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!
I haven’t felt like I’ve had much to say lately, and my gaming has been kind of in a rut and not very interesting, so… well, it’s been just shy of 3 months since my last post. Such is life, no?
I always at least log in to Warframe each day to advance the login counter, but I don’t necessarily play each day. I still grabbed the new Hildryn frame when it came out last week. My overall impression is “it’s fine, but doesn’t do anything that makes me prefer it to any other frame.” Having its #1 be its exalted weapon is kinda kewl, as exalteds tend to be the 4th ability, but it’s just a Staticor-analog that pretty much requires you to do charged shots, and costs shields when you use it. I’d rather just use a Staticor with no penalty, thanks. #2 strips armor and shields from enemies and gives them to you as overshields. Mag does this too, combined with a better overall CC kit. #3 is a shield heal for your allies or a shield strip on enemies, all while draining your shields. Most people have the Shield Charger mod on their sentinels so this is pretty useless. And #4 lets you fly slowly around and CC mobs around you while doing some minor damage to them. *grumbles in Nekros/Nyx/Nezha/Rhino/Excalibur/Mesa/and a lot more AE CC frames to boot so I think you get the picture.* So yeah… she’s fine, but to borrow Brozime’s phrase about a different frame — “aggressively mediocre.”
I also tried out the new event. It’s kinda boring. Basically just a mobile defense mission in the Vallis where you don’t get a waypoint marker to your next spot to defend. I soloed it no problem on the run I did, so I imagine doing it in a group will be really easy. I just need to do it 14 more times within the next 10 days to get the amalgam mods and the Opticor Vandal. Can’t say I care about scanning data hashes either, but there’s a map for that, so I suppose it wouldn’t take long to just fly around and hit all the spots.
The new “Wolf of Saturn” daily/weekly goals that replace the alert system are fine, and quite a few simply reward you for playing how you normally would anyway, and give you a bit better control over the rewards you get instead of being totally random and hopefully you’re signed in when an alert with the rewards you want comes up like the old system, so I think this is an overall positive.
My daughter got me to re-sub to FFXIV a couple of months ago. I really only played it since then on a single Saturday. I advanced the MSQ up until I hit a trial where I don’t have the gear level to enter and just didn’t feel like going back and running the new-to-me dungeons that would have the higher gear I would need, so that walled me off at that point. I jumped on Blue Mage that 1st weekend it came out, but since you can’t really use it for anything other than an oddity, I didn’t jump in all the unsync’d extreme primal groups in order to get the last few skills to round out my book, so again, that was a single weekend for me, and I just haven’t felt inspired to jump back in since then. My daughter’s logged in a few times to fly around, but she doesn’t actually play the game, just uses it as inspiration for stories she plays out verbally that sorta reflect what she’s got her character doing on the screen.
I bought the Civ6 expansion in spite of it not sounding like it would be very good, and after a weekend of going hard at it… yeah, I’m not impressed with it. I won’t say more about it here as it deserves its own post, but the TL;DR is exactly the impression I got from their announcement videos — it’s just a bunch more to micromanage and not in a fun way.
And finally…. not really sure why I did this, but I reinstalled Tera Online about a week ago and have been mucking about with it. Since I’m more used to the non-tab-target type of controls anymore I’m enjoying the combat more than I did back when it 1st came out. The new player experience isn’t how I remember it — it might actually be, but you know how memory is a fuzzy thing. But anyway, it now only takes about a half-hour to get through that and you’re level 12 with a decent-ish skill kit when you’re dumped into the actual game world. So where back in the day I was quitting after feeling like it was a grind to get a character to level 6 I’ve now got a Valkyrie to level 52 (in a single weekend and there was still also time for) and a gunner to level 31. Yeah, leveling’s pretty quick it seems. Running dungeons seems to get you about 3-4 levels at a time up until the upper 40’s when it slows down to only 1-2 levels per run. But still…. if you accept the “don’t make a perfect party” option in the queue then you can usually get in to a dungeon pretty quickly and they only take about 20-30 minutes. I still don’t like the Castanic Female running animation, but you’re mostly zoomed out so far you can’t really see it or you’re on your mount anyway, so… not a deal breaker. The equipment looking more like S&M fetishwear as you level up isn’t really a selling point either, but as mentioned… you’re mostly zoomed out anyway, so not too big a deal either.
Anyway… that’s what I’ve been up to for the last 3 months. Happy gaming out there!
I’m nearly to MR 25 in Warframe now, and I’m to the point where new items to rank up are much more difficult to acquire anymore — either due to being hidden in relics, vaulted, or having semi-insane farming requirements… yes, I’m looking at you, Sibear and needing 30,000 cryotic…
As a result, I mostly during the week am logging in for the daily counter, and then playing a couple of hours on weekends, but I’m not really all that focused on it anymore. Still love it when I play, just am playing other things again too. Or clearing out my Netflix queue… or both.
So anyway, I’ve been doing a bunch of Civ6 again. I’ve been enjoying reading Syp’s accounts of DDO so much that I’ve reinstalled it… and promptly remembered why I never have gotten past level 7 in it, even with starting at level 4 with vet status. The controls just feel so mushy. Honestly, I don’t recall them feeling so mushy before, but my computer’s the same, so it must have been like that and I just got used to it. Maybe the crispness of Warframe’s controls have ruined me?
