One Big Download



Last night was mostly an evening filled with frustration…  at least the tail end of the night.  I’ve talked about this before but I have a slightly different setup from most people in that all of my gaming stuff is upstairs in my office with both consoles and my real gaming pc hooked up to my 4k television up there.  My wife needed to grade last night which is traditionally a downstairs activity and after about an hour and some change I felt sorta bad being upstairs while she was downstairs…  when I was technically playing something I could play on the laptop.  So I stopped the stream and headed downstairs to in theory chill on the sofa.

The core problem with that idea is that FFXV is a 75 gigabyte download which took legitimately a couple of hours to download over the wireless.  However once we reached what I thought would be the end of the download…  it stalled out for thirty minutes with zero activity.  In the past when this has happened I have paused downloads in steam and restarted…  and then things wake the hell up and finish up.  That was not at all what happened this time however and the game decided to start downloading everything again.  So when I finally gave up last night we were about 40 gb into download number two…  and I have zero clue if it actually finished over night.


According to Steam I have spent 72 minutes playing Final Fantasy XV and for the most part it feels great and looks amazing as a PC game.  There are some weird hiccups where the game would freeze but I was not sure if that was part of the whole combat engine or not.  It would always happen after I did a big attack so maybe this is something that also happened on the PS4 that I am simply not remembering.  As far as the actual feel of controlling the game with mouse and keyboard… it feels amazing other than the menu interactions.  What it seems like you would logically do is select the menu item with your mouse, but that is not at all what happens.  Instead you have to sort of scroll through the menus with WASD or a super awkward move the mouse in a general direction to pick an option scheme.

Combat however feels way more fluid for me using a mouse and keyboard than a controller which is ultimately the mode of the game I am going to be interacting with the most.  This is one of those times that I am super thankful that the game is constantly prompting you which button you should push when, because it allowed me to drop right into the game and start playing rather than trying to memorize the keybindings.  The biggest thing that just feels instantly better thought is basic sword attacks because I always felt like I was never quite dexterous enough with my fingers to do all of the interactions I needed to do.  I was constantly missing blocks and parries which are things that I just sorta now do instinctively with a mouse.


I didn’t make it super far into the game because of the nonsense I tried to do with the laptop, but I did make it to Gauldin Quay which moves the story forward a tiny bit.  That said I was absolutely more into doing the side quests than I ever cared about the main story.  All in all I am happy I wound up picking this up for PC and look forward to making it further than I did on the console.  This is mostly going to be a downstairs and chilling game for me, and the demo performed well on my laptop.  Sure it lost a lot of detail that I get on the full gaming rig, but it will be fine for running around and slashing things to death.

Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle



Last night was all about Monster Hunter World as I had made plans ahead of time to run around with Grace and do the various events.  First out of the gate we worked on the Wiggler quest that grants this truly questionable helm.  It truly is the stuff of nightmares and honestly would have been a pain in the butt had we not realized that you could register multiple wiggler catches at once.  We quickly fell into a pattern of sneaking up on the wigglers and getting one in our sights… then coordinating over voice a 3, 2, 1, GO! to capture both at the same time.  Sure it took three shots at the quest to get all of the tickets needed to craft this monstrosity but here we go…  I have a goofy helm that I wasted some zenny on crafting and will likely never actually use.

From there we spent some time doing the “The Proving” quest that involves killing a fairly beefy high rank Anjanath.  We ran into all sorts of problems with PSN connectivity which made it significantly more challenging than normal.  Throughout the night I kept getting disconnected from the quest with a “Left Quest” message.  At first Ash suggested that Grace was just going off and leaving us… but I think it was more than that considering Ash and Mor both got punted out of the mission after having successfully joined with no ability to get back in.  We struggled through two kills and called the process done for the moment moving on to other things.


Grace is in that awkward in-between step where she is officially a High Rank player… but still is using a significant amount of low rank gear.  Considering her next quest is the Pink Rathian, that is probably something she needs to fix and as a result we farmed Zorah Magdaros a bit for parts.  I am still to this day wearing the Zorah gloves for the hidden element ability, and honestly its an easy farm considering the event mostly just finishes itself.  Now when I was farming this I SOS Rouletted my way into full groups that allowed us to quickly complete the event which for those who need Zorah bits is a completely viable option.  The biggest challenge I ran into… and why I kept running it was that Zorah is super stingy with gems which are unfortunately needed for the gauntlets.

