Something New – Starlink

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When I first came across this title on the Humble Store, I was uncertain what it even was, much less if I would like it or not. It was an odd-looking title on the UPlay platform that was hard to categorize based on the provided material. I figured a small risk once in a while is acceptable and went for it.

starfox
Not my image.

Overall it feels like it’s somewhere between Starfox and Assassin’s Creed. You get a Starfox sort of gameplay in a more open-world sort of environment. You can even do a “barrel roll.” I got the distinct impression that the game was designed to be a toy-based franchise like Disney Infinity. Can’t possibly tell where I got that idea.

 

 

CharacterSelect

Upon starting a new save you are prompted to select a Pilot. I am uncertain how permanent this choice is, but if there’s a way to change pilots I either haven’t unlocked it or and too oblivious to have noticed. There are quite a lot of moving parts in the game, so the menus are a bit weird. In addition to an “ultimate” style ability, each pilot also has a skill tree style upgrade system.

shipselect

Once you’ve done that you’ll be asked to select a ship. From the starter selection, there are several different ones, from the performance class shown here to the tank class that I’m using. In all things, including pilot, ship, and weapons, there are a number of locked items that aren’t available. It’s implied that these could be unlocked via gameplay. In fact, I’ve met some of the pilots in question.

I didn’t see a major difference in the ships stat-wise, but I haven’t actually used anything but the tank class, so it’s hard to say one way or the other.

loadout

The final loadout of a given ship looks something like this. I had already managed to locate a couple of mods when I took this screenshot. There are several different weapons with various element types. I think heat, cold, kinetic, gravity, and anti-grav cover the basics. I was using two heat weapons here because I couldn’t tell what was and wasn’t unlocked, but I ended up putting that flamethrower on the left side and putting some ice rockets on the right side. This allows me to hit something with the flamethrower to apply a heat effect, followed by the ice missiles to create a “thermal shock” combo.

hovertank

At least for the first couple of hours, most of the gameplay took place in what I have been calling “hovertank mode.” Mostly because that’s what it feels like I’m driving. I haven’t found combat to be overly difficult as far as I’ve gotten. There was one POI that lit me up pretty hard, and it was some manner of unique artifact that I didn’t need to deal with.

There are some random organic and metal components you can acquire as you wander about, though inventory is fairly limited in the beginning. Most of the organics have a special mini-game attached where you have to maintain the proper distance to “pluck” it. Those items can eventually be traded to outposts in exchange for currency, items, and influence. They reveal more of the map if your influence is higher.

There are a variety of other things going on too. Wildlife to scan, small puzzles that require one or more element types to complete, elemental canisters that must be shot with their opposing element to open, outposts that require you to block with proper timing, you know, general POI-based content that offers a variety of rewards.

I spent a lot more time on the first planet than I had to in order to get the components to unlock more upgrades to the… mothership? Those trees unlock additional mod slots, additional inventory space, fast travel capabilities, things like that. I wanted access to a few basic items, so I put the effort into unlocking them before I moved on.

From a story standpoint, I wasn’t overly impressed. The cinematics were pretty solid, but the writing so far hasn’t been particularly interesting. Genious captain re-invents ability to create long lost energy source and now the big bad wants it because reasons. I couldn’t find anyone named John Crichton though, and the technology isn’t “wormholes.”

It’s still on sale for a few days if anyone is interested. It’s not bad for $21. Not sure I’d recommend it at full retail, but let’s be fair, I’ve only played it for a couple of hours.

Y’all take care, and remember, Judge is the best character.

No Man’s Sky – Making an Omelet

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I’ve spent some time lately poking around in No Man’s Sky. I’ve mostly just been system hopping along the atlas path while upgrading my exosuit and checking for an S-class multitool. Every now and then I’d stop to gather resources or hunt for crashed S-class ships. I’ve been on the lookout for a nice freighter.

crashed fighter

I did find this beautiful fighter at some point though. It was a decent upgrade, though it’s not fully repaired yet. Once finished it will offer close to double the space of my previous ship.

