Generations Revisited



One of the things that you learn about me pretty early on is that I am prone to doing nonsense things.  One of those recent things has been trying to get the Citra 3DS emulator up and running to see how well Monster Hunter games work on it.  One of the things that I have wanted for awhile is for the ability to play the older handheld monster hunter games with a proper controller and on a larger non-handheld screen.  Yes I realize this literally goes against everything about the 3DS as a console platform, but I secretly wish that Nintendo would release something similar to the PSTV that is essentially a 2DS that hooks up to your television.  Similarly…  I pretty much exclusively play the switch in docked mode with a pro controller so maybe the whole handheld experience is lost on me.

Citra is an emulator that tries really hard to skirt that line between legal and illegal by forcing users to dump significant amounts of base information from a 3DS unit running a custom firmware.  I am not going to talk about this process, nor am I going to talk about the other ways around this process, but suffice to say that installing Citra is just the first step in many along this path that most assuredly leads to madness.  I’ve seen some stuff…  that is all I can say about that.  Which is made even more insane when you realize that I have a 2DS XL and a 3DS XL with the Monster Hunter Generations Cartridge that I can play easily any time I want to boot it up.


Emulation has always intrigued me…  especially once you enter the realm of 3D games because generally speaking if you have enough horsepower you can run the games in a way nicer state than you can on the original device.  For example I am running Citra at 3 times the resolution of a native 3DS at 1200×720 which graphically still looks a little dated by way sharper than things do on the handheld itself.  This also allows me to do things like take screenshots…  which is something I find myself sorely missing when I am playing on the actual proper handheld systems.  There was in theory a way to do this through MiiVerse that has now been shuttered, and the only other way I believe is through a capture card that generally costs about $200 to get installed.  In theory there is a custom firmware option as well, but I am sorta afraid to do that on my primary system.

The trickiest bit of the configuration that I had was getting Citra to recognize my Xbox One controller inputs.  There is a standard push key to configure button type interface, but for whatever reason it was not actually recognizing input.  After some googling I found a work around which was to take someone else’s direct-input controller config and paste it into my configuration file.  For the curious this file lives in “C:\Users\[YourUserName]\AppData\Roaming\Citra” or more quickly you can just type %appdata% into the run prompt to get at least to the roaming directory.  Inside of the Config directory there should be a file labelled “qt-config.ini” and at the top of that is a controls block.


Simply paste over this configuration and you should be good to go.  You might want to tweak the sensitivities in game a bit because right now my Xbox One controller is way the hell more responsible than a stock 3DS.


All in all I am pretty happy with the results and while sure… I could be playing Monster Hunter World on the PS4 instead of messing around with Citra and Monster Hunter Generations…  that is not the way my brain works.  Sure the menus are all very pixelated and sure the textures look wonky at times…  but the base 3D models look so much smoother than they do on the console.  I have no clue why I suddenly feel the desire to play all the things when it comes to Monster Hunter…  but I am likely going to try and get the PSP game running on my PSTV to see how that one handles as well.  The risk of a post like this is that I am likely going to start getting a bunch of comments asking me how I did this and if I can send them files…  the answer is a big nope.  I am existing in a weird grey area in that I have all of the components needed to make this work naturally.

You know how all of those videos will say “this is for educational purposes only”, in truth that is sorta why I think I mess around with stuff like this.  I know soon I will get bored and wander off as the next shiny thing attracts my attention, because I am no longer playing Monster Hunter Online or Phantasy Star Online 2…  things I had to go through a bunch of work to make functional.  I think I like doing these silly ventures because it feels like I accomplished something interesting.  Its the core part of my brain that used to always keep changing Linux Distros on a second machine here at the house, because ultimately I guess I have a strong tinkerer instinct.

Mythical Nonsense

Once again I do not have an awful lot to talk about this morning.  I’ve been having some insanely detailed dreams the last few nights.  For example this past night I was in an office building that they purposefully hid the elevator in, and I remember thinking in the dream that this is so bizarre given that most buildings essentially direct you there.  The reason why it was hidden is because each time you shifted between floors you shifted between decades in time, so as you traveled up you were going back in time.  Essentially the staircase was of the utmost prominence in the building because if you rode the elevator up, taking the stairs back down allowed you to exit the building that existed in that time.  This is one of those cases that most of my dream was consumed on the setup of this premise and then we never actually did much of anything with it because the alarm went off.  The thing is I either tend to have no memorable dreams at all… or wildly vivid ones like this one.