As far as starter High Rank gear goes… I am way more in favor of the Alpha Bone set because it has a lot of good stuff as well as 10 fire, 10 dragon and I believe 10 lightning resistance.  All total to craft the full Bone Armor set you need…  12 Quality Bone, 10 Monster Bone +, 2 Warped Bone, 3 Monster Bone L, 3 Boulder Bone, 3 Coral Bone, and 3 Ancient Bone.  Basically you need to kill a few big monsters and run amok harvesting bone piles in most of the zones to get it.  The end result gives you a set with Health Boost, 3x Attack Boost, 3x Entomologist, Slugger, Horn Maestro, and Master Fisher.  Not all of those are winners…  but Entomologist can be super useful if you are farming bug parts.  All of that said I still think its a great starter set for High Rank shenanigans.


The highlight of the evening however was getting a Tailrider Safari with Grace’s Neutrino and PizzaMaid’s Aria.  Normally I just send Tailriders out from my room back in Asteria, but for this combination I made the trek to the Research Base so I could get the cutscene.  I am also realizing that I need to trade cards with Pizza and Grace because neither of them are actually using these outfits anymore.  The PS4 always has a bit of a delay when you attempt to take a screenshot so I am super happy that I was able to catch a decent one of this party going out to fight.

Tonight however I am thinking about kicking back and streaming some Final Fantasy XV on the PC… all depending on how well today goes.  I will be in training and in theory will have homework tonight because I am going through one of those cram session courses.  As a result my brain may be too broken to do anything interesting.

Go Team Moogle’s Pom!



I want to lead off this mornings post with a little bit of exciting news.  So over the last few weeks you have no doubt noticed the Twitch madness I have been involved in.  That is probably a tale for a different day, but I am trying to stream significantly more often than I used to.  I even have a lot of proper streaming infrastructure set up now including MrAggroBot my fearless chat bot who is getting an adorable avatar that the amazing AmmostArt is currently working on.  I have no clue what is going on but I think partially it is due to the fact that I have a super supportive community of folks from various sources that occasionally pop their heads in and say hi.  One of the main reasons why I don’t play a ton of single player titles is that they end up feeling like solitary experiences.  Sure when I am in super turtle mode that works, but most of the time I want to share my nonsense with someone out there.  In the MMORPG world… that is my guild and when I stream a single player game…  twitch chat starts to feel a bit like guildchat.

For awhile now I have been a member of the Moogle’s Pom Tavern Discord, largely because it already had a significant number of my friends collected in one place.  I knew it was home, much in the same way as the AggroChat slack because I found myself saying good morning to everyone there each day.  Now I mostly knew of the Moogle’s Pom Tavern because of their official/unofficial stream team.  Official in the sense that it is a fixed thing and invite only, but unofficial as I believe none of the members are Partners and cannot actually create an official team in the eyes of Twitch.  With my increase in streaming focus and frequency, I am pleased to announce that I have been invited to the team and now have a banner on my twitch profile talking about it.  I am super happy about this revelation because it truly is an amazing group of people and that I am exceedingly happy to be part of.

For those unfamiliar, a lot of the names are ones you have already seen me talk about or host on Twitch…  but here goes a full listing (alphabetized because it would have bugged me otherwise).

I highly suggest you check out all of these fine folks and give them a follow.  I’ve got them all in my Auto-Hosting rotation so chances are you might see them if you are checking my twitch page with any frequency.  The above image is of course not connected to this at all… but since we don’t have an official banner image for the team I decided to find a “Moogle” image to use instead.  If you are so inclined you can also check out the Moogle’s Pom Tavern wordpress which should in theory be getting bios for the last few of us shortly (because we need to write them).  However the page is current except for me and Visse who were the last few adds to the team.

All of this said I will probably continue to use the BelStreamTime discord when it comes to me going live and chatting with folks because it feels really weird to muscle my way in and take over a discord I am not intimately responsible for.  Also it gives me a nice place to integration with twitch and carry over roles and permissions as well as my emoticon.  Speaking of which I really need to set up the next few ranks worth of emoticons even though currently I am the only one who could use them.  That is another thing that happened over the weekend that seems a bit hard to take.  For awhile now the AggroChat crew has been parking their Amazon Prime subsciptions on me because they knew it made me feel super awkward about it… and it is apparently fun to pick on the Bel.  Sunday however during my stream I had a long time friend throw a legitimate subscription and some bits my way and I have this weird mix of “I am incredibly grateful” and “no don’t do that! I am not worth your money!”.

