NBI Talkback Challenge #4 The Seven Gaming Sins

I guess I haven’t done too good of a job keeping up with the NBI writing prompts but this one looks fun. So without further adieu: The seven gaming sins. Keep in mind that the social aspect of these questions are being answered mostly from a WoW player’s perspective.

Lust – Do you enjoy games more if they have scantily clad and “interestingly proportioned” avatars? Do you like playing as one of these avatars? Why or why not?

Do I enjoy playing half naked ultra stacked men and women? As a whole yes, but mostly because I am easily amused. Honestly, it depends on the game’s overall tone, context. etc. Do I find busty beauts appropriate to the setting of a game such as Dead or Alive or Duke Nukem? Well, yeah. A game with a more serious tone however, such as Half-Life, Half-Life 2, or a military shooter, probably not so much. If the character designs are too over the top, it breaks immersion.

Gluttony – Do you have a game backlog of unfinished games but still buy new games regardless? Why or why not?

Ugh yes. Why? Because at one point in time (several years ago), I binged on a Steam Summer/Winter sale or two and scooped up a horde of sub $5 and sub $10 with the intent of playing each and every single one of them one day. I don’t really have the time or interest to play through my entire backlog. Besides, it’s not as if I really buy too many games nowadays.

Greed – Do you enjoy hand outs in a game? Have you ever opted to NOT do an action / in game activity because the rewards were lacking? Why or why not?

Keep in mind that I consider the enjoyment and fun that I have obtained after completing an action a reward. So, have I opted out of a quest because I did not feel that it would be rewarding enough? Definitely. This one is mostly in reference to grindy MMO activities.

Sloth – Do you ever leech or AFK in a party? Do you discourage others from attempting things that you feel are difficult? Have you ever seen someone that needed help, but decided not to help them? Why or why not?

No, it’s rude and a huge waste of everyone’s time, mine especially. Why even run a dungeon or join a group if you aren’t even interested in playing?

Have I ever discouraged others from attempting things that I have felt are difficult? No, I try not to unless they are clearly under-geared or under-prepared to the extent that it is going to screw everyone else over in the party.

Wrath – Ever get angry at other players and yell (or TYPE IN CAPS) at them? Have you ever been so angry to stalk a person around in game and / or in the forums? Why or why not?

No…

Envy – Ever felt jealous of players who seem to be able to complete content you can’t? Do you ever suspect they are hacking or otherwise cheating? Why or why not?

Not really.

Pride – Are you one of those people that demands grouping with other “elite” players? Do you kick players out of your team who you feel are under-performing? Why or why not?

I enjoy grouping with competent players who are willing to spend time learning how to play their class properly but I do not really “demand” to group with elite players nor do I appreciate the attitude that follows people who generally identify themselves as such.

Will I kick people out who are under-performing to the point of being incompetent? Yes. Most of these people have fallen under the AFK sloth category… Will I kick people out of the group because they are struggling? Eh, I really dislike doing that and at point, it’s usually group consensus. We all have to begin somewhere and kicking someone out mid run who is trying hard but struggling a bit is a bit rude.

2015-05-24_00016

The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt

So the Witcher 3: Oh my God it has been so long since I have binged on a game this hard. Nowadays I will typically play computer games in short spurts of about an hour or two; So it is somewhat rare for me to soak up entire evenings and weekends playing one game. In fact, I don’t actually recall the last (non Sims) game that I have been this engrossed in. It may have actually been Skyrim.

The Witcher 3 has a healthy mix of magic, fantasy tropes, and political intrigue with a dark and grisly unforgiving overarching tone. If you were at all disappointed by how linear and on-rails the first two titles felt, fear not: The Witcher 3 takes place in an open world environment. The map is absolutely massive and painstakingly detailed, without feeling like the game’s world was artificially enlarged for the sake of having an open world.

You do not technically need to have played any of the previous titles to enjoy The Witcher 3, but it would help immensely with the back story and characters. Besides, both The Witcher as well as The Witcher 2 are fantastic games. At minimum, I would recommend reading a quick summary of the main characters and story thus far (most of of the major gaming blogs have posted several decent articles).

2015-05-23_00013

The combat system is simple and fluid but precise. It’s a combination of physical melee attacks, dodging, rolling, and the use of magic signs to stun/burn/trap/etc. It is fairly unforgiving to key mashing and will punish careless hacking and slashing harshly. In the Witcher 3, having a good defensive plan seems to be key to success. Extremely fun but yes, there is a lot of rolling and quen spamming.

