February Goals 2021

I guess it’s February now? January must have passed by without me noticing it. But at the same time, when I look back at January’s Goals post it feels like it was a loooong time ago. Almost like I was a different person altogether.
 
I wasn’t gaming much in January. I started the month out strong with all these lofty ideas on what I would do and what games I would play next. And here we are in February and I don’t think I completed a single goal…and that’s OK. I spent most of January reading and finished 4 books. I’m a slow reader so that’s quite an accomplishment there.
 
My interests seem to swing from gaming to reading around this time of year. It usually hits in November when I realize I have X number of books left to reach my Goodreads goal for the year. I guess I caught the reading bug late this year
 
When my interests swing back to gaming there tends to be a bit of a reset in my gaming interests. I was all about the sprawling, open-world, games at the beginning of the month. Now, nothing I listed here sparks my interest at the moment. Well, that’s not entirely true, I’m still spending a few minutes here and there in Immortals: Fenyx Rising.
 
With all that said, I’m taking this month off of goals. I’m sure I’ll be poking around before I find something to hold me for a while. I don’t know where or what I want to spend my free time on right now.
 
 

January Goal Wrapup

 
You know how I know that I wasn’t gaming as much in January? ManictTme lists Google Chrome as my top application for the month…
 
Complete CyberPunk 2077: I had this whole lengthy post in my head detailing why I didn’t finish this game. Then I realized I wasn’t interested enough in the game to write about why I was no longer interested in the game. Long story short, I got 30 incredible hours out of it and I don’t need to be in that world any longer. It has since been excommunicated from my SSD. It will now be resting in my “Games I’ll Never Finish but Will Think About Starting Up Again Someday” pile in Steam (and now I need to go make a collection with that exact name).
 
Finish Athena’s Zone in Immortals: Fenyx Rising: I’m going to give myself half credit for this one. I’ve done a lot of the Vaults of Tartaros, chests, puzzles, and constellations. I’ve only done one or tow of the story quests. I’m still booting the game up here and there to knock out some map objectives.
 
Craft Thallasion, Shaper of the Currents: It turns out I cannot play Trove part time. I’m either all in with a patron pass or I’m not launching the game for months on end. I tried to remember to log in every week to fill up my dragon coin tomes, I did. But I found logging on and only doing that was underwhelming. It felt more like work than fun so I haven’t touched it since.
 

January with the Squad

 
The little bit of time that I did spend gaming this month was with the boys over at Welpsqaudtv. We’ve been playing GTFO again and raging a little bit less. There’s a chance we’re actually getting better at the game! We also played Sea of Thieves as a 4 man group a few times. It’s been fun learning to use the galleon together.
 
Greg and I started playing Tera together this month. I’m actually enjoying it more than I thought I would. I started out playing a berserker but I’ve since leveled a priest up to where we left off. I’m having much more fun playing the priest.

The Next 5 Games of 2021

I did this last year and it was successful the first time around. Not so much the second time I still haven’t played any of these games. The idea is to pick 5 games that I know I want to play in the immediate future. Go through them and then pick another 5. Theoretically, this gives me a nice focused list of games to play that I already own and that I’m interested in playing in the near future. Going through this list might take a while since most of them are open world or really long JRPG’s. We’ll see how this goes…

Immortals: Fenyx Rising

I bought this from the Epic Store Winter Sale quite unexpectedly. I’d bee eyeing this one for a while but I wasn’t ready to pay $60 for it. But $30 was a much more comfortable price for me. I’ve already put in about 20 hours in the weeks since I’ve bought it just going through the map icons and checking things off one by one. It’s been a relaxing experience so far and has great potential to be a drop in for a few minutes everyday kind of game. I’m pulling back on it a bit to devote more time to Cyberpunk 2077.

The Legends of Heroes: Trails in the Sky

I have been trying to start this game for years. You would think at this point I’d stop trying. I like everything about this game but for some reason I’ve always bounced off of it. I started yet another playthrough in November and have gotten farther than I ever have. I’m thinking this one will be my next “mainline” single player game after I’ve beaten Cyberpunk 2077 just to keep the momentum going.