I also spent about a week working on getting the void egg for the living ship. That entire quest series is the very definition of time gated.

heart timer

I mean that quite literally. That’s real-world hours though, not playtime. This is… the second stage? It took a week of dailies to purchase it and a lot of time flying around doing whatever to trigger the initial step.

egg coords

Once the initial random waiting period is over, it seems to consist of find a specific planet vaguely identified by the quest, then manually navigate to the provided coordinates. No auto-pilot for this one. The first time I was pretty close, this time it took a while to get there.

frag heart

The result of locating your destination is a new crafting recipe that yields an item like this, which is what that timer was from.

Not sure that I much care for the way the living ships look, but it’s an interesting enough diversion. Maybe I’ll write a post-mortem after I’m done. If I get done.

Y’all take care. Don’t get eggs-terminated.


blapril-2020-200Hey, it’s Blapril time! The goal is to simply promote and stimulate the blogging community by encouraging people of all skill levels and backgrounds to post. The official post can be found here and it’s never too late to start.

Continued Reflection – The Graduate Question

So I reflected a little on Blapril yesterday, and today I’m reflecting on my educational goals a bit. It’s been about a year since I started taking classes and my upcoming semester is my “transition semester.” That is, the point at which I transition from the first half of the undergrad course schedule to the second half. I feel that its “Upper Division” title is maybe slightly more pomp than it deserves, as though it is somehow superior to the “lower division.” More advanced, yes, but it rests upon the foundation of the latter.

I have said many times that when I set out, I had but the vague goal of “research economist.” I am, at the moment, reminded of Breath of the Wild where you receive a quest early on with the goal “Defeat Gannon.” It’s not wrong, but much work typically lies between the setting of the goal and its completion.

I assumed at the outset that a Ph. D. was a basic requirement of this goal. A sort of gate-keeper to the world of academic research. I’m still not entirely certain that I was wrong, but I feel it’s a little more flexible than I assumed. I somewhat internally identify as an “undergraduate researcher” already.

Yet I cannot yet tell how attainable a Ph. D. would be for me. I have plenty of determination, sure, or at least enough to have gotten this far. Based on what I’ve read so far it seems likely that I would have to relocate to pursue a graduate degree. I am uncertain how feasible that is, or if I would be willing to put my family through that. My other alternative would be to pursue a different Ph.D. that’s… slightly closer to home. UTC, for example, is only 30ish miles from the house. They do not have a graduate-level economics program though.

As part of pulling on this thread, I’ve been acquiring and reading resources here and there, like the advice on Greg Mankiw’s blog. I quite like his writing style and his advice is relatable and leads to some interesting moments. One of the bits in his Advice for New Junior Faculty says “Avoid activities that will distract you from research. Whatever you do, do not start a blog.” Too late. Not that I am in any way faculty, but the comment in the context of my life was quite amusing. Fair point, though.

I also liked his Rules of Thumb. Number 3, “Have Broad Interests,” was especially relatable. I have said many times that my life has been a long parade of various interests phasing in and out of hyper-focus. It has… improved… as I’ve gotten older. At a minimum, I’ve learned to direct and control certain groups of activity over longer periods of time, though my coworker has several times pointed out my 2-4 week window of interest in a specific game, while gaming itself is something of a fixture. It is merely the finer details that rotate in and out, not the larger activity itself.

In the long run, I’ve attributed this to a desire to learn new things. Novel information is far easier to find and obtain than hammering out the nuts and bolts. Learning a new skill rotation, a new class, an interesting new hobby, these things progress quickly. Level 1 to level 10 is always faster and easier than 50-60.

Do I still intend to pursue a Ph.D? Absolutely. I cannot live a life where I have not at least put forth the effort required to be certain. That is, I would rather have tried and failed to find a path forward than to have never tried and wonder if I could. Much like this blog, it is The Grand Experiment. The only way to prove or disprove the possibility is to try. Repeatedly.

Above all other things I’ve read recently though, lies this quote.