In that regard, several blog posts and threads recommended playing the game at the 3rd level of difficulty, Blood and Broken Bones so that is what I am rolling with. The difficulty curve is rough at lower levels but I have heard that at lower difficulties, the game is too easy at some point. Either way, you can change the difficulty at any time (which I had admittedly had to do once).

2015-05-24_00013

They brought back the potion toxicity system. In the Witcher 2 however, toxicity only governed the cap on potion buffs. If you reached 100% toxicity, you simply could not drink any more potions until you had meditated. There were no real negative effects. In the Witcher 1 as well The Witcher 3, you begin to suffer from negative effects if your toxicity rises too high. I don’t think the game will outright let you kill yourself via potion overdose but if the bar is too full your health will start to drop.

The potion system by the way, is WAY less tedious than the previous titles. You only really need to gather ingredients and craft the initial potion (which is good for several uses before it empties). As long as you still have the empty potion bottle in your inventory, Geralt will automatically refill all potions after meditating for at least an hour. A potion refill costs one bottle of alcohol. I like how integral consumables are to The Witcher 3’s gameplay. It is also nice seeing anti-potion spam mechanic in place that is more original than adding a 2 to 5 minute cooldown.

I find the movement system in this game to be somewhat awkward because of my personal preference in movement keybindings. In the Witcher 3, the ‘a’ and ‘d’ keys are bound to turn left and turn right. My preference is to have the ‘a’ and ‘d’ keys bound to strafe left and strafe right. Unfortunately, there isn’t any in game way of rebinding the movement keys, which is sort of bummer for a PC game. If I recall correctly, you should be able to manually change the movement keybindings by editing a .ini file but at this point I have become accustomed to having to keyturn.

2015-05-23_00024

The inventory system however, is pretty godawful. There are tabs for gear, consumables, crafting items, quest items, and other stuff. Aside from those tabs there really isn’t any way to search your inventory or further organize items, so everything just ends up in one giant tab of crafting crap.

There is also no non-personal inventory storage system. So if you want to stash something for later, it needs to be dropped on the ground. On the other hand, items that you drop on the ground don’t seem to ever disappear. So as a workaround, what most people seem to be doing is choosing a specific place to drop items for later use; Usually a spot next to one of the fast travel points.

2015-05-19_00003

Graphically, the game is gorgeous and is being hailed by many as the “new Crysis.” Facial expressions, voice acting, and character animations are pretty good. The Witcher 3 doesn’t seem too taxing on my system. I am able to play it on high and retain a decent framerate, which is what I would expect from my system I guess.

All-in-all: The Witcher 3 is exactly what I was hoping it would be.

nbi_2015

NBI Talkback Challenge #1

Although I am not formally a part of the Newbie Blogger Initiative, I think that it is an awesome idea and will do my best to support it or at least participate in some of the suggested topics/talkback challenges. Who knows? Maybe I will start posting more than once or twice a month…

How did GamerGate affect me?
It for the most part didn’t. It’s not necessarily a socio-political thing as it is a, “I don’t let other people’s actions affect my enjoyment of things that I enjoy” thing. People who grief and discriminate based off of something as silly as one’s gender simply aren’t worth keeping in your life. So if someone is going to be a dramatic blow hard, I hope that they realize how petty they look to everyone else; That applies to both men and women.

I am fortunate enough to have never really felt limited by my gender (yes, I am female). Though I do feel that it is important to be mindful of one’s gender, mostly for the sake of social awareness, it is just not something that I place all that much weight on and to be honest, has never been all that relevant to my occupation, gaming, or any of my other hobbies (it’s silly categorizing activities as being strictly male or strictly female unless they involve genitalia I suppose.)

Besides, my whole life has been a sequence of one “unladylike activity” after another another and not really caring about what other people thought. I guess that’s just the way that I was raised. So if GamerGate did have any affect on me it would be: General awareness as to how fortunate I am.

Behold, the shitty Excel chart that I felt compelled to make

WoW Loses 2.9M Subs

According to Blizzard’s recently released quarterly financial report, World of Warcraft is down 2.9 million subscribers since last quarter. WoW had rose from 7.4 million subs in Q3 2014 to about 10 million subs in Q4 2014 after the Warlords of Draenor launch. It is now back down to 7.1; Slightly below the pre-expansion numbers.