I am still not entirely sure how I feel about this whole subscription thing.  I feel happy that my friends want to support me, but I also feel super awkward taking any of their money.  I could reconcile them giving me a prime sub… because it was a thing they got for free that wasn’t being used anyways.  Now that I am getting some actual subs I just want to push the money back into their pockets and tell them “no no no you don’t understand, you are throwing your money away!”.  I am weird at accepting recognition in any form…  like when it happens at work I want nothing more than to crawl under my desk and hide until no one notices me.  The problem there is that now I am a manager over three teams… and I can’t exactly do that anymore.  I think maybe my recent foray into Twitch mirrors the transformation I have had to make in the real world, where I am publicly “on” more than I used to be.

Bunny Fail Tank Returns



I’ve talked about this a bit in the past, but I have struggled with Final Fantasy XIV since finishing the Stormblood main story.  I am not exactly sure why, but after leveling my Warrior through the questing process…  and then grinding up a Samurai I bounced.  When I say I bounced… I bounced hard.  I just stopped logging in entirely and even didn’t care enough to log in for most of the major holiday events that have gone on.  At one point I made an attempt to get back into the game and pushed through the new MSQ content right up until I reached the Drowned City of Skalla.  I could not bring myself to tank that with a random group and I told myself… I would wait until I had friends around to run it with me.  That event never happened and I got distracted by a bunch of games in the meantime.

The problem with this is that it sort of set up an artificial barrier between me and the content.  It was as though I had some sort of a mental block preventing me at just throwing myself at content the way I used to be willing to.  I knew I needed something severe to get me off high center and back into caring about what was going on in Final Fantasy XIV.  There used to be a time when I willing to log in each night and run experts with completely random groups of players from the roulette system.  However I developed some sort of barrier against doing that… one that I think was slowly chipped away given how freely I am willing to do my “SOS Roulette” nonsense in Monster Hunter World.

Watch Sleep Deprived Bel tries to remember how to Fail Tank in FFXIV from Belghast on
As a result last night I used the presence of an audience as a bit of a kick in the butt to get me back into Final Fantasy XIV and doing dungeon content again.  I streamed for a little over two hours and in that time I believe I ran four dungeons and made some progress in the MSQ afterwards.  In truth were it not for the MSQ slowing the pace down significantly…  I might have streamed longer throwing myself at more dungeons for gear currency.  I managed to pick up a chestpiece with tokens and now feel like maybe I can do this thing and catch my gear levels up to something reasonable.  At the start of the night I was 313 item level and by the end I edged it up a bit to 315.  Skalla and the next set of patch dungeons all drop gear that is an incremental upgrade, as well as some tasty tasty currency.  Basically at this point I need to reach a state where I can start doing expert roulette again to play catch up.


After taking a break from streaming and FFXIV I hopped over to Monster Hunter World for awhile and spent some time running nonsense with Grace.  I have been mostly running hammer when we are doing stuff, because it is a weapon that I like quite a bit… and one that I want to get better at using.  There are definitely times when I am fighting something that it feels like having something more than a longsword in my arsenal would help greatly.  We took down a Squirrel Blimp and I managed to unlock the third of my elder dragons while she ran around trying to find the Great Girros.  I was not in terribly long as I was already in a fairly sleep deprived state from the previous nights fragmented sleep schedule due to the launch.  All in all though it was a pretty great night and I want to thank everyone that stopped by to tune in and chat with me.  Also huge thanks to Solaria who actually joined my discord and hung out with me while I eased my way back into Final Fantasy XIV.  It’s fun lobbing comments at text messages scrolling across twitch chat, but it is even more fun when you have someone hanging out in chat to talk to over voice as well.

A Big Launch


This morning I am feeling like the above screenshot.  I was using PSN the other night and this image came up…  which as a programmer tells me something went horribly wrong.  I am guessing these are the labels for each one of those messages and then the UI is supposed to replace that value with whatever happens to be your localization.  However the screen failed to render and presented me with this gem.  I am currently failing to render completely and glitching out while sitting here typing to you.

Last night was essentially the culmination of five months of madness, leading to the midnight launch of something we have all been working on.  I had this master plan for how I was going to handle needing to be up super late.  The goal was to come home… eat a big sleep inducing meal… and then go to sleep super early.  That super early however turned into about 7:30 after I spent some time in my office screwing around on the interwebs.  I did in fact get to sleep relatively early, and woke briefly as my wife got home from church and again when she went to bed. For the most part I got some reasonable sleep at least for what is essentially a nap.

I had set an alarm for 11:15 pm allowing me to get up and around and functional before the midnight go live…  however did not need it due to the phone call I received at 10:35.  Have you ever tried to be summoned forth from a glorious slumber… and then attempt to not only comprehend what someone is saying to you, but also supply the appropriate response?  It took a few times for the person to relate what was going on in a manner that my sleep addled brain understood.  From there it was off to the races as I needed to call in various folks that were actually responsible for doing the things that needed to be done in the project.

