Whirlwind Tour Weekend

This Saturday, I played more games in one day than any other day this year… for very much less time.

Yep, there’s that unavoidable tradeoff.

Path of Exile essentially launched Bestiary League on the very same day A Tale in the Desert began Tale 8. Naturally, I had to make a character in both and check the launches out.

At the same time, my inferiority complex was still smarting from a notoriously poor showing of my Scourge’s dps (rock bottom, getting only about two-thirds the dps of the other three player’s Scourges) during regular Friday raids in GW2. If I didn’t make some attempt at diagnosing and fixing the problem by next week’s raids, my hope of getting to do dps on Dhuum CM (and thus avoid the excessive mental drain and stress of doing green circles) was going to die stillborn.

Furthermore, I’d been wanting to check out Trove again, revisit Warframe and there were still projects to tinker away on in Minecraft: Forever Stranded.

Frankly, I didn’t know where to start.

But my subconscious did.

I woke up bright and early on Saturday morning, knowing that Path of Exile had just launched Bestiary league at 4am my time. My mouse cursor found the icon and clicked it, setting up the download.

While waiting, I found myself hitting the icon for ATITD to set up -that- download, and then opening the browser to download Discord, register an account and figure out how to join the relevant ATITD Discord server.

Turns out Discord has the nearest thing to the persistent chat channels that I’ve found so unique and helpful to social community building that I’ve only ever seen in ATITD and no other MMO. I spent a while scrolling back and lurking, reading stuff to get a feel of the lay of the land: the two big takeaways were that there were now ‘factions’ in Tale 8 – the choice of which I’d have to think on before proceeding – and that the new Tale hadn’t quite launched yet.

Oh good. So I jumped straight into Path of Exile to recapitulate my SRS build from the old league, with a minor little cosmetic change. Instead of fiery skulls, I did a skill gem cosmetic swap to ravens.

I have my eye on the Harpy Alpha Supporter Pack at some point in the future. So my fashion theme this league is the Morrigan, all dark, ravens, witchcraft and bringer of death.

Imagine my surprise to find a new support gem, Summon Phantasm on Kill – supported skills or minions summon a Phantasm minion on landing a killing blow. The Phantasm does ranged projectile damage.

Are you kidding me? A mini-spectre type of mob that might support my leveling? Since I will be building for minion damage anyway for my raging spirits…Ā šŸ˜

The bonus is that they look like dark ghostly shapes shooting shadowy bolts, so I have the perfect themed entourage for my witch-necromancer right now. We’ll see how it goes when I get further up in levels.

As for the Bestiary itself, I find it interesting. As you catch beasts, you unlock crafting recipes that can produce more selectively tuned rares (like rares with fire damage, or rares with no physical mods or rares with critical chance and so on), except you have to defeat all the mobs involved in the recipes in a closed cage fight in an arena. For an SSF character, I suspect this is going to be a good source of decent leveling items.

It’s been having some teething troubles and negative reception on Reddit – powerful builds were apparently kinda deleting mobs before net throwing and capturing can take effect.

Since I’m a slower SSF player, that hasn’t quite been a personal issue just yet until Sunday night – I just made one raging spirit or leave one phantasm up to tickle a particularly squishy beast down to the level of low health a net needs. (For a few of the tougher mobs, it was all I could do to output enough damage to scratch it down.) It was also possible to throw the net first and then just spam spirits to knock it down to the low health required.

I did run into the apparently unintended glitch of the net lasting a split second (rather than a few seconds) and then the mob enraging for five seconds and not being able to be captured. At the point, I just assumed I’d failed and waited for the time required before netting again. I guess I’ve been too well trained by shitty catch chances in Pokemon Go.

The fixes are coming fast and furious though, I hear. The nets should last three seconds now, if thrown first, which is plenty of time for strong builds to delete the entire screen of mobs. And there’s talk of a backup necromantic net which can capture corpses, in the probable future event of fast builds going so fast that they don’t even see what they destroyed until it’s too late.

That should arrive at a perfect timing for my pace. I hit level 30 something this Sunday and started to realize my raging spirits were getting wimpy as all get out. So I bit the bullet and stopped to adjust my build – got a four link, though I don’t have the currency yet for a +1 or +2 level to minion or fire gems (*sad face*), respeced a few points to push to minion damage nodes sooner, picked up the Hatred aura, and struggled through an on-level level 33 Labyrinth, where I Ascended and went straight for the new Puppet Master passive skill.

