Last Raid

Make Numbers Go Bigger

SteamSaleAFKGaming Yesterday morning before I left the house I tried an experiment.  I placed three large chicken breasts cut into strips, some diced carrots, some diced potatoes, some hot curry bullion and chicken broth in the crock pot.  I figured I was either going to end up with chicken curry or a colossal mess.  The truth ended up a little between, when the end result was significantly soupier than I expected.  In theory I could have cooked it on high for a few hours with the crock pot lid off and probably done just fine, but instead I had a bag of frozen noodles in the freezer and dumped those in to make what ultimately was curried chicken noodle soup.  It was “odd” but I have to say once I added some salt, pepper and sriracha it was rather tasty.  So for the next few days I will be eating on the leftovers that are so neatly packed away into some giant tubs from Ikea.  Sometimes these experiments work out, other times not so much, but this is pretty much my preferred method of cooking…  dump a bunch of ingredients together and see what happens.

Another experiment is going on right now on the Steam page as they have officially launched their summer sale.  For those who have not experienced the summer steam sale, it is pretty much Christmas for gamers.  During the sale you can see normally $40 games going for $4 and other ludicrous things.  With the Steam sale there is always some sort of mini-game that happens in the background, that involves collecting cards or voting on this or that item.  This time around it is quite literally a game that you play… essentially by afking.  I think this might be a commentary on a whole series of games that have showed up on steam recently that involve sitting at your keyboard and clicking on things to make the numbers go bigger.  This is essentially what happens with the new Steam Monsters game, either you afk and let your auto cannon do the work for you.. or you click until your heart is content and reduce the health of monsters ultimately clearing waves.  The game I have been in has been going on since yesterday and at the time of writing this we are on level 237 of a seemingly endless wave of monsters.  I have no clue what the point of the game is other than to make the numbers go bigger, but I am participating to find out.

Buffalo Farming

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One of the things I am enjoying the most about ArcheAge is how I feel this sense of accomplishment after only playing a short period of time.  Right now I am averaging one to two hours a night at most, but still feeling like I am making forward progress.  The big change last night is I opted to drop Shadowplay from my Darkrunner build and pick up Occultism turning me into Bloodreaver.  In truth I really was not using much of anything from the Shadowplay tree, and the Occultism tree will eventually support the AOE that I am dealing through Battlerage.  For the moment I am planning on doing an AOE damage and CC build that should be solid as I move forward.  I think one of the things I dig the most is just how easy it is to change things around.  I can go to a Skills trainer or any graveyard and swap my trees around as needed to support the kind of game play that I am needing for a given moment.  The only negative is that each time I do this I need to spend some time catching up that tree.

So last night I spent a good deal of time killing random stuff.  I wandered down into a mine filled with Kobolds which also provided me an ample supply of ore to mine.  For the moment I have not touched any of the crafting in the game, but I am instead stockpiling resources.  At some point I will probably work on weapon-smithing, or whatever the games equivalent is.  In any case I assume a stockpile of ore is going to go a long ways into whatever I need to do to make the crafting numbers go bigger.  At this point I am level 18 and I think significantly higher than the rest of my friends playing the game.   I kind the actual combat enjoyable, so I always end up killing way more stuff to complete a given quest… and this game seems to reward farming mobs over and over.  As the title says, I was hanging out in this field killing the water buffalos over and over because it was enjoyable to leap at my target and whirl around like mad with my two swords.  I have no clue what group content looks like in this game but as Kodra starts a character this weekend hopefully we can start working on groupy bits.

Last Raid

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Last night was the final raid night for me for the near future.  As I have said before I am going on a bit of a sabbatical from the game, so that I can fully enjoy the launch of Heavensward.  I don’t plan on doing anything drastic like cancelling my account, and I will probably poke my head back in around the launch of 6.2 but the future of me and raiding is a bit uncertain at the moment.  Quite frankly right now I need a break.  I have enjoyed a lot of my time raiding, but the slog through Blackrock Foundry has taken its toll on many of us.  As a result our raid group as a whole is taking at minimum a two week break starting today, and last night our raid lead cancelled all of the reoccurring raids off the in game calendar.  So there was a sense of finality in last nights events that probably the rest of the raid did not have.  I have called this subsection the way I did because really my future in WoW raiding is uncertain.  I would like to think once things have calmed down I will pick back up and work my way back into the raid group, but honestly that is at least a month away and I cannot determine how I will feel at this point.

The big positive is that we managed to take down three heroic bosses, which should get most of us the ability to start getting mythic loot boxes from our Garrison.  The negative is that we downed Gruul and once again he refused to drop the upgraded version of my sword.  More than any expansion I have felt like I have had to fight tooth and nail to get the meager upgrades I have gotten.  There has never been another time in another game where my fate was determined more by the cruel mistress of RNG than in Warlords.  I have sat and watched as I have won enough rings and cloaks to outfit an army…  but have struggled to get weapon and shield upgrades.  I guess on the positive I did manage to get my four piece bonus faster than a lot of people, but by the same token that four piece bonus is so good for Gladiator that it has been its own albatross around my neck.  I have functionally better items for every single slot that I have a set piece, but I need that bonus so badly.  It reminds me of how overpowered the tier 2 hunter eight piece bonus was, and how no one was willing to give it up once they got it.  So for the time being… I am bidding Warcraft farewell and packing it neatly in a box to be unpacked at a later date.

