Warrior Milestone

Tired of Selfies

Wow-64 2015-03-16 06-13-12-31 This weekend while out running around in Joplin I kept myself entertained thanks to my twitter feed.  Among the constant stream of updates was a series of posts from Alternative Chat, where she attempted to tell a story through twitter and succeeded beautifully.  The only problem is that in the weeks since the release of 6.1 I have developed a knee jerk negative reaction to seeing a wow selfie posted in my twitter feed.  It was a real struggle for me to look past the medium of the pictures to peer at the underlying story.  Largely my problem with selfies is that they are this distorted caricature of what our avatars actually look like.  The angles are all distorted, and it is impossible to control your facial expressions as they go through a series of seemingly random contortions.  Like I had said before I thought that with time folks would get bored with them, and move on… but as the weeks continue it only seems to be more prevalent.

Wow-64 2015-03-16 06-12-59-40 Don’t misunderstand what I am saying, because I still love taking photos of my characters.  I just prefer the picture above to the selfie I lead off the first paragraph with.  There is just something much more visually appealing to being able to see more of your character than simply your face, torso and part of your arms.  The biggest problem I have with selfies is the fact that it becomes hard to take in the entire picture.  During Alt’s twitter story, it was as much about the places she was at rather than her character.  I struggled to see enough of the elements in the background to immediately indentify where she was actually standing to take the picture.  I realize that for the purpose of that story it was in an almost travelogue format, but the times when she broke from it and took a traditional screenshot were my favorite segments of the story.  Not that I expect this to change anyone’s practices, but I am just saying now that I have a major preference towards traditional screenshots as compared to the distorted version that is a selfie.

Warrior Milestone

ffxiv 2015-03-16 06-29-15-12 This weekend I did not manage to get nearly as much playtime in as I had hoped.  Saturday we spent pretty much the entire day until about thirty minutes before podcast time running around.  We ended up having to go visit my Mother-In-Law and made a day trip of it meandering our way there and to Joplin through a series of small towns.  My wife and I both have this thing where we like to go hunting for interesting items on clearance, and I have managed to pick up quite a few awesome Lego sets for less than of their original price.  This weekend however, I found a ton of sets… but nothing that I really could not live without.  Ultimately my vice is Star Wars and Space/Futuristic themed sets.  My most recent find was three of the sets from the “Agents” line at a local target for slightly less than half off the original price.  Needless to say I did not really get much play time in Saturday.  Sunday until 4pm I ended up helping my wife with a few things around the house, namely putting together a large cubical storage unit and a smaller bakers rack unit for our closet.

So by the time I finally got logged in downstairs and was able to play Final Fantasy XIV I felt under the gun to help make up some ground.  At this point I am sitting at 254 poetics out of 450 for the week… and all I have is tonight to somehow manage to cap.  I don’t have a feeling that I am going to make it, because we have a raid.  However when I get home from work I am going to try my damnedest to get it through a combination of duty roulettes.  I did however manage to run through the three Crystal Tower instances and get another Carbontwine allowing me to upgrade my Helm from 120 to 130.  Similarly I managed to get enough Poetics to buy another piece of jewelry, so that I could use one of the Carboncoats I had laying around.  This took me to 120 ilevel which for me at least is somewhat of a mental milestone.  There is something about breaking another 10s barrier in my gear score.  I am now sitting at just over 11,000 hit points, which is only going to serve to make my healers complain more strongly about my health pool when I am fully buffed.  It makes me feel useful though the more gear that I can manage to pile on.

Foraging Slowly

ffxiv 2015-03-16 06-27-56-61 One of my hopes this weekend was to spend a good deal of time on the sofa watching television and working on my Botany.  This never actually happened, for various reasons.  I spent a bit of time  yesterday morning watching a movie and importing by hand 48 episodes of Aggrochat into the new Aggrochat.com website.  I did however manage to work on botany some during the recording of this weeks AggroChat, and at this point I am level 16.  The brute force leveling is finally starting to slow down, but I keep telling myself that every level that I can gain in this fashion is going to let my level allowance build back up so I can push through the levels more quickly later.  When I pushed mining I managed to drop down to 30 leves left, and over the last few days it has managed to regenerate back up to 65, so when it caps I will begin pushing Botany a bit harder.

