[Civ5] [FFXIV] Waiting for Civilization: Beyond Earth

20 Oct
Venice is a megalopolis at this point

Venice is a megalopolis at this point

I’ve played a touch more FFXIV, but it really just isn’t grabbing me.  I like the crafting quite a lot and any time I log in I find myself crafting or harvesting rather than adventuring.  I don’t think it helps that my current story mission is to go into a group dungeon and the time I actually queued for it I waited well over an hour without the queue popping on a Saturday afternoon when one would think there’d be a lot of people online.  I haven’t really logged in since to try again.  And tbh, don’t really care either.

This past weekend I played a couple of games of Civ5.  I’ve not done much with the Autocracy ideology, so I’ve got several “missing achievements” from it.  Fired up a new game as the Assyrians to take advantage of their Royal Library giving extra xp to units.  Was kinda fun to (eventually) be creating units with 85 xp already under their belt — 15 barracks, 15 armory, 15 military academy, 15 Brandenburg Gate wonder, 15 from Autocracy, and 10 from the Royal Library.  I actually did Autocracy once before a long time ago as the Zulus, but due to the vagaries of the game, as I was in process of assaulting the final capital the UN cam up for a vote for world leader and I won a Diplomatic Victory.  This time I got the domination I was looking for.  Go me!  It may have helped that I turned off Diplomatic as a possible win-condition this time. . . .   But I got my achievement for the Autocratic win, so go me.

I also noticed that I actually still don’t have a science win under the Freedom ideology either so I went with Venice since one tends to keep the empire smaller with Venice than with others, and Freedom is more suited to smaller empires.  Played along in typical fashion, but as I started getting late in the game I noticed that my city size was *much* higher than I ever recalled seeing before.  Typically the biggest one sees a city get to is in the 20’s, *maybe* low 30’s.  It was 52.  Yeah, I was surprised.  The screenie I put at the top of the post I took then I clicked the “finish the spaceship” button and won the game.  Size 56.  Insane!

But anyway, I got my achievement for the science victory under Freedom as well, so…. fun weekend of Civ5.  Looking forward to this Friday and the release of Beyond Earth!  Happy gaming!

[FFXIV] A week with a new game

7 Oct
A particularly impressive story-line cutscene, I thought.

A particularly impressive story-line cutscene, I thought.

About a week ago I realized that I’ve lost interest in ESO for now (if not forever), so I canceled my sub to it.  Due to being on the 3-month plan, I’ve got about a month left where I can log in, if I so choose, so… time will tell, but for now, I’ve got FFXIV taking up all my gaming oxygen.  I’ve played enough MMO’s that for the most part I don’t really research them anymore before logging in, just go on what I’ve heard and the control schemes are usually the same with a few keybinds here and there being different.  FFXIV is in this vein, but there’s just enough different that I actually have gone out to look a few things up here and there.  Oddly enough, I’m having a hard time finding the answers to many questions though.

I still can't take the Lallafell 9sp?) seriously.  This is supposed to be the ruler of a city, and I just see a small child.

I still can’t take the Lalafell seriously. This is supposed to be the ruler of a city, and I just see a small child playing dress-up.

For example, since I bought the CE of the game, I got 2 free mounts in the mail when I started.  But if I try to use them, I am simply told “You aren’t authorized to call a mount.”  The mounts don’t have a tooltip or anything, so I have no idea if there’s a level requirement for them or what.  Add in that I see lower level people than me running around with mounts and it gets a bit confusing.  So off to search the interwebz. . . . . and a plethora of “You have to  do the ‘My Little Chocobo’ quest” answers.  And that’s it.  No mention of how to get that quest, if there’s a level requirement, etc.  Semi-useful answer in that I at least know that I need to do a quest, but useless in that I still have no idea what I need to do in order to obtain said quest.

I found Marvin the Martian!

I found Marvin the Martian!

Except I did finally find a forum thread today that indicates that it’s a story quest that you pick up around level 20-ish.  Only took me 4 days of looking to find that out. . . . . and I figure that people level up enough to get the mount and then since it’s unlocked they can change to a lower-level job and still have the mount, explaining why I see level 7 people running around with them too.

One of my archer outfits

One of my archer outfits

As far as progression goes, I’m more or less locked in on my Roegadyn Thaumaturge as my favorite looking character, and since 1 character can do everything, I’ve only played that one since my last post.  I’ve gotten Archer up to level 15 in order to meet the requirement to become a Black Mage once I get the Thaumaturge class to 30.  Really don’t care for the archer either.  Damage is really low for a supposed dps class.  Though high enough that in any group situation (occasional guildhests and FATE bosses) I tend to be the tank due to having too much damage.  Which is pretty sad since my kill time for an even-level mob is about 18-20 seconds.  Damage avoidance seems to be done by circle-strafe kiting melee mobs, and for ranged mobs you just have a duel until one of you drops.