A person can dig a perfectly fine ditch without enjoying his job for a minute. By contrast, research requires a certain passion about the topic being studied. Passion goes hand in hand with creativity. No one can manufacture this passion for strategic reasons of career advancement. – Greg Mankiw

The number one question I get from people when I talk about my plan is “what kind of job can you get with that?” I mean, honestly, I hadn’t thought of that way until people started asking me. I started to learn. Ideas about employment and making more money were side-effects or excuses used to achieve my real goal. I would love to be more financially secure, but at no point did I stop and ask questions like “how much money do professors make?” I just assumed that pursuit of the larger goal would eventually leave me with that job and the things that come with it and I was okay with that.

Yeah, okay, I started the blog for “strategic reasons of career advancement,” I guess. But that’s not what keeps me here. I love the Blaugust community and I love the process of writing and the places it leads me. I enjoy all my classes and appreciate the additional understanding of the world they grant me. Yeah, they serve a larger goal too, but I may as well enjoy the ride.

Okay, I’ll be quiet now. Y’all take care.


blapril-2020-200Hey, it’s Blapril time! The goal is to simply promote and stimulate the blogging community by encouraging people of all skill levels and backgrounds to post. The official post can be found here and it’s never too late to start.

Blapril Wrap-Up

It appears to be lessons learned week for Blapril, and the overall timing works out well to reflect on blogging among other things.

The official period of Blapril is 3/29-5/9. Some 42 days total. Of those 42 I currently have 33 posts that ran consecutively from 3/29 to 4/30. I am more than pleased with that result. I didn’t quite manage that with this past Blaugust, but when push comes to shove my blog takes a back seat to classwork, and both events are strangely placed in context of classes.

Since my school runs on the standard semester system, classes spin up in early August. This coming semester will begin on August 10th, for instance. What happened to me last time was that the first major assignment/exam for every class ended up on that last week of the month and I just didn’t have time to push through the end.

I can only assume it is situations like this that led to the expansion of the posting “window” for Blapril. I even ran into a similar issue here. With most of my classes having a final exam or test of some sort piled up into the last week, I had to stop writing posts long enough to secure victory. Worked out to around five days total, it seems. While I don’t expect to maintain my current GPA forever, I will not relinquish it without a fight.

In both cases, my idea of success is somewhat strange, though. I am less concerned with the final grade and more interesting in the subjective judgement of feeling like I got the best score possible given the resources and skills available at that time. The Gold award from Blaugust 2019 is a great example. I am not at all upset about missing Rainbow by a day or two, because I understand and recognize the constraints that led to the decision, and I’m okay with that. This is what guides many of my time management choices. Does this decision represent my best effort to advance the highest priority activity at this moment? Do I think I will agree with that choice tomorrow, next week, next year, or 5-10 years from now?

If I have erred in my assessment of priorities or time required, I take note of those things and try to adjust my method to accommodate it. There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes as long as I attempt to learn from them. Human error is a fascinating topic in and of itself that’s well beyond the scope of this post.

Since we’re at the end of a cycle, I’ve been considering what manner of content I’ll be publishing as well. I have some long-term goals that are going to be difficult for me. I want to eliminate the “I’m posting this sentence/paragraph so it counts as a post” sort of posts. I don’t feel that they have any real value beyond keeping a “days since last incident” counter going. My “lizard brain” likes that counter, though. It’s a number. Activity that makes numbers go up is “good.” Numbers going down is “bad.”

As for what sort of topics I’m discussing, I foresee a lot of research and statistics in the near future. I put my project on the backburner so I could keep up with school and daily posting. I intend to pick that project back up now that time is a little less restricted and if I’m working on it, I’ll be thinking about it. If I’m thinking about it, I’ll be posting about it.

I still haven’t replaced my banner either. Back at the beginning of the event, I said “but hopefully I’ll get the banner sorted out before the end of April.” So that’s still on my to-do list. I’ve… got some ideas. They just don’t feel “finished” yet.

