“Content” and “chugging” seem to be the watchwords here, through the weekend.
Over in Guild Wars 2, I’m noticing increasing evidence of social loafing in the Silverwastes. More and more, people aren’t bothering to work on the entire zone properly, and are looking for shortcuts to the good stuff.
Taxis advertise 80%, 90%, 95% to Breach maps, possibly out of kindness, possibly from enlightened self-interest where more people = more chance champions die and the pac-man maze succeeds and gets everyone more crests.
I posit that there’s both a lack of transparency / visibility as well as a sense of lack of control at work here.
In the Marionette event, it was in a small localized area with one convenient waypoint leading right to all five paths, and people could quickly run to each path and observe for themselves the distribution of other players and if there were enough people that seemed to be taking the event seriously enough for a chance at success.
In the Silverwastes, you don’t know how many people are at Blue fort if you’re at Indigo, for example, or Red, or Amber. You could always ask on map chat, but chances of getting an answer are unlikely.
The Indigo bosses are also somewhat difficult for a PUG map to defeat, discouraging people who actually want a successful Mordrem part extraction from going there. Ditto Red and the Copper husk sometimes, if not enough conditions or damage are in play, or if someone just keeps AoEing all the poison bubbles, causing massive healing to occur.
I mean, I personally make a point of just hoofing it over to Amber and killing the Iron troll. That seems to be the boss that most PUG maps can manage. Maybe Blue and the Platinum boss IF there are enough people hanging out there. If not, better scram.
This turns into a somewhat depressing self-fulfilling prophecy, where only 1 or 2 bosses succeed.
Not that you can really do anything about it anyway, because the Mordrem faction mostly seem to be on a difficulty scale that the under average cannot manage. In nearly every defence or boss fight, there are nearly always about 3-5 dead bodies lying on the ground at any one time, cheerfully scaling up the fight but reluctant to waypoint because it’s so far away.
I’ve honestly given up any hope of teaching where the Silverwastes and Mordrem is concerned (whereas the Marionette seemed to have an embarrassment factor that whittled out those who couldn’t cut it eventually), mostly because I keep thinking of the couple of people that I’ve seen in my guilds that simply CANNOT manage the Crab Scuttle guild rush.
Mind you, we are standing there right beside them, killing off anything threatening we are allowed to kill, looking at their buffs/conditions status bar while in party, telling them over and over in text and in voice to DODGE (at least once) to REMOVE the RED KARKA DEBUFF (or condition) so that they can actually get out of combat to heal up.
I honestly don’t care if they don’t understand the last three-quarters of that sentence. I just want them to press their dodge key once, or even click the yellow endurance bar over their red health pool.
If they do that, the debuff will go away and they will be able to heal up if they just stop running.
Trust me, they never do.
Do they even stop to ask, “How do I dodge?”
No, they do not.
They continue to press down on their W key, running headlong into every trap and crab along the way.
Three seconds later, they’re dead, having run into something, and they have to start again and again, showing no ability to learn from what they stepped in the last time, or willingness to communicate with those -trying- to guide or help them, until they just sigh and go “this is too hard” (if they even dare to speak) and slink and sneak away, utterly defeated.
(Let’s not even talk about how you try over and over to ask them to come to you, see this secret tunnel here? Press F and you’ll skip all the traps in the tunnel ahead. Guess what? They’re downed, in said tunnel ahead, by the time your say chat disappears, having charged in gungho without, presumably, even attempting to dodge through.)
I honestly cannot imagine how these players would fight Mordrem. One charge by a wolf, terragriff or thrasher, and they’ll be downed, having never found their dodge key.
I’m mostly taking the Silverwastes map very slow and steadily, because I suspect it’s going to be around for a while in a similar fashion to Dry Top, where we will keep revisiting the zone with each Living Story content drop.
After all, there’s a lot more Luminescent and Carapace armor locations left.
On the to-do list are getting two more characters through the storyline to pick up the other two weight classes of Carapace shoulders, because spend 1000 crests sounds prohibitively expensive, given how cruddy cooperative crest-earning opportunities are, with the current zone structure.