As far as gaming news… I spent most of my night working on either faction in Argus or catching up my Orc Deathknight.  One of the things that happened yesterday is that more or less we assembled a team of mythical madness.  At this very moment it looks like we have…

  • Protection Paladin
  • Unholy Death Knight
  • Mistwalker Monk
  • Fury Warrior
  • Frost Mage

While a little heavy on the melee that sounds like a perfectly reasonable group as far as I am concerned for pushing Mythics.  I originally had planned on playing my Orc Warrior which is my best geared character…  but then that would have lead us to have two Fury warriors.  As a result I swapped to my Death Knight to in theory provide a bit of battle rezzing if we need it.  In theory this is going to work I think… we just need to sort out a good time to actually start.  The thought is a one night a week thing and start pushing up keys as far as we can get them.  The idea is to ease into this so we don’t need a ringer, and in theory maybe get some gear along the journey.

This is honestly as close to raiding as I think I want to do for now, and I am interested to see how this process goes.


Nothing Much to Say



This morning I feel like I don’t have an awful lot to talk about, but still feel obligated to say words and things.  The last few nights have mostly been what I would refer to as maintenance gaming, where I log into something…  do a few repeatable activities and then log right back out.  The majority of this time has been spent in World of Warcraft since I apparently have set forth a goal of unlocking the alliance races which will involve copious amounts of reputation grinding.  At this moment I am about 6500 out of 21000 towards exalted or some close equivalent in both of the necessary factions.  At the suggestion of my friend Grace I have started hoarding faction tokens for the Darkmoon Faire buff, which admittedly is not a thing I have really partaken of in its modern format.

I still find it super annoying that the Alliance route to new races is way harder than the Horde route.  As a “Mostly Alliance” player for most of my wow career I have always felt like Blizzard favored The Horde…  not in the least because of the constant insistence that we should care deeply about Green Jesus.  Weirdly enough however for the last while I have been almost exclusively playing The Horde and the character I am grinding up is my Orc Warrior not my Human one.  There are certain things that just work easier on that side of the pond than the other…  for example jumping the wall from the flightmaster to the Horde area in Dalaran is so much faster than having to fly all the way across the map to the Alliance area.  Having a reasonable foothold on both continents is another nice point…  with ways to get there quickly.  Sure you can still use the Theramore boat as Alliance… but it feels weird to do so.

Grace had this idea of doing a sort of “raiding light” group one night a week that worked on trying to get the Mythic+ number as high as we could.  So far however that is struggling to get off the ground given in our most immediate aggrochat crew we represent the only viable folks for this mission.  I am heavily favoring Horde side since my Warrior there is 927 but most of the connections I would have to pull in people for nonsense are Alliance side.  Over the coming days I might start reaching out to individuals that play horde side to see if they would be interested in shenanigans but for the moment the idea has taken root but not seen much progress.

As evidenced by the screenshot I used for this post I fired up Destiny last night and played around in it for a bit.  The changes have made a lot of the weapons feel odd so in theory I will need to test everything out again to see what I do and do not like now.  The fast rate of fire valkydyn that I am pictured holding above no longer feels that great.  The general movement speed however does and it feels like Titan Skating is back to being a fairly viable thing once more.  I am not sure if this is “just me” but I swear the grenade recharge rate was lowered once again, either that or I am still struggling to adjust to how generally slow that is.  Even with double charges it was rare that it would actually be up when I wanted to use it while roaming around Mercury and doing events.

I miss Destiny 2, and more importantly I miss wanting to play it.  I am not sure why I bounced so hard with the release of Curse of Osiris, and why I never actually managed to get any of the other classes in my stable through the story.  Ultimately I was expecting something along the scope of The Taken King, and then was disappointed that we got something the scope of Dark Below instead.  Additionally there just isn’t a grind I want to be doing there, because the weapons at least prior to yesterdays patch all sorta felt the same.  Maybe now with the sandbox update there will be some reason to grind content to attempt to get masterworks for the things I want to be playing with.