The minion army is now at a point that can indeed be said to be effectively deleting mobs at my level range. Level 38 and showing no signs of stopping yet. All’s well until the next slowdown point.

In between PoE breaks, I turned my attention to A Tale in the Desert.

Apparently my Welcome Island lament got a couple of eyes – s’ not hard to rise in SEO when covering a niche game – and along with other new player feedback, a couple of tweaks have been implemented to the new player experience.

That’s one bonus of a niche game with active fanatical players – things turn and change at a much faster rate than say… trying to turn MMO oil tankers like *cough* Guild Wars 2 *cough*.

Welcome Island, I’m happy to report, is much more welcoming than before.

new-wi

The messaging at the top of the screen has improved, providing more guidance. The signs on the island say pretty much the same thing, in the event that a newbie might skip past all the text and still need to refer to something.

Things like camera and setting up UI options are covered very early on, to help with the initial disorientation of any player more used to modern day games.

There’s a big fat road to follow – that leads to the tar pit – and a bit of a new, improved mini-map which is still working out a few kinks (but hey, there’s a zoom in and zoom out function, mind blown.)

There’s even a decorative pier that kinda indicates approximately where one should set up their ferry when leaving for Egypt proper.

Anyway, with the help of prior recent experience and pulling up the old guide, I got to the mainland in under two hours or so.

Here’s the odd thing, I didn’t feel frustrated, but I didn’t feel in any particular hurry to settle down or start factory grinding either. I think, in the back of my mind, I kinda know that I don’t have the time investment available to play hardcore powergamer with macros and alts right now. Maybe this will change in a few months, maybe not.

It’s also a been there, done that kinda thing. I know reaching really high levels and achieving in Tests is beyond my willingness to dedicate time and effort and interest to grind (sorta like reaching level 100 in Path of Exile, for that matter.) I reached level 30 something and got to see nearly all the tech and systems somehow and that was enough, I don’t have extreme Achiever dreams as a motivating factor.

So what are my other options? If I was a strong Socializer, ATITD is a dream come true, a tiny sandbox where you can get to know a community, have plenty of people to chat with and contribute in some small part to. There’s politics and drama and this Tale is looking like it’s going to be very rife with high drama and conflict-oriented sociological situations with another new and active developer at its helm – especially one that just introduced factions to see if that changes the dynamics of the ATITD community any.

But I’m not. I’m pretty introverted, and work lately has involved a LOT of interacting with people, so really, the last thing I want to do when I go home to play a game is be pushed into interacting with more people. I consider typing a word or a sentence into a chat channel, be it in-game or in Discord, and stop before I even hit a key. That would invite a response, and I don’t actually want a friendly response because that would lead to a conversation and that’s -tiring- to an introvert in desperate need of solo recharge time.

I suppose I don’t mind becoming a small cog in a big guild and helping out here and there, except I have timezone issues and just general free time issues right now, so any of my contributions would be a drop in a puddle, if not a lake.

Then too, I have to admit that the actual activity involved in producing such a contribution is not exactly triggering a ‘fun’ button for me right now.

Nothing to do with ATITD specifically, mostly to do with the place my brain is in right now – the same lack of ‘fun’ button is being triggered when doing grindy resource accumulation activities in GW2 (I stopped, mostly), and when I popped into Trove in between various gaming sessions and realized that I didn’t feel like learning how to play my Tomb Raiser again or visiting various mini-dungeons to kill the mini-bosses to get loot… for now.

I was getting the visceral adrenaline hit in PoE, and to a lesser extent, Warframe of all places, which I popped into after Trove to clear a single survival mission for 20 minutes (I was going for the survive 10 minutes to unlock Jupiter Junction, and wound up staying for twice as long because shooting endless hordes of Grineer in the face felt ‘fun’).

