November 2022 Recap

November was a busy month for me but not so much for the blog. We had visitors every weekend and despite that I found quite a bit of time to game and didn’t take much time to write. I’m going to try to rectify that this month.

I’m still participating in the Humble Choice group review effort which gives me at least one post a month. This month I took another look at Raji: An Ancient Epic and found it had changed since the last time I played it. I didn’t get too far the second time around. After reading everyone’s posts, it appears November’s Humble Choice didn’t have much to get excited about. I know I ended up skipping it.

Top 5 Games This Month

  1. Phantom Brave PC
  2. 7 Days to Die
  3. Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk
  4. Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope
  5. Generation Zero

I finished Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk which ended up being one of the longest games I’ve played in a few years. Then, I decided to follow it up with yet another long game Phantom Brave PC. Whether that was a good idea or not remains to be seen. I’ve crested the 40 hour mark and I’m nearing the end of the main story.

Though I didn’t write about it this month, I have gotten back in to 7 Days to Die with Brother. After many years away, it’s become our go to game again. We’ve tweaked some settings to make things more enjoyable for us since we’ve already done the whole default settings thing before. The biggest improvements have been increasing player block damage to 200% so breaking high durability chests and safes takes a reasonable amount of time and increasing the 24 hour cycle to 2 hours so we have way more time to explore before preparing for a horde night.

We also finished up the alternate play through in Little Hope at the beginning of the month. The Curator’s Cut is shorter but you get to play different characters and make different decisions. We tried our best this time to keep everyone alive and see another ending and we “succeed” at both.

December Goals

  • Finish Phantom Brave PC: I’m only a few episodes away from finishing this game so I’m confident I can finish this one up by the end of the month. Who knows, I might even write about it!
  • Get to Day 14 in 7 Days to Die: With the 24 hour cycle set to two hours we average about a day and a half per play session. I think we should see day 14 by the end of the month. With the holidays at the end of the month we’ll see if we end up playing enough sessions to get there.

Phantom Brave PC Early Impressions

Phantom Brave was first released for the PS2 in 2004 by Nippon Ichi Software (NIS). You might know NIS from the Disgaea strategy RPG series which released one year before. Over the years, Phantom Brave saw a remake on the Wii (Phantom Brave: We Meet Again) in 2009 and again in 2011 to the PlayStation Portable (Phantom Brave: the Hermuda Triangle). In 2016, Phantom Brave PC was released on Steam which includes all content from We Meet Again and the Hermuda Triangle. This Steam version is the one I’m playing.

I picked up Phantom Brave PC along with a couple other games either developed or published by NIS. There was a sale you see and I was really into JRPGs that day….I was actually surprised to find how many of their older titles have been ported on to PC over the years. While this is my first time playing Phantom Brave, I have played more than a few hours of Disgaea 4 on the PS3 so I have some familiarity with NIS’s flavor of SRPGs. Even so, Phantom Brave is it’s own variant of the Disgaea formula.

For one, instead of choosing units at the beginning of the fight, Marona summons units out of objects on the field which affect the stats of the unit. You want to summon fighters out of objects that will increase attack and HP and magic users out of objects that boost intelligence.

There’s a speed based initiative system as opposed to a back a forth player turn then enemy turn system. You can see the turn order which helps to plan out your attacks. Phantom Brave also replaces the grid based movement of Disgaea with distance based movement. Each unit can move in any direction up to its move distance and you’re able to see just how far an enemy unit can move. With these combined features I feel like I have a lot of control over the battle. I can prioritize knocking enemies out that are between my characters turns and make sure to move my units out of the enemies range before ending their turn.

Finally, units only last for a set number of turns which leads to some interesting choices on when and where to summon your units throughout a given fight. So far I’ve found the whole battle system very engaging.

Our story starts on the Island of Evil. We see Jasmine, Haze, and Ash in the middle of battle with a bunch of monsters and it doesn’t look like it’s going well. As the group retreats, a big, powerful monster appears and proves too much for the group. Haze uses the last of his powers to save Ash as the rest of the party is wiped out.

Then this guy shows up, easily kills the monster and absorbs it. He doesn’t have a name but he sure looks like the bad guy…

From there story focuses on Marona, the 13 year old daughter of Haze and Jasmine, who just so happens to be have the ability see phantoms. Turns out, this is super useful because Haze’s magic didn’t exactly save Ash from death but rather made him in to a phantom. Ash takes it upon himself to watch over Marona in absence of her parents.

With Ash’s help, Marona works as a Chroma, a kind of adventurer/ bounty hunter that people hire to solve problems. Thanks to her ability she’s pretty good at it but she’s not so good at the whole requesting a fair payment thing which Ash constantly reminds her of.

