Saw Episode 9 tonight for my company’s “Winter Holiday Party.”
My verdict: It’s decent. Not great, but not a complete waste of time either.
For comparison’s sake… tbh, I don’t really recall what I thought of TFA at the time — basically just remember thinking it mirrored Ep4 and did all right, but there was a lot that didn’t make sense too. Even so, overall I’d give that one a “thumbs up.”
Rogue One I enjoyed well enough, but I also haven’t ever felt the need to watch it a 2nd time either. I’d still say it’s the best of the films that have come out in recent years.
TLJ I just felt was pretty meh. I didn’t hate it like a lot of people seem to, but I certainly agree with their points as to why they hated it. For me it as just a big let-down. I was disappointed when the credits rolled.
Solo I left the theater feeling very entertained. I won’t say it’s a great movie, but I still felt upbeat when the credits rolled — had a smile on my face as I was leaving the theater.
And now for Ep9… several scenes that were supposed to be dramatic and full of tension had been spoiled by the trailers, so there actually wasn’t any tension in them. The “final battle” definitely had some thrilling moments, but then the denouement was just …. You know those rumors that focus groups shown the 6 different endings tended to laugh at the film? Well… I laughed at it 3x, so that left me at the end going “Eh, it was okay overall, but I’m never going to be seeing it again. Better than TLJ (but that’s a very low bar) and worse than TFA or Solo.”
OTOH, my wife absolutely loved it, so….there’s division in the family now 😉
Wow, last post was August 11? I’ve very much gotten out of the habit of writing here…
That said, I’ve not really felt I have much to say in the gaming space. I’ve mostly just been letting “Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms” run, plus a friend got me started on the mobile game “Raid: Shadow Legends” and that was more or less all the gaming I was doing for a while. I’d log in to Warframe to advance the daily counter, but then usually log right back out. When the Atlas Prime frame came out I bought it, but then I didn’t even bother ranking it to 30 until a couple of weeks ago when the new Grendel frame came out.
In my quest for novelty, I even went so far as to buy an ArcheAge Unlimited “box,” in spite of a) not having cared for the original game back when it 1st came out and b) not liking open-world pvp games in general. I made it up to about level 41 before it just got old. There’s no penalty for dying in a pvp battle, so it’s really not a big deal, but by the same token I haven’t figured out what benefit there is to doing pvp either, so I just don’t see the draw for the various gank squads that were out there. I mean, sure, I saw that there was some “honor” points awarded for wins, but I have no idea what that’s for. The game is frustratingly opaque and I felt I was spending more time alt-tabbed out looking for info on it than I spent actually playing. SO after a bit over a week, I just stopped, as I wasn’t looking forward to logging in each evening.
As a result, I’ve been on more of a Netflix kick lately than a gaming kick. And somehow I’ve gotten in to their Bollywood selections. I’m not big on subtitles, but the films have been cute and engaging, and even a bit silly, and just plain entertaining all around, so… There you have it.
But this weekend I decided to go give FFXIV another go. I’ve wanted a bunny.. er Viera character since the expansion, but Gotter Dammerung won’t use fantasia to change. She is who she is — immutably. But character creation was closed with all the people playing for the expansion, so I couldn’t make a bunny either. I could this weekend, though. I’d planned back in the day to name it “Petra Leporidae,” (Petra = Peter, of course, and “Leporidae” is the Latin word for “rabbit,” so I thought it’d be a good joke) but in the moment of character creation I forgot that, so Chyarra Lefey was the name I picked instead. Chyarra was more or less random, but Lefey has been a last name I’ve used since EQ2 launched as a way of having alt characters be recognizable to friends.
Anyway, the plan is for it to be a dancer, but I gotta get to level 60 to unlock that, so I went with Archer as my intro class so that as I leveled it I’d be gathering the right jewelry for when 60 rolls around. I’ve made it to level 41 in 2 days of play, so it’s coming right along. As I recall it, I was quite bored with the Archer back in the day until I made it up to the upper 20’s. With the simplification of skills that has been SE’s goal with the ShB expansion, well… I was really only using 3 buttons until I hit 30 (granted, there’s a macro I wrote that consolidates 3 into 1, otherwise it would have been a whole 5 buttons). Even with hitting 30 and becoming a bard, it’s still really only added 2 more buttons in the last 11 levels, and in looking at the skills that will be coming later, a lot of them are simply straight upgrade/replacements for existing skills, so I really don’t see a whole lot changing there, especially as most of the new skills are long cooldown with a high priority, so I can just add them in the to existing 1-button macro I’ve written. We’ll see how it goes.
Since I took my main to 80 on Dancer, I suppose I could focus this character completely on Bard to 80 for a bit of a change too. But I probably won’t. I’m weird like that.