I also managed to unlock the Jupiter Junction, which was a face off against the most ridiculous spectre encountered so far, Valkyr. I was nearly at my wit’s end in an utter deadlocked stalemate where I was popping Rhino’s iron skin every time it wore off but couldn’t figure out how to deal enough damage… right up to the point where I thought my way through the problem while dodging behind pillars and running in circles, and realized my energy was constantly recharging… and thus could produce nigh unlimited Rhino stomps with maybe fifteen seconds of wait time in between casts. It became a patient game of stunlocking her every time she didn’t have her invulnerability up and then just showering her with pretty ineffectual bullets until the next time. I nearly ran out of ammo for the poor Soma Prime, but killed her with 8 bullets left. Phew.

Obviously, I still need to work out and work on modding for more effectiveness at some point, but… just not today. Or tomorrow. Some day. When I’m not so busy.

But I found it a valuable lesson to realize that my subconscious was kinda enjoying the gameplay of Warframe more than nearly any other game on my huge laundry list of games I was visiting that day – I had to feel it contrasted right there and then, kinda like wine or chocolate or coffee-tasting, in order to sense the subtle differences I might not have picked out if just trying one product on its own.

Still I found myself logging in and out of A Tale in the Desert. I’d log in for 30 minutes, attempt to do a teeny step on a mini-goal or project, scroll and read all the chat text in-game and Discord, and then log out because I’d rather wait offline than online. Couple hours later, I’d pop in for ten minutes and pop back off again.

I think, subconsciously, I kind of want to spectate, rather than be a participant at this point in time. The whole idea of factions makes me subtly uneasy; an active roleplaying developer doing stuff is almost… threatening, in a sense. Resource loss, resource waste (including wasted time) feels like it could very well happen this Tale. Which is all very well if you’re in the Tale to be entertained by the participation in such stories and the social community… but which personally strikes me more like Eve Online – great to hear about from a distance, but not really something I want to invest time playing in.

Maybe, between reading all the system chats and Discord chats and the odd in-game chat, that’s all the entertainment that I really need from ATITD right now.

After all, I already have one other game that I’m in an odd work/play relationship with… I’ve been on an ambivalent break from GW2. The Amazon servers are still shit if I’m not using a gaming proxy, which is subtly frustrating. I gave up doing dailies and found that I haven’t missed them. I log in twice weekly to raid and that provides sufficient influx of gold to keep me going when I don’t do anything else in game, thus requiring nothing of the game. Raiding on my condi warrior is comfortable. I like comfortable. Most of the raids go more or less smoothly, and then I’m gone till the next time.

The slight discomfort is the Dhuum CM attempts which are a challenging stretch. Challenging stretches require learning, which I’m okay with, except that it takes time. And is not comfortable, and often perplexing and frustrating. Part of the frustration is the lack of a good source for learning / the perfect coach to accurately diagnose issues and offer usable advice.

Youtube videos move fast and often don’t explicitly state things that actually need to be said to a new learner. Friends or raid members may be well-meaning but equally clueless or offer tips that are completely off the mark. (I asked myself, if someone in my team or indeed, anywhere, asked me to coach or offer them tips on how to play the class I play most… would I be able to do so effectively? Answer: No. Not at all. I wouldn’t have the faintest clue where to even start.) Practising blindly runs the risk of locking in bad habits. But ultimately, self-coaching and trying to figure out your own sources of information and improvement is where most players who aren’t esports athletes end up.

I made myself log in and hit the combat golem a couple times. Mostly meh, still rough around the edges, still mostly perplexed. I do suspect the main bulk of my loss of damage is missing epidemics, which can only be practiced in a more real world setting with another necromancer.

I had the bright idea on Sunday to take the scourge out for a spin in the open world, and remembered bounty trains as a source of high hitpoint bosses in a low stress group setting. This gave me more real world practice with skill priorities (complete with jumbled up rotations when panicking and moving and dodging) and I even felt a bit of muscle memory locking in. The bounty train and learning of ‘how to scourge’ almost felt… fun… right up to the point where I started lagging at 800-1000ms ping because I wasn’t using the gaming proxy.

Scenario A: I log out, start the gaming proxy, restart Guild Wars 2, log back in, rejoin the squad and continue.

Scenario B: I log out. Period.

I went for option B and did something else instead.

Like build a jetpack in Forever Stranded and extend my cobblestone bridge highway a little further.

Like borrow some digital library books and start to skim read them.

Like watch a Netflix movie or two.

But mostly to play juuuust a little more Path of Exile.

