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[Pillars of Eternity 2] Dipping a Toe

PoE2 released this week. Yay!

PoE2 01

Sorry for the menu shot, but I think I hit F6 like Warframe wants during the opening splash, so I didn’t actually get a picture of that…

I bought and installed it last night, but haven’t done much more than dip a toe in.  I loaded it up and went through the initial scene where it recaps the 1st game and leads in to character creation without trying to remember anything I’d done in the 1st game, so it was a simple start.  Character creation and stats appeared to be identical to the 1st game, though with some UI changes so now one can see the skill trees instead of having to look up what skills lead to where and at what levels.  The actual character model has been improved also, so that’s nice, if a bit unnecessary since it’s an isometric view so it’s not like you ever really can get in to see your face in the course of typical play.  And there are now weapon proficiencies you can pick that give an optional bonus/tradeoff when you use certain weapons.  Like a wand proficiency that adds a CC effect to wand attack, but makes the attack do less damage, or the sword attack that does additional penetration at the cost of accuracy.  Stuff like that.  But yeah, it appears that it’s close enough to PoE1 that the old build guides and videos for that game are still valid for this one too.

Anyway, I finished the tutorial map and cave, then found that on the world map instead of just clicking on the next icon over and being told “ok, that passed 12 hours of time” you actually click and move around in there until you get to the next area.  I assume there’s a chance of random encounters by doing this, but I didn’t see any.

PoE2 02

I’m a bit formless at the moment, so it’s good to figure out what form I’ll take… This shot is taken just as I was about to head in to character creation.

This time your companion in the tutorial area doesn’t get killed, so you have your 1st party member right from the get-go.  The 2nd one is found in the 1st town almost immediately.  1st is Eder, the fighter from the 1st game, though you can choose to make him a rogue or a fighter/rogue dual-class if you want.  The 2nd one was named Xoti, IIRC, and is a priest.  I was winding down then, so I just kinda clicked through her stuff, so I don’t recall her multi-class option, just that she had one.

And that was last night.  This morning I did as I typically do and woke up well before my alarm went off, so I had about 45 minutes to kill.  Since I’d gotten my feet wet last night, this time I chose to import my PoE1 saved game instead.

It really didn’t mean anything, just that in the dialog just before character creation that I had a couple of different dialog options, however, I was still back at level 1 and could make myself any race/background and class I wanted.  I was somewhat annoyed that while I could skip past the opening dialog stuff, I still had to walk the long ribbon of light to get to the initial scene before character creation, then do the slow walk out of character creation to the actual start point and couldn’t hit F for fast mode or anything during that.

PoE2 03

You start on a boat while being attacked by pirates! As you can see from the bodies, that was a bad idea on the pirates’ part.

I see why they did it as a reminder for if you haven’t played the 1st game in a while (which I haven’t), but while it was kinda cool the 1st time, on the 2nd time really just wanted to make a character and start, not have to go through the 5-10 minutes of pre-start stuff.  As an aside, even before character creation you have an option to simply say “Eh, no thanks” and the game then ends and the credits roll, so it can be “beat” in less than 10 minutes…

Anyway, I recall that in my prior game I was a Pale Elf wizard and loved it, so I went with that again.  I think I even vaguely remember the min/max stats to use — max Might, Intellect, and Perception.  Keep Dex and Con close to average, and dump Resolve.  I hope that was right….

I didn’t have enough time to finish the tutorial cave this morning, though, so I’ll finish that tonight and then grab the priest again, then start exploring for real.  So far so good!

Happy gaming out there!

[FFXIV] Bonus Item Screenies

I did the Easter event back when it came out.  The way my Roegadame sits on it though… all of her outfits seem to have skirts of some kind, and the way she sits on the egg makes them “fly up” and look silly.  The only outfit that wasn’t too awful was my gathering gear, but even it had some of the skirt thing going on —


Flying Easter Egg Mount

Frankly, I’ve not played much since then, mostly just an occasional login to say hi to the FC, but that’s about it.  Just waiting for Stormblood to come out…..

But I did buy a 60-day time card on Amazon in order to qualify for the promo, so here as some screenies of that:


The new Dragoon glamour stick. and of course the MSQ outfit becuz it’s pretty kewl looking too.


I glamoured my monk gear to be the new eastern garb. Dalamud Red dye, in case you care. And yes, this is the new cloud mount. I reallllllly like it!


Applying the time card put me over the threshold for the next veteran gear reward, so here’s the barding I got, this time on my daughter’s character.


My daughter’s character in the Eastern Garb with the cloud mount also.


This sounds like a fun game, just like it says

As to what I’ve been filling my time with….. still mostly Civ6 and Pillars of Eternity.  On this playthrough I’ve done the White March 1 and 2, plus I think I’m nearing the end of Act 3.  The group of 6 is all capped at level 16, so…. shouldn’t be much longer to finish, and then perhaps try again on a harder difficulty with a different group makeup.

