Apex Predators

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Last night I participated in a little bit of non-game related nonsense.  Over the Christmas break I rearranged my set up so that I am essentially sharing a 43 inch 4k display for both console and PC gaming.  I still have access to the PC via the secondary monitor to the side, but the main display will be showing my PS4.  The idea was that this would give me access to my proper mic while playing console games and allow me to hang out on teamspeak or discord while playing.  The only problem there is that my only sound option for console gaming…  has been to have it play through the television speakers, which means while streaming… it gets picked up by my microphone.  My alternate solution was to try and string a usb headset to my PS4 while playing but it was less than optimal and I didn’t have a long enough cord to route it around where it was not in the way.

So I set forth with a mission… figure out a way to pipe the input from my television into my PC.  The television only has optical toslink out and the pc has a 3.5 mm mini jack for input, which meant I needed some sort of a bridge to make the connection work.  After some googling I stumbled across this little device that will convert a digital input… like toslink to an analog signal like RCA/Mini.  After a bunch of fiddling and some rewiring I got it set up… and once I set my system to “listen” to the line in port…  I had console audio coming in through my PC sound card.  This left me with the problem of needing some way to have a microphone for PSN chat.

After some rummaging I found my first Blue microphone… the Nessie and decided to give it a shot.  This is the point where I am thankful I have a rudamentary system of storage boxes because I needed to find some way of stringing a micro usb cord from the other side of my monitor all the way around the back of my desk and over to my PS4.  The final solution was an old samsung charging cable combined with an amazon basics usb extender, but after some fiddling it worked.  Now I can comfortably swap between PC gaming and PS4 gaming without having to grab a new headset or do any manipulation.  While it doesn’t seem like much… it felt like a major victory to me last night.

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As far as my night in Monster Hunter…. I spent a lot of time doing minor content while watching Sushi’s stream and chatting with the other folks in channel on my second monitor.  This is the other use case I have found for this setup is letting me hang out on twitch while playing console games, which is a good deal of fun.  The only negative is I try and cram discord, slack, hangouts and a twitch window on a 23 inch monitor… that seems ridiculously tiny next to the 43 inch I am playing the game on.  I’ve been on this mission to repair my cash flow problem and as a result I have been doing a bunch of investigations that reward around the 4000-5000 zenny mark.  Essentially there are two wants right now…  being able to craft a new sword from the egg bird line to see how well it works with its high affinity rating.  The other is to craft a new set of gear but I am sorta up in the air as to what to go with.

Basically in the coming evenings I should really start doing focused hunts and going after specific monsters to get parts.  I hate fighting the Radobaan, but right now…  it is one of my favorite armor sets.  I need Radobaan parts to complete the weapon I am shooting for as well…  so in theory it means in the near future I am going to start going after the tar dragon with seriousness.  It was a pretty straight forward fight, but was just annoying getting good hits on it and knocking off bits of the bone armor.  I am bad at actually seeking groups for things and instead just end up piddling around on my own most of the time.  Regardless…  my current set of armor feels like it is starting to be a little dated.

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When I finally got back to doing more serious content, I picked up on the quest line that asked me to go to the bottom of the Rotten Vale.  I am not exactly sure what I expected down there, but the supposed bottom floor is a lot more survivable than the one that Great Girros roams around.  There seemed to be way fewer poison clouds going on, and not much in the way of annoying adds.  While down there I ran into my favorite character that I have no clue what she is called…  but a wiki is telling me she is called the Field Master.  I question if she is actually another hunter, or if instead she is just one of the handlers that decided to break out on her own.

This lead to the appearance of a monster called Odogoron that was honestly one of the more annoying fights I have dealt with in awhile.  Much like Legiana, this one can deal a lot of damage in a really short amount of time and I wound up fainting a few times because I simply was not watching my health bar as closely as I should.  The other problem I ran into is this thing is insanely fast, so the only times I could really just go to town on it were when my palico had it distracted or I had blinded it with a flash pod.  The rest of the time I was constantly in a state of trying to make sure it was not about to turn on me and decimate my life bar.  I am not even sure how this works, but once I cut off its tail it seemed to be super susceptible to being knocked down which allowed me to unleash some spirit blade combos.