So I guess the whirlwind tour was somewhat useful after all; I touched all the bases I was intending to touch, and more or less figured out viscerally where my focus wanted to be.

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The Ever Shrinking Attention Pie

Goodness, it feels like barely an eyeblink has gone by since I last had the time to look at this blog but it’s close to the end of February already.

Over at MassivelyOP, there’s some grandiose hoo-ha about why games don’t cater to or market to the “women” and/or “over 35” demographic and all I can think about is:

a) the number of women that are part of my Oceanic/Asian raid group (or have joined now and then to fill available places – 5-6 confirmed feminine talkers, 2-3 indeterminate gender silents, contrasted with 7-9 confirmed masculine talkers

b) how few hours there are in a day to play all the -many- available games these days once you cross the “over 35” demographic

b) seems so much more of a problem than a)…

Oh, and c) the absolutely terrifying 20-40 persons strong crowd of retired “uncles and aunties” that spontaneously converge on a Pokemon Go raid location, all guaranteed to be max level 40, toting two or three phones, way more hardcore and ten levels higher than students or the poor sap demographic known as the “working adult” with zero time to traipse across the country throwing pokeballs

But back to lamenting about b)

I have been so busy -everywhere- and it still doesn’t feel like I’m done with or have accomplished anything -anywhere-. Everything is “work in progress – could do more if only I had the time.”

GW2 raids take up two days every week. The static has gotten comfortable with wing 5 and normal Dhuum and, in general, are reliably clearing on day 1 with day 2 as a backup for any stuff that arises, such as clearing leftover wings from day 1 or trying for raid achievements and so on. We’ve done everything but Dhuum CM, which is the new group project that’s likely to take a while.

I’ve dropped doing anything else in GW2 for the time being; dailies are time consuming, I was a little burned out and just really needed any time I could scrape up to focus on other things.

The effective break seems have rekindled a tiny smidgen of interest in trying to learn rotations for the new warrior/spellbreaker builds that have turned up after the last patch, and/or learn how to scourge properly… except I really don’t have the time right now to spend hours in GW2 getting the muscle memory just right on a combat golem or learning the individual skills by test driving it in the open world… so that’s on hold.

trifecta

I’ve been a busy bee in Path of Exile’s Abyss League, which is slated to end in a few days.

I decided to seriously push an SRS (Summon Raging Spirits) build for once, and despite a humongous gap of a month or so for pre-Chinese New Year spring cleaning of hoarder-worthy storerooms, I’ve hit lvl 88 – the highest I’ve ever gotten in my solo self found puttering fashion.

Despite the usual deviations from following a build strictly (hey, in SSF, you work with what you got), SRS seemed quite forgiving on the whole of not terribly good gear, though there were some tricky levels where I hadn’t quite gotten around to figuring out what defences I wanted to use. I eventually did the standard cast when damage taken-immortal call linking and picked up decoy totem, which took a bit of learning to get used to, but it turned out quite nice in the end.

I’m hovering somewhere around the Tier 8-9 maps, with a foray once into a Tier 11 map, mostly limited by maps not dropping sufficiently and my molasses-slow pace of playing (I’m not really in that much of a hurry to get to the hurryhurryhurrygogogo speedrun style of play, enjoying my own tourist pace to learn at leisure, thank you.)

I think Path of Exile may have adjusted how Uber Labyrinth trials pop in a recent patch (I seem to recall skimming a patch note at some point) in that they toned down on the duplicate ‘repeats’. I hit a milestone in the last few days by actually finding ALL six types of the trial portals, which means I actually unlocked the Uber Labyrinth for once in a league. Mind blown.

I then proceeded to very carefully and very slowly trudge through the Uber Labyrinth, and do my best to keep moving and not mess up by absorbing too much damage in the Izaro boss fights, spamming some raging spirit skulls here and there. Eventually, they nickel and dimed him to death. Uber Labyrinth point get!

To top off the awesomeness, I decided I wanted to give Atziri another try this league since well, this is a nice build (even nicer with the last Ascendancy points from Uber Lab) and the league’s ending, so what do I have to lose by trying except time?

I have gotten -close- in the last couple of Leagues. The progression has been super slow but tangible.