The story in Phantom Brave takes place over a series of Episodes. It has the sort of structure of a Saturday morning cartoon: Morona and Ash get a request via Sea Mail for a job, they go and talk to the requester, check out the location of the job, there’s some sort of twist, they fight a big bad guy, and then return to complete the job. There’s some overarching story points along the way but you could watch any episode in isolation and get a complete story from start to end.

This is a a game where I can start it up and time just seems to melt away. Maybe it’s the novelty of playing an SRPG which has very different mechanics from games I would usually play and it will wear foff eventually. Or maybe the systems in this game just click in a brain pleasing way. Only time will tell. One thing I know for sure is that I have been enjoying my time with it. I’m about 20 hours in and haven’t finished the first chapter yet….I never claimed to be good at strategy games!

Backlogged: Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk

Platform: PC/Steam Deck

Time to Finish: 61 hours

Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk is a first person Dungeon Crawler RPG in a similar vain to Wizardry or Entrian Odyssey. If you’re unfamiliar with this style of game, typically, you lead a party of adventures, usually your own creation, through a series of dungeons fighting monsters, challenging bosses,finding items, and discovering secrets.These dungeons are typically you discovered one grid square at a time. If you’re playing a really old one you’ll have to pull out some graph paper and make your own map.

The first time I encountered this style of game was when I played Etrian Odyssey IV on the 3DS. It was probably one of my favorite games for that system and I put many, many hours in to it. Ever since, I’ve kept my eye out for games of this style. I’ve put some time into a few, mainly Stranger of Sword City and StarCrawlers, but nothing has really captured me in the way that Etrian Odyssey IV did. Until I played Labyrinth of Refrain and I think that’s because this is the perfect type of game for a handheld system. Yep, I’m talking about the Steam Deck again…Seriously though, for a game like this playing stilling at my desk and playing it on my PC feels like overkill. It’s much better suited for playing on the couch downstairs.

The story follows Dusk Witch Madame Dronya and her 10 year old assistant Luca as they arrive in the town of Refrain. Dronya has heard of a magic well here and the labyrinth beneath it that houses powerful magic artifacts. Dronya has come to explore the Labyrinth and find it’s secrets as well as collect valuable items to appease the towns Mayor. As the player, you lead a brigade of adventures down the well and map out the Labyrinth.

Things I Liked:

The Setup

Typically, in these types of games, your party is either never mentioned or if they are addressed in the story it’s as a collective and not the individual members. To explain this out of the way, in Labyrinth of Refrain, you are a magic book. I don’t think I’ve ever played a game where I was a book before!

You see, the labyrinth under the city of Refrain is filled with a sort of miasma that would kill a human if they went down there. So to solve this, you, the Tractatus de Monstrum, are thrown down the well along with a party of puppets infused with human souls. You use your abilities as a magical book to lead the party through the dungeons.

I like this for two reasons. One, because it solves the whole, how are you leading a party of 10+ people around who are never addressed by any of the characters. Two, because it separates you as the player from the story in a way that I haven’t seen before. 

The Tractatus de Monstrum is a character mentioned by other characters but what you’re doing in the labyrinth isn’t necessarily part of the main story. You’re kind of a side character doing the dirty work while the story takes place around or without you. I found this to be a really interesting perspective to play from.

Dark Themes

If you glanced quickly at the store page you might get the impression that this game has your typical JRPG setup. It’s colorful and has a bit of goofy music in the trailer. However, this is not a happy game.

From the start Madame Dronya and Luca’s relationship is toxic at best and down right abusive at worst.You get the impression that Dronya doesn’t really want Luca around and all Luca want’s to do is make Dronya happy. Dronya herself is selfish and power hungry using anyone or anything to get what she wants and just mean spirited in general. Often times making Luca miserable because she can. At the start of the game she kicks a lamb that Luca has found down the Well…

There’s also a subtly and implied horror throughout that I like here. There is a ton of disturbing things happening that are never outright shown.

For example your puppet soldiers will sometimes get hit for a super critical hit called a Gore hit. They make a really awful sound when this happens because they lose a limb. You don’t see them lose a limb but the sound helps emphasize how horrifying that is. Couple that with the fact that there’s a human soul in that puppet solider and all you can really do is fix them up and send them back in to those situations where it’s bound to happen again and again.

Exploration

There’s something very addicting about mapping out a dungeon square by square. As long as the map draws itself that is…I found myself in the classic “just one more floor before bed” situation multiple times. There was always another undiscovered section to find, a short cut to unlock, or a chest to got back to once I found a key

There is a lot of backtracking to be done. I didn’t find it a chore to do as there was always a reason to do it or a reward for going back. At a certain point you unlock an ability to destroy some walls in the labyrinth which makes traversal easier and opens up a lot more areas. As the story progresses you unlock abilities that make back tracking even less of a hassle.

The Storytelling

The story is told like a visual novel with 2D characters standing around not moving in scenes while text scawls along the bottom. Everything is fully voice acted and voice acted well for that matter. There are some times where you’re asked to make a decision but these are few and far between and I’m not sure they have any bearing on how the story unfolds.