I’ve also recently bought Stellaris, since it went on sale on Steam this past week, including the new “everything” bundle in the sale.  Haven’t gotten very far yet, but it seems fun so far.

I even reinstalled Morrowind — amazingly still had my disks from when I bought it back in 2002.  and of course I’ve done a bunch of graphics mods to make it not look so 2002-y anymore.  But after I got it modded, I haven’t really played it much yet.  But soon…. soon……  I played it almost exclusively for about 2 years after it came out, so I’m sure a lot of it will come flooding back to me once I get past Balmora.  Until then, I’ve got no problem taking my time getting back into that world.

And of course, watching tv with the wife, reading books, and my wife and I even saw Guardians of the Galaxy 2 last weekend, so….. always plenty of stuff going on, even when I’m not playing a specific MMO each day.

Happy gaming out there!

[FFXIV] So This Happened…


There it was…

Yep… I got my final job to 60.  Go me!


Yep, they’re all 60 now

But here’s the thing….  When I play games I like to feel like I’m advancing.  And now that I’ve got everything to 60, where do I go from here?

Gear grinding?  Well.. I could, but… I’m already at i260 on my preferred job, and i257 on my backup job, and I don’t care to do the things that would be necessary to go the last little bit to i270.  And all the other jobs… I don’t really care to play them other than to level them up and most of them are in the i240 range from all the i245 dungeon gear drops from the latest expert dungeons anyway, so it’s not like they’re really that far behind.  And given how gear levels worked when Heavensward released, I’m thinking it’s likely that Stormblood will want gear in the i230 range when its progression begins so… I’m there.  No need to grind gear.

Relic?  Nah.  That’s a big grind that I never have cared to even start.

Diadem?  Never done it, so it could be interesting, I guess.  But… I also don’t know what I’m missing by not doing it, so I can’t say I really care either.

PVP?  You’re aware of who you’re talking to right?  Not. Going. To. Happen.

As I’m sure you can tell, I’m in a state of deep apathy about FFXIV until Stormblood comes out.  And blogging too, it seems.  These screenshots are dated March 15th.  Yikes!

I’ve only been logging in about once a week lately so my FC won’t kick me for inactivity (well, they wouldn’t for 90 days, but I like to make my presence felt at least once a week), and it’s really  just been “log in, say hi to everyone, send the retainers out, log back out.”  I did the Easter event on my character and on my daughter’s so we both have the flying egg mount that shoots the chocobo chicks out the front, but that took all of 15 minutes for each, so… not a big deal, really.


I liked this armor look enough to shell out to buy it, in spite of my apathy

And even though I’ve been logging in a lot less, I’ve not missed it either.  I expect that will change in June, but until then….

I’ve been playing a lot of Civ 6 — it’s vastly improved since it 1st came out with the various balance patches they’ve done on it.  And I’ve got a better feel for the pacing of the game, so I don’t always feel like I need to do ALL THE THINGS and if I’m not doing ALL THE THINGS then I’m so far behind, so it’s a much more enjoyable pastime now.

The AI still makes really weird decisions at times though.  Like this city for example:

Civ6 Cordoba


And this past week I’ve gotten hooked on Pillars of Eternity again.  I’ve always felt a bit like I’ve shorted that game due to not playing through the 3rd Act, much less the expansion areas, so I did some studying up on it on how to build better characters, maybe make a better party, that kind of thing.  And I’m running through it fresh and doing a lot better this time.  I decided to try the highly defensive “3 paladins, 3 chanters” thing and it’s working quite well.  I’ll admit to modifying it a bit, so I’ve got 2 chanters and my “main character” is a rogue to add a bit more damage dealing capability.  But anyway, the only “knockout” I’ve suffered was when fighting a dragon.  One of the paladins folded up quickly (I assume he failed a saving throw since the other 2 were fine), but the chanters did their thing and it all worked out.  And this group is about to start Act 3 now, so I’m just as far as I was before, so… time for new content that I won’t vaguely remember as I’m running through it!

Happy gaming out there!

[PoEt] [TSW] [FFXIV] A Nomadic Weekend

Rogue group early on -- PoEt really doesn't lend itself to screenies very well

Rogue group early on — PoEt really doesn’t lend itself to screenies very well

Well, only did 3 games, but that’s 2 more than normal . . .

For Pillars of Eternity, I wandered about a bit with my monk’s group, but it was really just dinking around looking for named bandits to capture,and it got old kinda quick, so I think I need to start pushing the story forward again, else I may get bored.  Which seems odd, since the game’s enough of a challenge to be intensely satisfying after every well-fought battle.

For TSW, a small part of my not wanting to log in much lately (a very distant 3rd to “skill wheel’s full” and “gear’s good enough for me so don’t care to do NM grind for better gear”) is that lately it’s been fairly laggy for me.  But I’d read somewhere that using DX9 instead of DX11 can fix a lot of that, so I logged in to swap from DX11 to DX9 and…… instant 20 fps jump, and London is completely lag-free again.  So I turned my settings up a bit from how low I had them before trying to alleviate some of that lagginess and went to Tokyo.  And it was very jumpy there.  If i stopped and let the area I was in load, then I was fine, but even trying a simple run across the zone from the Agartha Portal to the Pachinko Parlor there was a lot of stuttering that I’ve never had before, so…. looks like I need to turn some settings back down.