Either way, I’ve gotten a bit long, so y’all take care. It seems I need to go watch some people who don’t understand a process try and fix it, my favorite form of entertainment.


blapril-2020-200Hey, it’s Blapril time! The goal is to simply promote and stimulate the blogging community by encouraging people of all skill levels and backgrounds to post. The official post can be found here and it’s never too late to start.

Writing – Five Least Viewed Posts

What better time to do this than right behind the five most viewed? I’m going to start with the “least viewed” and go up from there.

  1. Monetization and Episodic Design (1) – Hey, look at that. I wrote this one in the distant past of this past Monday. Funnily enough, it has two likes but only one view. A good job of highlighting just how deceptive the view counter can be.
  2. Monetization Pt 2/3 – F2P Musings (2) –  This one is ancient, for me. September of 2018. I vaguely remember writing it, but as the second out of three it seems a bit of a rant now. I guess I kinda agree overall with it overall? I don’t really hold any particular business model as better or worse than another these days. I just judge each game on its own and admit that every model has pros and cons.
  3. #1485 (Untitled) (2) – Ah, an oops I forgot to post and now I don’t feel like it post. Can’t say I blame anyone for skipping that one. Interesting side-note this is mostly a side effect of WordPress’s “You’re on an X day in a row writing streak!” notification. It does a good job of guilting me into writing throw-away posts just so the counter doesn’t reset. Not as practical these days, and outside the blapril event window I’m not sure I would bother. Even when I do throw-away posts, I try to do more than a few sentences.
  4. Super Discount Clothing and more Eco (3) – Another short late-night post about thrift store pants and a little bit about the game Eco. The former is pretty normal for me. If I’m wearing it, it was either given to me or came from the thrift shop. Where clothing is concerned I’m pretty cheap functional. I actually liked Eco, though I always felt it was meant to be played by a larger group of 12-24 people. I found it in the earlier days of economic research because it would work well for small-scale research on government and policy.
  5. Something New – World of Goo (3)– A something new post with only two images? I’m never letting that guy write again. I didn’t even remember playing this till I read the post. That’s actually kind of sad. I don’t think I invested a lot of time in it. That was pretty normal when I was doing the EGS games every week. I tended to spend more time with the narrative-driven titles, but even that might only be an hour or so. I’ve been debating the wisdom of doing these weekly. Now that I’m taking classes and not gaming as much, I don’t know that I can be so consistent.

So there it is. Two posts about monetization, two throw-away posts, and one that just didn’t connect. I’m not sure what to do with this information at the moment. I’ll probably give some pause before posting about the first and try to avoid the second completely. The last one, well, that’s just how it is sometimes, I guess. In hindsight, it doesn’t look like my best effort, but I couldn’t tell you what I was doing or how I was feeling that day. Maybe that was the level of effort I had available that day.

With Blapril winding down I’m giving some amount of thought to post frequency and content. I like the daily format and I’ll have some time between semesters, but once I dig deeper into my research project it will likely occupy most of my thoughts. Since my blog posts are typically a reflection of what I’m thinking about, they might get a bit… monotone.

Y’all take care. Get some extra sleep, make sure you eat, something.


blapril-2020-200Hey, it’s Blapril time! The goal is to simply promote and stimulate the blogging community by encouraging people of all skill levels and backgrounds to post. The official post can be found here and it’s never too late to start.

Top Five – Most Viewed Posts

While considering my view count and answering a question on discord, I combined the “Five Favorite Game Series” idea that’s going around (It’s apparently Krikket’s fault) with a curiosity about my most viewed posts. I intend to do one of those also, at some point, but this is where my thoughts are today. I actually already knew one of the top five, but it’s since gone from number one to number two.