This style of story telling works for me and my preference for listening to a story rather than watching it. There’s a lot that’s done with just sound a dialogue to make the story come to life just like an audio drama.

Things That Could Have Been Better:

The Battle System

With the option to have a ton of characters fighting in your party with multiple classes and styles I didn’t thing the combat system would be the weakest part of this game.

In 90% of battles you won’t even have to use skills other than the occasional heal. The only time I really had to use more than healing spells were boss fights. Most fights I just pressed the button to have the party use basic attacks and we won in a round or two.

Gore Hits

Gore hits are super critical attacks that cause your puppet solders to lose limbs. Their health is permanently decreased until you repair them back at the base. If they lose the arm they attack with they won’t be able to use their main handed weapon unless you change their dominant hand in the character menu. If they lose their head they are insta-killed.

On top of that, puppet parts are expensive and I found myself running out of money most of the time just repairing puppets. It was also annoying to just get back in to a dungeon and the first fight one of my puppets are gored and their total health is halved.

I wouldn’t mind this system as much except Goring an enemy doesn’t really do anything other than more damage. Sure you Gored a boss for 35k damage but they barely felt it and then Gore you back an now your tank has less total health than your glass canon DPS. It’s a bit frustrating for sure.

The Final Boss

If you look at the Steam reviews you’ll see all sorts of mentions about how the game is easy except for the final boss. I didn’t find this game that easy on the normal difficulty there were definitely a few bosses I needed to level up for or take on a few times before I beat them. But the final boss amps up the difficulty a ton.

There is an item you can get that makes it a bit easier, as in your party will get wiped in five turns instead of two. My problem was I was finding it difficult to cast the spell that makes the boss easier before it either KO’d or silenced my spell casters.

At this point, I was 60 hours in and just wanted to see the end of the story. So I put the difficulty down to easy and still lost half my party before finishing…

Final Thoughts:

Clocking in at just over 60 hours this is by far the longest game I’ve played in years. The last one being 59 hours in Tales of Berseria in 2020. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Labyrinth of Refrain. The story was intriguing and the labyrinth was fun to explore.

I didn’t like the combat all that much but maybe that’s because I didn’t take the time to really dig in to the various systems too much. There is a whole lot that you can optimize and create to make your party stronger but I didn’t feel like you really needed these systems until the final boss so there wasn’t much of a reason to learn them.

Every boss battle and every new floor meant more story for me and that’s really what drove me to finish the game.

A Second Look at Raji: An Ancient Epic

Raji: An Ancient Epic tells the story of a young Indian circus performer and her brother. Her brother has been kidnapped by demons and Raji sets out to find him. It just so happens that two Indian Gods, Vishnu and Durga have chosen to help Raji and provide some solid commentary along the way.

I bought Raji: An Ancient Epic shortly after release in 2020. I played through the entire game and remember really enjoying it. Unfortunately, it was one of those games that I kept meaning to write a post about and then never got around to it. I wish I had though. Then I could read exactly what I liked about this game and what has changed.

I picked this one for the Blaugust Reviews Humble Choice because nothing else in the bundle spoke to me. Since I had the game on hand and wanted to contribute I thought I’d run through the game again. It’s short, last time I played it it took me a hair over 5 hours to beat.This time around, I put it down after an hour.

So what changed?

Part of the reason is all me. I’m not usually one to replay a game, re-read a book, or re-watch a movie. There’s so much stuff out there that once I’ve played it, it’s hard to get excited about it again. But I also think the game might have gotten harder.

There was an Enhanced Edition update released in May of this year with some pretty substantial updates with many of them focused on combat. I can’t be certain but I don’t remember dying quite as much the last time I played. So either the combat has changed, I’ve gotten worse at it, or I’m not in the right head space to play action combat game right now. Maybe it’s a mixture of all three. Either way, the combat is not doing it for me. Which is a problem because most of what you’ll be doing in is combat.

there are some elements in Raji that I think make it worth checking out. I like the back drop of ancient India and it leads to some very pretty scenes and some unique locations that I haven’t seen in a game before. There’s also bits of Indian mythology told through murals and narrated by the gods as you discover them. Again, I don’t think there’s another game that I’ve played or could even name that includes Indian mythology. Hindi voice overs were also added in the Enhanced Edition. Sometimes the audio quality isn’t as good as the English VO’s but Hindi isn’t a language I’ve heard spoken often so it was neat to play with it on.

So now we come to the question at hand: Is Raji: An Ancient Epic worth picking up November 2022’s Humble Choice for? I think it is, if only for the unique setting and lore which make it a bit of a different gaming experience. The combat may be harder than what I’m looking for right now but if you’re a fan of action games I don’t think it’s terribly difficult with a bit of practice. It’s also got a fantastic soundtrack!