Assassin’s Creed: Origin

I’m having so much fun in Immortals that I thought this would be a nice follow up once I’m done with it. We’ll see how I feel in the next few months when I actually get to this game. I have a feeling I might be done with Open World games by then.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

I played the last two installments of the Tomb Raider reboot a few years ago and greatly enjoyed them. I think a nice linear story will be a welcome break from open world games by then. Plus, it’s on the shorter side, around 8-10 hours. The real challenge will be if I can remember anything from the last two games.

Project Warlock

Greg introduced me to this game a few months ago. I watched him stream it a few times and bought it on sale. I’ve played it once or twice and had a lot of fun both times but had other games to play at the time. This one is kind of out of left field. My thought process here is that after 4 story heavy RPG games I’ll need a pallet cleanser. That’s where this first person shooter comes it. A totally different experience than the games that cam before it.

The last time I made a list like this I font loaded it with short games and ended it with a massive JRPG. This time it’s mostly big games. I’m interested to see just how far down the list I get. I’m predicating that I’ll finish Immortals and Trails in the Sky for sure but I’m iffy on the last half of the list. Mainly, Assassin’s Creed: Origins will I still be motivated to play another Ubisoft Open Worlder? Only time will tell!

January 2021 Goals

As far as I’m concerned, January is the actual start of winter. There aren’t any holidays to look forward to, it’s cold, and, at least here in Cleveland, it’s grey skies until May. But at least 2020 is over right? Here’s to hoping for a better year to come!

December Goal 2020 Wrap Up

I played more Trove this month than I was planning and was able to get two additional Dragons. I’m actually surprised I was able to get enough dragon coins for 3 dragons this month. That’s 900 dragon coins…I got real lucky on daily dragon caches to say the least. I crafted A.T.M.O.S – D-R4C which was a new dragon released this month. I also crafted Tannenbomber, The Harbinger of Tidings mostly because the winter event was going on and it’s the only way to get the crafting materials. I figured I ‘d get the materials at least but ended up with the whole dragon!

Complete the Moonwing Dragon: Got the Aura, got the dragon, and that’s the last Dragon Soul Dragon I needed to complete the badges.

Craft Typhandir, the Sundered Sheild: I was a bit worried about this one. Typhandir takes Chaos Cores to craft and so does Charl the Chaos Dragon which was released this month. You can only get Charl’s fragments from Corruxion who’s in the hub every 2 weeks and you can only buy 10 at a time. So I bought the first 10 and then realized I was short for Typhandir. When you’re looking for chaos cores they seem to be in short demand….luckily, through chaos chests I was able to scrounge up the remaining cores and craft this dragon. Now time to save up cores for Charl.

Craft Shaoran, Sage of the Eastern Ranges: This one was easy since he didn’t need any dragon coins. The Sagely Blue Scales are found in the Forbidden Spires biome from world bosses and dungeon bosses. It was a matter of running around normal U-9 worlds and finding the right biomes on to get the rest of the fragments.

Get into Shadowlands: Nope this did not happen. I did get my mage to level 44 but haven’t gotten much further. I’m don’t regret buying Shadowlands. I kind of figured this would happen but it’s there when I have the WoW itch again

Continue playing through The Legend of Heroes Trails in the Sky: Technically yes, I played more of this than I thought. 4 hours this month so I did continue it but it isn’t my main game. That’s thanks to CyberPunk 2077 coming out this month. I’m still interested in finishing it though.

January 2021 Goals

Complete Cyberpunk 2077: Currently I’m in Act 2 and have about 30 hours in the game. I’ve been splitting my time between this and a few other games recently but I would like to put more of a focus on completing this game this month. I’m not sure how much longer I have and depending on how much side content I want to do this is going to be quite a large goal.

Finish Athena’s Zone in Immortals: Fenyx Rising: I picked this game up in the Epic Store winter sale and have been playing it heavily. I already have about 20 hours into it and just finished up Aphrodite’s zone. I want to pull back from it a bit this month to leave more time for Cyberpunk so I’ll focus on just completing Athena’s zone this month.

Craft Thallasion, Shaper of the Currents: I don’t plan on playing a lot of Trove this month but I do plan on logging in every week and filling up my Dragon Coin Tomes and buying dragon coins with whatever cubits I get doing that. I already have the fragments so as long as I can get the dragon coins I need this will be a pretty low effort goal.

