Warframe wasn’t the only thing I played this week — I actually logged in to FFXIV for the 1st time in almost 3 months, due to hearing that the current “Little Ladies Day” event included glowsticks as a cosmetic item. Since my young daughter loves glowsticks, I logged in on her character and ran the event. It was so quick and easy that I then logged in to my own character and ran the event also.
But that was it. I felt no desire to follow the additional content released in the latest patch, or to unlock the 2nd new dungeon or anything like that. I guess that means I should actually cancel my subscription.
I also bought the new DLC/Expansion for Stellaris. I’m only about 100 years in to my 1st game so far. The overall feel is much the same, but tech discoveries are quite a bit slower — normally at the 100 year mark I’d be getting close to the end of the tree, but I’m just now starting to research the T4 weapons and barely got cruisers, though I do have Star Fortresses and can build habitats, at least. I’ll do some update posts after I’ve gotten farther in and have seen more of the new techs and how everything fits together.
In Warframe, I’m still MR17, though I’m knocking on the door of 18 now. I’ve been focusing on completing quests and unlocking more of the planetary nodes. I’ve completed all the nodes going up through Uranus now, only have 1 left on Neptune, and 4 on Pluto. I’ve also completed all the nodes in The Void. Sedna’s still got about half the planet to go, and I need to recruit some people to help me do the Derelict Assassination mission so that I can unlock Eris. That’s what Recruitment chat is for, right? I’ve even done about half of the Kuva Fortress. I guess people don’t really go there, though, as I’ve run all but the spy mission on “public” but only the “assault” mission had a person join, and then he dropped back out within a minute or so.
Can I just say that I love Inaros? I thought I wouldn’t, due to the frame not having any shields, but it has such a high armor rating that it really doesn’t need them. I’ve looked up various builds for it and have settled on my own “tweaking” of the mods that I like. It’s lower than a “max health” build” but has higher armor so it’s still very survivable — in fact, I’ve only ever needed to be revived a single time in all that I’ve played with Inaros so far, and I was doing the level 50 missions in The Void with him just fine. Honestly, I’m not sure what took me out that 1 time I did fall, as at no other time on that mission was my health even remotely low. It must have been a sniper or something, I guess. Fortunately, I was with another player and he was able to revive me, so it worked out fine (and I revived him probably 10x in that same run, so it was only fair the he revive me too — he kept folding like a cheap suit, it felt like).
My co-worker who’s playing now sprung for the Loki/Ember Prime combo pack and has been ranking his Loki Prime up, so I got with him and we ran a few grind runs on Ceres, then he queued us up for a Nightmare “No shields” run on Earth to see what mod we’d get from that. He had Vitality modded on, but sadly still went down a lot, as did the 2 people who joined us on the run. It appears that most frames just really need their shields. I didn’t ever really take much damage though — something about having 4600 health and high armor plus the ability to control crowds and heal myself at the same time, while laying waste in a giant circle around me with my Orthos Prime and Primed Reach mod…
So far as the quests go, I’ve completed Octavia’s Anthem and Chains of Harrow. Since I’d already bought the Octavia frame, the Anthem quest rewarded me with a riven mod, though to unveil it I’m going to need to go to the Plains of Eidolon and figure out fishing and mining. The unlock conditions are: catch a fish, mine a gem, AND kill an enemy within 30 seconds. That quest was interesting since I had to fight Sentients at one point, so I got to see how using the Operator to reset the resistances made life a lot easier there. The final phase where you are inside a giant mandachord instrument and have to jump on all the right spots to have it play a song was … if I’m honest, a bit tedious, but still a nice change of pace from how frenetic a lot of the missions and quests can be too, so I won’t say it was bad, just a bit long.
