Posted in Gaming

March 2018 Gaming Goals in Review

I set out some pretty ambitious goals for March, and was surprised that I actually achieved quite a few of them this time around. I did get a little distracted by Starbound and Second Life towards the end of this month, so not everything was complete. Still, did pretty well overall!

FFXIV Goals

  • Level Black Mage (to 70?) ✓
  • Level Ninja to 50
  • Level Warrior to 40 ✓
  • Level Dark Knight to 40 ✓
  • Level Weaver to 70 ✓

I did, indeed, level Black Mage to 70 this month, and then started on leveling my Summoner/Scholar next… mostly because I’m trying to consolidate gear at level 70. I also got Weaver to 70, and have started on upgrading all of the gear to script stuff so that I can look at improving all of my other crafters’ gear.

The only goal I didn’t meet was getting Ninja to 50… though I did move that up to 42. So, I’m not too far away!

Nintendo Switch Goals

  • Make progress in Mario Odyssey ✓
  • Play Dragon Quest Builders ✓

I’ve only made a little bit more progress into Dragon Quest Builders… still in Chapter 1. But that’s okay.

The big thing was that I finally beat the story mode for Mario Odyssey this month! I want to say this is the first Switch game I’ve actually beat!

PC Goals

  • Play more of Sims Jungle Adventure ✓
  • Try one new Steam game each week ✓✓✓✓

I did play a bit more of the new Sims Jungle Adventure, and wrote about it as well. There’s still a lot I haven’t seen in this Game Pack yet. Will try to make some time to play some more.

Not only did I play a new Steam game every week this month, but I also hit my Steam Challenge goal for the year, to play at least 50% of all the games I own!

A pretty good month overall. Let’s end March with a nice filtered picture of a fountain I took during my Mario play through, but never got to use anywhere else.

mariofountain

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Posted in Gaming, No Man's Sky

How to Build a Base in No Man’s Sky Foundation Update

Yesterday, I talked about the frustration and confusion I had in trying to build my first base in No Man’s Sky. I found a world I wanted to make my home planet, but I couldn’t find an outpost location to start building the base.

In No Man’s Sky, you can’t just build a base anywhere. There are limitations. You have to find an outpost site that allows for base building before you can begin. Sometimes you can find one when you scan a planet from space (target the planet and press “C” to scan). But more often than not, you’ll find nothing.

It took a bit of reading a few forum posts, but I’ve finally got it together. I wanted to write a quick guide for anyone who wants to build a base, but can’t find the outpost to start.

How to Build a Base in No Man’s Sky

  1. Find your dream planet and land on it.
  2. Press the Z key. This will bring up a new building menu that was introduced in the Foundation Update.
  3. Select the Signal Booster from the menu. I had to use the arrow keys on my keyboard to switch between the options. 20161205182935_1
  4. Press F to place the Signal Booster. Keep in mind that you must have the required materials to build it – you’ll find this information in a box in the lower right hand corner. From my understanding, these materials can change depending on which mode (Creative, Normal, Survival) you are playing.
  5. Press E to interact with the Signal Booster. It’ll give you a list of locations to scan for.
  6. Select Habitable Base and allow it to scan. It’ll show you the location of a nearby outpost that allows for building a base. 20161205182956_1
  7. Fly there and scope it out. If you like it, go inside and interact with the terminal to claim it as your base and home planet.

Keep in mind that there are usually more than one Habitable Base locations on a planet. So you don’t have to take the first one you find. If you don’t like the area surrounding the site, move along.

Just make sure that you first walk inside the outpost you don’t want to keep to discover it, then fly a distance away — this way, the signal booster will hopefully not pick up the same location a second time. Repeat the process: build a new signal booster and scan for another Habitable Base until you find one you love.

20161205183253_1

Once you’ve claimed the base, building is super easy. You use the same Z menu to rotate through the different building parts, then place them with the F key. The game gives a little mini-walkthrough on what to do with your first base.

When you have rooms and stations built, you’ll need to go to a space station to hire NPCs like builders and farmers. Also, make sure that you locate the teleporter in the space station and use it to establish a link to your base. This makes quick travel back to your base possible.

I found the teleporter located behind the door up the stairs on the left side of the landing pad in the space station, which is directly across from the door where you go to access vendors and NPCs.