  1. FFXIV – Shadowbringer Astrologian. (687) This is probably the surprise that shouldn’t have been. It only averages one hit/day these days, but that small trickle certainly adds up over time. It’s actually been popping up a bit more lately. This was a first impressions piece after all the big changes in the expansion. It wasn’t a fun time, especially for a shielding spec.
  2. GE Big Boy Appliances. (546) The throw-away necro-post that for some reason still gets the odd hit here and there. It was down to only a few hits per week, but with me posting more for #Blapril it’s gone up to a few hits/week. This was my #1 post for a long time but now lags by a little over a hundred views.
  3. FFXIV – Hildebrand Sidequests. (297) Another throw-away post reminiscing about getting caught up on said very goofy quest series. It’s… not for everyone. I have no idea why this post gets hits, but I quite like the images I chose.
  4. FFXIV – Shadowbringers – Astrologian Revisited. (241) It’s almost impressive that my follow up to the other post managed to make this list. It actually has 440-odd fewer views. That’s around 33% of the original. This was mostly an update once I reached and tried my hand at some of the end-game content. I thought maybe the problem everyone was complaining about was end-game specific. In hindsight, I guess the problem existed and I simply didn’t care. “You don’t pay my sub,” as they say.
  5. LegalEagle v. Matpat? (206) I don’t remember hearing any more about this, but it happens to be the oldest post in the list. It was more of a maybe YouTube drama/maybe fake drama curiosity at the time. I’m still not convinced it wasn’t designed to drive views for both channels while providing a very polite “I see you” sort of acknowledgment. Not sure it matters, a year and a half later.

So there it is. Got a cute little pareto/power law kind of curve to it. Maybe I should take on the slightly more disturbing topic of the lowest five. I feel afflicted with a sort of morbid curiosity to see what ended up at the bottom of the pile.

Y’all take care, and remember views aren’t everything. They do not define the intrinsic value of our work, only how many people and bots decided to click on it.


blapril-2020-200Hey, it’s Blapril time! The goal is to simply promote and stimulate the blogging community by encouraging people of all skill levels and backgrounds to post. The official post can be found here and it’s never too late to start.

Writing – Recipe Redux

When Easha suggested a “recipe” for the blog writing process, I took the idea and sat on it for a while. I even attempted to write it but ended up disliking it. Having given it more thought and read Mr. Peril’s take, I feel ready to resurrect that post. If it’s a phoenix or a zombie, I guess we’ll see.

I still like my initial cookie analogy. The typical cookie requires a few things. Sugar and/or some manner of additive, flour that serves as the body or meat, and some manner of binder. The very simplest of cookies are simply flour, sugar, and usually butter or some other oil or fat. (Though it occurs to me after the fact that I’m speaking specifically of American cookies, not British cookies.) (Man, what I wouldn’t give for some warm scones right about now.)

My first step is very much akin to Mr. Peril’s. I require some small idea that serves as the sugar or additive. It controls exactly what sort of cookie I’m going to make. I generally have a number of thoughts tumbling around inside my head as I examine, refine, and sometimes plan. When I feel like I’m at a point where I can have or conversation about it or need a sounding board, then I begin writing the post. This is typically a rough title, a statement to start from, and a vague outline. (For some posts like my Something New “series” I have taken and edited images beforehand that define what I intend to talk about but without a clear order.) A good example here (of this step) is the writing (Easha’s) prompt + (my) previous post + Mr. Peril’s post = Core Idea. This can be fast or slow, but cannot be easily forced or rushed.

The next step is the “body” of the cookie. The flour that makes up the most of it. Once I’m through the first two or three sentences from the first step, I record my thoughts and impressions on the matter as though I were talking to myself or someone I know. I am generally analyzing that content as I go, fixing small errors as I notice them or they’re flagged. (This is also the step where I insert the images I’m using if any.) I occasionally stop and re-write or add as I see fit. I.E, the first two sentences in this paragraph were added after the fact and required the third to be edited. If I don’t make, these changes as I go, the post-writing process will seem arduous and resentful and I will simply not post it.