Chains of Harrow was more like a “haunted house in space” than anything. Unlit mission runs with blood-scrawled messages, fighting zombies and ghosts. Had I bought that frame with plat the reward would have been another riven mod, but I wanted to earn the frame this time, so… I’ve got the blueprint and I’ve managed to find systems and chassis blueprnits from my regular play, but the neuroptics apparently only drop from defection missions and only during the 3rd phase, and even then only about an 11% chance on any given run, so that might be a while before I get the last piece. Which is fine, as I need time to farm up more kuva. I did a kuva siphon mission this weekend and since I knew what to do this time (go go video guides!) I was successful at it and got 643 out of a needed 2000, so… 2 more times at least. And that’s just for Harrow. I’ve got that “Krokhur” (sp?) weapon that needs kuva to build it, so I’ll need to run a few more of those mission types for that too.
For Hidden Messages I’m at the last phase, but the quest won’t complete until the Mirage frame is complete in the Foundry. I started that cooking this morning, so on Thursday I’ll be able to get the completion for that. The phases of that quest largely just involved clearing out lots of infestations, so nothing much to write about.
I’m now most actively working on “The Silver Grove” quest. I’m on the last phase of that, but finding the plants to scan for it has been a pain in the tuchas. I need 25 of a moss type that grows more or less on Ceres. The wiki says it’s “very common” there, but I spent nearly an hour last night in a single mission searching for it and only found 3. Then there’s another “frostleaf” plant that grows on Mercury and Venus, but I haven’t been able to find any of that at all on any of the missions I’ve run there (and yes, I made sure I’m on the correct tileset). Then there’s the “rare” plant that’s on Earth. I’ve found 1 of the 2 I need, but it only grows during the day and I keep winding up running missions in the night. They swap day/night every 4 hours, so I just need to keep trying until I get lucky and find another day cycle, it seems. Once I finally collect those plant scans, then I’ll get the 3rd Titania piece. That will be fun, I think.
This is getting long, so… Happy Gaming out there!
As you can tell from the title, progress continues. At least insofar as ranking up a variety of weapons and frames goes, anyway, since that’s all that MR really shows. So far as unlocking the map and completing the quests go (which is “real progress” as far as I’m concerned) I am slowly but surely getting there. I’m down to only needing 3 more spots on Saturn, 2 on Uranus, and 2 on Neptune. I’ve still got quite a bit of Pluto and Lua, but I’m more than halfway through Sedna now — and I’ve managed to get to where I can get to the Void from Sedna also, and into the Rank 40-50 content offered there. and of course I still need to unlock Eris, and then there’s the whole Kuva Fortress that I’ve not visited yet either. Still tons to do…
And there’s the quick and dirty update. Happy gaming out there!
When I said I felt “done” with Civ6 in the last post, I kinda felt bad about that, so I created a new game — this time I went with Korea, as I’d seen somewhere that that civ is “overpowered.” I did an Island Plates map and ended up with Pericles as a close neighbor that I immediately attacked his capital and took over in the Ancient Era, then finished exploring the island we shared and began settling it out.
And I have to agree — Korea is overpowered. I was playing on Epic speed, so 750 turns instead of 500, but everything I did seemed to take the same number of turns as in a normal speed game, and tech came insanely fast due to their unique campus district. So fast that I had actually completed the tech tree in 325-ish turns — not even halfway through the game turn-wise and I had the full tech tree.
Yeah. THAT overpowered. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I did a science victory for that game.
The era score was still completely opaque to me, but I managed to be “normal age” for the 1st era change, and then “golden age” for the rest of the game, I assume due to all my fast advancement in science.
After that game, I decided to go to an old favorite with Indonesia, this time on an Archipelago map. I hoped for Auckland as a city-state, but I hoped in vain. On the other hand, Nan Madol was in there, which also synergizes nicely with Indonesia wanting to build everything in coastal tiles, so I ended up having culture coming out of my ears in spite of never building any culture districts.
This game was more of a see-saw on the dark vs golden ages. Moving from a dark age to a golden age actually makes it “heroic” so you get to choose 3 of 4 dedications, which can be nice, but when you’re in a golden age, a dedication doesn’t give era score (unlike in a dark or normal age) so that’s why it’s so easy to fall back out of golden — even right back to dark. I got to the point where I’d “only” see saw from golden to normal and back to golden, but it’s still an obvious design decision on the dev’s part that seems to punish you for getting a golden age, in spite of the (very small to the point of being unnoticeable) bonuses you get while in a golden age.