7 Days to Die: Mostly the Same but a Little Bit Different

7 Days to Die one of my most played games on Steam clocking in at just shy of 160 hour. My friend group and I played this into the ground for a few months in 2017. It was my first Zombie survival game and the first survival sandbox I’d played at a time when those were just starting to fall out of favor. By the time I had racked up 150 hours I felt like I had seen and done everything I wanted to and shelved it for years to come. Since then, I’ve played it two more times. Once for a few hours in 2020 and once more earlier this week.

My feelings in 2020 were much the same. There was nothing that was really new in the game even after 3 more years of being in “alpha”. The core mechanics were still the same and most of the new things were locked behind later game skills and resources. Since our saves have long since been wiped starting a new one didn’t do much for me. I was done after a few hours and felt indifferent to the experience.

Recently, Brother started playing it again on his own and asked if I wanted to play. Again, I felt indifferent towards the game but figured I could play it once more and see how another two years of “alpha” had gone. I spawned in to the new game and was met with the same tutorial I’d done a few times already. Punch plants, make a bed, punch more plants, make some clothes, punch a tree and some rocks and make a tool…the survival sandbox equivalent of “Use WASD to move.

Once that wass over and I met up with Brother I was pleasantly surprised to see that things had actually changed. For one, the small city we found ourselves in had a lot of buildings I’d never seen before. The residential area also had some new houses I’d never been in either. Right away, the game was feeling a little less stale.

There was a trader within 100 meters of us which offered some gear and quests to complete. They’re basic, fetch an item from a location, clear out a location of zombies, and find buried treasure, but they offer a a different play stlye from systematically exploring and looting every building. The rewards aren’t to shabby either. All quests reward some tokens that can be used at the trader to buy things and some quests even reward you with skill books, weapon mods, and other useful items.

Digging for buried treasure.

So far, guns seem to be easier to get. The pipe guns seem to be a new low tier gun that fire regular ammunition. I remember having tons of ammo in the past but guns being difficult to acquire. Things seem a bit more balanced now in that regard, I now have a pipe rifle and anywhere from 10-30 rounds at any given time. Melee seems to still be the most efficient style of combat for the early game but the gun comes in handy in some sticky situations.

This is our base, I’m not sure what it’s suppose to be but it sure looks sturdy!

After running some quests and gathering up a few materials we started looking for a place to set up a base. I came across a very sturdy looking industrial building. I’m not exactly sure what it is but the entrance is high off the ground and accessible by a ladder. There’s enough space for every thing we need right now and it’s close to the trader.

Setting down roots and starting to build up the base has left me feeling more attached to the game than I was in 2020. I can see at least a few more sessions in the future. I’m hesitant to say 7 Days to Die will make it in to the main game rotation but I can see the possibility. There’s a certain nostalgia factor for sure but there’s also enough that’s new right off the bat that makes me want to poke around for a few more hours.

Backlogged: Wintermoor Tactics Club

Platform: Steam Deck

Time to Finish: 14.1 hours

Wintermoor Tactics Club is a mix of Strategy RPG and Visual Novel tacking place at a boarding school in the 80s. The story centers around the “Tactics Club” which is a D&D club (or Curses & Catacombs as it’s named in game). You play as Alicia, a member of Tactics Club who just wants to play C&C with her two friends Jacob and Colin. The principal of the school has other plans. He announces a mandatory snowball fight tournament to find the “Ultimate Club” on campus. The catch? Any club that loses must disband…forever!

I picked this one up in this year’s Steam Summer Sale. Every once and a while I’ll get the urge to play a turned-based, strategy RPG and I have very few in my library. I was also looking for more games to play on the Steam Deck. I’m happy to say I played through this entirely on the Steam Deck and didn’t run into a single issue.

Things I Liked:

The Strategy Parts: Wintermoor Tactics Club is split up into two parts. There’s the visual novel aspect where you walk around campus talking to people and doing side quests and there’s the strategy parts where you’re either playing a battle in the Curses & Catacombs campaign or participating in the snowball tournament.

Each character has their own set of skills that you can employ to beat each mission. Each mission is scored on different elements such as how many characters died, how many turns you take, and how many special powers you’ve used. I found myself replaying encounters a few times to try and get a perfect score.This made the strategy parts feel more like a puzzle than an one off battle.

The Side Quests: There are a ton of side quests to do between battles and the snowball tournament rounds. These are given out by characters around campus and usually have you find another character or an item on campus to complete them. These are totally optional but doing them does unlock perks for your characters, some of which are pretty powerful, so their worth doing. Each character around campus has their own personalities and you run into the same people over the course of the game. I found myself running the side quests just to learn a little more about each person.

The Soundtrack: I appreciate a game with good music that sets the tone for the game and really meshes with the setting. While it’s not a soundtrack I’ll probably listen to on it’s own but the music fits so well with the quirky, lightheartedness of the game.