Not really that unexpected but still somewhat surprising as losing nearly 3 million subscribers is a pretty sharp decline, even for a 10 year old MMO. The fact that Warlords of Draenor has offered literally no player retention has to sting a bit. The recent expansion has thus far represents bot the largest expansion spike as well as the largest expansion drop to date.

If I had to take a guess at what I thought the main culprit would be, garrisons are a fairly obvious choice. They kind of had a lot riding on the garrisons and though I liked them a lot at first, investing that much time in the garrisons in my opinion at least, did not pay off. The garrison quests and benefits are little more than a chore now. I think guild housing would have been a better option. One can only spend so much time sitting in their own personal instance.

On the FFXIV Heavensward Benchmark and Time Management

ffxivbenchmark

Not that I am going to be pre-ordering or purchasing the FFXIV:ARR expansion anytime soon but hey, curiosity. I guess that’s okay for a three year old computer? Despite being mostly home all day today, I did not get a whole lot of FFXIV play time in today (or this weekend for that matter) by virtue of busy time hay fever. We are having guests over next weekend and therefore not likely to get much play time in either so I guess that leaves before and after work? Lately our time has been filled with other hobbies and activities that aren’t computer gaming related (most being recreational, others being discovering the joys of new home ownership/housework), which isn’t at all a bad thing by any measure but it is what it is. Oh such is the life of an adult I guess.

ffxiv_04272015_081740

Odds and Ends: April 27th 2015

For one reason or another I chose to drop my level 9 character on Midgardsormr and reroll on another server: Same class and most other choices except for race, for aesthetic reasons. Upon character creation I had chosen to create a max height Elezen. I am discovering that the problem with tall characters seems to be that because of their super wide strides, they look like they are running in slow motion. Also, who the hell does server maintenance on a Monday evening?

  • I have been playing the new Hearthstone expansion on my iPhone on and off at work during my lunch hour. Not so much lately because…busy busy but pretty good port all around. Surprised at how well the interface works on the smaller screen.
  • We got home late on Sunday evening after running around and driving all day so I ended up falling asleep during roughly half of Game of Thrones :/
  • I vow to pick through, edit, and upload my GoPro footage from Sunday’s airsoft game within reasonable time.
  • Because I burned through my previous, “I need a random sitcom or something to watch on Netflix while I either work on or play something” show, I started watching Dexter on Netflix. I don’t recall exactly where I had originally dropped the show.
  • We should have another podcast episode out soonish.

I doubt anyone really cares but I recently migrated this site from Drupal to WordPress. As a whole, it really is a better blogging platform. Unfortunately, my Sims legacy section and a fer other things fell victim to the migration as I was too lazy to port the custom content types over.

2015-04-21_00001

That MMO Itch: Final Fantasy XIV

It has been several years since I have played any MMO for an extended period of time aside from dabbling with WoW for short spurts to poke at new raid content in LFR or to say hi to people. Nevertheless, I guess the thing about being any MMO gamer is that the urge to play, though dormant, never truly subsides and rears its head from time to time to sneak $15 or so from my pocket. So what I am getting at is that I had a big MMO itch and a small hole to fill. So, the small hole that was once filled with WoW at some point is now being filled with Final Fantasy XIV, at least for the time being (ie: at least through the free month of play that came with the client purchase).

Final Fantasy XIV A Real Reborn is without a doubt, unapologetically an MMO down to the fetch questing. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but it is what it is. My FFXIV ARR beta character was a gladiator if I recall correctly. I decided to step outside of my plate/paladin class box and roll a pugilist which to my understanding is kind of like a rogue but with a lot of dancing? I like the movement based combat abilities. Pugilist abilities as a whole thus far seem to revolve around being able to use certain abilities in certain stances. Suffice it to say, I do not yet fully or even close to fully have a grasp as to what I a supposed to be doing with this class but I am only level 5 at the moment.

I don’t have my Logitech G13 configured for FFXIV yet so using a WASD configuration for combat is mildly irritating because I am use to being able to move my character with the thumbstick while having my other four fingers free to do whatever. It feels rather limiting having to choose between the ability to use my middle finger to press the ‘W’ key to move forward or the ability to use my middle key to press one of the combat hotkeys to punch punch.

The game is pretty fun so far if not exactly what I was expecting down to a tee.