The other side note is that I have started attempting to play some Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate over lunch, but quickly realized that if I want to do this thing I will need to leave the floor.  We have a gaming area set up for folks to mostly play the WiiU that is hooked up there, but it does offer a bunch of really comfy chairs.  Over lunch yesterday I attempted to camp out in one and do a few hunts, and within minutes had someone do a drive by and start up a conversation about some project we were working on.  Basically now that I am 100% in the management world I cannot bump into someone without a conversation about something we need to deal with happening.  Ultimately I like the concept of playing a little 3DS or Switch over lunch, but I need to find a hidey hole to go do this thing in.


Bad Grind Good Grind



I am still reeling a bit from a dream I had over night.  I guess in theory you could call it a nightmare, where I ended up leaving my current job and ending back under the yoke of the one boss in my work history that I hated working for.  I’ve always been one of those people who tended to naturally get along with bosses.  Pending they are coming from a place of logic, I get why they want the things they want…  and especially now as a “boss” myself I get how orders that seem disconnected from reality end up having to be passed down.  This boss however was petty and vindictive and gave me nothing but a constant stream of conflicting information.  If I did what I thought was right…  he would rail on me for not doing it however the hell he wanted me to do it.  If I stopped and asked for directions in how he wanted me to do a thing…  he would rail on me for not taking initiative.  In the end it was two and a half years of the lowest point in my career that did some serious damage to my psyche that I am apparently still sorting out.

On the gaming front however I have been playing quite a bit of World of Warcraft, mostly because I want to unlock the two Allied races that I have yet to.  Let me take a moment to talk about how much bullshit the way these races are unlocked is.  Primarily that it is grossly unfair that two races for a single faction are unlocked by doing content that has been in game more or less since the launch of Legion, and the other two gated behind the newest content and honestly the most frustrating to do.  So I have the two horde races of the High Mountain Tauren and the Nightfallen unlocked and a monk and rogue create respectively.  Now I am working on the frustrating rep grind that is roaming around Argus and doing daily quests barely watching the needle climb at all.

Argus just feels bad and was only slightly improved when I got the reputation to unlock the improved flight whistle.  Why in the hell this was not a default thing makes zero sense to me.  I get that they rushed this content out the door and did a lot of visual tricks that are easily dispelled the second you lift off the ground.  However the constant tug of war of achieving flying only to have it arbitrarily taken away from you is maddening.  We experienced this with Pandaria and then suddenly losing the ability to fly on the Timeless Isle and Isle of Giants and in both cases it felt horrible.  Having a speed bump in the form of Argus still feels horrible…  but I am gritting my teeth and dealing with it for the sake of racial unlocks.  As to why this suddenly matters to me now?  I have no clue… it could have been simply spurred on by having access to the races in Alpha.


The other game I have been playing a significant amount of lately is Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate on my new pokeball edition 2DS XL.  Unfortunately the shut down of MiiVerse and the lack of having any sort of a native screenshot functionality will keep me from actually capturing any shots of my gameplay.  However this has sorta become my evening retreat as I chill out doing some monster hunter from bed before finally heading to sleep.  I find having some sort of a wind down activity helps a lot and at least thus far this fits the bill nicely.  I do however have a USB to 3DS charging cable at work so I might start taking this with me and playing a little over lunch now that I am getting into some of the more exciting activities.

I’ve not made it terribly far but at this point I have taken down two monsters:  Velicidrome and Seltas…  both of which I need several more parts from.  I have the mission to hunt the Great Jaggi so I am likely to attempt that next because I need a single hide to upgrade my current sword and shield.  Not sure why I have not broken out my beloved Longsword yet, but for the moment I opted to stick to the starter weapon.  In truth in Monster Hunter World, the Sword and Shield is probably my second favorite of the weapons so I am in part using MH4U as a way to get more familiar with its quirks.

How quickly I have taken to this game in the relatively short amount of time I have been playing it…  tells me that Monster Hunter World is not necessarily a fluke for me.  Sure it was this amazing gateway into a very complex game…  but the core mechanics are ultimately the thing that is keeping me there.  I’ve had similar experiences with Generations, but I feel like 4U does a much better job of easing you into the game and giving you some semblance of a story to care about.  At some point I fully expect to return to Generations and push a little further given that I have yet to actually get to a single real monster there.