Cat Bel and Snowlion

Alone and Awake

ARCHEAGE 2015-06-08 09-43-12-18 This morning I am doing everything a bit discombobulated.  I ended up taking a massive name yesterday, and as a result took some melatonin to force myself to get to sleep at a decent hour.  The end result is me waking up at 4:30 instead of 5:30…  so I am just going to roll with it.  Today is the first morning I am getting ready by myself, and that is always a strange prospect.  We are now entering the season when my wife travels to go to conferences, and this time she will return in a little over a week on my birthday.  It is always strange to go through this each year, and as normal as it is I never seem to get used to it.  Technically yesterday was my first day without her, but since my allergies were trying to kill me, my focus was on simply surviving the day and less on living in it.  The allergies seem to be improved, but then again I am not actually out in the world yet.

Yesterday however I was struggling to breathe from the moment I woke up so that at least is not happening.  You’d think that staying home all day would have been an excellent opportunity for some gaming, but alas I actually tried to do some work.  Around noon I was feeling worse and opted to lay down for a nap… and wound up sleeping until 4 pm.  So I am guessing that maybe there was more at work than just the allergies.  I am not a big nap taker because generally it means I cannot sleep that night, and even when I do take a nap it is rarely longer than an hour.  So for me to sleep that long probably means I needed it.  The end result today however is that my time scale for everything is a little off.  As again I am mostly just going to roll with it and see if I can function normally today just offset by an hour.

Cat Bel and Snowlion

ARCHEAGE 2015-06-08 18-25-31-72 So as it turns out you apparently do only get two character slots in ArcheAge regardless of what the tooltip says.  Thanks to everyone for helping explain this one, because even Trion support seems not to know.  As of the conversation I had two nights ago they thought I should have at least gotten four.  So I purchased a third slot and moved on with the creation of my own Cat Belghast also known as Belglaive on the Tahyang server.  I have to admit, that at first I thought I was not going to like this whole cat man thing, but the longer I play the character the more I am actually enjoying.  I will admit part of the enjoyment is the snowlion mount I get to ride on.  If you thought carrying a foal around on your back was adorable… just wait until that is a lion cub.  One of the first quests is to go out into a field and cheer up a forlorn lion cub… and absolute adorableness ensues.   The animations are a little strange to get used to, like for example when I do a charge attack instead of sliding into the target with my shoulder I seem to leap into the target feet first, which is a little disjointed.

I also opted to go for a completely different path.  Always in the past I had chosen to go Battlerage and Defense, but instead I am mixing things up and going Battlerage, Shadowplay and Auramancy which is apparently the “Dark Runner” class.  I felt the more feral nature of the Firran character called for something more vicious and less tanky.   For the time being I am going down the path of Dual Wield which is giving everything a really awesome feel.  Right now I charge in, whirlwind, and then hit my normal attacks and things seem to just evaporate.  I just got a new attack from the Shadowplay tree but honestly I rarely have time to hit it, things are simply dying that fast.  Now I at least feel comfortable that I have something on both sides of the fence whichever direction we plan on going as a group.  I think the last thing said was that we would let Kodra decide which direction he wanted to play.  I feel comfortable on either side now, but I will say my leaning is still towards the side that will eventually get dwarves.

Ice-skating with Primals

ffxiv 2015-06-08 21-21-03-01 One of the things that has been noticed with our group is that we start out extremely solidly on a fight and then deteriorate over the night.  This means our first or second attempt will almost always be the best of the evening, and then maybe just maybe we pull things out by the skin of our teeth at the end of the evening.  As a result Tam wanted to try something slightly different last night and we went into turn nine for a half dozen or so attempts before moving on to something else for the evening.  Sure enough we had some of our best attempts early on and then got significantly worse from there.  When we hit that point where we were just making stupid mistakes we opted to shift focus and go make attempts on Shiva Extreme.  This is the last of the primals that we have not attempted and beaten on Extreme mode.  I have to say I was not really fully prepared for how annoying this fight ended up being.  I’ve said before that there are two types of fights in Final Fantasy XIV.  The first is one where you have to learn a dance and repeat that dance over and over until you win.  The second type is where you adjust to things that are happening and move around to account for this fact.

We are extremely good at the second type, and tend to defeat those encounters quickly.  However when a fight requires us to memorize a pattern and execute said pattern over and over…  we tend to struggle there a bit.  Last night however I feel proud of the progress we made.  We were consistently getting Shiva into the 30% range for most of the night, we just need to get better at two things really.  The first thing… we are really bad at moving behind her and stacking tight enough for the bow attack which does a 270 degree arc attack in front of her that will oneshot everyone including the tank.  When she hit me with it, the attack dealt 18,000 hit points… which even for my  silly warrior health pool was way too many.  The other thing is that we need to get better at dodging circles.  These come in the form of hailstorm that causes the group to spread out and not overlap, and later in the form of circles on the ground.  Between these effects and the bow… that pretty much accounted for all of our party deaths.  If we can figure out how to stay alive through all of that mess we will easily defeat her.