The best part being the cool gnome mech.

[WoW] The Invasion

Huh well image that… If you add content to a game, it becomes fun again; Who would have known? But in all seriousness, we enjoyed the invasion scenarios and cutscenes quite a bit and are currently enjoying catching up on the bits and pieces of content missed during our absence from WoW. The invasion gear has also rather quickly replaced a fair amount of the crappy LFR and Timewalking gear that I have been slowly accumulating. Overall, it is a suitable farewell to WoD and transition into Legion, which we are looking forward to playing at the end of the month.

I really wanted to boost either my Shaman or Druid to 100 but the Shaman is only 20 and the Druid is 45. In order to get the profession boost, which is what I really want (because screw grinding anything, especially JC, from 1 to 700), the boosted character needs to be 60+. The only character even remotely close to 60 would be my DK, who had previously been at 58 since Wrath of the Lich King. I guess if we are being totally honest, the likelyhood of me even playing a 4th alt beyond profession muling is abysmally low. In that regard, I suppose it doesn’t matter which character I boost so long as it is above level 60.

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The hunter is finally 100 as is my newly rolled Demon Hunter. This marks the most max level characters that I have ever had (up from 2 to 4). I think my favorite part of the new class is either the eye beams or being able to jump off of your flying mount at great heights and gliding around with the wings.

I was hoping to get Draenor flying before Legion, but I have a feeling that Saberstalkers rep is going to take too long to grind out. Everything else can be completed relatively trivially.

Draenor Flying

Odds and Ends: FFRK, WoW, and Fallout Shelter

FFRK
Photo-2016-08-01-21-48-57_7636Record Keeper was put on the back burner a bit in light of Pokemon Go and our return to WoW. I still need to clear the FFV U+ fight as well as Ifrit. The Support Nightmare fight wasn’t that hard once I had the timing down, but it did take a few tries and party configurations. The general idea is:

  • Phase 1: Shout and zerg the two nodes down. Keep in mind that when a node dies, it will respawn in about 1 to 2 turns.
  • Phase 2: The CPU will cast the physical barriers first so keep your Power Breakdown and Armor Breakdown (and Multi-Break if possible) users on standby. Finish off the nodes with other party members, PBD and ABD need to be queued as soon as the nodes respawn to avoid double barriers.
  • As soon as the nodes respawn: Queue PBD on the top one and ABD on the bottom one. Wait a second then queue Multi-Break. The idea is to time it so that Multi-Break goes off after PBD and ABD, doing this will make the nodes go haywire.
  • DPS the boss when the nodes to haywire. As soon as the second Barrage and Heal go off (from the nodes), queue Multi-Break. The idea is to cast Multi-Break before the CPU has a chance to put a barrier up. If you do it right the nodes should go haywire again.

WoW
WoWScrnShot_073116_145644Hopped straight on the gear treadmill despite Legion looming off into the not-so-far distance. My retribution set is sufficient enough to do okay damage in LFR HFC raids. Working on my healing set. I may actually start healing again; If for nothing else, so that we don’t have to sit in the LFR/LFG queue for 30 to 40 minutes. There were literally two healing buttons the last time I had bothered healing back in Vanilla so we will see how that goes…

My hunter has a near full set of 630+ gear tokens from the Tanaan dailies, garrison missions, etc. I can’t however, seem to bother to quest out the last 60% of a level to 100 so that he can use it. I’m bad at alting. I am not sure which character I am going to burn my insta-100 boost on. I am thinking that it will most likely be either a my lowbie druid or lowbie shaman.

Fallout Shelter
I was surprised to hear that a significant amount of content had been added to this game so I redownloaded it on my phone and have been poking at it on-and-off over the past week. The missions are pretty fun though I can tell that my interest in the title is starting to wane.

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[WoW] Pre-Patch Impressions

For the first time in about forever, enough people have been back on WoW to socialize and do stuff so we caved-in and resubscribed. Luckily, the majority of my user interface seems to have survived the patch. I will though, need to find replacements for a few deprecated addons. Since my interface feels a bit top heavy, I think that I am going to spend part of my pre-expansion play time thinning out and redoing most of my UI.