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After wrapping that fight up, I decided to keep going with the story rather than retreating into a chill expedition.  After some tracking around I found myself on a quest to essentially kill the Apex predators of the Ancient Forest and the Wildspire Wastes…  aka Rathalos and Diablos.  I did not have the energy in me to start either of those so I went back to investigations for awhile.  I now have two quests in my log ready for me to start the hunts for these two big beasts…  and I am guessing I am not terribly far from starting high rank once I knock them out of the skies.  I really could use Rathalos parts because I believe they unlock some interesting crafting options.  Still very much enthralled by this game and looking forward to venturing deeper into it.

Barbecue Heroes

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Last night was apparently all about Monster Hunter World.  The game seems to have gotten its hooks into me because quite honestly all I could think about all day long was getting home and playing.  More than anything I spent a fair amount of processing cycles trying to figure out how I was going to shift up my attack combos to be more efficient with the Long Sword.  Right now I am focusing on a single weapon, and mindset wise…  I am tending to think about this game much the same way as I would a fighting game.  Traditionally with a fighting game I will focus on a single character and learn them first, so for example… with Street Fighter II I originally focused in on Ryu and learned everything I could about playing him before branching out and picking up Guile or Chun Li for example.  Additionally I tend to focus on finding a workable sequence of attacks and getting the most out of those before introducing new things into my mix.  For the moment this largely means building spirit gauge with triangle four times and then dumping spirit gauge with r2 four times.  I’m trying to work in fade slash in place of just rolling out of the way, but the press X to survive behavior is already deeply ingrained.  I need to sort out how to actually do the fade slash that turns you blue and gives you invulnerable frames…  but I am not quite there yet.

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As far as the evening went… I spent a good deal of it wandering around in the desert.  I made it far enough in the quest chain to unlock the next major area of the map and immediately found myself going into explorer mode trying to scout everything I could find from the new area.  One of the things I did not realize was that objectives do not show up on the map until my scout flies have found them…  so as a result I spent a good deal of the night trying to train up my scout flies for the new area while working on bounties.  I am still desperately hunting a M class monster bone, which I am guessing I cannot really get unless I take down something else big.  I have been sitting on one for awhile and need another to move up to the Bone Shotel III.  Ultimately I think I need to take Barroth down a bunch of times because I could use the materials from him to upgrade the armor for both me and my palico given that is the next big boost stat wise from the bone set I am wearing.  Unfortunately Barroth is also the first monster I have had to call for help on… not necessarily because I fainted too many times…  but because I saw myself quickly running out of resources.  I was down to my last two mega potions and I was having hell gauging how close to finishing it up I was so I went ahead and threw up an SOS flare to get someone to come help me.  Unfortunately by the time it was answered I had almost managed to take him down solo…  with Barroth falling within a few minutes of the new hunter joining me.

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Hunting with a second player though does make things like needing to sharpen your weapon way easier, and stopping to do that constantly really made a difference in my kill time and efficiency.  When I fought Pukei Pukei it took me forever to actually find the damned thing because it wasn’t pathing where I had seen it the night before.  However once I did… I managed to take it down way faster than I had almost any other monster to date.  It ran twice but I managed to kill it at the third location by I believe disabling its wing.  I am constantly ripping parts of monsters but also sorta not really understanding exactly what I am doing.  I’ve taken off a bunch of tails largely because that and the hind quarters in general seems like a place where I can get solid combo hits without fear of bouncing the attacks.  I wish I more fully understood what causes a bounce versus what causes a solid hit.  I struggled with bounces constantly with Barroth and I am guessing that was just a side effect of its armor coating.  Once I knocked off some plates and exposed the sinew below I managed to land really good hits and started dealing serious damage.  I am guessing this is where a weapon like the hammer comes in handy for knocking off the armor plates.  I can definitely see how each weapon is functionally deficient against specific types of monsters and why something like the charge blade that is flexible becomes a huge boon.  For now however I am focused on my Long Sword and getting the most out of it before moving to something else…  which admittedly may be the hammer or great sword next to see how bigger slower weapons feel.  The goal for last night was to finally get in the squad and I managed to do that finally towards the tail end of the evening.  Monster Hunter does not make grouping with others very easy, and I feel like it is still stuck in the mindset of having a bunch of 3DS around a table where everyone is physically present with each other.  All in all though…  I’ve already gotten far more out of this venture into the Monster Hunter world than I have with any other version of it I have played in the past which was my ultimate hope.