Opening the Patio



While I got in a fair bit of gaming this weekend… it was far from the major mission at hand.  We had decided some weeks back that over spring break we would rehabilitate our lawn.  We had been putting this off for some time as evidenced by the mountain of yard waste that is now sitting waiting for the city to pick it up.  Our city has two options for lawn waste the first being get a red bin and then in essence pay rent on it all year round.  The other option is to go to a local QuikTrip store and buy some very pricey special bags emblazoned with the city name on them that denote that the it is going to some sort of a yard waste recycling plant.

Unfortunately I just looked up on the city website….  and it appears that yard waste collection will not resume until April 9th meaning these bags will be hanging out on the side of my house a little longer than I expected.  It was a pretty weekend however and allowed us to get things under control before the real growth seasons starts.  The funny thing about this is you can see all of the leaves that make up this mess…  were gathered in a lawn with no trees.  Our back yard seems to be the catch all for all of the houses that do have trees.


The real mission of the weekend however was to reconstitute our back patio that opens out from our bedroom.  This is my wife’s happy place and I wanted her to at least be able to spend some of her spring break out there reading.  This was in fact something she managed to do a good chunk of Saturday given that I took Friday off in which we did most of the work.  I will admit I like hanging out here too but mostly in the evenings when we have a very long shadow hanging out and covering the patio area.  I am rather fond of hanging out and listening to the wind chimes while watching the birbs.

This year I do plan on spending a good deal of time out here either playing the Switch or 2DS XL, both of which are really solid outdoor gaming options for me.  I had originally hoped that the WiiU would have been functional for outdoor gaming but unfortunately the receiver was not strong enough to penetrate the door to the bedroom where I had it hooked up for awhile.  I am still grumpy about how lousy the range on the handheld unit is, but with the advent of the Switch it was essentially what I was hoping the WiiU was going to be.


While it is still a little early to set out the “flower babies” we did set up a feeder for the birbs and within a day our backyard was humming with activity.    We’ve seen a nesting pair of mourning doves pictured in my hastily zoomed in phone camera shot, a pair of cardinals, a male blue jay and a myriad of smaller birds that I don’t know the names of.   We had a fungus infect our two red tipped photinias last year and while we attempted to fight it with some spray…. we lost the battle and ultimately had to take out the two dead bushes that had grown into the size of small trees.

I was afraid this lose of cover would decrease the amount of activity we saw in our back yard, but weirdly enough it seems to have actually increased the amount of time the birds are out and roaming around visibly.  The focus seems to have shifted away from hanging out in the bushes to hanging out on our back deck, which would probably a problem…  if we actually used that back deck.  It is way too far removed from the house to really be convenient and you have to cross over to the other side of the pool to even get up on it.  So as a result we tend to mostly forget it exists other than our old set of lawn furniture being up on it.

A good chunk of the weekend was spent happily watching the birbs hanging out in our yard and also watching them completely drain one of the two feeders we have this year.  I can already tell that we need to find two things this year…  firstly a proper bird bath so they have a place to get a drink or wash off.  Secondly we need some sort of a ground level vessel for water because we traditionally have bunnies in our yard quite a bit given that we are not likely to chase them off.  Nothing depresses me more than having to fish a dead animal out of the pool because they were trying to get a drink.  So my hope is to place something else to get a drink from more prominently… and I will just fill it when I am watering the flowers in the evening.  All in all though, happy to have the patio back open for business.

Meow Meow Meow Rogers



This is going to be a really odd post but one that I sorta feel like I want to make.  I have a deep and personal bond with Mister Rogers Neighborhood that I am not entirely sure if I can put into words.  I grew up the only child of two very busy parents with no other children within easy access distance to me because we lived just far enough out of the city limits to make everything awkward.  For the most part I say I was raised by my grandmother, because she was my babysitter and playmate as a child.  The problem with that however is that she was the anchor of a very busy rural household, which meant there were larger swaths of the day where she was out doing chores.  I mean this is a woman I can regularly remember going out to chopped/split wood for the stove to keep the house warm while grandpa was out tending to the cattle.


As a result there were large swaths of the day where I was left to my own devices, and essentially had to learn how to keep myself entertained.  I was the first person in my family to get cable television… and even then I did not get that until I moved to college so as far as programming went I was limited to the four over the air networks.  It was at an early age that I developed an affinity for PBS or the Public Broadcasting Service and regularly would sit there in the floor of my grandparents living room soaking up everything I could find while doodling and inventing nonsense.  Without a doubt the only show I never missed however was Mister Rogers Neighborhood, because it had a way of bringing me into that world.