My height vs a standard human.  Except I think they call them Hyur (sp?) in this game.

My height vs a standard human and an elf. Except I think they call them Hyur and Elezen in this game.  Not sure if I spelled those right. . .

Conversely, when playing as a (level 17 now) Thaumaturge, it’s generally 3-4 casts for a kill, so 8-10 seconds.  Of course, you can’t circle-strafe with a THM (unless you use the low-damage Scathe spell after you get it level 15-ish).  But since you can open with a cold spell to snare the mob, then swap your affinity from ice to fire and then launch 2-3 fire blasts and the mob is dead before it even gets to you, you don’t much care.  I can see it being a problem in movement-heavy dungeons in the future, perhaps, but while solo it makes for easy-peasy questing, at least.

Weaving in the forest.  Except I'm using a spinning wheel, so I dunno how it's weaving instead of spinning

Weaving in the forest. Except I’m using a spinning wheel, so I dunno how it’s weaving instead of spinning

I looked up a guide for Black Mage leveling, and it suggested taking Botanist and Weaver as good supporting crafts for the class, so I began looking into that as well.  I went with Botanist 1st, since it seemed to be the class that would gather the plants to use to weave.  Except you start on wood, not plants, so after getting a lot of wood and leveling up to 11 Botanist before finally getting a scythe and the ability to harvest plants, I added Carpenter to me class repertoire.  It worked out since I could make myself a bow for my Archer, wand and shield or a 2H staff for my THM, plus a few interesting pieces, like clogs for my feet to improve my gathering, or a wooden mask for my THM to use as headgear.

The residential zones are all pretty.  This is the one in Gridania

The residential zones are all pretty. This is the one in Gridania

Anyway, since I could finally harvest “lush vegetation” I went off looking, but didn’t seem to find anything other than food ingredients, so I headed to the Weaver’s Guild and joined up in order to see what I’d even need to make cloth stuff.  Moko grass, eh?  Back to teh interwebz for a node locations guide and hey, it’s just outside Horizon where I happen to have my home point set.  Nice!  Though since it was so cheap to buy off the NPC vendor, I just bought enough to blast through crafting 1 of everything for the xp boost until I made it up to cotton.  Though over time I have harvested a lot of moko grass and cotton bolls, in addition to lots of maple, ash, and elm logs now. . . . . . I’ve also gotten to level 6 in most of the crafts since there’s a lot of cross-dependency built into them and I like to be self-sufficient.  And since the crafting gear applies to any craft, keeping them all close in level range will let me use a single gear set for all of them (once I catch them up to CRP and WVR, anyway)  instead of having to worry about various sets of the same stuff for each class either.

My current class list

My current class list.  “Cowl” robe style counts as head also, and I could swear that I’d bought an earring.  Gear management is a pain with all the jobs, even with the nice set list you can create.

All that time spent crafting (which reminded me of Vanguard’s crafting with your skill points, chance of failure, need to improve the item before running out of points, etc so I quite like it) is why I’m still “only” level 17 as a THM.  The plan for this week is to work it up and try to make it to BLM.  I also discovered cross-class skills in the course of my play, so I grabbed a few Arcanist levels in order to get the heal from it so that I can do some limited self-healing to boot, so that should help my survivability on those “duty” missions that you have to solo but that have FATE-strength mobs in them.  And maybe if I end up dps tanking in a group situation too.  We shall see…..

Happy gaming out there!

[FFXIV] Wait, what?

30 Sep
A rather inventive "zeppeling cart" and I think the world itself looks quite nice.

A rather inventive “zeppelin cart” and I think the world itself looks quite nice.

Yes, you read that right.  I’ve decided to give FFXIV a whirl.  I got an Amazon gift card from work for going “above and beyond” during a recent office move (I’m the IT guy, I just did what needed to be done, but hey, if they wanna pay me extra for it. . . . ), and since Belghast’s been doing some interesting sounding write-ups of the game lately, I figured “Why not?” and am now giving it a go.

Nice looking residential districts

Nice looking residential districts

Haven’t really gotten very far, and while I know that any given character can change to any given class or job simply by changing weapons, so you theoretically only need 1 character, I’ve made 3 so far in order to experiment with different racial appearances (though I seem to be on something of a dark elf kick right now for some reason) and also to see the 3 different starting zones.