(It’s not very obvious, for one, as to the best ways to earn crests. I -think- the crest reward at the end of each defense event either increases with time/zone progress, or with the fort’s defense level going up, but I frankly don’t know which is the right conclusion. The removal of loot from the mobs also just encourage tapping the event, and then running off to tag another event, hoping that there are enough suckers remaining around to finish it. This tends to yield a prisoner’s dilemma where everyone defects and ends up worse off.
To most people, it’s all the stuff at the end that yields the best rewards. The breach. The labyrinth. The shiny obvious loot that fills bags. The significant 8-25 size of bandit crest rewards. So everyone tries to get to the end, preferably by taxi’ing, without doing any of the grunt work at the start.)
I have not gotten a SINGLE fang to drop yet, but have about 6-8 tendons from the attempt. With my crap luck using a green extractor, I suspect that I’ll have better luck just waiting for the next update, then using a white extractor to choose a fang later.
On the bright side, a carapace glove box dropped for me while opening up the Greater Nightmare key chest in the labyrinth, so I’m 2/3 of the way there. I -could- spend 1000 crests to get the last weight class, but I’m sitting on it for now, sorta hoping I’ll get another lucky drop while trying to farm/grind up the other things.
Plus I need to get around to the ‘hardmode’ achievements in the Living Story for the Plague Signet.
Marvel Heroes is putting me into all sorts of interesting dilemmas.
I logged on today, and saw the announcement that they’re doing some kind of Black Friday sales.
Apparently the first sale which I missed, was a 15% or so increase in cash shop currency for the real money you pay. That’s always a nice enough offer to catch, if you want some game’s cash shop currency.
The current sale, takes 25% off the price of all the heroes, and throws in a random hero box to boot. So you get to buy a hero for cheaper, and then get another random hero (or a repeat of your existing one, which has some kind of endgame bonus, I think.)
This was, of course, somewhat tempting, even for miserly old me. Nor would I really begrudge Marvel Heroes 5 bucks. They didn’t pressure me into it, for one thing, making me feel like some kind of second class citizen for not subscribing or whatever.
I did a quick back of the envelope calcuation. $5 plus the 250 free Gs they offer you to sweeten the deal is enough to get pretty much any hero I’m interested in, but with some stuff left over.
$10 is even more interesting, because I can pick up a 325 and 675 point hero, and presumably get two chances at random heroes.
Except I’m not sure if I begrudge Marvel Heroes $10. Is it a $10 game?
At the moment, my experience says no. It’s more a $5 game.
Part of the frustration is that I have just been perpetually moving around trying to find a sweet spot for combat and experience.
The last two days, I’ve been trying to get through the storyline, which is at least mildly interesting in a cartoon plot sort of way, but I’ve been forced t o wade through thousands of grey-con mobs to do so.
This is utterly boring. All I do is press F to Osmium Charge (aka a leap skill) my way through the maps, ignoring all the enemies that do zero damage to me, and give me no experience whatsoever, and tend to just fall over and die if they happen to be under my landing zone. It doesn’t even feel visceral when they die, so it’s just me going “clong clong clong”, leap frogging through 1/4 of the screen at any one time, wandering the map until I find the correct exit to take me to the next stage.
Or until I run out of spirit (aka mana), then I stop being able to leap for a while and have to run for a few seconds while it regenerates. Then clong clong clong again to the next point.
I really really miss GW2’s scaling.
Why am I so outleveled, by the way? Three days before, I was running around in the Midtown Manhattan instance, while there was some kind of double xp thing going on. That felt like an Edge of the Mists map, in the sense that it’s a farm map used by veterans to very quickly power level their alts through.
It was fun for a while, but then got repetitive.
So I tried going back to the storyline, to find everything grey to me.
I have yet to figure out the art of matching myself to a zone appropriate for my level. It doesn’t help that I don’t have any waypoints or am gated from it until I finish the prior zone, I suppose.
Still, word is that they will be repeating ALL the Black Friday sales on the actual Black Friday weekend.