I drew that myself…it’s suppose to be a horse!

Things that Could Have Been Better:

The Mission Scoring: Like I mentioned before, each battle is scored on different facets like damage taken, turns taken, and characters knocked out. One of the categories I was constantly missing was number of Tactics Powers used. Tactics Powers are special abilities that each character has that either do a lot of damage or add a lot of utility to the fight. There’s a “Tactic Points” bar that fills up after 5 normal attacks (there are some perks that make a character generate 2 tactics points but I didn’t use those much). Once the bar is full you can use a tactics power. The problem I kept running in two was that missions wanted me to use 2 or 3 Tactics Powers per fight and I only usually needed one to beat it. On the one hand, it did make me think about encounters differently as I tried to use multiple tactics powers. On the other, it felt like I had to draw a lot of fights out just to satisfy this one requirement.

Final Thoughts:

Wintermoor Tactics Club bridged a gap for me that I didn’t know was there. Before, I was playing mostly exploration games with little to no combat. It had the same lighthearted themes and style as those more casual games but also offered a more challenging game play experience. After finishing it, I find myself leaning more towards playing some more mechanically challenging single player games.

The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope – Big Impressions

Looking for something spooky to play this October? Do you like narrative driven games with where you have to make decisions? Do you like watching hours of cut-scenes? How about quick time events? Then I have a game for you!

The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope (here by known as Little Hope) is part of October 2022’s Humble Choice. It also happens to be the game I’ve chosen to take a look at for this month’s Blaugust Reviews Humble Choice. Little Hope is typically priced at $19.99 so with the bundle you’re getting a 35% discount. Not bad, but it’s been as low as 60% off through various store fronts.

I have heard of The Dark Pictures Anthology series before but never played one. There are currently three of them with a fourth set to release in November. They’re all cinematic, narrative-driven, choose your own adventure-esques, horror games with multiple endings. The stories are independent of each other so you can start with any of them. You can either play by yourself, with up to five people locally, or with one friend online. I ended up playing with Brother online via Parsec but technically we played the single player version of the story.

I’m no stranger to this type of game. One of my wife’s favorite games is Until Dawn and we’ve played through that at least three times together. We’ve also played through most of the Telltale games too. Little Hope isnt’ much different from either of those.

Well, Little Hope, is a little more graphic than I remember Until Dawn being at least. It earns it’s M rating for Blood, Intense Violence, and Strong Languaue pretty regularly. On a side note, I completely forgot games had ratings and didn’t realize you could see them on Steam.

It’s hard to talk about the story without spoiling anything so I’ll leave you with the store description:

“4 college students and their professor become stranded in the abandoned town of Little Hope. Trapped by an impenetrable fog they try desperately to escape whilst witnessing terrifying visions from the past. They must figure out the motivation of these apparitions before the evil forces at work drags each of their souls to hell..”

The story starts off with a bang, get’s pretty weird, and I was not expecting the ending at all.

The gameplay revolves around watching cut-scenes, making choices, doing quick time events, and doing some point & click adventuring. The choices you make, the secrets you find, and the quick time events you complete or fail all affect the story and it’s outcome.

I know some people find quick time events annoying but I’ve never had a problem with them. We did, however, missed the explanation of how to do them and failed almost all of them until about 4 hours in. Unlike your typical quick time event where you’re prompted to press a button in time, the quick time events in Little Hope have you move your cursor and click an area on the screen to succeed. I didn’t test the game with a controller but I wonder if that would have given us a more standard quick time event mechanic.

There are sections of the game where you need to walk around and find things to interact with. I think this might be better with a controller than a keyboard and mouse as well. The keyboard and mouse controls have you click to move which ends up feeling really weird in a bit claustrophobic in a 3D space. It also leads to some awkward camera angles and is kind of a pain to navigate in general. One time we got stuck and couldn’t move at all which forced us into taking a decision we might otherwise not have made.

We completed the story in about 6 hours (we got lost in a few walking sections and were also trying to find all the intractable points we could). It was so enjoyable that we immediately started up a new play through after the credits rolled.

Completing the story unlocks an alternative path. This time you’re making decisions in scenes and for characters you didn’t have control over before. This is great because I don’t feel like I’m playing the whole thing over and just making a few different choices. This is a completely new set of choices to see how everything plays out so I’m not really sure I can say I finished the game. Feels like I’m more so halfway through it.

Is this a game worth picking up this month’s Humble Choice? If you like this style of game then absolutely! If I don’t play any other games from this months bundle I’d still be happy with my purchase.

Little Hope has been one of my favorite games I’ve played recently. Which is weird because its the least well received game of the series. If this is how food the worst of the bunch is I’m definitely going to pick up the rest of the series!