DSC02993

Loot Crate April 2015: Fantasy

Obvious spoilers if you haven’t received your crate yet. I caved and purchased one of those Loot Crate subscription boxes that the internet seems to love out of curiosity and a general love for all things fantasy. Pretty fun, awesome loot, though I am unsure I will continue my subscription; Not because I am disappointed but more because of every desk like surface being already overly saturated in random geek doodads. Oh I love me my doodads. The box includes:

  • Dungeons & Dragons T-Shirt
  • Harry Potter Luggage Tag
  • Inflatable Crown
  • RPG Bow Tie (exclusive)
  • The Princess Bride Playing Cards
  • Game of Thrones USB Flash Drive (Exclusive)
  • Game of Thrones Magnet Set

The obvious highlight of the box being the Loot Crate exclusive Game of Thrones 4GB thumb drive. I really like the shirt by the way. It’s not made of the ultra soft T-Shirt cotton that I prefer, but the sizing is on point and I don’t really have too many geeky shirts that aren’t black.

Final Fantasy Record Keeper: Of Shinra and Legends Tips and Notes

I have been playing Final Fantasy Record Keeper lately, which has occupied most of my phone gaming time. Yes, it is another stupid F2P social RPG but it is surprisingly fun and well done for a game of that sort. The pricing structure and stamina per minute regen rate seems decent enough where I do not feel like the game is actively trying to shoehorn me into spending real money; At least at this point in the game (to my understanding, inventory space becomes an issue later in the game). Anyway, an event titled “Of Shira and Legends” started a couple of days ago. Some of the key rewards being Tifa and Sephiroth.

Invest in lightning damage. At least a third of all mobs and most bosses seem to be vulnerable to lightning damage. It’s also needed for the current event. If Rydia isn’t leveled and a part of your normal party, it is definitely worth spending time and growth eggs to bring her up to par as she is by far the most powerful black magician in the English game at this point. Two of the bosses (floors 60 and 65) are immune to melee attacks and weak to lightning.

Ideal level range seems to be at about 30. I have heard that it’s doable but difficulty at level 25-ish as long as you have an idea party setup. It’s really only the last 3 bosses (floor 60, floor 65, and floor 70 the final boss) that are difficult. Everything else was trivial, especially with maxed out FFVII armor.

Level 60: Hundred Gunner & Level 65: Heligunner
Both are immune to melee attacks and immune to all status effects exceot for Slow. Vulnerable to lightning. Equip Rydia with Thundara and keep her in the back. Have Tyro equipped with a ranged weapon, Cura, and Thunder Strike. Heal Rydia when she is damaged, if everyone is full assist with damage by using Thunder Strike. Equip Wakka with a ranged weapon and Salve to assist with damage and self heal. The melee only party members can either Boost Rydia or Defend to soak damage.

Level 70: Rufus and Dark Nation
Rufus is vulnerable to Blind and Poison. Dark Nation will buff Rufus. Blind Rufus with Dark Attack and Poison him if you have Poison. Kill Dark Nation then Kill Rufus once Protect and Shell Have worn off. Having Dark Attack is key to this fight…

Necessary Spells and Needed Components:
These are the materials that are needed for both crafting and upgrading the following spells. I don’t have the exact amounts because, too lazy to check.

  • Dark Attack: Lesser Power and Lesser Dark
  • Cura: Lesser White an Lesser Holy
  • Thundara: Lesser Black and Lesser Lightning
  • Thunder Strike: Lesser Power, Lesser Black, and Lesser Lightning.

Ideal Orb Farming Locations:
Figaro Castle is an ideal orb farming location since it is, if I recall correctly, the only location that exclusively drops orbs needed by the spells listed above.

  • Figaro Castle (VI): Lesser Power, Lesser Lightning, and Lesser Holy
  • Imperial Camp (VI): Lesser Black (and Lesser Earth, Lesser Wind)
  • Mt. Kolts (VI): Lesser White, Lesser Dark (and Lesser Non-Elemental)

Final Fantasy VII Armor Farming Locations:
Remember record synergy: FFVII dungeon + FFVII character, weapon, armor = Massive bonus. There doesn’t seem to be much in the ways of FFVII weapons aside from the ultra rare relics that you can roll for, but there are a few armor pieces:

  • Iron Bangle: Mt. Hobs (IV)
  • Protect Vest: Antlion’s Den (IV)
  • Mythril Armlet: Baron’s Castle (IV)
  • Bronze Bangle: These will drop during the tower, unsure if there is an idea floor to farm on