Hopefully this quick guide will help you get started. The rest is up to you, so reach for the stars!

20161205204041_1

Posted in Gaming, No Man's Sky, Uncategorized

No Man’s Sky: My Outpost for a Base

Last week, No Man’s Sky released the long-awaited Foundation Update. It came out of the blue and took a number of people by surprise.

I know that in the back of my mind somewhere, I had filed away that bases and other improvements were coming to No Man’s Sky. But as the hype and ire faded away, other games took my interest and I stopped looking for the promised update. I did, however, leave the game installed on my PC just in case.

Looks like it was a good thing that I did, because I was able to install the update and jump into the new content straight up.

Well, more or less.

New Modes

One of the most talked about new features comes in the form of new modes. This update brought two new options – creative mode and survival mode. Any previous game you started remains as a normal mode.

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This effectively gives you three save files and three different ways to play the game. I personally have no interest in a survival mode — the life support on my suit is annoying enough without more complexities. However, I’ve heard a lot of praise from people who were looking for this kind of difficulty in the game at launch. People are having fun with the challenge, and that’s a good thing.

Other Praise

There was praise for other parts of the update. Namely, more varied planet structure. We’re seeing more variety in formations, like true mountains and beaches now. I’ve stumbled upon a world with a true desert. These are nice changes, though I still wish for multi-biome planets one day.

Others praise the improved graphics of the game. I’m not quite sure what they’re talking about, because the game was always pretty looking to me. Though, I just may not see what they’re seeing due to a aging graphics card. Something has changed, because I get a warning now when I start up the game that says my card isn’t up to snuff. It still plays just fine, though.

Creative Mode

Because I was rusty with the game’s controls, I decided to start over in a creative mode game. I hoped this would refresh my memory in a gentler mode… and it did. In fact, it started me out right next to a potential uninhabited outpost, which means I could make a base there.

20161128194050_1

I guess it was  a good spot, and in retrospect, I probably should have taken it because you can always move base locations later. Or so I’ve heard.

But not having a chance to explore, and seeing it was a semi-desert “barren” world (though it had plenty of flora and fauna), I set off for greener pastures. It did have some pretty neat floating structures, though.

20161128203659_1

I soon discovered that creative mode was truly creative mode. Your life support doesn’t go down at all, except in the case you run across a toxic or such environment. Your suit, weapon and ship upgrades cost no money at all.

At first, this was pretty cool. But after a few effortless ship upgrades, I realized this mean that money was worth nothing, which took a lot of the challenge out of the game. As far as a creative mode, I guess it was doing its job well enough.

I visited a flourishing green planet that I really fell in love with, but I couldn’t  find an option to build a base on it. I know that you scan a planet to find a uninhabited outpost, and only those spots are able to support a base.  I don’t know if every planet has that option, or if it’s just one per system or what. If so, that would be pretty crazy.

One way or another, that outpost limitation was enough for me to put the creative game down. I had found a world where I wanted to build my base, but I couldn’t do it. That was frustrating.

I might do some research on outposts and bases eventually and go back once I know more… maybe. Instead, I decided to pick up my old save and see if I had any more luck. It was a bit of a bummer when you got everything for free.

Normal Mode

Going back to normal mode after creative mode was a bit of a jolt. I’d forgotten how annoying it was to have to stop and feed your life support suit and fuel your ship all the time. In fact, I spent more time doing that than I did actually making progress on what I wanted to do — find a nice planet to build a base.

On top of that, I had some terrible luck in the quality of the star systems I found. I left the system I was in only to find an equally inhospitable system right behind it. The problem was, I needed to get the materials to make fuel to warp again. But either the world didn’t have the materials, there were frenzied sentinels, or the world itself was so hostile I couldn’t remain there very long.

I did a planet scan and found an uninhabited outpost on a really craptastic planet. After that, my scans didn’t show me any more options. Again, I don’t know if this is by design, or if I’m missing the jist of it. But there’s no way I want to make my base on a green slime planet of doom.

No Man's Sky
At least I have a cool looking ship.

I left it off at this point, but I do plan on returning to it again this week sometime when I find the time. And time is what this game gobbles up by the score.

I really do want to find a base and learn about the building tools. They look well-done, though I know that there are limitations in place, especially on the console version.

I just have to find a world that I want to live on first!

