Lettuce Fairies

ffxiv_dx11 2016-07-13 21-54-53-49

Air Conditioning Saga

The last several day have been interesting to say the least, but in ways I have not really talked about in my blog.  We moved into our house in 1999 and at that time the air conditioning unit was original to the house circa 1980.  So the fact that our unit would fail has been this weight hanging over us for well over a decade.  For at least a decade it has had a slow leak which meant that roughly once a season it would freeze up solid, and the service folks would come out and top off the Freon and get us up and going again.  Each and every service guy has said essentially the same thing… keep the unit going as long as we can because “they don’t build them like this anymore”.  A few weeks ago we finally reached the endgame with our unit as something rattled loose and started trying to vibrate it to death.  The actual fix was going to cost over $1000 and that was simply something I could not in good conscious do given that the unit as a whole would still eventually fail sooner rather than later regardless of said fix.  I did however come up with a hedge fix that held us until them… which was essentially placing a huge sandstone rock on top of the unit which dampened the rattling enough to keep things going for a bit while we sorted out options for a replacement unit.

Old Unit vs New Unit
Old Unit vs New Unit

Now in some parts of the country air conditioning might be an optional thing… but in Oklahoma with our regular over one hundred degree fahrenheit days it is an absolute necessity.  So Monday and Tuesday we had workers in the house installing the new unit, and the last several days we have been trying to get used to the way it works.  Traditionally AC units are either on or off, meaning you either get 100% power or nothing at all.  This new one has a stepper motor that goes from 35% to 100% in 1% increments, which is really odd to get used to because it rarely ever shuts off completely.  It just sort of cycles down to next to nothing at times, but essentially tries to maintain a stable temperature at all times.  The other thing this unit has is a built in dehumidifier, which means we have been going through this adjustment period when we are trying to figure out what the new norm is.  Previously we kept the house around 73 degrees, but that is honestly way too cold now… so for the last bit we’ve landed somewhere around 75 degrees and that seems to be working out okay.  Finally the unit has a built in hospital filtration system, which means all of the air in the house is almost completely allergen free…. which was almost immediately noticeable the first time I stepped foot outside of the house after sleeping a night under the new system.  I was like walking out and hitting a wall of pollen and humidity.

Goobbue Rider

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Chompy Teeth Monster FTW!

Needless to say the last several days this has taken most of my energy, and as a result my gaming has been extremely scattered consisting of some Pokemon Go and a bunch of logging into various things and doing maintenance type tasks and then logging out again.  One of those tasks that I have been trying to do religiously however is the Sylph quests in Final Fantasy XIV… or as we usually call them the “Lettuce Fairies”.  Since the moment I saw that there was a Goobbue mount I have wanted one, but the Slyphlands in general and the daily quests they offer are probably the most annoying set to grind.  So during the 2.0 content I nibbled away at them but never really made a concerted effort to work on them.  However at level 60 they are insanely easy and actually when everything is not aggroing out… the Sylphlands are rather charming.  So over the last bit I have been focused on pushing through the reputation grind so that I could be a tiny Lalafell on a giant monster.  Last night I managed to complete the last of the quests and now I am riding tall on my big buddy.  Next up I am working on the Sahagin quests for no particular reason other than the fact that they were the next highest.  I really did not know how much faster the quests go when you hit the rank three quests and can start doing nine a day.  If nothing else this gives me a solid purpose to be in game and see folks every night even if I am not necessarily running complicated content.

Descending Further

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Last night I also played quite a bit more Necropolis, and I think I finally get the comparison to Dark Souls.  Both are games that when you encounter a completely new type of monster, you are likely going to die a lot.  A number of my deaths have been caused by me learning how to properly battle a specific type of critter, and since my attacks are rather slow and deliberate it is not like I can simply spam my attack key and pray for the best.  I’ve also found myself needing to bait monsters to keep them from swarming me at the same time.  So those Everquest/DAoC body pulling skills are coming in handy.  All of this said I am still not terribly far into the game.  Last night I made it through the first floor and managed to transition to the second floor… where the mocked me for this achievement.  Then moments later I encountered a brand new type of monster and died horribly within moments.  I think the worst thing about restarting each time is going back to the original crappy starter weapon.  I wish I could somehow carry my loadout into the next life, but I guess scavenging usable equipment is a large part of the game play.  I think this is very much going to be one of those “play a bit each night” type of games for me, because I cannot really see grinding my face against it.