I had honestly wondered about stopping Botany for a bit to get fishing up to 15 as well.  That way I can start getting rid of all of this gathering gear that I have clogging my banks.  Since I only have Fishing and Botany left, my hope is that I can maybe stair step them both up together pushing it up 5 levels at a time so I can shed a bunch of gathering gear in the process.  That really seems to be the ideal way to level classes in general.  I have four retainers and they are all full of gear that I think I will use at some point.  I turned in a bunch of the Syrcus Tower dragoon gear last night for company seals,  and I need to really spend an afternoon identifying the stuff that I want to keep and sorting it out from the stuff I don’t want to keep.  All of the Scylla’s healing gear for example is prime territory for giving away… considering I am slowly replacing it with soldiery items to help burn down my tomestones.  Honestly as soon as I have Soldiery equivalents all of the gear from Syrcus Tower is suspect because I consider every single set “ugly”.

Raining With Friends

Good Morning 4 am

At this point it is actually 5 am, but who is counting?  My body decided it had enough sleep at roughly 4:40.  I had planned on getting up at 5 anyways to get up and around early so I would have to deal with less traffic on the drive in.  The greater Tulsa area is still very much under a blanket of ice and snow, and we really did not manage to get too much melt yesterday.  I am hoping that once I get out of my immediate neighborhood that the roads will be clear, otherwise this is going to be an extremely frustrating trip into work.  I wanted to give myself as much time as I could to get in, before the madhouse that is winter driving starts.  As a result this mornings blog post is likely going to be somewhat abbreviated.

Raining With Friends

Risk of Rain 2014-03-03 20-32-07-42 When I started down the road with Risk of Rain last Sunday, my feelings about the game have evolved into something much more nuanced.  The friend that originally suggested that I play the game, had told me for some time that it was a much different experience multiplayer.  Once again Ashgar was not wrong.  We planned on meeting up last night and getting in on some epic tiny pixel multiplayer action.  Firstly with two people and attempting to follow each other around somewhat, the various encounters become easier.  There are many types of mobs that you can burn down well before it actually reaches you.  Additionally when you get power-ups you can filter them towards the person who can most benefit from each type.

Risk of Rain 2014-03-03 20-08-01-15One of the things the game does that is pretty cool is show you an indicator of where your friend is at all times.  So if they are up and to the left of you, you see their character moving along the very top left edge of the screen.  We got split up often, but having this indicator allowed me to find my way back to Ashgar.  I think on our first playing, with me as the default character we managed to get three worlds in before destructing horribly.  On the second play through I changed things up to one of the characters I had just unlocked… the Enforcer.  At face value he seems like I character I would like, with his shotgun and its pushback ability.  However playing as him felt extremely sluggish, and once a mob managed to get right up on me… there was really no way to get out of there.  Poor Ashgar carried me through at least two levels where I died and he finished up the map without me.

Risk of Rain 2014-03-03 20-53-40-85 Finally on play three I think I found “my” character.  The bandit has a super long rifle shot with a small amount of pushback, a sniper rifle shot, a dynamite throw and the ability to fire a smoke bomb and go invulnerable for a short period of time… just long enough to get the hell out of a bad fight.  During this play through we each focused on our strengths, with me building everything ranged combat and Ash building everything melee combat.  We managed to get through to world five, which involves staying alive for 40 minutes as everything tries to destroy you.  At this point I had an absolutely insane drone army of 5 machine gun drones and a flamethrower drone.  Stuff attacking us would just disintegrate as it got near.  With 60 seconds to go… something catastrophic happened.