The last ingredient is generally a binder or oil that helps form the other ingredients into a single object. I would liken this to the overall flow of a post. Most of this is kept intact from the second step, but I like to at least take a brief moment to consider the logical progression of ideas. It’s not a question of “is this the right order,” but more of a “is this a logical and functional progression?” It’s extremely important not to overdo this step. Too much of this will lead to scrap a post, so it’s kept to the minimum I’m comfortable with.

Once I’ve combined these things there is a brief “cooking” period that one might could call editing. I like my cookies on the nearly raw side, so I try to avoid (excessive) post-processing. You can find one or two (these in this post) in here (in parenthesis.) These are the final tweaks I make. Having “finished” the post and having a definite idea of where it’s going and how it got there, I often add and tweak a few things to make it into an “edible product.”

There is one last thing I do nearly without fail. Once I’m satisfied that my post is “barely tolerable” I “sign off” on it. This is easily identifiable as beginning with “Y’all take care,” because I would wish nothing but good will upon those who make the effort to read the post. It also contains a small piece of the world and culture from which I hail and is something I’m very likely to say to someone else upon parting.

I try to include a little one or two sentence comment right behind it, which typically represents my overall mood. I try to keep it relevant to the post in question, but try not to over-think it. Interesting note, Grammarly despises the comma after “care,” but idgaf and now do it on purpose.

Y’all take care, and phoenix it is, I guess.

Monetization and Episodic Design

With No Man’s Sky once again in the headlines, I am reminded of just how well it’s reputation has been salvaged. You wouldn’t know now that reddit once held Hello Games and company in the same regard usually reserved for EA or Martin Shkreli. It seems that Fallout 76 is considering the same sort of recovery, though I’m not paying that much attention to it.

Of course, most games launch in a state that’s usually inferior. It is the natural human tendency to try and improve things. Thoughts like this always remind me of the launch of Morrowind, which wouldn’t run until I downloaded an update.

Of course, in a case like No Man’s Sky, I don’t understand how that studio is making any money. All of their updates have been free. It is easy to forget, though, that development costs money. Offices still require rent payments, software needs license renewals, and the people doing the work generally like to get paid. I can see where a company might wish to recoup some investment money by pulling a title back from the brink of oblivion, I just don’t see where Hello Games stood to make much money with theirs. Man, it makes for an awesome story though.

Then I see titles like XCOM: Chimera Squad that almost seem to take the opposite approach. Trying to produce a low-cost minimum viable product that’s so inexpensive that it begs for additional DLC spending. I almost think NMS would have benefited from this model as well. Had they launched the initial product at a much lower price point then charged $10-20 per major update they might have fared better financially.

This sort of episodic production seems increasingly common as well. I hear the most wonderful things about the Final Fantasy VII Remake, which is divided up into segments. I don’t own a PS4, so I’ll never know personally.

I also have no idea where I was really going with this post. It’s one of those uninspired rambling days about whatever happened to be on my mind.

Y’all take care.

Something New – XCOM: Chimera Squad

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You know, for a game I paid $10 for, this is a great title. Having said that, I’ve been something of a fan of the XCOM series. If you don’t like XCOM, you won’t like this. It’s still basically the same thing.

breach

I absolutely love the Breach feature and the various specs and options you get. Every battle begins with some form of breach, from busting through doors and windows, to hacking doors and blowing holes in the wall. Breach is immediately followed by a sort of “bullet time” even where each agent on your team gets to take a shot or other action. Later on you start to unlock special abilities that you can use once per mission during this phase, like scanning the room for an aim bonus or healing everyone at your breach point. They still get to take their shot on top of that.

The order you assign to breach points and the agents in each point will also determine their relative positions in the turn order once combat proper begins. I have someone set up with tranq ammo to finish enemies off non-lethally. I try to put her fairly late in the turn order so I have a wider choice of targets.

Also new is having a variety of non-human agents on your team. In some cases this is more flavor than anything else, but they tend to have abilities consistent with their… species. The human characters don’t seem to suffer though, as everyone has a pretty unique thing that they can do. One of the engineers has a ranged heal while the other has a ranged shock that’s 4 damage and 100% hit chance. I use both of those frequently.