As is always the case with any go live… something is not working entirely as intended at the moment of the launch.  This is basically a rule and there will always be some amount of scrambling around last minute to fix whatever thing that is.  For most of this five month project I have largely acted as a conduit between my side of the house and the business side of the house.  The truth is the business doesn’t necessarily want you to do something… they just want you to handle it getting done.  As a result most of my time has been spent ferrying requests from one person to another person who can actually fulfill that request.

Last night was no difference and about 15 minutes from launch the issue that cropped up had been resolved and we were back to smoothly sailing towards go live.  The worst part about a launch is waiting for the first real data to start flowing through the system.  No amount of testing can ever simulate live input, even when you are yourself trying to follow the exacting procedures that the users will take.  Hell in this example we spent five weeks of two to three hour long hands on guided user acceptance tests… and  I still felt a certain amount of unease as we started seeing things roll in.

The truth is… things were working as we planned and by 1:30 in the morning I had decided it was probably safe to go to sleep.  I sent an email stating as much to the team and headed off to slumber.  There was of course a certain period of trying to get adjusted from firing on all cylinders to shutting down completely, but I fought through it and managed to fall into deep sleep again.  Unfortunately one team member did not see this however and called me about 3 am to tell me he too was leaving for the night.  So once again I had to force myself awake, but given the lower importance of the call I am not entirely certain I made it all the way there.

As a result this morning…  I have nothing much to talk about other than the experience of having one more big launch under my belt.  For those who have done this you will understand the roller coaster of nerves and anxiety that you go through as you start doing the software version of “did I lock the door?”.  In the end however things went mostly smoothly and I wound up getting way more sleep than I originally expected to.  That said it was a deeply fragmented sleep, and this morning I am still a bit glitchy as I sit down to post this.

Tonight however… I am planning on returning to the world of gaming and doing something interesting.  Right now the plan is to stream for a bit, but I have no clue at all what I am going to stream or when exactly I will get started.  Basically there are a few things on the table…

  • Defeat the Act 1 Boss in Dragon Quest Builders
  • SOS Roulette in Monster Hunter World
  • Re-learn how to tank doing Roulette in FFXIV

So in theory one of those things will happen tonight and during the day I will make some decision as to which.  If you’ve made it to the end of this post… I figure you are either a developer who has gone through this sequence many times over and continue reading out of a sense of camaraderie …  or you are super bored.  Regardless thanks for hanging out and reading my thought stream.


Frying Pans and Nora Braves



Over the last few days I have had a hankering to play some State of Decay.  This was a game that I originally started playing on the Xbox 360, then picked up when it was eventually released on the PC.  When the Year One Survivor Edition came out I picked that up too…  as well as buying it for a friend that I thought would enjoy it.  Since I had not actually tried streaming from my Xbox One, I decided to pick the game up on that platform and give it a go.  Basically Undead Labs is an awesome developer and I have no problem supporting them by picking it up on multiple platforms.  We don’t officially have a release date for State of Decay 2…  but based on the trickle of activity I am hoping we get some more news soon.  My hope is the sequel takes everything that worked well about the first game, but adds in the ability to hang out and explore the zombie filled landscape with friends.

Watch Hanging out playing some State of Decay YOSE on Xbox One from Belghast on
So as a result last night I fired up the stream while testing out a few new screen elements and bashed some zombies.  If you are for any reason interested you can check out the Twitch VOD here (or click the embedded player above thanks to Jaedia), but it involved a lot of me stumbling around trying to figure out what to do and a few gloriously brutal deaths.  I also may or may not have run over the NPC that was following me around and bashing things with a frying pan.  The kinda cool thing last night is I had a bunch of folks that were completely different from what I would consider the normal crew of people who take pity on me and hang out while I stream.  It’s really bizarre for me to have someone pop in the channel that I don’t actually know.  It was a surprising amount of fun to just hang out and publicly fail at playing a video game.


Right now I don’t have much in the way of stamina as far as “being on” goes.  I lasted a little bit over an hour before needing to go do something else with less of an audience for a bit.  I am not sure if it was just that I was tired dying in State of Decay and wanted to play something else for awhile, or if I was tired of interacting.  I need to sort out a proper way to swap games when I am just not feeling the one I am playing, because in truth I wound up logging into Monster Hunter World and farming content and it would have been nice to have a little company doing so.  I originally logged in with the goal of doing a little SOS Roulette, but noticed a note in the Login Bonus about the Aloy event going live.  For those who are curious, the quest is titled “The Proving” and shows up under events as a 6 Star High Rank mission that requires the player to be Hunter Rank 11, so you may need to do a little bit of progressing to get there.