My Favorite Games of 2020

When I reflect on the beginning of this year it feels like the distant past. I was playing through Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and that feels like ages ago now. When I take a look back at Goodreads there’s some books I could have sworn I read last year that I read in January and February. But in a lot of ways it was a completely different time right? No masks, working in the office, going out in public regularly and eating in restaurants are a thing of the past now.

But through it all there have been some amazing games that kept me sane this year, kept me in touch with friends, and kept my mind off things when I needed it. In no particular order here are my favorite games of this year.

GTFO

GTFO was my group game for a good portion of the year. We bought it back in April and played it once a week until around November. After 43 hours I can say its a good game but one that doesn’t respect the players time. You need at least 3 people but preferably 4 to complete the levels. And with no saved checkpoints, losing after spending 2 hours stealthily clearing the map feels really bad. But the challenge and the almost clears is what kept us coming back for so long. The level switch ups every few months helped to keep things fresh but we never did complete a rundown.

Phasmophobia

This one has become another staple of our Saturday nights. At first it was creepy, it was atmospheric, and it was so different from anything I’d ever played. The first time the ghost talked on the spirit box and the first time the EMF detector hit level five is something I’ll remember for a long time. After 35+ hours the game is no longer scary but it is fun to see how fast you can find the ghost. Finding different ways to harass the ghost, and scaring my friends by throwing balls down the stairs.

Warframe

The last big group game this year was Warframe. We all got really in to it over the summer. I hit a 75% off coupon and bought the largest platinum package with gave me way more platinum than I’ll probably ever need. But when a free game’s given you 200+ hours it really does deserve some money thrown at it. For me personally, Warframe is an all in or all out game for me. When I want to play it I’ll sink in the time but when I’m over it I fall off hard. Our biggest achievement this time around was taking down an Eidolon.

Trove

Much like Warframe I’m either all in on Trove or all out. I played it a ton over the summer when the Delves update came out. I fell off of it in August and didn’t pick it up again until November. Trove is one of those games that always feels like coming home. I’ve spent 4 years with friends and it’s always fun to dip in to. I’m glad to see it’s still getting updates and I hope they continue into next year

Runescape

If you told me in the beginning of the year that Runescape would be my most played game this year I wouldn’t have believed it. Mostly because I tried playing Runescape in January and bounced off of it hard. I still have the post in my drafts and sadly never got around to publishing it. But In August I was introduced to Runelite and everything changed. According to ManicTime I have a 174 hours this year alone and that’s over a period of 3 months and doesn’t include the time I spent on my laptop or my phone. Yes, I even played OSRS on my phone…what a time to be alive.

While Old School Runescape started with nostalgia it passed that early on when I completed the free to play content and branched out into the members content. I was happily chugging along until the Trailblazer League started. To be honest, I went way to hard on the league and burned myself out on the game. I may pick it back up in January but there are a few games I want to get through before I start that journey back up.

Sunday Stream Recap: Phasmawelpia

The Sunday Stream Recap is a new weekly post chronicling our Saturday night streams over at WelpSquadTV. You can learn more about WelpSquadTV here. Catch us live every Saturday night at 7pm EST.

Unfortunately, our stream last night was plagued by technical issues. For starters, I couldn’t figure out how to get discord to keep my stream running while watching everyone else’s stream. It took me a bit to figure out I had to pop out the screen share window to get everything running. My wife was attending a virtual concert downstairs and I forgot bandwidth was a thing until she started telling me her stream kept buffering. So we had Greg stream instead. Greg didn’t have a scene for our multiple view discord set up so we quickly had to cobble one together for him. We didn’t end up starting the stream until about 8pm last night.

There were a few hiccups in the game as well. I crashed to my desktop at one point when trying to load into a map. Greg’s voice chat went completely out in game so we had to use discord chat for a good portion of the night. Since proximity chat is such a big aspect of the game this was pretty immersion breaking. And as usual, Josh, who plays in VR, was unable to talk to us in the lobby at various points of the night. But it’s early access and we’re playing the beta build so these things are expected.

We started the night with a Ridgeview Road House. I wanted to try a run without a thermometer to make things a bit more challenging and this was the perfect, small map to try it on. I thought it would lead to more tension and a longer gameplay session on the map with out finding the ghost’s room right away. While it did extend the playtime it didn’t add any tension. If anything, it added some frustration. At this point, we’re past the point of being scared of the game. It’s more fun to find the ghost, yell at it, and see what happens.