I felt like I was friends with Mister Rogers, Handyman Negry, Mister McFeely, or Lady Aberlin…  as well as X the Owl, Henrietta the Cat or Daniel the Lion.  For thirty minutes I was sucked into this other world where not everyone looked the same as me but still managed to get along perfectly.  This was deeply important to my upbringing because I lived in what you might say was a quietly prejudiced world and thought Mister Rogers neighborhood it allowed me to build up a bit of an immunity to having any of those thoughts root deeply in my brain.  His mission to drill into our brains that we were all the same inside and that we should celebrate the interesting differences is something that served me well and that I have tried to never betray.

Then the other night after a normal day in the office, I sat down to start doing what I sorta refer to as “checking into the world”.  One of the things that crossed past my eyes was the above trailer for a new movie about the life of Fred Rogers called “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” and as I sat there watching it…  I started tearing up to the point of just water pouring out of my eyes.  Hell as I sit here writing this post this morning I am teary eyed as well.  It is impossible to put into word accurately how much this man meant to me… and how much the show Mister Rogers Neighborhood did.  He took what was an otherwise solitary childhood where I sat alone for hours at a time finding ways to entertain myself…   into a constant voyage of discovery as I anxiously awaited the moment when the show would be on again and we could do more interesting things together.


I made a comment to this effect the other night on Twitter and my friend Gryph commented that there was a Mister Rogers Neighborhood marathon going on over on Twitch.  This was a night when my wife had gone to Dallas and I was ultimately waiting up for her to get home safely before going to bed.  So from about 10:30 until around midnight I sat there watching old episodes of the show reliving moments from my childhood.  By the time my wife got home I had to explain why my eyes were so teary because there were so many moments that just hit me in the gut.  Example the above image is from when Lady Aberlin forgot to come pick up Daniel Lion for a party, and he thought she didn’t love him anymore.


These were important lessons to talk about with kids, and to help them work through complex feelings of frustration and abandonment…  giving us ammunition for dealing with those things when we experienced them later in life.  I am far from normal, but I feel like I am a better person because of the lessons we learned every day after school from Mister Rogers and the crew.  The role Betty Aberlin played has to be highlighted and appreciated because she had this way of treating those puppets as though they were the most real people in the world with their own complex needs.  Without her and her presence in the land of Make Believe it would have been harder to get sucked into the world because of the way she carried the interactions with the puppeteers.

Watch live video from MisterRogers on
If you were too young to experience Mister Rogers Neighborhood… which is a realistic concern given that I am 41 almost 42 and was part of the prime viewership…  I highly suggest you check it out.  There is something magical and timeless about the experience and it has been interesting to see the outpouring of goodwill and support on twitch chat.  This is normally a community that can be offensively toxic, but instead everyone is reveling together in just how pure and good the experience is.  There was a mystical quality in the primitive nature of the show and its extremely low production budget…  but in many ways that also is what sells the experience and makes it so easy to let your imagination fill in the gaps.  Excuse me while I try and find something to dry my eyes.



Fast Boat



One of the interesting things that has happened over the last few days is that I apparently got invited to the Battle for Azeroth expansion alpha.  I happened to notice this Tuesday night when I opened my launcher and found the World of Warcraft tab was trying to patch something.  Sure enough upon further inspection I did appear to have access to the alpha client in my version selector drop down.  I also noticed from social media that a few other people seemed to be indicating the same, so I am guessing there was a whole new wave of folks entering the testing.  The thing about alpha testing that is legitimately an alpha…  is it is as much a burden as it is a privilege.  Yes you have access to something that most people don’t and that in some ways is inherently cool…  but also it becomes your responsibility to go out into the unfinished world and help stop bugs that you will encounter.


First off let me get this out of the way…  Battle For Azeroth Alpha is in fact an alpha in functionality and in name.  I’ve been in so many different versions of Alpha programs over the years and even in Blizzard terms occasionally those Friends and Family Alphas feel “almost finished”.  This time around BfA feels very much a work in progress and with significant functionality either missing or not entirely working.  For example I spent the beginning of my evening testing an area of the game where quest tracking was not functional at all, and I sorta had to wing it given that I could not really see what was required to finish any of the quests.  One of the more interesting things of note is that the Kul Tirran side of the house appears to have a flight path system that is in truth a series of extremely high speed boats, example is the one I am on above.