That’s where I imagine some of the more hardcore fans might not like the game. Even on its normal difficulty, it feels slightly less severe and a little more… “arcadey?” By no means is this a complaint, just an observation.

wounded

It’s still XCOM, though. It has its usual balance of managing resources, doing research, having to prioritize certain missions or areas simply to contain the chaos; if you know the franchise, you know the drill. Noticeably absent is the base-building/construction element we normally have, at least to the point that I’ve played it.

loadout

The loadout is kinda the same. I have yet to reach a point where I can change the weapon any particular agent uses, but not displayed here are the mod slots for weapons and armor. In addition, you get one breach item that can allow that agent to be placed in a certain position. For example, in order to use a certain breach point you may need a “breach charge” and the agent carrying the charge must be in the first slow.

The utility items cover a pretty wide spectrum, from special ammo like I have here, to medkits, and different kinds of grenades. I haven’t got any yet, but I thought the “cease-fire” grenades were cute in an “I’m the man and I’m oppressing you” kind of way.

Thematically your team is more like a superpowered SWAT team than a paramilitary group. A relatively constant concern is avoiding civilian casualties and you get rewarded for non-lethal takedowns. Many of the associated character dialogue actually used the word “arrest.”

scavenger

There are a few things like the scavenger market that you unlock by doing a particular mission. It comes around once per week or so and sells three items for “Intel.” This is the same currency you earn for the arrests. So far it’s been mostly equipment mods and utility items. You can be certain I picked up that stock on the right, though I put it on a pistol? Game logic is game logic.

I could say more, but I just wanted to hit the highlights here. I haven’t had as much time to play it as I might have liked, but got more out of it than I expected. With such a low price point, a full suite of the usual XCOM options, and full Steam Workshop support, I suspect we’ll be seeing some paid DLC, both campaigns and features, in the future. I look forward to seeing what they do with it.

Y’all take care, and remember, XCOM math never changes. I’ve already missed a point-blank shot above 90%.


blapril-2020-200Hey, it’s Blapril time! The goal is to simply promote and stimulate the blogging community by encouraging people of all skill levels and backgrounds to post. The official post can be found here and it’s never too late to start.

Terraria: Calamity – Hardermode

Calamity_Logo_1

Well, we managed to get past the Wall of Flesh, with great difficulty. The increase in difficulty from Calamity’s death mode is becoming more and more apparent. In particular, collision damage from bosses is just… intense. Even with my 70-80something defense, they can easily deal 140-150 damage. In fact, we have yet to beat any of the Hardmode bosses.

We did get close a couple of times with Cryogen and gave Skeletor Prime a decent run. With the Destroyer and Twins I feel that “rofl-stomped” is a good description of how quickly we went down. I may need to re-adjust some accessories too. Damage numbers are high enough that straight damage reduction % gains may be more effective than stacking armor. I know this is something I did on one of the previous runs, but I was trying to do something different this time. I feel like I’m being railroaded back into the same build just to survive.

It’s kinda sad too. The true-melee shortsword build does ridiculous amounts of damage. The downside to the “true-melee” component is there aren’t a lot of range options. My highest DPS weapon requires me to be right up on the enemies. It works very well for most random world mobs, but the bosses are so fast that it’s basically suicide except in a few particular cases.

nights stabbercrystal blade

You can get a sense of the trade-off between damage and distance here. It’s a bit biased because of my true-melee damage boosts. Those sparkles on the larger sword extend a decent way and strip it of its “true melee” status.

legendary nights stabber
That little purple shortsword.

I’m sure we’ll figure it out. I remember getting stuck at this point last time too. Once we get the number of a boss or two we’ll hit a large boost of gear power that will pull the others closer to completion. Any one of the mechanical bosses and I can create the Ark of the Ancients and the True Night’s Stabber. That would increase my damage pretty extensively.

Not that it would really help the problem. I’m a melee glass cannon, how dumb is that?

Y’all take care, maybe don’t try to poke an exposed live wire with a sewing needle.