We’d gotten into the Medieval Era and I had some Jung units that I’d bought with faith (go go Indonesia cultural powers!) and I’d gotten a great admiral that had turned one into a full armada. I’d just unlocked fleets, so I had a 2nd unit in a fleet and both these guys were out exploring, along with the caravels that I’d upgraded from my initial galleys. I was suzerain of Armagh, a faith city-state, and was getting some really nice bonus faith from them each turn, so when Kongo declared war on them and my ships all happened to be within a turn or 2 of being able to move on Kongo… I declared a protectorate war.
Konga didn’t even have walls on most of his cities, so my Jung armada was 1-shotting their health to nothing, then a caravel could come in and take the city. Since they were halfway around the world, I knew with the loyalty mechanic I’d never be able to hold the cities, so I just razed them instead. I just did this to “outer fringe” cities, but this knocked him from 6 back to his 3 core cities. These 3 did have walls, and I knocked one set out, then he sued for peace. I accepted. And then next turn he sent enough envoys to Armagh the he became suzerain, so of course he wasn’t going to attack it anymore.
I actually didn’t care. Suzerain of Armagh can build a monastery improvement, is all — I only cared that I had 6 envoys there for all the faith that that gave me in my shrines and temples each turn that I could use to buy more naval units.
A bit later, my 2 nearest neighbors — Pericles and Amanti… um… Nubia… declared a joint war on my. Pericles was slightly closer, so I decided to go after him 1st, since Nubia didn’t even have any ships that I could see — plus all my cities had walls and bombards in them by then, so I wasn’t worried about needing sea units to defend them.
Since I forgot about loyalty for a bit, instead of going for Greece’s closest city, I went around to the far side of his island and took Athens, figuring that losing his capital would weaken him more overall, but since it was in the middle of his empire, the loyalty from all the surrounding Greek citizens meant that there was no way could I hold it. It said that I had 5 turns before losing it, so I tried to send the 3-turn military governor and get its monument repaired, plus immediately went back and took the city between Athens and my borders. This slowed the loss to 7 turns, but it still turned independent on me.
From this I learned that if you’re doing a war across water, to have any hope of hanging on to your gains, you must steamroll the opposition to reduce their loyalty pressure. No “take this city and consolidate my gain, then advance” anymore. Nope, it’s “take them all as fast as possible so their loyalty becomes yours.” So I swept through and took everything Greece had, then went back and re-took the independent Athens as well.
That meant I’d just added 6 new cities. And I was still at war with Nubia, who was a little farther away. I decided “sure, why not?” and went after that civ also. Now that I knew I had to steamroll, I made sure I had units in place and ready to go, then swept through her landmass also. She had built the Statue of Liberty wonder in one of her central cities, so taking that actually made the war a lot easier as that wonder makes all cities within 6 tiles of it 100% loyal to you at all times, so the loyalty pressure on the cities that I’d taken, but before fully mopping her up suddenly became a non-issue.
About at this point Kongo and Egypt declared a joint war on my, since they now hated me for my warmongering. So they got the same treatment. Egypt was closer, so she got sewn up 1st, then that took me close enough to Kongo to be able to maintain loyalty pressure there, so I could now take and hold cities on his landmass.
After this, Norway, who’d been my friend the whole game now hated me, though since I now controlled about 90% of the world, he knew better than to attack me, at least. But since it’d been a long game, I assembled my fleets at his capital, then declared war and took it and got my 1st Domination victory.
I’ve not completed any other games since then. I’ve started a couple as the Dutch, but haven’t gone past about 200 turns yet. The games are saved, so I’ll get there sooner or later.
Overall, I think I prefer not having the loyalty mechanic, nor the ages, so I guess that means I still prefer “vanilla” Civ6 to the Rise and Fall expansion. The new mechanics just force you to play a certain way, rather than let you make your own choices.