So, I’m back in FFXIV, at least for a while. I stopped back in July when I realized I just didn’t care about the boss fights and trials and whatnot. I looked up the guide for the final trial of the expansion and found myself thinking “that looks annoying” and not looking forward to it as a fun challenge, so, if that holds true again, I may not last too long on this run either. OTOH, I may look up the video on the final ShB trial again and finish that, then get Gotter and this new bunny through the new 5.1 patch’s MSQ and everything will be all hunky-dory too. Who knows? Plus I really ought to unlock all the new areas for my daughter to fly around on her Miqo’te. It was fun to do before, so perhaps it will be fun to do again, right?
Happy gaming out there!
I used a max-range build on Mag, while using the “Greedy Pull” augment. This made it such that every time I hit my #1 that all the mobs within 70 meters of me got knocked down and thus couldn’t shoot at me, while all of the “point orbs” that one needs to pick up for the test within that same radius got pulled in. 3 quick circuits around the maps was all it took for me to turn in well over the 100 points needed.
I did the water gun arena event that’s currently running. There wasn’t much to it — no weapons other than the provided super soaker, nor abilities nor mods are in play, so the frame and loadout one takes in is simply cosmetic. The level ranges supplied by the event navigation page are a lie — the 4th “mission” had mobs with the same levels and difficulty as the 1st. I got at least 30 “soaks” on each run, so I didn’t have to repeat any of the runs, so I didn’t know that was a possibility until a friend ran it and didn’t get 25 “soaks” and thus didn’t get enough event points to move on the the next round. So if you’ve not run it yet, if/when you do, try to get at least 25 kills each round. 😀
Happy gaming out there!
In re: SWTOR — My 2 month non-renewing subscription that I bought expired… a while ago? Not really sure. But I also haven’t played the game in about a month. I took a trip and had some back problems, so sitting in a chair was painful so I just didn’t play on the trip… and then never resumed play when I got home either. I completed 7 of the 8 class stories (I only had 2 done when I began, so that was 5 more) and was pretty close on the final one, but.. well… I mean, the game’s fine, if a bit lackluster/too easy in the combat department. But that’s just it — it’s “fine” not “great.” And the much-vaunted stories are actually very short and not really anything special. I saw people in fleet chat comparing the better or worse stories, and just kept thinking to myself “Have none of you ever actually cracked a book? These stories are serviceable, but not really good or bad.” So anyway…. I had an itch, I scratched it, and … it’s not itching anymore.
In re: Warframe — I’ve mostly been logging in to advance the veteran counter, but not playing. Wukong got a rework, so I did a little with that this morning. He’s quite tanky without using his abilities anymore, and using his (now) 3rd ability (was 2nd) is a 5s invulnerability that then more or less kills everything in a circle around you when it’s done and gives you an additional 1500 armor making you just that much more tanky for the next 45 seconds or so, and then you just do it again. It’s a little annoying that using the 3 turns off his sprint, but it’s not hard to turn back on, so it’s not too big a deal. His #4 exalted staff now does a lot more damage than before and has nice combos, so that’s pretty nice to use. Solid rework, but nothing that makes me go “now I’m a Wukong main” or anything either.
In re: FFXIV — For the past few weeks since returning from my trip I’ve been picking at it a little here and there. Mostly I’ve just been grinding out runs of Copperbell Mines and the Tam-Tara Deepcroft so that I could get the moogle stones and finally get the pegasus mount for my daughter that she’s been wanting me to get for a good long while now. Since she’s got scholar and healers get instant queues and those dungeons tend to take at most 20 minutes…. that’s why I just kept running and re-running those. It was still quite tedious, but I didn’t do more than 3-5 runs a day, so while it took a couple of weeks it also meant that I didn’t get low-level burnout too badly and my back could handle the hour-ish in the chair.
The Shadowbringers expansion early access began on Friday. I logged on in the morning before work and grabbed the unlocks for Gunbreaker and Dancer, but then I had to go to work. In the evening I decided I’d focus on the “GNB” 1st, so I equipped the starter gear the unlock quest gives you and ran that quest. The running battle up until the finaly boss was fine, if a bit slow, but then the final boss was simply a massive HP sponge. He also has an uninterruptible high-damage skill that you just have to absorb and try to self-heal in between everything. But with my overall gear level being 197 when the game says it should be more like 250 for that quest (and the actual gear level was lower becuz all of the i130 jewelry was caster, not tank, so it might as well have been 0 — disadvantage of having all my jobs at 70 except for the Blue Mage at its cap of 50 — I don’t have lower level gear anymore….), well, I lasted about 6 minutes but then the big hit took me out. I spent the rest of the evening dusting off my crafters and making myself a high quality weapon, belt, and jewelry. The armor you’re given shows as standard quality but actually has the same stats as high quality i255 level 60 gear, so I didn’t need to build that. Not that I knew that beforehand, so of course I made a full suit of armor. 😉 But yeah, it gives you a weapon, helm, chest, gloves, legs, and boots — but no belt or jewelry, so I had to make those at the very least.