I’m not sure that I would necessarily describe Retribution 7.0.3 as streamlined. It feels more, pruned than anything else. I find muscle memory moving my finger towards the buttons that I would press for Hammer of Wrath and Exorcism quite often. But that said, it has literally been almost two years since I have touched WoW and even then, it’s not like I was all that familiar with Retribution 6.x so… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Hopping on the gear treadmill once a gain. My gear is slowly getting better. It is up from a paltry 645 iLevel to a slightly less paltry 664 iLevel. The goal of course being to be non-shit geared by the time the invasion occurs.

My Pending Return to WoW

Like much of the player base, my husband and I are planning to return to the World of Warcraft, albeit for a brief month or so, when the Legion expansion launches at the end of August. The pressure however, of seeing more and more friends filter back into World of Warcraft over the past month or so has been increasing. Now that the pre-expansion patch is out, I am quite tempted to re-subscribe a bit earlier than originally planned.

I haven’t really been “into” WoW for about two years, so Legion has felt like more of an obligatory/out of curiosity purchase more than anything else. As such, I have neither paid much attention to any WoW related news nor am I versed in any way on any of the changes that have been made to the game, classes, etc.

That said, let’s say that I do re-subscribe. What do I do? I guess I can try out the new class, LFR old raids, or see if enough people are playing at the same time to do something. Or I guess, I can take the extra time to re-learn how to play this game…

In any event, I have already re-downloaded the game, updated my interface, and re-configured my gamepad so I guess it’s just a matter of time.

PS: I did actually re-download the entire game this time onto the new drive (yada yada bought an SSD for Prime Day) instead of just copying over the same WoW folder that I have been using for a decade from computer to computer. It was kind of funny though, having a WoW directly full of old patch files stretching all the way back to Vanilla.

[Music] Zero Wing: Legrous (Stage 2)

At some point close to 2000 to 2001 when the “All Your Base” meme was becoming popular, I had downloaded a .midi from Zero Wing (old side scroller from Sega that was never released stateside). I was digging through and cleaning out my media folder and came across my MIDI stash which had somehow managed to survive multiple harddrive transitions. Given that my phone doesn’t play .mid files, I thought that it would be nice to find a decent soundfont and convert it to .mp3 format for the sake of adding to one of my lunchtime listening playlists. I have no idea where this midi is from or who the original author is so sincere apologies for no credit. Soundfont used: Arachno.

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Pokémon GO Ramblings & Tips

The team so far. Needs work

Literally every single nerd with a smartphone is playing Pokémon GO. A group of us went out last night to go Pokehunting and true enough, if at any point we were to bother to look up and away from our phones, there were quite a few people doing the same thing. The lures seem to not only attack Pokémon, but fellow nerds as well. Kudos to the dude who dropped two last night while we were poke walking.

Pokémon GO doesn’t quite have the depth as Ingress in my opinion: No portal linking obviously or colluding with other faction members to boost portals and capture large areas. I also wish the app had some sort of faction/player leaderboard. I am sure that will be added in a future update.

Literally every single time I want to play during my lunch at work 🙁

I have been also having difficulty capturing gyms because of the “1 HP gym bug.” Whenever I attack a gym and get the defending Pokémon down to 1HP, the game will glitch out and cause it to remain at 1 HP indefinitely. I have heard that this issue may have something to do with tapping the screen too fast as well as with multiple people attempting to take the gym at the same time.

In summary: Pokémon GO is generating the player response that we really really wanted from Ingress. The mere fact that there are so many people who are going outside and doing stuff is super cool.

Here are some odd tips and tricks that I have gathered so far:

  • If you see pink confetti on a pokestop, go there. Pink stuff = lure = more pokemans!

    Pokémon GO is obviously built off of data from Niantic’s other title Ingress. Portals = PokeStops and high traffic portals = gyms. There is no interactive map for Pokémon GO, but if you play Ingress or at least have an account, you can use this map to estimate PokeStop concentration.

  • Wait until the ring in the middle is at it’s smallest for the highest chance of catching the Pokémon.
  • Throwing curveballs increases your catch chance. To throw a curveball: If you spun the ball clockwise, throw the ball slightly to the left and visa versa. Most important thing: When you spin the ball, it will travel in the direction of the spin.
  • To spin the ball: While holding the pokeball, move your finger in rapid small circles until it shines.
  • Though less fun, I have found it easier (and to be honest, less suspicious looking in public), to turn off the AR camera while catching Pokémon.
  • Capture absolutely everything regardless of level or need. If you don’t need it, you can transfer it to the professor for candy. Candy is used for boosting and evolving Pokémon.
  • This game, much like Ingress, absolutely eats your battery alive. Investing in a USB power bank will increase your enjoyment of this game greatly; Or at the very least, allow you to enjoy it for longer periods of time without your phone dying.
  • Distance traveled is GPS based. In other words: Shaking your phone will not hatch the eggs faster. Go outside!
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Odd and Ends: The Warcraft Movie, FFX, Etc

