FTL: Advanced Edition


So FTL: Advanced Edition is pretty great and I am pretty sure that it has semi-offically replaced Diablo III: RoS as this week’s gaming fix (possibly in part to the servers being kind of messed up the other day). But anyway, it’s a pretty beefy update adding in new systems, a new race, new events, new weapons, UI improvements amongst other things. The new systems and new race and a decent level of strategy and depth to the existing game (yay clone bay + reconstructive teleporter combo). If for whatever reason you want to disable the new additions, you can go vanilla with an option on the new game screen.

So if you are like me and had forgotten that this game existed, it is definitely worth picking up again, especially given that Advanced Edition not only adds an expansion pack level of content to the game, but does so at no additional cost. If you don’t own it, FTL only costs around 10 dollars if that. It is also now available on the iPad but not iPhone T_T. Overall, new additions or not FTL is probably one of the most fun that I have had getting blatantly and repeatedly screwed over in a game.

MMO Superstitions

Dave and I were reminiscing about WoW the other day and got on the topic of MMO superstitions. For whatever reason back in OG Naxxramas, it was a pretty widespread belief that killing or not killing Mr. Bigglesworth would alter the loot drop quality, rate, and/or the boss difficulty to the point of guild drama outbreaks.

We used to have a weird superstition about loot seeding back in Vanilla and part of the Burning Crusade. Basically, loot drops aren’t determined upon boss death but are pre-determined when the instance ID is created. We strongly believed that whoever created the raid ID would in turn seed the drops that would appear (I am pretty sure that there was a blue post stating that a time stamp was used to seed the RNG and that there wasn’t anything that a player could do within the game to influence the outcome of the RNG). So every raid, we would intentionally have certain ‘lucky’ guild members create the raid and the raid ID.

Anyway, there was a period of time at around late Molten Core and early-ish Blackwing Lair where we would literally get almost nothing except for Warlock gear. I am pretty sure there were 3 consecutive weeks where Razorgore dropped double Nemesis bracers. Double warlock tier piece dropped on at least 2 other bosses. For whatever reason we correlated the bad RNG luck with the same person ‘seeding’ the raids every week. I guess looking back, it was kind of a silly thing to believe.

ACNL: Bunny Day


I have fallen out of habit of playing Animal Crossing daily for the sake of fawning over Diablo III: ROS when I have spare time. So the fallout of not having played ACNL for two weeks? Cherry moved out and there were a few weeks to pull, otherwise not a whole lot. Sadly, now that I have all pictures from all current Chulak residents thanks to April Fool’s Day, I really don’t care. (Cherry least of all, I wanted her to leave).

I did remember to turn on my 3DS for the Bunny Day event. The problem with the egg event was that you needed a wetsuit in order to obtain one of the six eggs which I did not have. Luckily the island had one on sale. Unluckily I had zero badges and the only tours that were available were the ones that I disliked the most. It took about 40 minutes or so to farm all 40 badges. Yay completionism.

Modding Thief Gold

I typed this out a while back but forgot to publish the post for whatever reason. This is the collection of mods that I am using the make Thief Gold tolerable on computer screens larger than a postage stamp.

My fellow denizens of the Internet seem to possess various opinions on whether or not the enhancement and HD mods remain true to the original spirit and look of the game, but I like them and I shall leave that judgment for your own personal preference. That said, I would highly recommend installing the TFix patch at minimum (enabled widescreen support, general fixes, patches, and the like). Also, as with any Steam game that you have to manually patch or mod outside of the Steam interface itself, I would highly recommend disabling automatic updates. You may do so by going to your Library, right clicking on the title -> Properties -> Updates -> Select ‘Do not automatically update this game’ from the dropdown menu. Mods used:

  • NewDark: An update to the Dark Engine to accommodate newer hardware. If you purchased Thief off of GOG, it already comes packaged with NewDark.
  • TFix: n all-in-one unofficial patch for Thief and Thief Gold. It improves compatibility with newer hardware, fixes miscellaneous issues, adds support for widescreen resolutions, and various other things. This update utilizes and comes packaged with the NewDark update.
  • Thief Enhancement Pack 2: Replaces some of the textures and models.
  • OpenAL: Enable EAX through the OpenAL library.
  • HD Texture Mod: Makes things HD.

1. Install TFix: Download and run the TFix installer (use 1.18a) or newer from here. By default, TFix will choose C:\Games\Thief as the destination folder. If you purchased Thief off of Steam or GOG you will need to change the folder path during the installation process to reflect your Thief install directory. For most people running Steam on a 64-bit installation of Windows it should be located at: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\thief_gold\

2. Install the Thief Enhancement Pack 2: This mod does not have an installer, Download the ep2.cr file from this forum post and drop it into the main directory. Ignore the installation instructions on ttlg.com by the way: You do not need to edit cam_mod.ini as that will be added later by the HD mod..

3. Install the HD Texture Mod: Download the HD Mod Installer and install it to your main thief directory.

4. Enable EAX through OpenAL: Extract the contents of the 7-zip files from this guide into your Thief Gold directory. Start Thief, options -> enable Hardware Acceleration until it shows OpenAL.

Tyrael, Aspect of Pizza

[video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6DE28DoXp4]

As pointed out by someone on /r/Diablo, the reason why he absolutely cannot stop talking about how much he did or did not eat today (same voice actor apparently).

Diablo 3: Monk Tempest Rush Farming

As depicted in the video above (torment 1), I have been tinkering with a Tempest Rush farming build. Running around constantly is a much more gratifying experience than my previous style of play which was effectively, staying in one spot, occasionally moving out of poop, and tapping a few buttons. However also as depicted in the video above, I am not quite geared properly for this build so it’s not really as efficient as it really could be to say the least. Bottom line: Yay, even more rerolling already rerolled stats. Yay more material farming.