There are two pieces to the set, a full suit of armor similar to the Ryu gear that literally transforms you into the Aloy character model.  Additionally there is a version of Aloy’s bow that can be upgraded to a Rarity 7 weapon with some elder dragon bits.  The gear can be upgraded a total of 10 times allowing it to remain fairly relevant for a long while.  If you want to craft the gear you are looking at collecting the following….

Aloy Armor

  • Nora Brave Trophy – 4 – Obtained from Event Quest
  • Anjanath Pelt+ – 14
  • Anjanath Nosebone+ – 6
  • Anjanath Gem – 1
  • 30,000 Zenny

Aloy’s Bow

  • Nora Brave Trophy – 2
  • Anjanath Fang+ – 3
  • Monster Keenbone – 5
  • Anjanath Plate – 1
  • 16,000 Zenny

Aloy’s War Bow – Upgrade to Rarity 7

  • Nora Brave Trophy – 3
  • Anjanath Scale+ – 7
  • Elder Dragon Bone – 3
  • Wyvern Gem – 1
  • 32,000 Zenny


Now it should be noted that the only part of this that you absolutely have to collect during the event are the Nora Brave Trophies which drop at least one per mission… and there was one time I lucked out and got four in one shot.  The rest of the bits can be gained from either normal High Rank Anjanath hunts or in the case of the upgrade by taking down Elder Dragons to get those bones.  I ran the mission a total of five times last night and got everything I needed to craft both the base rarity 5 bow and the rarity 5 armor.  The cool thing about this is that it not only makes you look like Aloy… but you also MOVE like Aloy.  Not really sure how to describe it other than that, because it feels like you are playing Horizon Zero Dawn set in the Monster Hunter World setting.  I have no clue how long this event is going to run, but personally I knocked mine out doing good ole SOS Roulette.  That said more than willing to help folks get their parts if they need them.  Honestly I might farm it a bunch while it is available because it seems to be a really good way to get High Rank Anjanath parts.


Bathtubs and Nonsense



I’ve been partaking in some serious nonsense of late, not the least of which has been Dragon Quest Builders… and streaming me playing Dragon Quest Builders.  I figured I would lead off with this screenshot because it is absolutely amazing.  My townsfolk decided to build me a bath tub…  which I immediately installed in my private master suite.  So the funny thing about Twitch in its most modern incarnation is…  it makes it silly easy to be an Affiliate.  From the moment you start streaming it starts ticking off little achievements, which in some bizarro world way made me want to get them.  One of them is called “Path to Affiliate” and it shows up as a little quest of sorts in the sidebar of the achievements page.  It includes…

  • Stream 8 hours in the last 30 days
  • Stream for 7 unique days in the last 30 days
  • Reach 3 average viewers in the last 30 days
  • Reach 50 followers

The last one was easy because I have had my account so damned long that I have more than 50 pity follows at this point if nothing else.  In theory once you qualify and get that achievement checkmark… you are done.  Lately I have been dabbling around with streaming, and one by one each of the boxes got checked… and now I am apparently an affiliate.  I am not entirely certain why I did this thing, but it happened.  Now I actually sorta want to try and come up with a proper schedule, which is super difficult because with my managerial duties my arrive home time is super variable, as is whether or not I feel like playing any games in “live” mode.


This did force me to contemplate what would happen if someone actually subbed to me.  As a result I named them appropriately to attempt to encourage people that this is not a thing that they should actually do.  I keep expecting Twitch to lower some hammer on me for discouraging people from giving them money.  Basically I would feel super awkward to actually take any money from anyone.  This is mostly a thing I did for myself… and in part because it will allow me to create a spiffy twitch emojii if I so choose.  I am not even sure what else Affiliate includes otherwise, mostly it was just…  a thing I felt like doing because it was available.

Now however I find myself involved in all sorts of other nonsense as a result.  I talked yesterday a bit about StreamLabs OBS… or SLOBS as apparently people are calling it…  why people why.  I’ve also been dabbling with their custom Chatbot that is apparently what happened when they gobbled up Ankhbot.  As a result I now have the beginnings of a custom channel bot named MrAggroBot that will do some of the basic functionality you see in chat bots… and at least in theory also works on Discord.