There seemed to be a hiccup in Cox communications the local cable provider, because at exactly the same time I disconnected from the Risk of Rain co-op session and Rae disconnected from Diablo 3.  I think the game was just pissed at me, because Ash and I had managed to accumulate enough power-ups during that play through that we would have had the 40 minute timer without any issue at all.  I think that is what makes this game so enjoyable, the absolute silly number of power-ups you can get.  In a way it reminds me of R-Type or Gradius…. without a cap on the total number of abilities you can get.  So towards the end I had 6 drones, the ability to fire anime sidewinder missles, the ability to proc mortar fire, as well as the occasional grenade.  On top of all of this every shot slowed the enemies, I had insanely boosted crit damage… and a short term usage jet pack.  I can now say without a doubt, that I love this game.

Whirlwind of Doom

In addition to all the Risk of Rain, I am still playing a silly amount of Diablo 3.  It is funny how one patch can completely change my perspective on the game.  Previously there were things I liked about it, but it felt extremely tedious to level through… knowing there was not much of a chance of getting something truly nice.  However I think the change for me goes deeper than that.  I love having a Clan.  I love seeing across /clan when someone gets something cool, and the obligatory chorus of gratz when someone gets a really interesting legendary drop.  I also love not feeling completely alone in the game.  Granted right now I am mostly playing solo to catch up my Barbarian, but I like feeling that while I am doing my own thing… I am not completely alone in doing it.  This is the problem I tend to have with most single player games… I just don’t feel connected to anyone else while experiencing them.

As of last night I have managed to catch my Barbarian up to level 45, and have grown into the really nice axe my monk used for awhile that summons the ghostly protector.  At this point I am still using cleave as my main attack, but as of last night I switched it up a bit from a rend that heals, to the whirlwind that sucks mobs in.  So far I am really liking the change as it lets me set mobs up for my freezequake attack.  As of last night I was up to the realm of shadows step in the Zultan Kulle quest chain.  We have decided that “Hard” is the new “Normal” mode since pretty much none of us play anything less than that when we are soloing.  Normal just seems too easy now, and the xp and drops seem much better on Hard.  Even at that, Hard is not all that Hard… in that I have to be not paying attention at all to actually die.

Diablo III 2014-03-03 16-37-20-32 Granted I have done than more than a few times, but with my paladin healbot I can pretty much run around doing bad things.  Right now through the release of Reaver of Souls, there is a “community event” going on that buffs experience gained by 50%.  So my hope is to soak up as much of this goodness as I can.  Once I finish pushing my Barbarian to 60 I plan on shifting back to the monk for a bit and working on paragon levels.  We have quite a few people playing right now, so it is pretty easy to get a torment game going.  I am not sure how amped I am with the key farming madness, but right now my key priority is getting the last two items to make a Whimsyshire staff.  I want to go kill rainbows and ponies… for science.  I am sad that I was not on mumble when Warenwolf took Rae to Whimsy for the first time.  I am not sure if she recoiled in horror, from having to kill her beloved ponies… or if she squealed in glee.  Diablo 3 seems to do the same thing League of Legends does…  bring out her murderous side.

Snow Day Project

The very last cool thing I did yesterday while snowed in, was take a moment to organize my video game screenshots.  For most people this is not a big deal, but since my blog very much relies on access to decent screenshots…  it is slightly more important.  For some time I had standardized on using a “GameShots” directory and using Fraps to take them so that everything dumped into one directory per machine.  The problem is that each directory was getting unwieldy quickly.  So as I tried to look a picture up, it would take forever for livewriter to list the newest files.  What I opted for is a directory on my 4 terabyte network attached storage, with sub directories for each game.  After setting up that structure I proceeded to sift through three different machines worth of screenshot directories and file them away in the right places.

That in itself would have been a huge positive, but I decided to go one step further.  I installed Picasa on my secondary machine and am now synchronizing each of these game directories with google plus photos.  Now if I am away from my machine, I still have access to my screenshots if I feel like I need to cobble together a quick post on something.  My hope is this will make blogging from the lake this summer a bit easier, as there is no way I could have access to my entire archive of screenshots remotely otherwise.  So far it seems to be working well, the only negative is that each time I add a new game directory I have to manually log into the machine running Picasa and configure it to sync.  The next project will likely to to merge in a bunch of the screenshot directories I already have on google plus into the newly created ones.