After spending some time bug noting Alliance side I rolled a Horde character and the Zandalari areas seem to be a bit more finished.  Those areas had a proper quest flow with tracking working and advisement of where I should be going for the next quest.  In truth that probably means that I should not be spending too much time in Kul Tiras until they have had a bit more time to flesh it out.  I did however report a ton of instances where things were clipping oddly, or in one case where my camera was being pushed up through a when I stood in a certain spot.  I guess that is part of the responsibility side of Alpha testing, that you need to vary your feedback based on what phase in the zone development they are in.

Sure I bug noted the fact that quest tracking was not working…  but after doing that it seemed nonsense to keep reporting it each time I turned in a quest in that area of the game.  Instead I started working on reporting the base pop and terrain anomalies, since they are likely the parts that are being worked on at that very moment.  Ultimately my goal is to spend a little bit of time each night working on testing content, because I feel like since I have eyes on the game…  I should be helping to make it better for launch.


The gaming for fun side of the evening was spent over in Monster Hunter World which received a patch.  I did not actually defeat a Deviljho last night, but I saw several of them as they interrupted my other hunts.  It is in fact as nonsense as everyone seemed to make it out to be and I am hoping that maybe tonight I can devote some time to actually purposefully hunting one or two of them to get used to how those fights go.  The focus of my evening last night however was finally getting Thalen through Nergigante.  It has been a goal to make sure that everyone gets off high center with this fight in part because it seemed to take me so long to do that myself.  Everyone was more than willing to lend a hand in my hour of need so I feel like it is only right to keep paying that forward.


Additionally I like the fact that I now feel pretty comfortable with this encounter and could always use more monster bits.  While waiting around for Thalen to finish up a hunt we started talking about our stats…  at which point I joked that I changed my guild card title to Pure Long Sword at some point.  I really have in fact been focused on only this one weapon for awhile as you can see by the fact I have done 253 hunts with Long Sword and the closest second is hammer with 7.  Both Tam and Ashgar have way more spread graphs when it comes to weapons, and in truth I probably should as well.  I should make a point of trying every weapon and seeing if there are hidden gems out there that I might ultimately like.  My biggest problem has been that I just didn’t want to take resources away from my current longsword crafting projects to create other weapons.

Indigo Blade Get


Yesterday I engaged in some serious nonsense, which is not super surprising if you follow this blog in the least.  For whatever reason I got it stuck in my head that I would really like to have the Wyvern Blade “Indigo”, which is an alternate line of the poison weapon I have been using off and on for some time.  This unfortunately would involve starting over from scratch and building a new base weapon and upgrading it completely.  I had no clue what exactly that mean’t part wise so I created a little hit list adding up everything.

To craft the Wyvern Blade Indigo… and all of the precursors I would need…

  • 05 – Rathian Shell
  • 01 – Rathian Plate
  • 10 – Machalite Ore
  • 04 – Poison Sac
  • 03 – Rath Wingtalon
  • 02 – Flame Sac
  • 03 – Rathalos Marrow
  • 02 – Rathalos Shell
  • 06 – Rathalos Scale+
  • 04 – Rathalos Carapace
  • 02 – Rathalos Wing
  • 01 – Rathalos Plate
  • 14 – Azure Rathalos Scale+
  • 04 – Azure Rathalos Carapace
  • 03 – Azure Rathalos Wing
  • 01 – Rathalos Medulla
  • 02 – Teostra Horn+
  • 03 – Azure Rathalos Tail
  • 01 – Rathalos Ruby
  • 120,000 Zenny

I spent some time yesterday streaming and originally thought I would be just clearing out optional content like I have been doing the last few days.  However rapidly that descended into madness as I started chasing the bits and pieces needed to craft the Indigo weapon.  This meant a significant amount of farming Rathalos and Azure Rathalos…  neither of which are necessarily super difficult encounters, but also not exactly quick farms either.  Because I am weird and me… I opted to mostly farm these using my method of SOS roulette and in truth this rapidly allowed me to get down to a single item needed.


The core problem there however is that “gems” from monsters seem to drop super infrequently…  if you actually want them to drop.  I have a string of bird wyvern gems for example, but now that I actually need one it would not drop.  I am not honestly sure how many Blues I took down during the stream, but after stopping I continued the madness… and by the end of the night had probably defeated at least eight…  potentially more.  It was around about this time that Ashgar came in to alter my thought patterns.