Getting stunned into place is pretty much death. So, gingerly avoiding being on the business side of certain mobs is rather important but luckily not too difficult given that most hard hitters and stunners telegraph their abilities by a fair bit. I may replace one of my passives for Chant of Resonance so that I can keep Mantra of Conviction up. Once I get another piece of gear with spirit regen I can probably swap out exalted soul for something else.

Diablo 3 Post Level 70 Notes

keiyad3ros My monk is currently at level 70 paragon 53. We have been clearing through Torment 1 Adventure Mode content without any real difficulty, My damage is still fairly low (pushing not quite 300k), but moderately useful items have at least been dropping for me lately. Recent spoils: Xephirian Amulet, Fists of Thunder, and Vigilance.

This build is what I have been running with lately. I swapped out Deadly Reach and Sweeping Wind for Way of the Hundred Fists: FoF and Mystic Ally. If I recall correctly, WoHF:FoF is the highest DPS spirit spender at the moment, but it does not generate as much spirit as DR and does not synergize with elemental bonuses. Once the RNGesus chooses to favor me in my endeavor to acquire +lightning damage items, I shall swap my build over yet again. Fire Ally seems to be okay? I am unsure how it compares damage wise with SW:CS with my current gear, but I kind of got tired of repeatedly having to recast Sweeping Wind every time I lost momentum or had to stop to look at gear drops, go AFK, and the like.

LTK:SS and DS are more or less staples for any of my builds.

Keiya’s EDC (Every Day Carry)

This picture depicts everything that I stuff into the 5.11 RUSH Delivery Mike messenger bag that I drag to work and wherever. I like pockets and this bag has many pockets. Many many pockets. In reality, when I’m not going to work or anywhere that involves sitting around all day, an important meeting, and what not, I will take a normal purse instead with the “Pocket and/or purse” items. Not pictured: Tissue packet, 4GB encrypted thumb drive, alcohol based hand spray, hair band things, tampons, contact case and small bottle of wetting solution (if I am wearing contacts that day). All items are listed from to bottom, left to right.

Pocket and/or purse
Keys are kept in the left pocket, phone in the right pocket, everything else gets shoved into a purse. If I am, running out to grab a sandwich at lunch or something like that I will go sans bag/purse and take my phone, wallet, and keys ala man style.

  • iPhone 5 with Magpul Bump case.
  • Keys: iNova XS Flashlight & Leatherman Style PS
  • Wallet
  • Zipper wallet containing stuff that I don’t want to vanish into the black hole at the bottom of my bag (like for example, receipts that I need to hang on to) + cards that I seldom use but don’t want to leave at home. Keeping everything contained makes it easier to switch purses.
  • Kershaw Leek pocket knife pilfered from Dave.

Going to work, going to be gone all day, etc items.

  • Small Mokeskine notebook
  • Zebra F-301 ballpoint pen
  • Tactical Spork: I guess I can just leave it at work since its purpose is for eating lunch at work.
  • Klipsch S4i earbuds
  • iPhone cable and charger
  • Lemon scented hand lotion
  • Orange Trident chewing gum
  • USB battery pack
  • Foldable brush
  • Mirror + powder
  • Pillbox with a spare pair of contacts and things like Sudafed, allergy pills, Excedrin, etc
  • A d20

Supplemental Items
Just because it fits and just in case I am going to be anywhere and have an overwhelming urge to read a book or bust out play Animal Crossing (I read at lunch and like picking up 3DS tags).

  • 2nd Gen Kindle Paperwhite
  • Nintendo 3DS XL
  • Leuchtturm 1917 Notebook: Diagrams and notes for ideas, meetings, and projects.

Diablo III: Reaper of Souls


Yes I bought it and yes it is fun. I haven’t though yet had a chance to try out adventure mode because we are still poking our way through the new act. From what I hear, it’s the new cool thing to do and it appears to be really the only thing that anyone else on my friends list other than Dave and myself ever does in the game.

The new enchanting ability is probably one of my favorite additions to the game. I can’t tell you how any drops I have received were literally off by one stat or buffed the wrong ability. Enchanting is kind of like WoW gear reforging with an RNG element. Don’t like that one shit stat on that legendary drop? Well, you can now reroll any one property on any piece of gear for crating material costs. You have the ability to preview what the possible outcomes are before spending the materials. After you enchant, two random picks will be selected and you will have the option of either keeping the original stat or selecting one of the two.

We have been progressively lowering the difficulty down from torment III to master as we have progressed through Act V and have subsequently discovered that we are way undergeared for expansion pack torment difficulties. Well that and, we kind of what just casually make our way through the new content at least once without being too worried about getting reamed by an elite mob. We’ll worry about the finer art of gear farming and what not at a later point in time.

Odds and Ends: April 3rd 2014

  • I am starting to get some serious fraying on the cord cord my favorite pair of earbuds. They still work, at least for now and I can probably buy some heat shrink tubing to do a short term repair. I guess the lesson is that straight plugs don’t seem to work out so well when my phone is being constantly shoved in my pants pocket as it ends up bending the cord into a 90 degree angle.
  • I have been greatly enjoyed playing Diablo III post patch 2.0 and am really tempted to buy the expansion pack but am insistent on being ‘good’ and waiting for it to drop in price. I have a sneaky feeling that at least part of the fun was due to it effectively feeling like a free game since I had already owned it and had not touched it in about 2 years. I’ll probably end up caving.
  • I am noticing that the older I get the less I really care about buying things at full price at launch, given that they will most likely drop in price within 6 months.
  • Frozen was really cute. I greatly enjoyed watching it.
  • With my huge eBook settlement credit of $6.82, I can now purchase all of 2 or 3 books? Or, about 2/3rds of a full price eBook?