Similarly I have set up a “BelStreamTime” Discord with the sole purpose of joining it while streaming, and as a result allowing anyone else who cares to hang out with me join as well.  I realize no one actually needs a new discord to join…  but I also did not want to dirty up any of the other discords I am part of with my streaming nonsense.  The highlight of the night had to be getting everything actually working so that the Chatbot joined my quickie Twitch test stream, accepted commands and also announced that I went live through the Discord.  It was more proof of concept than anything useful but I sorta felt like Doctor Frankenstein bringing life into the world…  if that life was complete and utter nonsense.


As far as doing actual gaming stuff…  I grouped up with Grace and took down some low rank monsters.  I never really reached the point where I farmed Low Rank content the way I now do High Rank, and as a result I am missing a ton of parts to make lower level items required to make the higher level versions.  I’ve been working slowly on building a Tobi Kadachi Longsword for its lightning damage, and we wound up farming Tobi a bunch of times for parts.  From there we started doing more esoteric hunts, like an Anjanath and a Pukei Pukei with a 30 minute timer in which I tried to hammer.  I am not exactly completely effective as hammer, but it was a lot of fun.  Unfortunately I apparently completely phased out the fact that Tam was trying to invite me to a party and wound up heading to bed around 9:20.  It was a fun night, but also one where I did a bunch of silly things with minimal use to anyone.  So yeah… I am apparently a Twitch Affiliate now and am starting to build up the infrastructure needed to do “stuff and things” on that platform.


StreamLabs OBS



Lately I have been dipping my toes in the streaming pool once more.  I have this weird relationship with Twitch as a whole and I have constantly tried to break out of team purple to give other services a try.  For a significant amount of time I tried to make Hitbox a thing…  which has apparently been either bought or rebranded to Smashcast.  After that I flirted with the Microsoft offering, which admittedly is pretty great…  but even it got rebranded to the awkward name of Mixer.  As far as any semblance of regular viewers go…  I have been my own worst enemy due to my indecisiveness.

The thing I noticed through all of it is that people treat Twitch as a destination that they go to for entertainment.  Folks only really watched Hitbox and Mixer when I posted a link on twitter and even then… not that many because it was a largely unfamiliar interface.  The key problem I have always had with Twitch is the latency between chat and screen making holding any sort of a conversation extremely awkward.  That negative aside though…  Twitch is the place where everyone already has an account.  This means it is the location that I am already watching the streams of my friends, and when I do stream I often have random people stop by and visit.  That was just not something that ever happened when I did anything on Hitbox or Mixer.  So after much flailing about… I am back and committed once more to team purple.


One of the things I have been dabbling with is StreamLabs, an interface that provides some of the nifty widgets like the ability to have on screen twitch chat and notifications when events happen.  The other day I was playing around on the site and noticed that they offered up a Stream Labs branded version of OBS Studio and decided to give it a shot.  I have long been a proponent of OBS and while I have tried other options… it is the one I always go back to because in spite of its quirks it tends to be the most reliable.  Ultimately what the StreamLabs version promised was better integration with their widgets which in truth… would have been more than enough of a reason to install it.


When first opened it asked me if I wanted to import my scenes from OBS Studio…  which took away the single reservation I had about this experience.  I have a bunch of scenes already set up and I was not sure how I felt about having to go through that process again like I did when I moved from OBS Classic to OBS Studio.  It asked me to log into Twitch, and then managed the whole stream key thing automagically.  Finally it ran a test on my internet connection and set a bit rate based on my throughput…  which may be a little high given that a few people have complained about now having the internet power to watch me.  I ran a speed test for reference…  and as a result OBS seems to think I should be streaming about 4500kbps which seems to be a bit much for a couple of people.


For the most part the experience is exactly the same as the OBS Studio experience…  that is until you hit that big green [Go Live] button and start streaming.  Then it shifts to giving you a view that largely replicates the Twitch Dashboard all the while still giving you some basic control over your broadcast and allowing you to swap freely between scenes.  Even better when you click the big button to start streaming… it prompts you for a Stream Title and the game you are streaming.  So in theory no more going live with the wrong title and game.  There is still the problem however of not giving you a great way to swap the title when you switch between games.

Essentially this one app fixes a lot of the nonsense that happened while streaming.  If it somehow integrates with twitter and allows me to announce the stream it would cut down my interaction to a single screen.  Previously on my second monitor I would keep OBS up in case there were issues or I wanted to swap scenes, a window of the Twitch dashboard up so I could interact with chat and check the health of the stream, and twitter to go ahead and make a post that I was going live.  In all fairness there are also Discord and Slack windows up, but they are not directly related to the stream itself.  The end result was a super busy experience and one that made it awkward to interact with people as they popped into chat.


