[Disney World] Min-maxing Test Track

TL;DR: We were vacationing this past week in Orlando. Our goal was to hit the high score on the Test Track leaderboard in which we had almost achieved (matched it at 230). I am pretty sure that the score cap however is 232; I haven’t seen any indication online or in the actual attraction that it can go any higher. We ended up riding test track 3 times, each with the following score: 208, 222, and 230. I am not quite sure where we lost 2 points, I suspect that it was either a screw up when drawing the contour of the car or wheel size. It is worth noting that only higher scores will override the current leader. If you want to stay on the board, ride early.

There are a total of four categories: Power, responsiveness, capability, and efficiency. Your overall score will be the total of all four categories combined. So, the trick is to max out your overall score not just a particular category.

For vehicle type, choose the sports car on the far left. When drawing the contour of the car, you will want to draw something resembling a normalish car shape (small curve for the hood, larger curve for the body). It should resemble something like this:

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When sculpting the car, make the tail as tall as possible (drag it to the upper left). For length and width, make the car as short and wide as possible. The hybrid engine is by far the best choice as it gives you an additional accessory slot.

For accessories, the trick is to use the selection that nets you the most overall gain. It doesn’t matter what category it boosts so long as it offers the most points. So for example, if accessory #1 offers +2 power but accessory #2 offers +6 capability and -2 power, you will want to go with accessory #2 because the overall gain is +4 (vs +2). The max amount of point gain for accessories seems to be 20 (front +3, hood +4, side +2, top +2, rear +3, tail +6). Same deal for the wheels. I am not sure if there is an ideal ratio for wheel size.

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.

Odds and Ends: April 2016

My new personal project for April and onward is to consistently run and/or lift at least 5 days a week instead of sporadically jumping on the treadmill once or twice a week. I am considering moving the HTPC into the spare room so that I can watch Hulu/Netflix on a screen larger than the iPad/my phone while I run. Still no Overwatch beta invite though at this point it is not that far from release I guess.

FFRK: RNGesus be Praised
I went into SSBfest and the FFT challenge event expecting bupkis and came out of it with everything that I and really wanted and then some. In any case, I am almost certain that I have permanently exhausted my luck reservoir but now that I have both SG and Shout, I think I am okay with that. First World Problem: Since most of my Roaming Warriors were either Sentinel’s Grimoire or Stone Skin II, I now need to redo my entire list. What a pain in the ass.

FFRKlolRNG

Stardew Valley
This game is such a time sink; I don’t in any sense mean that in a negative manner. I am currently at the end of Fall during my first year. The farm, though rather small is mostly automated; Growth seems to be dictated by how many sprinklers I am able to craft. Alex, my chosen marriage candidate has recently accepted my bouquet. I actually haven’t picked Stardew Valley up in a few weeks. I feel as if it is one of those games that I will cycle in and out of as personal interest dictates.

My Plants
I am very pleased to see that the small sad looking lithop leaf double spawned. It was shriveled for quite some time, so I was pretty sure that it was going to die. I guess it just took longer to split for whatever reason. Unfortunately, I haven’t done a very good job of taking my plants in from the rain so I suspect that a few of them have gotten a bit too much water. The soil that they are in does seem to drain and dry out pretty fast so they should be okay.
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Black Desert Online
I caved and scratched a very faint but present itch. More posts to come.

[Gardening] My Succulent Collection

I have noticed recently, that as I grow older (more specifically, as my free time shrinks), the less I am interested in gaming in front of a computer. I guess that isn’t really a bad thing, but it is probably the reason why I post here about once a week at most.

Now that the weather is getting warmer, gardening can ensue. We have been in the house for a little over a year and the backyard is still kind of a mess, aside from my small corner of potted plants. Truth be told, one of the reasons for my love of succulents is the fact that they require very little maintenance. The primary reason of course being that they look cool/weird. Here are a couple of plants from my succulent collection that I am particularly fond of:

Echeveria (Elegans?)
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I am pretty sure that these succulents are in the echeveria genus, but I am not 100% sure what species. They are from my wedding bouquet and grow/flower like crazy with very little maintenance other than placing them in a spot that receives sun and splashing them with water once in a while during peak hit in summer.

I have noticed that one of the flower stalks is infested with little black bugs. The bugs likely seem to be isolated to just one stem and have not returned since pruning them off.