Add on an extra 150 Gs from the first sale, to the free 250 Gs, and we’re talking the ability to pick up potentially three heroes, and get three randoms. For 10 bucks. Dayum. That’s pretty tempting, all right.
I… just need to figure out whether there’s actually something fun to DO with all these heroes first.
I am pleased to announce that I have graduated from Prison Electrician to Prison Architect.
Probably still not a very -good- one, but at least I figured out the art of putting capacitors next to the power supply, and even roughly how to ‘read’ the power supply.
Each capacitor appears to increase the ‘grey’ bar on the power supply, and the red stuff seems to indicate total amount of juice being used by the circuit.
With that finally working, I could actually start making other rooms.
It’s a really cramped canteen and yard for now. And the shower pretty much floods most of the time (had to install wall and doors there in a hurry to at least stave off -some- of the water.)
BUT I managed to finally read my reports and figure out “grants” which are like quest-giving missions to supply you goals and more importantly, advance cash, for accomplishing those goals.
I also figured out how to shut off prisoner intake, so that I didn’t have to deal with an onrush of prisoners every morning while trying to just figure out how it all works.
Slow expansion plans are in the works.
As well as trying to figure out how to get my prisoners busy actually -cleaning- the jail, rather than dirtying it up.
So far I’ve had to hire two janitors as a stopgap measure, but I’d really like to make them clean instead.
At least they’re mostly well-behaved so far, because my prison ain’t very securely built to begin with.
I -am- watching Mr. Man rather closely though.
They say he’s a volatile sort.
I’ve also popped my head back into Agrarian Skies.
Earlier on, I took a vacation (of sorts) in the Crash Landing mod, but frankly, didn’t quite know how to share my experiences with it because they mostly consisted of dying in various hardcore permadeath world-delete fashion, until I figured out how to get Sync shells working and make clones of myself…
…which then consisted of me dying in various cheap fashion (usually from spider attack from behind or above) and getting resurrected…
…while manually creeping a basic cobblestone tower/bridge/walkway structure towards the nearest city, because I was scared of walking through the dangerous desert.
(Explored one building or two, after that, found mostly nothing but various causes of death over and over, and got quite tired of the mod. One -was- hoping to find pieces for a smeltery, but it was looking like less effort – if more grind – would be involved in slowly melting down pieces of stone in a crucible for seared stone to pour over brick to make one seared brick.)
Agrarian Skies is a little less brutally hardcore, in that it doesn’t penalize you with multiple deaths, and everything is a lot more under your control, since you pretty much get to design your base and set your light levels and where mobs will or will not spawn. (Mostly “will not.”)
The inspiration has been googling up “modern homes” in Minecraft and seeing some really lovely building designs by people far more talented than I at this building thing.
I’ve always wanted a bigger and prettier house/base in Agrarian Skies – just never quite figured out how to get around to it or where to start.
The concept suddenly came together.
Try to make a modern house exterior, and pair it up with functional insides that use the ME storage system and have room for more industrial/machine/automation expansion.
Much more easily said than done, of course.
Not only do I have to find some nice smooth colored blocks with which to put the exterior walls together, I also need a cobblestone island / foundations -large- enough to support such an expanded base.
I couldn’t take the thought of putting together any more cobblestone islands block by block manually, so I decided it was time to get a Builder’s Wand.
That’s 8 diamonds.
That’s a LOT of gravel to sift.
I ended up digging through all my stuff and sacrificing 6 diamonds to make three more autonomous activators, so that gravel sifting could go faster, increasing my rate of diamond gain in the long run.
I also needed dirt to create grass to put on top of the cobblestone island foundation. Wandering over to my composting barrels, I found zero dirt. Which led to another period of growing oak trees for leaves to put into the barrels once more.
While that was going on automatically, it was rather obvious that all that gravel sifting was causing a backlog in terms of ore starting to clog the hopper and collection chest. So there was a need to start processing ore into metal too.
Before I knew it, a couple hours had gone by again.
Well, that’s Minecraft for you. Maybe some day, I’ll have some semblance of a modern house to share.