Elynna the Arcanist

Elynna the Arcanist

Based on Bel’s Class Guide that he posted earlier in the month, I thought that the Arcanist sounded like it was something that I’d like a lot, so I went with that.  He described it as “hard to start” but I’ve not had any trouble up to level 16 so far.  It’s a pet class, which I kinda missed seeing in his description somehow, and I normally don’t really go for those, but I’ve been enjoying it well enough, even if my personal damage numbers seem kinda small.  Thus be it ever with pet classes, after all.  I made this one…. um…. the elf analog race.  And made it a dark elf with white hair.  I thought it turned out pretty well.  This character was also my “learn how this game works” character, being 1st, and so it has leveled slower than I might have otherwise as I’ve learned the ins and outs of the maps and what I can and can’t do.  This one I’ve actually gone and unlocked the Marauder class as well and made it to level 9 with my 2H axe to boot so I could see what melee is like.

Jonna the Conjurer

Jonna the Conjurer

Still and all, I wanted to see what the other mage classes were like, so I started a conjurer.  Its primary damage spell does a lot more than the arcanist, but the “ACN” gets a pet.  I’m only level 10 so far on the CNJ I think, but with its large heal, good defense buff and decent damage, I’m liking this character more than the 1st, I think.  This one I made one of the…. fox people?  Cat people?  Not really sure what they’re supposed to be other than teen-age looking with tails, fangs, and floppy ears.  The appearance on this one I feel is merely “ok” as I’m not really into that young girl look.  It’s why I can’t take the gnome analog race (Lalla-something) seriously.  They look (and the NPC’s act) like little kids with big ears.

Gotter Dammerung the Thaumaturge

Gotter Dammerung the Thaumaturge

Anyway….. Since I still felt like I wasn’t doing as much damage as I wanted to, I made a Thaumaturge.  This one took me a bit to figure out the dance between when to cast Fire vs Ice spells and the “aspect switch” skill and such, but now the skill dance is kinda fun, though it’s easy to lose the train of it if I don’t focus completely.  All that with only 4 buttons. . . .    This one I made from the orc/ogre analog race, but again went with a kind of a dark elf look.  Yes, I know I could look these race names up, but I don’t feel like it right now so :P  Anyway, I made it as tall as I could, so I think some of the screenshots I’ve been taking are kinda funny with her towering over even regular humans, much less the gnomes.

The Thaumaturge is REALLY tall. . . .

The Thaumaturge is REALLY tall!

I’m still getting my feet wet and learning the ropes, but I’m getting there, so hopefully will have more to talk about soon.  In case you wonder about my ESO stuff….. I have fallen out of the habit of playing it now, and the couple of times I’ve logged in recently to get my hireling emails and level up my horses I’ve not felt like actually playing it, so I don’t know if I’ll keep my sub going anymore, but we’ll see.  Right now FFXIV isn’t truly grabbing me either, so this “nomadic” install may not last.  Time will tell.

Happy gaming!

[Various Games] It’s been a while. . .

22 Sep
Fighting sea serpents is fun.  Too bad Daedric light armor always looks like a dress, though.

Fighting sea serpents is fun. Too bad Daedric light armor always looks like a dress, though.

IRL’s been rather nuts for the past month.  Been putting in a lot of hours at work due to an office move, and my significant other’s got new meds so she’s needed some time to adjust to them and that requires my attention as well, so… gaming time has been reduced and “slow time” at work that I’d typically use to post has been non-existent.  Up until now, anyway…..

On the ESO front, my NB tank is now up to level 32, so he’s gotten 9 or 10 levels since I last reported on him.  Mostly running around in light armor and using the 1H + Shield anymore (as you can see in the screenie), since blocking is the only armor that matters and magicka is the only resource pool that matters for damage, so…. light armor is the only one worth wearing.  Man, I hope they balance that better soon.  I wanna play my melee sorcerer again sometime without feeling gimped.

Did a bit of Civ5 also.  Not really too much to report on that front other than that it’s still insanely addictive with the whole “1 . . . . more. . . . .turn . . . . ” thing going, so when the “Beyond Earth” version comes out I’m thinking I’m going to be losing a lot of sleep for several days after that.

The “Director’s Cut” of Shadowrun Returns was released last week.  The new UI is wonderful.  The customization/upgrade of your companions is very nice.  The enemy AI makes more informed decisions — they focus fire, if you ever bunch up prepare to see some incoming grenades, and they take advantage of cover and don’t leave it unless forced, so it overall feels a lot more tactical.  Armor’s been changed to be straight damage reduction now also, instead of reduced chance to crit.  Overall, combat feels a lot better, though it can take quite a bit longer now as a result of the changes.

