Bel Folks Stuff
For a few weeks I have been kicking around a concept, and I’ve finally decided to start moving towards the goal of making it happen. The concept is pretty simple, that I have a conversation one on one with a personality in our community or in the gaming industry. Instead of bringing them on to promote something, or actually talk about their gaming… I want to delve into the person behind the screen, what makes them tick and what they are passionate about. I decided to give the show a quirky name “Bel Folks Stuff” which as you can see from the logo is short hand for “Bel Talks to Interesting Folks About Really Important Stuff That They Enjoy Doing”. Because pretty much that sums it up in a nutshell. I personally find a lot of the people in our community super interesting and I have a sneaking suspicion that listeners would as well.
Now as far as the details of when I would record, how often I would record, what kind of turn around I am expecting… all of that is up in the air. This is the sort of thing that I would consider a “bonus” podcast rather than a serious scheduled one. There might be times that I schedule a recording and we realize there just wasn’t much to talk about. Other times I might record way more audio than I could ever cram into a podcast and have to release multiple parts. I am keeping all of this pretty flexible. Think of this as more of a “boutique” project than say AggroChat where we keep a weekly schedule. I am pretty pumped about the prospects, and the closest thing I can really compare it to is Actor’s Studio with James Lipton. I still need to firm up some of the things I plan to ask, but the idea is to keep it flexible and go wherever the conversation happens to go. I am also purposefully not making this specifically a “gaming” podcast. If folks want to talk about their passion for gardening… we are going to talk about their passion for gardening. The people behind the screens that we play interesting me more than what happens on the monitor.
Syrcus Grind Starts
For years I have been enamored with the concept of a “reset day”. So many MMOs have various gates that block you from completing too much content in a single week, as such once a week all of these gates unlock again and you can enter them to get awesome baubles. If I am being absolutely honestly with myself, I do not raid for the challenge… I raid for the spiffy things that I can obtain through it. Over the last several weeks I have been fastidiously gearing my Warrior job in Final Fantasy XIV through running Syrcus Tower and careful application of Tomestones of Soldiery. Over the course of these last few weeks I have managed to take my average item level up to 98 which is nothing to sneeze at. Quite honestly most of this has been sheer dumb luck. I’ve entered Syrcus each week and during the course of the first or second attempt at the run a piece of gear has dropped that was an upgrade and I won it. Now however I am down to just two pieces of gear that I can obtain from there… apart from the Sands and Oil of Time which I will focus on eventually.
Over the course of the night last night I ran Syrcus a grand total of four times, and in none of those times did I manage to see either the Helmet or the Legs drop. I feel like I have managed to pick up the easy pieces, and now that I only need two… both of which drop from the same boss I am going to have a much slower time to go. I will probably limit myself to a single running of Syrcus a night to keep from making it absolute misery. If by the end of the week I haven’t gotten either the helm or the legs I guess I will go after either an oil or sands with the hope of upgrading one of my existing soldiery slots to 110. I posted the picture above because there is a rule in FFXIV that I have noticed… if more than one Lalafell is standing in an area for too terribly long… dancing will happen. This is a bunch of us waiting on the last person to realize they had not yet rolled on the Onion Knight cosmetic pet. Of course I didn’t win it, but by god I am not leaving the instance until I at least see that my chance at it is over.
Rostygold and Primordial Shrieks
Several weeks into the game and I still find myself hopelessly enamored with Fallen London. I guess I have Tarantella to thank for this… and in turn my circle of friends has me to thank for their present addiction as well. I guess what surprises me the most about this game is just how deep the rabbit hole gets. In various areas of the game there are “Ambition” storylets, and for the uninitiated a storylet is the equivalent of a quest in other games. You might do something in an unrelated series of a events, which sets a flag that now opens up a bunch of stories that cascade off of it. The ambition quests tend to be the most intricate and detailed and also time consuming. While playing Fallen London there are many positive statuses you can earn, but additionally many negative ones as well. Each of the negative statuses has some consequence associated with it. For example if you allow your nightmares to reach 8, you quite literally go insane and can take no actions other than ones attempting to reclaim your mental faculties.
Yesterday I got an Ambition that involved me purposefully getting thrown into Newgate Prison to track an enemy of yours that is residing there. In order to accomplish this I had to raise my suspicion to 8, triggering a sequence of events that ended with being unceremoniously thrown into prison. From there I could go after my mark directly, but the problem is… once that was completed I still was sitting in prison. At this point I was forced to take actions in an attempt to lower my suspicion back to zero again. These actions involved calling in favors that I had earned in the rest of Fallen London, blatant bribe attempts, or doing actions that show “good behavior”. The problem is while the ability that got me into prison swapped 1 action for 1 suspicion… digging my way out of the hole took a considerably amount of time.
That seems to be the “negative” consequences in this game, are that you can get yourself into a situation where you have to spend copious turns correcting the mistake you made in the first place. I am still slowly working my way into the confidence of the devils. I had reached a point where I was getting dangerously close to losing my soul in game, and I took actions to delay that… which cost me a ton of faction in the process. As such I have been slowly building back up to that point, because really I think it might be interesting to see what the game is like if you have gone through the “abstraction”.
The problem with courting the devils is that you end up constantly teetering dangerously close to the fail condition on both Nightmares and Scandal. As such I am constantly in search of creative ways to lower both of these negative statuses. In any case I am still digging the game, and enjoying the setting. I really need to spend more time digging into Sunless Sea, but I keep hearing there is a major patch in the works that will fix a good number of the problems with the game, and as such I am mostly holding back. If you have not played this game and enjoy roleplaying games with quirky settings… I highly suggest you check it out. If you do add me as a contact, so that we can be “delicious friends” to borrow the verbiage of the game.