This Week In Melvor Idle: Slaying Slayer Tasks

This week is a little late getting out. As a result, my gains are probably slightly higher than they have been in the last few weeks. These were my goals from last week.

  • Obtain 75m GP to purchase the Loot Container Stacking upgrade
  • 90 Slayer to take on the In to The Mists Dungeon
  • Level magic to 99

This week as a whole was a prep week. I needed to get to 90 slayer to be able to enter the second to last dungeon, Into the Mists. Before that, I wanted to unlock Loot Container Stacking so I could forgo the Amulet of Looting in favor of a necklace that gave stats to take on the higher level slayer tasks. I fletched my way to 75m GP by crafting more Dragon Javelins. Sadly, I’m still missing the Fletching Pet.

Once loot container stacking was unlocked I went to take on Elite Slayer tasks. These pit you against monsters between level 200-374. My damage reduction was more than enough on all sets to take on whatever was thrown at me. Slayer tasks are the majority of what I did this week with the occasional break to craft Holy Dust to refill my prayer points. I got my last level in Magic from doing just this.

I used my Slayer Coins to purchase the Necromancer set which gives and extra +8 summoning tablets per craft and grants +8% XP to summoning. This should make creating large batches of summoning tablets much easier. I also bought all of the Slayer equipment for Ranged, Magic, and Melee and a few upgrades for each. I figured I’m going to need to fully upgrade all of them fro 100% item completion so I better start working on it now. They are not as good as my current armor sets but the Elite upgrade provides +30% Slayer XP on each piece. If I didn’t need the damage reduction I could equip both pieces for an extra +60% XP for slayer. As it is, I can only keep one on but the difference is noticeable.

Slayer is up to level 94 now so I’m ready to take on Into the Mist next week!

Combat Skills

Attack 99/99 (+3)Strength 99/99 (+4)Defense 88/99 (+3)
Hitpoints 99/99 (+5)Ranged 94/99 (+6)Magic 99/99 (+1)
Prayer 107/99 (+5)Slayer 94/99 (+14)
All skills over 99 are virtual levels based on additional experience gained after level 99 cap.

I got a whole lot of 99s this week. Attack, Strength, Magic, and Hitpoints are all now max level thanks to running so many Slayer Tasks this week. I’m hoping these stats are good enough to take on In to the Mist. Can I Idle Melvor? doesn’t have a listing for the last two dungeons so I’ll have to find out if I have enough health/damage reduction once I get in there.

Non-Combat Skills

Woodcutting 107/99 (+0)Fishing 117/99 (+0)Firemaking 100/99 (+1)
Cooking 108/99 (+2)Mining 105/99 (+0)Smithing 105/99 (+2)
Thieving 95/99 (+0)Farming 114/99 (+0)Fletching 103/99 (+1)
Crafting 99/99 (+3)Runecrafting 93/99 (+0)Herblore 96/99 (+0)
Agility 99/99 (+0)Summoning 98/99 (+1)Astrology 80/99 (+1)
All skills over 99 are virtual levels based on additional experience gained after level 99 cap.

I got Crafting to 99 this week. It doesn’t provide any benefits other than a Steam achievement because there’s nothing to craft after level 90. I got bored of Slayer tasks in the middle of the week and used all of the dragon hides I had collected so far to see if I could max the skill. I didn’t unlock the pet before getting to max level so I’ll have to revisit crafting at some point for that.

Completion Log: 64.62% (+2.21%)

Skills 97.58% (+2.85%)Mastery 36.02% (+1.42%)Items 60.04% (+7.28%)Monsters 74.07% (+12.96%)Pets 64.44% (+2.22%)

Per usual, Monster and Items granted me the most completion this week. That’s because I fought a slew of new monsters from the Elite Slayer tasks which dropped a bunch of items I haven’t seen before.

I unlocked the Strength pet this week: Lil Ron provides +3 hidden Stregth levels. Not too bad!

Goals for Next Week

  • Refill the food stocks
  • Refill the Rune stocks
  • Take on the In to the Mist Dungeon
  • Possibly take on the final dungeon

Food and Runes are running low after this week. I’ll need to spend a few days this week replenishing them before I can take on the new dungeon. Nature Runes in particular need refilled as I’ve been using them to create Holy Dust for Prayer Points.

I’m planning on running In to the Mist this week to see if I have enough stats to complete it. Depending on the requirements of the final dungeon, I’ll take that on as well!

Forgive Me Father Impressions

I’m not usually big on first person shooters. The last proper one I played was the Titanfall 2 campaign way back in 2016. If I’m going to play a game where I shoot things I would much rather play third person shooter. That way I can play a person with a gun instead of an arm with a gun.

Forgive Me Father is not a game I would have played if not for UnwiseOwls community Humble Choice review project. I was immediately drawn to the comic book art style with it’s mix of 2D and 3D objects. It feels like playing in a very violent diorama. It’s also set in a world inspired by the novels of H.P. Lovecraft. I’m not a huge fan of Lovecraft but I’m down to shoot some eldritch horrors!