Even so, the only time it got a bit frustrating (so far, anyway) is on the mission to retrieve the “MKVI.”  Where before he’d just spray everything with his minigun and it’d all fall down, now everyone’s hiding behind behind cover so he misses a lot and then what does hit takes half damage due to cover, which is then further reduced by their armor, so……. getting out during that mission is, well….. I haven’t succeeded at it yet.  Failed on my only attempt so far becuz I peeked my main character around the corner and every enemy focused on him.  Only had 2 trauma kits for “rez” and used both but couldn’t pull him back far enough, so he went down a couple more times and well… time to reload last save, but that fight had gotten annoying enough that I didn’t feel like it at the time.  And then a car crashed into a power pole just behind my house and it took 11 hours for the power company to get a new pole in and the lines hooked back up, so. .  . . .

I hope all is well in the gaming world.  I’ll eventually dip my toe into the F2P version of ArcheAge once the initial launch rush dies down, but until then. . . . Happy Gaming!

[Blaugust] [ESO] 2 Toons Enter, 1 Toon Leaves

25 Aug

Welcome to Skyrim: Online Edition!

Welcome to Skyrim: Online Edition!  Graphically anyway. . .  .

Well no — more like 2 toons got played this weekend. . .

I decided that I wanted to get a light horse for my new DK right from the get-go, but I only had about 25K gold in the bank, and it costs 42.7K, so… back to the Templar since in the higher levels you can make a lot more cash off of quests.  I’d done a little bit in Eastmarch with that toon, but not a whole lot, and since I’ve only ever done the zone once on my original DK way back at launch, I barely remembered any of it, so that was nice to have it be “new” again.  Something that surprised me, though, is that when I’d finished the zone (and I did everything in it except for 2 world bosses, but all quests, the dolmens, every nook and cranny, etc) I’d still not quite made it to VR5.  Guess it’s a smaller zone and thus has fewer quests.  I was close.. just not quite there.

The Skyrim game itself has pretty aurorae, but this is still pretty close

The Skyrim game has pretty aurorae (though maybe due to a mod?), but this is still pretty close.

Moved on into The Rift and it only took 3 or 4 quests in there to hit VR5, so it wasn’t bad.  In the interest of getting rid of that hideous Ancient Elf motif look and also to re-do my gear to take advantage of the new set bonuses, I then made myself a new set of gear.  It matches the set I made for the new DK — 2 pieces of Magnus, 3 pieces of Willow’s Path, and another 3 pieces of Twilight’s Embrace.  Seems to me to be the best combo for casters anymore.  I went with Primal for the set since I like how it looks the best of any of the “sets of a single motif” anymore, though I’ll admit to having given some thought to some of the “custom sets” people are submitting to the eso-fashion site.  Some of then look really nice. 

The VR1 Equipment Upgrade -- Daedric Motif staff, and Primal Light Armor.  Other than the open-toed sandals I quite like the look.

The difference between the VR4 and the VR5 gear was less than 1%.  Not joking.  Weapon damage went from 113 to 114.  Armor ratings on the various pieces also only increased by 1 from their prior values either.  Just shows that upgrading your gear every level isn’t worth it.  Of course, I’ve got materials coming out my ears and have been selling off excess, so it’s not like it really “cost me” anything, and I no longer have that hideously ugly armor suit on my logon screen anymore, so it’s very worth it to me.  Of course I forgot to screenie it, but other than that I dyed it completely black (the undyeable parts wreaked havoc with trying to make anything look decent otherwise unless I wanted to make a carbon copy of the new DK’s look) it looks just like the pic to the left anyway, so…. there ya go.

One of the Elder Scroll Temples in Cyrodil.

One of the Elder Scroll Temples in Cyrodil.

By this point I now had about 45K gold banked, so it was time to hit up the DK again.  I wanted to get him to level 10 and get the 2 free skill points from doing the intro to Cyrodil quests.  It’s kind of odd how by the time you hit level 40-ish you’ve got plenty of skill points, but up until then the game is very much a case of “interesting choices” as to where to put them in order to get the most bang for your buck, so to speak.  Right now on him I’ve got the active skills I want, but I’m still trying to backfill the passives in, and there are quite a few to get as of yet. . . .   But yeah, got him to 10, ran the intro to Cyrodil quests, and then it was midnight before a work day, so I logged out.  Tonight I get to craft him his level 10 upgrade suit and see about finishing up Stonefalls.  Fun fun fun!

Happy gaming, wherever you play!

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