Lithops (Living Stones)
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Before Winter (October) and after Winter (March). When I had purchased these plants at Lowe’s, I didn’t have high hopes for them surviving through the Winter because the looked a little bit scarred or possibly split from overwatering

The leaf on the top right was unfortunately munched on by a rabbit and died as expected. The leaf on the top left looked pretty bad, but has a new leaf emerging. I am very pleased to see a double spawn out of the big leaf on the bottom.

It rained a lot in 2015 (for Southern California which is to say, not much by everyone else’s standard) and I wasn’t very diligent about moving the water sensitive plants to a covered area, so we’ll see how they do. The soil does dry fairly rapidly when in full sun.

Fenestraria Aurantiaca (Baby Toes)
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Have been looking for these on and off for a while and happened to find them the other week during a plant sale when we were out and about. I had a decent sized pot of these growing up, pretty sure that they died due to over-watering.

Odds and Ends: February 2016

I have been on a mild Final Fantasy binge lately that may or may not have been at least partially inspired by my fixation with Final Fantasy Record Keeper.

Final Fantasy Tactics
This title went on sale on the App Store a long-ass time ago and has been shamefully sitting on my phone untouched for well over a year, if not more. Given that Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced is one of my all time favorite handheld titles, I am unsure why it has taken me this long to finally play this game. I actually own the PSX game; I think it was gifted to me like 15 years ago and chance.

The great thing about turn based mission based games is that they are very easy to pick up and set down as time dictates. As such, FFT is now my preferred lunch time and couch time game. Decent plot, fun game, decent port, despite the fact that it hasn’t been updated in about two years. I haven’t played Final Fantasy Tactics A2 either. I may treat myself after beating this game

Final Fantasy Explorers
Final Fantasy classes and abilities + Monster Hunter + Basic MMO grinding = this game. It’s a grindy handheld action RPG with a plot that is vague at best. I like it, but it may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Dwarf Fortress
I have played through several fortresses at this point. In regards to Outpost Stizashoddom from my previous posts: Ultimately, Kol the Possessed One ended up going insane because I was unable to construct a metal forge to fulfill his needs. He was promptly smothered to death by his peers, thus ending both his murderous rage as well as his short life. The fortress was forced retired after accidentally digging a staircase wrong and trapping/starving the only dwarves in the fortress with a pining pick. It unfortunately, created a situation in which I was literally unable to do much of anything.

My second fortress survived a while longer, including long bloody winter in which a third of the population was killed during goblin siege. They held out but never fully recovered and perished the following year during a second siege. Ultimately, my downfall (one of them) was not having a self sustaining source of water during the winter. Future fortress incarnations were built on a map with a river or some constant source of water. Still need to work on building a pump/reservoir system.

Odds and Ends: January 2016

Both Christmas and New Years were awesome. This week has also been awesome albeit cold and rainy; More so the latter. As a whole, there has been more media consumption than gaming lately.

Steins;Gate
The Internet really seems to like this show. Steins;Gate gas a decent plot and fairly original as far as anime goes at least. The story ties most everything together and wraps itself up neatly. The characters are average to mildly annoying as they all seem to over exaggerated tropes.

If there was one thing that I really disliked about the series it would be it’s pace: Steins;Gate takes about 10 episodes to really get started. Given that it is a 24 episode show, that would be about half the series. Overall, if I had to give it a rating I would say that it is either a solid B or a B-.

Undertale
This game was my one and only purchase from the Steal Sale. I am having trouble getting into Undertale but I have only really dedicated a grand total of 30 minutes to the game so there’s that. Today was supposed to be a play Undertale, clean the entire house, do errands day. It ended up being a watch #AGDQ2016 on Twitch and play with the cat day.

The Walking Dead Season 6
Caught up with The Walking Dead. You know that you have been watching too much of this show when you start using free head space to evaluate the structures around you for their zombie resistance rating.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
I was planning on writing on a lengthier post on The Force Awakens but… holidays. As a side note, I think we have passed the point in our lives where we are willing to attend any movie midnight showing unless there is a strong social incentive. So like old people, we attended the first showing of the day at the local theater on the Saturday after it was released. Without spoiling anything: Movie nitpicks aside, went in with very few expectations, came out thoroughly pleased.

Merry Christmas

First Christmas in the new house and first time that we have purchased an actual tree. I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas before getting ready to cook. Whatever you do today and whatever you celebrate, may it be filled with happiness.

Caturday + Things That I Have Been Playing

When in doubt, just post pictures of the cat I guess. He’s getting so much bigger!

