy as well to bring along on my trip. 

Aside from that, I won my first round of Civ 6, started building a base in No Man’s Sky, and my Sims family have reached the top of their career. I’m aiming to get them that nice penthouse once they save enough simoleons.

I still have a lot I want to do in No Man’s Sky, but I also have a few new Steam games that I want to explore next year. I also want to get back on my Steam Challenge in 2017 and knock out some backlog games that have been hanging around for too long! 

Pokemon Sun

  • Complete 3rd Island ✓
  • Continue to fill Pokedex ✓

Yes! I did this! Despite being sucked into breeding and trading for the holidays.  

I actually just reached Poni Island last night in Pokemon Sun. While I still have a ways to go, I’m happy to say that my Alola Pokedex is sitting at  76% complete. I have three teams worth of Pokemon training in Pelago, either leveling to hit an evolution or leveling before I give them a stone to evolve. 

Final Fantasy XIV

  • Gear Dragoon ✓
  • Work (harder) on Dragoon Relic ✓
  • Level Monk ✓
  • Do Monk job quests ✓
  • Do Summoner job quests
  • Clean up old quests
  • Gear Summoner
  • Gain reputation with Sahagin

I’ve actually been taking a bit of a break from FFXIV this month, and it’s been a good thing. 

I finished gearing Zuri’s Dragoon with Scripture gear, and while I have worked on the Relic, I’m just not feeling motivated about it. Maybe waiting until the 3.5 patch, which is coming on January 17, to see if we’ve got any much-needed nerfs is the way to go for now. 

I have leveled Zuri’s Monk a bit – slowly coming up on 58 – but it’s not something I’ve worked really hard at achieving. I’d like to get it done before the end of January, though, because the Monk and Dragoon share end game accessories, so that would help clean up some inventory space. That’s really the only reason I level jobs anymore! 

I’ve really done nothing to gear up or advanced my Summoner. I just haven’t had that much interest in it, especially since Red Mage has been announced. I don’t know if Red Mage will share weapon stats with mages or with the other ranged DPS yet. So it’s hard to make plans for it. 

My poor old-skool beast tribe quests. Every month I just ignore them. Maybe now that I’m done working on getting Tomes for gear through beast tribes, I can focus on cleaning up the rest of them before Stormblood. 

I don’t know what kind of motivation I have for leveling my other jobs that are just hanging out there on Zuri. That level 50-60 grind is painful… and might ease up once the expansion comes. I have a level 30 Black Mage, level 32 Ninja, and two tanks hanging around in the 30s as well. I’ve not unlocked Astro or Dark Knight, and I’m not sure I have interest in unlocking them aside from just for completion sake.

Before Heavensward hit, I made a push to level all my crafting jobs to 50. So I might get the same itch with my battle classes this year. Maybe just to 50 so that once the expansion drops, they’ll be ready for the bonus experience. Who knows.

Right now, I haven’t decided whether I’m going to keep setting monthly goals for myself in 2017… but from the sound of it, I have a lot I still want to do!

 

Posted in FFXIV, Gaming, Minecraft, MMORPGs, Pokemon

December Gaming Goals

Welcome to the final month of 2016! It’s hard to believe the holiday season is here and the new year is just a month away. It’s going to be a busy month for me seeing I’ll be gone on vacation at the end of it, but I still wanted to organize a few goals for myself.

Like last month, these goals will mostly focus on nudging myself to play games I’m curious about due to new releases, expansions or updates. The picture above is from the new Foundation Patch for No Man’s Sky, for example. Minecraft also just got a new update that I’m interested in, not to mention there’s still a lot about the game I don’t know yet.

Games to Explore

  • Civ 6 ✓
  • Skyrim
  • No Man’s Sky ✓
  • Minecraft
  • Sims 4 ✓

Pokemon Sun

  • Complete 3rd Island ✓
  • Continue to fill Pokedex ✓

Final Fantasy XIV

  • Gear Dragoon ✓
  • Work (harder) on Dragoon Relic ✓
  • Level Monk ✓
  • Do Monk job quests ✓
  • Do Summoner job quests
  • Clean up old quests
  • Gear Summoner
  • Gain reputation with Sahagin

Let’s see how much of this I can do!

Do you have any gaming goals for December?