That filled the evening, so I didn’t get to re-try that quest until the next morning. And I got put in a queue. To join a solo instance. At least it avoids the problem of “Raubahn Savage” I suppose. After an 11.5 minute wait, I got in. The trash mobs in the running battle died faster, and then the final boss mob… it’s still an HP sponge, but I was able to do more damage to it and take less with the better tanking stats from actually being i255. I did some roulettes to get to 61, then started spamming out the SB dungeons. Since I had a full rested XP bar, the levels came fast and furious and I made it to 70 on Sunday evening without ever having completed a full dungeon gear set becuz I didn’t have to re-run the dungeons often enough to ever get me to fill out a set.
What to say about Gunbreaker? It’s, well… an FFXIV tank. While I’ve not played any of the “prior 3” since the 5.0 changes, I’ve at least looked them over and since TP isn’t a thing anymore and there’s no damage reduction from using your aggro stance anymore either, any of them can just spam out their AE combo on trash mobs and be assured of holding aggro. Versus bosses you can use your single-target combo. There’s no “aggro combo” anymore — it’s all just dps. The single-target one does higher damage to the 1 mob of course, but I found that just spamming the AE combo on trash was enough to make it so that a Black Mage and a Dancer going full AE burn didn’t even show on the aggro meter, so… tanking was never “hard” to hold aggro before, but now it’s just that much easier, so it’s really more about positioning and knowing when to use the defensive cooldowns. The biggest differences now seem to be more how the combos play out.
For Gunbreaker (from 60-69, at least) you have your base 3-hit combo which grants 1 “cartridge” resource which you can use for either a 4th hit on the single-target combo, or you can use it to begin a 2nd 3-hit combo that does higher damage than your base combo but also a 30s CD on being able to be done. Rotation seems to be 3-hit combo, 2nd combo, then 3-hit plus bonus 3x while waiting for the 2nd combo to come off CD, then repeat. There is a DoT skill on a 60s CD you can use at the beginning, and an OGC extra hit on a 30s CD that you can use on the pull to get a solid aggro start, then use on CD during the fight also, but mostly it’s just the “4-hit combo” with the occasional 2nd combo thrown in. Easy peasy. At 70 the skill reads that as you use the initial 3-hit combo that you can do a bonus hit after each skill, so it will actually be a 6-hit combo. Unless I read it wrong. I’ll see tonight when I get home from work, I suppose.
Paladin no longer has an “aggro combo” versus a “dps combo.” You simply have your typical 3-hit combo but with 2 possible finishers — Goring Blade and Royal Authority. Goring Blade applies a DoT so you use it 1st, then you use Royal Authority on subsequent combos until the DoT needs to be applied again. It’s still got its single-target spell it can use during burst phases also, and there’s also an AE version of the spell too. But really, that appears to be it.
I haven’t really looked at WAR or DRK yet. No one’s mentioned WAR that’s I’ve seen, but in guild chat people were saying that DRK is an AE monster now. I don’t see how, since all the tanks now appear to have an AE combo, but… I’ll get around to DRK eventually since I’ll eventually be leveling every job to 80. “It’s a moral imperative” to quote that silly movie…
They’ve added a vendor that sells the i390 top-tier dungeon gear for Poetics, so I’ve got a full tank set using Poetics now and I’ll probably just tank my way through the rest of the Stormblood MSQ and then move on in to Shadowbringers.
I played a touch on my daughter’s character as a Summoner. With the new expansion out now, people in the new areas have “extra gear” that they’re dropping on the market board for really cheap, so I bought her a full set of HQ i385 caster gear (nice boost from the i322 she was at…) so I’ll be able to easily move her through the MSQ after I do it on my own character. I’m sure my daughter’s going to want to fly around the new areas, after all. Summoner is vastly changed now. Some of the skills that used to need Aetherflow stacks no longer do, they’re simply on cooldown now, and you get Aetherflow stacks by using Energy Drain or the new AE Energy Siphon skills. Your pet has its basic attack that it does on its own, but you have to manually tell it to use its 2 bigger attacks. Those are now set with 2 stacks. You can use the stacks back to back if you want, but there’s a 30s cooldown on building a stack. Those skills are what trigger your Ruin 4 now, so you definitely want to use them in your rotation and not think of the pet as simply bonus damage that you just put on sic and then ignore it. I’m not used to it yet, and haven’t figured out a comfortable way to re-do my hotbars yet either, but that will come with time and familiarity of how it all works.
So anyway… even though I’m not even in the new areas yet, I’ve enjoyed the past few days with Shadowbringers so far. People in my guild are saying that the story line is simply amazing, so… we’ll see.
Happy gaming out there!