The first time way back when, I struggled on the Vaal bosses and spent all six portals there. Welp. That was that. Over time fighting the normal Vaal Oversoul, I started to recognize the attack animations and understand how it worked. The thing I never quite understood and had to learn gradually over time watching videos where it was never explicitly stated was how to trigger the Atziri Vaal bosses in a staggered fashion so that their attacks don’t sync up or something like that. (I’m still a tiny bit foggy about the mechanics.)

Then I started getting past the Vaal bosses (first with a few deaths, then with zero deaths) and then running headfirst into the dead end of the trio bosses. More mechanics I didn’t understand. More wiping. More giving up.

Eventually, I spent a few lives on trio but managed to get to Atziri, at which point all the mechanics of HER phases overwhelmed me while I promptly died to not being fast enough to get away from her flameblasts. More insta-one shot deaths until I ran out of portals. (rage)

So. This league. League ending. Why not?

You know you might be a teensy bit overpowered and overleveled when you’re not even sure if you staggered the Vaal bosses correctly before all your skulls wipe them out in under a minute.

Oh good. Maybe I actually have a chance.

The trio rudely disabused me of any overpowered notions as I ran through 3 lives in quick succession. I honestly don’t even know what happened. My skulls killed one guy. I saw the cycloner spin toward me while I tried to run away from him and the black patch that had appeared where the guy died. The scary lady A’alai was doing her shooty rain thing, and the first death happened. Oh. Well. One down anyway.

Rinse and repeat, and I might take the second down, right? Right. Then the last trio member gets all superpowered, which I was sorta ready for, finger on the decoy totem key cursor pointing far far away from me, but as I ran away, I instagibbed. What? No idea what happened.

Went in again. One shot again without seeing anything happen. I just kinda died when I ran to a certain spot near the top of the map – which wasn’t where the two patches of black mist causing physical degen were (they’d been carelessly strewn near the entrance because I have zero control over what my crazy skulls are doing, but I lucked out with a thin path to run between them to get to the other side… where I kept dying.

Fortunately, the skulls have their own mind and in the short time I had from transitioning from living to dead, they kept taking down chunks of the last boss’ hp. After the third death, she finally died and I was free to move on to Atziri with two portals left. *gulp*

I’d skim-watched Engineering Eternity’s Atziri video once upon a time and -sorta- had a basic grasp on what each phase was… it was just a matter of executing and not dying to all the ridiculous flameblasts.

Turns out decoy totem is a godsend. It attracted a good half or more of the flameblasts, making my newbie dodging life considerably easier. I just kept stutter spamming skulls while dodging like a maniac and trusted they would do their thing. I exploded once with a flameblast I missed dodging.

You know you have zero experience with this when you step back through the portal praying that the boss didn’t reset and would still remain at half health. (Answer: Yes. Yes, she does. Thank god.)

Amazingly. Incredibly. She died.

atziridown

And I was standing victorious at the foot of my first ever Atziri kill, staring at Atziri-dropped uniques earned-by-me. SSF, all the way.

Pro PoE players farm normal Atziri 100s of times a day like nothing.

And PoE has been power-creeping a lot too, which is a likely explanation for how my characters have steadily built up enough power in their not-fully optimized zero-trading builds over the various leagues.

But from where I’m standing, at the level of learning/progression I’m at… dang, did this feel good.

I actually have a character now that can conceivably kill her (and will head to Standard league intact), which means I have something I can practice with and get more familiar with the mechanics over time.

Some day… Uber Atziri. (lol)

And yet, and yet… I could have gotten SO much more out of Abyss League, if only I had the time. I mentioned the month long break of barely playing because I prioritized one must-do thing over another. Ah well.

The league will end soon, and another fun league will begin. Bestiary is coming and we’ll get to play Pokemon blended with crafting with monsters in PoE. Awesome. I might just do SRS again, if the new Ascendancy change didn’t overly nerf stuff. Or I might go back to my happy Marauder roots. Who knows.

foreverstranded

As if I didn’t already have enough on my attention plate, I’ve recently gotten sucked into this recent Minecraft mod, Forever Stranded.

It’s ostensibly a sort of spiritual descendant of the oldie but goodie Crash Landing for Minecraft 1.6, except made by different people, and the previous modpack developer stopped the new one from naming it Crash Landing 2.

Which, frankly, I can see why. Well-designed or fairly balanced, Forever Stranded is not.