This theory was that it would be simply faster for me to knock out the five elder dragon kills needed to do the weekly, than continue farming Azure Rathalaos over and over forever without getting a drop.  It turns out you can take the Gold Wyverian Print that you get from the weeklies and turn it into a guaranteed gem from any monster.  So this lead to me farming Xeno’jiiva over and over until I had knocked out the five kills.  Ultimately according to Ash… Zorah Magdaros, Nergigante, Teostra, Kushala Daora, Vaal Hazak, and Xeno’jiiva all count.  The low effort versions would have been to just farm Zorah until I got my five kills but I figured I might as well work on something that had a chance of giving me useful monster parts.


As a result before I went to bed I managed to farm up all of the bits needed to craft the weapon, and then took it on a ceremonial trip to High Rank Great Jagras to see how well it works.  The final clock said just a second or two over two minutes for the kill, but I also wandered around aimlessly collecting herbs and honey at the beginning of that fight so I am guessing I actually finished the kill a little under a minute.  All in all I am super happy with the end result in spite of the process itself being a little nonsense.  Why exactly did I do this thing?  Mostly because Kirin is weak to fire… and I will have to ultimately do Tempered Kirin to uncap my level again.

Optional Cleanup



Last night I spent a good deal of time roaming around in Monster Hunter World cleaning up all of the things I had been ignoring.  One of the problems with this game…  if it can be called a problem at all…  is that you get so many missions that you can run.  At any given time I have 250 investigations constantly swapping themselves out for newer investigations and a seemingly endless number of optional quests opening up as you do things in the world.  So yes…  I just called too much content a problem, which is ultimately why I backpedaled that a bit because so often we complain about not having anything to do.  The game is an endless generator of things you can do.

My play style is apparently not normal, and as a result I have ended up with tons of optional quests left unfinished and I am working through them slowly.  Last night for an hour and some change I hung out with my friend Ashgar as we tackled various missions that had been sitting there waiting.  The only problem is I am not sure which quests I am missing…  because a good number of the star ranks are giving me the indicator that I have in fact finished all of the quests I have available…  but that there are more I have yet to unlock.  Ash explained that these are probably quests for which I have not actually captured the monster opening up the special arena version.


The truth is…  Low Rank was a bit of a blur as I attempted to push forward to start doing the big kid content that I thought at the time was High Rank.  Additionally I have played like some sort of a maniac in doing my SOS Roulette thing way more often than actually soloing any optional quests.  Occasionally this finishes up missions but more often than not it is simply rerunning content I have already seen.  I tend to open up the SOS menu and pick out whatever looks to be the most interesting…  which tends to be the combo monster quests so oddly enough I have almost all of those finished.

What I am lacking in a major way however is anything that requires a capture…  or anything that requires me to take something and run it back to camp.  The delivery quests are maddening, and I just find it so frustrating to carry something slowly across the map only to get derailed by some nonsense along the way causing you to drop whatever you were transporting.  I should in fact make a set of Kulu gloves so that I can do this nonsense faster because I have a couple more sitting in my optional quest menu that at some point I will need to deal with.


So you might ask yourself… why do I even care?  Well the true end game in any title is the cosmetics… and at the end of doing every single optional quest is quite possibly the most nonsense of cosmetic items.  Apparently in Monster Hunter there is a proud tradition of a special rainbow pigment that you can die your gear with.  Upon completing all of the optional content you get another quest that ultimately rewards this thing, and apparently while using it your gear constantly cycles slowly through all of the colors of the rainbow.  Why do I want this thing…  I honestly have no clue…  but knowing it exists makes me want to collect it.

In truth I didn’t make anywhere near as much progress as I would have liked last night.  I ran around eight missions before needing to take a break…  and I have untold more to go.  It was more entertaining to do with a friend, but most of what I have left is not exactly extremely challenging.  The hardest part with low rank content is making sure you get the capture instead of just getting the kill.  There was a point last night when I thought I was just severing the tail off a Rathian…  but at the exact same time I wound up getting the kill in.  I mean I could in fact dig out a lower rank weapon…  but I am not going to.  Hitting things for big numbers is fun, and it will at the very least be a source of enjoyment while I retread this mountain of older content.

