Blaugust Day 5: A Day in the Life of

Today is idea drought day.

It’s 11.32 pm and I’m cutting it super close.

It’s like I’m hoping the sheer time pressure of having to hit the post button before 11.59pm will shake something loose.

Well, it’s not.

In fact, I’m a little grumpy about it because I’m paused in the middle of a Dota 2 International match replay, having to put entertainment on hold to write this post.

The International, by the way, seems to be full of a number of surprises and upsets this year. I haven’t watched every game, but it seems like famous favorites like Na’Vi or Newbee (with good track records behind them) have been eliminated from the tournament early.

Tonight, I was busy watching Team Secret vs EHome – Team Secret being a strong favorite since they were apparently a sort of dream team put together by long time players previously from strong teams like Na’Vi and so on, and EHome being a strong Chinese team as well.

Since I don’t know enough Dota 2 to appreciate deep nuances or skilled technique, I tend to gravitate towards matches that last a long time. Why? Because I like to see the swings and the struggle that you almost never see in a PUG game.

In a PUG, the moment one team gets an upper hand, the whole thing starts to snowball. The losing players start blaming each other (never themselves, of course), morale evaporates faster than water in a desert, and basically one side crumbles because they don’t see any hope of a comeback.

But Dota 2 is a little more elegant than that and it -is- possible, if not terribly likely, that a good draft pick, good movement/positioning, the other team’s overconfidence or small mistake or -something- will trip them up and cause a swing in the other direction. The only time I really get to see it is when pro players duke it out in clutch matches.

The matches mentioned above were definitely some of those. I really enjoy seeing a team stay calm and claw their way back from what looks like utter disaster.

As for why I’m out of blog post ideas, here’s what I’ve done for the rest of the gaming day (night):

  • Finished the daily in GW2 by visiting one vista, chopping some wood, and beating on the Svanir Shaman. I could have played a PvP match to complete the daily too, but I just couldn’t muster the energy or interest.
  • Finished the daily in Trove by running around fairly easy Uber-2 lairs and dungeons, and essentially autoattacking, while Dota 2 matches were playing in the other screen.
  • Tried to level Gardening in Trove, and got about 100 skill points in, before realising that further progress would require ingredients from earlier tiers to grow and be harvested – taking anywhere from 1 – 4 hours to be fully mature and ready to go.

Yeah. Nothing exciting. No pretty screenshots. Nuthing.

Oh here, I found an old screenshot of quaggans in the new Lion’s Arch fountain / quaggan pool. Guess that will have to tide you over till tomorrow.

quaggans

This post was brought to you by the letter B for Belghast and Blaugust, the letter D for Drought, Dry and Desperate, and (only) the number 5. (Darn.)

What Passes For a Short Vacation from GW2

So ugly, so dismal, so much waiting...

The problem with playing two games is that one runs out of time for blogging about either.

Not that there’s much to blog about on the GW2 front.

The novelty of Terraria Time has eaten into the decidedly un-novel achievement checklist of the Tower of Nightmares – which was thankfully set at a more sane level for casuals, so I felt more comfortable stretching that out over the first week, instead of racing desperately to finish it.

There’s nothing new I can say about visiting Toxic Offshoot dynamic events and either siege goleming, mortaring or keg bombing them into extinction, and then harvesting pristine toxic spores. If you play the game, you’ve done it, same as everyone. I can’t exactly tell an entertaining story around that.

My graphics level has also been set at permanently ugly, ever since crashing out of Kessex Hills after the zergs came visiting, so there’s nothing to show off on that front either. Not that toxic corruption is very photogenic either way. Everything is a depressing dull green reminiscent of the soulsucking paint that is said to decorate the walls of ancient hospitals or asylums.

The only thing I can grumble about is the seeming impossibility of grinding out 250 spores for a recipe from Marjory. (I got to around 178 by the time I finished the achievements.)

I find myself having little patience for visiting an endless amount of DEs (though no doubt, they may be a pretty good source of xp for those looking to level a character.)

The best way to obtain gold seems to be dungeons. Which admittedly is an interesting concept, if it’s most profitable to run group content for $$$, you’ve suddenly made participating in group content pretty attractive and also made it harder for gold sellers to bot (rumors of bots able to run CM not withstanding.)

Which is all very well for those with a static group able to run 8 dungeons in 2 hours, but I neither have that kind of group nor to be frank, do I have the mentality to be able to log in like clockwork every day at a certain hour to run with that kind of group before developing an intense loathing for that activity.

(It’s the feeling of letting people down if I’m not able to make it on a certain day that I dislike. I try to make Teq runs like clockwork on days I can make it, but for example, if I skip three days in a row like I just did recently, I know I’m not going to be missed because there’s always someone else that would be keen to get into that overflow and make up the spot.)

So it is a lot more realistic for me using the LFG tool to aim for 2-4 dungeons a day at best.

