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.

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.

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.

Hearthstone Impressions

Hearthstone 2013-11-03 15-27-08-827

Despite early technical difficulties, I was able to finally complete the tutorial and proceed with the rest of the game. Hearthstone is amazingly polished, from the animations and sound effects down to the clickies on each of the game boards. I really love how well the WoW class flavors have been transferred over to each of the heroes. If you are even mildly familiar with WoW then you can likely figure out what most of the cards with without having to read the card text. I do worry that Hearthstone class balancing is going to end up being like WoW class balancing in that different classes take turns being OP with each major patch, but we’ll see.

It’s free-to-play with a card pack buy in options, but it’s about as pay to win as any standard CCG in that the more packs you buy, the better your deck is likely to be. The basic cards however are quite decent and it is plausible to obtain the rarer cards via the crafting system or by buying packs with gold won from within the game, albeit at a much slower pace. There’s also no card trading so no real-life profiting off of Hearthstone or any of that bullshit.

All cards brought down into 3 basic categories: Spells, minions, and weapons. There aren’t any interrupts and minion health is persistent (as in damage is persistent and doesn’t reset at the end of your turn) so it is much more of a relaxed game to play than say, MtG in that you take your turn and your enemy will take theirs without the inbetween crap. The combinations are also easier to comprehend as the abilities are much more straightfoward and easier to understand as a whole. I also love the fact that non-friendslist player interaction is limited to a fixed set of emotes. There are games in which player communication is important and needed but Hearthstone just isn’t one of them in my opinion. All-in-all, it’s great as a first CCG and very easy to get into.

Hearthstone: Stuck at “Click to Start” Fix

Hearthstone 2013-10-30 18-01-58-741_0

Edit: Stuck at the screen above or stuck at the saloon door on a major Blizzard game content launch day? You can try the instructions below to see if they will help you, but unfortunately, the only reliable method that I have found of logging into the game once stuck at any loading screen is to wait until the severs are more stable.

The image above summarizes my first evening with the Hearthstone beta. If anyone else just got in the beta and is stuck at that screen because they cannot get back to the tutorial after soft locking or crashing out midway through, this solution was literally the only one that has worked for me:

  1. In the Battle.net client: Go to Hearthstone -> Options -> Game Settings and click ‘Reset User Options’ (for good measure, unsure if this step is necessary).
  2. Exit out of Hearthstone and the Battle.net client
  3. Enable hidden files and folders (Control Panel -> Folder options -> View)
  4. Navigate to C:\Users\<Username>\AppData\Local
  5. Delete both the ‘Blizzard’ and ‘Battle.net’ folders (both folders just seem to contain caching data and non critical information and are recreated when you launch the game).
  6. Start Hearthstone

This was written with Windows 7 in mind; On other Operating System I am sure both folders are located elsewhere. I’ve tried just about every other solution on the Hearthstone support forums including but not limited to: Setting the client to run in Windows XP SP3 compatibility mode, running the client with admin rights, deleting a different cache folder, logging into Hearthstone on a different machine.