We took the EMFs as our ghost detecting equipment. At first we though it was in the kitchen as we got an EMF reading as soon as we walked in the house. We set everything up and tried to stir up some activity. 10 minutes went by and nothing, another 10 minutes went by, still nothing. So we started looking around again. We got an EMF 5 reading in the living room so we set everything up in there. We still couldn’t get any activity to fill out our journal. We ended up guessing a Shade because it hadn’t hunted us and we were correct but the experience as a whole wasn’t as fun.

There also seems to have been a change to how the video camera works. The video camera you can set up in a room to look for ghost orbs. If there’s a light on in the room or any of the adjacent rooms the image will be too washed out to see the orbs. However, it looks like there was a flashlight effect added to the camera itself which makes small and medium rooms almost too bright to see anything even with all the lights off.

One of my favorite parts of the night was towards the end when we were in one of the farmhouses. I died early on and was walking around the house as a ghost following everyone else. Now I assumed that as a dead player I couldn’t interact with anything, but I was wrong! I couldn’t pick up any tools plates, cups, and dishes seemed to be fair game. I seemed to only be able to pick up things sporadically and I couldn’t figure out what triggered it .I don’t know if this was intended but the items I held would only reappear once I threw them which lead to some hilarious moments. Then Josh, our man in VR, died and that’s when things got real fun. When he picked object up they floated around for everyone else to see. When a floating stuffed rabbit is chasing after you it’s terrifying…

Apparently, as a dead player you can also body block the ghost when it’s hunting. I’m sure this isn’t intended either. I was trying to get a good screen shot of the ghost on the stairs from the attic. I was expecting it to walk through me but it got stuck and couldn’t get past me. Thus I was the hero who saved our party from being picked up that hunt. I tried to do the same thing in a door way later but the ghost got past me.

You can find the full stream VOD from 12/12/2020 here.

Cyberpunk 2077: Quick Impressions

I was on the fence about buying Cyberpunk 2077 after reading some initial reviews. It’s a buggy mess they said, it doesn’t run well, it doesn’t liv up to the hype. But Wednesday morning I found my pressing purchase on Steam. Honestly, I wanted to see the bugs before they got patched out…I’m weird like that sometimes

I wasn’t super hyped for this release, I kept myself in the dark for the most part. I was excited about a AAA cyberpunk setting but other than that I didn’t have a lot of expectations. In a lot of ways, this is the No Man’s Sky launch all over again. Except we don’t have Sean Murray spouting off vague tweets about whether or not there’s multiplayer. But just like No Man’s Sky, the internet is up in arms and I’m sitting over here, 6 hours in, having a grand old time.

I haven’t encountered a ton of bugs so far. The worst one has been getting locked into the scanner in the middle of the tutorial. I had to reload the game but wasn’t set too far back. This happened a second time out in the world and pressing Caps Lock seems to have fixed it. I also found one NPC T-Posing in the first few scenes of the game. Other than that, nothing game breaking, not even that immersion breaking for me.

As far as performance, It runs fine at High on my PC. I’m rocking a 1060 and while I don’t think I’m getting a constant 60fps I’m not noticing significant frame rate drops. I also don’t have a counter going, I won’t be able to get new hardware for a while so why torture myself? Ignorance is bliss sometimes.

A friend suggested turning Cascaded Shadows Range and Cascaded Shadows Resolution to medium to improve performance. After doing this it’s been a smoother experience so far. Also, turning off Film Grain will make everything look sharper. With it on everything looked a bit fuzzy to me.

I’ve been enjoying my time so far. Is it the greatest game ever made? Probably not, but it’s a solid game with a solid story and it’s pretty to look at. I don’t need much more than that!

Corruxian Lands in Trove

I was a bit surprised yesterday when I saw the announcement that there was a new dragon in Trove. I don’t remember the last time one was added. Dragons are kind of a big deal, they provide a ton of mastery, a new mount, and a small but permanent stat boost to all classes on your account.