I finally finished the MGSV campaign earlier this week. I kind of want to play Metal Gear Online and play through some of the extra/side missions that I missed but I don’t think I will. Good game, had a lot of fun. As a final thought, the weakest part of Phantom Pain in my opinion is the narrative by virtue of the Metal Gear series as a whole, failing to integrate the storytelling aspect of the game into the gameplay aspect of the game. There is too much exposition. I am torn between feeling glad that the developers shoved most of the dialogue into the cassette tapes and recognizing that sort of thing is lame.

I purchased Hearts of Stone, the Witcher 3 expansion the other day, which I was playing on and off in-between attempting to clean the house. The somewhat awkward thing is that you can only play the expansion content once you have beaten the game; Which would normally be okay except for the fact that I was already about 5 to 10 hours deep into a New Game + replay. So, I had to back up a copy of my NG+ save (as a precaution), load an older pre-NG+/post game completion save, then trigger the expansion quest line. I would like to complete NG+, but I don’t think I will be able to do so before Fallout 4’s release date.

Odds and Ends: October 2015

It was nice, chilly, rainy, and fall-like last weekend and now it is about 100 degrees outside. It’s at the very least a “normal” Southern California dry 100 degrees and not an abnormal El Nino super humid 100 degrees outside, a la most of the summer. Still playing Metal Gear Solid V though at more of a, “do a mission here and there in-between being busy with other stuff” pace. I do believe that I am either at or towards the very end of the game.

The problem that I have with the second part of the game is that it seems to be for the most part, comprised of filler missions. By filler missions I am referring to the missions that are just rehashes of previous missions with harder win conditions (such as stealth only, no starting gear, “extreme”, and so forth). Unfortunately, I am pretty sure that I have to play through all or at least some of these in order to unlock the next story progression missions. So that is kind of where I am at in the game right now: Putzing around while waiting for the game to trigger the next piece of new content.

Hearthstone
I’ve dabbled in Hearthstone on and off since beta, but haven’t played it seriously or all that competitively. I have been the mood to play Hearthstone so I have been trying to get more into it beyond building decks and playing a game or two during lunch at work. Really, the only classes that I have even somewhat extensively played are: Paladin, Mage, and Hunter. Next week’s “project” will be to build a warlock deck and play at least until all of the base cards are unlocks.

Rick and Morty
Marathoned season 1 and caught up with season 2, which I finally finished watching last night. Great show, new personal favorite, and easily the best show that i have watched lately. I had assumed that Rick and Morty was just a standard goofy Adult Swim show, wasn’t expecting feels. I am now really super ultra said that I will probably have to wait at least a year and a half for Rick and Morty Season 3.

Other TV Things
We dropped Netflix and Crunchyroll and picked up Hulu Plus, now that there is a reasonably advertisement free plan + a shit ton of anime. The only two things that irritate me about Hulu are: No options for separate profiles on a single subscription and only being able to stream it on one device at a time. Really, the only thing that I greatly miss (in light of football season starting) about not having a cable subscription is easy access to sporting events.

Pathfinder
Monthly pen-and-paper Pathfinder (D&D 3.75) group starting up soon. I am rolling a human sorcerer and am currently torn between whether or not it is worth losing a spell per day to go crossblooded with Arcane/Draconic. I guess one of the human racial benefits makes up for that, but still. I would be lying if I were to say that I wasn’t tempted to fully minmax my character into fireball blasty goodness.

Odds and Ends: August 2015

Aka, reasons why I have not been posting lately:

  1. We have a kitten: Kittens are far more fascinating than anything computer related at the moment.
  2. It’s f-ing hot: Well technically it’s not the fact that it is hot but rather unseasonably humid. I live in a part of the US that you could normally bet a million bucks on never raining from May through October. It not only rained in July, but stormed with thunder, lightning and everything but only long enough to make absolutely everything miserably humid. Also, our office unfortunately heats up rather quickly so not a whole lot of gaming happens when the room is 90 degrees. We did cave and get an air conditioning unit so life is once again good.
  3. We bought a treadmill: Running after work eats into my allocated gaming time, which is something that I am totally okay with. I would however, like to setup a treadmill gaming station at some point.
  4. There is nothing to play: Well, now that the long awaited New Game+ feature has been added into The Witcher 3 via free DLC, I will probably play that and The Sims 4 until Fallout 4 is released in November.