Now I brought with me a bunch of elements that I had knocked out in Photoshop to give my broadcast some branding.  However not everyone has that option and often times ends up needing to commission someone to create them for you.  This is a great option and at some point I may even do it myself, however just to get started and piddle around with a stream…  you are more than likely not going to go live with anything.  Personally I use these elements to block the chat box when I am playing a MMO just to give me some semblance of privacy.

Inside of the StreamLabs client there is a Library tab that gives you access to a bunch of preset designs that you can then modify on the fly to create some sort of a style for your stream.  While this is not exactly something that I am super interested in… it is really damned cool that it exists.  Basically each design has a “Be Right Back” screen, a “Stream Starting Soon” screen, and then the on screen in game elements. More than enough doodads for someone to start with and then tweak and modify as they go forward and decide what the hell they want their stream to be.

I am still not a good streamer by any stretch of the imagination.  I find it hard to fill the time while I am playing and externalize my inner monologue.  However so far I am super happy with StreamLabs OBS and am starting to dip my toes into the other stuff like setting up a proper channel bot with games and such.  Right now the biggest challenge for me is finding a time when I can set up some semblance of a proper schedule.  At the moment I tend to announce my stream as I am going live and then maybe stream for an hour or two and disappear abruptly…  all things that are not exactly “best practices” for streaming.  For the moment though I am enjoying dabbling in this world again and I guess at the end of the day that is the most important part isn’t it?

Madness Setup



I spent most of last night running around hanging out with my friend Grace and doing low rank hunts with weapons I have never used before.  The revelation from the night is…  I really like hammer.  The only problem there is I need to get better at timing my uppercut to boop things in the snoot.  However I did notice I can break a leg nice and fast as well in a pinch.  All in all I dig the weapon and want to play with it more and have upgraded through to currently the rarity 5 ore hammer, and am just a little bit of farming in Elder’s Recess away from the Rarity 6 version that is in parity with some of my other weapons.

I did make a solo attempted at Nergigante and got frustratingly close.  I had the monster limping and with a skull icon hovering over its head…  but that last phase had some brand new tricks up is sleeve that I struggled dealing with.  Namely a combination of knocking shards down from the ceiling and the prolific use of dive bombing.  I feel like I was pretty damned close to finishing… when he managed to pin me against a wall and get my final faint.  After 36 minutes of fighting that asshole…  I simply didn’t have another attempt in me so the rest of the night was fun low rank nonsense with friends.


I’ve had a few people ask me about my gaming set up, namely the fact that I am piping all of the audio for all of my systems through my PC.  The primary reason for doing is for comfort while shifting between PC based voice chat like Discord and console specific offerings like Playstation Network party chat.  It allows me to comfortably have one set of headphones that I like wearing and flip back and forth between platforms without much hassle.  Since I had talked a little bit in the past about what I did to accomplish that, I thought I would just diagram out my entire setup this time.  Yes I did do this in visio…  mostly because I thought it would illustrate it the most clearly.

I like the concept of having all of my systems “on tap” and easily accessible.  Namely I started down this path because I wanted to at least in theory be able to capture video and images from any console that I chose without having to swap a bunch of cables.  The earliest version of this set up revolved around a 5 port HDMI switch which was relatively cheap on Amazon.  As I added in a few other systems that I wanted to capture from… I had to eventually seek out a bigger option and finally landed on an 8 port HDMI switch option from Monoprice.  It was more expensive than I would have preferred but the options for something with that many ports were super limited.

This 8 port switch feeds into the business end of my Elgato Game Capture HD, that I picked up for I think $30 on Craigslist.  At some point I would love to upgrade to one of the more modern models, but for the time being it does what I want it to do and was nowhere close to the $150-200 price tag of an upgrade.  Next up we need to defeat the HDCP lockout, or at least I wanted to… because I hate the concept of PS4 arbitrarily telling me when I can or cannot record something.  This is done using a cheaply constructed HDMI splitter…  so cheap that it unintentionally strips out the HDCP signal coming from the console and turns it into a open signal that the Elgato is capable of recording.

This splitter also serves the purpose of providing me a latency free copy of my video feed that goes directly into the television, as well as the leg that finally connects up to the Elgato and winds its way into my PC through USB.  The first time I streamed with my new arrangement after getting the 4k television… I realized I had a problem.  I had been relying entirely on the television speakers to give me access to game audio.  The problem there is that while broadcasting my voice through my Yeti setup… I would end up picking up a fair amount of background audio from the game leading to a questionable feedback experience.