I’ll be honest, I almost shelved this one after the first two levels. Like I said, I’m not usually one to play FPS’s and my lack of familiarity and skills made Normal more of a challenge than I wanted it to be. Your health and your ammo don’t refill once a level is completed or after you die and go back to a checkpoint. So you can (and I did) end up in some unwinnable situations pretty quick. As I was only two levels in I started a new game on Easy and I’ve been playing ever since.

I don’t think Forgive Me Father puts its best foot forward. The first few levels are kind of boring. There’s a lot of walking down hallways, shooting whatever is in your way, and collecting bits of story. It’s not until I got my first skill that the game started to pick up for me. There’s a “madness” meter (because Lovecraft) that when filled gives you a damage boost. Filling up the meter also adds charges to your skills which you can use to help out during combat. The active skills I’ve discovered so far are very helpful. There’s a heal, a skill that stuns creatures, one that gives unlimited ammo for a few seconds. My personal favorite is the one that makes you invincible for 10 seconds. I use that one a lot, 10 seconds is a long time to mow down my enemies.

There’s also a skill tree with branching paths so you can tailor it to fit your playstyle. You gain a skill point every time you level up. Some are just straight upgrades to health, armor, and ammo capacity. Others change the way guns function. Going down one path locks out the other choices but you get respec points every now and then. I haven’t had to use them yet but it’s nice to know that they’re there.

The individual levels are short. I don’t think I’ve come across one that’s taken me more than 20 minutes to complete. After the first few areas, the levels open up a bit more and aren’t so on rails. There’s usually a few keys you need to find to open a door somewhere with a bit of back tracking. Most of the time, back tracking means enemies probably spawned behind you.

At the end of each level you get a completion score based on how many enemies you killed, how much story you found, and how many secrets you discovered. Completion of a level doesn’t affect your ability to move on but if you’re in to discovering everything this will keep you busy for a while. At the end of every “world” there’s a boss level. Even on easy, these were a bit of a challenge for me. Invulnerability can only get you so far it seems.

The story is ok. Your cousin sends a letter to you asking you to come visit him. When you get there, there’s only eldritch horrors. You immediately pick up a revolver lying on the ground to defend yourself. Your a priest so you feel bad about it….at least at first. There’s also a Journalist character you can play but I’ve only played the Priest so far

There are bits and pieces of story scattered throughout the levels. They’re even labeled as such so you can’t miss them, for the most part. They provide some extra tidbits of information but they don’t really move the story along.

Thanks to the visuals and the music the atmosphere is great though! It can be spooky and tense at times when you’re going through the levels just waiting for something to attack. When there’s a big fight, you’re serenaded with screaming guitars which made me feel like a monster slaying machine even on Easy.

Is the Humble Choice worth it just for this game? Probably not, but if you have your eye on a few others on offer this one is a nice addition. I’m still enjoying it after the five or so hours I’ve put in to it. I would like to finish it but I’m not sure I’d play it again.

This Week In Melvor Idle: God Slayer

It turns out my goals from last week were unambitious

  • Level Ranged to 85
  • Run the Air God Dungeon until I’m out of Damage Reduction Potions
  • Try to acquire a full set of Ancient Armor from the Volcanic Cave

The damage reduction potions last for a long time. I was using them non-stop this week and only went through a thousand. That’s even with the Blade Echo Ring consuming 3 charges per attack. I was able to get the full Aeris set after 32 kills. Not to say that didn’t take a while, I was managing 4 kills an hour.

By far the biggest bottleneck was still prayer points but in the process of clearing the dungeon I got Prayer to level 99 which allows for two things. One, I could purchase the Prayer Skillcape which reduces prayer point costs by 50%. Two, I could use the Stone Skin prayer which doesn’t grant XP but does gives +3% damage reduction without worrying about XP loss.

After getting my Aeris set I needed level 85 Ranged to equip it. Most of the Hard Slayer tasks are magic monsters so I ran those until I had 85 Ranged. Once I could equip the Aeris set I almost had enough damage reduction to run the Water God Dungeon. I switched out my Agility course for a Rocky Waters obstacle. This gave me +50 health at the cost of 3% damage to monsters and 1% damage reduction. the extra health was all I needed with the new Aeris set to meet the damage reduction requirements of the Water God Dungeon without the need for my Infernal Cape’s Damage reduction. That allowed me to equip the prayer cape to stretch out my damage reduction.

The Water God Dungeon drops the Glacia set which is a magic armor set. It only took me 12 clears to obtain the full set. On run 6 I unlocked the dungeon pet, Norman, who provides -3% prayer point cost reduction!