There was a “welcome back weekend” in FFXIV not too long ago. I logged into that for my daughter to be able to run around as she likes to do, but I never so much as looked at my character during the 4 days I could have tried, so I guess I’ve “moved on” past that game. Or maybe I’ll pick it up after its next expansion or something. Time will tell, i suppose.
Is it weird that the game I’m actually “playing” the most right now is Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms? A game that literally plays itself with very minimal input from the player? I mean… toss it on the 2nd monitor, watch a movie or something on the main one, glance over and click a few upgrades, then rinse and repeat. Pretty chill.
Anyway, I’ve not really felt inspired to blog much lately, in spite of it being Blaugust, so… sorry it’s been a while. Happy gaming out there!
As you can see in the screenshot there, I made it to MR24 last night in Warframe. I haven’t been posting much lately, though, as the game’s settled more or less into a comfortable routine for me, so I haven’t been taking screenshots, and nothing really out of the ordinary has been happening that sticks in my mind and makes me go “oh, I should blog about that.”
On top of that I actually got a bit bored of Warframe for a few weeks and more or less just logged in daily for the login counter, then logged right back out. Oddly, what got me back in was watching a streamer who recently picked it up and seeing his joy in the game reminded me of how I’d felt when I started it too. I say “oddly” because I’ve never really watched streamers before, always having the attitude that I’d rather play the game myself than watch someone else play it, but not this time. Such is life, no?
BTW, I’m not sure if this is a bug or intended, but in the MR24 test if you let the things kill you and re-spawn, you come back with your Amp weapon which you don’t initially get. Having that makes it a lot easier from that point forward.
I’ve finished the planet map for Eris, have 1 spot left on the Kuva Fortress, and still have those 2 last spots on Sedna to finish up, and then I’ll have the full star chart completed. After that, it’s all about the waiting for the Fortuna and Railjack expansions to come out.
There’s still plenty of stuff I can do though — I’ve still got 3 frames and 2 archwings to rank up, several archwing weapons, and about 30 or 40 standard weapons still, so I’ll easily be able to hit MR25 once I get around to all that. I am not yet max rank with the Ostron or Quills in Cetus, and I could use some arcanes. I’d like to finish unlocking all my waybound focus slots eventually as well. I’m about halfway there right now. I’m also semi-sorta planning to get all the syndicate mods and items for all 6 syndicates. I’m at positive standings with 4 of the 6 right now, and plan to eventually start swapping around sigils so that I can bring the final 2 up into positive territory, while still maintaining positive standing with their “enemy” ones as well. That will take a bit of doing, I think, but I also think it will be worth it.
I’ve done a bit of Civ5, a bit of Stellaris, and I even joined the alpha (well, the email says alpha, but in the game there’s a button that says beta, so… I dunno) for “Survived By” which is a sort of Gauntlet-like top-down “kill the hordes of enemies” game with retro-looking graphics. I never really like Gauntlet much, so I don’t know if this will do anything for me, but… we’ll see.
I also installed and tried out Path of Exile. It bugged out the moment I created my 1st character. The very 1st thing you’re supposed to do it pick up your starter weapon from the ground. Everything says “left-click it to pick it up” but I couldn’t do it. The mouse never registered it. Couldn’t click on the item itself, nor on the text of the item. Nothing worked. I could click on the NPC next to the weapon and talk to him, but without being able to pick the weapon up I couldn’t leave that area. I’ll try un- and re-installing it to give it another go this weekend, I think.
I’ve also started up Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms. There’s really no game there — it literally plays itself. And yet, it’s somehow oddly compelling. How weird is that? There’s really nothing to say about it, since it plays itself, but it somehow trips that Skinner Box trigger for me.
I backed Fractured on Kickstarter, and it looks like it met its funding goal with less than a day to go, so I’ll be trying that out if/once they release it. I had good luck with the Shadowrun game I backed a few years ago, so hopefully this studio will do well with this game too.
On the mobile gaming front I’m playing 2 versions of the same game — Marvel Strike Force and Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes now. They’re by 2 different companies, but they are functionally identical. They’re simple turn-based team-fighting games where much of the battle is won or lost simply by the characters you choose to make up your team — to the point where a lot of co-workers who play them (which was how I got started too) will simply use the auto-battle feature for the actual fights, as there’s not really much need to pick the right skill at the right time on the right target. Sure, you can play manually and do that, and in the Strike Force raids that’s actually a good idea, but for the most part it doesn’t really matter much. They’re an amusing diversion for 10 minutes a few times a day, but they’re pretty much fluff, not anything I’d seriously get into, I don’t think. I fell in to that rabbit hole with Astronest, and while I was still enjoying that game when I uninstalled it, I’ve also never missed it either. I think these 2 games will be the same. One day I’ll simply be “done” and I’ll uninstall them and never look back.
In other news, FFXIV is having a “4 days free” comeback promo running until August 2nd. I’ve still got it installed, and my daughter’s been bugging me to play that again, so I’ll probably hit that up this weekend too. Maybe see if I can’t try out the new dungeons and catch up on the MSQ. We’ll see.
So that’s where I’m at right now. Happy gaming out there!
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!