Zubat Infestation

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So Many Zubats

Screenshot_2016-07-11-13-50-05I’ve slowed down a bit on the Pokemon Go namely because it is getting harder and harder to find new ones.  At this point I have captured 49 different critters out of the 52 I have seen, and I’ve noticed an extreme deficiency in the number of electric, fire and plant types.  I’ve spent my lunches roaming around to other areas of town, attempting to sort out where they might be hiding.  I would assume that plant types could maybe be found in a park, but as far as Electric and Fire types…  I have no clue at all.  The single Fire type that I have managed to pick up comes from a Chilli’s parking lot… which I found more than a little hillarious.  As far as electric types I have been near the electrical switching station in our neighborhood with little luck, but past that there is really nowhere that streams “electrical types”.  I’ve heard rumors that they often times come out during thunderstorms, but considering we have had several and I have not seen any yet I am doubting that one.  The reality is there are as many rumors for how to find specific Pokemon as there were for how to summon the Ancient Cyclops in Everquest, and I figure none of them are really true.  Given that this is a map based game, in theory everything should be based on some sort of obvious landmark.  Following that logic I keep wondering if I can go to a graveyard to find Ghost types, but I have not been willing to cross that line yet.

The huge truism however is that we have an over abundance of Zubats.  Right now they are way more common than quite literally any other type of Pokemon.  There was a point where I recently had 25 that I had captured and had just been too lazy to hand them in to the trainer.  I’ve made six different Golbats, and now am simply just ignoring the flappy critters when I see one.  Someone has been pretty much chain summoning lures on one of the Pokestops that I walk past on the way in and out of work… and every single time I get within range it is loaded with nothing but Zubats.  As I walk through the parking garage… more Zubats.  All of this is hilarious when I hear from Ashgar that he has yet to even catch a single one.  Then things that are super common for other people like the Oddish…  are next to impossible to find around me.  At some point I am thinking I need to make a trip over to Fayetteville because my friend TangerineDada has all sorts of Pokemon that I have not seen anywhere near me.  Then I ask myself… is it silly to take a road trip just for capturing Pokemon? Almost certainly but it is nonetheless entertaining.


Necropolis 2016-07-12 22-25-23-15

For a little bit now my friend have been talking about Necropolis, a new dungeon crawler from Harebrained Schemes the makers of the very awesome Shadowrun tun based RPGs.  This game keeps getting compared to Dark Souls, but I am not completely sure why the reference.  Essentially this is a rogue-like dungeon crawler with procedural generated levels.  This is the sort of game where you are not designed to get terribly attached to your character, because more than likely you are going to die quickly and often.  Similar to Rogue Legacy it has a mechanic built into the game where your deaths serve a greater purpose in that your actions garner favor with the deity of the labyrinth.  You can then purchase abilities at the scriptorium which tweak your experience allowing you to have more health, or hit harder all in an attempt to fine tune your character experience.  The concept of the game seems right down my alley, and the art style is reminiscent of Journey or any number of not quite realistic cartoon shaded games of late.

Necropolis 2016-07-12 22-08-31-40

The game however has a bunch of problems, that I am not sure if they are intentional or if they are simply bugs that will be patched out later.  Combat feels more than a little bit maddening at times in that there seems to be no limit to the number of things that can be registering attacks on you at the same time.  So this means that if you are unlucky you might round the corner and get six or seven mobs swarming you at the wrong moment.  Normally speaking in brawler type games this is manageable in that the game gives you invincibility frames in the form of being staggered… so that not every thing attacking you can actually register damage on you at the same time.  In Necropolis you can absolutely get surrounded and watch your health go from full to zero in seconds.  However for all I know there might be a scriptorium ability that changes how that works.  The other slightly frustrating thing is that combat feels a little sluggish.  I played with an xbox controller and right bumper is the light attack and right trigger the heavy.  Even light attacks are nowhere near as responsive as I would hope them to be, and heavy attacks require near perfect timing because of the extremely lengthy swing animation.  All of this said…  I enjoyed the little bit that I played and I want to figure out more of the game.  There are two kinds of unfair gameplay… the ones that make you just want to throw your controller across the room, and then the ones that make you want to figure out how to avoid the pitfalls of the system.  This at least for me appears to be the later, so I fully expect to play a bit more tonight and get a bit further.