Corruxion can be found in the hub below the platform Luxion stands on when he’s in the hub…wait a minute…Corruxion….Luxion….oh come on Trove! Just like Luxion, Corruxion will arrive in the hub every 2 weeks which gives players a chance to peruse his shop which takes Chaos Cores instead of Dragon Coins. Hence the Corr part of his name…probably. There’s also a small quest you can accept from Peetza in the hub to deliver a, wait for it, pizza to Corruxion which will reward 1 Chaos Core on completion.

Players can purchase 10 Chaos Dragon Egg for 1 chaos core each. Fragments each time Corruxion arrives. Which makes this yet another time gate to our favorite time gate simulator. You’ll need 50 Chaos Dragon Egg Fragments to craft the dragon so at minimum we’re looking at 10 weeks here. In addition, Charl the Chaos Dragon, requires 25k flux, 75 Chaos Chests, and 300 Dragon coins to craft.

Among such dragons as Khadavros, the Waiting Oblivion, Rachnaphon, the Silent Spectator, and Thallasion, Shaper of the Currents, the name Charl the Chaos Dragon is a bit unaspiring. However, Charl does come with a 1% Crit hit boost, +50 light, and the standard +50 magic find. Any chance to get a bit more Crit Hit away from your gems is always welcome. It let’s you squeeze focus on squeezing a few more percent out of one of the damage stats for all you min/maxers out there.

Corruxion’s shop is also filled with empowered gem boxes, lustrous gem boxes, Double Experience Potions, and Bound bBrilliance. It’s a nice addition for those that have already crafted the mounts and costumes that require chaos cores and have nothing else to do with them.

I’m happy to see Trove has continued to get updates this year. We’ve gotten Delves, and updated Hub and he addition of a new dragon is a nice way to cap it all off. Hopefully, we’ll see continue to see more content added next year!

Back in World of Warcraft…Again.

It’s that time again, the one where my feed is filled with WoW content. It’s that time where I say: Hey, that looks like fun let’s jump in! It’s that time where I fire up the Blizzard launcher, download many, many gigabytes, and get crackin’ on a new character in the free trial. That’s right, it’s expansion time! But you already knew that…probably.

I’ve tried a few times now to get into World of Warcraft. I’ve gotten to level 20 a few times in the free trial. I’ve even subscribed a few times only to have my interest wane a month later. This time was much the same until it wasn’t. See, I’ve known about the level squish that took place right before Shadowlands came out but I wasn’t in the right mindset to try it out. I guess there wasn’t enough hype for my easily swayed brain.

I pretty much forgot there was a new starting zone until it was offered after I created my Panderan Mage. I had to see what it was all about. I was pleasantly surprised to find it had a nice condensed story mixed with a bit of a tutorial. I was also surprised by the number of voice-overs and cutscenes. It helped me stay focused on the story throughout the zone while I went from quest to quest. Apparently, I forgot there was a screenshot button too because I have none from Exile’s Reach.

Now, the one thing that’s put me off to the game for years has been the sheer amount of content. I’ve said it before, 16 years worth of content is intimidating. While I’ve enjoyed my time in the previous starting zones I’ve always felt lost after leaving them. So I welcome the new leveling changes.

Sure, I was abruptly dropped off in Stormwind, told the king wanted to see me, was surrounded by characters I didn’t know, and whisked off on a ship to Kul Tiras in mere minutes after I finished up Exile’s Reach. But once I got there I could pick up on enough of the story to get my bearings. Overall, it feels like a better player experience for me so far. I can still go through all of that other content but I only have to go through one expansion to get to the current one. I foresee many characters being created to check out the stories from previous expansions.

At the moment, I’ve been content just questing through Kul Tiras and taking it all in. My mage is at level 32. I’m not too much in a hurry to hit 50 but so far the pacing is just right for me. I picked up Shadowlands to give my self a bit more of a reason to stick around this time. Was that a good decision? Maybe, I guess we’ll see where I am a month from now when it’s time to renew my sub.

December 2020 Goals

November was filled with small stints in a lot of different games. In December I’m going to be focusing on two or three games this month. That’s the plan anyways we’ll see how long that lasts.

I’m setting my eyes on 3 dragons in Trove this month. I need 18 more Moonwing Dragon Souls to complete the last badge dragon. I’ve already unlocked the stat boost aura but still need the actual Dragon. This is where most of my dragon coins will be going.