With the full Glacia set in hand, I wanted to try my luck at the Earth dungeon. Before I did that, I purchased Expanded Knowledge from the shop for the -15% Herblore and Runecrafting interval. I was going to need a lot of runes for the next dungeon. I also went after the Elite Amulet of Magic which provided the extra 2% damage reduction I’d need to complete the Earth God Dungeon.

I ran the Earth God Dungeon 93 times before I acquired all the pieces of the Terran set. This is a melee set that’s even better than the upgraded Ancient Armor Set. For some reason, this dungeon was faster to clear than the first two. I was averaging between 6-8 clears an hour. The plate body was the hardest piece to get. By the time I had looted one of those I had already looted 52 boots and 31 gloves!

With the Earth God Dungeon completed I just had to complete the Fire God Dungeon at least once. The Ragnar armor set didn’t look much better than the Terran set so I didn’t feel the need to run it multiple times. Clearing it once allows me to purchase the Loot Container Stacking upgrade in the shop. This will let me kill normal monsters without having to equip an amulet of looting since all drops will stack in the loot container.

The rest of the week was spent trying to figure out the best way to make money to buy all of the new upgrades I had unlocked. After trying different thieving targets, I settled on crafting Dragon Javelins. With 99 Fletching granting double items per flecth, Perpetual Haste to decrease fletching time by 15%, and all of the Dragonite Bars I had sitting in inventory, it is by far the fastest way for me to generate GP.

Combat Skills

Attack 96/99 (+2)Strength 95/99 (+0)Defense 85/99 (+6)
Hitpoints 94/99 (+4)Ranged 88/99 (+5)Magic 98/99 (+4)
Prayer 102/99 (+4)Slayer 80/99 (+1)
All skills over 99 are virtual levels based on additional experience gained after level 99 cap.

After this week I am running low on food. I have about 6,500 chicken soups left until I’m out of food stock. Knowing that I would need to make more food relatively soon and I needed 85 defense to equip the Terran set, I ran the Chicken Coop Dungeon until I hit 85 Defense. At the end of the run I had acquired 20k Raw Chicken. I should be set for a while on food after I cook all of that!

It was a nice surprise to get 99 prayer this week. I had no idea I was so close to maxing it and that prayer point reduction from the Skillcape really helps.

Magic is almost at level 99 so I’m sure I’ll be able to max that this coming week.

Non-Combat Skills

Woodcutting 107/99 (+2)Fishing 117/99 (+0)Firemaking 99/99 (+0)
Cooking 106/99 (+0)Mining 105/99 (+0)Smithing 103/99 (+0)
Thieving 95/99 (+1)Farming 114/99 (+0)Fletching 102/99 (+1)
Crafting 96/99 (+0)Runecrafting 93/99 (+2)Herblore 96/99 (+0)
Agility 99/99 (+0)Summoning 97/99 (+0)Astrology 79/99 (+0)
All skills over 99 are virtual levels based on additional experience gained after level 99 cap.

This week was mostly focused on combat so there wasn’t a whole lot of non-combat skilling going on. I did craft a ton of runes this week to take on the Earth God Dungeon which netted me 2 levels in that skill. Gathering the materials for Dragon Javelins netted me another 2 virtual levels in Woodcutting and one in Fletching. I’m hoping with all this fletching I’ve been doing I’ll unlock the pet soon!

The nice thing about completing all the God Dungeons this week is unlocking all the interval reduction upgrades for most of the non-combat skills. This will help crafting more things faster that I’ll need to complete the last two dungeons. It will also help when I’m in the Mastery farming stage of the game.

Completion Log: 64.62% (+3.58%)

Skills 94.73% (+1.14%)Mastery 34.60% (+0.49%)Items 54.76% (+4.17%)Monsters 61.11% (+9.88%)Pets 62.22% (+2.22%)

Once again, new monsters and items were the biggest contributes to completion this week. 3% Completion per week seems to be the average over the last few weeks. This is without specifically targeting completion so I’m sure I can get that number higher once I’m focusing more on completion.

I got Norman from the Water God Dungeon this week which was unexpected. The God Dungeon Pets drop chance is 1 in 150 and they take a long time to clear. Getting the rest will probably take a lot longer. I got luck with Norman and dropped him on my 6th run.

Goals for Next Week

  • Obtain 75m GP to purchase the Loot Container Stackingupgrade
  • 90 Slayer to take on the In to The Mists Dungeon
  • Level magic to 99

It looks like I’ll be doing a lot of Slayer tasks this week and the Loot Container Stacking will help immensely. The requirements for In to the Mists is 90 slayer. Unfortunatley, Can I Idle Melvor? doesn’t have to damage reduction requirements for this dungeon or the next one so I’ll have to do them manually and see what the damage is like. I’m not sure I’ll be completing this dungeon this week but I’m at least hoping to meet the Slayer Skill requirement.

Level 99 magic is kind of a give considering I have less than 50% left until its maxed but it’s nice to have easy goals too!