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!
I mentioned briefly in my last post that I’d bought Stellaris. I’ve played rather a lot of it this past month and finally feel like I’m getting a handle on it. It’s VERY overwhelming at 1st, even with all the Master of Orion, MoO2, and Civ series 4X games I’ve played.
Some things I’ve found that are different than any other game I’ve played:
It is a pause-able real-time game, not turn-based. You can pause any time, though, and things queue up when paused, so you can turn it kinda pseudo-turn-based. 1 second real time = 1 day in game. All months are 30 days, so it’s a 360 day year, meaning that 10 years is 3600 seconds — 1 hour. This is on normal speed. Fastest speed feels like it’s 1 second = 2 days. And quite frankly, so little happens at any given time that since you can pause (and there are auto-pause options for events that you can set too) I really don’t know why anyone ever turns it slower, with the possible exception of watching a space battle play out. Even on fastest speed with getting 20 years to an hour, I can’t really imagine a win in less than about 150 years (and I think that would be REALLY fast — you can see in my screenshots that these are all 250-276 years along…..), so that’s a minimum 7.5 hours for a game on fastest speed, assuming you never paused it. Which of course you paused it, so…. yeah. Games are really long. Be ready for that.
The technology tree is indeed a tree, but what you can research next isn’t only dictated by its position on the tree, but also a random system that will only show you a default of 3 available options, so you can’t necessarily determine an optimum research path and then blow through that in each game — you can only pick from what you’re given. You can take traits and get event rewards that let you see more than the default 3, but those are semi-rare and you can’t be sure you’ll get those in the course of a game either. The options shown are weighted — prerequisites seem to show almost all the time, so you can generally be sure you’ll see one of them, at least.
The race appearances are completely cosmetic. It’s the governing civics and traits that actually matter. And boy do they matter…. Interestingly enough, since you’re the player you aren’t necessarily as governed by the traits as the NPC players are — you can take the Xenophobe trait for the increased border range but then play as a Xenophile, while the NPC player would stay true to the ethic. But that said…. playing as a Fanatical Pacifist Xenophobe who expands quickly while closing his borders to all others and refusing all trade requests is an interesting RP experience.
Combat is generally “put it all in 1 fleet and whoever has the bigger number is gonna win.” If you keep your “doomstack” as big or bigger than the NPC nations they tend to not attack since they know they can’t win (the diplomacy screen tells you relative strengths of navies), so try to keep your ship count at or near the cap at all times. And here’s something a little surprising — your cap goes DOWN by 20% if you join a federation, since part of your fleet is considered to be contributed to the federal navy, so be careful when joining or creating one as it can mess with the upkeep costs and screw your economy.
The game saves the custom races you make and you can use them as NPC players in your games too, so it’s possible to make a bunch of pacifist races and then see who can build up the fastest. Or a bunch of militaristic xenophobes dedicated to conquering the galaxy and purging all other races….. or anything in between.
Megastructures — the Sentry Array’s ability to see all ships in the galaxy is a huge benefit. The Ringworld is simply amazing. The Dyson Sphere seems awesome, but ends up being a bit underwhelming, as does the Science Nexus. Habitats seem underwhelming at 1st, but since you can build so many of them, they actually easily are better in the aggregate than the Dyson or the Science station. And if you can find some of those rare systems with 9-10 planets in them, well … 9 habitats in a system is actually better than a Ringworld. Or a decent sized planet and 7-8 habitats too. Here’s the math on that: Habitat = 12 slots, so 8 planets = 96, 9 = 108. Ringworld is 4 sections x 25 slots per section = 100. Size 16 planet + 7 habitats = 100, so that’s pretty much the cutoff there.
For energy, using base numbers (not the bonused ones you get as you research more tech and have higher happiness) — 12 slots. Capital gives 5 energy and then the other 11 slots give 8 for a total of 93 energy per habitat. 4 habitats thus equals 372 energy. Cost to build: 400 influence and 20,000 minerals, plus some niggling amount of minerals for the 11 power stations. And of course the time cost of actually filling the 12 slots with pops. You can build 4 habitats simultaneously in 5 years (2.5 years if you have the Master Builders ascension perk). Serially, then it’s 20 years or 10 with the perk. If you have more than 4 planets in a system you can build that much more energy too. And when you add in happiness bonuses and whatnot…. well, in my current game I’m getting about 130 energy per focused habitat, so 3 = 390 energy, and 4 is 520.
Compare this to a Dyson Sphere which is the only structure you can build in a system and can’t be built in an inhabited system. Cost is 300 influence and 210,000 minerals, with a 55 year build time (27.5 with Master Builder perk). And you get 400 energy out of it. Period. This doesn’t change. Flat 400. Habitats are cheaper and build faster. But you can build a Dyson Sphere without it counting toward your inhabited system total and/or in a sector also, so there are cases where you’d still want to build them. But not before you can’t build any more habitats, IMO.
Science Nexus is similarly underpowered/overpriced. Habitats can do 33 science unbonused, so 3 habitats is 99 science, vs 90 for the Nexus. Same 300 influence cost. And 15K minerals for the habitats with a 2.5-15 year build time depending on your builder perk and 3 simultaneous vs serial builds vs the Nexus’s 25 year (12.5) build time and 70K mineral cost. And this represents an 80% buff to the nexus from initial implementation. It originally gave 50 science when complete, but is now buffed to the 90. And you can only build 1 Nexus per system, while habitats are 1 per planet, s you can get up to 10 (5-6 is much more normal, but even 6 is more than double a Nexus’s output. Or 3 power plants and 3 science to effectively have both a Nexus *and* a Dyson Sphere in the same system…). And to boot — I’m getting closer to 50 science per habitat in my current game, so 2 habs = better than a Nexus for me.
Sentry Array – Brings the entire galaxy into your sensor range. Nothing else is like it, so this rocks and you should definitely build one. 300 influence, 70K minerals, 25 (12.5) years.
TL;DR on megastructures:
- Ringworld – Usually the best thing you can build in a system.
- Habitats – Your workhorse megastructure. It does count as a planet against the penalty to your Research and Unity costs for next, so plan around that when dropping them.
- Dyson Sphere – Focused Habitats are generally better to build. Only build once you can’t build more habitats. Or maybe in an extremely crappy system that can’t have at least 3 habitats.
- Science Nexus – Focused Habitats are generally better to build. Only build once you can’t build more habitats. Or maybe in an extremely crappy system that can’t have at least 2 habitats.
- Scanning Array – Awesome! Nothing else like it!
So anyway… yeah, it’s a lot of fun. I’m very glad I picked it up in the pre-Stormblood lull from FFXIV.
Happy gaming out there!
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 —
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:
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!