Tempered Nonsense



This weekend in theory was the weekend that I played catch up with Monster Hunter World.  For awhile now I have been stalled out at the final boss of the game the insanely huge elder dragon Xeno’jiiva.  First off… the fight is an annoying pain in the butt as melee.  I am not sure if this is just a longsword thing or if it is an “all melee” thing but you spend all of your time trying to avoid being stepped on while roaming around trying to hit weak spots.  Basically there are three glowing bits that seem to be weak…  the tail, the front paws, and the head.  Normally as a longsword you spend your time focused on the tail… but given this thing is about three times as tall as a normal monster it spends most of its time up in the air.

The fight as a whole is a lot of running around and avoiding breath attacks while attempting to pour damage into the front paws.  After a point this will cause the monster to fall down exposing the head for a few minutes allowing you to get off a combo.  The biggest problem I had was the monster has several things that can be a one shot if you are not careful, so my first attempt was mostly me sussing out what I should be doing and what I should not be doing.  I am one of those people who learn by doing, and I doubt that reading a guide would have helped.


The second attempt was largely a ballet of attempting to do the right thing at the right moment.  I managed to take down the monster but only had one faint left.  Its funny how when you know there are no more faints… you shift into a sort of hyper focused mode because every move has potential success riding on it.  Ultimately I really didn’t want to fail because the fight itself is cumbersome and has several phases of tedium while you are waiting for Xeno to finishing doing its nonsense and land so you can begin attacking again.  I am sure those air phases are way more enjoyable if you have any semblance of a ranged attack…  or if you are Tam and just playing the nonsense weapon.


Whatever the case I defeated a Xeno, and immediately shot up to 29 which was the next Hunter Rank plateau.  It turns out you are phantomly gaining levels while you are playing the game, in spite of it appearing as though you are presently capped by a quest.  I’ve talked about this before, but when you finish a game like this it always feels like you are obligated to sit and watch the credits as a sort of homage to the folks who poured all of the love into creating the game in the first place.  The credit roll was on the short side allowing me to get right back into the action and as soon as I zoned into my room and back out… I picked up the next quest that was gating me.


The real highlight however is that I managed to pick up enough pieces from Xeno to craft the Extermination’s Edge…  ultimately what is likely to be my primary end game weapon for awhile.  The next quest involved hunting my very first tempered monster, and what did they give me as a target…  a pair of Bazelgeuse.  Until yesterday I had not ever actually killed a single Bazel… or Bagel as folks seem to call.  It always seemed like it was more hassle than it was worth, and since I had never fought one… I personally found this quest insanely difficult and failed out completely on my first attempt.  This lead me to believe that I should do some research, and wound up answering a few SOS flares for Bazel fights to learn the flow of how combat against it works.


Before going to bed last night after finishing Walking Dead, I decided to give it one more shot.  It took me what felt like an eternity, but I managed to get both Bazel’s down and this time around I only managed to faint one time.  This fight is a mess because Bazels interact with each other much the same as you would expect Bazel to interact with any other hunt.  That means when they are dive bombing each other there are just giant fields of nope on the ground…  and I spent most of the time rolling out of the way of impending doom.

Ultimately I focused on detailing both of them which seems to cut down on the sheer number of bombs by a bit and then worked one down to skull, attempting and failing at a trap only to wind up killing it outright.  The other I tediously fought until it ran and finally managed to get a trap off finishing the nonsense.  While I still hate this encounter… in a way I get why they forced us to do it.  Fighting a Bazel as melee if nothing else teaches you that you absolutely need to call your shots and get in some strategic hits while you can…  even if the rest of your time is spent avoiding everything else.


Now I am sitting at level 41, which I believe leaves me in an uncapped state until 49.  In truth I have no clue how leveling works now… if I just gain some experience each time I take something down, or if I need to focus on tempered monsters to make forward momentum.  Whatever the case I have lots of things to be hunting and lots of need for cash considering I went bankrupt making the armor and power talons…  then rebuying the charms after getting bazel parts.  In truth I am pretty happy with my gear as it stands…  and I simply need to pour cash into it to level it up to maximum.  I believe at some point Thalen still needs a Nergi kill, and ultimately Grace will need a slew of elder dragons as well so there is likely much monster slaying in my future.  It was a good weekend and now I feel less lazy than I was for sitting high center on Xeno as long as I did.