So far as I can tell, my ae-focused solo build has lost no efficacy in spite of the reduction in AE damage with the recent skill changes.  I assume it’s due to the fact that so much of its damage comes from procs from the passives, which appear to if anything to have had their damage increased a bit.  Slow The Advance has a lovely new graphical effect and a lingering dot that it didn’t used to have, so it’s a lot more fun to fire off at a swarm of mobs too.  Much cooler looking.  so, once I get the lag in Tokyo figured out, I’ll probably jump back in and finish up the issue 10 story and see how I feel about things after that.

Yes, it's really that big.  You spend most of the fight under its belly trying not to be stepped on.

Yes, it’s really that big. You spend most of the fight under its belly trying not to be stepped on.

For FFXIV, I did the seasonal event quest and it was every bit as fluffy as one would expect an Easter event to be.  I also worked through the story to the completion of what was added in the 2.55 patch this past week, as well as doing the Letter Carrier missions.  I did the LC missions as WHM to give myself something a little different, but I did the story missions as BLM.  One fight was kinda challenging, but since I have sleep and could simply sleep the hard-hitting mob and heal myself back to full in the 30 seconds it bought me, it didn’t end up being a big deal.  The new Trial was pretty fun.  I watched a video in advance that explained the basic mechanics, but it wasn’t a “here’s the whole fight” thing either, so it wasn’t a complete spoiler.  And watching a video and doing it in-game are 2 completely different things……  We failed pretty badly the 1st time, but that gave all of the newbies to the Trial a chance to see how it all worked, and we did it on the 2nd try in good order.

Thing about the story though — mild spoilers here, so you’re warned — is that according to the story I’m now persona non grata in Ul’dah, but there’s nothing in the game itself that reflects this — I can still walk freely in the city, use all the services, use the Immortal Flames area, etc.  so that’s a bit of an immersion breaker — everything that happens in Ul’dah is pretty dramatic, as well as the escape from the guards, and yet after the story’s told the game itself completely ignores it.  Such is life.  But, I’m also very looking forward to the new areas in the expansion now as a result of how the story is set up



I ran a couple of dungeons with FC mates to help them in their moving through the story, and I even remembered to hit up the Gold Saucer and check on the Jumbo Cactpot lottery.  It’d been a while since I’ve been in there, and one of these days I’ll let myself get lost in Triple Triad, but for now, the MGS is a nice side diversion, but I’m still more focused on being out in the world.  For a couple of FATEs in Coerthas and one of the FC dungeon runs I played with my Bard and found myself wanting to work on it some more again, so….. I’m going to try to at least do a low-level roulette per night this week as a bard and see what that does for me level-wise.  I seem to get about 1/2 a level on a roulette bonus run each day, plus several challenge log entries also give bonuses for doing 3 and 5 dungeons, plus handing out commendations and those 3 entries seem to be good for another level as well, so in theory just 1 dungeon a night could get me 4-5 levels per week without hardly trying so….. we’ll see.

Happy gaming out there!  And more screenies follow and might be a bit spoilerific for the next part of the story, so… don’t scroll down if you don’t want spoilers….

Easter quest giver

Easter quest giver

Spriggans are kinda fuzzy bunnies, so... makes sense to be a spriggan for Easter!

Spriggans are kinda fuzzy bunnies, so… makes sense to be a spriggan for Easter!

Doing the Easter-quest FATE

Doing the Easter-quest FATE

Drakes flying to attack Ishgard

Drakes flying to attack Ishgard

An anti-dragon cannon on the path to Ishagard

An anti-dragon cannon on the path to Ishagard

The bridge...

The bridge…

She casts the spell --

She casts the spell —

And tosses it high --

And tosses it high —

And down comes the bridge's ward!

And down comes the bridge’s ward!

Which means inbound dragons!

Which means inbound dragons!

One big dude there

One big dude there

The dragon's close-up

The dragon’s close-up

Fighting under him.  He's so big he just kind of ignores us, and calls adds to deal with us while he knocks down even more wards now that he got a foothold on the bridge

Fighting under him. He’s so big he just kind of ignores us, and calls adds to deal with us while he knocks down even more wards now that he got a foothold on the bridge

But we beat him, so the drakes flee!

But we beat him, so the drakes flee!

Self-portrait 1

Self-portrait 1

Self-portrait 2

Self-portrait 2

Self-portrait 3

Self-portrait 3

Don't mess with a monk!

Don’t mess with a monk!

Or a conjurer. . . .

Or a conjurer. . . .

No really... don't mess with the conjurer!

No really… don’t mess with the conjurer!

Lady Yugiri took her mask off

Lady Yugiri took her mask off

I still really like this airship-cart concept

I still really like this airship-cart concept