It’s distinctly rough around the edges. The quests do not handhold or teach you in gradual fashion step-by-step about mods you may be unfamiliar with; there are gaps in progression and evident assumptions that you already know about the mods or will research them yourselves to fill in the blanks between quests.

The quest rewards range from worthless and “do I have a use for this now?’ all the way to “wtf, how ridiculously lucky is this? I just broke the mod, I think!” due to the option to pick random loot chests containing a vast variety of stuff.

I failed the starting game around 3-4 times, stubbornly trying to work with my original materials sans reward chests, and winding up in very-hard-to-continue on world states of being swarmed by tons of mobs or running out of bonemeal to grow trees and trapped by the presence of way too many mobs for comfort, while overheating and having no source of water.

On one of those tries, the random loot chest offered me some compressed cobblestone (which would shortcut a tedious process) and a second random loot chest. Opening the second random loot chest produced an epic explosion of a set of diamond tools, and an infinite water source block shortly followed.

I sat there in full cognitive dissonance mode, staring at all the proffered items which would blatantly shortcut through the intended difficult grind of the early game, while also fully aware that the difficulty was unfairly hard if you tried to play fair. But then the modpack dev included these rewards so one could argue that it is also intendedĀ that you can “cheat” and take shortcuts through the progression if you got lucky?

I ended up with a compromise solution of trying to do it “legit” as much as possible… right up to the point where I was probably going to meet a bad end, and then dug into the chest of wonders to build stuff I needed to get past the early game hump.

And yet, despite the unsmooth not terribly balanced experience, there is something compelling about Forever Stranded.

The magic is in the way it recapitulates the theme of the original Crash Landing. Your ship has crashed. You’re in a desert, steadily overheating and dying of thirst. Survive. Oh, and there’s a mysterious city to the west of your ship that holds treasure and danger… and there’s possibly even more to discover than that besides. Can you make it to the point where you can repair your ship / build a new rocket and blast off again?

The magic is in the gaps between quests that make it a bit of a janky experience, but in so doing forces you to fill in the blanks with your own goals, if you want to get anywhere. (And as we all know, when you’re accomplishing something you yourself have chosen to do, you’re a lot more engaged.)

The magic is in knowing that it’s not that well-put together a modpack and that there will be glitches and oddball things where stuff rubs against the seams and that kinda gives you permission to break it further with any ingenuity you can think of, to exploit whatever you want to exploit because it sure isn’t going to give you a fair deal either. (Early game example, you’re going to overheat a lot. Yet there is a decorative lava/fuel drip made out of Chisel and Bits that registers as a kind of liquid -water- instead of hot lava. So you can actually stand in what looks like boiling hot lava… to cool off.)

The magic is in how -you- tame the wilderness.

Different people come to different creative answers. Me, I eventually put a dome over the whole thing.

thedome

Ok, ok, not a dome. More like a glass and cobblestone brick CUBOID.

masterofallisurvey

I am the perfectly safe and snug, if messy, master of all I survey.

domesticatedship

Before the dome, there was some necessary, if absurd, domestication of the crashed ship.

undergroundshiptree

Yes, I fit an underground tree in the back compartment. Just in case.

I’m now at the stage of game I like the most. Things are safe and contained, the necessary needs have been met or solved, there’s room to breathe and take on more elaborate building and automation projects to make life easier and easier.

thebridgeoverthedesertkwai

One such plan half in motion is to extend a covered sky bridge all the way until I hit the city in the west, which I can then use as a base to more thoroughly explore and comb through the place with a fine tooth comb.

The sky bridge is also going to be a nice garden/tree planting spot for the various tree species I eventually collect…

…though the 2×2 jungle tree in the picture above was more of a “I need a vast open space to grow this ASAP, oh yea, I have that outdoor project going” emergency. (It got chopped down. I needed the jungle wood to grow cocoa seeds in a more controlled fashion.)

Long story short, Minecraft is also taking up mindshare.

Tale 8 of A Tale in the Desert is fast coming up; I still haven’t decided if I want to commit one way or another.

I haven’t played Warframe in -forever-.

I meant to re-try Trove with the gaming proxy service I’m now subscribed to, no thanks to jittery and unpredictable ArenaNet servers, to see if I have a better experience with Trion’s servers.