I’m looking to collect the rest of the materials to hatch Typhandir, the Sundered Shield this month. I won’t have enough dragon coins to hatch him but the materials are locked behind time gates that I can knock out throughout the week.

Finally, I’m looking to get the rest of the sagely blue dragonscales for Shaoran, Sage of the Eastern Ranges. I realized last night that this one doesn’t require dragon coins so i can work on farming the last 24 scales I need to craft him.

I actually bought Shadowlands last week. I know, I know, I’m easily swayed…I’ve been leveling a mage this week and would like to see her at least get into the expansion before the end of the month. I’m currently level 25 so I’m confident I can hit that goal.

My last goal is to continue playing through The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. I started this late last month and have been firing it up when I feel like playing a single player game. It’s a long game so I’m not sure I’ll be able to finish it this month but I want to keep up with it. Otherwise, it’ll end up in the bottomless pit that is my backlog.

November Wrap Up: Scattered Gaming

I’ve been all over the place in terms of what I’ve been playing this month. I blame that on losing interest in Runescape completetly this month and trying to find something else to spend my time with.

Below are my most 10 most played games this month:

OSRS – 22.7 h

November saw the end of my crush on Old School Runescape early in the month. Everything was going great, I was well into the Trailblazer league, and then my interest just dropped. I remember the exact momment I lost interest too. I had spent 4 hours gathering materials to craft a bunch of yew bows to alch for money. I ended up with about 500k and spent it all buying armor sets for a few medium tasks in a matter of minutes. I stood there and asked myself, do I want to put even more time in to do the same thing on my main account. I haven’t touched Runescape since.

Trove – 11.7 h

There’s a saying in Runescape: ” You don’t quit Runescape you just take longer and longer breaks.” The same can be said for Trove. I once again find myself back after 6 months away from the game. Not much has changed, there was an update to the Hub that added object to interact with to open menus. I’m not sure who wanted to run to an object and click on it instead of pressing a hot key but it’s now an option. Trove also makes for a fantastic Podcast game now that Runescape is off the table.

Phasmophobia – 10.2 h

I’m not surprised this is one of my top games this month. We’ve been streaming this one recently and I’ll usually join for a few rounds if anyone’s around. It’s starting to get stale for me personally but the addition of the new map will help with that for a little while at least.

World of Warcraft – 8 h

That’s right, it’s that time again where I see everyone in the new WoW expansion and tell myself I should get in on that! Except this time I actually bought Shadowlands…fifth times the charm? So far I’m loving the new leveling experience and I’m questing through BFA with my Pandaren Mage.

Sea of Theives 7.8 h

SoT has been one of my favorite games I’ve played this month. It’s one of the few games I wrote about this month. I’m hoping to play more of it in December.

Genshin Impact – 7.6 h

I’ve read more than enough blog posts recently that inspired me to install this game. I didn’t know too much about it going in but what I found was a very nice game with a very questionable buisness model. This game has left me with all sorts of mixed feelings. I like the visuals, the gameplay, and the combat but that gacha business model really has me questioning whether I’ll continue to play it or not. Though, if I’m being honest with myself, I’ll be back in there next month….

Closers – 6.7 h

Genshin Impact left me with a gaming itch that I wanted to scratch. I wanted that art style and hero collector motiff without the gacha for characters. Closers is an instanced, side scrolling, online beat em up. It features a whole cast of playable character with their own stories. It was good mindless fun and I want to revisit it soon.

GTFO – 6 h

GTFO will not make an appearance on this blog for a long time to come. This month I wrote about how I liked the changes to difficulty that were added with this latest rundown. Unfortunately, the levels themselves are still to long for my and my groups liking. 2 hours is a lot of time to lose for failing a mission so we’re putting this one on the shelf for the time being.

Raft – 4 h

Raft lau1nched it’s second chapter not too long ago. I had plans to go in and check out the new content but it wasn’t meant to be. I think I only got one session with the game this month and that time was spent learning how to tame animals and hunt puffer fish. We did manage to get to one of the new destinations but didn’t finish the objective on it yet.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky – 3.9 h

This was another attempt to scratch that JRPG itch Genshin left with my. I’ve run through the first hour of this game so many times but didn’t manage to stick with it. This time around, I got a whole 2 play sessions out of it and I think it will be the next game I’ll beat from my backlog.