So the problem at hand was figuring out a way to feed the audio from the gaming systems into my headset so that I could comfortably chat away with an open mic… without causing all sorts of auditory dissonance for anyone listening in.  The only audio out from the television was an optical out port which meant that I would need some sort of a digital to analog converter to step it down into something I could feed into the line in port of my PC.  I eventually settled on this device from amazon, and in the grand scheme of things it has been working excellent.

I had to do some fiddling in the television but I now have the audio being broadcast over the built in speakers and out over the optical cable.  This allows me to wear a headset if I choose to or just turn back up the volume on the television and listen to the playback there.  This also has the weird quirk of allowing me to pick up all of PSN voice chat and bypass their default state of not recording any of the voices.  All in all I am pretty happy with the way things are set up apart from one minor thing.

Right now I have a second monitor hooked to my gaming PC and it feels awkward to cram everything that I want to interact with while playing a game over onto that monitor.  At some point I am contemplating re-engineering this entire set up to be able to include a second machine to game capture.  That unfortunately would result in a top down rethink of the way I have everything set up because all audio would be piping through a second setup.  I think at that point I would have to upgrade to the Elgato Game Capture HD60 pro to give me more options.  So all of this is why I generally just say “I am doing some nonsense” when people ask me how I have things set up.


Angry Spiky Boy



Before I start this mornings post I have a deep burning question for my readers that may be more in tune with the Monster Hunter lore than I am.  What are the flags representing that are displayed in Astera?  There is one more banner that is not displayed in this screenshot that makes up the main sail of the ship I happen to be standing on currently.  The only theory I have right now is that maybe that sail is the banner of the first fleet, and then each additional flag from left to right is the other four fleets?  The symbols are the ones that we see on the loading screen, but those literally mean nothing to me…  but I am guessing they are part of the monster hunter lore?  The most prominent one that we see on a regular basis is the Sapphire Star displayed on the far right banner which sorta lead me to believe that maybe it is the symbol of the fifth fleet that we are part of.  I’ve poked around a little bit online but have not really seen much talk of this heraldry.

As far as activities of the night, we spent a bit of time fighting with the multiplayer systems.  I was under the impression that if I logged in and joined the squad session…  that would be something easy for other squad members to do.  However as the evening drug on we realized that all of us had done this thing…  and we were in two completely different squad sessions.  There were two players in one and four players in the other… so nowhere near the session cap of 16.  Making life even more challenging was the fact that the group of two could not join the group of four without getting a network error.  The four of us in the first session had to join the newer session, so it makes me wonder…  do sessions eventually time out or something of the sort?


Mor and I spent a good deal of time farming nonsense, before a few of us decided on trying to get past the Nergigante roadblock.  Ash had recently arrived at that step in the quest, and Kodra with a little bit of leg work was able to get there as well.  So the three of us combined with Tam decided to make a few attempts last night.  For the uninitiated, Nergigante is a fight where you simply cannot get hit.  There is a one two punch move that he pulls off that first stuns you in place and then decimates you.  If your team members are fast enough they can throw some crystal burst at him to distract him from pummeling your friends.  However we were not always fast enough.  The above screenshot is of Nergi just about to pound poor Ashgar into the ground.


Similarly here is a screenshot of him completely wrecking my world.  The problem is you have three faints before the quest fails, and unfortunately things seem to go from “perfectly fine” to “oh god why” at a moments notice.  I’ve been told that this fight is a little bit more predictable solo with only you and your Palico to worry with and the buffer of two faints for yourself instead of having to share a pool for the entire group.  I will probably try this thing tonight, but whatever the case the fight feels really stressful because I simply cannot get in and deal much damage before needing to roll out to safety.  At first I wondered if ranged fighters had a better time of it…  but since I have been playing bow quite a bit lately for fun…  I am guessing not.  The biggest problem I personally have with bow is the lack of ability to dodge out of the way in the same manner as I do with longsword.

I’ve been on high center for the last two weeks and would really like to move past Nergi and on to other fights.  So in theory tonight if I actually make it home from the current icemageddon, I will likely spend the evening working on trying to get through this one on my own.  In other interesting news… Byf has started releasing lore videos for Monster Hunter World.  The first one came out yesterday and talks about the fall of what seems to be a pretty technologically advanced civilization that existed in the Monster Hunter universe before the current relatively primitive one we have currently.  Byf and Myelin were a good deal of what made the original Destiny so special for me, because they dug deep into the lore and assembled the fragments into a cohesive narrative.  I am hoping that Byf can do the same for Monster Hunter seeing as I am coming in so late into the series.  There is clearly a bunch of interesting stuff here, and I am looking forward to learning more about it.