Update! I did some research and found out how to build a base on any world. Here’s a guide for it! 

Posted in Gaming, Steam Challenge

Steam Challenge: Culling Time

steamculling

Let’s face it. Many of us have ended up with games in our Steam backlog that we’re just never going to play in any serious way. When we go to pick out a game to install, our eyes just brush past this title, not even considering it. We may not even remember where it came from – likely part of some random bundle somewhere.

I have several of these — I feel a little bad about it because I know someone put love and time and money into developing them. They’re probably not bad games, but they are just not for me.

I’ve found that, in particular, platforming and shooter games fall into this category. There was a time and place where Mario was my gaming life, back in the NES era. But as I’ve gotten older, my hand-eye coordination isn’t what it used to be. I’ve learned that casual platformers are okay, but anything beyond that becomes frustrating and just not worth my effort anymore. I’ve never been into FPSs… though I have some exceptions, such as with survival games like 7D2D (though I still mostly melee in that).

So, these games sit on my Steam list, forever unplayed, and heavily skew my Steam calculator results. This weekend, I decided that was enough of that, and decided to start culling the list of games I’m just probably never going to put real time towards. I did this by installing the game, playing enough of it to count towards a playtime, then uninstalling. In my defense, I played each game to the point where it either got frustrating or tedious to me in some way.

Here’s what I got. If you’re interested in any of them, click their image to go to their Steam page.

goduswars

Godus Wars

Earlier this year, the devs working on Godus decided that rather than add battle into their original game, they were going to split their game into two games and sell them separately. This seems to be a trend lately. All this did was add another separate title to my backlog, darnit!

I already talked about how I felt about Godus, and I haven’t actually tried playing the original just yet. So, chances are, playing the battle version was not going to be my cup of tea.

Outcome

This one was a little clunky. I’m not sure why the game had to open two windows to run one game, for example.

It wasn’t terrible. The aesthetics were nice, and the sculpting aspect (which I knew I’d like) was also nice. But I’d rather be spending my time on a more polished strategy game.


hellyeah

Hell Yeah!

I… don’t even know where this came from. Probably a bundle somewhere. You play as the snarky rabbit prince of Hell… and things just keep getting quirkier and more colorful from there. It’s about as strange as it gets with a bit of puzzling, a bit of platforming, and a lot of unorthodox, disrespectful humor.

Outcome

This game… is actually pretty fun. It takes nothing seriously, and it managed to get me to play all the way to the point where I beat the first boss to complete stage one. This is going to be weird, but I’m actually going to recommend you try it out if you find it on your Steam list and you have a taste for something different to play some weekend.


alanwakenightmare

Alan Wake’s American Nightmare

Alan Wake makes me cry. It’s such a neat story (about a writer), but the game’s mechanics are just too annoying and difficult for me. Long before I stared this blog, I actually beat the first Alan Wake, which I chronicled on my Tumblr. But I couldn’t have done it without cheats that gave me unlimited life and ammo, and that’s what makes me sad.

Outcome

The story fascinates me, and I love that it really does seem to refer back to the original game often. But about the third fight in, the game decimated me, reminding me why I played the previous game with mods. This game is just not going to happen, no matter how much I’d like to see the story. Maybe I’ll watch it on YouTube one day.


supermeatboy

Super Meat Boy

Yes, I knew what I was getting into before I fired up this game. Any game that describes itself as an “infamous, tough-as-nails platformer” is not for me. I played until I hit a stage where I died more than 10 times… then I gave it a rest. That took me all of 7 minutes. 🙂

Outcome

If you love tough platformers, this game is right on spot. With a controller, it played fluidly and responded well. I like the mechanics, I just don’t have the patience and time to hit my head against a wall because I can’t make pixel perfect jumps.


The One That Redeemed Iteslf

roguelegacybanner

I actually put some time into this game a few years back. But I must have been playing offline, because Steam didn’t pick it up. Like the other games I was attempting to cull yesterday, I loaded this up to play a few rounds just to get some time on it before I uninstalled.

Only… that didn’t happen.

This game has been vastly improved since my first attempt to play it (when it was likely in early access). I still died over and over and over, but this time, I was able to start unlocking new classes new gear and slowly make it further and further into the game. This turned into one of those “Just one more generation” things, and before I knew it, I put 2.4 hours on the game yesterday afternoon.