I recently expanded my comfort zone back to including Ascalonian Catacombs – path 1 and 3 at least, no one seems to like running the ‘improved’ Ghost Eater these days so I haven’t an inkling just how intensely that fight has been ‘improved.’

TTS has been running dungeon nights every week and I managed to make two of those and got my feet wet with the last two Crucible of Eternity paths I was still missing. Surprisingly not that bad, though there are some bits that do require a bit of coordination, and I still harbor an intense loathing for those lasers – I’m convinced latency is an issue as one would have a time delay between seeing when the laser is off, starting the jump and landing, and taking off again before the server says, “nope, the laser is really -here- and you’re dead.”

Bright side, apparently only two need to make it across. And I did manage -one- attempt after having stripped down to a loincloth and dying some five times or more, in a group where three other people were having even more trouble than me.

Then with one Honor of the Waves path 2 left, I just kept an eye out for any PUG running it and hopped in.

There was also a brief story mode side trek. That art still looking good.
There was also an opportunistic story mode side trek to unlock the dungeon for my warrior. That cinematic/concept art, still looking good.

Hooray, one more title that means absolutely nothing. I feel more like a Dungeon Tourist rather than a Dungeon Master, since a good half of the contributing dungeons were only visited once ever. It’s certainly not something I feel comfy displaying, but it’s nice to have that box shaded in and future gold runs now count toward the endlessly looping repeatable.

Anyhow, my dungeon earning intake is more on the modest scale of 2-5 gold a day, depending on how many I decide to run, mostly prompted by whim and feeling very carefully for the boredom/sick of it point.

Reddit was suggesting the Frostgorge Champion loop earns up to 7 gold an hour, which seems a little improbable, but I suspect they’re offloading everything and including TP profits.

Which I usually don’t, I prefer to pull direct from the source of where the virtual currency is being generated, wherever possible.

Harnessing the TP is merely transfer of money from player to player, which is good when you’re poor and others are rich, and evens out the disparity that way, but one almost always loses out something in the exchange, via taxes or flippers. I like it as a supplementary source of income, a decent alternative when doing the primary activity bores you to tears.

Anyhow, I can only stand a champion train in short doses. Half an hour before I get antsy. So it’s less a source of income for me and more a source of blues and greens for luck conversion and an amusing lottery ticket excursion to open some bags and see what pops out.

Seeing as I don’t have the patience right now to exchange time for in-game money on any large scale, yet still dearly want the new recipes to complete my collection and soothe my OCD, the last alternative is pretty clear. Joining the ranks of those helping to push the gold to gem exchange rate in the other direction, downward.

100 gems exchanges for about 4.9 gold, which is also roughly the price of a stack of pristine toxic spores on buy order. That’s a dollar twenty five per recipe, and I only need six of them to unlock crafting access.

Those spores trade at pretty phenomenal rates. While hanging out at Teq for two hours and making use of the two tabs, I’ve bought myself  five stacks. I suppose the other can wait till I run a few more dungeons.

I can only presume that this implies a thriving market with both buyers and sellers.

There must be enough impatient hardcore minded people willing to drop real money to take a few shortcuts, plus a good base of either casuals or gold-selling bots spending time to gather up the resources for them and trading it off in exchange for in-game gold.

Will I regret it later?

I doubt it.

There’s talk that the whole Tower of Nightmares / krait affair will likely last longer than these two weeks as there’s probably still a couple of Scarlet-related updates to go. It -may- still be possible to keep earning those pristine toxic spores then, at -possibly- increased rates. After all, the recipes also use the spores as ingredients. Maybe. Assuming Marjory is still selling them and hasn’t decided to move off elsewhere in the next update.

The price may very well crash in the next month, making the recipes more affordable.

But that’s… a lot of ifs.

It may be that I just end up able to enjoy them sooner, and have more peace of mind now, rather than later. Still worth the premium price tag for me in my current situation.

The uncertainty is just not something I want to deal with right now. I already have one long term earning/buying project – the Bloody Prince mini – in the works and that’s likely to take up the remaining Halloween time and then some. I might miss that, but it’s only a mini if I do.

I suppose it is akin to buying new PC games. If you want to play it -now- just as the launch craze happens and everyone is talking about it and enjoying it, you pay the premium of 60 bucks and get to enjoy it sooner. If you’re willing to wait and risk the possibility that no one will be bothered with the game six months to a year later, you can get it for half price or even cheaper if you wait longer. (Except in the case of collectible editions that may no longer be in print and force you to buy ’em at a mind-blowing price from eBay later if you suddenly develop a craving for something ridiculously rare.)

Whatever.

WvW time has been shoved aside for the past two weeks to make room.  I’m about halfway to three quarters done, so I figured there would still be a bit of time to pick it up again later.

Mostly I’ve just been having quite a bit more fun in Terraria, which I shall get to in the next upcoming post.