For what it’s worth, the Rock Paper Shotgun review of the game has noticed this same feeling in the game now, so I know I’m not alone in it. From that review: “Everything from the tech boosts that work like mini buffs and achievements to the focus on using the unique qualities of your chosen nation encourages a correct way of playing. There is so much feedback and positive reinforcement for ‘good’ choices that without even realizing it, I’m sometimes locked into a specific way of playing that’s defined more by the map and the city states around me than it is by my own choices.”
So anyway… I won’t say I’m feeling buyer’s remorse anymore, but I’m still not really seeing the expansion as an improvement on the original game either.
Happy gaming out there!
I’ve only played a few hours, as Warframe was calling me back to it, but I played a little way in as Wilhelmina of the Dutch. I picked the “True Start Europe” map which put me right next to France, and fairly near Poland, though at least I didn’t have Germany “right there” so I wasn’t too hemmed in.
As it was, I rush-built a bunch of warriors and took out Paris in the Ancient era so I avoided any warmonger penalties, then started worrying about settling my cities. Oddly enough, the TSL map isn’t really ideal for the Dutch to be able to build their polders near Amsterdam — you actually need to settle up into Denmark and then you can “polderize” the North Sea pretty well, though. For production you have to head southeast into the forested hills of Germany, and Philip of Spain is pretty well trapped behind the Pyrenees, though he can take out the Lisbon city-state for an additional city, and if you’re not careful (like I wasn’t) he can sneak a settler up into southern France as well, though he eventually just starts colonizing North Africa. England and Scotland both were pretty well stuck in the UK, and the last 2 civs I got on my seed were Alexander of Macedon and Jadwiga of Poland. Jadwiga’s spread out a lot as she had a lot of space to her east, and tbh, I’ve still not uncovered the map far enough to be sure of Alex’s holdings. I’m allied with him, but that doesn’t give shared visibility anymore, so … whatever. I’ve got some caravels in the Med, so I should be able to see at least some of it soon.
The governors seem kinda fun. Toss “The Steward” in your primary production city as he bonuses that up nicely, and so far for all the rest I’ve sent them to the fringes to keep the loyalty points up, but otherwise haven’t really worried about their bonuses much. The loyalty system seems designed to keep empires from forward-settling too badly, becuz if you settle far from your borders then they lose loyalty and can flip (without combat) to the civ that they’re closer to.
I don’t really like the Era Score mechanic they’ve added. It seems pretty opaque — you don’t know what you need to do in order to gain more score, and sometimes things seem a bit random, like I threw down a mid-game city between Amsterdam and Paris (so I could grab a dye resource that was just out of reach of either) and that got me 4 points — 3 for “boldy settling” near London, and then 1 more since it was close to the Cliffs of Dover natural wonder. Or sometimes you get a point or 2 for a certain tech or cultural discovery, but nothing indicates beforehand that this would happen. It also seems designed to have you either “always be normal ages, else see-saw from golden to dark, then back again” which is just annoying.
And there’s still no way to disable that most loathsome espionage feature that I have always despised and always turned off in every prior Civ game that I’ve played becuz I hate it so much.
My beloved CQUI makes the game crash on launch right now too until it gets updated. The default UI has some improvements, but CQUI is still vastly superior to it. I especially miss my “overlap” lens that CQUI provides. Much easier to use that to see the best spots for the “ranged districts” or wonders than to have to manually count out from each city.
Overall impression — meh. The era score mechanic is too opaque to be engaging, and seems more designed to limit forward advancement “too fast” than it is to actually reward you for doing well. In short, the game now feels like it’s “you will play it how the developers have decreed” rather than as “a series of interesting choices.”
I actually have a touch of buyer’s remorse for the purchase. I don’t think that’s a good thing. I don’t intend to play it again until the CQUI is available for it again either. Too many of its amazing features aren’t in the default.
Happy gaming out there!