I read one too many Blizzard emails offering me free Hearthstone packs for one festival or another and installed it on a whim, only making it past the tutorial.

I actually bought Starcraft 2 when it went on sale the other month, and haven’t even started the first mission, having promptly forgotten all the story of the first game last played decades ago. (Maybe I should buy and re-play the remastered one first? Yeah, right, like that’s ever going to happen between all the games I’m already playing…)

I still need to catch Rayquaza in Pokemon Go.

I was thinking of and eyeing a PS4 Pro console if the price is right during one of my country’s ubiquitous IT fairs – the first of which is coming up in March – in preparation for Detroit: Become Human. (Nor have I played Beyond Two Souls yet.)

You know what… The hell do we need more marketing for?

Just find me more fuckin’ free time. Thanks.

The SAD Project – Day 5 – Mooning Around

Low effort post today.

I -was- intending to write something exuberant about the impending WvW improvements, and how it might be a great time to join the gold rush and get back on the WvW bandwagon.

But I feel drained as all hell after raid night tonight.

I don’t even think it was the raid mechanics per se, even though there were some substitutes into our regular team, and the regulars were on different classes and playing different roles, hence some minor struggle and unfamiliarity.

I think it was simply three hours of exposure to a very exuberant extroverted personality. As an extreme introvert, just -listening- to someone talk my ears off drains the hell out of me. Tonight just felt a bit worse than most nights.

No real reason. Maybe I drained a bit too much social energy at work or with the family over the last couple of days. Maybe I shouldn’t have tried to spam multiple fractals yesterday, upping my MMO social exposure. Maybe I’m just a touch sleep deprived.

All I want to do is crawl into a quiet dark room and spend time with myself to recharge.

A quick foray into Minecraft: Space Astronomy seemed like a better idea than being overwhelmed with future planning, potential builds and overladen inventories in Guild Wars 2.

spaceastro1

Bird’s eye view of the modest moon base, via jetpack.

I solved my light problem. Instead of glowstone torches, I used the glowstone block itself, using the Chisel modpack to shape it decoratively with a color, and then cut it up into teeny tiny nodes with a Forge Microblocks saw.

spaceastro5

One glowstone block produces 32 mini-nodes that take on the characteristics of the parent block, that is, they glow just as brightly.

Huzzah, I have my new oxygen-independent torches.

spaceastro2

Mostly, I’m hanging around on the moon, wandering in different cardinal directions trying to look for a deeper than normal crater. This indicates the entrance of a moon dungeon.

A moon dungeon is a fairly simple linear affair, interspersed with a couple of mob spawners in certain room

spaceastro3

This was a nice change of pace. The evolved skeleton, as skeletons do, shot an arrow into the evolved spider, while both were trying to get at me.

They then turned on each other, and I hung around the corridor, watching the new entertainment show – Skeleton vs Spider: Low Gravity Fight!

The skeleton would shoot slow arcing arrows, affected by low gravity, at the spider – some of which hit for 1 damage and knocked the spider back, and some of which missed entirely.

When the skeleton missed, the spider would skitter around and then pooounce at the skeleton in slow motion low gravity and hit the skeleton for *2* damage.

This gave the spider a fighting chance, but alas, it was not to be, the skeleton managed to hit more than it missed, and the spider died with the skeleton at some 6hp remaining.

I appreciated the ease of cleanup though.

spaceastro4At the end of the moon dungeon, an Giant Evolved Skeleton boss lurks.

It has some 134-150hp or so, and can grab you while in melee range to throw you backward into the walls (or the lava pillars in the corner, supposedly.)

Fortunately, my armor at the current time is a little heavier duty than the skeleton can penetrate, and a jetpack in low gravity can quite easily move away from any potential danger after being thrown.

I fought my first at range, with a very slow drawing bow. But tonight, I was feeling lazy, so I just soaked the hits and flew back to thack the boss on the head with a sword that did about 11 damage at a time. It eventually died.

The treasure chest at the end is supposed to contain either schematics for a moon buggy, or a Tier 2 rocket.

I really want the Tier 2 rocket schematic.

Naturally, this means of the two moon dungeons explored, both end chests produced moon buggy schematics.

*sigh* more dungeoneering awaits.