[TSW] Finally Made it to Tokyo

29 Oct
Yeah, yeah.  Everyone's a victim. . . .

Yeah, yeah. Everyone’s a victim. . . .

I finally logged in to TSW again the other night and finished up the mission in the Venetian Sewers (how does a below sea-level and sinking city have sewers that aren’t flooded?  Too much Indiana Jones 3?)  Since FFXIV got me back into the “mostly tab-target” playstyle again I actually felt like I could control it again.  After months of ESO’s permanent mouselook action-style controls, the prior time or 2 had been an exercise in frustration with learning how to move in the different style of game again.  Sure, I could hit T and go into mouselook, but then having to pop in and out of it manually in order to loot anything was … less than optimal.

YOU again!

YOU again!

So anyway, did the sewers, learned the maze over time, killed some rogue Phoenicians, confronted what’s-his-bucket, and then headed into the Tokyo subways.    I met Sarah and had the “fun” of pulling mobs over so that she’d attack them to use her aegis on them so that I could actually kill them.  Kited a few bosses around that I couldn’t touch (and didn’t find it fun at all — I want control of what I’m doing when I play — I *hate* having to wait for NPC’s — *especially* in combat) until she eventualy whittled off their aegis shields and then finished them off too.

Poor poor Sarah :(

Poor poor Sarah :(

And in to Tokyo.  Met a few NPC’s, picked up a few quests, and ran out and started playing with aegis myself.  Only purpose it seems to serve is to make the fights take longer, and 1 boss-type quest mob had 2 aegis shields so you had to whittle one off then the other, then the 1st again since it regenerated.  Honestly, I didn’t find the aegis system to add anything to the game except a bit of frustration at being in combat with invulnerable mobs.

Don't recall this NPC's name, but she had panache!  I really liked her.

Don’t recall this NPC’s name, but she had panache! I really liked her.

I’m sure that once I get aegis for my 2nd weapon slot and perhaps the body slots to get my own aegis up it will seem nicer, but for now…. not a fan.  And when the boss-guy with the 2 shields eventually killed me since I couldn’t whittle him down quick enough, I just gave up in frustration for the night and, well…. it’s been Civ:BE since ;-)  But I’ll be back.  TSW’s still got its hooks in me and I like to pop in from time to time… and it feels like it’s time again.

Happy gaming!

[CivBE] Civilization: Beyond Earth — A Review

27 Oct

But it just came out on Friday!  How could you possibly have played it enough to review it?

Well…. it came out Thursday night for me, and I have a bunch of vacation I need to use before the end of the year so I took Friday off.  And played most of the weekend.  I’ve already got over 50 hours in-game according to my Steam front page.  I’ve also completed 6 full games and am on my 7th now. with 46 out of 64 achievements completed.  So yeah, I’ve got the time in.  But this will be short, actually, becuz I found a review that I pretty much could have written, so I’ll just link it at the end after I’ve said my bit.

The good:

1…more….turn….  Yes, it’s just as addictive as the prior installments.  It’s not a misnomer to call it “Civ5 in Space” at all, and I’ve got 1400-ish hours in Civ5 now, so obviously for me, that’s a very good thing.

It’s also far less of a resource hog than Civ5 is.  Loads quicker and doesn’t make my pc beg for death.

The bad:

The various choices that you make really don’t matter.  Your base units that upgrade based on your affinity level are all identical, and the various upgrades that you can choose are really just flavor and fluff, not anything that matters.  Most bonuses you can choose with researched techs or as quest rewards are also quite small and don’t really matter either.  My method of choosing my affinity now relies on how much of the affinity-linked resource I have around my starting area — Floatstone gets Purity, Xenomass gets Harmony, and… um… the yellow crystal get Supremacy.  Becuz other than that, it’s irrelevant.  The units are all the same across affinities, they just have a different look, is all.  Even the “special affinity-only” units that unlock in the mid-to-late game have identical stats — they just look different.  Even Harmony affinity that supposedly is “going native” still terraforms the place.  I’d have thought that the different affinities would have differing tile improvements to reflect their philosophy.

There are also only 2 victory types.  Sure they say there are 5, but……. there’s domination where you capture all the enemy capitals, and then the other 4 can all be summed up as “Research some techs to get affinity level 13, launch a satellite, build a wonder, and wait 20-ish turns for the other factions to try to stop you.”  Except in the Contact “type” you don’t even need affinity level 13, just the right techs, a satellite launch, and wait 20 turns.  Supremacy and Purity do require your active participation in those 20 turns — with Supremacy you sacrifice units to your wonder until you’ve done enough (typical units actually need 21 turns, though if you’ve got a lot of cash you can buy your “special” unit and sacrifice it and reduce this to only 9-11 turns), and with Purity you pull units out of your wonder and then go “settle” them — but the other 2 are literally just “wait 20 turns.”  I think the idea is that other civs can see you’ve built the wonder and then declare war on you and try to destroy it to keep you from winning.  It makes it such that as far as I’m concerned that if you’re just going for the quick win, that Contact is the best one.  No tech requirement other than the 1 for the satellite and the wonder and boom you’re done.

The ugly:

1…more…turn. . . .  — I actually pulled a couple of all nighters this weekend, then slept in the morning on Saturday and Sunday both.  So, for all the frustration listed above and in the linked review below…… it’s still a very compelling game and I can’t wait to get home to play some more tonight.

Here’s that review.  And happy gaming!

[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!


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