So apparently, having low expectations would be the secret to enjoying most films. We saw the Warcraft movie the other week. My husband criticizes the plot, stating that it was disjointed (among other things). I would go so far as to wonder why anyone would go into this film expecting a plot in the first place. That said, I did enjoy watching Warcraft quite a bit but mostly in the way that one would enjoy pornography: Fun visuals, makes the MMO bits tingle, not exactly War and Peace quality writing.

At least half of the enjoyment was the novelty of seeing in-game locations fleshed out in cinema form, which was legitimately pretty neat to see. If you aren’t a fan of the Warcraft franchise, specifically World of Warcraft then you should probably either skip this movie or at least wait until it is out on Netflix or something. Independence Day 2 on the other hand? That was a truly bad movie. It was clear that not enough liquor was consumed before hand.

Final Fantasy X HD Remaster
I purchased Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD off of Steam last week and have been playing it on and off between Overwatch matches and other stuff: The English voice acting is pretty bad and the random encounters are barely tolerable. Otherwise, it is as fun as I remember it being. In all honesty, given that it has been literally a decade and a half since I had last played it, I don’t remember a whole lot about FFX other than it being one of the ‘good’ Final Fantasy games. Overall, it is a pretty decent remaster:

  • You can choose between either the original PS2 soundtrack or the orchestrated remaster.
  • If you prefer the Japanese audio, there is a mod to enable it. The audio files are already there but for whatever reason (copyright?) there isn’t a way of enabling it aside from using a mod.
  • Graphic look pretty slick
  • Blitzball! :3

FFRK
I was hoping to pull Cecil’s BSB but ended up pulling Celes’ SSB, Kefka’s cloak, and a few other things. Not what I was hoping for but Indomitable Blade is a damn fine consolation prize. I can muster just enough mithril to pull a couple times on banner 5 when it releases tonight. I wasn’t able to complete the FFX U+ Cid Mission; Or more accurately: I wasn’t interested in S/Ling for hours so that mission will just have to be “the one that got away” I guess.

[FFRK] Caius (Ultimate+)

My goal was to create a post about each FFRK event and other games for the sake of being more active on this site. Major league Overwatch obsession and being busy in general kind of pushed that off of the menu unfortunately. But alas, I am back to playing FFRK beyond just completing the events and then ignoring the game.

I am pretty tempted to pull during this banner for Lightning’s BSB. It’s not the best BSB, but given that she has decent stats and I already have her SSB, she is one of my Shout party staples. She will be even more of a staple once Full Charge and Chainstarter are released (5* Combat and 5* Celerity abilities that combo together rather well). If I recall correctly, the only characters with both 5* Combat and 5* Celerity are Lightning, Gau, Tidus, and Zack. 

There was not a lot of strategy or finesse required for this one. It was pretty much: Apply full mitigation, cleanse Regen off ASAP (because it ticks for 9k+…), charge SB bars, reapply full mitigation and Shout at around 50%, burn him down. Cauis’ “gimmick” is that his damage increases greatly as the encounter progresses. Once he reaches his weak phase, the fight is more-or-less a DPS race. I was however, fortunate enough that his opening bit was spread out enough to not gib one of my characters. It is probably worth noting that FFXIII would be one of the realms in which I have decent synergy. I have been patiently awaiting for this event for the sake of reaping the benefits of lopsided pull RNG…

wdt_IDCharacterAbility 1Ability 2RMSB
6 Lightning Lifesiphon R4 Drain Strike R5 Ace Striker Crushing Blow
7 Snow Saint Cross R3 Banishing Strike R4 Holy Knight's Pride Sovereign Fist
8 Ramza Power Breakdown R3 Full Break R3 Mako Might Shout
9 Tyro Magic Breakdown R4 Protectga R2 Dr. Mog's Teachings Sentinel's Grimoire
10 Selphie Curaja R5 Shellga R2 Battleforged Dreamstage


Roaming Warrior: HotF

His damage output was high enough to warrant bringing two supports to fit in both Full Break, Power Breakdown, Magic Breakdown, Shellga, and Protectga. Full mitigation gimped is damage during his Normal phase and made it tolerable during his Weak phase. During the last quarter of the encounter, I had underestimated exactly how much Caius’ damage had increased and ended up not casting Medica when I should have. Consequently, Selphie ate it and everyone else’s health dipped below the medal loss threshold. I was luckily still able to master the fight, but not perfectly.

