[FFRK] The Source of the Mist+++ Postmortem

That was an annoying fight. I have very little FFIX item record synergy, but still beat it. I can probably master the encounter by swapping around a few things but we’ll have to see about that. So close :/. My setup:

Character Ability 1 Ability 2 Record Materia
 Garnet  Diaga  Protectga  Prayer of the Cetra
 Steiner  Fira Strike  Drain Strike  SOLDIER’s Pride
Zidane  Dark Buster  Steal Power SOLDIER Strike
 Vivi Waterja Firaga Vow of Vengeance
 Eiko Renewing Cure Shellga Mako Might

RW: Hymn of the Faith for regen and to take the edge off of the 2k AoE that is is almost guaranteed to get off before you can do anything at all. May have been better off with Boon for the group Haste, but reluctant to drop the group heal because Fira spam :/

First round starts off with: Dark Buster, Protectga, Shellga, Hymn of the Faith, and a melee attack. If Dark Buster doesn’t blind him on the first hit, you will probably have to S/L unless you are lucky enough get get it on the second try without being AoE’d down. The trick with the water and fire abilities is to chain cast them so that he is not stuck in the burning state for too long. Waterja has a shorter cast time, so it needs to be cast at just the right time to avoid it going off before Fira Strike. Because of the touchy timing, much of the battle was fought at an irritatingly low speed to make sure that all abilities were executed in a properly timed manner. He still will get a guaranteed Fire Blades cast off as soon as he gets set on fire. Luckily, since it is physical damage, it will most most of the time if he is blinded. MOST of the time…

Having both Shellga and Mass Shell wasn’t that useful. If I redo the fight, I will probably swap Eiko for Aerith (for Planet Protector). Also, Steal Power was resisted each time. I may be better off swapping that out for Dismissal or something else. I may swap Drain Strike out for Dismissal or some other higher physical damage ability.

Really wish I had Light’s Wrath for one of my physical characters.

Overwatch Musings

I received an invite to Overwatch’s stress beta test weekend. A weekend worth of playtime wasn’t quite enough time to thoroughly test out all 21 characters currently available, but what I can say is that Overwatch is an extremely fun and amazingly polished game. I love the character designs and the feel of the game. Much to my pleasure, no real technical or server issues arose during the weekend, which wasn’t what I was expecting, especially for a beta.

Balance wise, it is difficult to determine how balanced or unbalanced any particular character is because Overwatch is more about team synergy than individual character balance. A few characters feel pretty overpowered but then again, not so much when being countered by certain other characters on the opposing team. It feels kind of like a MOBA in that respect.

Other nitpicks: It’s odd not having a straight up scoreboard to let you know how you are doing in relation to other players currently in the game. It’s also odd not having a kill feed. I would also love to see at least one more game mode other than point control and payload before the game is released. Overall, it’s a fun casual shooter.

Fallout 4: Quick Impressions

My original intention was to make a quick Fallout post about a week ago, but much like everyone else on the Internet, this game has consumed a large part of my free time. Overall, Fallout 4 certainly feels like a Fallout game both atmospherically and mechanically. In fact, it feels almost exactly like Fallout 3/New Vegas but with newer graphics and gameplay tweaks; I mean that statement by the way in the most positive and sincere way. The scavenging aspect and the challenge of surviving in the wasteland is something that Fallout 4 holds true to, especially with the addition of the settlements.

  • Mobs are harder than I remember and have distinct AIs: Feral Ghouls jump around and rush at you, humans with fire from cover, Boat Flies zig zag erratically, etc. There are also legendary enemies in the game that are more difficult but offer rare items.
  • The PC user interface is pretty bad and is clearly a console port.
  • The base building is fun, but is again, hindered by the user interface.
  • I am satisfied with the graphics. I’m not sure what all the complaining is about.
  • So far, I have been lucky in the sense that most of the bugs that I have encountered have been relatively minor and easy to work around. Other people however, have experienced constant crashing; Some of which hindering players from progressing with the main quest line.

The jury is still about on my full opinion of the game; That will have to wait until I finish the main story line. That said, the fact that I have already spent about 40 hours playing Fallout 4 yet feel that I have barely scratched the surface says a lot I guess.

Pixel Dungeon Musings

Really, the only game of note that I have been playing lately has been Pixel Dungeon on my phone. I did my Witcher 3 NG+ playthrough and also made a feeble effort at becoming proficient at Dwarf Fortress. Really though, it is all just biding time until Fallout 4 is released; Just a mere two days away.

Regarding Pixel Dungeon: It is a roguelike (turn-based combat, randomly generated dungeons/loot, permanent death) dungeon crawl that is available on most platforms. The goal of the game is to make it through 25 levels and beat the 5th boss. Thus far, the furthest I have gotten would be level 13. A couple of things that I have learned:

  • There is no shame in just restarting the game when the random number generator utterly shits on you with a bad loot table in the early levels.
  • You don’t need necessarily eat when you are hungry or even starving. When starving, you will only lose 1HP every 30 or so turns (depending on your class, etc). I will typically save my food until I am starving and at or below half health.
  • Upgrade scrolls will reset your weapon/armor durability. It may be worth saving and stockpiling these items. There really aren’t too many worthwhile weapons in the lower levels of the game unless you get really really lucky.
  • On a similar note, I am kind of starting to lean on the side of upgrading armor before weaponry. survivability goes a long long long way…
  • Bottleneck groups of enemies at the doors so that they don’t attack you all at once.
  • The “door trick” is a critical skill: Walk outside of a room just past the door so that the mob that you are targeting is on the door. 100% hit accuracy for 1 hit. Useful for killing the stupid ghosts that spawn out of the graves.
  • You can super farm the swarms of flies for healing potions (levels 3, 4, 6 through 9). Every time you hit a fly without killing it, it will split given that there is an empty space next to it (up, down, left, right. Diagonals don’t seem to count). Flies at the 3rd and 4th split seem to have a very high chance of dropping healing potions. They will literally do zero damage if you have high armor. Also, this trick only works up until character level 12. In other words, don’t over level before the first boss fight on level 5. Prime health pot farming time is after the fist boss but before the second as that is where the flies spawn.
  • I have also noticed that my “good runs” have been as a whole, mostly those in which I had received a decent weapon/armor relatively early in the game. Even just the smallest gear upgrade goes a long way and curbs the need to constantly burn resources to heal.

Overall: If you enjoy roguelikes and challenging dungeon crawls, I would highly recommend Pixel Dungeon.