I have plans to revisit it. Too addicting!


This is not the end of my culling list by far. I’ve set up a Steam category and started moving the games I mean to cull into it. I hope to get a little time each night to knock one or two off my list so that I can get my backlog looking a little more manageable. I’m also refraining from picking up and activating any Steam bundles in the future. 🙂

Do you have any games you’d consider to be “culling” games on your Steam list? What do you do with those? 

Posted in Gaming, Steam Challenge

Steam Challenge: Long Live the Queen

longlivethequeen

Game: Long Live the Queen
Time Played: 1.8 Hours

I picked up Long Live the Queen during a Steam winter sale in 2014, and have only just now gotten around to trying it. I’m awful. But, hey, that was the final game that I bought that winter that I hadn’t played, so now I’ve caught up! 😀

What is it?

The Steam page describes it as this:

Rule the world or die trying!

Being a Princess is not an easy job. Being a Queen is even harder. Especially when you’re only fourteen years old, and the reason you’ve inherited the throne is that your royal mother has just met an untimely end.

While it’s very catchy, it doesn’t really do a great job of describing exactly what you’ll be doing in this game. So here goes nothing.

LLtQ is a very clever visual novel in that I don’t think I’ve played one similar to this before. The story is pretty complex, and a lot is obscured to you if your princess, Elodie, doesn’t have the right skills to understand what’s happening around her.

So you have this princess who is next in line to the throne. And you have all these outside plots and intrigue that want to see her dead. It’s difficult to determine who is friend and foe, and even moreso because, as I noted above, if Elodie doesn’t have knowledge or skill in something, parts of the story are completely obscured.

Each week, you send Elodie in to learn two new skills. You can double up on the same skill, or spread it across different skill types. The one major thing to keep in mind is that her current emotional state effects which skills she learns the best.

For example, if she’s angry, she’ll get a bonus to learning about weapons and military. But she’ll suck at learning something more peaceful, like medicine. In fact, she can suck so much that trying to train her in one of those skills will result in nothing learned at all, and is a huge waste of resources.

If you raise all skills in a set to a specific level, you unlock new outfits that help Elodie learn them even faster, which is kinda nice.

lltqskills

Learning the right skills to handle the right situations is the difference between life and death in this game. But the problem is, you won’t know what’s coming to kill you until you get there. And by then, it’s too late.

Fun and Frustration

This was my first death...
This was my first death…

The story is pretty interesting, which is a good thing because, as I noted above, you’re not going to live through it your first time. Thankfully, the game allows you to fast forward through story you’ve already seen. However, each choice you make, including knowing the right skills to handle story situations, changes the outcomes and choices you can make. The game is smart enough to stop fast forwarding through any part of the story that you haven’t seen yet – a very nice feature!

So this game is designed from the get-go knowing that people are going to play it repeatedly before they succeed. I’ve seen it touted as the Dark Souls of visual novels, and I agree.

It’s fun because you can try again with more knowledge the second time around. My first time, I was actually doing pretty well until I got shot through with an arrow and Elodie brilliantly thought that pushing it deeper was the best way to deal with it.

My second time through, I had a better idea of skills that would benefit me. I unlocked a lot of skill outfits and was progressing pretty far into the story. I probably should have saved the game (that’s the only way I can think I’d ever come close to beating it is to save and reload), because I ended up getting trashed because I didn’t have enough magic skill or something.

Oh, yeah. Speaking of which, there’s an unexpected magic girl sub-plot to the whole thing. Or, at least, there was in the story I’m playing. Sadly, the magic girl transformation didn’t save me.

lltqtransform

After dying on my second try, the third and fourth times I just got more and more miserable at it until I gave up. I probably needed a break, but it got to the point where I felt everything I chose was wrong in some way… and it probably was.

There’s just no way to be able to foresee and prepare for all the different skills that you need to respond to situations appropriately, and it’s hard to know which failures are huge and which ones are okay to let slide. So while this does encourage you to replay the game again and again, I could see this as a bit of frustration for perfectionists.

My advice is remember to save if things are going well. I’m still kicking myself for not saving that second game. I could have gone far!

Despite my grump, I can see myself playing it again when I have time. It’s certainly challenging, original and fun overall.

Recommended? 

yes