Snow’s SB did significantly less damage than Saint Cross and was thus fairly useless. I probably should have taken Cecil along for his taunt SB. If I recall correctly, a few of Caius’s abilities are tauntable. Regardless, I am very glad that I chose to invest in Saint Cross. With Shout it does 2×9999 damage.

[FFRK] Bahamut’s Lair (U+)

Decided to experiment with AirServer + OBS Studio and record the entire encounter. Bahamut wasn’t nearly as bad as U+ Cagnazzo (…in which I pretty much ran out of every single ability and barely scraped by with a mastery). Having literally zero Final Fantasy III synergy hurts though.

wdt_IDCharacterAbility 1Ability 2RM
6 Lightning Lifesiphon R4 Drain Strike R5 Ace Striker
7 Snow Saint Cross R3 Banishing Strike R4 Holy Knight's Pride
8 Ramza Power Breakdown R3 Full Break R3 Mako Might
9 Tyro Magic Breakdown R4 Protectga R2 Dr. Mog's Teachings
10 Selphie Curaja R5 Shellga R2 Battleforged


Roaming Warrior: Lenna (Princess’ Favor)
Notable Soul Breaks: Blade Beam, Air Strike, Shout, Tailwind, Sentinel’s Grimoire, Dreamstage

Two re-dos of this fight were required: The first because I had forgotten to swap out Thundaga Strike with Aerora Strike and the second because I had forgotten to equip Power Breakdown. Aside from that, it was a straightforward encounter. Bahamut hits pretty hard with both physical as well as magical damage even with full mitigation up, but it is manageable as long as you recast Wall/Shellga/etc before it completely drops off. The first half of the fight is physical AoE damage for the most part. I couldn’t fit Protectga into my party configuration but Power Breakdown mitigated enough of the damage to make it survivable. Dreamstage + Air Strike during the second half of the fight = MVP.

I probably should have equipped a damage RM over Ace Striker on Cloud since Aerora Strike was hitting pretty high with Shout, but not at the damage cap. Also, I ended up accidentally fat finger casting Tailwind instead of Shout about half-way through the fight, which cut my damage by quite a bit :3.

[FFRK] Ultima Weapon (Ultimate+)

DPS race. This Ultimate+ encountered required a bit more thought than the bonus battles from the last few events. I had tried 2 previous configurations in an attempt to squeeze Tyro in for a full holy trinity but that wasn’t working so I left him at home. I was banking on the fact that two casts of Sentinel’s Grimoire would be sufficient whereas two casts of Dreamstage would not. Aside from some mistiming on my part, both were true.

wdt_IDCharacterAbility 1Ability 2RM
6 Lightning Lifesiphon R4 Drain Strike R5 Ace Striker
7 Snow Saint Cross R3 Banishing Strike R4 Holy Knight's Pride
8 Ramza Power Breakdown R3 Full Break R3 Mako Might
9 Tyro Magic Breakdown R4 Protectga R2 Dr. Mog's Teachings
10 Selphie Curaja R5 Shellga R2 Battleforged


Roaming Warrior: Tyro (Sentinel’s Grimoire)
Notable Soul Breaks: Air Strike, Dreamstage, Shout, Crushing Blow, Blade Beam

Ultima Weapon was a fairly straightforward albeit messy fight by virtue of the sheer amount of damage that he outputs: Pop Shout + mitigation ASAP, let Cloud, Lightning, and Zack build up their SB bars all the way then go to town. I may have been better off swapping out Drain Strike and Dismissal with something like Power Break and/or Armor Break to mitigate/increase damage.

It is well worth noting that Ultima Weapon is not immune to stun. As such, Air Strike’s 100% stun chance was immensely helpful. Dismissal of course, did not proc a single damn time and ended up just being a waste of space. I am pretty sure that I mistimed my second cast of SG and popped it a turn or two too early because it ended up running out way before I had expected it to. Consequently, 3/5 party members were basically eaten alive during the last quarter of the fight. Having several charges of Dreamstage ready to go effectively saved my ass and allowed Cloud to soak an AoE Magic attack and deal the final blow with Blade Beam.